I Tend To Disbelieve God Sometimes

the book of genesis
Image by danoxster via Flickr

I have been studying the Book of Genesis these past few weeks.  I have noticed so much in the first families of man that looks just like we as humans look today.  The way they made decisions, the way they interacted with each other, their love for each other and how they expressed it in such flawed human ways.  I can relate to all of it.

Then there are some things in the Book of Genesis that is hard for me to accept.  There are things that my mind just can’t wrap around, and when my mind can’t grasp it, I tend to go towards disbelieving it.  Isn’t it interesting how we see ourselves as the center of the universe and how when we can’t understand something, we look at it as being untrue.

Well in the past, I would simply dismiss something that didn’t ring true to my finite mind.  I’d write it off, oftentimes never to revisit it.  But since I have been walking with the Lord, I’ve been shown some things that I first had assessed as unbelievable.  As God has shown me to NOT trust in my own understanding, and to lean on Him, He has revealed things to me that I didn’t first understand..

It was only with the humility necessary to simply say, “God I believe, help my unbelief”, then let it go and move ahead in living my life that God has revisited certain situations with me and then show me the truth in that situation.  He revealed things to me in his time, which was just the right time for me.  When I look back on how I thought about the issue at first, I thank God that he waited to show it to me, because in hindsight, I know I was unable to receive the truth any sooner than when God showed it to me.

It’s been a good thing for me to simply tell myself that I don’t know about this issue.  To me it looks unbelievable.  But I’m remembering that my mind is finite and God is infinite in knowledge.  So who has the advantage?  And then, who has allowed me to partake in His infinite wisdom?  We all have the mind of Christ.  1 Cor 2:16.  With patience, God may reveal the situation to me, or maybe He won’t, and I can still live in His peace either way.

20 Comments Add yours

  1. Travis says:

    I tend to disbelieve “God” as well, perhaps maybe much more than you. Why do you trust your mind/reason within any number of contexts (e.g. work/employment, politics, culture, etc…) yet distrust your reasoning capabilities in assessing and validating the literal content of a book? You trust your mind in resolving very personal and important matters relating to your health, your relationships, your finances, etc… but when it comes to the assessing the validity or merit of a simple literal story, you distrust the same mind that you so confidently use to solve problems or address issues relating to any of the fore-mentioned matters. Perhaps your doubt stems from a lack of confidence? Have you read the bible in it’s entirety enough to feel comfortable enough to say that you are personally familiar with its contents? Have you read other books regarding the bible that provide context for political, social, and cultural events that were supposed to have occurred in the bible? I suspect that doing so, you might absolve much of the uncertainty you feel about evaluating the merit or “believability” of what you read in the bible.

    I am comfortable in saying that one of the best and most effective means of relieving uncertainty is through familiarizing yourself much much more with that of which you are uncertain. Wouldn’t you agree? If your uncertainty persists even after you feel you’ve done the necessary research to say that you feel confident with your familiarity of the contents of the bible, then perhaps there’s something askew about the bible that presents itself as the basis for your discomfort. Are you prepared to believe and understand that there perhaps is something wrong or askew with the bible IF your mind leads you in that direction? The reason I ask is because if you are not prepared to question the merit and validity of what’s stated in the bible or even the premise of its existence, then it’s probably more reasonable to tolerate the discomfort of your doubt concerning its contents. Many people overlook their discomfort and uncertainty regarding the validity of what’s written in the bible to the extent that they are successfully able to totally disregard their doubt and are effectively able to convince others to do the same.

    Not sure if you’re seen the movie “The Matrix” which coincidentally was written by a black women, but there was a scene in which the main character, Neo, was propositioned to take either a blue pill or a red pill. The blue pill would return him to reality and allow him to continue living with this strange, pervasive, and ambiguous uncertainty he felt about his understanding of reality while the red pill would like “the apple” open his mind to a total understanding of reality with at that point existed as an uncomfortable uncertainty. For some of us it’s just better to take the blue pill… and no I am not taking about the “little blue pills”. (LOL) Taking the red pill (study and research) will only bring about two things being complete piece of mind in that your questions will be answered or even more acute discomfort in looking at truths that you may not be willing or prepared to accept. I have a very definitive understanding of the bible and the purpose of it’s existence but I tend not to discuss that as I learned that it’s always best for people to come to certain spiritual understandings in their own time (e.i. when their minds are strong enough to evaluate these understandings). To reveal a spiritual understanding before a person is mentally or intellectually prepared to evaluate it will consistently bring about defensiveness and likely kill what curiosity and willingness that person may have had to address their uncertainty or doubt.

    Some questions you might want to answer via your initial studies…

    1) When was the bible written?
    2) By whom was it written? If Moses wrote the first five books of the bible as many biblical scholars assert, would it have been probable or even reasonable to believe that he wrote about his own death… in the third person?

    Good fortune on the pursuit of your studies that is if you chose to take the red pill. 😉

  2. Anna Renee says:

    Hello Travis! Cogent argument. I decided to take the red pill so to speak a long time ago, with the understanding that God Is, in spite of the bible, or what information I could gather or not gather in my research. That makes sense to my finite mind.

    My initial studies have been within the bible itself. My church conducts courses and I tried to study the Old Testament from an outsider’s historical perspective but as you state:
    “…To reveal a spiritual understanding before a person is mentally or intellectually prepared to evaluate it will consistently bring about defensiveness and likely kill what curiosity and willingness that person may have had to address their uncertainty or doubt…”

    It wasn’t so much a spiritual understanding, but an intellectual one that immediately crashed with my weak spiritual understanding. But God has taught me that whenever these things happen, the answer is in the Bible itself, strange though that may seem. I remember where Jesus says “I am greater even than the Sabbath”–then I extrapolate from that statement that Jesus Himself is far greater than even the Bible itself.

    Matthew 12:1-8 says, At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. And his disciples were hungry and began to pluck heads of grain and to eat. And when the Pharisees saw it they said to him, “Look, your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath!” But he said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, he and those who were with him, : how he entered the house of God and ate the showbread which was not lawful for him to eat, nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests? Or have you not read in the law that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath and are blameless? Yet I say to you that in this place there is One greater than the temple. But if you had known what this means, `I desire mercy and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless. For the Son of man is Lord even of the Sabbath”

  3. Anna Renee says:

    Check out my post on Condescending Ex-Christians, if you haven’t already. That was an interesting debate to say the least, at least for me.

  4. Travis says:

    Thanks for the suggestion. I did review that discussion and admit that it evoked a lots of thoughts in my mind concerning western religion. I currently going through some sort of change with regards to how I feel about the bible with regards to it’s impact on our (black folks) culture and community. My disposition used to be much like Saul before his conversion to becoming Paul. However as my view/understanding of god changed so radically from what it used to be that I find it rather difficult to discuss religion at length so much so that one might consider me passive on the topic. I find that both sides of that discussion you referred me tends to argue their points/perspectives from a very emotionally inflamed position which I can certainly understand and appreciate. The problem with this is that inflamed emotions almost always comes at the expense of facts, reason, and most importantly, understanding. That being the case I usually find that adversarial discussions on religion prove to be very futile and non-productive. As such when I enter into those types of discussion I try to position myself in the least adversarial posture I can manage. My religious perspective would probably be best described as a nontheist, which is one who believes in a ultimate creative force but not a “personal” god concerned with our financial, relationship, career, transportation issues/concerns etc… However, I’ve found that discussing religion or spirituality with someone who holds a traditional view tends to bring about looks of pity combined with confusion as if to imply “po’ child… How could you be so messed up??? Don’t you know you goin’ to hell?” I don’t take offense at all because the response is usually coming from a place of general sincerity and concern but I have to admit that I actually find some amusement in that type of response. Any how good topic for discussion. I do think that spirituality as it relates to culture is at the heart of what ails the black community.

  5. Travis says:

    Please disregard the poor grammar as I typed several of my past recent response from my cell phone which of course is less than ideal for typing extended thoughtful responses.

  6. Lin says:

    Heeeeey Sista Westsiiiiide! You you? You aiight? Hope so.

    Why am I reminded of that line from On & On where Ms. Badu states: “Most intellects do not believe in God, but they fear Him just the same”???

    I think that’s the truth of so many of us. We question that which doesn’t make sense. That’s wise. We stop nodding our heads & accepting words or people or their deeds so blindly. I think that’s actually healthy. I have to believe that GOD wants us to be curious about the world we live in, but after all that curiosity & all that distruth proving, He wants us to return to Him, smarter, wiser and KNOWING that He exists.

    Just as everything that man does in darkness comes to Light, eventually… I have to believe that every mystery, & each enigma we encounter will be revealed to us (via a revelation) in time.

    One.

    1. Anna Renee says:

      Brother! How you durin? I’m aiight boo!

      Great minds think alike because I was thinking about Erykah song myself! You know how I love that girl…

      It’s a trip the arguments, and feedback I get from people when we delve deeper into knowing God! I truly love it! It’s what He calls us to do–to wrestle with Him, but if we give in when we come up against something that makes no sense, then we lose out. That’s why He warns us not to rely on, or lean on our own understanding. He’s above our understanding of Him. He wouldn’t be God if He could be contained in our understanding. I love those folks who at least give God that much.

      Brother right now I’m reading the book of Exodus, and believe me I wanted to put the bible down a number of times because it seems like complete madness to me, but I am continuing to read this book of the Bible, (which I don’t remember if I’ve ever read before) and it’s easier. What it takes for me is to suspend my reasoning, which for some people is foolishness in and of itself. But if my reasoning is limited, then I would need to suspend it in order to get a greater understanding of God. If I have a half thimble full of understanding of the vast oceans of God’s omniscience, then I gain an extra 1/4 of a thimble full, then I have gained worlds of wisdom! I’m down for that!

  7. Lin says:

    Yo, Anna! You so wise, yo!
    Fo real, tho.

    To suspend one’s sense of disbelief, to allow the mind to be open to each & every What If that we encounter… that’s a wise way to come to & to come at The Bible.

    Keep reading & growing, keep showing & knowing!

    SJ!

    One.

    1. Anna Renee says:

      “…Yo, Anna! You so wise, yo!…”

      I knooooow! 😉

      *mouth wide open and grinning bigger than J. J. Evans*

      I’m just a hot mess!

  8. Amenta says:

    “I’ve found that discussing religion or spirituality with someone who holds a traditional view tends to bring about looks of pity combined with confusion as if to imply “po’ child… How could you be so messed up??? Don’t you know you goin’ to hell?”

    I too have had this reaction to my personal belief concerning religion and Spirit most people call God. However, I have come to understand belief, religion can be viewed similar to grade school, middle school, Jr high school, university. Some people reach certain level and remain there, it is comfortable. In the end non of us she feel so exalted as we will probably receive that which we believe concerning religion/god.

    Anna Renee, I have a question or rather would like a better understanding about your view on the “Old Testament.” Do you feel the “Old Testament” is foolishness? I thought I may have seen you write this or something similar in a previous post and maybe I got that impression in this post. Please, understand I am curious of this is your view point or my mis understanding of what you have written.

    Peace!

    1. Anna Renee says:

      Hey Brother!
      When I read some things in the Old Testament, it seems like foolishness to me, such as the supernatural things that Moses and Aaron were able to do in the book of Exodus, which I have just started reading. When I first read it, my first reaction is rejection.

      But then when I try to step out of my westernized mode of thinking to the best of my ability, I remember that in our traditional African religions, we believe in the supernatural and spiritual realm, realms which are represented throughout the Old and New Testaments. So it’s not that I think the Old Testament is foolishness, but that some things I read seem foolish to my limited understanding, until I wrestle with them.

      1. Amenta says:

        Ah Ok I fully get what you are meaning…Thank you for responding.

        Peace sistah!

  9. Amenta says:

    Forgive my poor grammar…typing too fast..LOL!

  10. Travis says:

    Just some interesting food for though. Prior to the spread of western Abrahamic faiths, many eastern spiritual belief systems personified god in the feminine human form and in some instances gender neutral. Do you think it’s of any consequence that in the western world, god is universally thought of as a man. I don’t think any of use will argue that viewing god/Jesus as a white male is definitely of consequence. Why do we consider it inconsequential that our daughter see god as something uniquely different from themselves. The character of Jesus as depicted in the bible was definitely a revolutionary. So what did he ever preach/say about the oppressive sexism that existed during biblical times when women were considered property within the Hebrew culture. For women who say that god being portrayed as a male is of little consequense, I wonder if their husbands for those who are married, would be so willing to take take his wife’s last name. I am not certain but I am willing to bet that the practice extends from a western paradigm where women were considered property. That’s how I ended up with the last name that I have being that my ancestors were considered property… capital as in “capitalism”.

    Just food for thought.

    1. Amenta says:

      Travis, I feel you here. Nomadic and mountain people saw their “air” god as male. Agrarian sedentary peoples saw their Earth mother as the Goddess Creatrix that loved and fed them. As we reach back into our ancstral roots we should gain understanding as to who were nomadic or mountain people and who were sedentary agricultural people.

      Unfortuantely, there seems to be nothing written where Yeshua said anything about the chattel property conditions women lived during those times. However, I believe he was somewhat a “quiet” liberator of women. It may be omitted from the writtings, yet it is curious to find that the more than 70 disciples following him were women! Seems there may have been messages that were omitted by the Nicean Council that would uplift women.
      There are however, books that were not “cannonized” in Nicea that mention Yeshua loved Mary De Magdala (Mary Magdalene) more than the other disciples. We can draw many conclusions from this, but it appears there is some leaning toward women.
      I think that its totally important that we begin to understand our beginnings and realize that what most of us have come to accept as “God” may be in total opposition to our “Black” heritage whether you consider yourself African or Amarucan.
      Even here in the Americas (Amaru-Ca) our societies were matrilineal and matrifocal and women were the Caciques (chiefs) of our nations. Europeans were astonished when they arrived here to see women leading and presiding over city council meetings and questioned why this was.
      This leads me to our last names. Often we chose an Anglicized name for public use. Not all of us have a European last name due to previous ownership. Not all of us were enslaved. We believed that we should have a public name and a name the enemy should never know.

      Peace!

  11. Travis says:

    Whewww!!! Now that’s what I am talking about! Classes is in session! Thank you sincerely for sharing that knowledge with me. I’ll research what you said further to edify my knowledge and understanding. Dig your point regarding the adoption of Anglican sir names. The practice you mentioned is still with us and very common as I’ve noticed East Indians working in IT commonly change or use European first and last names while here.

    Regarding the Nicea Council and the series of like councils the either proceded or followed it, too many people practicing the Christian faith are unaware or the ramifications of this and like. events. I visited Kmt (Egypt) just last year and saw with my own eyes the pylons containing narratives describing stories and events documented in the bible that preceded the writing of the bible by centuries if not millenniums. No offense to anyone commenting in this discussion but we should be extremely, o mean extremely cautious of turning off our intellect particularly when we need to rely on it more than ever. The answers to most of our most perplexing questions are all around us. If we distrust ourselves in extrapolating meaning from our environment thinking that you are incapable of deriving greater understanding of esoteric teachings then you unwittingly render yourself completely vulnerable to the intentions of those who wrote or CHANGED those teachings from their original state. If it walks like a duck, looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, based on your life experience, knowledge, and most importantly intuition, trust yourself to know that it’s a duck.

    1. Amenta says:

      Yes brotha Travis. And the deception is via bible training and teaching. we learn to dispise the Egyptians for holding the Children of Israel in bondage. With this internalized some of us refuse to understand the Ancient Kemitans, their science and mysticism.

      Peace

  12. Anna Renee says:

    *sitting on floor with chin propped in hands*

    1. Amenta says:

      Yes Anna Renee, there is much to gain. Anna Renee, Constantine of the Roman Empire 318 AD, the Council of Nicea 325 AD organized by Constantine is a great place to begin to study. @ Travis, true as well the many councils after Nicea, there were several others that shaped the way we all view Christianity today.

  13. Travis says:

    Anna you’re doing a great thing by taking the initiative to actually read and research for better understanding. One thing I’ve observed in our churches is that one person takes a verse and extrapolates a two hour sermon on a 2-3 sentence bible paragraph exert or a brief story contained in the bible. The congregation then listens for their lesson, takes it with them and hopefully applies it. The unfortunate thing is that the vast majority of congregants trust their ministers to guide them which is to some degree appropriate. However there is no substitute for reading it yourself for understanding. I am often stricken in the rare instance that I do have a conversation on religion is how much people don’t know what’s in the bible and will quickly back out of the conversation. And because I am not a Christian, my knowledge of bible content is really not that expansive. I was once talking to a family member and made a point about there being two forbidden trees in the garden of Eden and she was like huh… “watchu talkin’ about Willis?” Of course I backed off the conversation but far too many of use profess adherence to a belief system we really can’t say the we know because we simply haven’t read it. But way to go Anna for taking the initiative and committing to yourself to do it.

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