Why you don't need to believe what I believe...
A Millennial Epistemology
At this point in my life my goal is never to convince others to believe what I believe about the variety of ideas and issues we all face in this life, particularly when/if they stand firmly against what I believe. In fact, I welcome the opportunity to interact with the beliefs of others, particularly those that stand firmly against what I believe...Why?
First, because I realize that a large part of what/why we believe is because of our respective worldviews, which are made up of biases & assumptions about life that are rooted in, and shaped by when, where and to whom we were born...(how could they not be?). I believe that God works with and through our respective worldviews to reveal himself to us and to show us who, why and what we are to be in the world.
Our worldview functions like a filter through which we see and interpret our life experiences. And not unlike the way various filters work on Hubble Telescope, each allowing us to see things in space other filters do not; our worldviews often allow us to see the issues we all face in unique and important ways that others do not. At its best our unique view, when contributed, helps everyone to understand issues more fully... but at its worst it contributes to the entrenched polarization that hurts everyone. Thus God's work with and through our worldviews is not meant to be, nor can it be done in isolation, it has to be done in relationship.
In his book The Divine Dance, Richard Rohr masterfully unpacks the Doctrine of the Trinity with the metaphor of a Dance. He says that the God is not just dancing, He IS the Dance. Similarly, I believe this perplexing doctrine intends to explains that God is not just in relationship with the Son and the Holy Spirit, He IS Relationship. We are are all created BY Relationship, IN Relationship and FOR relationship (Gen 1:26-27); and that the ancient and current quest for meaning, purpose and value are only found IN Relationship (John 1:1-5)
Second, while I think I believe all of the core historical orthodox theological tenants that most Christians believe, however believing them, much less understanding them, were not requites for me to surrender my life to God..., I did that based on my experience of His love for me.
In nearly 34 years as a surrendered follower of Christ, I have never met anyone who has been reasoned or debated into belief in God with any orthodox theological tenant...It was their encounter or experience with God's love for them no matter who they were or what they believed at the time...and that most typically happened while in a relationship with a person or persons who had also had such an encounter/experience.
Lastly, it is my belief that salvation works on a continuum, that serves as the foundation of my posture towards all people. This is why I don't feel the need to avoid, judge or condemn folks. I believe that Millennials, (like most people throughout history), are living life day to day honestly grappling with what to believe, who to believe and even why believe anything; and they are doing so in the wake of an increasing misrepresentation of a God love, Jesus and Faith by an American version of Christianity.
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