8/22/2007

Joys and Trials Meme

Jen tagged me for this thought provoking meme. I'm trying not to copy Jen's answers, but hers were very good, so it's tempting.

Rules

1. You have to use your own belief system for the meme. No fair using someone else’s to make a joke or satire. Being humorous about your own religion is encouraged!
2. You have to have at least one joy and one trial. More are encouraged. And no, they don’t have to be equal in length, but please be honest.
3. You have to tag at least one other person. More are appreciated!
4. Please post these rules!

Joys of being a born-again evangelical Christian:
1. In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:37-39) [Really, I would say the whole of Romans, or if you want to shrink it some, the whole of Romans 8, is filled with verses I would choose to show the joys of being in Christ.]

2. For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)

3. I waited patientlly for the Lord; He turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. (Psalm 40:1-2)

4. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you....I no longer call you servants, because servants do not know their master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. (John 15:9, 15-16)

Trials of being a born-again evangelical Christian:

1. "If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember what I told you: 'Servants are not greater than their master.' If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. Those who hate me hate my Father as well. If I had not done among them the works no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. As it is, they have seen, and yet they have hated both me and my Father." (John 15:18-24)

2. All the labels and misunderstanding associated with declaring that you are a Christian (let alone born again or evangelical, or heaven help you, fundamentalist. Why is it so wrong to believe in the fundamentals? (e.g. Christ died for us and only through Him do we receive forgiveness of sin and a restored relationship with the Father.) I know that's not the meaning people apply to "fundamentalist" - but that ties right back into my initial thought.)

3. The current state of the church. I'm heartbroken that there is no insistence on adhering to Truth (meaning Biblical Truth) in the face of the "Whatever works for you, who am I to tell you it's wrong" culture. But instead, the church (in general and as a whole - I do understand that there are some churches who run counter to this -- in fact, I wish I could find one close enough to attend!) embraces the notion that all we need is love and that as long as we love we can gloss over the hard truths of the Bible.

4. Then he said to them all: "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me." (Luke 9:23) [Particularly the daily part...everything in me yearns for it to be a one time transformation, where temptation to sin no longer exists and I can be like Him, without the cycle of: fall, repent, get back up, try again that makes up so much of life.]

5. The fact that we don't seem to be able to embrace the beauty and joy of God's merciful grace at the same time as an understanding of His sovereignty and justice. We (and I include myself here, though I try to fight it) want to box God into something our minds can comprehend and in so doing, we miss out on the joy that comes from contemplating the incomprehensible nature of God.

Finally, I tag Gwynne (since she was looking for inspiration and this seems right up her alley) and Lynellen and GarthTrekker. Anyone else is free to play along - leave me a comment with a link if you do!

7 comments:

Lynellen said...

In the spirit of Tim's "But I'm not a Farmer", I say to your 8/22/07 post label: "But it's not Thursday."

Jen said...

I think your answers are better than mine, actually. Thanks for playing. =)

GarthTrekker said...

Did you tag me yet? I didn't get an email! So, you're expecting me to read your blog every day in search of my name? Well, that's a good strategy since I'm always wondering what people are saying about me. Call me insecure. GarthTrekker (AKA something else that's close to your sister's name)

beth said...

I knew I forgot to tell someone. :) Actually, I absolutely expect you to read my blog every day, because it's always so scintillating. ;) So, um, tag?

beth said...

Lynellen, I hereby declare that anytime I think theologically on the blog, it's Thursday. At least for the duration of the post. Kind of like how it's always Friday at TGI Fridays.

Gwynne said...

Between your answers, and Jen's, I think I'm going to have to change my approach when I finally get around to playing...you girls have said it all...I'll have to take the low road and be sarcastic or something. ;-) Thanks for the tag!

My Computer Man said...

Concerning your comment about being a fundamentalist, the world's definition is wrong. Our God is a fundamentalist. I use the term like you, the correct way.