O Night Divine
Really. This poastie is overtly and unrepentantly religious. Enjoy or not, as you will.
I try not to be bothered by some of the minutiae that dominate other people's lives. Not that I always succeed, of course, but isn't that the essence of humanity? Learning? Growing?
My faith in what Christmas really needs is in no way under attack. Nobody can take from me that which God has placed in my heart. No atheist, no scientist, no CEO, no evangelist, no terrorist, nobody.
It doesn't bother me that Wal-Mart employees say "Happy Holidays." In fact, my holidays are rather happy.
It doesn't bother me that uptight atheists can't handle the sight of anything religious.
I just can't hang out in the extremes like that.
You see, my faith does not require the validation of the government, of science, or of any temporal agency. The things that happen in this world are a result of the human response to existence, and therefore to God, whether in acknowledgement, denial, or ignorance. The clay does not say to the potter, "Why have you made me like this."
God does not need to prove Himself to man. And I believe that He refuses to do so. Without proof one needs faith one way or another, whether it be denial or acknowledgement. But with proof, faith is useless, for who would require faith to validate something already proven to be true. Yet the crux of Christianity, and in fact all religions to one extent or another, is faith.
If one believes in God, it requires faith, because there is simply no completely empirical trail of evidence leading to God. If one chooses to disbelieve in God, it requires faith that temporal, empirical evidence respresents the sum total of the knowable, that there is no other level of existence outside the measurable universe.
I'm not bothered by atheists and skeptics. I appreciate people who ask the hard questions.
I'm not bothered by those whose faith is threatened by those same, hard questions.
I know what I believe, and I know why I believe it.
I believe God created the Heavens and the Earth. I have no idea how long it took. I think the full truth of the matter is unknowable, and we have to simply do our best with the evidence we find and not grind an axe. Good luck finding someone like that on either side of the conversation.
I believe God is fully revealed through the Bible.
I believe that Bible has been faithfully passed on over the last 2600 years. Here I have very good reason to believe that empirically, but that's a different conversation than this one.
I believe that God loves all of humanity unconditionally.
I believe that man is desperately and hopelessly wicked. Look around and tell me otherwise.
I believe that man is unable to obtain a place of enlightenment worthy of heaven by any human means.
I believe that God offers a way to heaven through the person of Jesus Christ.
And I believe that God sent that person, Jesus, son of Joseph, the Christ, the Messiah, to Earth, born of a virgin, born in a stable, probably sometime in April, to live, to die, and to rise again, to save mankind from sin and restore them to God.
That is what I believe. I have faith in God and I live for this hope, the hope I believe is offered to all mankind.
I believe that God loves you right where you are, just the way you are, with no preconditions.
And it is in that spirit that I wish you a very Happy Christmas.