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Friday, March 11, 2005

Belief Creates Its Own Proof

Belief creates its own proof.

Is this not a dangerous reality in which we live? Yet, it is God who constructed this reality. What human power is greater than belief?

God has given humans free will. We can assert our will upon so much. We can assert our will on the past, the present and the future.

The Past: People say, "You can't change the past." What a crock! Only the facts of the past cannot be changed (a minor detail), but the meaning of the past is always up for grabs. Historians know this. Furthermore, what part of the past are you willing to remember and what part are you willing to forget?

For example - what does my parent's divorce mean? Sure, their divorce is a fact, but the meaning has changed in the past ten years - for everyone involved.

I believe that my parent's divorce benefits me now. Huh? Yes, my belief has tons of proof. However, I could have chosen to believe that everything about my parent's divorce is bad and that it is immutable and will punish me and the generations to come forever. You know what, there is proof for that belief as well. Yet, my belief has its own proff and that is the proof I agree with because of my belief. Belief first; proof second.

The Present: "I am who I am." I think both Popeye and God said this. And yes, it is true that I am me and not anyone else. At the same time, there is quite a bit of play in how I live my present. I am becoming what I believe I am becoming - and that impacts my present. If I believe thatI am headed in this or that direction, then lo and behold, there the proof appears that this is what I should be doing or the direction I should be going. The belief creates the proof. So, with the proof supporting the belief I keep on in the same direction.

The Future: When the future presses against the present to squeeze out the past, something emerges as real. That future is like a scketch drawing that then gets color as it presses toward the present. Future belief constructs its own proof.

This is in part how faith works in humans. It wouldn't work so well if there had to be all the proof first and then the belief. No, the belief comes first. "Believing is seeing," as the little girl elf, Judy, said in The Santa Clause. And frankly, there is too much proof to examine anyway. Faith by- passes an eternity of exploration so far as coming to a decision on direction is made. At the same time, the belief is fluid as well, and changes while remaining consistent at the same time.

Yes, there are a million ways to abuse this reality, but a relaity it is. Take that complaint up with the Creator of Faith.

4 comments:

don said...

Chris, I just returned from spring break with my kids (skiing in northern New Mexico, with the best conditions we have seen in the last 12 years! plus the BEST Mexican food I have ever eaten, which we stumbled onto accidentally by going into the only place open in Springer, NM at 8:00 p.m.--we'll be back to that one! back to my comment....) and checked all the blogs that I read daily for a week's worth of updating. Your's and Keith Brenton's stretch my brain the most. I appreciate the way you are challenging us all to think in different ways about the church, mostly. Today's post demonstrates how we think of things through our own lens. If we can ever grasp the fact that everyone carries around his own lens, church will be a lot different, life will be different, business relationships, families, etc.

Our congregation is grappling with some pretty rapid growth right now, and already too big for the building we are in. The options available to us are adding on to the present building, relocating to a new, larger bldg, or "tithing" several new groups from our body to relieve some of the pressure, a term I first saw on your blog. That term wasn't used, but the thought was brought up and discussed REALISTICALLY, not just lip service, as a way to solve the growth problem, and more importantly, to really be of some influence outside our four walls, which is part of the mission we have laid out. Your post from earlier this week about one church of 1,000 vs. 100 churches of ten is right on point. I hope to be part of this discussion in a big way and voice my opinion that we shouldn't spend any more money on a cathedral.

Anyway, I just wanted to let you know I have missed reading your thoughts, and keep writing, whether you move to Duluth, or stay in J'boro.

Keith Brenton said...

I have no doubt that if my fellow development officers don and David U at good ol' HU were confined like me to a windowless office eight hours a day instead of gallavanting off to earthly paradises, they would be writing earth-shattering blogs that would put mine to shame, though maybe not Fajita's!

And I join don in being intrigued by this perception of perception - as something which "creates" reality (at least reality as perceived).

Okay, even I didn't understand that last abstruse-as-a-moose sentence. But it helps explain how I can look back on my own divorce and see it as a blessing, no matter how devastating it was at the time. Or how first-century Christians could perceive martyrdom as a blessing.

Our ultimate future puts our past, present and immediate future in a whole new - and unapproachable - light.

Fajita said...

Don, cool that your church is wrestling with the growth issue. I'm all for planting.

Keith, yeah, I sometimes don't even understand myself, and wonder if I ever did, though I often perceive that I understand myself when I in actuality I do not, leaving a completely unjustified sense of confidence, which runs the risk of allowing me to look like an idiot when I feel just fine.

don said...

Chris, I just returned from spring break with my kids (skiing in northern New Mexico, with the best conditions we have seen in the last 12 years! plus the BEST Mexican food I have ever eaten, which we stumbled onto accidentally by going into the only place open in Springer, NM at 8:00 p.m.--we'll be back to that one! back to my comment....) and checked all the blogs that I read daily for a week's worth of updating. Your's and Keith Brenton's stretch my brain the most. I appreciate the way you are challenging us all to think in different ways about the church, mostly. Today's post demonstrates how we think of things through our own lens. If we can ever grasp the fact that everyone carries around his own lens, church will be a lot different, life will be different, business relationships, families, etc.

Our congregation is grappling with some pretty rapid growth right now, and already too big for the building we are in. The options available to us are adding on to the present building, relocating to a new, larger bldg, or "tithing" several new groups from our body to relieve some of the pressure, a term I first saw on your blog. That term wasn't used, but the thought was brought up and discussed REALISTICALLY, not just lip service, as a way to solve the growth problem, and more importantly, to really be of some influence outside our four walls, which is part of the mission we have laid out. Your post from earlier this week about one church of 1,000 vs. 100 churches of ten is right on point. I hope to be part of this discussion in a big way and voice my opinion that we shouldn't spend any more money on a cathedral.

Anyway, I just wanted to let you know I have missed reading your thoughts, and keep writing, whether you move to Duluth, or stay in J'boro.