bonar crump

bonar crump
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Saturday, March 12, 2011

When “Just Believe” Doesn’t Cut It Anymore

Posted by Julia Speck
Recovering Evangelical 

I knew what it looked like to “experience” God when I was growing up in the church, going to summer camp and youth group and on mission trips. I was supposed to read my Bible and pray, and do my devotions and attend worship services and witness to my heathen friends and read books by inspirational authors that taught me how to experience my spirituality in greater ways. Bonus that I had the “Four Spiritual Laws” memorized, went on spiritual retreats and was a part of four zillion Christian organizations. I was the quintessential spiritual girl in my high school. It even got so bad that some kids nicknamed me “Julia Christ Superstar” – but I considered that a compliment. Being self-righteous was my duty and I felt in my heart that I was supposed to judge people in the name of the Lord.
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I have traveled the world and seen some pretty horrific things. And now I have to wrestle with a God that can be loving and trustworthy but also allow little girls to be trafficked and sold for sex in South Asia. A God that knows about my own back yard when I’m walking the streets of LA late at night having conversations with women who are prostituted that have either become numb to any hope that exists or lost it completely. What answers do I have to offer them? What evidence of a promising and saving relationship with God can I articulate or show them?
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It has been a long time since God looked as simple as he did in my “just believe” days. I know I can’t just believe – but I don’t know how to have a relationship when we have so many questions. I don’t know what it means to listen and to speak when God is so intangible. But I don’t think I’ll ever figure it out until the Christian community learns to dialogue rather than fight with one another. If we continue to bash one another’s ideas and hold so tightly to how we think God looks – I think God will remain very inaccessible and far away.

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