Monday, April 03, 2006

No God, No Peace...Know God, Know Peace

"[F]or I am persuaded that He is able to keep that, which I've committed unto Him against that day." ~ 2 Tim 1:12

Due to the controversy and emotion that gets stirred up whenever I bring up my views on the subject of religion, or more specifically, Christianity, I had made up my mind not to discuss that subject on this blog. It is indeed ironic, that the very subject that should unite all of us, Conservative and Liberal, Republican and Democrat, does just the opposite, and divides us.

Ironic and troubling.

It was for that reason that I created my other blog, which is basically a collection of my own thoughts and musings concerning my faith. I actually toyed with the idea of not allowing comments on it, as it is not intended to be a discussion piece. But I decided that someone may have questions or comments that would be beneficial to everyone else, including me. So I allow comments.

For those of you who may be wondering why my latest entries have been, to say the least, out of character for me, I will only say, I have recently experienced a crisis in faith. Many people go through these things and survive, yet I have to admit, I do not know how those who don't believe in God and the healing Power of the Holy Spirit, manage to stay sane. As I see it, If one has no God to look to in times of overwhelming anxiety and stress, they have no hope. Without hope, there can be no life. At least, no life worth living.

I don't know, though. Truth be told, I have never known a time when I didn't believe, without question, that there is a God who intervenes in our behalf. My father was an ordained minister, my mother, active as a Sunday School teacher, to this day. Although, at 85, she has had medical problems which have kept her away from church. But I rest assured, she is no doubt conducting Bible Studies in the nursing home in which she now resides temporarily, while she recovers from a recent medical problem.

I have three brothers and two sisters, all of whom are active in their respective churches. One of my brothers is a minister, and former Missionary to the Philippines, who directs missions for a three county Baptist association in NW Missouri. Another is a minister of music in a church in Pennsylvania, as well as a professor of music at Eastern Baptist College. Incidentally, he has lived with Muscular Dystrophy for over 20 years now, and has just recently begun to experience so much difficulty walking that he requires a walker for assistance. The third is a deacon in the same church in which I spent my formative years.

Both of my sisters are married to deacons in their respective churches, and teach Sunday School classes. One of my sisters, who has a degree in Music education, sings reguarly for her church, in spite of the fact that she had a pretty severe stroke a few years ago, from which she hasn't completely recovered. She has sang Opera with the great Sam Ramey, of Metropolitan Opera fame.

So, it isn't hard to see why I don't understand how anyone could not believe in God. Even before I became a Christian, when I was 20 years old, I never doubted the existence of a God. It is my conviction, that although we cannot physically see God, the evidence for His existence is overwhelming. It is all around us, in the structure of the simplest single cell to the complexities of the human brain. In the Grass, and the trees, and the mountains and the valleys, in the wonderful diversity of the animal kingdom.

Emo Phillips, comedian, puts it this way, in this humorous statement:

"Of course there's a God. Do you think that billions of years ago a bunch of molecules floating around at random could someday have had the sense of humor to make you look like that?"

Now, I am aware that some believe that being dutifully raised under the tutelage and guidance of their particular church is synonymous with being a Christian, but I would submit that being raised in a Christian church doesn't make one a Christian any more than being raised in a garage makes one a car.

It is this belief in a higher power, one that controls each of our destinies, whether we believe it or not, that has sustained me, and will continue to sustain me all the years of my life.

I will get through this current crisis, and become stronger as a result. Because I, unlike so many others, have hope, which is embodied in the promise from God, that He will never leave us or forsake us. Hope for the resurrection. Hope for that great day when our tears He will wipe away, and our sorrows be removed forever and ever. And Hope that God, in His wisdom, has mapped out a plan for me, to insure that I will conquer all seemingly insurmountable obstacles to a richer, fuller, and more abundant life.

I cannot see the other side of this crisis at the moment, but I know it is there.


Erudite Redneck said...

Redneck prayers aloft, dude, in Jesus's name.

Little Miss Chatterbox said...

Well said!!

ELAshley said...

Well said, brother. Stand firm, pray hard, nothing in this life lasts forever. Remember, He doesn't give us any more than we can bear. You can get through this.

And if we don't meet on this side of the river, we will meet in the golden city.

Old Soldier said...

Just remember, Mark, the footprints you see in the sand today are not your's, but those of Christ who is carrying you. God bless you. You are in my prayers.

Lone Ranger said...

All one has to do to believe in God is to look at the perfection of the universe. Everything works. The earth has heated up one degree in the past century and the self-appointed environmentalists are going nuts about global warming. They too, subconsciously recognize the perfection of the universe just from their manic reaction when something goes slightly out of kilter. That type of perfection, right down to the smallest subatomic particle, doesn't happen randomly. Why more people don't get that is beyond me.

Poison Pero said...

I was wondering why you opened the other blog........And think you should shut it down.

This blog is yours, Mark.......We all come here for a reason, and it is to read your posts. Which we know are going to have much religion in them.

I'm not a Christian, but I love reading your Christian viewpoints.

I hope you won't cave in to the complaints of a few.....There are many more of us out here who want to read your writing as it is.

"Writing is the mirror of the mind.".........I want to read what is coming from your head. Not what you have sterilized for your blog audience.

I've said it a million times: Run your blog for yourself. Not for others.

Just my opinion.

Dan Trabue said...

Would you mind a bit of long, irreverent humor?

This Is Not What You Think It Is...

One night I had a wondrous dream,
One set of footprints there was seen,
The footprints of my precious Lord,
But mine were not along the shore.

But then some strange prints appeared,
And I asked the Lord, "What have we here?"
Those prints are large and round and neat,
"But Lord, they are too big for feet."

"My child," He said in somber tones,
"For miles I carried you along.
I challenged you to walk in faith,
But you refused and made me wait."

"You disobeyed, you would not grow,
The walk of faith, you would not know,
So I got tired, I got fed up,
And there I dropped you on your butt."

"Because in life, there comes a time,
When one must fight, and one must climb,
When one must rise and take a stand,
Or leave their butt prints in the sand."

Goat said...

Mark, we will bang heads over doctrinal interpratation all day, when it comes to faith, you are not doubted. When I gave myself to Christ I knew the path He lead me on would not be easy. Since that fateful day in Eden, life was meant to be a chore and learning experience. If you have truelly given yourself to Him , you are just along for the ride, enjoy it, learn from it, rejoice in the life He gives us. One thing Dan's bastardization of a classic poem leaves out, after He dumps you on your butt, He waits for you to get up with His hand extended. We are human, we will falter, that is why Christ came and died for us, He was/is extending His hand. I took it a quarter century ago and hold on for the sheer joy of life in His glow. Mark, let go of doctrine, let Christ lead you,it may be on a road never traveled but by the bravest of followers, mine has been very interesting and my faith grows everyday. Just my opinion but I see you as having two hands on the Bible and not one in His hand, from our discussions, your grip on the Bible is stronger if one hand is in His grasp lending strength to the other. Please don't take me wrong, we just have a different grasp of Christian spiritualism. I'll get my Bible study cranked back up if you wish since Tim stopped hosting strong discussions on theological doctrine and differences.I offered you an editorial position. I love to discuss our Great Book and enjoy the lively debate our discussions bring.

Goat said...

Mark, I thought you wanted discussion??? Please do away with the gimic post control mechanisms, I have had zero spam posters since I put in Haloscan for comments. This format retards good comments.