[If you are just now stumbling onto this post without having read the first part in this series, I urge you to go back to the start and continue on from there through each successive post. None of these individual entries stand on their own, and you may wind up with little but confusion and unanswered questions by starting here. That is easily done by entering “The Nature of God” in the search box on the home page, which will list links to all available parts.]
Ask any honest witness to an event what he or she saw, and it’s unlikely to perfectly match the actual event in every detail. He or she may miss things, read into actions, inject their own emotions and biases, and basically twist it a bit. And it gets worse as time passes. Without microphones and cameras, it can be hard to know what actually happened. And even with those, there’s creative editing.
I’m aware of this whenever I consider the several weird occurrences in my life, of becoming convinced that there actually is a God, and of discovering what He is like. I don’t doubt these occurrences myself, because I easily recall my mindset and expectations of the time, and their failure to match what resulted. These events aren’t exactly something that a camera can capture. But you’ll have to make up your own mind, and perhaps recall strange or unexpected occurrences in your own life. You can review and accept them, or play Scrooge and assign it to “perhaps a bit of bad beef”. I’ve never been much of a fan of the metaphysical, which is pretty peculiar, considering my spiritual faith. But, there you go.
I figure that if I first present some of the events that have influenced my faith, then you’ll be better equipped to mull over any other statements that I make, or at least have a handle on why I present what I might in any someday future posts. You can decide to either let them on through, or to engage your shit filters. That’s up to you. My difficulty has always been that when Christians meet together in a small group for the first time, it’s a common thing to go around the circle and summarize “how you came to Christ”. Most often, these are single-issue things that people are able to gather up into a few sentences, and they have a ring of authenticity that is unmistakable. Unfortunately, I’ve never found a way to succinctly summarize how God steered me to Himself, since the process was a bit of a marathon. Or like a pinball game, actually. That was because of me. When my turn comes in such a group, my response tends to be, “Uh…uh…how much time do you have?” So it is here that I at last have the time and space to cover what actually happened, and can avoid giving short-shrift to meaningful events. So it begins:
When I was a kid, my parents both attended a local Methodist church, and dragged me along. I initially sat in Read more…