180 degrees: room to believe

LOW GLORY: The other day I was listening to a debate on NPR by a group called Intellengence Squared. This group brings "Oxford-style style debating to America" according to NPR's website. A motion is presented; three panelists argue for it and three argue against it.

As I listened to the debate go back and forth. I had a curious dawning. I realized, "here are experts, much smarter than I, combining the full weight of intelligence and passion to answering an important question. Yet each panel ends up concluding things that are completely, 180 degrees, opposite of the other panel.

Until that day I had never before been slapped by this blindingly obvious realization. Even the smartest people in society, after using all their brain power, will yet arrive at widely different, 180 degree different, conclusions about significant issues. Abortion. War. Religion. Art. Child-rearing. And More.

MEDIUM GLORY: God used this simple observation to help me see the vast room that exists for believing. He showed me in this NPR program, that I can, quite legitimately, believe anything I want. If experts, after all they can do, finally cast their lots even 180 degrees differently than one another, then 'happy day, all is well' for me as I seek greater latitude and liberty to believe what I will.

As I sat there listening to Intelligence Squared, The Infinite Intelligence, that is God, interrupted me with something even more vital than the NPR radio broadcast. For in that moment He answered a prayer that has been in my heart, which is something like "Oh Father, I am trying to believe things about myself, others and my everyday life that are so grand they border on being grandiose, so expansive they are nearly a stretch, so glorious they are almost unbelievable to me. As I do so I am often weighed down by my understanding that many people (perhaps even especially the intelligentsia in my society) would scoff at the things I am believing (such as that I am a literal prince and warrior, a Virgin Master, one who has actually slowed down a hurricane and ended drought). So I ask you, my God, to help me be OK with this; their doubt. Please help me not only to be OK with it, but to find empathy for those who want (or are bound) to believe less glorious things about themselves and others. Let me show them a new way."

MORE GLORY. The answer to my prayer was simple. God said, look. And I did look. And I beheld the great thinkers of our day pretending to know the truth of a matter. Yet the Lord gave me eyes that day to see that at the core these intellectual giants are basically doing the same things I am doing in my more-glory stories: that is choosing something cool they want to believe and then trying to get their selves (and in the case of the NPR program, getting others) to believe it.

What God showed me that day is the vast room there is for me to legitimately believe what I want to believe, even things that stand 180 degrees different than what the most intelligent people in my society are choosing to believe.

What is more The God Of All Creation revealed to me that I am not smart enough, nor do I have the time (given my glorious mission) to reason my way, in the manner of these Intellengence Squared-intellectuals, to all the glory that I am called to uncover in these latter days. I will have to receive and buttress my beliefs by revelation.

Anyone who knows me well realizes I enjoy debate and long arguments. But God has revealed to me that my arguments will hereafter be short and simple.

I praise my Eternal Father that he provided alternative programing that day to demonstrate that all people, even the smartest amongst us, get to choose (and do choose) what we want to believe.