In the seed of faith there is new life
When one considers all the competing religious and philosophical beliefs and belief systems, and all the different conglomerations of beliefs that individuals can have, one has to wonder…what difference does it make what we believe and why should we believe anything at all?
Now, of course, we have to believe some things. We (most of us anyway) believe we exist; we believe we are the child of the persons we call Mom and Dad; we believe when we climb into our vehicles and turn the ignition they will roar to life and take us safely to our destination. But beyond the mundane, ho-hum, everyday realities that take relatively little faith, what about the existential questions of origin, meaning, and destiny? Does it really matter if we even think about them, much less believe we have answers?
As I’ve pondered the truth value of the claims of the Catholic Church these last few weeks, and read defenses made for them, I’ve been struck by the realization that you and I may share a lot of the same beliefs, but inevitably some will be different. And that with the vast array of propositions to believe or disbelieve, the chances of you ever meeting someone whose set of beliefs exactly matches yours is quite slim. And further then, that one is compelled to ask, does anyone have a complete set of only true beliefs? And which ones are must-haves if one hopes to attain the goal of one’s existence – eternal life with God?
Catholics think non-Catholic Christian belief sets are deficient. Non-Catholic Christians think Catholicism’s claim to have the true complete set is arrogant, not to mention false. What does God think?
I wonder if all of us who claim Christ are like quarrelsome siblings to our Father. We argue and assert dominance, tattle on each other and curry favored status. Coming from a family of twelve, I know something about this. And what I know, and what matters most, is that whether we were good or bad, right or wrong, we belonged and we were loved. What counted was that we were in the family. And we were in the family not by virtue of what we believed but by birth.
1Peter 1:3-5 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
So it’s not so much what we believe but Who we belong to.
Romans 8:9 You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.
John 3:5-8 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”