Struggles

Some mornings, I wake up and ask myself if I really want to make the effort anymore. Not the effort to live, mind you. I enjoy my life. I have a wonderful family, the best fiancee a guy could have, things are really great. The effort that I struggle with is this whole emerging process of my faith.

You see, a year ago Hurricane Katrina did me in. My modern perspective of God got hit with a couple left jabs and got knocked out by a huge right hook from the Gulf of Mexico. It was as if a bunch of questions I’d been having about my faith all really came together on the 29th of August, 2005. I wanted to give up. God no longer made sense to me and I was scared to death.

Fortunately, Brandon Scott Thomas, my friend, mentor, and worship minister took me to lunch after I expressed my concerns to him. He introduced me to Brian McLaren and once he did, I started getting excited about faith again. But, wouldn’t you know it, hard times have arrived again.

Since I’ve been rereading a lot of the gospels and getting commentary from people who are much smarter than I am, I’ve realized that Jesus said some pretty challenging things.  Stuff that I hadn’t missed the first go ’round, but that I had convienently interpreted in ways that made it appear as though I was all ready in line with said particular teaching. Basically, I’d dumbed things down. Now, I’m realizing how faulty my previous interpretations were and it scares me. It scares me because I don’t fully trust God. I look at the problems in the Middle East and the only solution I can comprehend involves war and death. I am having a hard time, however, finding any way that Jesus would condone war. Never in my life have I thought that he would say that it is a good thing, but now I’m starting to believe he’d always think its wrong. But, its just so hard to trust him and say, “things are bad, but I’ve got to die to self, even if that means laying down my life”. I don’t know how I could ever let someone kill those that I love, or kill me, in the name of Jesus or otherwise. I love Carrie Melton more than my own life and I would go to the end of the world to keep her from being harmed. But is that the ethic I should have? Should I harm other people in order to protect her.
I realize this is not my best writing, and I apologize for that. I may edit this tomorrow and make it a little more coherent. I haven’t slept much this past weekend. If you have any thoughts, or share similar concerns, I’d appreciate your comments.

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4 responses to “Struggles

  1. Welcome to the club. Those of us who believe that Jesus meant what he said when he told his followers how to live have a really hard time sometimes. I take comfort in knowing that God has a lot of grace.

  2. The tension you feel is a good thing. It means God is working.

  3. There are worse things than death. Killing someone else to prevent your own death may be one of them.

  4. What about killing someone to prevent the death of an innocent, Ben? Should we kill to stop genocide in Sudan? Should we kill to stop a madman from harming people in a crowded subway?

    It just doesn’t seem cut and dry to me. Maybe its because I don’t trust God… I just don’t know. I’ve yet to see a convincing argument for either side that is both rational and spiritual.

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