Archive for May, 2012

Faith and the INTJ: Part 2

Someone wrote this comment on one of my blog posts: “Sorry to inform you, but there is no way you can be an INTJ if you’re religious. Note that INTJ’s are logical, religious beliefs are not logical, also INTJ’s are smart, religious people are not smart. Hence, why you cannot be an INTJ if you believe a magic man in the sky created the universe in a week.”

Read Part 1 of my response.  This is Part 2.

It is true that I did not arrive at “Jesus Christ = Lord and Savior” by logic.  I arrived at Jesus Christ through Jesus Christ alone.

Which brings me to the second part of the commenter’s post.  “Note that INTJ’s are logical, religious beliefs are not logical, also INTJ’s are smart, religious people are not smart.”

I assure you that I am an INTJ.  Am I smart?  I suppose it depends how you define smart.  My IQ is high enough to garner acceptance into Mensa, which I did join several years ago.  Am I logical?  Ugh, I cannot get away from logical analysis of even the most mundane or trivial issues.  Case in point: this blog post.

Proverbs 3: 5 reads

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding

God says that we are not to lean on our own understanding.  Why?  Because who are we to think that we, who live in one place at one time understand or know more than the God of the universe who is everywhere and outside of time (thus seeing all of time at once)?  As Matt Chandler, pastor of the Village Church, puts it: you can watch one millisecond of a movie (what our lives would amount to if all of history were condensed into one hour), and I will watch the entire movie, and we can then argue about what the movie is about.  Our own understanding is limited.  We do not know what is going on in our neighbor’s home right now, much less our neighborhood, much less our city, much less our country, much less the universe.

Proverbs 16:25

There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.

Much of what seems logical or “right” to us is fallible.  Since sin is, in large part, blindness to our own sin, we can barely see beyond our own logic and opinions, and the arguably skewed worldview of our current culture and society.  Our limited position in time and space influence what is logically right to us.  I may look at a Styrofoam from the side and see a trapezoid shape.  You may look at it from directly overhead and see a circle.  Who is “right”?  Logic led us both to different conclusions.  Again, we are limited in time and space and thus cannot know all.

Arguably, an aspect of intelligence is the realization that there is much we do not know.

Incidentally, we all have faith.

Hebrews 11:1

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

We all have confidence in and assurance about what we do not see.  We have confidence that our car will start when we turn the ignition, though we are not looking at its inner workings to know if something is broken or the engine is missing.  We have assurance that we will not float into the air as we walk about, though we cannot see gravity itself.  Faith as defined in Hebrews 11 applies to all of humanity and does not exclude any of the personality types.

 

Advertisements

Faith and the INTJ

Someone wrote this comment on one of my blog posts: “Sorry to inform you, but there is no way you can be an INTJ if you’re religious. Note that INTJ’s are logical, religious beliefs are not logical, also INTJ’s are smart, religious people are not smart. Hence, why you cannot be an INTJ if you believe a magic man in the sky created the universe in a week.”

This is one of my most favorite comments that I have ever received on my blog.  Firstly, it sounds like a typical INTJ comment, dry and matter-of-fact but tinged with a sense of irony and drollness.  For that reason, it made me chuckle.  Secondly, it reminds me of a time when I thought the same way and of my journey from unbelief to faith.

Let’s break it down.  “There is no way you can be an INTJ if you are religious.”

“Religious” is a tricky word.  In the church I attended as a child, ritual and moralism were predominate themes.  I believed that the people who attended my church by choice (this excluded myself, as I was forced/bribed into going by my parents) were lemmings who shelved their brains in order to get cheap comfort through a systematic and predictable pattern of standing-sitting-kneeling and responsive reading.  At the time, I viewed faith as synonymous with religiosity.  I do not consider myself religious in the sense that I do not take comfort in moralism or ritual.  My faith is not based upon going through the motions, nor do I believe these things draw me closer to God or earn favor with Him.

My faith is based solely on the saving work of Christ Jesus.  I believe that the Bible is the Word of God and that all of it is true.  Defending that claim is a discussion for another day.  So let’s look at Ephesians 2:8-9:

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith —and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—  not by works, so that no one can boast.

I have been saved (meaning that God has drawn me into a personal relationship with Himself) based on grace (His free gift to me) through the saving work of Jesus Christ (who lived the sinless life I should have lived and died the wretched death that I deserved to die).  None of this is based on anything about me – not what I do, what I think, what I say, who I am.

Therefore, it is true that I did not arrive at “Jesus Christ = Lord and Savior” by logic.  I arrived at Jesus Christ through Jesus Christ alone.  Adding anything to Christ turns the issue and my faith into what I would consider “religious” (which I loosely define as moralistic behaviors that often accompany faith).  Religion has nothing to do with my faith.  Or my Myers-Briggs personality type.

Stay tuned for Part 2.