The More We Love, The More God Exists

“The more we love, the more God exists” Peter Rollins

For those who may be uncomfortable with the above quote, I apologize.  Not because it makes you uncomfortable, but rather that it does so at all.  Understanding the depths of what it means to love each other here on this Earth, and how much that love will impact the will of God, takes courage.  Over the last year of my life I have had a chance to experience what Pete meant by this quote and I’m overjoyed to share this with all of you.

Last Saturday my boyfriend, Brad, proposed to me.  I said yes.  I am so very blessed.  God is so very good.

And so, it is worth looking at why I attribute goodness to God.  It is not because over the last year He has appeared to me – cash in hand – when financial relief was needed, or because He sent an angel to hold me close when I was certain death was my only option in the face of Matt’s own.  Rather, God aroused the Spirit within each of you.    In the people at my church, at my work … my family and friends … and, at times, even in strangers.  He even aroused the Spirit within those in my life who wouldn’t attribute their acts of love to Christ.

God aroused the Spirit in Brad.  Brad has listened, been patient, been faithful, and been a true Christ follower in his venture to follow his heart and capture mine.  There were moments when we first started dating, and my own wounds were still so fresh, that just his presence brought me the kind of comfort I’ve only ever felt in the presence of Jesus.  He was walking as Christ was calling him to.

There have been moments in my life where God has physically shown up, relieved me, held me, and comforted me.  If the people given to me in my life over the last year, including Brad, had been absent I don’t doubt the power of God to provide the same blessings we have received.  I am, however, fully convinced that the Spirit that dwells within each of us is a vital lifeline to those around us.  Do not shy away from the prompting to love one another, even in the most difficult of circumstances, because we simply cannot know our part in God’s will for others.

I am so excited to marry Brad.  I am so excited to continue to heal and grow as a family, with him by our side.  And I am continually and forever grateful for those of you who have reached out, in love, to my family and me.  We love you.

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Only Question Your Assumptions

There is such wealth in the narrative of this video.  I encourage you … allow it to penetrate your heart.  If even for just one moment you can permit it’s words room to breathe in your soul, that moment could be all they need.

“The significant conflict is between those who do not know but have the courage to face up to that unknowing, to embrace it; those who have beliefs but who also doubt them and question them.  And those who do not know but who refuse to accept it; those who turn away from that and pretend they have the answer, because they are too frightened to look at the unknowing and mystery we are immersed in.”

We live in a world full of people who know.  But everyone believes in something, everyone has faith in something greater than themselves, and everyone believes they are right.  Athiests, Muslims, Buddists, Christians, Jews.  We all know the Truth.  We know it in our souls.  We have been instilled with the greater knowledge, and prompted by the spirit that leads us.  So … are we all right?  Are none of us right?  Are all of us partially right?  Does it matter?

We do not need to doubt our own beliefs in order to set aside the prideful claim that we are somehow the privileged few who happen to have been born into the “right” family, religion, race, or country that has the secret no one else was entitled to.  As a Christian, it does not lessen the weight of Christ’s incarnation, life, ministry, crucifixion, or resurrection to admit that the only thing I know … is that I simply don’t.

And still, isn’t God’s mystery beautiful?  I think so.  I think the way He moves through each person, place, and thing on this Earth is to be feared.  I think that above all other believed understanding of the scripture we ought to remember that our ways are not His ways, and our thoughts are not His thoughts.  We cannot know, because we are not God.

I believe this idea is important for a multitude of reasons …  The pain of separation in believers and the church as it is today.  Those in the church who want to feel freedom to discuss thoughts and ideas without being told they are wrong.  The ultimate goal of serving those in need and loving our neighbor being put second to the unattainable demands of righteousness.  The walls we have built, and are continuing to build, between those around us in our own communities.

This does not have to be a dramatic shift.  A person only needs to think of the idea.  Let the anxieties of what this might mean overtake you for a moment.  It does not mean you change your beliefs, but rather it means you change your attitude about them.

“I never question God, I can only question my assumptions of God.”  Peter Rollins

Insurrection Reflection (Chapter 3)

Chapter 3 is titled, “I’m Not Religious” and Other Religious Sayings. I have some issues with the theological line of thinking in this chapter, and so I can imagine that feeling might be tenfold for other, more conservative, Christians. I tread lightly over the words, reading the chapter a few times before making any final reflections, and then I apply it to how it pragmatically looks in my own life.

Here are my thoughts on the first half of the chapter. One of Pete’s major challenges within the church structure is how we do worship. How, as he puts it in the book, “The worship songs affirm certainty so we are free to celebrate uncertainty.” (pg. 48). I believe deeply that worship can be anything that is done to the glory of God, up to and including doubt. A person needs go no further than the book of Lamentations to find a dark night of the soul. We can not forget, though, why it is we worship. We worship to a God who longs to be worshiped by his creation.

I do, however, affirm Pete on many thoughts in regards to worship, such as; where do we find the ‘leader’ in ‘worship-leader’ if the only songs we are ever led to sing are about knowing, peace, and love. As a creation of God there are times I do not know, I do not feel peace, and love is not the first thing on my heart. It is in those moments of unknowing that I cry out to God, and I can see how this crying out in community could be a healing movement. I also believe, however, that God needs to see our faithfulness. I do not worship for my sake, I worship for His sake.

I need to worship my Creator. I will doubt my Creator. I need to do both of these things.

The second half of the chapter involves the differences between the recognition of levels of non/belief in today’s society, and the psychologically seeded security within each of those differences. The idea being that within our culture, even those who consider themselves atheists, still rely on God ultimately as a means to bring them comfort. In most cases, people would deny this idea. People desire to believe they serve a God for the purpose of glorifying Him, but the only true way to unpack our reasoning behind our beliefs is to look towards how we practically live our day to day life … which is where this Insurrection is going.