Sunday, December 09, 2007

Stuck In the Middle

Being a logical, rational person comes naturally for me. From my expertise as a chess player to my legal training, my mind is geared toward acceptance of scientific truths. I am probably unique in that I see no conflict between evolutionary theories of science and a faith that accepts the likelihood of a supernatural creation. Science can answer the question of how we got here; but it is up to philosophy and faith to attempt to explain the why.

Here is how Mark Heard explained his journey and conflict between faith and reason (from the liner notes to Stop the Dominoes):


You referred earlier to your days as a skeptic. Is skepticism a sin, or does it seem to you a plague of sorts to those so minded?

Skepticism doesn't have to be viewed as a liability . Unfortunately, most of the time Christians see it that way. I have had hard times in the past because of that -- my questions were equated with sin by most of the believers around me, and that caused still more questions, like, ''well, shouldn't God's people be concerned enough about me to help me instead of crossing their arms and waiting for me to see things their way?" It bothered me for a long time. When a person has no rational basis for his faith, or feels that he has lost that rational basis, it is quite painful . It's hard to believe with your heart if there is conflicting information in your mind. To ignore the mind and brush off the questions is wrong, and is more an Eastern idea than a Christian one. So finally I figured, "well, if Christianity can't stand up to questioning, it's not the truth, and if it's not worth scrutiny, it's not worth believing." So my skepticism continued and led me to look deeply into the matters in question. Most of my answers came from quiet study. Skepticism was an asset to me in that it forced the roots of my faith to grow deeper.

Like Mark Heard, I have decided to forge my own path. And like Mark, I'm Stuck In the Middle.

Stuck In the Middle


It's a funny world we live in
It's funny every day
Half the world prays like the preacher
The other half don't even pray
So no one understands you
If you pray in your own way

Now I'm stuck here in the middle
Everything is in a jam
Stuck right in the middle
Doors on both sides seem to slam
No one seems to want me
Only God will take me like I am

Well my brothers criticize me
Say I'm just too strange to believe
And the others just avoid me
They say my faith is so naive
I'm too sacred for the sinners
And the saints wish I would leave

Now I'm stuck here in the middle
Everything is in a jam
Stuck right in the middle
Doors on both sides seem to slam
No one seems to want me
Only God will take me like I am

Written by Mark Heard
© 1981 Bug and Bear Music (ASCAP)

1 Comment:

P M Prescott said...

"An unexamined life is not worth living." That applies to all aspects of a persons life which includes religion.
Instead of skepticism Christians develop discernment. Both require asking questions, but use a different yardstick. A skeptic questions whether God exists. Once you've accepted God by Faith (belief in the unprovable) Your questions of discernment are about God's will and God's nature.
The problem with most evangelicals is that they stop discerning and start relying on BLIND FAITH, or accepting anything someone who claims to be God's Man says with a quote or two from the Bible.
A discerning Christian looks at the acts of Bush and the leaders of the Religious Rights and asks if this really represents God or only glorifies those individuals.