Day 37? #LintonReflections 2016

Early on I wrote a post about my lack of belief in an afterlife. After that post I received a question regarding how I can have faith then if I don’t think there is anything after this life. It’s a good question and something I’ve wrestled with a lot.

My response could get quite complicated if I let it and if you’re interested in a fuller examination of this question, I refer you to my thesis, which is tabbed at the top of the blog. But I can give a shorter answer here.

Faith, for me, doesn’t hinge on what happens when I die. Faith, for me, concerns what can happen while I’m alive. The payoff, if you will, manifests in life not in death.

Death in its countless forms constantly seeks to encroach on life. In fact, groups of people, certain populations, are predisposed to death because of certain forces and powers at work in this world intent on foreclosing their right to exist. It’s no secret a young black man carries in his body a greater risk of death than my white sons. Death, the threat of death, the mark of death consumes the world’s habitants disproportionately.

My faith says greater forces exist (one could assign them to God perhaps) to resist and dismantle these death dealing powers, to open up more spaces of belonging so the world can work for everyone. The coalescing of things not seen, work done in theory and on the ground, all held together by love and the embrace of radical difference emerges as something to believe in for me.

Now, there’s a lot more to dig into here, I admit. Still, this forms the framework for the way I understand the Jesus story. Perhaps more on that later. For now, living into this way of having faith gives me enough to do in the here and now. I don’t have time or the energy or the urgency to worry about what’s going to happen to me when I die.

One thought on “Day 37? #LintonReflections 2016

  1. Julie Pumphrey Ketcher says:

    It does not bother me either that there may be no afterlife for many of the same reasons you have shared. However, right now anyway, I choose to believe there might be a spiritual existence after this earthly existence because I believe I existed as a spirit before I was born. Some may call that reincarnation. I’m not opposed to that either. Living for God is a challenge yet also quite remarkable. There is so much I want to learn about God as I exist in this form, and there is so much I want to share with others. There is so little time to advance very far in either of these aspirations unless I get an opportunity to “pick up where I leave off” in this existence. I find myself hoping for the opportunity to keep moving closer in my next life existence sometimes, because I love to learn and each step in learning more about how God is seen and felt in others is a wondrous experience. It’s a slow process, ridiculously slow compared to understanding EVERYTHING if we do happen to live eternity with God after our death. Maybe because I’ve enjoyed learning, or maybe because I’ve been trained to be a teacher, watching the proverbial light bulbs come on and seeing lives changed because of greater understanding is ….. creation. According to our stories in Genesis, God loves creating and always finds it to be good.

    Thanks for giving me this opportunity to think along with you.


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