GET A LIFE! The Role of Faith As We Mature.
People maturing towards adult responsibilities often are coming from lives of instability, a fractured dysfunctional society around them, dysfunctional parents trying to find themselves, tragedy & a distrust of most everything. Like victims cast adrift without a compass, anchor or adequate provisions, they ask, “Where are there answers?” “Who is right?” “Whom can I trust?” Even adults ask me, “Whom can I trust, Fritz?” So it is no surprise that the following generations are confused. This post provides some clarity about FAITH in hopes that people can move forward in their lives in positive, noble & meaningful ways. (Except for 2 exceptions, in general I have had to turn down men who wanted me to disciple or mentor them, as my faith has called me to a larger audience. Plus discipling needs to be a daily walk w/ a mentor.)
What kind of home do you want to live in?? If you could go on a trip to a place where gold & diamonds were abundant, how would you deal with the difficulties & adventures to get to that land of promise?? Life is a journey, and we can make life into a spiritual journey if we choose. Pilgrim’s Progress is a book about such a journey. Faith is a decision of what kind of home do I choose. Hopefully, by the end of this post, you will have a clearer view of the role of faith in your life.
Some kind of faith operates in your actions regardless of your religious view. Some people have placed all their faith in the person they love. Recently, in such a case, a women whose faith was in her lover, had the center of her meaning & belonging broken, when he broke up with her. He had violated her faith, & with the fervor of a religious zealot she brutally killed him. Faith is not well understood, so most people will miss that this crime of passion was actually an action of a believer attacking the betrayer of her faith.
What is God? What is faith? What is faith about? Is cynicism wisdom? This post will offer some clarity on these questions.
We cannot kill God. He has not died. We can certainly act as if He died, but something will function in our lives as God whether we realize it or not. In Russia, the trinity was directly replaced w/ worship of Marx, Lenin, & Stalin. The same attributes of the Christian trinity were placed upon the Communist trinity! We can deny God, but no matter what, we will still place something at the center of our life—which becomes our functional god. So some kind of faith survives the rejection of God! Now polytheism (multiple gods) fragments our center like MPD, so many people living in polytheistic cultures like in India focus their lives around just one selected god (for instance Kali) to create a single pattern of meaning.
Patterns of meaning now introduce the concept of faith. Let’s look at the faith the youth raised in Nazi Germany had in Hitler & the new religion of Nazism. As the war came to an end, many of these youth had been physically injured, lost all their belongings & relatives, they witnessed the defeat of their cause, and heard Nazi lies repeated daily and experienced betrayal by their Nazi leaders. Their faith in Nazism was ripped to shreds. All they had been taught was shown to be a lie. Very quickly most of the fanatic Hitler Youth lost all faith in Nazism. Their faith in Nazism had provided their meaning to life, their purpose in life, their view of reality. Their faith had trusted it as true.
Do you recognize that faith is the tool we use to draw our picture of life—our entire fabric of meaning is drawn by our faith. It is like the home our minds & hearts live in. Faith gives the mind a place to center & a sense of purpose. Some place their faith in scientific investigation, others in artistic achievement. Buddhist faith is a “consciousness of the universe”. Faith connects to Truth & Trust. From faith spring forth confidence, loyalty & generosity. Beginning in childhood we begin to see patterns & associations, and we use our faith to pull these into a pattern of meaning. An example: by faith we view children, by Christian faith as “a blessing & promise for the future”, by politically indoctrinated faith as “a curse, burden & a reminder there is no future”. By faith how do you view a new day, or breakfast?
What happens when there is a collapse of meaning…let’s say one wanted to be a star, or pro-athlete, but hopes are dashed. After the destruction of one’s faith (what gave meaning to life), if one matures, then one discovers that life continues to have meaning and the act of survival of one’s loss of faith actually builds new faith and new vitality for life. An active woman blinded in an accident, quits her self-pity, & discovers that she can thrive even more than before in life, because she gains yet a stronger faith in life. (True story.) There is meaning in suffering as there is meaning in all of life!! Tragedy then is a chance to discover deeper faith.
A doctor friend of mine rejected the Christian faith of his childhood, and embraced & then rejected every brand of spirituality, until he had matured to the point he recognized the Christian faith had the real answers. Faith is dynamic and transformative…religion is fixed & inhibits real spiritual growth (codes like the Communist party line & dogmatic religious creeds). So my dynamic faith in Christ is usually accepted or at least tolerated by the pioneering truth seekers that go to conferences I speak at, like Dean Stonier’s Global Science Congresses or the recent FYM conf., because I give people room to grow as free spirits pursuing faith & God on their own. Of course Christ is the answer. By faith, I know that He can influence their lives & change their lives, so I can give them the same room to grow as God gives all of us, and the right to question.
Is cynicism wisdom? No, it only pretends to be a sophisticated wisdom, but is really a fear of disappointment that stems from the Kingdom of Death. We need some foundation in our life, and the Word of God can provide that so we don’t constantly feel compelled to reinvent all the wheels of life. Christ believes all things (the opposite of cynicism). How do I know this? “As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you, continue ye in my love….This is my commandment that you love one another as I have loved you.” (Christ quoted in John.) So we can directly replace Christ for the word “love” in 1 Corinthians 13, “Christ beareth all things, Christ BELIEVETH all things, Christ endureth all things, Christ never fails…”
Quick conclusion, sure the world can surprise us. We can’t thrive without meaning to life. When life is shattered into meaningless fragments we suffer confusion, despair & purposelessness. Faith is the act of putting it together, the act of getting a life, the act of comprehending your purpose and meaning. Love, truth, trust, and faith co-exist together. What can we trust in life to build on? Want kind of home do you want my friend??