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pursuing the upward call with fear and trembling

just a 44 year old man seeking to share my meanderings with the world at large or the blogosphere at small

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Ya Gotta Believe

Catchy phrase isn't it??? One that is a rallying cry. I recall in 1973, I was still in New Jersey and baseball season began. As the season wore on the Mets were in the hunt for winning their division and making the playoffs. Tug McGraw (father to Tim McGraw btw ladies for your info) lol kept saying this phrase all season as a cheer to pump the team and the fans up. I think it really hits at our deepest core of our life though. Ultimately we all have to believe something. What is it that causes our beliefs to be what they are??? What is that causes our beliefs to be what they aren't??? Hmmmmmm

South Pacific is a very famous well-loved musical by the renowned playwrights Rogers and Hammerstein- hope i have the first one right anyway. A romantic story of love found by 2 very different people during WW2. A young sailor falls for an island girl and yet prejudices threaten to make the relationship fail. The girls mother sings a song, *You've Got To Be Taught* which is all about the origins of prejudice and bigotry and how they get passed down within families. Very poignant song and timeless in its meaning. I think it can hold true in many ways to how we develop our beliefs. We learn from our parents or other close family members, as well as authority figures and ant religious traditions we grow up in. Piaget, famous psychologist of early childhood development, taught in his research that we are a *tabula rasa* or empty slate as far as our minds go upon birth. We acquire learning and develop beliefs as we begin to age. The older and more developed we become the more we can make choices as to what we believe. No doubt though that our early beliefs are largely influenced by our home environment, especially at the emotional level.

It is quite interesting within Christianity that there is a wide disparity amongst believers on beliefs they hold. Ask a group of christians what their beliefs are regarding various doctrines or ideas and you will likely get a multiple of differing answers, as well as some close to the same. I wonder if that holds true across the board. Do wiccans have a wide variety of varying beliefs within wicca??? Scientologists??? Unitarian Universalists??? I know from experience that moslems, buddhists,hindus ,atheists and mormons do. Just as all of us are indivdually so unique, also are our beliefs.

One solidifying center is the absoluteness of belief where it is called for. Christianity asserts that Jesus Christ is Messiah, Lord and Savior who came to earth and lived a perfect sinless life and was the perfect sacrifice and final sacrifice to God to satisfy the judgment placed upon all humanity for the sin of Adam & Eve. Jesus resurrected from death and makes it possible for all who believe in Him to have eternal life. The way God states this allows for no maneuvering. Jesus is it or he isn't.

We all have alot of room to maneuver in our beliefs we have, and we have many things which have influenced us and will continue to do so everyday we live life. A lot of things we believe do not have ultimate consequences attached to them. We all can have relationship, friendship and community amongst each other no matter how wide and apart our beliefs may range. Loving each other has no limits, regardless of our differences.

That being said, I do go back to the previous point. Jesus made the claim of Himself. He overcame death to make it absolutely perfect and unique. Beliefs originate in varying ways and can be challenged. What are the evidences to support whether a belief holds up or should be discarded?? How do we discover what the ultimate results should be from the evidence?? Do we hold onto a belief depending on our thoughts and feelings about it???? What if our thoughts and feelings change???

I raise these questions in my own seeking to explore. So much of what once was absolutely solid ground has become more like shifting sand and definitely want to pursue what is true. I hope to be challenged and stimulated in thought and action by any and all who come and comment, and especially any who hold to other beliefs. The absolute way in which Jesus declares Himself has been the ultimate issue to me Very much want to hear what touches and is most ultimate to any one of you. Grace and peace always!!


At 3:37 PM, Blogger Tracy Simmons said...

Robert, I love this line of yours: "So much of what once was absolutely solid ground has become more like shifting sand and definitely want to pursue what is true."

It's good to be on shifting sand and finding out what we REALLY believe to be true, you know? A bit scary at times, but still very, very good.

At 4:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOVE IT!!! SO many beliefs systems out there, But only one way to Heaven. Through doing some studying and all that good stuff, I have come to know it for myself that Yeshua is the Only Way and that HE is real..

Like Tracy said it is scary sometimes when we go through the shifting, but there is always that constant that puts us right back up there where we are suppose to be!

Through Yeshua Everlasting life is what and where I want to be!! I have done went and got excited reading this post! HAHA!!!

G-D Bless You, Keep You and forever shine upon you!


At 6:56 AM, Blogger Jo said...

I love the warmth of your perspective, Robert...your open mind towards differences.

I think faith should evolve with us, that our questioning & experience should lead us towards more knowledge...sometimes this results in a former belief being overturned, other times it results in a greater depth of appreciation & understanding---to me, all of this is essential for a living faith as opposed to a crutch of belief.

Whatever opens one's heart & mind is to me the right thing. Out of the very same belief, people have done amazing good while others justified terrible crimes...so really it is at root not the same belief at all, whatever that it may call itself by a shared name--Christianity, Islam, Patriotism, Family--the person behind the faith, giving it life & contour, absolutely makes a difference.

At 7:15 AM, Blogger OneDaisy said...

I have run across so many people that say that we live in different times now and beliefs have changed. To that I agree, but I also know that the bible hasn't changed and God doesn't want his rules to change just because sociey deams them to. That being said, this is where I struggle with my faith. I believe and I know what God wants from me, yet my free will directs me down other paths. I'm hoping that one day I will get back on the path that will lead me directly to Him.

At 7:07 PM, Blogger Robert said...

Tracy- o yes to go and seek where truth leads, and to allow the sand to shift knowing it will be ok. So love how you focus on grace as the foundation to rest on tracy!!

cinder- hey my lovely sweet new friend!! I smile wide reading your thoughts, just sensing your enthusiasm and appreciate your openness and realness as you share yourself. Chellenging and questioning ourselves does lead us further along especially with His help!!!

jo- thank you for your thoughtful comments. I admire your perspective and ability to articulate the faith journey we all embark upon merely because we exist. You are dead on in saying how people have misused and abused faith by whatever title they give it when they pursued bad things instead of good. I really enjoy your thoughts and understanding jo.

nettie- yes so very true. Alot of differing beliefs and such have happened over the centuries but Gods Word maintains its place as absolute. We can take heart in that even the apostle Paul struggled his whole life with falling short and doing things he didnt want to do. Thank you for sharing and encouraging nettie!!!


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