The World According to kcillini77

August 23, 2007

Crisis of Faith?

Filed under: catholicism,Christianity,Church,Jesus,Mother Teresa,Time Magazine — kcillini77 @ 9:50 pm

The latest Time Magazine cover story is about Mother Teresa’s so-called “Crisis of Faith”. Apparently Mother Teresa’s recently published correspondence reveals a woman who rarely sensed God’s presence and felt lost in spiritual dryness.

The article does take a fairly balanced approach, but I have to question the title and premise. The words I see replicated in the article are not unlike those of David, or Job, or even Jesus at times. Mother Teresa often did not “feel” God and she longed to do so. But she stayed the course because she knew that God was real and that she was fulfilling her calling.

Listen, I don’t agree 100% with Mother Teresa’s theology. Some of her longings and expressions are peculiar to Catholic mysticism. But at her core, she was committed to Jesus. And anyone committed to Jesus will constantly long for more of Him until we meet Him in His full glory in heaven. Mother Teresa was conflicted, sinful, longing for more, feeling separated from God. She was a human and she experienced the Human Condition. Sure, we can call that a crisis of faith, but show me someone who is not in such a crisis and I will ask you to hold a mirror over their face to make sure it is still fogging up.

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August 9, 2007

The Ostrich Effect

Filed under: America,Christianity,Church,Evolution/I.D. — kcillini77 @ 7:29 am

When I graduated from high school 12 years ago, I thought I had things pretty well figured out. My mind was changed on a few things during college, but surely when I picked up my sheepskin my philosophy and doctrine was pretty well set, right?  Three-plus more years of bachelor life followed, and I made a few minor modifications, but without a doubt I must have been set in my ways when I got married. Now I sit here four years removed from that event, with a child of my own as well, and I see that my mind has changed numerous times over the years. Not about trivial stuff – about my core beliefs.

Let me give some examples of things I used to believe:

  • That the earth was created in seven literal days
  • That drinking alcohol was a sin
  • That Revelation pointed to a future tribulation where Christians would be taken up into heaven and observe a holocaust from above
  • That Christians had to vote Republican
  • That someday I would mature as a Christian to a point where I would be able to say that my sins, my “lusts of the flesh”, were all in the past
  • That people in disease and poverty borne out of their own choices were being punished by God and deserved what they got
  • That an “Open Mind” was something bad

The list could go on and on if I reflected longer, but it serves my point. Some of those things I believed because I learned them in Church or at home growing up. Some I inferred based on other teachings. Others I just came up with on my own. Since that time, my mind has been changed on these issues based on Bible study, research, logic, reasoning, and prayer. I still believe, and have an even stronger faith based on these activities, that Jesus died and rose again for our salvation. I still believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God. And I still believe that those who believe the things that I don’t believe anymore are worthy of my respect and are my brothers and sisters in Christ.

All through scripture, the Gospels are the focus – from Genesis to Revelation, the Gospel message of Jesus is central. It is THE point of all of scripture. The rest is, as 2 Timothy 3 tells us, “God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” So it’s all important, and our doctrine is very important. It’s important to determine what we believe on these issues and live our lives by them. But it’s also important not to make dogmatic assertions based on our understanding of them. Doctrinal issues such as these have led to our various denominations, but sticking to them dogmatically divides us as friends – as brothers and sisters, and that’s not how the Church should be.

Let me go back to my last bullet. If there’s one thing in there that you could say I am now dogmatic about, it would be that one. American Christians in general seem to believe that once you have your mind convinced about a doctrinal issue, you should set your feet and your head firmly in the sand and refuse to open yourself up to an idea that the truth may be different than imagined. This mentality needs to change if our Church is to become relevant in our country again. The head burying response is rooted strongly in fear, something we were not given a spirit of. We think that if we open our minds to change we will open the floodgates for all sorts of sinful things to become acceptable in the church or even for us to lose faith in the resurrection. But if our faith is true, we should never fear questions. Seek the evidence for the resurrection. Once you have established a rock solid case for that (and it’s there), your fear should start to dissipate. At that point, you can seek the evidence for some of your other pet traditions. Some of them will have evidence sorely lacking. And maybe, just maybe, you’ll find it’s time to pull your head out of the sand and start discussing the issues with your brothers and sisters in Christ.

August 7, 2007

How does someone deal with this?

Filed under: America,Baby,Family,Kansas City,Shawnee — kcillini77 @ 10:27 pm

In the wake of the Minnesota bridge collapse tragedy, I came across this article in the KC Star and it struck me hard.  I’ve been thinking about it a lot ever since.  The house where this occurred is about 2 miles from mine, and on some longer walks we end up in that neighborhood.  I just keep thinking about how the parents must feel.  From the outside looking in, it’s easy to say to Mom “It’s not your fault.  Accidents happen.”  But how does she recover from this?  How does she come to grips with what happened?  How does the dad keep himself from blaming his wife?  How do they return to normalcy?  I don’t know.

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