just when you thought you had faith figured out

"Faith Parachute" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

“Faith Parachute” cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

I’m sure you’ve all experienced this. Just when you thought you had things figured out and that things looked like they were starting to work out, the bottom drops out from under you.

I know I have.

My question now is, is their something beyond belief and beyond faith? What is this place of knowing? This is what I’m exploring.

SHOP

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19 Responses

  1. Ducatihero says:

    I can identify with the cartoon from a position of losing faith in “me” as god and a beginning of faith in Jesus. It happened 17 years ago when walking in a park on a beautiful day and having everything I wanted humanly wanting more and being frustrated as to why I wasn’t satisfied.

    Since then I have learned contentedness, gratitude and peace can replace frustration and always wanting more..

  2. Scott Amundsen says:

    I can definitely relate to the idea of having the bottom drop out from under you; at thirty-five I fell ill with a chronic disease and I went in less than a year from having a good job, a beautiful apartment, a brand new car I had bought for cash, and not a penny of debt, to being unemployed, living on Welfare and Food Stamps, and one step away from being on the street.

    My only objection to this cartoon is that it seems to suggest that Jesus Himself cuts the ropes of the “parachute” and I don’t believe that. Bad things happen to practically everybody and the temptation to blame God is usually there but it is always misplaced.

  3. Scott Amundsen says:

    I can definitely relate to the idea of having the bottom drop out from under you; at thirty-five I fell ill with a chronic disease and I went in less than a year from having a good job, a beautiful apartment, a brand new car I had bought for cash, and not a penny of debt, to being unemployed, living on Welfare and Food Stamps, and one step away from being on the street.

    My only objection to this cartoon is that it seems to suggest that Jesus Himself cuts the ropes of the “parachute” and I don’t believe that. Bad things happen to practically everybody and the temptation to blame God is usually there but it is always misplaced.

  4. Caryn LeMur says:

    Scott: oh wow. So glad that you are still with us. Hugs! Caryn

  5. Caryn LeMur says:

    I actually agree with the cartoon… but again… based on my experience.

    Jesus seems to ‘vanish’ at times. And that is good. I have learned so much about my own self during those times, and matured greatly.

    Similar to when our young child was working on a painting for school – – when they were overwhelmed and frustrated, Bonnie (my wife) would appear and help them draw a few lines or colors. And then, when the ‘light went on for them’, Bonnie would withdraw once again… and the child finished the painting homework on their own.

    And their self-confidence grew. They matured.

    I did the same for our children concerning math.

    I offer that unless we withdraw, they will not gain self-confidence. We only entrench co-dependence when we stay right with them. Withdrawal is necessary for maturity.

    My understanding of the Garden of Eden is that there was no co-dependency, but just two fellows walking in the evening together, chatting away.

    Not two equals; but two separated personalities that welcomed each other.

    Not co-dependent (in the negative sense), but co-welcoming.

  6. Ya scott. Wow. Glad you’re still with us too. I see your point. The point I was trying to make with the cartoon is kind of Barthian and Jungian… that we have a choice to walk our path or be dragged.

  7. Bernardo says:

    The vagaries of evolution include changes and diseases. God plays no role since he does not exist.

  8. Scott Amundsen says:

    Is your life really so empty and boring that you have nothing better to do than surf the Internet for purposes of trolling?

  9. Bernardo says:

    The Apostles’ Creed 2015 (updated by yours truly based on the studies of NT historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

    Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
    and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
    human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven?????

    I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
    preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
    named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
    girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

    Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
    the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

    He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
    a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
    Jerusalem.

    Said Jesus’ story was embellished and “mythicized” by
    many semi-fiction writers. A bodily resurrection and
    ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
    Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
    grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
    and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
    called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

    Amen
    (References used are available upon request.)

  10. Caryn LeMur says:

    Bernardo: thank you for mentioning the Apostles Creed.

    I once again went and studied it tonight. The sense of peace it gave was deep and meaningful.

    I also hope you have peace upon your journey, in search of a historical Jesus that is different than the man portrayed in the early writings.

    Peace to you. Caryn

  11. Bernardo says:

    Caryn,

    You should find a better peace in the historical Jesus and the historical Abraham (and Moses and Noah)

    The essential directions to the historical Jesus have been previously presented. Regarding the historical Abraham et al:

    origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482 NY Times review and important enough to reiterate.

    New Torah For Modern Minds

    “Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. (prob·a·bly
    Adverb: Almost certainly; as far as one knows or can tell).

    The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

    Such startling propositions — the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years — have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity — until now.

    …….The Bible is a human rather than divine document.

    The notion that the Bible is not literally true ”is more or less settled and understood among most Conservative rabbis,” observed David Wolpe, a rabbi at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles and a contributor to ”Etz Hayim.” But some congregants, he said, ”may not like the stark airing of it.” Last Passover, in a sermon to 2,200 congregants at his synagogue, Rabbi Wolpe frankly said that ”virtually every modern archaeologist” agrees ”that the way the Bible describes the Exodus is not the way that it happened, if it happened at all.” The rabbi offered what he called a ”LITANY OF DISILLUSION”’ about the narrative, including contradictions, improbabilities, chronological lapses and the absence of corroborating evidence. In fact, he said, archaeologists digging in the Sinai have ”found no trace of the tribes of Israel — not one shard of pottery.”

  12. Caryn LeMur says:

    Bernardo: I have been polite in the past. As a former officer, I shall put down the gloves, and be I shall be rather straight-forward.

    You wrote in glowing praise of Crossan. So, as a former professor (of business at a bible college), I then read everything I could find. And every critique. No problem.

    As someone that has, as a profession, handled and developed evidences for over 30 years, and had analyses taken as high as the US Federal Court, I then analyzed the Crossan methods and critiques. Not a problem.

    I already gave you some easy critiques of the Crossan methodology. I have also discussed Reimarus, and Schweitzer. I volleyed the ball to you in past posts. Easy.

    You ignored the dialog. You continued attempting to proselytize people to your faith in the theories concerning the historical Jesus.

    You continue to insist on holding a Junior College level of instruction, rather than a Masters or University level of dialog. By the way, your preaching is a bit boring… I offer that you need more stories and real-life examples.

    You have offered no new insights, nor any combination of theories, nor any ability to see the weakness in each of the historical methodologies.

    In your writings, you come across as a true believer and a fundamentalist – different beliefs, to be sure, but the same dogmatism.

    You continue to believe that historiology dominates/supplants Christology. An incredible and massive assumption … which you treat as fact.

    You have shown only once that you are even a living and fallible human being – briefly discussing your past as a ‘redneck’ and true believer of the RCC. You remind me of those that are ‘on the wagon’ and attend AA … you need to calm down, become human, and engage in dialog.

    In summary:

    Think, my friend, don’t just post pieces of a book like a fundamentalist posts the Bible.

    Show you humanness, Bernardo. Consider that the stories about Jesus, and the parables he spoke, will last for another one thousand years… because they were human stories with a small insight.

    Try not to be a fundamentalist in your approach; don’t just continue to insist that your way is the only way.

    Show creativity and analysis – compare and contrast the theories, so that your readers know you can think as well as recite.

    Discuss the great peace, and love, and joy you have in your new path – – these are what attract readers, not cold statistics and book extracts.

    All that said, I hope that you continue to post here.

    Because, in reality, you are the best advertisement for a moderate and personal religion that I have seen in quite some time. Your approach continues to dissuade readers from ever wishing to be like you.

    So, having written this… hmmmm… I now realize I hope you ignore all my advice, and carry on.

    Most sincerely; Caryn

  13. Bernardo says:

    Caryn,

    I also have advanced degrees in the sciences, PhD and a MS in Polymer Science with a BS in Chemical Engineering. Based on this education, it was obvious that proper research is the key to rational conclusions. Professors Crossan, Ludemann, Meier, Chilton et al have completed the search for your Jesus. Your debate therefore is with them. I believe they all have web pages where you can enter your views. Please also note that I spend most of my time helping my daughter and her husband raise their new twins. Therefore, religious history and theology have taken a necessary back seat. Hopefully, you find the answers in your future debates with these NT scholars.

  14. Caryn LeMur says:

    Bernardo: thank you for sharing some of your human side.

    It is a pleasure to meet you, rather than Crossan et al.

    And… yes… the pleasures of grandparenting are splendid. And, do take time.

    May you have peace in your journey.

  15. Caryn LeMur says:

    And David, your ‘degree’ in patience far exceeded mine…

    I’m beginning to think you have a PhD in it.

    I shall drop my quarrel with the fundamentalist approach used by Bernardo, and try to return to allowing all people their religion, to include Bernardo. I simply tire of citations versus dialog.

    Peace to you, as well.

    And… please keep cartooning… if it were not for you, I would not have had numerous interesting dialogs these past years.

    Thank you.

  16. Actually I enjoyed and appreciated the come back. And seeing that side of you 🙂

  17. A. D'Agio says:

    Interestingly here’s a similar ‘short story’ I had tweeted back in 2011.

    There, high above the rocks, clinging to a helium balloon; a priest, an imam & rabbi. Each hoping the other never uses their pin of truth.

  18. Gary says:

    What do you know? I have under graduate and graduate degrees as well. Though I have found that the more absolutist one’s thinking is, the more wasted their education.