Use Jesus to test beliefs

I was impressed with John Glover’s honest and sincere questions about the nature of God in his letter “God spurs many questions” (Jan. 18).

As he stated, most of our beliefs are based upon how we were raised – which religious background or church affiliation we were parts of during our childhoods. Relatively few of us have taken the opportunity to examine our beliefs about God in the light of life’s experiences and our own understandings. To do so, as Thomas More pointed out, requires considerable courage because we may have to discard some of our preconceptions and reconstruct our own understandings of God and the Bible. Psalmists had similar struggles. Jesus’ No. 1 problem was dealing with the “church folks” who had all the answers.

I don’t believe God expects us as his children to believe the unbelievable. We would not expect that of each other or impose that practice upon our own children. The late Rev. Dr. John Claypool, beloved pastor and author, said it well: Faith is not blind. It must be based upon some reasonable evidence. Jesus never condemned Thomas for requiring proof of His resurrection.

Right or wrong, I have developed a simple test that I use to evaluate my beliefs about God. This criterion is Jesus Christ. If the statements and teachings about God from whatever source – including the Bible – are in keeping with the life and teachings of Jesus, I can accept them. Otherwise, I will leave them for others to debate. Certainly I know enough about God’s commands to keep me busy for a lifetime.

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