Since 2010, the name of this blog has been “Grace is Messy”, but after a great deal of consideration, I have decided that the name has pushed some away. It either sounded too religious or the title was just plain confusing. From now on, this site is www.patheos.com/blogs/graceismessy and it will house each of my three greatest passions: faith, fiction, and photography.
Why? Keep reading.
Some of us Christians are so bad about questioning fellow believers about the specifics of our faith. We poke, prod, and pester one another about all sorts of things and I used to be the leader of the pack, but no more. There are other things that require my time and energy that are of much greater importance and benefit.Most of the questions, I have heard all my life, but there’s something about the way they have been asked recently…or the “what happens next” after the answer is given that just doesn’t sit well with me. In my case, most of the time my answer is a non-answer. I am perfectly fine saying, “I don’t know” or “I don’t care” on matters of personal theology.
I also frequently ask, “What difference does it make?” which I think is a legitimate question. When I was a college student and a 20something, I remember getting into heated debates over the nuances of the Christian faith, but why? To prove that I “get it” better than another person who is grappling and struggling with their faith the same way that I am?
One thing this questioning of beliefs has done in recent weeks is send me digging deeper, to the core of what I do actually believe and what I feel matters most. I’ll list them for you here, in no particular order:
- I believe my daughter cares more about the next bite of muffin than my views on sanctification.
- I believe my four-year-old cares more about whether I read him “just one more” bedtime story than he does about this very blog.
- I believe my wife has far greater concern over whether or not I remembered to unload the dishwasher than the ins and outs of predestination or my understanding of the Trinity. (I forgot to call the dentist today, by the way.)
- I believe life is too short to get caught up in arguments over theology.
- I believe I was put here to do my best to love God, love my wife and children, and love my neighbor …and that when I fail at any of those, Jesus will take up my slack.
- I believe life is a journey and none of us have “arrived”. I am highly skeptical of anyone who thinks they have all the answers.
- I believe so much of this life is about learning to see ourselves the way God already does: though eyes of Love.
I am not a Theologian. Those men exist but I am not one. I am a sign language interpreter, a writer, and a photographer. More importantly, I am a husband and father and I am not an expert at any of those things. I sincerely wish my Christian brothers and sisters would realize we are all part of the same family. I wish we could work together and support each other instead of bickering over who knows Our Dad the best.
One blog I read captures my point pretty well:
Arguing theology just doesn’t look like Jesus to me. Somehow I can’t imagine Jesus arguing theology. I can imagine him partying with sinners, forgiving prostitutes, healing people and dying for me. I can imagine him talking about the Father’s love. I can imagine him engaged in lively discussions with the Pharisees. But I cannot imagine him arguing theology.
I am Steve Austin: an imperfect, undeserving, less-than-fascinating human being, who is just trying to make it to the other side. I believe in a Jesus who straightened out all the crooked paths we humans devised and made the complicated things simple. I believe in a Jesus who welcomed the little children who longed to be near him. I am one of those little children, who is content just to at His feet.
Want to come and sit next to me?