Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. – 1 John 4:1
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So much of the Scriptures tells of real people attempting to live in faith over time spanning from nomadic, almost hunter-gatherer awareness, into settled agricultural communities, and on into urban culture. Once, speaking of faith, George Fox proclaimed, “I know this experimentally,” meaning by direct experience. But I’m coming to like a second understanding as well: I know this by trial and error.
With the Bible, despite all of the inevitable editing and revision of Scripture over the centuries, distinct voices of authors touch the deepest chords of human experience, good and bad. Unlike the array of Hindu scriptures, in which all the texts are on equal footing, the Bible presents a historical evolution in awareness, clarity, and relationship. The God who faces Moses, for instance, has many of the elements of the Trickster found in many primitive mythologies (Coyote of many Native Americans, for one); the Trickster possesses supernatural powers that can be extraordinarily helpful, when you need them, but is also easily crossed, with an anger that can be devastating. But Moses was a man trying to lead a band of followers through an extended journey to a promised land. By the time we come to Jesus, though, the relationship becomes one with a beneficent heavenly Father. Our understanding has changed and deepened.
I like a faith that allows room for questions and questioning, even more than answers. Here we are invited to act with our eyes open and opened, rather than any blind faith.
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And thus I chose to express it, because thus I have found it, viz. A Principle of Divine Light and Life in Christ Jesus, placed in the Conscience, which discovers both Sin and Duty to us; and not only so, but it reproves the one, and enables to perform the other: And this I know, that a Measure of the same is placed in the Consciences of all Mankind, by which they might see the right Way, were but their Minds turned thereunto. (Elizabeth Bathurst, 1655?-1685)