Clarity? Not really…

It is no secret that I have struggled with believing in the tenants of Christianity for some time now.  I am stuck in a juxtaposed mindset where on the one hand I believe in the life/teachings, crucifixion/death, and resurrection of the man called Jesus from the town of Nazareth whose followers believed him to be the Messiah, Christ figure of Old Testament prophecies.

Then on the other hand I am bombarded by scientific inquiry that contradicts Biblical teachings, neurological and psychological research, geologic evidences, paleontological evidences, etc… which paint a different picture of our world than what Christians are dogmatically taught and have been taught for thousands of years.

Christianity is the best answer for social and relational interaction that I have found, and yet it is hard to swallow in light of new discoveries.

JesusI have talked to many Christian friends in similar struggles who are not sure what they believe any longer or they have just not followed through with exercising their faith for one reason or another.  They still are ‘decent’ people in cultural Christianity’s terms, but the church and their faith are not jiving, and even dying in most cases.  We, as a group of professing believers, have given in to justifying our behaviors by comparing ourselves with those in the society we live in.

Or is it as simple as what Gary Habermas suggest?  Does it really only boil down to one question?

What do you believe and do with the person of Jesus Christ?

Can I believe in the person and work of Jesus as described in the various canonized Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John), but still hold to views that contradict the Bible?  Would I no longer be a Christian if I did that?

If Jesus is who the disciples claimed he is, then that belief demands actions.  It demands a life of obedience in living out the commands of God – love God with all that I am by observing his commandments (which are not burdensome and should delight my soul as I practice them in faith) and love other people like I love myself.  Then when I live that out I will verbally and physically be testifying to all I come into contact with that I am a slave to this Jesus of Nazareth, to the words of his teachings as found in the Biblical text, and that I put all things in the world under this worldview.

Hubble telescopeBut then you watch something like Nova’s special on the Hubble Space Telescope and you find out that the world is expanding and that it is calculated at 13.7 billion years old, and you find out how many millions of galaxies are in space, and that starts creeping you out a little bit.  The odds of earth being the only place with life on it are slim to none.  Some argue that intelligent life will not be found from a statistical standpoint, but who really knows?  Let’s consider two statements:

1. Based on mathematical calculations by two independent teams who were working with data captured from the Hubble Space Telescope they both found the earth to be 13.7 billions year old. (reference PBS documentary here)

2. Using a literal interpretation of the creation story coupled with genealogies found throughout the Bible yields a young earth theory of 6,000 to 8,000 years old.

Can both statements be true?  In the grand scheme of things mankind is not the sharpest tool in the shed.  After all, we still willingly kill each other in sanctioned wars, planned homicides, and through corporations who hide their products failures knowing that it will cause some deaths – but they believe they can still hide it.  So I guess an important question to ask is, can we trust science?

I believe we can trust science but not the scientist.  As I always push on my blogs: read the evidence for yourself.  If you can’t understand it then read at least two different interpretations of the data, or multiple interpretations that mirror each other.

For now, I plan on continuing to read, study, interpret, and live life as best as I know how.  Hopefully you will do the same.

Keith

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6 thoughts on “Clarity? Not really…

  1. Ma K says:

    I saw this today, Keith, and feel that you need this word: “Let go of the need to figure God out… You can’t! Just trust Him!” Just want to point out the obvious, as gently as I can. You will never figure God out through your mind, which is enmity (anger) against God. You will never figure God out through reading intellectual books, or Scientific books, or secular commentaries and articles. Your mind, as intelligent as it is, cannot possibly come close to figuring out the God of the universe. When God spoke the world into existence, no where does it say His voice stopped creating, which is why the universe continues to expand. I know I am probably oversimplifying, but to me it really doesn’t matter if Science believes the universe is much older than the Bible indicates. Either Science is wrong, or we don’t fully understand the timeline in the Bible, and our understanding is wrong. If we need to know on this side of Heaven, God will at some point reveal it to us. He has revealed many things through Science, that prove the authenticity of the Bible. You will never fully get the answers you are seeking from any other source other than God Himself, and through His Word. You are way too intelligent, young man! Keep seeking Him. Keep reading the Word. Keep worshiping. In due time, He will show you, but in the meantime I am praying for you that you will let go of the need to figure it all out. I love you, and am sending you something later this week that I hope will encourage you.

    • Keith Wadley says:

      Hey MaKim,

      I appreciate the motivation.

      I have no idea who I am any more. When worshiping God through songs and prayer I feel alive again, but then once its over the lost and confused Keith appears with all of my questions and the inability to move forward in faith. I am afraid of believing lies. But I can’t tell you specifically what the lies are because I don’t know them. I have answers to all of my objections…for the most part. If anything, I am certain that I don’t know or can never fully know God in my life time. That scares me. Believing in something so important that it impacts everything about your personality and lifestyle without full knowledge makes me guarded and on edge with my faith.

      I don’t read to become smarter, but to search for answers. And I do still read and study the Bible. God keeps sending people my way to minister to in the midst of my searching. I find that fascinating as well. I am just very pessimistic right now with my views of humanity, the purpose of man’s existence, and fulfillment really only coming through serving Christ verses serving my own interest (this one is a big struggle for me).

      Thanks for reading and posting as always.

      Keith

      Keith A. Wadley (931) 338-8258 Alamogordo, NM 88310 LinkedIn profile

      On Sun, May 10, 2015 at 11:52 PM, Wadley's Theology wrote:

      >

    • A says:

      I agree; humans truly have no concept of time.

  2. Ma K says:

    Hey Keith,

    I’m sure I am not going to tell you anything you don’t know, so just consider everything I am going to say as a reminder.

    Just remember confusion and fear are not from God. Your deepest desire of wanting to know truth, and not believe a lie, is from God. But the enemies’ tactic is to turn the tables on you, and to to continually bombard your thoughts by making you fearful of believing lies, even though you don’t know what those lies are. Satan cannot be specific, and is using innuendo and vague thoughts to make you afraid. Your heart is seeking after God, and I know God is very pleased with you, in spite of your struggle, and even because you struggle, because you are a man after His own heart, seeking His will. God does not condemn you. He LOVES you, and He wants you to walk in the truth even more than you do.

    A very simple daily prayer to pray is to ask God to show you His truth, and show you any place where you are deceived. Ask Him to help you to live your life as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, not conformed to this world, but transformed by the renewing of your mind, so you will know what His good and perfect will is for your life. (Romans 12). And finally, ask God to help you hear His voice above every other voice, and to be aware when Satan puts thoughts in your head. II Cor. 10 tells us what to do with thoughts that come that are not from God. We are to cast down imaginations, and take those thoughts captive, to the obedience of Christ. Think about what you are thinking about, and don’t just entertain any random thought that comes into your head. Any thought that brings anxiety or fear or confusion or condemnation is not from God, Ask the Holy Spirit train your mind to think God’s thoughts, and refuse thoughts that are put there by the enemy.

    God is going to continue to bring people to you to minister to them, because He knows your heart is His, and He can trust you to speak truth to them.

    You ARE going to break through. God is fighting for you. We are praying for you. You can’t lose, because Jesus has already won the battle for you.

    Love and Hugs,
    Ma K

  3. A says:

    Brother,

    I understand where you are coming from. You don’t want to be misled and to mislead others, to be the blind leading the blind. I have come to this conclusion over the past 37+ years: there is no way to make logical sense of it all. For so long I tried to to figure God out and base it off of human words and theologies. The most important truth I have found is this: God is love and our purpose is to extend that love. Getting bogged down in what humans have tried to put into words in trying to explain God is fruitless. Serve your purpose; love others (which in itself is often times difficult.)

    When I was searching for something before I had Elijah, my biggest argument for why I didn’t believe in the Bible was that man wrote it. Yes it is God inspired, but man held the pens and wrote their interpretation. In my head I thought, “How do I know what to trust?” and what I heard was “Read what’s in red.” (Albeit I was high as a kite at the time, this is what I heard and felt to be true.) So that’s what I started reading. I trust Jesus’ story to be true. That is the foundation of Christianity, is it not? Which by the way, I rarely call myself a Christian, but a lover of Christ. The term Christian has been twisted and torn and made repugnant to the point that those who don’t know him immediately harden their hearts when you try to share him so I am not coined with that word. Jesus loves me and I love him; no label needed.

    You remind me of an Alanis Morissette song that says “You and I are like 4 year olds; we want to know why and how come about everything.” It’s one reason our earthly father cannot let go and come to Christ. He wants to logically figure it all out…well that and hurts that won’t mend. You and I don’t have to understand it all. What you feel when you put your focus on Him, when you praise Him and speak with Him and listen for Him, that’s what you should base your faith on. And I agree with Ma K on many things including Satan sending confusion and lies, but sometimes it’s just our danged ole’ human nature getting in the way. I mean, Adam and Eve actually got to WALK with God and they STILL questioned and disobeyed. It is who we are. And the fact that God loves us still rocks my world and shakes my brain! But once again that’s because of who He is: LOVE.

    Thank you for being honest and for seeking him. I love you and am blessed to call you brother: earthly and spiritual. Continued prayers and support from the South.

    Always,
    Sissy

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