Curiosity killed the cat.
As a response to risk-taking, too many questions, an unwillingness to accept the status quo … that response is often given as the final word: “Curiosity killed the cat.”
Because I say so.
Another response usually heard from a parent to a young child. One who has “Why?” on repeat the whole day through. Yet often said between adults. Usually when the dynamics of power and hierarchy have been established.
When you understand how we do things then you’ll understand.
Is another put down. One that is neither subtle nor compassionate. We have evolved loads of responses to honest doubt and open curiosity. We have established many subtle (and not so subtle) control mechanisms for those who explore … those who explore why “that’s how it is” is not actually “how it is” but how you say it is … how you say I must be … how you tell me I must behave …
“I want to begin this post by stating clearly and unequivocally …
I AM NOT AN ATHEIST.”
The Ugly Atheist, Nan’s Notebook
And …“The incentive that finally moved me to write this post was the following comment recorded on a blog owned by a Christian … “
And … “From a personal standpoint, I’ve found it difficult to understand why such anger exists within the hearts of those who claim to believe in a man who (is said to have) made the following comment in Matthew 22:37-39 (NIV) … “
I think the label “Christian” is used and abused too often. A label covering a multitude of beliefs, lifestyles and motivations. Yet if I stand up and say “I believe … in the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, the son of God (as defined n the bible)” … I am in (which leaves a lot of wiggle room).
I think, is at the heart of this division, debate and endless argument. And yet, for me, those two words are meaningless – what “I believe” changes. Not because I am fickle but because (simply) by being alive and living my comfort zones expand and contract, my knowledge increases and decreases, my certainty grows and shrinks. So those two words – “I believe” – have little longterm value – they get in the way of exploring – they become a mantra. “I believe” (I belong) – “You don’t believe” (you are wrong).
We are all believers – just not in the same things, nor at the same time, nor with any lifetime absolutes.
So why this post …?
I love you.
I can call that a belief – But if I do then what about the times when I believe I don’t love you. Times when I hate you. Times when I question why I ever loved you. And what about the times I am intoxicated with you. Times when nothing else matters. And then the times I take you for granted. When I pursue what I want to pursue safe in the knowledge that “we love each other and that is forever”.
The words “I believe I love you” are words I have never said to you. But I do say “I love you.”
And you know that even when I hate you I really still love you. You know that because you get fed up with me taking you for granted – but know you do the same to me. You also have times when you hate me – even though you love me. You also know “I believe” is not who we are. You also know “I love you” is so much more.
So there are times we doubt. Times when one of will explore why we ever got together (and still are). Times when one or both wants to part (and does) to find out whether we should still be together. And in none of that have we ever said “I believe I love you.” But I have said “I believe you are wrong and I am right.” And so have you. But it was never about love. Ever.
I believe is not love.
So why do Christians say “I believe” so often?