- I’m unclear as to whether Jesus is part of a Triune God, a unique creation of God, just a man with special power, or something else.
- I’m unclear whether or not Jesus was born of a virgin as we think of the word. I don’t doubt the possibility of God empowering such an event, but I’m not compelled that it is vital to following his way.
- I’m unclear whether anything cosmic really happened at the cross as far as God viewing it as an acceptable sacrifice and pardoning the sins of some or all. In any case, there are other instructive (and more historical) ways to view the crucifixion.
- I’m unclear whether Jesus really rose from the dead, but I’m willing to go along with the report on the one hand because it’s certainly within the possibility of God’s power and the events that unfolded afterward seemed to be based on such a catalyst. In any case, his teachings are not predicated on resurrection from what I can see.
- I’m unclear whether Jesus is physically returning to earth or virtually returning through his people for any length of time. I doubt the man-made dispensational theory that includes the pre-tribulation rapture, 7 year tribulation, and literal one-thousand year reign of Jesus from a throne in Jerusalem; this teaching is as recent as Mormonism and the Jehovah’s Witnesses teachings (not to mention Pentecostalism, Christian Science, and even Fundamentalism with its invitations and Sunday Schools). Anything that recent smacks of some human making something up that sounds right to them (what Stephen Colbert calls “truthiness”).
- I’m unclear on the nature of “heaven”, and pretty certain that the meaning of “hell” and the “lake of fire” mentioned in the Bible is not what is commonly taught in the church. I doubt a truly loving God would send the majority of humans across history to a punishment of conscious burning torment forever.
By being unclear on these items and unwilling to take a stand on Church, Inc.’s teachings (pick any denomination), does that mean that God is now opposed to me forever? Does my eternal state really come down to the mental assent and acquiescence demanded by men, or am I actually safe in God’s hands and on the right path as I follow the way of Jesus (even though I’m not sure about the mystic particulars)?
I’m persuaded that God is indeed my heavenly father and as such cares for me, provides for me, counsels me, encourages me, and rescues me when I need it. I don’t have to understand how it all works – and I’d be arrogant to say that I did understand it. And I’m persuaded that Jesus’ way is the only way to bring shalom to the planet; every day we continue down our own violent, self-centered path is one day further away from the peace we say we desire. This is precipice at which I stand, looking hopefully to the clouded future. And so, I leap…