A Faith THAT passes understanding

The best way I find, to COMPREHEND small differences between “trust” and “faith” is within the old songs.

TRUST:

1 I am trusting Thee, Lord Jesus,
Trusting only Thee;
Trusting Thee for full salvation,
Great and free.

2 I am trusting Thee for pardon;
At Thy feet I bow,
For Thy grace and tender mercy
Trusting now.

3 I am trusting Thee for cleansing
In the crimson flood;
Trusting Thee to make me holy
By Thy blood.

4 I am trusting Thee to guide me;
Thou alone shalt lead,
Ev’ry day and hour supplying
All my need.

5 I am trusting Thee for power;
Thine can never fail.
Words which Thou Thyself shalt give me
Must prevail.

6 I am trusting Thee, Lord Jesus;
Never let me fall.
I am trusting Thee forever
And for all.

FAITH:

1 My faith is built on nothing less
than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
but wholly lean on Jesus’ name.

Refrain:
On Christ, the solid rock, I stand;
all other ground is sinking sand.

2 In ev’ry rough and stormy gale,
my anchor holds within the vale.
When all around my soul gives way,
he then is all my hope and stay. [Refrain]

3 Not earth, nor hell, my soul can move;
I rest upon unchanging love.
I trust his righteous character,
his counsel, promise, and his pow’r. [Refrain]

4 When he shall come with trumpet sound,
oh, may I then in him be found,
dressed in his righteousness alone,
faultless to stand before the throne. [Refrain]

*************

Faith is the foundation, you trust IN something…. whatever that object may be. But faith is as much IN something as it is OUT of something. You have faith to arrive and faith to leave.

As much as I love the idea of no social ladders, with complete equality in Christ, the reality is no such thing exists….but ESPECIALLY does not exist in the Lutheran Church. Many other churches accept homeless men and women into their congregations, they accept the poor and downtrodden, they have open arms for one and all…. but Lutherans are simply not like that, and keep clear pecking orders for social order within their cultural grouping, AND they keep outsiders OUT.

Saying something is so, when it clearly is not, is called gaslighting these days. But I really have no problem with that, because my faith tells me that truth eventually shines its light on the reality of every situation. And yes, even to Lutherans…

They are the LEAST likely to welcome any beggar into their home. Because that beggar is on no equal level in his position as a child of God, they are BELOW on the rungs of the ladder and therefore made to be stepped on. I know, I have those footprints on my head and shoulders from way back. What did the teachers say, after laughing at me for not being an immediate professional at volleyball? They said, “Well at least she’s consistent!” And they laughed at me, after I hit the ball out of bounds again. I was eleven or so?

I went on to be fairly good at volleyball in high school. My faith in myself was not daunted, but also I proved to myself that I could learn if actual teachers existed and took the time to TEACH. So a nice coach at the port hueneme girls and boys club, taught me how to play.

I trusted IN the teachers at my elementary school, and they failed my trust by laughing at me. I had faith THAT I could learn if given the chance. Faith is the foundation of self.

The only time you have faith IN something is as an expectation…… the fulfillment of a promise. But faith is much bigger than that….it is the foundation of bravery. I often have had to say to myself….”I stand alone with God.” Others may stand with hundreds, upholding them at church, school, and work. But when I stand alone….with God….I am stronger than all of them. IN MY FAITH.

THAT is faith. It surrounds you, fills you. My faith is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness. What does that mean? It means that the purity of Christ ALLOWS for a faith of strength and purpose. It tells us the existence of a strong faith is the proof of a caring God.

Believing that Jesus existed and died for your sins, etc …. is part of a trust IN the covenant of Christ. You trust that Jesus saves all from their sins. The faith TO believe….. that strength of standing with God …. provides an ability to trust without proof. We have no proof Christ saves. That trust IN Jesus is built ON a foundation of faith THAT perseveres.

Faith moves, trust waits.

The other day I was talking to a neighbor about church, and the subject of tithing came up. It seems that has been coming up a lot, lately online as well. Instead of being happy that churches collect money to do good works within their communities … there is an anger. There is a perception of preachers riding in jets, while taking the last pennies from grieving widows.

Much of that is a misunderstanding, because churches do not do many press releases about their good works. But the signs point to a loss of trust in church bodies (by the public)…mainly because churches aligned themselves IN politics……did not stay neutral or even give unto Cesar what is Cesar’s. But they aligned and supported politics of those who are known to be swindlers, cheats, and liars. As well as supporting greed and the worship of mammon.

Within that political light, the public trust IN churches, to be men of God, has faltered and is collapsing. The motivations of all churches are being seen as only greed. And the faith THAT most people have had in the goodness of religion itself …. is ringing like a cracked bell.

Can you repair the faith? Maybe. But that trust is gone for good, because BAD faith was proven on the parts of the churches, to become politically involved. Trusting IN something depends UPON the constancy of that thing.

Faith THAT trust will be regained, faith that God’s will prevails, and therefore even the loss of that trust IN men of God … is also part of God’s will. This is a faith THAT hinges on belief…the “not knowing.”

Because that trust is lost in the churches themselves, BY the public …there is not a lot I can do. I’ve done my best to make clear that Evangelicals are not Protestants, just as Protestants are not Catholics. But the general label of Christian, is being known as cheat and swindler….BECAUSE the very prominent unchristianlike evangelical, Trump, who demonstrated that the biggest motivator for any Christian like him..is always money.

In the eyes of the people, all Christians are those fakes, now. They are seen as greedy grifters, who take advantage of the weak and vulnerable, and only use the ethics of the church as a front.

The churches of this nation, must regain that trust, by EARNING it. They must earn it back within proofs of goodwill for their communities. It’s hard to be perceived as a grifter, when all you’re doing is giving to others and helping others.

But when you CLOISTER, when you circle your wagons….which is the tendency when feeling threatened and mistrusted…. then you reinforce those perceptions of churches as greedy grifters that only care about their own wealth, health, prosperity, and future.

If you DON’T have that bravery of faith, to put yourselves on the line….and BE what you believe…

Then no, your churches will not grow, they will shrink. They will not be sources of hope and joy, they will be chattels of despair and anger. Despair and anger that finally turns to politics, to galvanize what few members remain. And this is not the way of God.

You can scream it is all day long, that does not make it so. Equality of Christian salvation is in equality of actions toward others. Not only treating the pauper like a prince but treating the prince like a pauper, without fawning over those in power, without catering only to those with obscene wealth.

But the problem, shrinking membership leads to a need for more giving by each member, not less. The spiral downward is not checked or stopped…and so why not galvanize them into a political hammer for one last swing?

Why not, indeed? Because faith IN God is an absolute. It is the ONE and only “in” that you will have for faith, the only object. I believe in ONE God. Not one Jesus. One God. I have faith IN …. one God, not many. I don’t call on the rain to save me. I don’t ask the Earth to understand me. And the three-in-one means Jesus is God, it doesn’t mean God is Jesus.

My faith is built on nothing less…..Jesus UPHOLDS my faith. By His own. “Thy will be done.” He submitted to the Father’s will.

As a child I would sing …. “I am trusting thee Lord Jesus…” And I do because He has never failed trust because I have never met Him to find if he is trustworthy. The Christian church on Earth, however, has been far from trustworthy. And you want faith in it, too? No, my faith is in God. My faith OF God is that no amount of praying TO Christ delivers you into the hands of God. We are also God’s children, and we share that cross, with Christ, every day. He is our brother.

So while believing IN Christ may save penitents, it does not save them from appearing greedy, selfish, and cruel. And I wish I had an answer, I truly do. I wish I had an answer to this gigantic PR problem, but no answer will be available as long as their wagons circle, and the faith IN God wanes and becomes a feeble trust in Jesus ….to solve all your problems and angst, for the sake of absolutely nothing.

When the sake SHOULD be the eternal soul of man. Most men believe that all men are created equal in death….and until then, should compete. And so, considering all of equal salvation, is the same equality of death…therefore competition by all means and ways now …is granted absolution. You may treat the homeless like bums, because we shall all be equal in our salvation….

And what kind of good does this achieve? No, “there shall be no rank in heaven” means only that no orders are needed. Christ gives the parable about the prodigal son. There is much debate about the meaning, but the fact is that the grace of the father is not equalized, it is INVERTED. Turned upside down, to give more to the less deserving of his sons.

Doesn’t this mean we should strive to be less deserving? That our goal is to HAVE the faith that God’s acceptance and love NEVER hinged on our decisions.

And that would include the childlike decision, to trust in Jesus, only Jesus. You grow up, is the thing. And you find out that you must have trust in MANY other things. I must trust my neighbors, to not harm me or steal from me. If I don’t, I will be a paranoid person trusting only Jesus. I must trust my government to make wise and thoughtful decisions … If I don’t, I become a militant person trusting only Jesus. I must trust myself …to FIND that faith in God, that strength. If I don’t, I become the mindless person trusting only Jesus.

And I don’t believe that would have ever been Jesus’ intent, to have mindless followers with no critical thinking, with no questions and no doubts. Yes, He rebuked those with doubts…but only as having little faith. What did that mean?

It means he saw that their doubts were CAUSED by lacks of faith… that foundation of strength to KNOW God. Doubts may surround us on all sides, and we can still be on the foundation of faith in the ONE God. This is the beauty of it. Doubts do not contain an absolute indication of lack in faith….on the contrary, many doubts can be an indicator of very great faith. “Your faith has set you free.” The strength for freedom.

Because that faith has such a foundation to allow doubts to exist.

*******

Within the realm of “I don’t know”there sits a king. his crown is made of purpose and his heart is known to sing…..i know! i know! i know! he says, and so his life’s complete. except when lying in his bed, where death to mind may creep. What is this knowing? Fear made him weep. Shall all be as I say? Tomorrow yet another day…. the more the mice will play.

Within the realm of “I don’t know” a lady brave and fair, claimed one thing that she could know, one thing that she dared. To touch the mind and heart of God, by leaving hers behind… within that realm of “I don’t know” her faith was more than blind…

It searched the deeps for meaning, it held the truth to bear, it lived on never knowing that tomorrow would be there. Her faith had never left her, though her mind it often did… in the realm of “I don’t know” the strength is doubt that lived….IN faith to find the many, where love can find too few, each Sunday do we pray to God to sit us in our pews? In the realm of “I don’t know” the known is how we care. The known is love for others, in that known we find and dare. The faith attaches TO our God, with Love of all INFUSED by God, to those who find their test … the faithful CONDUCT LOVE from God … and God conducts the rest.

That said, a shepherd doesn’t always have to lead sheep. Sometimes they lead goats. When I go to church, I look for a nugget, you know? Something to carry, to make me a better person. But being a better person doesn’t always mean being a better-LIKED person. I think that’s where we get confused.

You know the evangelicals have this thing….that if they make lots of money that means that God is pleased. If they don’t make money, that means God is not pleased with their decisions.

The problem is not in their methodology, it is in the fact that they are asking in the first place. Seeking approval leads in one direction….to hierarchy. It is the child always reaching for the parent, to be granted the grace of pleasing those in authority.

So the error is in needing approval at all…. even from God. We are told from the beginning, that God does NOT approve, that man is sinful. Just leave it there.

I don’t ask God to help me make the right decisions…not anymore. I know I’ve made a complete and utter mess of things….my decisions are crap. So thank goodness my decisions are not judged by God. They are all part of His plan in His creation of me.

I have faith that GOD’S plan will prevail, not my plans to be saved by Jesus. If Jesus saves, good. If not, that is also God’s will. This is where I stand, in true acceptance and faith. It’s very hard to describe. Especially late at night, with a migraine dancing around the edges of my brain.

What I believe is that my belief doesn’t matter….I think that’s the biggest thing to understand about ME. I don’t believe in never never land, we don’t clap to make the fairy come alive. My belief in relationship to the reality, is that it is beside the point. Absolutely nothing hinges on my religious belief….other than my own comfort.

And I am free to decide if I wish to be comfortable or not, in that belief. Or if I wish to line my religious cage with doubt …. and strengthen my faith to deal with the rest of humanity. In whatever way I can manage. The stranger is always scary. But when you have the love of God to give, on top of your own caring, the fear is much less. We are increasingly part of communities with strangers. In a city of one million, 900,000 or more will be strangers. These dynamics are what are effecting the function of the church as we progress onward to even greater and more urbanized population.

Predicting those ends is NO special power. The special power will be changing the directions to a future of continued grace. And I believe in that. We’ll do it or I’ll die trying. I suppose that sounds crazy. But I get all the he-bro culture and I see all of it as 1001 ways of beating your chest. You all kind of need to take a chill pill.

God is in no hurry. Why are you?

I am trusting THEE, Lord Jesus…… not them. But trusting them, is how I show God’s love. So it’s both. I have explored so many spiritual conjunctions. The fact of Christianity, is that IF belief in Jesus is all you need to be saved, the existence of that belief can’t be dictated by a third person. Because then the third person is deciding if you are saved or not, and subsuming the role of God. So to NOT make other humans God, I do NOT allow them to tell me what I do or do not believe…because I am Christian.

I’ve had a LONG time to think about this shit. God blessed me with that, for some reason. Most of this probably makes no sense, it only makes sense to me. But at least it’s written down. Done. Jesus said “your faith has made you well.” He didn’t say, “I the high and mighty Christ have healed you!” That’s the thing.

Have a good week. This smokey air in Salt Lake sucks. We might need gas masks before long. Walk around like a bunch of darth vaders.

I think it might be important to mention that I didn’t learn about what communion is from Lutherans….at all….I learned that from methodists. And I’m kinda aware that any church could slip something into communion and kill all the members all at once, like jim jones. But the evangelicals could do it with the stage smoke they release for their light shows…. it really doesn’t matter. I think about these kinds of things, though. Part of having trust in others who are NOT Jesus, to show that trust in the church to take a communion…. it’s part of Love. And then how that relates to Christ body and blood, is to know that God sustains you APART from the church, as well as with it.

There is a lot of wisdom in showing the world who you are. And a lot of wisdom in being silent.

Feedback always welcome

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