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Do You Believe This ?

By Gilles Castelnau


« Do you believe this ? » Jesus asks Martha.

This question is current in our Church at this time, as we seek to rewrite our profession of faith, to celebrate the Reformation.

As for me, I gladly reply « yes » to Christ.

I like the attitude of tranquil peace that he radiated indiscriminately on Martha and everyone else. I like his creative energy, which allows Martha and each of us to confront bravely the mishaps of life, his spirit of brotherhood which brings us closer to one another.

I like all this and I « believe » it.

If he told me I should also believe in the Trinity, Incarnation, Redemption, in the Sacrifice of substitution, in the Second Coming, I would be very surprised, because he never spoke of these things. He knew that they counted a lot less in our lives than the brotherhood and the generosity of the gospel.

The story of original sin that some people mention also seems strange to me: God enraged because He thinks He feels humanity escaping Him. God demanding – in order to give us the right, later on, to enter a heavenly paradise – that we value intellectually the injustice committed by Pilate… That scarcely helps us to live in a world which is often meaningless.

As far as the idea of a God living in heaven, to Whom we must pray to remind Him to to think to protect us from illness and accidents, Whom we must ask to stop wars and feed the starving– that idea seems really different from the evocation of the holy Breath that Jesus stirred in us from within the depths of our hearts, in order to render us capable of entering, us too, in our own way, the great divine, creative Dynamism.

If Christ really asked me, « Do you believe this ? » and if I replied, « Yes » just to please him, it seems to me that he’d lose something of his reputation.

But what he asked Martha was to « believe » in the life that God gives and not in incredible theological assertions.


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À propos Gilles

a été pasteur à Amsterdam et en Région parisienne. Il s’est toujours intéressé à la présence de l’Évangile aux marges de l’Église. Il anime depuis 17 ans le site Internet Protestants dans la ville.

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