January 21, 2009

I was just thinking about what to blog about, and thought to myself “I feel a bit spiritually defeated today; I should wait until my spirits are up a bit”.

In reality, this is kind of b.s.! When we feel this way, we need to lean on the relationships in our lives that encourage us and challenge us. It’s ok to not always feel bubbly. It’s ok to disagree. It’s ok to be honest.

Lately, I have felt discouraged about theology in general. I get the feeling that we, as humans, for the most part are just making it up as we go. We contort, stretch and perform mental gymnastics to make “truth”. That doesn’t seem natural to me, and honestly makes me question if foundational truths are based on self-interest. Where does actual truth come from? “God” is the obvious answer. What happens when we stretch God’s word/truth to our own. I guess to sum it all up, sometimes it seems like we are worshipping ourselves. Like we constructed this God to fit our interests and promote our campaigns. I think I am still in the middle of the journey towards finding actual truth.

There ya have it! I hope that wasn’t too much of a Debbie-downer.



  1. Let’s talk about it…are there particular foundational truths that you question?

  2. Often I feel that keeping my mess to myself is an act of service to those around me. Harmful? Helpful? Can’t tell.

  3. @Judi – First off, I still love God, a lot, haha. I just fear us… Here’s an example of a tough question I recently read:

    most books of the Bible have completely different authorship and that the authorship of some of them is even contested. Except for large parts of the Pentateuch and a few other ‘chunks’, they’re all separate books written at different times and weren’t even compiled into one collection until way later. So if you’re going to admit the possibility of the Bible’s historical inaccuracy, I’m wondering what is keeping you from just divorcing the stuff you find difficult from the stuff you find valuable? Why do you feel the need to apologize for the whole Bible, as it is compiled now? Do you believe that the Ecclesiastical and Rabbinical councils that decided which books to include in the Bible had guidance from the Holy Spirit? If so, why aren’t you Catholic or Orthodox? And if not, tell me what value a disgusting historical account of genocide like Joshua has in a holy book and why you wouldn’t just throw it out?

    @Mel – I can relate. I think overall community=healthy.

  4. Great questions Josh, don’t be discouraged in having them.

  5. Josh, the one thing about truth is that is always prevails. Maybe God is pushing you to ask these questions so that you will find the truth that He is wanting to prevail in your life.

    We all have thoughts and opinions about what is and what is not truth, it is not truth that is subjective, it is these opinions. It is our job to do, just as you are doing, and search out the truth. We need to Holy Spirit to help with this, as well as the Word. Remember:

    “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Heb 4:12

    The part about it judging the thoughts and attitudes of the heart is addressing the very thing you are troubled with- shaping truth for our own selfish end. The word is the only thing that can break that down in us.

    just some thoughts, from your friend kate.

    oh btw- is that a picture of debbie-downer in person?

  6. @paul, thanks man! I realize I might not ever find definitive answers to things, but I think it’s important to be transparent in our feelings. This is the reason why people abruptly leave faith: They never get the stuff that is troubling them out in the air.

    @kate, Totally! that verse was great. and actually, the picture is your husband’s fault. We watched band of outsiders on monday, and I know have a healthy obsession with anna karina, haha.

  7. i have those days. some days i really feel like i am have an authentic relationship with the Lord. somedays i wonder who i’m doing it for, who i’m trying to “impress” if you will. why do i do what i do? why do we worsip the way we worship?

    the pastor at our church told a great story on sunday. he said a young pastor came into a church to take over for another pastor who retired. after a communion sunday he noticed that a lot of people were angry with him. he asked one of the elders and the elder told him that the old pastor used to touch the radiator before handing out communion. the young pastor didn’t know what significance the radiator had as a part of serving the elements so he called the former pastor to ask. the former pastor said that he touched the radiator to discharge any static electricity so he didn’t shock the people when he handed it the communion trays to them. the young pastor became discouraged he realized that he was pastoring “the church of the holy radiator.” and it really highlighted the question, “what are our golden calfs?” what do we do that we call holy and righteous that God never really intended for us to do? i ask myself that all the time. it forces me to be honest about where i am and tests my authenticity. i would hate to just go with the motion without really knowing why i do what i do. even if the truth hurts at times. thanks for your honesty. it helps people like me feel less alone in this big faith of ours. good post!

  8. Wow, great insight in both your post and the comments here, and, well… I don’t think there’s too much I can add, just keep asking questions and to keep holding your beliefs against what you find in scripture. I think should you become comfortable or stop asking questions like these is when we lose sight, not the other way around.

    BTW Band of Outsiders is a great film (and line of clothing)

  9. hey josh,
    thanks for taking the time to read my blog. and hey, i took some time and read yours!
    you ask totally legit questions — questions i ask myself. i think spirituality should NEVER be easy, because spirituality stretches us outside of who we naturally are on purpose.
    lastly, as a totally devoted episcopalian, we put our faith on three things (mainly): faith, tradition, and reason. we incorporate the foundations of religion, events throughout history, the faith we have in God’s ability to do the mysterious, community, and etc. i love it. it’s very refreshing to me. (not an episcopalian plug, just a comment.)
    anyway, keep asking questions — david does it a ton in psalms (check out psalm 13) and i think it’s beautiful.

  10. Thanks for the feedback, Erin! I have attended an Episcopal church a few times, and I must say, it was one of the most beautiful services I have ever been to! Very insightful and honest. I am glad we are blog-buddies!

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