A cure is in our sights!

Vivint is giving away $1.25 Million to charities. Help us win!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

God, Faith, etc...

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

OK... Let me start this post by saying that the following is simply my own personal views and beliefs and is in no way an attempt to belittle anyone else for their personal views or beliefs. I do not like conflict and SO do not want any extra strife in my life right now, so if you plan to leave a comment criticising me, do not expect me to even acknowledge it.

Ahhhhhhh… It is THAT time again. Once every few years I find myself compelled to explain (again) how I believe about certain aspects of “Faith vs. Religion”. So, here we go again:

I believe that the amount of faith a person has in God has absolutely no correlation to the number of comities they are involved in, the number of bake sales they organize each year, or the amount of time they spend inside the church building. Sadly, quite a lot of those (not all) who feel the impulse to add more and more public displays of their “faith” or “devotion” to their relationship with God, are those who have the least real faith and devotion.

I believe that God has absolute power to heal people and move mountains and call the seas to rise up and eat the continents. I DO NOT believe that he will do any of the above because someone who thinks they have the ultimate championship belt of faith tells him to. I kind of like to think that he giggles every time someone yells towards the heavens their own personal version of “BE HEALED”. I believe he can (and does) heal people everyday. I DO NOT believe that a large group of people jumping pews, speaking gibberish, and generally acting like a bunch of drunk monkeys is going to sway God one way or the other. (God is just as likely to heal the people who quietly come to Him from the privacy of their own bedroom.) I believe that God’s will is absolute, purposeful, unchanging, and often confounding. I know that His will serves a greater purpose than I could ever possibly understand in this lifetime. Sometimes that is a comforting thought; sometimes it irritates the crap out of me to be left in the dark.

I believe that a person’s relationship with God is a very personal and private matter. I believe it is not my place to judge how or why someone else believes the things they do or the manner in which those beliefs are acted upon. I believe that expressing my feelings openly and honestly is the way that God built me to function and work through my inner turmoil. I DO NOT believe God created everyone to work or even to believe in the exact same way.

Here is the one that throws people for a loop…

I believe that God created my daughter, as she is to serve His greater purpose. That means I believe that God made my beautiful little girl to be both physically and mentally disabled. I believe that if it were God’s will to heal my daughter in the most dramatic and complete way, that He has the power to do so. (I am also willing to accept that healing my daughter is not God’s will.) I DO NOT believe that those who have the most or the strongest faith will be spared from all the turmoil of life. I DO NOT believe that God will make life all peaches and cream for someone just because they want it that way.

I believe that truly evil people all over the world prosper while inherently good people in all the same places suffer and die horrible deaths. This does not happen because they are getting what they deserve or because they do not have enough faith to change their situation. It happens because life is not fair. If life was fair…



There would be no need for faith.



BabyAge.com

11 comments:

God's Warrior Bride said...

I guess you have packaged it all up, put a pretty bow on it and are at total peace with it. How wonderful that must be for you to know exactly what you want from your faith.

But there are a few things you need to know about me and my belief as well - I know that God does heal people and doesn't heal them - I know that He can move mountains, call the seas to rise up and eat continents without people praying for it, but He can if asked. I know that a person's relationship with God is a very personal and private matter, but I also know that God doesn't want us to be so private those around us don't even know Him by the way we act and I know that God's ways aren't our ways (and for a reason).

I also know what God's word says:

Hebrews 5:7
During the days of Jesus' life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission.

This tells me I can pray and petition with loud cries and God will hear.

Psalm 30:11
You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,

and

Psalm 149:3
Let them praise his name with dancing and make music to him with tambourine and harp.

and

Acts 3:8
He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God.

God's word tells me I can wail, dance, sway and even jump around for Him. I can even do it in His courts. After all they are the Courts of Praise.

And -
Acts 2:4
All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

1 Corinthians 12:28
And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues

Hebrews 11:30
By faith the walls of Jericho fell, after the people had marched around them for seven days.

and

Jeremiah 50:15
Shout against her on every side! She surrenders, her towers fall, her walls are torn down. Since this is the vengeance of the LORD, take vengeance on her; do to her as she has done to others.

So you see, I believe God did create us for His good pleasure, to praise and worship Him, so that the rocks don't have to cry out to Him. He created us to be warriors, to be lovers, to be his pride and joy. He didn't create us to gripe and complain, to have inner turmoil, to stress and worry. He created us to go to Him with everything because He loves us and wants the very best for us. After all He gave His son for us.

In closing, you say it is not your place to judge how or why someone else believes like they do - well your judgment about what transpires in my and many others churches was pretty harsh, but hopefully you will understand it better now that you know it is all in God's word.

You also need to know that no matter what you think about me and the way I beleive I will continue "jumping pews, speaking gibberish, and generally acting like a bunch of drunk monkeys" along with praying continually, warring, worshipping and fasting until your precious unborn baby is here and healthy, your Dad is totally healed and cancer free, and my beloved Mother is totally restored.

That's what God created me for and my life in Him is fair.

L>T said...

Hi melissa!

thanks for visiting my blog.

I choose not to believe or have faith in God. I'm a agnostic secular humanist.

I choose to put my faith in the unflaggable & wonderful human spirit in all of us. the individual human is capable of great things. I believe there is so much mankind can still do


I believe that truly evil people all over the world prosper while inherently good people in all the same places suffer and die horrible deaths. I believe this too.

But such is life.

L>T said...

BTW, melissa I see your dad is on chemo? My husband has had Non-Hodgkins lymphoma for over 25 years. Boy do we know about that chemo stuff! I hope your dad isn't getting too sick w/it.

guttergirl said...

Melissa,
I tend to agree with your thinking. My experiences with churches are that they are a very cliquey place. I never feel comfortable or welcome. I do however, have a deep belief. As for your daughter. I believe he had a reason for sending her to you. In conventional thinking she may not be perfect, but in God's eyes, she is just the way she should be.She is perfect to him and you love her just as he knew you would

Melissa said...

gwb - I am going to ask nicely just ONCE. Please BACK OFF. This is the absolute worst time to be starting BS with me.

l>t - The human spirit can be wonderful and beautiful, but it also has the potential to be one of the ugliest things on the planet. It is great to believe in something and there are so many beautiful people in the world to believe in. Dad has only had his first treatment. He has had some side effects, but not enough to give up on it. I hope your husband's condition is at the very least stable. Sending good thoughts your way! :)

guttergirl - What can I say? You get me. That is a big deal. Thanks for stopping by again!

God's Warrior Bride said...

Tiss,

This was not meant to start BS with you - it was meant to encourage you and build you up. Unfortunately you don't me.

Back Off? You've got it! But like wise I ask that you Back Off saying things about the out-of-town family that is never for you and your family!! It would have hurt less if you would have just cut my heart out. I am sorry that we can't be there full time for you and your family, actually is makes me physically ill - so remember that the next time you feel you should speak harshly about us.

Back Off? You've got it.

Bobbie said...

When I look back at Scripture I noticed a few things in common with many of our major men and women of the Bible. The common factor was that they were human. They dealt with sorrow, strife, pain, joy, death, birth, worries, and they even complained. Job was one that was attacked by his "good" friends because of his words that were assumed were blasphemy.
Job 1:20-22
20 Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head, and he fell to the ground and worshiped.
21He said,
"Naked I came from my mother's womb, And naked I shall return there
The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away.
Blessed be the name of the LORD."
22 Through all this Job did not sin nor did he blame God.

Even though Job was "complaining," it was not considered a sin. He was broken in spirit and yet worshipped His creator knowing that God was still in control. Trusting God does not mean that we have to be happy with His direction for our lives.

David consistently complained throughout the entire book of Psalms. 67 of the 150 Psalms are Psalms of lament. The Psalmists were continually crying out to God vocally asking God why He was allowing them to go through trials of varying states.

Moses complained that he could not speak without a helper. Exo.4:4-13

Jeremiah complained, "Alas, Lord God! Behold, I do not know how to speak, because I am a youth." Jer. 1:6 He also has an entire book of complaining called, Lamentations.

Esther complained, “All the king’s servants and the people of the king’s provinces know that for any man or woman who comes to the king to the inner court who is not summoned, he has but one law, that he by put to death, unless the king holds out to him the golden scepter so that he may live. And I have not been summoned to come to the king for thirty days.” Esther 4:11

Jonah himself was the king of complaining and yet was a chosen instrument of God’s grace to a heathinistic people.

Elijah complained about Jezebel and even ran from her but God again restored his confidence. In conversation he whined to God and received answer. 1 Kings 19

Paul complained about the treatment of Apostles and everything they went through:
1 Corinthians 4:5 -16
5 Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men's hearts; and then each man's praise will come to him from God.
6 Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively applied to myself and Apollos for your sakes, so that in us you may learn not to exceed what is written, so that no one of you will become arrogant in behalf of one against the other.
7 For who regards you as superior? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?
8 You are already filled, you have already become rich, you have become kings without us; and indeed, I wish that you had become kings so that we also might reign with you.
9 For, I think, God has exhibited us apostles last of all, as men condemned to death; because we have become a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men.
10 We are fools for Christ's sake, but you are prudent in Christ; we are weak, but you are strong; you are distinguished, but we are without honor.
11 To this present hour we are both hungry and thirsty, and are poorly clothed, and are roughly treated, and are homeless;
12 and we toil, working with our own hands; when we are reviled, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure;
13 when we are slandered, we try to conciliate; we have become as the scum of the world, the dregs of all things, even until now.
14 I do not write these things to shame you, but to admonish you as my beloved children.
15 For if you were to have countless tutors in Christ, yet you would not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel.
16 Therefore I exhort you, be imitators of me.

Many more examples can be found throughout Scripture of people who vented and were considered servants of the King. Solomon wrapped it all up in his quest for the meaning of life in Ecclesiastes. Chapter 3: “There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven—a time to give birth and a time to die; a time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted. A time to kill and a time to heal; a time to tear down and a time to build up. A time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance….” In our lives there will be ups and downs. Valleys and Mountains. You can see amazing things from the top of the mountains, but all the fruit is grown in the valley. I do not believe that it is unscriptural to complain due to the fact that those before us who are labeled men and women of faith in Hebrews chapter 11 spent time complaining. Jesus tells us that we will suffer as Christians, but 2 Corinthians 12:9 Paul tells us, “And He has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.’ Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.”

Melissa said...

bobbie - Thank you for the wonderful biblical references that show me God thinks it is OK to come to Him with my fears and worries. Your words are both kind and supportive at a time when that is what I need the most from my Christian family. I am grateful to you for not sitting in judgement of my pain and strife, but for simply seeing it as the growing pains that they are. Thank you and Bless you.

KittyKakes said...

Melissa,
God is able. He can do. God can heal. God can ressurect. God can greet us in heaven. It all depends on His will and our willingness. The blind man was born blind. He stayed blind formany years. One day, the Lord healed him. God is able. Many other blind people, such as Helen Keller have never been given sight after being made blind by circumstances or being born blind. They are no less wonderful or important to Almighty God. God is able. Sometimes He quiets the seas. Sometimes He sees us through the furnace.
God be with you.
Kakes

KittyKakes said...

There was a time when Jesus wept. People could say He was feeling self pity or defeat. I believe it was sorrow which brought Our Lord to tears. It is okay to cry. It is okay to feel sorrow. And it is okay to dust yourself off and wash your face when you can. God is able. God loves you. I am praying for you this day.

Melissa said...

kittykakes - thank you. We need all the prayers we can get! :)