To believe is to live as if something were true | Faith


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There is pain for Eden in every human heart. I think a lot of our best human efforts and energies go into this recovery of what has been lost. We aspire to build a paradise on earth. Of course, a conflict arises when we actually talk about how to get there. Although we tend to want the same destination in principle, we also tend to have many opposing ideas of how to get there.

Now ideas are powerful things. When Satan came to Eve in the garden, he didn’t use an AR-15. He used an idea. Ideas don’t just float around in the nebula, having no impact on reality. On the contrary, they are a driving force that moves human beings every moment of every day.

One of our main problems as individuals and societies is that we may or may not be particularly aware of the ideas we believe in. To believe is to live as if something were true. For example, I believe in gravity. And I demonstrate that belief, not by affirming it verbally or intellectually, but by being careful around cliffs.

So we are all believers in a number of things and ideas. The fact is, there is no shortage of ideas and philosophies in the world today promising (the faithful) deliverance from utopia – a world of peace, justice, prosperity, righteousness and justice. ‘love. In this collection of ancient texts that we call the Bible, the word given to this vision of utopia is “kingdom”. The real tragedy, which too often plays out on a world stage, is that we are trying to achieve the kingdom without the king. And the number of corpses is, almost always, extremely high.

The Kingdom of God, the Kingdom with the King, is regularly present in our world now. But the aftermath and fallout of Reign of Death still takes its toll. The day is soon coming, as the prophets declare, when this enemy will fall, however. The last enemy to defeat is death, after all.

But perhaps the greatest wonder (to me) is that the number of people delivering this vision of Utopia, the Kingdom with the King, is incredibly small. It is not millions that must be sacrificed to achieve this vision of the Kingdom. There is only One, the King himself, who voluntarily chooses to lay down his life for the good of the world. In my opinion, this version of the Kingdom is well worth believing in. Our task, as always, is to live as if it were true.

Stephen Hopkins is pastor at Kendricks Creek United Methodist Church in Kingsport.

Stephen Hopkins is pastor at Kendricks Creek United Methodist Church in Kingsport.


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