A few weeks ago I started a new group of messages at our church called centered around the idea of belief. In the “biz” we call this a series. This particular series is called “I still believe.” Other than the incredible opportunity to use the mid 2000’s Jeremy Camp song that plagued Christian radio stations for many years (it’s actually a decent song, just overplayed), I wanted it to represent a feeling of hope I have about the things that I think are central to the Christian worldview. Things that – even in the face of mounting opposition and in a post-modern culture that seems to be straying ever farther from the idea of truth – I still believe.
Belief is a funny thing. It professes a kind of certainty, while still leaving room for questions, concerns and perhaps even doubts. This I think, is the majority of the human experience. A tapestry filled with shades of gray, some darker than others, some so almost white they are barely distinguishable, but all of them gray. And this is where faith and belief intersect.
When I was younger, life was much more black and white, or at least it appeared so in my mind and throughout my day to day experiences. Even as a young adult, I thought there were so many things I knew for CERTAIN and would never doubt. But then, as it always does, life threw me some giant 12-6 six curveballs (there’s a sports analogy for everything), and things that I once “believed” – became things that needed more looking into.
I think that’s something that’s lacking in our culture today, the “looking into” part. Our televisions, radios, and computer screens are filled with people offering up their OPINIONS, many of them educated sure, but OPINIONS just the same. At some point, I think many of us started picking people who we’ve often agreed with, or sources we have found to be credible, and started adopting those opinions as our own – without looking into the other side, or really doing the necessary research to be able to clearly articulate WHY we believe the things that we do. Surely, we cannot know everything about EVERYTHING or even ANYTHING, but if we are going to profess beliefs in areas as important in life as faith in God – I think it’s in our best interest to do a little digging.
At a certain point in my life, after life’s circumstances had clouded me with doubt, I did the hard work of asking the WHY questions – and I am so happy that I did. I decided that faith in God, a life spent following Jesus, the reliability of the Bible, and belonging to a community of believers (a local church), are beliefs worth holding. Am I 100% on all of them? Not really. Do I ever still doubt? Absolutely. But I’m finding that truly BELIEVING something means finding that place where FACTS and FAITH work together – and get us to the point where we can say – I still believe…