Eric is a friend & is currently finishing up his pastoral internship in Arizona. I have to admit, Eric & I wouldn’t have gotten to know each other if it wasn’t for my fiancee and his wife being good friends, but even though we’d both agree we’re on different parts of the spectrum in terms of how we see the world, I’ve enjoyed getting to know Eric and calling him a friend.
You can also check out Eric’s blog here. His witness and words are good ones. Enjoy!
“Why Faith Matters”
Last week, some scientists claimed to have found the Higgs-Boson particle – “The God Particle” as some have named it. It explains how mass comes to be in existence, making some scientists claim that this is how the world was created. Right away, the claim was that this makes believing in God obsolete. On Facebook and Twitter people were bashing on religion left and right saying this discovery proves that God didn’t create the Universe, then they make the leap to “God must not exist.” Now, I’m not here to debate the finer points of physics with you because, frankly, physics is hard. But I think this does say a lot about how we relate to our faith.
For a lot of people, faith matters because they believe we were created by God and, because we were created by God, that means all the other stuff in the Bible must be true. In essence, many Christians think that to disprove our creation disproves our faith. But if I’m honest with you, that’s not the reason I have faith at all.
My faith matters to me because it connects me to something greater than myself – my community. Going to church and being part of a worship community continually reminds me of two things. The first is that it’s not about me. The second is that it’s about my neighbor. My natural inclination, as a human being, is to be selfish, greedy, and to be on top. But, for me, faith is about emptying myself of those needs so that the people around me can be served.
As a pastor, this can be hard because I spend a lot of my time giving – whether it’s time, attention, or energy. A lot of times I come home pretty depleted. But I have friends, a community, and a God that gives me energy to do it all over again the next day. Faith gives me the courage to look outside of myself and see how I can help my neighbor. I think that if everyone in the world started their day by thinking about how they could best help their neighbor today, and then actually did it, we’d be in pretty good shape.
There’s a rabbi named David Wolpe who wrote a book called Why Faith Matters. In it, he writes, “Faith does not ask ‘Which medicine will cure this disease?’ but ‘How can I use the experience of illness to help others?’” That’s ultimately what it’s about for me. That’s why my faith matters. It’s not about proving or disproving science. But faith calls me out of myself to use my experience as a broken human being to ease the suffering and pain of those around me.