Politics runs a distant second to the first most controversial subject in our known culture today, and that is religion. They are often clumped together as two subjects that are taboo or not to be discussed in places of business, family gatherings or any other place where the general peace is longed after and most desperately wanted to be kept. They usually cause nothing but division, but politics still has a long way to go to tally the very visceral feelings and bowels uproared as does the subject of religion.
Most would think, and believe, that by religion I’m referring to God, but they would be sorely mistaken, and that’s just the problem. We’ve too often confused the two, not knowing where one ends and the other begins or that they are two totally separate entities all together. I believe that this leaves Him shaking His head in amazement as to how so many could misunderstand Him by so much. After all, didn’t He just send His Son to walk among us to show us how, and we still don’t get it? We’ve had 2,000 years of reflection and hindsight, yet we still miss the mark by a long shot.
The god that most of us know or claim to know is one of doctrine, denomination and discipline. He is limited by his creation in ways that amount to not much more than a lucky charm or good karma. He is usually boxed in by his “believers” every week for six days and “allowed” out for only one hour on the seventh. This allowance is only permitted so long as He doesn’t cause too much trouble, ruffle too many feathers or make us too late for our dinners. He is a god of good feelings, bringing good tidings of great joy to all who would bless him with their presence after a hard week. He is the one who works for those who know how to wear or say the right things in the right order and at the right time. He is the ultimate safety net for the ultimate in safe living.
Of course, I’m not foolish enough to think that anyone would ever admit to living this way, and who would? But sadly, I think that this is reality. Who wouldn’t want a god that is safe and predictable? Who wouldn’t want an all-caring being there for us when we fall down, or better yet when the world falls down around us?
There is so much that we as a people have learned in the past 50 years alone. We have made advances in just the past couple of decades that are truly unbelievable, yet there is still so much that we don’t know and most definitely never will. For every mystery solved, we learn of 10 more that we never even thought about before or even knew existed.
So what’s the answer? I propose that we learn a little about this unknown God of the unknown. The God that I know is not found in attending the right church, wearing the right clothes, knowing the right answers or saying the right clichés at the most appropriate times. He is found at the end of knowledge. The relationship with Him begins at the end of religion. He is not only God of the known, which is such a minute part of His actual being, He is God of the unknown. He’s so much larger than we often try to allow Him—liming Him to formulas or prayers said ritually and habitually. He’s definitely not safe either, nor should we be. The God of the unknown is wild, dangerous and certainly very risky. He’s not found on the other side, but in the steps of faith to get there. He’s everything that we would never think that He is and so much more.
The father of a demon-possessed boy in Mark 9 asked for Him to heal his son as the boy had been constantly trying to harm himself since childhood. Christ answers the father that if he could just believe, all things are possible. The father replies that he believes, but that he needs help with his unbelief. I would say the same things as this passionate father. God is more God in my unbelief than in my belief. God is more God in my unknowing than in my knowing. There’s more space there, more room to move, more dimension for good work to be accomplished with less restraint.
Oh that I could know this unknown God of the unknown and how He longs to know me. I feel like a walk. Anybody want to tag along? Just remember, He’s not found at the destination, but in the steps of faith to get there.