The Post Modern Mistake part 1

This blog was birthed out of a conversation with a dear friend of mine who found himself going through somewhat of a storm in is life. As people often do, he started to talk to friends about his concerns.  While it is not my place to take this opportunity to talk about his concerns he had reached a point where he was close to making a life changing choice and he just wanted one more voice to talk to. So we meet at a bar downtown, ordered a few drinks and got past the small talk and he starts to open up. As he started to talk more about the storm he was going though I was stunned by how many other friends he had spoken to and I had to ask,

            “So am I the last of your close friends to talk to about this?”

            “Yes..”

            Now I was honored that he sought my counsel but, I was starting to feel some kind of way about being the last pick, BUT here I was.

            So I addressed my shock by asking  “Why..?”

            He took a sip of his drink and answered,

“You don’t judge, you just listen… and I know you will find a positive if there is one…”

As a side note one of the things we don’t do enough in the body of Christ is listening.  We are sometimes very quick to cite scripture or “pray for” someone we don’t take the time to just take a second to give someone an ear. The Book of James tells Us (James 1:19) “So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak;”  you would be surprised how much more helpful you may be as just a listener for few moments out of your busy day to who is in need of just someone to talk to.

Now Back to my friend, and to give some context he and I have been friends for some 20 years now and during that time he and I have had more than our fair share of heart to hearts and this time, yet felt so different. You see, he has recently become an atheist. Now understand that he has actively searched for God’s face for years. He has been a Christian, studied Judaism and Islam but he can’t find the answers he seeks. While I pray he will come to know Jesus again I know that God is able and find those who are lost.  Almost on cue we are starting to talk theology and reluctantly he admits that he wishes he “could have that thing that I have.”

            “What thing?” I ask.

            “That faith thing, that confidence that things will just work out.” He continued I believe things will  just work out you have a faith and I just can’t see things that way”

            It was in that moment that the Holy Spirit opened my eyes to a truth that I was blinded to. I have been conflating my Faith and Belief and in doing so I have been limiting my relationship with God. I will bet that in this mistake I am not alone, Faith and Belief often confuse and allow the next few moments to separate them and encourage you to stop just being a believer and become to a faith-filled believer.

            What is it to believe? It’s to accept something as true. While this idea can be arbitrary it’s something we have come to accept. I believe that RC cola is the best tasting cola. After evaluating the data looking at the facts I can decide to make a definitive statement of “this is the best.” Belief can change from person to person because it only requires your own conviction to be fact. Therein lies the fault, however, to accept a belief does not mean it is so for everyone.  This loophole leads us to a dangerous place. Where we allow ourselves to become Post Modern Christians.

            What do I mean?

            Let’s look at Post Modern “Philosophy”. It emphasizes the importance of power relationships, personalization and discourse in the “construction” of truth and world views. Postmodernists deny that an objective reality exists, and deny that there are objective moral values.

That is to say that there is no truth beyond how you see it. Nothing is more relevant than how it relates to your understanding.  Or to put it in a more relevant vernacular:

“You do you boo boo, it’s all good as long as you like,  I love it.”

We can remove all norms and rules as long as you hear what you like, follow what makes you feel OK and ignore the rest.  How many congregations are being fed this every Sunday with a “safe sermon” with nothing too offensive? With no thought of what the word of God says or what the Holy Sprit has placed on the speaker’s tongue.  Rather pastors work hard to not have someone say “they didn’t like it” or voice that they felt “singled out”.  A bit of advice though, that feeling is known as conviction and if any word of God that makes you “feel” that way,  rather than be offended or change churches you should fall on your face and ask for forgiveness. Just a thought.  Join me next week when we look further at the post modern mistake and how Jesus demonstrated how to fix it.