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Omaha, Nebraska, United States
I am more and more convinced that most congregations die from a staggering lack of imagination. Let's change that. Drop me a line on email or leave a comment if you have thoughts on God, Jesus, congregations, the church or whatever.... I look forward to our conversations.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Power of Doubt, the Power of the Cross

This Easter I learned something new from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ: only the humble conquer death...which is good for me because I am not a big fan of death...I know I am going to die, but I find obessing about it a bit distasteful...so I am trying to avoid death for a while at least...
I've lived long enough to know that trying to keep God up in heaven, and us humans down here is a sure way to keep the devil winning...Jesus taking on human death, even death on a cross, stopped the devil in his tracks...(Once, as the devil now knows how to build on that hubris too, and witness all the ones crying God's Word Alone!! From which they mean God is up in heaven and us humans are down here, and if we would do what the God up in heaven would have us do...the world would be a better place...and now you see why the devil laughs. Ha!)
Does it bother you, dear reader, to speak of the devil as if the devil really exists? Is the devil like Santa, a nice Christian fiction that keeps the kids entertained, but certainly not for us adults? Is the devil like evil...so bad you can't even mention it? Wasn't it old Screwtape who thought his greatest trick was getting people to believe the devil doesn't exist? (I really don't know...and what blogger actually researches? Put the answer in the comment section, if you know.)
OK...so we have a Christ freed from history....(this is the power of the Spirit)...but a Christ firmly entrenched in history....(this is the power of the Cross)...and we have our human culpability to distrust everything...(this is the power of doubt)...and the pride to pretend we don't.
DOUBT, n. & v. 1. a feeling of uncertainty, an undecided state of mind. 2. an inclination to disbelieve. 3. an uncertain state of things. 4. a lack of full proof. (v). 1. feel uncertain. 2. hesitate to believe. 3. feel uncertain or undecided. (Thanks Oxford!)
No wonder so many Christians fear "doubt." Our salvation is in jeopardy! Our decision might be seen as wishy-washy, and God will spit us out...we must not doubt! We must be certain! We must die!!!!!!
Doubt is not the issue with Christian belief...any Christian without doubt is not much of a Christian...Any Christian who claims to "know for certain" what God has revealed reveals their lunacy more than God's revelation...Doubt is the freedom to live...freedom to risk what is not certain for what is...Doubt is to undecide to live for the other rather than your own personal needs and gains...Doubt is to grant the other the freedom to be right...and you wrong...and you OK with that...For me, if you don't doubt God there is no point in being certain about anything else...except one thing: the cross.
Be certain that Jesus died on it. Be certain that you will die too...(hopefully not on a cross...) Because in the history of the world as I know it, the cross of Christ is the only thing that makes the doubt bearable...the only power that conquers doubt...A God who gets out of heaven to die like us...down in the world of doubt and the devil.

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