Monday, January 30, 2012

Praying for Clarity

I have been struggling a lot recently with conflicting thoughts about what to believe.  I want to believe what's right. I want to make sure I am not waisting my time...missing the point...missing what God has for me. 

We recently moved and have been attending a non-denominational church where for once I am free to learn to believe what I believe and search for truth in a whole new way.  It is something I have never been a part of before. 

You see a couple years ago, I was in a church that was everything I could have ever wanted.  I was growing.   We had great friends and spent a lot of time with them and through that was able to see God in a new way that what I ever have.  A lot has changed since then.  We moved to a church that was very much missing the point in so many ways and I begin to die. 

Since then I have been somewhat on a quest to find out what it is that I really believe.  Hence the beginning of this blog.  I am still struggling however with trying to see things through God's eyes rather than my eyes and what I have been taught.  I know I have been taught a lot of half truths. I know I have looked at things the wrong way.  I know I was legalistic in my thinking at times.  I want to get away from that.  I want to see the world as God does. I want His clarity.

The not so recent release of Love Wins by Rob Bell and Erasing Hell by Francis Chan has really gotten me thinking.  I love they way Chan challenges me.  I think he hits it right on the head in a lot of ways.  What if, however, Bell has it right in this case.  I can't believe right now that he does, but what if?  I love the way he looks at things differently to.  I know I can disagree with people and it be ok, but their is only one truth. 

Please pray for me as I dig to find out what the truth is.  I might never find it in this life, but I know that I will know more of who God is. 

PS. I miss my friends.  I miss being challenged by them spiritually and being able to trust that they were in the word and I knew that I was on the same page with them.  Life is hard without the right friends.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Shades of Grey

Recently I have been really contemplating, studying, and searching for answers.  We were having a discussion recently about if things can really be wrong or right and how that can easily turn into Legalism.  I grew up in a legalistic church and moved to a less legalistic church, then to a church who taught grace and love, but then back to a church that was legalistic again.  I hate attending churches that are legalistic, but I know through being there God has shown me so much.  Not so much about what is right and wrong, but rather how even while God does have absolute truths, I believe are also shades of grey.  

I believe God has given us the 10 commandments (not to be confused with suggestions) and ultimatly boiled them down to two rules to follow.  Love the Lord with all your heart, mind, and soul....and Love your neighbor as yourself.  Easy enough right?  Then why is we have so many other rules that we have been told we have to follow, or worse yet, that we impose on others in order for them to be "Christian?"

I find that a lot of these rules really stem off things God has convicted individuals of. These convictions often stem off things that people are putting up as idols or putting before God.  For instance...the bible says not to get drunk.  It does not say not to drink.  However, I can only imagine we got the "rule" from someone who said they were convicted by God not to drink.  Why would they?  Well either God knew they had an issue with becoming addicted to things, or they were addicted to achohol and that was a method of God releasing them from the addiction.  Does this mean it is wrong for everyone?  No... It is wrong for that person because God has convicted them of if, but it is not the alchohol itself that was the issue, but rather putting it before God is.

Ok, so thats part of it all, but how does that relate to loving your neighbor as yourself?  Do we uphold someone else's conviction out of love for them?  I believe that if God asks us to, we should.  However, if they are growing in their walk, and you are growing in your walk.  Their convictions will remain their convictions and your convictions yours.  They don't need to be imposed on others, but through discussion maybe God could use one of you to help bring light to a conviction that one of you could have been surpressing. 

I don't know that their is an easy way to explain it other than, your heart must be right.  With your heart being right and being in a relationship ship with God, following His two rules (which will lead to following the 10 commandments), will not be a challenge and you will be searching for his truth and will know what He wants for you.