Do You Believe as You are Told?

"Make Him Believe" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

(Description: Baby being baptized. Mom, dad, and pastor think, "We'll make him believe and live just like us." Baby is giving them the finger.)


Parents teach their children what they believe to be true and train them how to live what they think is a good life.

We did for our kids. Our parents did for us.

But at some point we need to decide that whatever theology we inherited, it is our right and responsibility to keep it, change it, or reject it.

It’s so much easier just to believe and live how we're instructed to.

Many if not most never question what they believe or how they live. It’s easier to live unconsciously.

It’s easier because our ancestors were told what to believe, our parents inherited it from them, and then we inherited it. So a rejection of our parents’ beliefs is a rejection of our ancestors and our religion. There’s enormous pressure to keep the ball rolling.

Which, unfortunately, is why so many people are rejected by their parents and their church when they refuse to obey the rules, drop the ball, stop playing the game, and disappoint the team.

Any theology worth anything has emerged out of a profound event. First there is the experience, then the transmission of it. The revelation then the theology. Apprehension then articulation. Experience then text.

Now, instead, we believe the theology and hope to have the experience. Not many dare go beyond the beliefs to see what’s behind them, what’s actually there, what’s actually true.

Few explore what might be beyond belief.

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