Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Harder To Believe Than Not To.

"There is, in the end, no such thing as a simple faith." - Dennis Porter

I'm simply a strange person. At times I really doubt my faith. I wonder, if I truly understand the Gospel message, truly realize the sacrifice Christ made for me and how much God loves me to send His son to die in my place....... would that radically change every decision I make?

I'm fairly "good". I try to be obedient to the laws of the country and state I live in. I try to live "right" in accordance to scripture. I read my Bible, pray, and attend church faithfully every Sunday.

Is it enough?

The first book I ever read by Timothy Keller was The Prodigal God. In it, and I found out later he also writes a similar statement in Reason for God, "There are two ways to be your own Savior and Lord. One is by breaking all the moral laws and setting your own course, and one is by keeping all the moral laws and being very, very good."

Sometimes I wonder if it's almost harder for those that "grew up church". Being fed easy answers to problems that are anything but easy, yet we grew up hearing them so much we can recite them in our sleep.

I grew up hearing about grace and how "easy" it was and "better" it was to be a Christian; and now I wonder why it is I'm not finding it so easy. Am I actually a Christian? Can a Christian have so many questions and doubts? Can I be a Christian and still be wary of God's power to transform others, especially myself?

I know I have a lot of questions and doubts, but I am also trying (probably too hard) to figure out the whys and what's behind all the things I grew up learning. It's easy to just believe something, but how do we know it is truth? Recently it was pointed out to me that there are certain answers I just don't like/accept because they sit in conflict with my hopes. This hurt me; as I don't want a faith that is easy and "me-centered"..... a faith that just says what I'm comfortable with and what I want. I want truth. If what I believe or put my hope in is false, what will happen when I lean on it? When it is all I have?

In Jr. High and High School I was a huge fan of a band called Steve Taylor and Some Band. I saw them so many times in concert; loved the energy and excitement, loved the creativity and the music. It took me a few years to understand fully some of his lyrics but I have to say I've not forgotten them nor have I "outrgrown" them. As I was contemplating on belief I remembered this song and though I'd share it with you. Circa 1987.

Harder To Believe Than Not To

Nothing is colder than the winds of change
Where the chill numbs the dreamer till a shadow remains
Among the ruins lies your tortured soul
Was it lost there
Or did your will surrender control?

Shivering with doubts that were left unattended
So you toss away the cloak that you should have mended
Don't you know by now why the chosen are few?
It's harder to believe than not to
Harder to believe than not to

It was a confidence that got you by
When you know you believed it, but you didn't know why
No one imagines it will come to this
But it gets so hard when people don't want to listen

Shivering with doubts that you left unattended
So you toss away the cloak that you should have mended
Don't you know by now why the chosen are few?
It's harder to believe than not to

Some stay paralyzed until they succumb
Others do what they feel, but their senses are numb
Some get trampled by the pious throng
Still they limp along

Are you sturdy enough to move to the front?
Is it nods of approval or the truth that you want?
And if they call it a crutch, then you walk with pride
Your accusers have always been afraid to go outside

They shiver with doubts that were left unattended
Then they toss away the cloak that they should have mended
You know by now why the chosen are few
It's harder to believe than not to

I believe"

Flannery O'Connor writes in one of her letters that there is a cost involved in being a Christian. That it is " much harder to believe than not to believe." What do you think?


  1. I think its easy to believe, but the hard part is having the faith to continually believe. Then living our live to fallow Jesus is very hard. Faith is the key if we can have Jesus, trust, blind faith. Sometimes we try to hard to have all the answers, or the blue print of what everything is to look like that we forget to enjoy the ride.

  2. This post resonates, as does your response on Without Wax. I'd share more, but I'm not a public person, and don't enjoy putting my beliefs life's journey up on a combox. All the doubts and crap and reliance on "freedom" drove me to search hard for the "right place...I never thought I'd end up where I am. Peace to you!