"Thanks and thanks again to Him who offers to the man whom the sorrows of life have assaulted and left naked–offers to him the fig leaf of the Word with which he can cover his wretchedness." -Søren Kierkegaard

Belief

Posted in Questions For You, Theological by matt on Thursday, October 30, 2008

Can we take a few minutes to clear something up? Good.

Belief is a beautiful armor, but makes for the heaviest sword.

-John Mayer

Can I just say that this statement is a perfect example of the average Americans take on personal beliefs. Please allow me to point out this subtle cowardice by using obnoxious amounts of repetition. Our subconscious works itself out sort of like this: Bad beliefs hurt people, good beliefs don’t. Bad beliefs offend, but good don’t bother. Bad beliefs intrude while the good keep quiet. Bad beliefs get you labeled, good beliefs keep you ‘normal’. And, if I may be so bold, bad beliefs are expressed, good beliefs are contained – so keep your mouth shut.

And the whole irony of Mayer’s song is that he’s expressing his own beliefs to sing about the dangers of expressing beliefs! Yet the Bible explicitly says that beliefs and personal faith must be both worn and wielded! Scripture compares God’s word (something we must believe and express) to a sword (Eph 6.17, Heb 4.12). Notice they didn’t say a sharp stick, a letter opener, or even a machete…they said a freakin sword! Like, the thing used to chop off heads and gouge big holes in people.

So here’s the rub: most of us are scared to live bold, outspoken lives because our culture tells us faith doesn’t offend, but bottled beliefs will eventually die because real belief – true faith – must express itself. I’m absolutely convinced that this is the nature of genuine belief – or at least of a maturing belief. We must resist becoming like our culture in this way!

And here’s the inevitable preface. I’m not saying we shouldn’t be loving, respectful of other stances, tactful, or even quiet when the time is right, but modeling the life of Jesus means we’re definitely frustrating people, too – especially other religious people.

So please do what I’m doing now and ask yourself, “Why am I so worried about upsetting people? Why am I unwilling to hinder relationships with what I say and do? Isn’t Jesus worthy of this?”

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2 Responses

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  1. Da said, on Thursday, October 30, 2008 at 10:43 pm

    Can you believe this guy? j/k

    I loved this article, Matt

  2. chrisandbecky said, on Monday, November 3, 2008 at 6:49 pm

    The death of passion is synonymous with the death of belief that comes from bottled beliefs. Any time we close our mouths to the injustices done to the Gospel (whether that be social issues, unbelief, distorted beliefs, distrust, SIN, apathy, or anything else) we endanger ourselves of allowing those injustices to become commonplace and permissable in our own lives.

    Loved this article! Keep writing brogther. Oh, and congrats again on the engagement! I know it is incredibly humbling and a source of arrogance at the same time. Hope you are enjoying it!


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