Thursday, June 27, 2013

About God & Beliefs

I think the media, politics, & religion have led to us buying into the idea that we need to form opinions on things & have stances on things & have beliefs about things which typically never affect our day to day lives nor the lives of anyone we know. I'm not saying this as in "you should act on what you believe" I'm saying this as in "stop talking about beliefs you never act upon." So many opinions are pointless. We go around being mad at or hating people (such as politicians) who we'll never meet. People rile themselves up by following the news & thus intentionally alienate themselves from others who disagree with them. Or it puts them in bad moods or in arguments with people who are actually in their lives.

The labels we put on ourselves by our "stances" might as well say, "Devalue me because I think differently than you do." Because all it takes is for me or you to say ONE thing that is too religious or not religious enough, or too caring or not caring enough for us to be seen in a different light, as if that ONE thing were the whole of who we are or is so weighty that it makes us someone to pity, combat, or ignore.

We live in the multimedia age of "put yourself in a box & label yourself so others can judge you without even knowing you." Normally this would be a rant about labeling others but honestly most people label themselves first, opening themselves to arguments & prejudice. We instigate others by clinging to so called values, values that are seldom more than ideas we hold about things that never affect our lives (which is actually a legalistic mindset).

So many people never get to know themselves because largely there is no more "self." Instead we have distractions from self & IDEAS about THINGS occupying our time when we're not monkey punching the clock at our jobs. Religion intentionally destroys self & rallies against it. Anti-religion conforms people to its ideas & its mold of thought which also destroys self. To be clear, self is a good thing. Self is the best thing!

It is true that few people really change, they just change sides because now life is ALL about the SIDES you take. This is the bandwagon, mold-fitting nation. While I won't surmise about people's personal lives & relationships with God (though much of mine is mixed in here) I will say what I think are the possible effects of movements. Take the "grace movement" for example. You go from learning verses that are commands to verses about freedom & grace. Both sides are about having the right beliefs ABOUT (ABOUT!) God. Knowing the truth can set people free but what do free men do? The fenced in city dog wants to be free but the free country dog stays on the porch. It is exciting to change sides or be set free but often once the excitement dies down you just fall back into your same patterns of bible study & God postulating, you've just changed sides. So you know a lot more, now legitimate, truth ABOUT God & that truth gives you peace of mind but when it comes to actually knowing God personally as YOUR Father there is little difference. You talk ABOUT Him instead of TO Him.

Orphans having information about their father can give them hope but the "hope that lies inside of us" isn't supposed to be an orphan's gathered information about a distant father. The hope in side is the Father inside. While we can rejoice in the idea that He never leaves us.. when do we enjoy any more than that idea by interacting with Him?

Beliefs while necessary & sometimes beneficial weren't what Jesus came to give us. He came to give us Himself. He asked us to believe IN HIM, trust IN HIM. He didn't ask us to have the right beliefs about Him. Those are supposed to come by knowing Him, but we've traded knowing Him for knowing things about Him & He is such a good God that we can even get by on that. Well I'm through with just getting by on thoughts, ideas, beliefs, stances, labels, opinions, & facts. Jesus said, "I have come so people may have life & have it abundantly. I am life! I came so people could have me AND LOTS OF ME!"

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