3.13.2009

in difference


"The indifference of some Christians to God is much more troubling to me than Nietzche's anger."

Above is a comment I heard theologian Miroslav Volf make a while back in a podcast. It has stayed with me because it articulated so well my own uneasiness. Nietzche understood that belief had consequence, and it seems to me that many Christians are dishonest atheists and agnostics. Practically speaking, what is the difference between stating with your lips "he is not there" and going through our days as if he is not? Those who hate God are at least engaged. They recognize the need to kill him.

I ask myself all the time, "Do any of us really believe this stuff?" I mean if we did, would our lives be so impotent? Would we be so bored? Would our discipleship groups and bible studies continually degenerate into this chit-chat about inconveniences? Would our prayer meetings consist of 58 minutes of sharing about aunt Sally’s turf toe, Grandma’s constipation, and someone else’s unbelief followed-up with a two minute prayer? Would we turn to each other after the pastor’s sermon, and say, “Now, where are we going to eat lunch?” Would not our lives be substantively different than the rest of the world—at least on some level? To be honest, this is the stuff that makes me doubt [in God’s existence and in my own salvation]. What is the difference? Where is the power? Where is the transformation?

We ask the question, “How are you doing spiritually?” and the answer is something like “Well, I worked out four times this week so I feel pretty good?” Really?

…So, I tried to think of questions I think we need to be asking each other and ourselves.

(In no particular order)
Do you delight in God?
Do you believe there is pleasure in his presence?
Do you feel like you know him?
Do you feel like you are known by him?
Has anything differentiated you from a nice atheist today?
Do you believe Jesus’ tomb was empty?
But is it because of the resurrection or because his disciples stole the body?
Do you believe God cares about you? Do you care about him?
Could the words “they worship me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me” be said of you?
Do you yearn?
For what?
Is it God’s presence?
If you look back on the last week, what does it reveal about your “first love”?

All I am saying is that I—for one—want more, and I do not want to be content until I get it.

Did I just contradict my previous post?

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