Turbulent Times

12 07 2008

I have a confession to make. I’m about to get real transparent with all you Convergence readers so I hope you can handle it.

I am really struggling with my faith.

Has anybody ever felt this way before? I mean, the more I walk this walk I wonder what is it all for? Let me rephrase that. It’s not even so much that I doubt God. I’m just really getting sick and tired of the religion that’s been handed down through church. What really matters? As Christians we focus on so many things as a gauge as to whether a person is “holy” or not–drinking, homosexuality, pre-marital sex, cursing, tatooing, secular music, blah blah blah. The list goes on and on. But it’s interesting to me that Jesus never really talked about ANY of those things! The LAW talked about them but Jesus said he came to fulfill the law and that meant we are to love God and love our neighbor. Period. And yes, the Bible says not to do those things that I just mentioned but it also says for women to cover their heads, it also says for men to not shave their beards, it also says we’re actually supposed to give 19% of our income (not 10% like we always preach). All of these things we don’t do! Jesus also said we’re supposed to go out, take care of the poor, the widows, the orphans, the prostitutes, the tax collectors and a lot of churches don’t really do that. Instead we focus on conferences and shows and ministries that are all in-house and require people to come to us. It’s like the church is one big contradiction. I just don’t get it. So yeah, as far as that goes, I’m confused and I’m struggling with understanding those issues. And to me that doesn’t really have to do with God, that’s just my issues with church teaching. And just as a sidebar, that’s one of the things I love about Buckhead Church is that we don’t really have a whole lot of ministries for people to be in throughout the week. We’re called to BE the church in our daily lives. And we can’t do that if we’re always sitting in church at a conference or at a ministry meeting.

And then sometimes I don’t get God either. I was reading the story of Abraham sacrificing his son the other day. And I just couldn’t understand why God would do that? Why would he test him like that? Especially when he knows everything and knew Abraham’s heart and would follow through? Why does God sometimes choose not to act on his omnipotence? I remember one of the biggest times in my life when I struggled with this. It was when 9/11 happened. I get the fact that we live in a fallen world and there is nothing good in the hearts of man and so therefore sometimes people do evil things like fly plans into buildings. I get that. But what got me was that there was a MAJOR cleanup and rescue mission in the days and weeks following the attack. I remember watching the news, I think it was on the third day, and it started raining. So the rescue workers got frustrated because they couldn’t do any work that night because of the rain. I got so frustrated with God that night because I couldn’t understand why he would allow it to rain when people were trying to do something good and save people’s lives that might still be trapped in the rubble. He had the power to not make it rain, so why did he?

These are just questions that I have and I’m just venting right now. I just started reading a book called “The Idea of God.” It’s one of
those ancient philosophic/apologetics books and so far it seems like it
might address some of those questions. I’ve also got some C.S. Lewis
books on my shelf that I still need to tackle. He’s like one of my
favorite authors because he really delves into the core of our beliefs as Christians.
So this might be a good time for me to get into some apologetics. My small group ended a few months ago and I think I desperately need to find a new one. 

And I KNOW God has a plan. And I KNOW all things work together for good. And I KNOW it’ll all make sense when we get to heaven. But Why, God? Why?

Has anybody else ever felt this way or am I alone in this?

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6 responses

12 07 2008
Todd Cullop

Hi Avril,
I read your blog occasionally; I found you because of the title–I pastor a church called Convergence, so your blog pops up on my email alerts. I enjoy reading your posts.
I can relate to your struggle. The last few years have been exciting and scary, as I’ve really begun to challenge the simple, black and white, easy answer faith I grew up with. God, the Church, the Bible–none are simple or clear to me these days. I’ve been learning to embrace mystery and uncertainty rather than fight them. And through that, I experience God and His kingdom more and more…
I’m still asking a lot of questions, don’t have a lot of answers; just wanted to tell you you’re not alone!

12 07 2008
Khalilah

Wow Avril. Im so inspired by your boldness to just go there and put how you feel out there. You are not the only one who feels this way. I wish we could all get to a place where we could all allow ourselves to explore our faith, to explore what we have been taught, to question what/how we feel, even if it flies in the face of what the bible and our pastors say. The church talks about the status quo (in the world) but there is a status quo in the church and if you have a differing opinion or way of thinking, you are an outcast, considered less holy, less worthy, less righteous and you dont have anyone to talk to.
Im at a point in my walk with God where I feel like I am at odds with Him. Nothing makes sense. Many of the things I have been taught (like the things you mentioned in your blog) in church seems like a bunch of man-made garbage. And sometimes I feel like the things God takes us through is unnecessary, especially, as you said in your blog, dont make sense – especially since all power is in His hand. And when I ask questions like this, I dont need some super deep and spiritual Christian rattling off some scripture to me. I already know what the bible says.
Oh well – before I start going off – you are not alone. Allow yourself to go on this journey of exploration. I will join you. xoxoxo

13 07 2008
SIS

Hallelujah… We are not alone. I was feeling lost because that is where I was feeling. That it is all a bunch of made up stuff from the “church”. I know I haven’t been attending consistently in quite some times. But it doesn’t mean I don’t love him just the same and endeavor to love Him and my neighbors.
Still Searching and You do the same!
Sis

14 07 2008
James

Nope you’re not alone in those questions. Sometimes when I pray I wonder why I’m doing it. Part of me sincerely needs to pray. However God has shown me lately that obedience is so importance. Why is it so hard to obey His simple commands? Do your best at work. Love your neighbors. Spend time with Him. Love Him with all your heart, soul and mind. Am I the only one who has challenges there? I hope not.

14 07 2008
Avril

James, no you’re definitely not alone. It’s like you said–sometimes it’s so hard to do even the simple things. I even have trouble praying and reading my Bible a lot of times. But once again being honest about it has helped me reconnect in many ways.

15 07 2008
Angela

Wow… Even though I’m far away right now, it’s like we’re in the same room with this post. One of my closest friends in St. Louis has been praying and believing God for a baby for a long time. She finally got pregnant about 8 months ago and lost the baby two weeks ago. And she still had to deliver naturally.
But what’s crazy about it is how God covers the details of these situations when they happen. He arranged for her airline pilot husband to make it home in four hours. The labor was supernaturally fast. So many things happened that helped make enduring the loss a little better, but why did she have to go through that loss in the first place???
I know the Bible says that many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord will deliver them out of them all. But WHY?? Sometimes it’s just too hard.

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