Where is the edge

The rim of the unknown

Are we living on the edge? How far do we want to go in our life?

Many of us are afraid to come into the unknown. Because of that they never come further. Because of the fear for what they do not know they shall never know.

Cover of "Unknown World (B&W)"

Cover of Unknown World (B&W)

The unknown, the do not see, may just be that place filled with wonder, curiosity, joy, gratitude, compassion and integrity. An extraordinary place that lives beyond our fears, beyond our wants and desires, a place filled with peace, a place silent but for the vibration of love. the Creator God provided it for us but we do have to be willing to go and see it, feel it and experience it.

To live in certainty

Lots of people prefer to live in the certainty and want to keep on to the traditions which they have kept from generation unto the next generation. They are afraid for that unknown world and do not understand their fear may just be the mask shielding us from fully experiencing life. We encounter many people who dare to ask us some things, but have to notice that mostly they consider the “what if”, “why so” and when we offer them different views they come up “what would my family say”, “what would others think”. And then they answer us “maybe” and “someday,” before going back into their old routine of the certainties they think they have with their ‘old thinking‘.

It shows how difficult it is for many people to encounter different ideas than they are used to and how more difficult it is to change the ideas which were brought into their minds by the years of denominational habituate. the things people are accustomed to is not easy to liberate from.

To follow people or to choose a path

Do you ever think about it that when you just follow the path everybody is following, you might perhaps having a smoke screen in your life? Did you ever thought that by continuing the way you were used to from childhood, enjoying the sphere in the community, you could perhaps been lying to yourself? How many people are not trying to have an unauthentic life filled with trying to look good and with the aim to please others?

When we look at the people around us, we can not ignore that we see a lots of people having a life filled with waiting. Waiting for the weekend, for a better life, for time to pass. A life longing for a made up past, or a mystical future that does not exist. A life devoid of passion and inspiration. A life absent from the present. A life hidden from the miracle of right now.

Using own personality

Though the Creator God, who created each person in His own image, has given each member of humankind the possibility to use their brains. To let the streams of knowledge come into the brains. The Supreme Being prepared man so that he can explore the world and be a unit in the universe.

Each individual has to go his or her own way and has to find out himself or herself what the world can offer to him or her. Each individual has to make it for himself or herself. They may want to go the easy or the difficult way. they might go beyond any thought of what is possible, fully experiencing and embracing all of life without fear. It is here on the edge that life transforms, that we see things we couldn’t see before. It is here that the world is no longer flat, or the sun orbits around the earth, or that we are the only sentient beings in this universe. It is here on the edge that we do not know the truth as the truth is only a context.

Squeezed between beliefs and the sceptic world

Also in our congregation we can find people who have doubts about our beliefs, like in so many denominations where people have to grow up and consider or question what they do want to believe. We all should question what we do believe and what we should believe. Each believer should have a moment where he or she goes ‘Living on the edge of certainty’.  Then they should come to  ‘Live on the edge of credibility’, addressing the challenge of defending their beliefs and preaching to other religious people and atheists. For sure we who believe in One God may be ‘Living on the edge of society‘, addressing the challenge of belonging to a Christian community with beliefs and values typically rejected by modern society. this should not frighten us and should not have us to let us run away or let us to hide for others.

We as Christians should value scepticism and should have no fear to meet people who do not believe in the One God Creator of heaven and earth. We should not mind facing ‘New Atheism’ and its critics and understand that atheism is not a guarantee of rational thinking. When we see how many people in this world are ‘Living on the edge of doubt’ we may consider the challenges to belief in the Bible.

Christadelphian writer Jonathan Burke

A book about living on the edge

The archaeology columnist for a theological journal, Jonathan Burke, a Bachelor of Arts with a Classics major (including a working knowledge of Greek and Latin), provides the background for his interest and knowledge in history related to Christianity, and a Masters of Information Management and Systems has trained him in research methodology and information verification. He had three theological books published in Australia. Two of his books are available on Lulu. As an expatriate Australian, brother Jonathan has been living in Taiwan since 2004. He is a regular volunteer worker with Taoshan Elementary School (桃山國小), Garden of Hope Foundation (勵馨基金會), Harmony Home (關愛之家), Zhong Yi Foundation (忠義基金會), Brightside (臺灣嚮光協會), Taiwan Sunshine, and Rangi (人跡協會). His latest publication brings an overview of “Living on the edge”.

In this new publication Jonathan Burke talks about upholding and defending the Christadelphian beliefs and values. Many may wonder if those beliefs are relevant to the modern world.  This book aims to provide that evidence which non-religious people hopefully will find convincing.

The book does address issues such as the relationship of science and Scripture, the age of the universe and the earth, and whether the flood was local or global. However, the author aims to minimize controversy. For example, since evolution is a highly divisive issue the book does not address it at all.

I have not read the book, but look forward to read some parts of it in the coming days. (Look at the coming publications on Stepping toes: The mythical conflict of science & Scripture (1+2); Were Gnostics the original Christians?; Is faith rational?; Bill Maher proves atheism does not guarantee rational thinking; and Ian Plimer proves atheism does not guarantee rational thinking)

Today I wanted to open this matter of debate about “Living on the edge” because it looks like many people today do not dare any more to stick out their neck and to try out new things. Lots of people want to make sure that they can keep their job, and are afraid to question what happens at work and how it happens.

Taking a poor view

Today several Christians do think we are in the midst of a ‘war’ on Christians all around the world mostly being perpetrated by radical Muslims and mostly ignored. On the other hand others think that most Christians in the West aren’t really aware of how huge this resistance against Christians really is.

But we can resist those opposing us by letting them understand how we think and how we are willing to handle them and how we would like to find peace in the world. We can show them that they do not have to be afraid of real Christians who are like them, created in the image of God. Having elements of that Creator we, like them, cannot travel the path until we become the path itself. We should show them that we also are parts of this world willing to share it with others.

Respectful thoughts

The other believers should come to recognise that we, as believers in a Creator God, have respect for that Creation of the Supreme High Being. As followers of His son who loved his Father and loved the world, we also should love the Father and the world the Father allows us to live in. With the love of God should also come our love for others and also our happiness which we should be willing to share with others, believers but also to non- or unbelievers or better: different believers.

Seeing the beauty in the depths of unknown

The Fear of God

The Fear of God (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We should not mind going onto the edge of the cliff, which people push us to the boarder of it.  On that edge we should like to see the beauty of this world and find happiness which can rise from the depths of our soul. We should be able to find ourself smiling, smiling because we are a witness to the grace and beauty of the universe, to that of some greater power beyond ourself, beyond those superficial concerns that held us so tightly before.

We should not get blackened or fall out because of the fear for the bottomless abyss. The yawning chasm should not bring us willed with horror, but there we should encounter the challenge of the classroom of the universe where we can learn so much. It is here that we can see the beauty in every moment, that our concerns and frustrations in life are self-induced, illusions of suffering that we are clinging to in the midst of such wonder and beauty around us.

Standing on the edge of life, Showing happiness

We should not be cordoning off or stake out our beliefs nor our faith-life. Standing on the edge of life we should see the opening in the world where so many can live together in the best circumstances, in case they are willing to open their mind as well.

Those who love God and who are feeling and believing in the love of Christ Jesus, the Messiah, should call to action and bring, like Jesus asked them to do, the Good News, the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. To bring that Good News we should ourselves become part of those Good Tidings and being identifiable as good news ourselves, spreading happiness.

To show more happiness we should get id off the fears which may still be there tempting us. Sometimes we are not fully aware of those fears, therefore we should first of all identify the fears in our life that are blocking us. We should get to see them, recognise them and go against them, looking at them for their insignificance.

Not postponing the action

Fear of the Unknown

Fear of the Unknown (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We should not tarry. Procrastination may be big fashion now, but a dilatory attitude may bring us nowhere. We should not show tameness for the matters that need action and to wipe out those things that stops us in life. Do not postpone and take action to step beyond these fears. Confront them head on. We should see where we are going, were the world is going, where the world wants to push us, where the borderlines are and how far we can go to the edge. Make sure you have the good ‘Foundation to go the distance’ and ‘Live on the edge’.

God of gods has given us this life. It is short. God also warns us that we should make the best out of it and not wait until it is to late. We do have to live each moment as if it is the last because it might be. For this reason Jesus has warned us more than ones, and given enough examples with his parables. We should learn from them and take them at heart. Living today according to the Will of God and preparing ourselves to be ready when the end of our life shall confront us with death. Remember when that moment shall be there it shall be to late to change course, to walk strong on the edge or to fall from the edge in the depths of nothingness.

+

Continuation of: Preparedness to change

++

Additional reading:

  1. A time for everything
  2. If you want to go far in life
  3. Live …
  4. Control and change
  5. A Living Faith #8 Change
  6. Only I can change my life
  7. Change
  8. Control your destiny or somebody else will
  9. Foundation to go the distance
  10. When discouraged facing opposition
  11. Suffering produces perseverance
  12. Compassion and Discipline
  13. If you have integrity
  14. Faith and trial
  15. Concerning Gospelfaith
  16. Faith is knowing there is an ocean because you have seen a brook.
  17. Everything that is done in the world is done by hope
  18. Hope is faith holding out its hand in the dark
  19. Wondering
  20. The thought of losing rekindles the joy of having
  21. Joy is not in things, it is in us
  22. Joy: Foundation for a Positive Life
  23. Better loaves when the heart is joyous
  24. Happiness an inner state
  25. Happiness is like manna
  26. Be like a tree planted by streams of water
  27. Even in tough times remembering the blessings
  28. Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience
  29. A man who cannot forgive others
  30. The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands
  31. Be kinder than necessary
  32. Growth in character
  33. Be holy
  34. A tongue to speak slowly and well-considered
  35. Life in gratitude opens glory of God
  36. God should be your hope
  37. Give your tears to God
  38. We will all be changed
  39. Church sent into the world
  40. Bringing Good News
  41. Proclaiming shalom, bringing good news of good things, announcing salvation

+++

  • Mkmma… Week #5 (daw2621masterkey.wordpress.com)
    My goal in life is to have one 24 hour period where I didn’t fear something in my life. I’d love to meet and interview the person that doesn’t suffer from this universal disease … I don’t know if I would believe a word they said because I’ve never met anyone that lived without fear to some degree.To live without fear and hesitation would be an absolute paradise. What kind of lifestyle could you live? How much personal power would you possess if you could meet every challenge with total faith that you were up to the task? Now
    +
    Why doesn’t every person live on a higher plane of thinking and life condition? Where there is total belief there is no fear. Where there is light there is no darkness and vice versa. Where there is paralyzing fear there can be no belief. Where does this fear originate? Isn’t belief and fear total opposites? Isn’t poor self-esteem, self-confidence, self-image all cousins to ignorance and lack of belief?
  • 90 Days With Yeshua- Day 66: Reconciling the Banished Heart (soulfullheartblog.com)
    The heart has nothing to hide. It’s only the mind conditioned by fear and scarcity that needs to hide certain motives and plans from another in order to win. The dis-integration is the disintegrity, and the source of most stress.
    +
    It’s only the mind conditioned by fear and scarcity that needs to hide certain motives and plans from another in order to win. The dis-integration is the disintegrity, and the source of most stress.
  • Beliefs,living outside your comfort zone (nerdvolution.wordpress.com)
    Have you ever noticed that you have a certain belief about how everything needs to be done? Like maybe how you should behave on a date, how fast you should go and stuff like that. Or even like how you should respond when something bad happens or someone wrongs you. It’s like that for me; I have certain beliefs wired in my brain that direct how I do everything. The weird part is, the beliefs never seem to match with reality. My actions, based on my beliefs usually produce the opposite reaction to what I expect.
    +
    I now seriously think growth is outside your comfort zone.
  • How to answer top 10 Atheist contentions (short version) (intellectualrevival.wordpress.com)
    blind belief is prevalent in many cultures/religions/worldviews including atheism and not necessarily a feature of religions. In fact, the basis of atheism and secularism was founded upon blind belief. Secularism, for instance was born out of a clash between the Church and state in 18th century Europe, where any person who held a view contrary to religion was deemed heretic and was persecuted. The authority of the state was not to be questioned as it was granted by God. Therefore thinkers called for the scientific method of enquiry as the more rational method and used it to challenge the authority of the Church’s religion which they saw it as blind and based on imitation.
    This gave way to an emotional reaction causing 2 kinds of blind belief
    +
    What is most troubling for the atheists/agnostics/skeptics is that their views are purely naturalistic and empirical. So they imagine this infinite cause to resemble like us and then find it troubling how this cause is infinite. The case is that we cannot from our limited human mind rationalize how he exists in the infinite realm. The limited mind cannot understand the nature of the unlimited Cause. All we can know and reason is that this cause must be infinite, unlimited and independent.
  • The Quarter Life Crisis (courtneyheff.wordpress.com)
    A few years ago, I heard my older friends talk about their experience of a ‘quarter life crisis.’ Of course I understood the premise of it, but the expression seemed melodramatic and self-aggrandizing. I didn’t understand how anyone could face a life crisis at that age. A few weeks before my twentieth birthday, I realized that my friends weren’t being melodramatic, as I faced a substantial quarter life crisis of my own.
    +
    We’re told constantly that we can change our minds and change our careers many times throughout our lives. My only vision of the future when I think of career changes is an image of my seventeen-year-old self crying because I couldn’t even get a job at a grocery store. Most of us require an illusion of certainty in our lives, and don’t necessarily want to face the idea that we have no idea where we will be a year from now, let alone in a decade. If you’re one of those people who can face an abyss and jump right in, I envy and applaud you. Though I very much valuable spontaneity – you never know where you’ll find me on a given day
  • Fear (anemptyroomofmyown.wordpress.com)
    “Fear!”, says the old man / His voice grating the edge / Of the abyss of civilized / Polite, sincere insanity
  • Remembering Albert Camus and Longing for the Old Atheism (ekhava.com)
    as an unbeliever, Camus offers a powerful counter-example to the stridency and animus of the “new atheism” associated with Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, and others. Indeed Camus makes us long for the days of the “old atheism” when religious people weren’t mocked for their so-called irrational beliefs; bullied by the charge that “religion poisons everything”; and told to step aside while secularism sweeps clean the religious debris from public life.
  • What Would You Say to the Religion Professor Who’s Had It With ‘Strident,’ ‘Bullying’ New Atheists? (patheos.com)
    When, post-9/11, atheists no longer felt forced to use only their inside voice, people of faith — and the media — were quick, almost gleeful, to attach the adjective “strident” to the noun “atheist,” as if the two are conjoined twins.
    +
    for close to a millennium, being found out as an atheist all too often meant persecution, imprisonment, torture, forced conversion, and death — thuggery perpetrated by men of the Church and the state alike, who all claimed to do God’s business. I’d say that kind of actual violence goes a damn sight farther than “bullying,” wouldn’t you? Are we supposed to brush that chapter aside, but believe that when academics like Harris and Dawkins retreat to their studies and tap away at their keyboards in scholarly fashion, they’re the real bullies?
  • Answering Top 10 Atheist contentions (intellectualrevival.wordpress.com)
    The article ‘Does the Belief in a God make sense?’ raised some interesting responses, both positive and negative. So I thought it would be of benefit to write on the common atheist arguments against the case of a Creator including those specific to the previous article. These answers are only my attempt at addressing questions which I have come to understand from more learned people.
    +
    science has a scope and should be used in its proper areas (medicine, technology, etc.), however it has limitations to its scope which makes it irrational to use for questions which are beyond the scientific method and it certainly has no place in answering or proving the existence of an unseen omnipotent Creator that is beyond time and space.
    +
    To atheists another ‘blind belief’ is that all religions including Islam enjoin ‘blind faith’ in their beliefs and teachings. There are several verses in various places in the Qur’an asking and urging man to reflect and contemplate his own existence and that in his surroundings.
  • When Your Purpose is Found in a Transcendent Creator (str.typepad.com)
    As an atheist, I was satisfied with the purpose I had created for my life. I found meaning in my work, my family, and my responsibilities as a father and husband. I also loved the idea that I was in charge of my purpose; that I was the one who got to decide what life was all about. It wasn’t until I became a Christian that I realized my ideas about purpose and meaning were far too small and limited.
Advertisements

18 thoughts on “Where is the edge

  1. Pingback: The mythical conflict of science and Scripture (1) | Stepping Toes

  2. Pingback: The mythical conflict of science and Scripture (2) | Stepping Toes

  3. Pingback: Science and the Bible—Do They Really Contradict Each Other? | Stepping Toes

  4. Pingback: Thomas Aquinas on Wisdom by Robert M. Woods | Stepping Toes

  5. Pingback: Atheists, deists, and sleepers | Stepping Toes

  6. Pingback: Science, scepticism, doubts and beliefs | Stepping Toes

  7. Pingback: Finding God amid all the religious externals | Stepping Toes

  8. Pingback: People Seeking for God 1 Looking for answers | Stepping Toes

  9. Pingback: To Live Gratitude | Stepping Toes

  10. Pingback: Happy International Happiness Day! | Stepping Toes

  11. Pingback: International Day of Happiness! | Marcus' s Space

  12. Pingback: Let’s Talk Happiness | Marcus' s Space

  13. Pingback: Fear, struggles, sadness, bad feelings and depression | From guestwriters

  14. Pingback: Is faith rational? | Stepping Toes

  15. Pingback: Don’t be afraid to fall | From guestwriters

  16. Pingback: Easter holiday, fun and rejoicing | Free Christadelphians: Belgian Ecclesia Brussel - Leuven

  17. Pingback: A world with or without religion | Stepping Toes

  18. Pingback: Beautiful feet of those who announce the good news | From guestwriters

You are welcome to react - U bent welkom om een reactie te geven

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s