Saturday, February 14, 2009

A Change of Heart

I've jumped back and forth in my religious investigation from theological minutism to pragmatism to utter doubt and deism. Right now I'm just a simple man, I'm entering the Roman Catholic Church - with annoyances and problems, but still in the end, glad about it - and I'm desiring more and more just to be forgiven. I've never killed anyone, and I don't do anything illegal, but my conscience is still unclean, there remains great sin in my life, and more and more I pray for one thing. A changed heart.

I've tried to fix things, to 'clean up my act', but it never seems to work, and I end up scolding myself for rejecting in practice, the principles of Augustinianism - God must act, I can only cooperate. And in the back of my mind I can hear either a pastor or my dad or a friend say 'out of the heart comes our actions' and I google it and find:

"My child, be attentive to my words;
incline your ear to my sayings.
Do not let them escape from your sight;
keep them within your heart.
For they are life to those who find them,
and healing to all their flesh.
Keep your heart with all vigilance,
for from it flow the springs of life." - Proverbs 4:20-23

I remember the promise God made to the the Jews in Ezekiel that he will replace their heart of stone with a heart of flesh, and that he will enscribe his laws onto their heart. I've been praying for that, and I've gotten a bit of it. I've been doing what Dietrich Bonhoeffer calls using 'cheap grace', calling Catholics legalists because they preach "be holy for I am holy" - but in the end I think while grace is important, regeneration, sanctification, justification even, makes holiness which comes from a changed heart.
And so I've found myself praying the words of David which Mr. Klassen made us memorize in my Mennonite High School long ago:

"Create in me a clean heart O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me, do not cast me from your presence, or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and grant me a willing spirit to sustain me" - Ps 51 NIV


  1. Andrew, I pray our Father might give you assurance of his love, peace of conscience, joy in the Holy Spirit, increase of grace, and perseverance therein to the end.

  2. thank you Jay, it is always needed and much appreciated.

  3. Andrew I often contemplate on that exact Ezekiel passage; generally my prayers are centred on it. I read the promises that God gives to Israel, our hope in Him, and pray for the same things. Just tonight I was thinking on that famous Augustine prayer, I kept saying command whatever you will, just God please give me the ability to do it, and it is that obedience and love I seek just as much as you.

    I also wish you the best, and pray you (and I) sense the realization of that very new covenant, in obedience, sanctification, and above all love.

    Peace brother