Big Question

Seven years ago I stepped outside the stream of evangelicalism. At least, that's the way I view what happened. It's the way I can describe what I was led to do, or found myself doing, or had no other option, take your pick.

I'd been immersed in ideas and catch-phrases for more than a decade. They helped me function. They brought me back to God after I'd rebelled against a tyrannical image of him. They opened my eyes to his love as expressed in the pages of scripture. Somehow during childhood church functions I missed out on gospel "meat." In conservative evangelical settings I felt more satisfied.

I still had questions, though. Always in my mind's back closet lurked this big one: Do I really know what this good news, that I'm intent on sharing with lost folks, consists of?

It wasn't that no one around me in evangelical waters could help answer my question. The problem lay deeper than words could solve. This was because people speaking the words continued to be of the sort who didn't live up to them. Like me. It didn't fit in my mind that God was giving us a better life, as the words told us, when we simply did not improve. If I followed our evangelical speeches and interpretations, I must conclude God wasn't living up to his promise to make me one who could let my good works so shine before men that they would see them and glorify my Father who is in heaven (Matthew 5:16). Either, I reasoned, God didn't really worry about that verse so much or something prevented him from carrying out his will.

Astute and wise readers will no doubt notice I had, again as in childhood, absorbed a fautly image of God. (Do I think my image of him now, today, has become fault-free? No; I'm just trusting it's a bit truer, and I'll try to explain it in one of my next posts so you can judge.)