Why I am emerging: A hopeful way to believe

Part 4 in a series on the emerging church

The rest of the series:
Part 1 – Come, emerge with me
Part 2 Why the emerging church does not exist
Part 3Why I am emerging: A new way to believe
Part 5Why I am emerging: An inclusive way to believe

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In the previous post I described the shift that has occurred in my faith regarding how I believe. In many ways, the rest of this series will be a further elaboration on that one theme.

As I have moved towards a greater comfort with ambiguity, mystery, and uncertainty in my faith, one result has been a turn towards a more hopeful way of believing. By hopeful I mean a more positive view of the world and the people in the world. Again, I don’t think my theology has changed a great deal. I still believe in sin. I still believe we are in need of redemption. However, as my way of believing has changed, I have become much more willing to accept the ambiguity of our world. How is it that such good and such evil can come from both Christians and non-Christians? Why isn’t there always a marked difference? In dealing with this problem I no longer feel the need to draw thick lines between Christians, who are responsible for all the good in the world, and non-Christians, those unfortunate beings who bring us all down. Sure, this is an exaggeration, but I don’t think it’s far from how many Christians believe. It’s not far from how I believed. I’m now much more likely to see the value in all people, inherent in their very existence, rather than being caught up in such a divisive and destructive way of believing. This way of looking at people has also changed the way I look at the world. Rather than viewing creation as doomed for destruction, with hope I look for the redemption of this world and everything in it. And I don’t only look for transformation to occur in some afterlife, but in the here and now, little by little. As a result, my hope is that I can be an active participant with God in the redemption, reconciliation, restoration, and recreation of all things.

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2 Responses

  1. Growing up, I was taught “Black is black, white is white.” I think there was even some DC Talk song that said “with no room for grey.” After my first son was born and I dealt w/ what I now see as post partum depression and started going to counseling, that’s when my eyes were opened to all this grey. It started with recognizing and admitting that the people I loved and defended the most (my family) were not totally “good.” And I started to see good in others who I’d put in that “bad” category. As for “grey,” it’s everywhere, and I kinda like it!

    I’m still not sure about all this emergent business – what it means and all, but I identify w/ your experience.

    The question for me now is, “what do I teach my kids?” It’s so much easier to stay w/ absolutes. And I really think you have to start there, and one day they will mature and be able to handle the ambiguities. But it’s hard to know if this is right or not.

  2. How ironic. I was going to quote a Christian band as well. Janna beat me to it….

    Well, here it is anyway. Kutless has a song with a line that states, “Freedom is sometimes simply another perspective away.” I think there is real freedom in your hopeful way to believe. Freedom from judgment. Freedom to love. I like freedom.

    Hopefully, this ends the trend of quoting CCM.

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