The Unsinkable brian cork™

Brian Patrick Cork is living the Authentic Life

God tests character man tempts faith

September17

Along the course of a recent and ferocious discussion with one of my executive coaching clients, we went from talking about virtu and crossing boundaries “using our power for good”, to the untidy topic of how people and families of greatly apparent faith seem to be sorely tested (sickness, tragedy, etc.), really, manifested itself.

Verily I say. We’ve already circulated this amongst those Prudent Gentlemen. It’s a barn-burner, to be sure. And, there is already a lot of pushing and shoving going on.

Things like that happen around me, often.

This may well be one of those taboo-level topics. But, what the hell (or, heaven – who knows yet?).

Come on, we all know Believers, obnoxious or not, that make us scratch our heads because, despite their faith (or, is it because of it), they get their butts kicked by life (or, God) – and, often.

Providing God cares about history books, what if you look at it from an Old Testament perspective… It seems as though God is more interested in testing character, than faith.

This is going to take some pondering on my part.

The trouble is that we’re likely looking at a solution from different sides of the same problem. I expound this because, it has only just now, this very moment, struck me that, and this is deliciously ironic, by leveraging His gift of discernment, God let us create multiple religions. In the very trenches of life and warfare, God set the stage for our greatest challenge – accepting that men must, often, face opposing paths to reach the same goals and objectives.

And, maybe there need be no solution because God remains long after we won’t. God tests character and man tempts faith. Now I wonder if I should revisit that mote in Gods eye.

What if He does not care which religion you subscribe to? And, let’s be clear, I don’t buy it when people dip their toe into the fray with being “spiritual”. Judgment aside, my gut tells me that is wishy-washy bullshit. Under my current thinking, He might be more interested in what you do through your religion, as opposed to why you do it. By the way… Fear of the unknown (which might be were religion is actually spawned) might be part of the equation.

Meanwhile, many religions offer or require rules (commandments, tenants, etc.) that are similar. And, we have murdered one another for centuries in His name (but that seems more Darwinian, to me, than providence). Must we invoke religion, faith, conscience or discernment since it is always better to endure hardship and evil than to perpetrate them? Enduring hardship is certainly a Biblical standard.

It’s all already under my skin, and beneath my fingernails, and has me all itchy. So, look for further discussion investigation once I can come up with additional examples. But, by all means, please offer up a few of your own. Goad me along, please. Test me. God does is all the time. And, He created you possibly for that unique task.

I must admit that I am, and  truly, relishing this exercise. It’s seeking, as I recognize it, with a full heart and cup that would never be half empty.

The results can me memorable, although rarely tragic.

In closing, in the joyous event I still have you with me, consider Scorpion’s Wind of Change – this (get through the first minute) performed in Moscow:

[youtube]L4PhDfOthY4[/youtube]

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

________________________________


what is changing My mind: Part III

June3

jesus strategyBy the way… I lifted some of my thinking from Daniel Florien (he apparently suffered unreasonable faith). There are some things that will never be new – and, this includes man’s evolutionary questioning of a higher power, and his ability to relate to any, or all, of it.


I studied science with an open-mind. I affirmed my belief in an old earth, and the validity of evolution. This required a process of removing layer after layer of propaganda that blinds Christians and makes them more part of the problem that an actual solution. Stubbornness, unreasonableness and defensive nature are not attractive, and those characteristics ironically weaken their testimony. I refuse to ignore dinosaur fossils and carbon dating. Satan did not create carbon dating; scientists armed with God given discernment created carbon dating. In fact, consider my prior post How Long is Seven Days where my daughter Haley Anne and I discuss this very thing around her home schooling.


I looked for evidence for many of the claims I thought I believed, and realized that there was no reputable evidence at all. Written things should be based on physical proof as backup – otherwise written testimony remains subjective and open to interpretation (that is what happens with the Bible). For example, I could believe Jesus was resurrected, or that Moses parted the Red Sea, but there was no evidence outside oral stories recorded by unknown biased authors many decades (or, as with Moses, many centuries) after the fact.


I learned to think critically and, with much trepidation, finally applied it to my views of religion. After a few years of struggling, I finally accepted that evangelical Christianity was a form of belief – almost a sect, if not a cult.


I learned about probability. Things I thought could not happen without divine intervention ended up being within the laws of probability. Coincidence does exist. God created life to reflect the beautiful game of soccer. That ball bounces in many crazy ways. A lot can happen. We just need to be fit and ready.

So… I feel great about there being a single God that may not have a singular focus on me. I am confident He gave me discernment, and will judge me best by the way I use and leverage it.

I genuinely like the idea of Jesus walking the earth as a historical Change Agent. He set a standard for mankind, and his influence reverbrates through all cultures and societies more and more each day.

I just don’t know for sure that Christ rose from the dead and closed the deal for mankind. Today I am unwilling to simply drop into a three-point-stance over the Bible. Readers of this Blog know that my thinking is that “leap of faith” might be the “easy button”. I am certainly open-minded (that is crucial for the Heterodox). I just don’t feel it yet. For the moment, God has me touting the position that striding purposefully through life evidencing Christ-like virtu, while not being certain there is a heavenly reward takes more courage than being a chest-thumping Christian that runs the risk of Hypocrisy.

Assuming your interest, here are some other Blog posts that I have put some thought into the last few years that generally support my thinking, and offer additional context and perspective:

Christian Ambiguity, and Christian Ambiguity: Part II.

It’s not about what you want to hear; it’s what you need to know.

God knows I really care.

By the way… Watch this video (I am NOT making fun of the Jesus element; this is merely for perspective):

[youtube]GBvsgQ45bN0[/youtube]

“That’s my name, don’t wear it out….”

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

reasoning

April1

Some times the exchanges that occur, in the trenches (comments), once a Blog post is aired become decidedly more rich and vibrant than the original posts themselves.

I found myself on Daniel Florien’s Unreasonable Faith and Nick Milne’s The Daily Kracken adding comments, and then embroiled in a rewarding repartee with other bloggers positing varying beliefs and theories involving such wide-ranging topics to include Rap music and Christianity.

Interestingly (to me any way) part of this dynamic communication ended-up migrating over to one of my own recent posts: open minds.

Today (if only in terms of writing and sharing) I will take it easy, and share this summary I offered a new acquaintance “John C (his real name might actually be Craig)” after he reached out to me, through this Blog, as the dust was settling:

Call me a Seeker.

I was a Christian of unreasoned faith. “All hat and no cattle”, if you will. I was very passionate. But, not very learned.

I think I should feel it, to have it.

So, I stepped back and began to evaluate how, and what, I think and feel in terms of faith. I believe in one God. It’s true; and, the conviction runs deep. However, I struggle with the Christ element of the Christian faith. I don’t want to be a hypocrite. God will know the difference – right?

Admittedly, I enjoy this evaluative process. I am learning whom my friends are, and making new friends all the time. I started reading Florien’s Unreasonable Faith, more because a contrarian view is healthy and interesting if you take a heterodoxal position (and, I do). I also stumbled upon (or, was possibly led to) Nick Milne’s The Daily Kracken. But, Nick draws us (me any way) to him because he is so interesting and ernest (and educated and striving for more) – and, that means he reflects and represents what I believe I am looking for. This is a central theme (as is Natural Selection, Thomas Jefferson and Family) of my own Blogging efforts.

Cork

On a different comment thread, involving yet another post, I concluded:

Okay Colm … The lack of italics aside, my daughter agrees with you. Quite dismissive of Black Eyed Peas in fact. She did, however, offer Akon for consideration. So, I will sally forth and reconsider. There is no soccer this weekend due to Spring Break. So, I will indulge myself with investigating a history of Rap and Hip Hop. A facilitator for some good long runs, to be sure.

Syzygus … Your words are like apple butter on hot homemade bread. Wow. I wish I could write with such clear articulation. I struggle with that. I was practically illiterate when I graduated from High School. I could run like the wind and was passed through each grade. I only got into college because I could run and had a great SAT score. It’s been a long road. But, writers like you and Nick (and Brian V.) inspire me.

I am still drawn to Rap and Hip Hop, however. I feel and relate to the passion those forms inspire – even as I try to represent and reflect other things and influences. It has a lot to do with being a Dad (deeply flawed, but determined to be a good example).

Cork

I understand a lack of context might be confusing. However, a little research and digging could bear some fruit that will drop much of this into perspective.

Or not.

However, in summary, that is all me today, looking forward towards tomorrow.

…Transparency. Open-mindedness. Today’s truth.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

rock on God

March21

Aaron Masih sent me this link to a story written by Gene Edward Veith called Salty dogma where:

“Bono gives an explicit confession of being saved by Grace, not Karma.”

The article, itself, is a bit contrived. The author (is likely a Christian – so, like many Christians, she is giddy over some form of affirmation around Grace).

And, Bono’s position on faith is not recent news.  But, it remains refreshing, nonetheless, how clearly he articulates it.

However, it would be interesting to learn if Bono’s faith was the result of “feeling” it, or arguing himself to a logical conclusion.

As it turns out, I agree with everything he says.

But, did Christ rise from the dead to seal the deal?  Does that matter?

Can He be our saviour even if we don’t know He is risen?

If He did not rise, did it lessen everything else He has accomplished for the benefit of mankind over the last 2000 years?

It does not matter to me (at least not for the moment). Christ clearly changed the world. Because of what He taught and accomplished, the world continues to evolve in a better way (my opinion). I am grateful for His sacrifice (possibly eternally so). But, ironically, I believe the Christians would have Him leave me behind because I don’t know (or, at least just say I do in order to hedge my bet – like a lot of Christians).

For the moment I only have my faith in God, and hope.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

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