lately my schedule seems to make me later than i'd like to be in writing new posts, so today i'm composing this post much later than i had planned. if there are those who check my blog for a new post earlier on tuesday morning, my apologies. today, i write about faith.
i'm serving on a search committee in our church, and yesterday we received a resume from a new applicant. part of the applicant's submission was a statement of faith that enumerated several very specific, concrete beliefs. i found this to be troubling, and perhaps that is a commentary on the weakness of my own faith. as i told the other committee members, the rigid, doctrinaire quality of the statement of faith was both troubling and frightening to me.
this morning during my prayer and meditation time, i gave some thought to my attitudes towards this applicant's statement of faith and asked God for guidance. why did i find the applicant's sincere faith statement so troublesome? i am always suspicious of those who are so convinced of the rightness of their beliefs, of those who are certain that what they believe is correct. God is so complex, and to reduce our understanding of God to a set of articles of faith or a concrete creedal statement seems to me to be an attempt to place God in a box so that we create the illusion that we fully understand who God is and how we relate to God.
God is beyond human understanding, and when we remove the mystery of a Being who can create life simply by thinking, we make God less than God truly is. Simple, pat explanations may be helpful to us on a very rudimentary level, but as we grow in understanding, we learn how difficult the mystery of God is; the more we learn, the more questions arise.
now i find myself judging another because of that other's certainty about faith, a certainty which i don't share and which i find suspect. should i feel this way? should i find another's absolute faith in orthodox doctrines about the christian faith disturbing to the point that i find it hard to trust such a person? probably not, but God will lead me to the understanding that is consistent with the light God gives me. until that time, i'm afraid i will remain a skeptical of the beliefs of those who have absolute certainty about the details of the faith.
my prayer today is that we all continue to search for the truth, seeking God's leading to greater and greater understanding of the deep mysteries of God, never settling for easy explanations or orthodox formulas that oversimplify that which may ultimately be unknowable.