Deconstructing and Reconstructing

To be fair, I haven’t had the kind of crisis of faith I’ve watched so many others undergo. But I’ve certainly had to step back and examine honestly where I’ve been complacent — or even complicit — in enabling others who have abused their power in the name of the Lord. It’s a process in which I’m still engaged. And, day by day, exposé by exposé, it does not get any easier, because the truth is that our beliefs are tied up with the institutions — family, church, schools, communities — that gave them to us, institutions (and their people) that we love.

Theses words from Karen Swallow Prior echo my own journey pretty well. The rest of her essay is HERE.

To Glimpse Heaven and All Its Power

Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever. (Rev. 22:1-5)

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Disordered faith

Matthew 6:28–31 (NIV)
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’

Whenever Jesus gets to that phrase… “you of little faith”… (and he does it a lot)… I feel small. How come I don’t have enough faith?

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Faith and science work together

Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health, former Director of the National Human Genome Research Institute, describes his personal journey from atheism to Christianity when he was a young doctor and an aspiring academic.

The power of humility

“If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them. 4 Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them.”
5 The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!”
6 He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you. (Luke 17:3-6, NIV)

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What faith DO we need?

The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” 

He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you. (Lk 17:5-6, NIV)

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Regaining the power of the Church

The rebukes of Jesus to his disciples constantly challenge me. I am especially challenged when he points out their “little faith” or “no faith.”

In Matthew 17, after Jesus has come down from the transfiguration event, the disciples have been confronted with a situation they can’t handle. The trouble they have is they experienced the spiritual battle with demons before and had cast out demons, but now this particular situation wasn’t working out the same.

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The rise of false Messiahs

At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you ahead of time. (Matt. 24:23-25, NIV) Read more