Wednesday, July 25, 2012

My Faith Summed Up In Three Words

I do not have an intellectual faith.  I have a simple faith.   It's not because I'm dumb and it's not because I'm lazy.  I believe it's because I have faith like a child. 

If you ask a ten year old what the book of Revelation is trying to tell us, or in what capacities they believe women should be allowed to serve, or why they think God allows bad things to happen to good people, you're probably going to get a blank stare.   Likewise, if you ask me how Jesus can be fully God and fully human, or what I believe about the inerrancy and infallibility of scripture, you're also going to get a blank stare and then I might literally start singing "Jesus Loves Me".   Believe me, it has happened before, Trent can testify to it.  He is opposite me in that he does have a very intellectual faith and I love that about him.   He is forever learning, teaching, wondering, doubting, believing and discussing.  There have been times when he has talked me through a recent development in his own faith studies and when asked what I think about the topic, I have responded with "Uh...Jesus loves me this I knooow, for the Bible tells me sooooo!" 

That's what my faith ultimately boils down to.  A children's song.  Jesus loves me.

Jesus loves me 
How cool is that?  He loves me! And you. And you and you and you.  He loves us so much that He died on the cross to save us.

This I know
I know in my heart that Jesus loves me.  Isn't that pretty much the foundation of being a Christian?  To believe in your heart that Jesus loves us and died for our sins?

For the Bible tells me so
It's all over.  Try John 3:16 or Psalm 136 or Psalm 13:5 or 1 John 4:19, to name a few.

Little ones to Him belong
Regardless of age, we are His children and we belong to Him.   We are His little ones.  Isn't that a comforting thought?

They are weak but He is strong
Even in our weakness, we can rest in His strong arms and know that we are loved.  His strength will see us through when our own cannot.

Maybe there are some faithful intellectuals out there who think this approach is indeed dumb or lazy.   I mean, I am an adult after all.  Shouldn't my faith have grown beyond a little children's song by now?

To those intellectuals, I would first say that I highly respect them for their knowledge, their abilities and their desire to figure out what they believe on so many tough topics, down to the minutest detail.   I know this type of faith thrives on study and learning and I would never, ever suggest that they give that up.

Then I would tell them to stop hatin' on those of us who aren't at their level and don't feel the need to be.   We're all in the same boat.  The intellectuals may be busy determining who built the boat, the chronological order in which it came into being and whether the nails holding it together are infallible, while the childlike faiths enjoy the sturdy seat, feel honored and loved for being allowed in the boat, and soak in the beautiful view...but we're still in the same boat and it's taking us to the same destination. 

Finally, I would ask the intellectuals to spend just a day or two practicing a childlike faith.  Set aside the details and the discussions and the analysis for a time.  Come back to the foundation, the bedrock of our faith.  Jesus loves you.  You know this.  You are His child and you belong to Him. 

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