thinking between the lines

Faith Matters: Tension

I received this video from a site I subscribe to and thought it might benefit anyone trying to lead young adults in church, school, or even at home.

The thing that keeps striking me is that these students – actually, all of us I suppose – don’t seem to be seeking a faith that erases the tensions in life (that kind of faith doesn’t line up with reality), but they are desperately seeking a faith that can survive the tensions in life, a faith that doesn’t snap when it’s caught between the polarity of ideas bombarding them every day.

Maybe just surviving isn’t the optimal experience in faith’s journey, but at the very least it is the starting point from which all other steps follow. Today’s students are strenuously trained to critically analyze every aspect in life, and because their thinking is wired this way, a faith that cannot withstand their intellectual scrutiny will not withstand real-life scrutiny. No, I am not trying to put Christianity on the shelf. On the contrary, I am trying to slip it from the shelf where many people have placed it and dust it off so people can see it for all its worth. Yes, we are living in a brand new world with a brand new paradigm from which to live, but the value of Christ alive in me is still priceless because He can withstand life’s tension.

To experience that kind of faith, however, requires a community that is not afraid to honestly grapple with the tension between ideology and reality, between theology and actuality. After all, what is the purpose of tension? To reveal the integrity of the twine being tested. If the faith line we are testing snaps in reality, then our understanding of that faith line must be revisited, reconsidered and restructured according to the guidance of the Spirit and scripture. This, I think, is what walking in faith is all about – stepping out on a tightrope, not in trepidation because I always have God’s net of grace fixed beneath me, but with a sense of mystery testing each step to see if I’ve misconstrued the wire’s integrity. If the line remains taut, I keep walking and enjoy the light on the path. If it snaps, I simply fall into the perpetually outstretched arms of God’s faithfulness and say, “Hmm. I guess I got that wrong. Shall we try again?” Surprisingly, it is here that the light shines the brightest.

Categorised in: Culture, Faith

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