10 September 2004

Passion without certainty

I think this will be a short post.

I've been thinking a lot about something that's perplexed me since I was a kid. In fact, it's probably the thing, more than anything else, that kept me away from the church--and from any sort of organized religion--for so many years. It's really a question:

Why does religious certainty seem almost a prerequisite for religious passion?

In other words, why do the vast bulk of people who are passionate about their faith--people I've known, and people I've read about--seem to be folks for whom the mysteries of faith are not mysteries, but matters of intellectual certainty?

I'm never going to be one of those people. At times I've thought I was, but it didn't last. And I really don't want to be someone for whom faith holds no mystery. I'm comfortable with ambiguity. I guess that makes me postmodern. I just wish I felt like I had more company.

(In all fairness, I have plenty of company in my own church, which is one of the many reasons I love it so.)

I have a prayer: that all folks like me, for whom faith means relational trust but not intellectual certainty, won't let that stop them from passionate worship, passionate service, passionate discipleship, and passionate evangelism.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.