Saturday, February 09, 2008

Why I am Still a Christian

Some days I don't know why I just don't pull the plug on my faith. Over the last eight years I would suggest that I have seen and experienced enough that would seem to justify this decision. During this time I have become more aware of the relentless miseries which plague this world unabated, have been embarrassed by the sexism, homophobia and racism of Christians and have cringed as they claim that they represent my faith. Other Christians have denounced me as a heretic, have silenced me, have suggested publically that I am mentally unstable and have announced quite proudly that I am not a Christian. On my less mentally stable days I begin to wonder whether they are not correct. I have doubted more often than I can remember, have sinned so regularly and so horrendously that I have wanted to forget and have been depressed far so regularly than there has often seemed little left to live for. Far beyond this, I have hypocritically accused people of acts I have known far too well that I am guilty of committing. I have descended down to the very depths of my soul and have seen very little to commend myself; very little to show that I embody the character traits that would show that I am a Christian or have taken the Christian faith to heart.

And yet it seems that however hard I try, I simply cannot emphatically and finally renounce my faith, however much I may want to. Why this grace, and yet ungrace from God? Why this perfect blessing and yet this horrendous curse? Why this blessed emancipation and yet this accursed condemnation? I think and yet I cannot answer until I am made to think of this quote from one of my favourite authors, Fyodor Dostoevsky:

“If someone proved to me that Christ is outside the truth and that in reality the truth were outside of Christ, then I should prefer to remain with Christ rather than with the truth."

I cannot think I understand, and words no longer take on any significance and meaning. My Christ, the Exemplar I so rarely follow is far too absurd for words and yet it is only with and in him things begin to make perfect sense. When I see him I am blinded by his dazzling light and yet it is only by being struck blind that I begin to see a path ahead. When I see his character, that paradox of divine humanity I am forced to see my naked wretchedness and yet I have faith beyond faith that I shall one day be clothed in glory and transfigured.

1 comment:

Clarabelle said...

Here here Dave!Powerfully and articulately written - thankyou for sharing that with us!
It's always a good thing to remind ourselves and each other that God is so much bigger than the 'institution'!