Theology of Future Past: Past Thoughts on Certainty

Theology of Future Past: Past Thoughts on Certainty October 28, 2021

Hunter Harritt / Unsplash

*I came across this article this morning.  I wrote it 12 years ago.  Though the terms/definitions have changed (and my relation to them/i.e. I don’t hold to all of the specifics of the article any more), the central theme still loudly speaks…CERTAINTY is always the GOD KILLER.


“If you will not listen to us, our souls will continue to sob in secret for such pride; and our eyes will bitterly weep and flow down with tears, because the flock of the LORD has been taken captive.” (Jer. 13:17)


Brothers and Sisters, we are a people overly confident and blissfully distracted. Yet we have no peace within: we invest ourselves in endless infighting, petty bickering, and merciless judgmentalism.   And yet our churches are shrinking? Young people are hemorrhaging from our pews in astounding numbers. Wonder why? I look around and see nothing but the tragedy of certainty.

Our churches peddle certainty like a drug. We have assured people that we have the answers and used these assumptions to construct litmus tests for salvation. I am very aware of the dangers of such tests…my own evangelical tradition has been quick to exclude anyone who disagrees with their often narrow understandings of orthodoxy. Now, I look around and see no one left to challenge such assumed certainty. In the midst of such purgings, our hearts have grown cold towards our neighbors and to the groans of our ailing planet.

My mainline brothers and sisters have not escaped this phenomenon either. The only difference is their exchange of orthodoxy for a secular and modernistic thought that is just as narrow in its demands. They have banished all who disagree from their midst terming them “backwards,” “closed-minded,” “uneducated”—or perhaps even worse— “conservative.” In their churches I sought refuge from the sting of a narrow fundamentalism, only to find a secular orthodoxy that is no less strident in its excessive stipulations on my thinking. They champion a love of neighbor yet their love does not extend to their more conservative neighbors who have either purged them or left their denominations. The body of Christ has been broken dear brothers and sisters, but not in fellowship.

Make no mistake; all sides have their own agendas and most point away from Christ towards a greater power in this present age. Your certainty is blatant and speaks quite loudly of what your chief concerns entail. God is not mocked and nor are we.

Young people are not fooled by such charades. You have denied us a place to ask our questions and so we remain silent. You have denied us community, so we stay at home. You have denied us a place to be active in the genuine restoration of the planet and so we wait. In the midst of your certainty you have denied us the church and the love of Jesus Christ.

Your purgings and demands for your certainty have been quite effective don’t you think…

On your watch, the church has been seduced by power, and has lost its way. You have claimed to be a people of peace yet wars rage on every horizon with your blessing. You claim to care so much about life yet premature death occurs daily for many throughout the world due to your perpetual greed. You love to speak of your hope yet you have so often completely dashed all of ours.

We cannot hear Jesus over your continual shouts at one another.

Perhaps it is time that you show us who Jesus is by tearing down your walls of assumptions and seeking to live like Him. Perhaps it is time that you truly become known by your love and not your agenda.

Choose to deafen your ears to such urgency if you desire, but as to save energy for my generation, at least cut off the lights when you are the last one to leave the sanctuary…



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