things you should know by now

I'm working on other post ideas, but as it stands, the first post of 2008 will be comprised of borrowed words. Props to Jason Boyett, author of Things You Should Know By Now.

The thing is, lately I've been struggling a little bit with the concept of faith. I seem to have been caught up in a couple of factors, including sleep deprivation, heightened anxiety, and a postmodern culture. My faith is something that I value, but I don't always trust. I can't seem to beat off all the doubts that creep up on the low days. Sometimes I feel buoyed in my faith, other times I just try to ignore it because I'm not really sure. The bottom line is, though, that I always come back to God. Jesus, I have my issues with. Christians, I have my issues with. Spiritual advisers and leaders and and authorities and teachers, I have my issues with. But God, in my Judeo-Christian understanding of him, and in some part through the assistants of particular people who also have faith in him, has never let me down.

I'm going to paste a portion of the epilogue of the aforementioned book. I think the author was a few years older than I am now when he published the book, but all of his words still apply to me now.

"I believe in God. He knows me, too.

At times it can be a difficult belief, one that doesn't come as easily to me as it did when I was younger. It's challenged on a daily basis by the injustice of our fellow humans and the ridiculousness of the religious, by the prevalence of unmitigated evil and uninhibited disaster. Ten years ago, my faith was the simple assurance that the Judeo-Christian Jehovah, as revealed in the person of Christ, was and is absolutely real. Today, on a good day, I still hold to that. But on a bad day? On a bad dayfaith for me is living as if God's real, but ... wondering.

Mine is a limping, bandaged version of Christianity, one that is more likely to wince at the weirdness of my faith than embrace it. I cringe at the Falwells and Robertsons. I groan at the Left Behinds. Im not amused by American Christianity's rising irrelevance, its gradual movement to the fringes of culture while, nevertheless, attempting to appropriate the music and entertainment and marketing strategies and political tactics of that very culture for its own use. I'm no fan of the way we try to impose man's structures on God, because I seriously doubt hes just a glorified, holy version of the white republican male. Im tired of the bull-headed dogmatism of the evangelical church and its increasingly misguided priorities (Like focusing too intently on political issues like school prayer, social issues like homosexuality, or eschatological issues like the second coming - at the expense of immediate needs like hunger and poverty.) - but despite the baggage, the Christian church is a foundational part of my life.

It's flawed and ugly and, often, just plain wrong. The thing is, so am I.

Thats why the church remains my home. Its where I live."

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