Don Merritt wrote an article that forever connected my relationship in the Lord with his own relationship in the Lord. It was my Lord connecting me with Don and his Lord. It was a post Don wrote: “Why I don’t debate any more”
I think anyone who is “saved” should be made to read that post – every church – every denomination (every “world faith” even) – should read this post at least once annually.
Cleverness is not truth. Dogma is not truth. Belief is not truth. Personal preference is not truth. These are simply “opinions”. And opinions change. Beliefs change. So “truth” changes.
Try reading another of Don’s posts: “Why I don’t use King James”, and the topic? One “version” of The Bible. One version (amongst many versions of the bible). Now check out the number of comments: 178 comments! I see “truth” in most of those comments.
My concern is that my truth, in my moment of my life, my moment in my circumstances … so often becomes “The Truth For Ever and Ever Amen” – a truth that must be defended at all costs. And that I see, more and more, as bullshit.
And what has bullshit got to do with Love? What has bullshit got to do with God (His version – not ours)? And where did the very definition of “faith” and “relationship” disappear in all of this?
Which brings me back to prayers of intercession.
Why do we have to ask God for help if He is unconditional love? Why do we even have to ask? Why doesn’t he just fix things because “He is” Love?
What I am finding more and more is that He speaks through others. Which I am finding (more and more) a necessary reason for fellowship, for drawing together, for listening for God in others. And more and more I am finding that I respond less and less with “But you said” and more and more with “Help me understand why you said that.”
Why did you say that?
Because “what I heard” is often not “what was said”. Like the zillions of sperm who struggle to reach one egg – like the zillion (minus a few) sperm who are zapped along the way – so too I find that happens a lot when I listen: what was said is zapped by my internal chatter, beliefs, preferences and a zillion other distractions along the way.
Anyway … one such person spoke God to me and suggested that this “free will malarkey”, this “unconditional love” –
It cuts both ways.
Just as we (as parents) cannot force our help on our grown-up children without risk of damaging them – so too Love (that is my God) cannot force His help on us without damaging us in the same way. Because when free will goes out the window – then “I know best” becomes The Law.
And when “I know best and you don’t” is The Law, unconditional love doesn’t exist. It cuts both ways.
Why did God let that person die? Why did God let that tsunami happen? Let me ask you this.
If the person who died you never even knew, you never even knew had lived – how would you know to blame God? And if that tsunami had swept through uninhabited lands and islands without loss of human life (or just a few poor souls – who are acceptable collateral damage), would you then still blame God?
Or what about this?
If we were not able to cross the road until God physically allowed us – would we blame God for constricting us? Because where is love if we can not have free will? Or do we prefer the freedom of skipping across the road – and then blame God when one such skipping is messily scraped off a car bumper?
It cuts both ways.
Or for those born in a country which is Muslim, Hindu, Voodoo, orthodox, Jewish, not any of those but something else … If YOU had been born and raised and, lived still, in one of those such countries … would you be espousing the dogma and religion and “truth” we call “The Christian Faith”?
That cuts both ways as well.
I leave you with this. A lady who is of one of those “such countries”. A lovely lady who has liked my words, and a lady whose words I love: YA BAKİ ENTEL BAKİ, who – today – quotes Sam Levenson (and Sam Levenson is an American humorist). Go figure!
How does THAT work?
(… to be continued some more)