(PHOTO from Lynne’s Lens’)

I have been having some incredible conversation with a new friend, who happens to be an atheist. And yes, I am totally cool with him being an atheist. Even if he remains an atheist! I believe this has been one of those circumstances that is going to take me further in my faith. Maybe even further than I am comfortable going.

My faith has been shook. You understand what shook means, right? It hasn’t faltered but it has been shook. I have realized that we Christians (well maybe just me) have taken our faith for granted. I believe a lot of people find comfort in the fact that other people believe, what they supposedly believe, and accept it on account of that. I don’t want to say that we should question the “WHAT” we believe (Probably should but that scares the crap out of me.) but I definitely think we should question the “WHY” we believe. In turn, the “why” should lead us back to the “what” (I hope to God).

I understand why this type of thinking is avoided in most circles. I fear that someone may come across all these questions and thoughts (they’re chaotic at best.) and possibly begin to believe the opposite of what I believe. The more these THINGS spin in my head, the more I believe they are necessary. And no I am not sure what “they” are. Meaning the right questions. I can hardly grasp it. (It’s like when Maximus was talking with Julius Ceaser in the movie Gladiator. And Julius described the dream of Rome as a “whisper”. He said if it was anything more than a whisper, the whole idea would vanish.) So I am questioning the “why’s” in a whisper.

I asked my new friend if there were any books that have influenced his stand on atheism. He told me about a book written by Mark Twain, Letters to the Earth. I just read it online. Um, if you claim to follow (follow being a verb) Christ, I say check it out. If you are a “comfortable in your seat at church” type of Christian, don’t even bother. Just keep that seat warm but don’t forget to tithe.

Like I was told, “the book is funny as hell.” (There is irony, satire, and sarcasm in that statement. Especially in light of this conversation. Do you see it?)

I especially like this:

“All sane white people hate noise; yet they have tranquilly accepted this kind of heaven — without thinking, without reflection, without examination — and they actually want to go to it!” (For some reason I thought of all of the white men that I have heard describe rap as noise.)

Please note I am not agreeing with this book. But I believe it will, or at least should, influence those who strive to point people to Christ. What I fear most is that people have quit “growing” their faith. Those people that are good to go (to heaven so they think). And when they even THINK about someone who believes differently, they immediately try to prove them wrong. Well, actually, as I realized from my friend, just cast them to the side. And these people who do the casting used to wear those cute little bracelets with the white letters. Which has gone out of style, the bracelets or the message of the bracelets?

I want you to believe. Believe in God. Believe so emphatically that though your faith may shake, it will never falter. I have a fascination with words (as you can tell I don’t have a fascination with punctuation), as in a words root meaning. I piously like to think this fascination is because of my faith in God and that God is the word and the word is God. But its not the case. I just want to know “why”, I always have. I know, it sounds crazy to me too. “Why would someone want to know why a word means what it means?”. But being the dork that I am, I looked up the word falter. Falter is a 14th century verb with a middle English root.

Falter, F-A-L-T-E-R, Falter. 1. a. To walk unsteadily b. to give way c. to move waveringly or hesitatingly 2. to speak brokenly or weakly 3. a. to hesitate in purpose or action b. to lose drive or effectiveness

Should I say any more? Or can I leave by asking you to describe your faith? Screw that! We don’t have the right to describe our faith. Why don’t we ask the atheist to describe our faith (I bet a word that rhymes with pass slips in)? Dare I say, why don’t we ask God to describe our faith? (If you truly believe that one day you will stand before the creator…this would be the beginning of every question that I would ask a “Christian” if I were a atheist.)  Does the word falter fall into your description? Typically in this situation I would ask questions referring to the church as a whole and avoid using the word you. As a believer myself, I know how sensitive we get when someone starts pointing fingers. But screw feelings at this moment. I am talking to you. I am talking to me (this gets weirder and weirder). How’s your faith? I don’t know about you but this definition just kicked me in the junk.