August 29, 2007

It's My Path

When we first come to understand God's love, and the salvation contained in it, we are like babies in the knowledge that we have. So with a burning desire, we jump in with both feet and try to learn what we can by reading the bible and going to church. Why do we go to church? Because that is what is expected of us christians right? We go to church and start learning what they teach us. But we find that what we read in the bible, and what we are taught, are often two different things. Being human, we want nice, straight, easy definable answers, bullet pointed in chronological order. When we don't find that, we begin to despair, "What is wrong with me, I don't get it." So we try harder, find more inconsistencies, really feel as if we will never understand. The other people in my church are into what the pastor is saying, they get it, maybe I should be more like them. So we jump into teaching Sunday school, go along with the outreach program, sing in the choir, attend Wednesday night gatherings, and sometimes home bible studies. On the outside, we are seen as a rising young christian star, someone who has come in and jumped right into the ministry, pushing God's message to the world. On the inside, we are still going, "Why don't I feel right about this?"

That was me, almost 25 years ago. Oh man, am I really that old. Anyway, I ended up walking away from church, not from God, but church, for 12 years. I went sporadically until 2002. Then I started going regularly. I am not a very good church member. My wife wanted to join the church. I said, this is a direct quote, "Why? What are the benefits, do we get a secret decoder ring or something?" Always the cynic. Then after going for 2 years, I was just done. There was nothing there for me anymore. I had learned all that I could from them, and still wanted, no, NEEDED more, SOMETHING ELSE. When I left, I knew that I had to continue my education. I had read the bible a couple of times, and did not feel lead to go that way again. So I dipped into my birthright, or inheritance from my Grandfather, Fred Kenison. God had lead him to study the bible for 50+ years now, and to write a number of those studies up. They are slowly being turned into books, as the editor has time to edit them. these studies are unique, why? Because they do not prove anything. They do not come to a doctrinal conclusion. They do not prove the rightness of chatholicism, calvinism, lutheranism, etc... etc... They just translate the bible, back into it's essence, and tells what it says. It more disproves things than proves them. This is where I started my REAL biblical education.

Do I agree with everything my grandfather says, no. Will you, you should not. With all of the learning I have done, and during all of that learning, I have come to discover something, that at the time was perplexing, but now, is truly amazing in it's scope and breadth. This is what I have found. That each of us goes through our journey on the path with God, in God's own time. We do not control it. How did I find this out? By seeing people with troubles, knowing the answer that they needed. Shared the answer with them, and they refused it. They were good people, really trying their best to follow God, had the answer right there laid bare in front of them, and they COULD NOT see it. It reminds me of the disciples that saw many works and wonders at Jesus feet, and yet their hearts were hardened so that they would not accept it. (Mark somewhere) How could they not? They themselves cast out demons. They themselves healed the sick, and yet they did not believe. Not truly. How can that be? God made it so. God knew that the timing of the revelation, was as important as the revelation itself. The disciples were to have their revelation on the day of Pentecost, and not before. This is my theory. But to have the revelation before, and have thirteen people preaching the word of God, would have taken away from Jesus and his work. He would no longer have been the only focal point of the revolution taking place. He might not have been killed in the way he was. It would have screwed everything up. So, he had the disciples store up all of the wonders and things they had seen, to be used at the right time to make God' Kingdom grow to the fullest extent. God's plan worked. The movement started that day, has survived 2,000 years, and is growing. What has this to do with us today?

Simple. It means that we cannot judge another by what they do and do not see within the bible. We are each in our separate place along the straight and narrow path. God knows where we are, and will not allow us to take the next step until it is time. Often times, we sit at crossroads, looking at the other possibilities of life. When we have gone through what we need to go through, God allows the revelation to come, along with his blessings. This is repeated again and again. Trials and tribulations, blessings and understanding. It also means that no one doctrine, or set of beliefs is right, ever. Because God will not allow it. No one will reach the enlightenment of the next level without proper preparation. So which religion is right, none of them. Not even mine. Because their is so much more to learn, and I will not be allowed to learn it, until God deems, the time is right.

8 comments:

Valorosa said...

He is Sovereign over all ... the scriptures are full of this very truth ... the Bible needs to be read with a mind ready to learn and question and receive ... He will provide deeper walks with Him as we are willing ...

jON said...

yet, in order to not sound too cynical, i think there is a benefit in organized church. becoming a member is a whole 'nother deal altogether, but for the foundational biblical teachings taht many of them give, it is a good place to get some much needed milk spoon fed to you every morning.

yet how strange that for some of us it is not enough. and beyond that safe place for milk, where do we go? what do we do? the more i read and contemplate the things contained in the bible the more i identify with the ones god has tapped for some sort of a special reason. and i notice about them that they usually weren't thrilled about the tapping. and several times along the way, the protest the difficulty of the path laid out for them.

yet the path is still there. it beckons us further. and as you said, it is different for each one of us. and for some, turning back or turning away isn't even an option. god does not allow it. he keeps perstering until you do his bidding. (see moses or jonah)

but to what end? what does he want from me? where are my greener pastures? where are my quiet waters? where is the restoring of my soul?

Nate said...

This is not a condemnation of church. There are some great ones out there. I just haven't found them. But people are always telling me they exists. Also, they don't normally have a very deep bible study that happens. They feed the milk, but rarely the meat. I needed some meat. But also in this example, the person did not leave the church, they were still there.

Nate said...

PS Jon, didn't you get your secret decoder ring?

Erin said...

Loved the last paragraph. That's all I have to say. Just loved it.

One Voice of Many said...

I'm with Erin. The last paragraph saved my response from being "but..." and "what about..." and, "the way I see it...".

The round off was a 10.

Michelle

Paul said...

Thanks for your insight...

onelittlemustardseed said...

Ahhh, something I can relate to! I think I am about to lay down my struggle with church.