(In The Life Of The Church)
On Certainty and Conviction
I’ve been thinking about this kind colloidal suspension that UBC currently sits in. By that I mean where all of you know that we are engaging in a conversation about the LGBTQ community and UBC, but we don’t have an answer yet. I wonder how you are faring. If you are worn down. If you are just ready to get an answer! How is that I can … we can ... continue to exist here. Let me offer something I’ve been thinking about below.
The pastor before me at UBC wrote a book on prayer. In the introduction Kyle explores the idea that we’ve all been handed scripts. Prayer, he suggests, is often one form of a script we’ve inherited. In the spirit of self-deprecation Kyle offers three scripted prayers from previous expressions of his own discipleship. The third he calls “death by cliché.” It’s clever, picking on some of the sentiments you’ve likely heard over the course of your evangelical existence. There in the middle of the prayer was this, “help me stand for something so I don’t fall for everything.”
At first glance it seems that Christian faith should be about the business of certainty. We must be certain about what we believe. After all, some Christians have died pretty brutal deaths because of their beliefs. Wouldn’t it be a tragic if at the end of the day they were uncertain about the beliefs for which they were dying? And how about our creed? For thousands of years the church has confessed “we believe … we believe … we believe …”
At this point I should acknowledge that there’s an entire philosophical discussion about the word 'certainty' that I’m aware of, but not familiar enough with to include here. In that regard readers should understand that I’m talking the popular version of the same idea. I don’t think Christian faith is about certainty, but I do believe we are called to be a people of convictions.
My definition of conviction would be this: a belief that you are passionate about. I have deep convictions that Christ has died, Christ is risen and Christ will come again. Conviction allows me to move around the world with direction, but simultaneously lets me hold my belief humbly. Conviction allows for the understanding that the Spirit works with me and through me despite my not having perfect belief. Conviction allows for me to believe in Jesus as I continually see Him anew from fresh perspectives. Certainty does not. Certainty led the church to believe that the earth was at the center of the universe while they tortured people for disagreeing. Certainty led Christians on crusades in which they murdered thousands of innocent people. Certainty destroys faith when threatened with change.
So why am I taking the time to pick on certainty? Brene Brown has a popular TED talk about vulnerability.. In it she shares that we are scared of vulnerability so we compensate for that fear by numbing ourselves. As a result she points out that we are the most “medicated, obese, addicted, and in debt adult cohort in American history.” If you numb the fearful stuff (shame, rejection, exposure) Brown argues you also numb the good parts of vulnerability (joy, happiness, acceptance).
Brown suggests that there is another way of dealing with the fear of vulnerability. In response to our fear of vulnerability we develop a need for certainty. We take deep comfort from the notion that we can’t be wrong and that our suppositions can’t be upset by new experiences or information.
My proposal is that in response the visceral world of politics, religion and public opinion we do away with certainty and celebrate our shared conviction that Jesus is Lord. This is the faith of the Church.
Youth 5-6 Lock-in (Friday 2/22 6 PM – Saturday 2/23 9 AM)
Join us for a full night of fun and formation on Friday February 22nd at UBC! We will start with dinner then move into a time of Bible Study followed by classic night games such as Hide and Seek and Murder in the Dark. We will then show a movie, and enjoy a wicked snack bar before heading to bed. We will wake up Saturday, feast on some cereal, clean up, then be picked up! This event will cost $5 to help us pay for meals and snacks. If your student plans on attending please RSVP by emailing Dilan or Hannah by Sunday 2/17!
Are you new to UBC, like within the last 6 moths? Would you like to get to know more about the church? Do you enjoy free food? If you answered yes to these questions, then we would love to have you stay for lunch on February 17th. We will spend some time talking about the history of UBC, ways you can plug in, and our current conversation. If you have any questions, please email email@example.com
You can sign-up on Sunday morning in the foyer, or you can email toph.
Power Point Party
On February 21st 2019 a group of 10 UBC #champions4thelord will present information on random topics. It is sure to be riveting. Please consider going, but only if you want to became smart. This extravaganza begins at 7 PM CST.
Financial Peace University
It turns out that Ron Miller, a new partaker in the UBC extravaganza, has a black belt in financial peace university stuff. Ron has offered to lead a 9 week class. The materials cost about $130, but if we reach a critical mass of interest and order in large quantity that number could go down. If you are interested in doing that class please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Parishioner of The Week
Paul Carron and Lacy McNamee for dealing with the toilet in the kids room.
Sermon Text: Luke 6ish “blesses is ?”
Ash Wednesday Service 3-6 @ 5:30 PM
Work is Worship
Coffee Makers: Clark and Co.
Mug Cleaners: Cooleys
Money Counter: Hannah
If you have a concern or an idea for UBC that you’d like to share with someone that is not on staff, feel free to contact one of our leadership team members.
Chair- Adam Winn: email@example.com
Byron Griffin: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kerri Fisher: Kerri_Fisher@baylor.edu
Bridget Heins: email@example.com
Jeremy Nance: Jeremy.J.Nance@L3T.com
Joanna Sowards: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kathy Krey: email@example.com
Student Position, Samuel Moore: firstname.lastname@example.org
Student Position, Anna Carol Peery: email@example.com
UBC Finance Team
Do you have a question about UBC’s financial affairs? Please feel free to contact any of your finance team members.
JD Newman: JD_Newman@baylor.edu
Hannah Kuhl: HannahKuhl@hotmail.com
Justin Pond: firstname.lastname@example.org
Doug McNamee: email@example.com
Catherine Ballas: firstname.lastname@example.org
UBC HR Team
If you have concerns about staff and would like contact our human resources team, please feel free to email any of the following members.
Josh Blake: email@example.com
Ross Van Dyke: Ross_Vandyke@baylor.edu
Jared Gould: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rebekah Powell: email@example.com
Kristen Richardson: firstname.lastname@example.org