This is the tenth entry in the Christian round of the 2012 Ideological Turing Test for Religion. In this round, the honest answers of Christians are mixed in with atheists’ best efforts to talk like Christians. It’s your job to see if you can spot the difference. The voting link appears at the end of the entry, and you can look at all entries in this round here.
When (if ever) have you deferred to your philosophical or theological system over your intuitions?
I really don’t see my theological system and my intuitions as being different from one another. To me they’re one and the same. The thing I feel in the pit of my stomach or the voice I hear in the back of my head? That’s Jesus. The closer your walk with God, the closer your spirit is to His. And when your spirit is closer to God, you can hear him very clearly. I’ve had many moments in my life when I try to go against my gut, when I overthink and overanalyze things. Believe me when I say, those moments have always gone wrong. In fact, the worst experiences in my life happened because I didn’t listen to that voice. I doubted what the Spirit was telling me and I did my own thing, to disastrous results. I’m happy to say it’s much different now. It’s really hard to describe using words. When I truly hear His voice, trust him, things just work out on their own. And so I’m not deferring to one thing or another, it’s both my intuitions and my faith that I count on.
Are there people whose opinions on morality you trust more than your own? How do you recognize them? How is trusting them different than trusting someone’s opinion on physics?
When I really think about it, I don’t even know if I really trust my own morality. Honestly, I’m just as flawed and imperfect as the next person; believer or not. It’s really not for me to judge what’s right and wrong. That’s for God to do. No one is perfect, so no one can get it right all the time. Even the many people who call themselves followers of Christ can get it wrong every now and then. But when I do… look up to people when it comes to morality, it’s usually those people where you can really see the Holy Spirit through them. There’s a kind of joy, a kind of glow that shines through them. That light is something I want to plug into, something I want to be a part of because you can just tell that their walk with Christ is so close. There’s a different type of trust going on here than when you trust someone’s opinion about physics. Physics is important, no doubt. But when I see people talk about it, it lacks that same light. That same glow as I see with the Holy Spirit. And right or wrong, the light of the Holy Spirit counts for a lot.
Can you name any works of art (interpreted pretty broadly: books, music, plays, poetry, mathematical proofs, etc) which really capture the way you see life/fill you with a sense of awe and wonder? You can give a short explanation or just list a few pieces.
In my youth I was a classical musician. One piece that really spoke to me was Bach’s Jesu Joy of Mans Desiring. I loved this song way before loved Christ. It’s so lyrical and warm and soothing. It really resonates in my soul. Years later, I went back and learned the lyrics. My favorite lines are “Word of God, our flesh that fashioned, With the fire of life impassioned, Striving still to truth unknown, Soaring, dying round Thy throne.” It’s so epic and powerful and passionate. Next is a book by Victor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning. Frankl was a Jew writing about his internment in German concentration camps during World War II. In this book he talks about healing power of purpose and meaning, and how the people who had purpose, real spiritual purpose, actually had a better chance for survival. Though not played up very heavily in the text, I think this book is a testament to the importance of faith in our lives. And my last choice is The Matrix Trilogy. It has a lot of non-Christian elements, but also this idea that the world is not as it seems and that there really is a spiritual battle happening while everyone is blissfully aware.