Certainly Uncertain

Greetings friends!

Sorry I haven't posted in so long. I use Blogo as an editor for all the blogs I write for, and it was being cranky this week. But, one cranky spell in 3 years is a pretty decent track record, so if you're into blogging, and need an editor, I highly recommend Blogo!

I've been thinking a lot this week about certainty. Particularly when it comes to the predicted end of the world that never actually happened. I was reading a bit on www.familyradio.com just to get to know these folks a bit, and what struck me was the certainty with which they predicted the end of the world. It was GOING to happen. No one would be able to talk them out of it. Of course, we all saw how that went.

I think about the religious leaders of Jesus' day. The Pharisees and the experts of the law. After hundreds and thousands of years of studying the law of Moses, these folks were convinced that they knew what the heart of God was all about. They knew with certainty what was good, and what was wrong. And these were the people who Jesus placed directly in his cross hairs, and had the harshest words for.

There's a lot of debate around heaven and hell right now, who's a heretic and who's not, and who's a universalist and who's not. I don't really want to get into the finer points of the argument, but I do want to ask, how do you know with certainty your point of view? How can you be certain?

I mean, one obvious answer would be that the Scriptures are a source of certainty. But I don't know if it's that simple. First of all, the religious leaders in the days of Jesus were certain based on the scriptures, as was Mr. Camping. And also, the scriptures are a source of truth, not certainty, and those (in my humble opinion) are two different things.

Maybe another answer would be the community you belong to, if everybody else feels the same way about something then certainty can't be far behind, right? Yeah, but this also has two fatal flaws to it: 1) Group think, where no one challenges anything because they're afraid to be outside the group, and 2) people who don't look/act/dress/think/behave like the group are not welcomed in, so the group eventually dies out.

Maybe the truth is that faith is never CERTAIN. There were things that I was certain of in high school that I've come to discover are extremely wrong. Is it wrong to have a faith that's open to being wrong? Is it wrong to have a faith that's flexible and breathable and moving, open to whatever might enter the conversation next? Is that really a wishy-washy faith, or is that the kind of faith that affirms that Truth is a Person, and people are fluid and moving things?

I, of course, welcome your thoughts!