Todd Weber's Random Thoughts

June 11, 2008

Embrace the Mystery

I have just read an article in the May/June 2008 issue of Outreach in which a former New Testament scholar and pastor describes his departure from Christian faith to agnosticism.  Apparently, his breaking point was his inability “to reconcile all the pain and misery in the world with the belief that there is a God in charge of it.”  It’s a sad story.  A Christian turning to agnosticism doesn’t indicate a failure of one’s faith, but rather his failure to exercise faith.  It’s not that Christianity isn’t up to the challenge, but that some believers give up in the face of the challenge.


“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Heb. 11:1).  In order to succeed and persevere in the Christian faith, one must embrace the mystery of it all.  The believer must be willing to admit and accept that some things may never be understood during our earthly existence.  This does not deny the validity of curiosity and reasoned inquiry, i.e. the search for truth.  Jesus himself said that the Holy Spirit would guide believers in truth (John 16:13).  Indeed, there are some very reasonable and biblically sound theories for why God allows so much pain and misery in the world.  However, the Bible nowhere states or implies that believers would be given understanding of all things.  On the contrary, we are admonished to “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding” (Prov. 3:5).


Many are the times my own faith has been challenged by circumstances and difficult philosophical questions, yet it remains strong.  The reason for this is largely due to the reality of my relationship and experience with God.  I have personally experienced and witnessed in others the genuine presence and grace of the living God, confirmed and validated by the Bible, enough that I cannot deny the reality of his existence.  There have been times when, for various reasons, I have contemplated giving up my faith in Jesus Christ, the church and his people, but I always come back to the landmark experiences of divine visitation and intervention in my life and the lives of people I have known.  If my faith were based on the biblical text alone, I may have given up by now.  But because my knowledge of God’s word has been confirmed by my experience with God himself, I cannot cease to believe in him.  And, if God is real, then he is also in control and he is much smarter and wiser than I; therefore, I will continue to trust him even when I don’t understand why certain things are allowed to happen, or when questions remain unanswered.  


I truly hope the man mentioned above will soon realize his error and return to faith in Jesus Christ.  I hope he will go beyond intellectual agreement with the Bible to find a genuine personal relationship with its divine author and learn to trust him with the mysteries of this life. 


1 Comment »

  1. Thanks !

    Comment by ByncBitteevats — August 3, 2008 @ 3:37 am

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