We all think, construct our mental/emotional sense of well-being or at least try to. DNA, chemicals (natural or added by us…), family, school, social conditioning and of course endorphin-rush experiences of pleasure as well as bullying, sexual or other actual abuse, “natural” disasters, viruses, traumatic experiences all shape how each of us thinks, feels and processes.
I won’t quote the zillion sources both Christian and not who would agree with that first paragraph as the obvious is, well, obvious.
Can’t say I agree with the mere “power of positive thinking” nor “name-it-claim-it” hyper-faith approach among many professing believers. At the same time each of us -including atheists, build philosophical houses right through our lifetime.
These mental castles shift and change with our feelings, events such as I’ve listed above and more. Time, aging gracefully or with perhaps chronic pain, relational ties that bring pleasure, severe discomfort, fresh ones that excite us with joyful promise, those which end in misery and regret all influence our younger to autumnal lives and therefore how we think about life -and theology if we think about God at all.
My personal concern this moment regards professing Christ followers. It is not the shifting and changing philosophical concepts and constructs among us that trouble me -but those that are untrue yet feel better to so many due to all I’ve said so far.
In this particular sense I am not talking about people questioning whether there is a God, that Jesus is -THE- revelation of Who He is, His nature and character. My twofold concern here is some have built for themselves a construct which in essence I would argue suits them because their construct of God Himself is personal rather than accurate.
The god of my imagination may be, likely is in spots… imaginary, built of personal desire rather than His Self-revelation. If God doesn’t look like me, at least I’m comfortable with my construct.
Better to admit the myths we create to feel better, to gain some measure of comfort are still myths!
Certainty is equally a myth as so much of any philosophical construct in itself includes imagination and I suppose elements of self-medication via any number of things, call them wonderful or vices, intellectual brilliance, whatever you wish.
So here are some things to consider that in my view are not mere human philosophical constructs. I fully admit I have included them (I would say they included me) in my own philosophy of life. You many choose any exit you like to feel better in the many pleasures and great sufferings along your path, but it is in moment-by-moment faith and relationship to Him over my lifetime which brings me to land right here:
“Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it” Psalm 127.1
Paul writes to the Corinthian church, 1 Cor. 3: v.11 “For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”
In light of all this it seems obvious why many professing Christians have gone the way of rejecting some or all of Paul’s writings when their own philosophical constructs seek to overcome what appears quite the harsh side of The Bible’s God -and for that matter, where many trust their own personal view of God -or- that God is nonexistent. I suggest they may be creating God in their own image due to their own philosophical sense of comfort. To be blunt, this is where cherry-picking from the scriptures and at times ascribing nearly everything (mind you, I have no doubts plenty IS allegorical) they dislike to fictional accounts rather than factual, historical events via the Old and New Testament writers.
The hard, mean, self-serving and name-the-group-they-love-to-be-disgusted-with “Christians” (only God knows who is truly saved) in present day U.S.A. are certainly not billboards for the loving, gracious God of The Book. So many of them love what seems to be the “back hand” and horrible revelation of His dealings in both Testaments (oh yes, in the New as well as Old).
Politics and positions aside, we still must face how interesting, troublesome, even frightful is Paul’s writ -and I beg you to carefully read and seek truth over comfort alone in the entirety of 1 Cor. chapter 3 (linked below). It leaves most of us with something other than a philosophical hug and kiss. So- is it the Word of God or merely the word of flawed and sometimes quite gruff, even a “guessing” Paul?
For many at various times or even regularly, wrestling with The Bible is exhausting. May it exhaust our personal philosophical constructs to the extent we yet trust in the God revealed there.
I’ve lived in many houses over a lifetime. Some are long gone due to foundations that were wrong, deeply flawed from the start. Others creaked, shook, winter winds blew though here and there, sometimes water leaked in a crack and yet they stood as shelters for my family and I. Some are still standing and occupied by people as I write.
Interesting that like his earthly Dad, Jesus was a carpenter.
I recently drove by the little dwelling my Mom, brother and I lived in for much of my youth. A car was parked in the driveway, yard and front garden trimmed and cared for, people clearly living there all these decades later.
The issue is who built it -and upon what it was built.
As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn