Thursday, August 30, 2007

Why I can't be a...

Steve Jones over at Ethical Monotheism posted 3 insightful entries on why he can't be a catholic, liberal christian or evangelical christian. I've been thru similar stages myself, critical on one denomination before switching sides and criticizing the denomination I was from, and eventually culminated with where I am now: critical with the very concept of mass worship.

Mind you I'm not condemning all churchgoers to be lost souls. It's just that I find it hard to have an authentic relationship with God if I'm required to give up my personal faith in order to achieve conformity with the crowd. I'm convinced that there are saints among the churchgoers, but I also believe that God meant some of us to be closer to him thru segregation from the crowd rather than be one with the whole.

Here are the links to the blog entries:

Sunday, August 26, 2007

The Inwardness of Faith

If there's one thing I'm unforgivingly critical about 'community believers', it is the obsession with sensationalism. All the excitements over miraculous healing and spiritual revival and remarkable last minute rescues in times of trouble. Heck it's almost as if they're trying to force an impression that God is so amazingly involved in our daily lives, that the supernatural keeps invading into our natural world!

But faith to me seems to be increasing unsensationalistic to me. It is merely holding onto ones belief in the face of all obstacles and adversaries. No miraculous return of sight to the blind motivates me to believe, no fulfillment of prophesy that assure me about the inerrancy of the Scripture, no speaking in tongues or divine ecstasty that lead me to 'jump into the abyss of Faith's seventy thousand fathoms', as Kierkegaard puts it so colourfully.

It is merely, a choice. A choice of the utmost internal significance and struggle, without all the excessively sensational external display. Blind to all others except the innermost core of my existence.

Friday, August 10, 2007

The Irrationality of Faith

Faith is, ultimately, irrational. I cannot give any defense at all to my faith in Christ. It is simply a decision I've made, and nothing more can be said about Christ that lead me to embrace him.

Anyone who attempts to introduce rationality into Christianity do so in futility, as all they achieve is to bring about more contradictions in their quest for a consistent, logical foundation of their faith. Apologetics is bunk.

But the beautiful thing is, even with all the laughable attempts by these misguided fools, people still hold on to faith amidst all the contradictions. I guess that is the essence of faith, to believe sincerely in the face of absolute irrationality.

Surfacing Doubts

My juvenile instinct has come back to haunt me. The craving to be able to connect to someone else is just too hard to be held back. The longing to be accepted, the need to conform, the yearning to have a common interest with someone else besides... me.

The world's a tough place to be alone. Facing the meaninglessness & futility of life, having a crowd you can blend into could really drown off the awful sense of isolation that pervades one life. Sometimes I'm frustrated as to why I (one of the few among many) have to become so acutely aware of the meaninglessness of existence. True, in a way is was a liberation to take that leapt of faith, but it also leads to a wretched mode of life as well, to be constantly in a state of despair, and knowing all things in life are merely a distraction from the awful abyss of nothingness.

In times like these, traces of doubts frequently cross my mind... Why is God so silent amidst the darkness of this world? Where was the light that once shine so brightly even when the darkness comprehends it not? Where are the pillar of light, the splitting of the Red Sea, the Ark of the Covenant, the fall of Jericho, the resurrection of Lazarus, the Transfiguration, the ascension to Heaven?

Whatever happens to "even though you do not believe me, believe the miracles, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father"? The world mocks Doubting Thomas for his lack of faith, but I for one could totally emphatize him (I'm a Thomas too, aren't I?). How do you hold on to faith in the face of such... complete despair?