28 September 2010

Finding Sanctuary in Faith

I suppose we are known for many things, including some valuable social behaviors, but let us be clear about our faith. As inspired as these teachings are, we are not the church of the people who don’t date until they’re 16 or the church of the people who don’t drink coffee. Others may want to circumscribe our religion, to make it small and tidy. But we must not let ourselves shrink our religion or let our own thinking be made small. We are the Church of Jesus Christ, and we seek to follow Him and put His teachings into practice in our own lives. In so doing we find sanctuary in our faith.

But what about those times when our faith is weak or wavers? Then we must act as if. In the words of William Sloan Coffin, the longtime chaplain of Yale University:
It is terribly important to realize that the leap of faith is not so much a leap of thought as of action. For while in many matters it is first we must see, then we will act; in matters of faith it is first we must do then we will know, first we will be and then we will see. One must, in short, dare to act wholeheartedly without absolute certainty.
Or, as he said more succinctly:
I love the recklessness of faith. First you leap, and then you grow wings. [William Sloan Coffin, Credo (Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster John Knox Press, 2004), 7]
-- Jeffrey F. Ringer, "Finding Sanctuary," Brigham Young University devotional, 25 May 2010, emphasis added.

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