Wednesday, September 07, 2011

7th September

Ah… that’s better. A relatively quiet day, including my walk through the woods and I reckon I’ve ‘bottomed out’ on the present downer. I still feel really sad but no worse than yesterday which is helpful. And the tears have dried up as well, which makes it easier to relate to other people

But… I’ve been thinking again about doubt, working through some pretty fundamental questions regarding the nature of God and how we journey with him. And dare I say it, even thinking about whether he actually exists. Now there’s an admission from a man who has wholeheartedly dedicated the past 29 years to serving Jesus who is the Christ, the Saviour of the world. But my faith journey has to be robust enough to handle the toughest of intellectual challenges, as simply ignoring or simplifying them is no answer.  So has sociology got it right, for example, when it commonly views religion as man’s way of answering existential questions such as ‘what happens after we die?’ And the progression to formulating the existence, with associated experience, of deity is then determined to be an illusion. Am I deluded? Does God actually exist?

Of course he does. With my whole heart and with every fibre of my being I say yes he does exist and exactly as revealed in his word, the Bible. And that is not just ‘wishful thinking’; he has confirmed his presence in my life in countless ways over the decades. I spent the first 30 years of life doing my own thing, which for a long time included going to church, but I was not really a Christian who walked the life of faith… I just enjoyed church. Today I know the God who answers prayers with the miraculous, who changes lives, including mine, in ways we could never dream of. But my faith journey, as with all Christians, has at it’s heart a very real and intensely personal relationship with Jesus Christ. It’s hard to put into words but there was a day that I reached out to God and he reached down to me, revealing his presence and changing my life with his infinite loving kindness for ever. And that may sound like religion, but it isn’t. Religion is a man-made device for controlling behaviour and belief. True Christianity is a relationship with the person of God as revealed in Jesus. I’ve seen wrong behaviour and deception in the church many times over the years but have decided that were the whole of Christendom to deny or defame Christ, I couldn’t.

Oh yes, and he has made clear that there is life after death, though there are a couple of quite different destinations we all book into. But that’s not the only reason I believe, there’s a lot more to it than that. Right now though I just want to spend my time on earth and then through eternity living with Jesus… wherever that takes me.

1 Corinthians 15:12-20 ‘But tell me this—since we preach that Christ rose from the dead, why are some of you saying there will be no resurrection of the dead? For if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, then all our preaching is useless, and your faith is useless. And we apostles would all be lying about God—for we have said that God raised Christ from the grave. But that can’t be true if there is no resurrection of the dead. And if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless and you are still guilty of your sins. In that case, all who have died believing in Christ are lost! And if our hope in Christ is only for this life, we are more to be pitied than anyone in the world. But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead. He is the first of a great harvest of all who have died.’ (NLT)

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