Monday, June 13, 2016

Faith blocks

Getting to church on Sunday we found Jenga blocks in the center of each table. Not unusual since there is often something interactive we are asked to do. But, Jenga blocks. I was stumped. Jenga is the game where you build a tower with small, longish blocks and then remove them one by one until the tower collapses. Good party game but not one I would have expected at church. One of our first speakers, a young man who was new to the church, shared his faith story. Or his lack of faith story. Growing up pretty conservative in a large Southern evangelical church before attending a small, Christian college, he realized after school that his Jenga tower of faith was collapsing. One by one his belief blocks were being removed. He said your faith can survive the loss of one or two or a few blocks - but if it continues your faith will fall in a scattered mess of blocks. It is not an easy thing to rebuild your tower. But, necessary and it can be done. He is doing it.

Blogger, writer, church planter, Kathy Escobar, says she doesn't like the term "losing one's faith".  She doesn't believe faith is ever lost. What seems like a lost faith is better understood as shedding some of our beliefs. As we grow up in a church our Jenga tower of beliefs is being built for us. Then when we are responsible for our own tower we look at it and think it has to go. It no longer works. School, culture, friends, life intrudes and removes blocks. Then, after many weeks of sleeping in or doing brunch on Sundays and little time for prayer, we discover our faith is gone. But, it is really only the trappings of faith. You may no longer have a "system of  beliefs" but you still have a core, a smaller tower of basic beliefs. Kathy Escobar says you don't have to have many  beliefs to have faith. God is love. Jesus heals. In Christ we have hope. We are all created in the image of God. Those are good places to start. A lot of our beliefs are just stuff and really don't matter.  Don't confuse God with politics or sociology or science. Sunday in Church our pastor asked us: what is the core of your faith and we built Jenga towers.

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