I just took delivery on my new computer! Now I face the lengthy process of setting it up with all my files and programs. My goal is to do some house cleaning of my old file folders before porting them to the new computer. As I began that process today, I found a text file from 2004 that was named “Changes”. It must be something I found on a blog or website back then. It was written by a seminary student. The theme of “change” is descriptive of the entire history of Christianity, so I thought my readers might find it interesting. It is included below without additional comment.
We confront our presumptions and prejudices in light of the wisdom of others and our own experiences and then make up our minds as to what we believe. It is a life-long process and it accurately describes my own journey of faith. I suspect it describes the journey for you, as well. We are in the process of faith building known as Christianity.
Because it is a process, it is always in the throes of change. Some of these changes are just minor little adjustments while others are pretty dramatic course corrections. Granted this is a disturbing experience. It is certainly not the kind of cushy and comfortable Christianity a lot of people are looking for but it is, I believe, an accurate description of what it means to follow Jesus. This is precisely why so few people really study the Bible. They are afraid to make any changes. And that is both un-Biblical and un-Christian.
In Exodus 32, there is a dialogue between God and Moses. A friendly debate that grows more impassioned even to the point where Moses is trying to convince God of the error of God’s ways.
The error of God’s ways. How’s that for a little blasphemy?
The Revised Standard Version of the Bible says, “And God repented of the evil which he thought to do to his people.” The New Revised Standard Version says, “And God changed his mind!” If the Lord God Almighty could be persuaded to alter course a bit surely we can too.
This is such an important point, such a dramatic revelation. What it says to me is that the God we worship, the God we claim is eternal truth, the God we acknowledge as the source and ground of our very being…is also in a process of change. Now perhaps that process of change is only in the way God is revealed to us or maybe it is even more fundamental than that. After all, if God is alive and real does that not imply some kind of continuing change? How can there be life without it?
Such pondering is very problematic. It opens up a can of worms that most of us would just as soon keep shut. That is precisely why there is so little real Bible study. It makes us uncomfortable. We don’t want to be educated. We don’t want to change. It is, I am convinced, precisely why Jesus was killed. He was re-interpreting scripture. He was offering a new and different insight into the nature of God and the religious people wanted none of it. So they killed him. Unfortunately for them, death couldn’t stop this new revelation and it continues revealing to this day whether we like it or not.