| Crisis of faith/Crisis of Conscience|
I think I am going through one of the above and I am not sure why it is affecting me so much. Here are some examples as to why this is coming on me yet I don't know why it is affecting deeper than it should.
I am finding that Christian like to argue more for the Gospel than they want to love people to Jesus whether it is infighting amongst denominations or simply reaching lost souls and I find it disillusional.
Lately I find many topics on this board to be one that sounds like religious politics and I find it enough that I have stayed away from it a bit and I often wonder if a lost soul comes through and observes what do they think of it? I have a hard time Finding God in many of the titles of posts.
I am finding it hard to find Christians who have a testimony of God in their lives beyond 'God blessed me with a job', ' I have shelter', ' I am blessed...', 'I have my health'. Very broad stuff and things that even an Atheist can be thankful for. Doesn't God do deeper stuff in a person's life to show the outside world He is there in others?
It has been said that God knows the hairs on our head and when a sparrow falls. I often wonder why people seem allowed to have a medical issue while driving, even Christians because I know a few, and end up in an accident and possibly even killing others. Surely angels could have prevented something in such scenarios. I even think of how David Wilkerson died.
Lately I have been bombard with someone who believes in prosperity of God and doesn't understand why I don't believe in that or accept God's healing as if it is already there. Then turns the conversation around to ask why I spent a certain money on a piece of furniture instead of giving it to kids who need food. Is this really a valid argument? Is this a part of the Gospel?
I think in the end I am weary to almost very weary with it and I just feel the need to get this off my chest. Maybe some of you feel the same or similar? I would be interested to know your thoughts. I hate debating God in the company of Christians and I hate shallowness in the company of Christians. Shallowness doesn't do anything for faith in God.
| 2013/8/27 16:42||Profile|
| Re: Crisis of faith/Crisis of Conscience|
In your post you touched on many different things and I am not sure how to respond to all of them right now. Going to spend some time in prayer first but I just wanted to let you know that I have been praying for you and will continue to.
| 2013/8/27 17:59||Profile|
| Re: Crisis of faith/Crisis of Conscience|
I definitely don't have an answer for everything you said, but here is what I know.
You live in America. It's probably one of the most difficult places in the world to be a Christian. Not because of persecution, not because of terrors on every side, and not because God has abandoned our country--it is because, here, worldliness has been married with Christianity in such a way that the 2 can hardly be distinguished from one another except by a persons acknowledgement of Christ. There are many reasons why this is happening--way to many to nail down, but I believe the main reason this is happening is because so many people are preaching a Gospel contrary to what Jesus, Paul, and the other apostles preaced. It is a Gospel that causes people to make decisions without any sort of radical change in life--a change wrought by the power of the Holy Spirit. Look at what Titus 2:11-14 says
"For the grace of God has appeared with salvation for all people, instructing us to deny godlessness and worldly lusts and to live in a sensible, righteous, and godly way in the present age, while we wait for the blessed hope and appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. He gave Himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to cleanse for Himself a people for His own possession, eager to do good works."
That is RADICALLY different than what is preached today. Prosperity Gospel teaches a craving of worldy things, voiding Colossians 2:3--"Set your minds on what is above, not on what is on the earth"--and the surrounding text. The other versions of the gospel allow people to claim to be Christians but have 0 godliness, clinging to worldly lusts.
Also, as far as the importance of the Gospel is concerned and why it is discussed here to often, what did Paul say in Romans 1:16? "For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is Gods power for salvation to everyone who believes, first to the Jew, and also to the Greek." The true, unadulterated Gospel is God's power for salvation. It is the lack of an Explicit preaching of the Gospel that is so damaging. Of course you must love others. Anything we do is meaningless without love. But "love" has superceded the preaching of the Gospel in MUCH of America. God is love. But if I love someone, I am going to tell them the truth. And the Gospel is the truth. If I love someone, I would tell them about their sin, it's consequences, Jesus--the Messiah and Savior, and our hope which we have.
I sympathize with you concerning people's (including my own) testimonies and the working of God in our lives. It is a question that I have yet to answer.
But Brother, never forget that trials like this are meant to make our faith purer than the purest gold. God's discipline of us may not seem great now, but you will benefit from it. Hold on to Jesus and cling to Him, even when everyone else has failed you.
| 2013/8/27 18:02||Profile|
| Re: |
I want to add something else which I forgot to in my original post and this affected me inside.
I was recently talking to my mom and college and she told me about when she went to college and how she hated it. She told me she hates going by that college because of the 'hell' it put her through. She did it because of my brother and I and she became a nurse after working in a bookstore.
She said she was in a class and the director came in and pointed to her to come with her. She was told she will never make it as a nurse and this shocked mom. She then gave mom this scenario of a hospital setting with a certain patient and certain traits going on. Mom said she was freaked out and her mind went blank through it. The director asked mom what was wrong with this patient and mom said God put the words in my mouth to give the answer and the answer was correct. She said the director was stunned and said she was asked this same question when she was in school and couldn't answer it. Mom went on to be a nurse since 1983 and recently retired a year ago and does some home health. She will tell you she believes God ordains her steps because of the life situations she finds herself in all the time.
Mom grew up Catholic but went Lutheran when she married dad. They divorced after 18 years and she remarried. I know she holds on to some Catholic tradition and I don't believe she is born again but she in her testimony - I found more moving of God in it then I hear in alot of Christians. It really shook me to my core when she told me this because it really brought me back to a foundation of being simple in life, giving of self and trusting God and that is something I don't see in alot of Christians.
Mom will tell her friends, when the door opens, she believes God has ordained her path and she will cite occurrences as to why she believes this. She doesn't stay generic by saying 'I am blessed'.
by the, you don't have to have any answers to my posts. I just want to know if anyone understands where I am coming from in this. If you have comments please share but don't feel guilty if you don't have much to share. I just need to get this out of me and there aren't many forums that I know which I can put this on the table.
| 2013/8/27 18:20||Profile|
| Re: |
DEADn, I believe you will be ok. There are many things in religious America that cause many sheep to stumble. Oftentimes we stumble because our eyes are on men. I am not singling you out. I have stumbled many times because my eyes were on men. Jesus did not stumble because His eyes were on His Father and He knew what men were made of. You and I don't have to stumble if we keep our eyes (and heart) on the Lord.
I know how awful it can be especially when those who you think are Believers, rip you off, turn on you, lie to you, etc, etc. In all these things our hearts will be tested whether we love the Lord with all our heart, soul and mind or the things of this world including self.
The Lord will bring many things into our life to aid in conforming us to His character and sometimes (like Judas), those closest to us will betray us. Can we forgive and love as Jesus did when this happens? Peter denied Him 3 times while He was being tortured. If we choose to forgive then we will be choosing NOT to stumble.
Brother, keep yourself in the Love of God and don't lift up men on a pedestal. Only Jesus will never disappoint you. Don't look at men above their measure. Keep things in perspective between men and the Lord and you will be fine. You are not losing your faith in God, just losing your trust in men. You're just disappointed in men and don't like how you are thinking or feeling about it. Repent for anything that the Holy Spirit is pointing out to you, and continue back on that path you were on, of being a light in this world and walking as He walked. Continue to show people the love of God in Christ Jesus. Brother, you can reach people that we cannot reach.
Remember, they did these things to Him first, and we are just servants and not above our Master. Whatever they did to Him they will do to us.
Rom_8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
The Lord is just pruning you. He knows just where we need pruning. When we look to men for approval we put ourselves in a very vulnerable position and can be quite easily influenced and hurt. But, if we are doing that (and I am not saying you are), there is something deeper that the Lord wants to deliver us from. Those who look to men for approval, are in need of being delivered from a spirit of rejection.
Blessings to you, bro.
I'm praying for ya.
| 2013/8/27 22:52|
Los Angeles, CA
| Re: Crisis of faith/Crisis of Conscience|
First off, I just want to encourage you to continue to press on and persevere in your faith dear brother! God is faithful to finish what He started, because He promised! I know it must be a difficult season in your life and I think I can somewhat relate to you on some of the things that you have written. With regards to the posts that have been coming up lately on this forum, I can definitely share your sentiment and I've had to just stop reading them all together because it would leave me with such a bitter taste inside afterwards. Now, I know the importance of correct doctrine, but I have been finding that many of the discussions have been more about proving oneself to be 'right' rather than speaking words seasoned with grace and love. But one good thing is that seeing how much it affected me serves as a reminder to me how careful I personally need to be when I get into a heated discussion or very passionate about particular points of theology, which I am so easily prone to do and get all worked up in the process.
I can also relate with you on coming to a crisis of faith so to speak. Man...sigh...Recently I have been finding myself in tears asking God "why Lord" on many different things. One particular issue that has been really on the forefront of my heart has been the question of "God, why do you allow mixture in Your church?" (but before moving on, as a disclaimer, I am not trying to bash on anyone or any ministry but I can't help but share my thoughts and feelings as my responding in this thread requires me to do so...if anyone is offended, I apologize in advance and would ask that you keep me in prayer to ask the Lord to teach me and correct me if necessary). Now, for a little bit of background, I've been going to a fairly charismatic church and have many friends who are very into some of the stuff that is at the forefront of the charismatic movement these days like ihop and bethel church, etc. I personally used to be quite involved but felt that there was a lot of mixture of bad with good and felt it necessary to distance myself from these movements at the cost of several friends and also difficulties with several leaders within my church. it has been quite a difficult journey for the past several years; being misunderstood and called a pharisee for trying to point people to the Word, but also making mistakes of my own by allowing bitterness and resentment to creep into my heart instead of forgiving and loving my 'enemies.' now personally, i still feel that a lot of these ministries are not in the right, but at the same time, i know people who are into that stuff but still seem to really really love the Lord. what makes it really hard is that it is sooo darn popular and is spreading almost everywhere to the extent that i can't seem to get away from it all. and it has been getting really hard to take a black a white sort of stance with it all, particularly because of the fact that God can still work through these things for the good of His children (not justifying it though to be clear). and this is where it brings me now to my 'crisis' - God why do you allow mixture in the church, why do you allow weird and seemingly unbiblical things to be taught and yet people being blessed in the midst of it, why not just make the distinction clearer Lord. and to be honest, I am presently in a place where I am really asking "God, but you said you would lead us into all truth, but then why is all this going on Lord?" (once again, I am just sharing honestly how I've been feeling and burdened in my heart, not saying that it is right). there have been many times that i've been so troubled and grieved in my heart by it all trying to find an answer that i would literally just sit there sobbing because it hurts so much. there would be many times after church i would be so discouraged that i would lose the desire to teach or care about proper theology and get completely disillusioned by it all feeling in my heart "what is the point of it all." and although i haven't come to a resolution, the Lord definitely has been teaching me a great deal through all this, particularly in what it means to trust in His sovereignty and the necessity for prayer and to strive to do all things in love; it has been breaking me of my pride over and over again, which hurts, but I know and trust is working for my good in His grace.
and that is the weird thing about faith; i think of it is a flower that can only truly blossom and grow in the 'dark', away from the 'light' that is offered by this world and its ways. when boiled down to its essential element, faith comes down to this: who do you go to, whether in good times or bad times, whether in times when faith seems to shine in your heart like the noon day sun vs when doubt creeps in casting a darkness over your very soul...faith is to go to God in ALL things and to trust in the promises of His Word at ALL times...just as the psalmist says "though my heart and my flesh may fail, the Lord is the strength of my heart and my portion forever!"...or just as Peter said "but Lord, where else can we go, for You hold the Words of eternal life!"...
but yeah, these are some verses that have been getting me through, and i hope will be an encouragement to you as well. i will definitely try to keep you in prayer and would ask that you do the same for me if you can. Praise God that He is faithful and will finish the work He started in us because He promised in His Word :)
| 2013/8/27 23:13||Profile|
| Re: |
1Co_11:19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.
The testing of our faith usually comes through other people, relationships.
They are tests on a number of levels.
to purify our hearts
to expose to us what is in our hearts
to show us how much we need Jesus
to show us how much we are relying on ourselves
The Lord has given us everything we need to pass these tests and they certainly are not easy. He never said they would be. The cross is death to self and the flesh and the cross is onerous to the flesh and the flesh will do all it can to avoid the cross.
2Pe_1:4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
| 2013/8/27 23:20|
| Re: Crisis of faith/Crisis of Conscience|
I had to look up how David Wilkinson died and found he was killed in a head on road accident and was not wearing a seat belt.
I don't think that believers are protected from the natural laws of nature, or have angels protecting them, though of course there have been miracles occasionally but we must suffer the consequences of our actions in general and I know of a few elderly folk who should not be allowed behind a wheel.
But you are correct that there is much superficiality in the churches and I think that it has happened since heart condition has had less emphasis than church attendance and doctrines and seems to be just part of the decline in values happening in the west. How to survive in the midst of it?
We have to stop looking to shallow men for inspiration and decide that we are going to have to walk a lonely path and find others who have walked this path before us, to follow in their footsteps, often in past writings when life was much harder and when they suffered greatly but learnt that it was through suffering and digging deeply in the hills that they found silver. Their writings are a great encouragement and help us to keep our eyes on Jesus. If you can find a mentor that would be great and the Lord can lead you there.
Suffering is not a popular subject today but it is the way to a deeper experience of knowing God 's presence with us.
| 2013/8/28 5:25|
| Re: |
After reading the responses here I have come to a conclusion that at least in part I have absorbed too much of man's own wisdom when it deals with Christianity whether it be from the secular arena or the Christian arena. To an extent this experience reminds me of 1998 when I died inside to everything surrounding Christianity when I literally turned myself off inside and I remember that very incident when I did it. It was a decision on a certain day and now something that happened over a period of months.
One thing I plan to do is simplify myself inside. Push myself away from vain babblings. If it doesn't profit myself soul towards God then I am walking away from unless unless I challenge the thought and then walk away.
I find too often we tend to want to get into stupid arguments over nonsense. It causes those of the world to see religion for what it appears to be. NONSENSE and they can live their lives without religion because They don't see God in a Christians life but they also have not come to the point that they know they need God in their life. Much of that is a result of Christian inaction.
The mirror is pointed at me first and I have bruises and warts all over me as well which I need to get rid of as well.
A last note, how often do we as Christians ever leave an impression on anyone that God is alive or cause someone to notice something just a little bit different about us vs. the average person out there? Just something to ponder because this is a part of the Power of God that I don't see around me - and sometimes in me as well.
| 2013/8/29 8:55||Profile|
| Re: FAST|
Ezra 8:21 Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river Ahava, that we might afflict ourselves before our God, to seek of him a right way for us, and for our little ones, and for all our substance.
To abstain from food voluntarily, for the mortification of the body or appetites, or as a token of grief, sorrow and affliction. Voluntary abstinence from food, as a religious mortification or humiliation; either total or partial abstinence from customary food, with a view to mortify the appetites, or to express grief and affliction on account of some calamity, or to deprecate an expected evil. - Webster
The instances given of individuals fasting under the influence of grief, vexation or anxiety are numerous.
When we are entering on any new condition of life, our care should be to bring into it none of the guilt of the sins of our former condition.
Their errand to the throne of grace was to seek of God the right way, that is, to commit themselves to the guidance of the divine Providence, to put themselves under the divine protection, and to beg of God to guide and keep them in their journey and bring them safely to their journey's end. They were strangers in the road, were to march through their enemies' countries, and had not a pillar of cloud and fire to lead them, as their fathers had; but they believed that the power and favour of God, and the ministration of his angels, would be to them instead of that, and hoped by prayer to obtain divine assistance. Note, All our concerns about ourselves, our families, and our estates, it is our wisdom and duty by prayer to commit to God, and leave the care of with him. Those that trust in God, and triumph in him, will be ashamed of seeking to the creature for protection, especially of using any sorry shifts for their own safety, because thereby they contradict themselves and their own confidence. Not but that those who depend upon God must use proper means for their preservation, and they need not be ashamed to do so; but, when the honour of God is concerned, one would rather expose one's-self than do any thing to the prejudice of that, which ought to be dearer to us than our lives. - Henry
"Then I proclaimed a fast there...!"
PROCLAIM A FAST!!!
| 2013/8/29 15:47||Profile|