What I have learned so far…

Virtues - Louis Comfort Tiffany

Virtues – Louis Comfort Tiffany

At sixty-two years of age, I know now that all Christians are more alike than they are different.  The things in which we differ are few but strongly held AND by focusing on them appear to radically different from those over there who (as they differed from us) must therefore be wrong.  There is a safety (even smugness) in such certitude.

Love is Faith PersonifiedOne of the problems with such is that it promotes the opposite of the thing desired or at least claimed. Certainty is not faith!  In truth certainty is the very opposite of faith.  The Epistle to the Hebrews puts it like this, [11:1] Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. As a priest, how many times have I have listened to the quasi-confession of some believer who tells me their doubts and struggles in following Jesus ending with a line like, “So John, I just can’t live the Christian life!”  I say, “No, what you see as unfaith is ACTUALLY the life of faith.  The doubt you have is an essential part of the economy of salvation.

Because it doesn’t feel certain they feel they don’t have faith.  In truth they appear to me to have faith in contrast to those more certain. So long as we live in pure contradiction by definition someone must right and wrong.  That is not to say that there is neither right nor wrong.  It is necessary to choose.  What is unnecessary is to make a point of view into an ideology!

Beloved, Let us make faith our constant companion and she will joined by her closest confidants, hope and joy. Against such company there can be no condemnation.

JWS

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