Your Stake in the Wind.

I promised, when I began this blog, that I wouldn’t include quotes from famous philosophers, or theologians. Instead, I promised to offer nothing more than straight Bible.

Okay. I lied. Or, to be more generous, I’d like your permission to deviate from my original intent. Because sometimes, you stumble across someone who just writes it better than you ever could. This paragraph, which I found in a book entitled, “When Life and Beliefs Collide, by Carolyn Custis James (Zondervan) is just one of those paragraphs. So, here’s the quote, written originally by Dr. J.I. Packer:

“Knowing about God is crucially important for the living of our lives . . .  We are cruel to ourselves if we try to live in this world without knowing about the God whose world it is, and who runs it. The world becomes a strange, mad, painful place, and life in it a disappointing and unpleasant business for those who do not know about God. Disregard the study of God and you sentence yourself to stumble and blunder through life, blindfold as it were, with no sense of direction and no understanding of what surrounds you. This way you can waste your life and lose your soul.”

So why a quote this week? Because death makes you face life head-on. And in the face of my friend’s recent death, I have been offered all variety of “quasi-comforting” language. “If belief in an afterlife comforts you, then . . .” Or, “She is in all of us.” Or, “She is watching over us.”

And I am surprised at how many people have opinions without foundation. These people, well intentioned though they are, never face the fact that they have made no study of God. While they say they believe, they believe without information. Without understanding. Without consideration. And frankly, this kind of uninformed belief – no matter how sincere – will not keep you in the face of rising water, a devastating diagnosis or a terminal prognosis.

It will not keep you when you lose a loved one.

Sincerity itself, in any other science, is considered foolishness. “Give me evidence,” scientists demand. Even the most sincerely held belief will fail in the face natural law. You may sincerely believe that you will survive a fifty-story jump from an office building. But that belief will not keep you safe from the effects of gravity.

So. I ask you. If you believe, why? Where do you get your information? Did someone tell you? Or do you just “feel right” about your belief? How can all of us, regardless of our personally held beliefs be correct? If all are correct, aren’t then all incorrect?

As I have written to my oldest son, theology becomes the stake on which you base your daily life. Like the key characters in the movie Twister, you will find yourself hanging onto that stake as you are blown about by gale force winds. In the face of life’s most devastating storms, you must find a stake that holds, and you must cling to it with all your strength.  Have you found your stake? Do you know exactly why you belive?

If you don’t, stay with me. That’s why I’m here. Let’s see what the Word says. Not the protestant word, not the Lutheran word, or the Episcopalian word, or the Catholic word, or the Presbyterian word. Let’s look at the Word. And let’s forget sincerity.

Let’s see what God says about himself. You can measure that for yourselves. See if it lines up with those ideas you’ve long held. Then, only you can decide what to do about what you discover. Thanks for your really kind words,

Bette

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