Over a buffalo chicken wrap and some soggy fries, a co-worker asked, “do you think we’ve reached the place in American culture where Christianity is seen as a fringe system of belief?” I considered his question, and a rattled off nine reasons why, if we’re honest, Christianity should be considered a fringe system of belief to those in the world at large. This Advent season, I’m exploring these beliefs and offering a somewhat surprising conclusion. I hope you’ll follow allow.
MY COMPLETELY IRRATIONAL, UNSCIENTIFIC, ORTHODOX, FRINGE SYSTEM OF BELIEF
POINT 1: We believe in an invisible, eternal, supreme power who created the world with a few words.
In the beginning–or at least in the beginning of man’s history–God stepped into nothing. In that vacuous, soundless expanse, he spoke, and his speaking was the nuclear fusion that formed the sun and all the stars in the universe. He spoke and watched as land rumbled up from deep, as it pushed past the surface of the water and formed basins for oceans. His words were the seedbed for the mighty oaks in Arkansas, the upside-down baobab groves in Mozambique, and the Tree of Life in Bahrain. He spoke, and the birds flew, first the Northern Cardinal with it’s beautiful song–chip chip chippaw–then the blushing flamingo with its obnoxious honk. Insects flew, too–the rugged moth and royal monarch butterfly alike.
He spoke, and he spoke, and he spoke, and from all that speaking came this gift we call earth. He decorated this first sacrament with ornaments–the dangling Florida oranges, the delicate Chinese orchid, the unsung pine cone. Wishing to share all of this with someone, he spoke the word “friend,” and here we stand.
Yes, as the timeless creed says, “we believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth.” This is the genesis of our faith, the bedrock of our confession. Does it sound like the stuff of a science fiction movie? Does it sound like an absurdist, fringe belief? These are rhetorical questions. I know the answer.
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