I recently wrote about the comparison between a building and a spiderweb analogy for faith. After a mind opening breakfast conversation with my go-to minister with whom I talk about faith, doubt, and post-modernism, I have a more apt picture of what my spiderweb would look like. It’s always interesting when someone who knows you well helps you define something that you thought you could do alone, and they do a better job of perceiving things in your narrative. I’m fascinated by this, and will probably be mulling on it for days. Here’s my spiderweb founding points:
- Scripture—This is largely referring to the Bible, but is by no means excluding other things. I’m no longer able to believe that the canonical Bible is the only valuable text when defining my beliefs or God. Nonetheless, scripture and holy texts are important in my framework
- God/Deity—This foundation point is probably the one that changes the most often. I believe in what I jokingly call the “OctoGod” (and I have a drawing to illustrate it, if needed). I believe that God can represent himself to people in different ways, even as multiple gods to the Hindus or an animist. I believe it’s all one, and I choose to call that one God, but it’s not the narrow scope Christian God.
- Worship—This is a founding point of my belief system solely because of how I define worship. I think worship is for the self, I do not believe that God needs our worship, we need our worship. For me it’s an outlet that all people need. This outlet doesn’t have to look like a worship service, but sometimes it does.
- Community—My network is divine. There are friendships in which I see and experience God, whether it’s just his allowing our paths to cross or the conversations had among those friends…it’s God. Family and church are also under this founding point. I put church in a different category than worship because I don’t think that they are dependent upon each other. This community that I have been divinely given is a life source for me.
- Serving—A key element to my faith is that it must be outward focused. Whether this is a product of raising or personality, it is essential. I want to do good for others, no matter what that looks like. I cannot approach faith and deity without thinking of my impact on others.
- Post-Modernism—This is a founding point. I didn’t know the name or how much it truly applied to me until a few months ago, but I am post-modern through and through. I will never know the answers, and that is finally okay with me. Accepting and identifying this has allowed me to question and have freedom. Attaching this label has helped me understand the framework with which I approach faith and God.
- INFJ—If you haven’t taken the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, go do it….it’s like cleaning your dirty glasses, and there’s lots that you can do online. I’m an INFJ. Here’s a piece written about INFJ’s from wikipedia to explain what I mean by putting this in my spiderweb. This, I’ve learned, is essential in explaining my relationship with anything/anyone.
INFJs tend to be sensitive, quiet leaders with a great depth of personality. They are intricately and deeply woven, mysterious, and highly complex, sometimes puzzling even to themselves. They have an orderly view toward the world, but are internally arranged in a complex way that only they can understand. Abstract in communicating, they live in a world of hidden meanings and possibilities.