Friday, December 14, 2012

Why I Believe

There is a darkness that dwells in us, that constantly nurtures our fear and drives us to be twisted. This is the flesh. The carnal. The broken. Our darkness is so deep that even we do not want to admit it to ourselves, much less to each other. But it is real. It is here.

There is no hope in us alone. Many men have tried to place the darkness and produce light- all efforts including education, positive thinking, money, or willpower. Many have tried and many have failed. History will hold true to the fact that we are broken, and no carnal man has ever found a solution as to how we are fixed. This is why no perfect government has been made, nor can our imperfect government save us. This is why there is war, why there is hunger, and why there is death.

Even our current situation is gleaming with the statements of our perversion. Philosophers, theologists, psychologists, authors, and atheists alike all agree on one thing. That we are broken. That there is something each of us knows we ought to be, that we ought to measure up to, and yet none of us do. And we see the brokeness. We see it in distant and conflicted families. We see it in government that divides and people that divide with it. We see it in school shootings. We see it even in religion- when the world looks from outside in and sees that we make claims we have not lived up to, and shames us and is ashamed of us.

And what have we done? We have written about it. Self help books, philosophy books, therapy manuals. Everywhere from the internet to newspapers and magazines. Everyone is trying to the solution to our depravity. Pondering as people must, we suggest more beauty, more money, more fame, more power, more government, less government, more family time, more self-control, and higher education.

But here's the problem with these approaches. None of them have worked. Certainly if they were working, we would see new ideals being realized and old ideals being reborn. I'm not going to make any morality judgements- that we should support or bash homosexuality, that abortion is pro-life or pro-choice. The solution isn't found in measuring up to a moral code that no one consciously seems to be able to agree on. But I propose that we look at the things we are united on...that abusing and murdering young children is wrong. That beating our wives is dark and inhumane. That crime without punishment is injustice. That we humans have a heart that is bent against good things.

So what's the solution? Here's what I believe, and why I believe it. I believe in a God of light, in a savior of the world. I believe in Jesus Christ. I believe that He is and has always been the solution, and the reason we deny that is because we have never fully tried Him. Why? Because we, in our feeble attempt to understand His entire nature, believe it costs too much. But I believe that the benefits far outweigh the costs.

I believe in a God whose heart breaks at the sight of sin. I believe in a God who has planted some of Himself in each of us in such a way as to make us yearn for Him. I believe in a Jesus who came and lived a perfect life we could not so that His nature could be combined with ours, that while we may still sin, we could love and be kind and show compassion. I believe in hope.

Why Jesus? Why not any other religion? Firstly, because He identifies the solution as Himself. He doesn't tell us that we can fix ourselves. He doesn't convince us that the answer is to just try harder. He tells us that He is God and we are not. I can no longer believe that the answer to mankind's problem is found within mankind.

Secondly, because I have found no progress in any other pursuit. No other desire has ever given me rest except for Jesus. No other place I have gone has had still waters to restore my soul. No other place has had a Father who loves me in every perfect way. I've yet to find the answer in politics or authority. But with Him, I have improved. I have gained in strength and maturity. I have grown in faith. I have seen fruit.

I have seen others improved. And above that, I have loved and seen others love, and love is after all our most prized possession and pursuit. We desire unconditional acceptance above all other things, and my Jesus is the only place I have found unconditional and everlasting love, and I have found this same love in others who found their love in Him as well. He is the source.

And this is what I believe and why I believe, and I pray that my belief finds you and rescues.