Entry Submitted by John at 12:09 AM EDT on April 6, 2017
"Matt1075, You're Right!" by WHOA! - 4.5.17
I read your post and, was nearly instantly compelled to respond. In truth, there may be a lot more that I can empathize with you about than, I even know. In a sense, I know what you mean by feeling like a ship without a rudder in turbulent waters and needing to tether to something that will prevent you from drifting out to sea. I've been there and, I found resolve in going back to the basis of my own faith and, I mean, to the very foundation of "in the beginning, God."
I was raised "going to church" and, I put that in quotations because, quite frankly, how do you "go to" something that "is you"? In other words, if "the church" is the people how do you go to yourself? That in itself raises a lot of questions but, it shines light on what our congregating is supposed all be about...fellowship and, not so much of a lot of the things that seem to be emphasized in the religious world. As you will see, I'm not "new age" nor, will I ever be but, I will confess, I've read several books by new age authors and, in some instances they sound like they run parallel with the way I was raised and then in others, at least for me, it's like a golf ball that hooks off to the left and goes out of bounds. I've even been in many discussions with people about "the Bible" and, how it's been changed over time and, I know it has. At the same time, as imperfect as it may seem to some, I that know that what we have is still sufficient to change lives. I'll give you a "for instance", in the life of a man named "Walid Shoebat" Here's a link for his Wikipedia psge https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walid_Shoebat
I met Walid (pronounced WAH Leed. Shu Bot) about six years ago. Our Pastor had met him and invited him to come and speak to our small congregation. In one of our informal discussions, and you can read about some of this in his bio, he told us about his upbringing. He is Palestinian and, he was born in Bethlehem. When you read about his former life, you'll find out about some of the bad stuff he was involved in but, he told us about a day his wife, who I believe is Catholic was leaving for church and carrying her Bible. He made s comment to her about "why was she using the Bible, she knew it had been altered by men and..." and, she looked at him and said "Prove it!" to which, he reached over to get her Bible and she abruptly said, "Oh no...you go get your own Bible." So, to make a point and prove to her what he was telling her was the truth, he went out and bought his own Bible...then, he began studying with that objective in mind. Low and behold, in the pages of a book that he was attempting to disprove, he discovered the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob...the God of love. Today, he is one of the biggest proponents for the Christian faith that's alive. He's written a number if books and, he knows Middle East history even better than I know American history snd, not to brsg but, I know a lot of American history.You can read more about Walid on your own. I just wanted to use him as a prime example of how a book that is "so messed up" is still able to dramatically change individual lives in such a wondrous way.
Anyway, the Bible says "if we will draw near to God, he will draw near unto us." He says "those who truly seek him will find him" and, what's amazing is, while there may be many things that you and I may be in agreement about, each of our relationships with him can be completely different in so many other ways. That's because, our relationship with him is personal...and, that's what makes having a relationship with him so wonderful because, I don't have to do everything exactly how you do and, nether do you have to follow my pattern. There are only two commandments that we even need to focus on. 1. Love God with all our heart, soul and, mind and, 2. a second that Jesus said was of equal importance, "love your neighbor as yourself...there in fulfills all the demands of the law and the prophets." Then, when we begin to see how simple he laid it out for us, it becomes much easier to "tether your boat" to Jesus. The more to study with an open heart, the more God reveals to you and, the more he reveals to you, the stronger your faith becomes. You learn that being perfect in our own is impossible but that, we are made perfect through God's love...what he does for us every day. As many people as there are who are "saying that's false", you'll find twice that many people saying, just as David says in Psalm 118: 22 "The stone that the builders rejected has now become the cornerstone."