This is the final part of a three part series. Yesterday I left off with this sentence:
“So where do we go from here? How do we find enough faith to seek when we just feel tired, and cranky, and cynical?”
That’s exactly where we are going to pick up. Fair warning, this might be a rant! 🙂
Don’t be ashamed of your doubt and questions about God. Or afraid of your cynicism and the snarkiness that simmers just beneath the surface when it comes to organized religion. Or feel guilt because of your depression and/or disillusionment with Christianity.
Can I be honest? I am so over American Christianity. I literally HATE how political it has become. The black and white thinking on both sides of the spectrum drives me insane! Besides, what does politics have to do with Jesus anyway? He refused to become a political puppet two thousands years ago, and you’d better believe He doesn’t want to be one today either!
I’m sick and tired of cheesy Christian movies, memes, and marketing. I’m frustrated by tradition, and ritual, and people who say “it’s not a religion, it’s a relationship” while piling on expectations and standards. Christianese phrases, and formulas, and “easy answers” make me cranky. And don’t even get me started on the gold dust and angel feathers supposedly demonstrating God’s Presence at Bethel Church in California!
I just want more. I want something real. I want truth.
If you resonate with anything that I just said, then I have good news for us. We want more, because there is more. Our cranky hearts are disillusioned because they are calling for home.
“If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.” C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
What if our frustrations, and doubts, and disillusionment are simply evidences of the real God? How’s that for a crazy thought?
As people, we have such an intense longing for connection, for meaning, and for acceptance. We try to satisfy those desires through people, social media, technology, entertainment, etc…but they all fall short. Why? Because we were created to be intimately connected to God. How do we get there? How do we find that connection? How do we find satisfaction and “the more” our hearts desire?
It starts with faith.
“And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him” Hebrews 11:6.
We believe a Real God exists, and we begin to seek Him. Our whispered prayer is, “Show me who You are.” We believe that He will reward our search with Himself. God is our reward! The best ever!!
Jesus is next.
“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation” Colossians 1:15.
“Show me who You are” will lead us to Jesus Christ. He is God in human form. So we seek Him through the gospels. We soak in His words. We watch how he treats people. We follow Him to the cross. We listen to what He said about Himself.
For whatever reason, the Old Testament God is who people turn to when they want to boss you around with Christian religion. He seems to be easier to twist to their own advantage than Jesus. So, we will run to Jesus and choose to interpret God in the Old Testament through Him.
And then we need more faith.
“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God” John 3:17-18.
We believe in Jesus…that He is God and that His death gives us life. This is the gospel! The good news that God Himself came to heal the relationship between Creator and creation. We acknowledge His amazing love and we are overwhelmed by His grace.
It gets even better!
“In Him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in Him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit,” Ephesians 1:13.
Ah, the mysterious Holy Spirit…I love this part! This is where the relationship happens. This is where it gets awesome and crazy!! (And once again takes faith.) If we have trusted in Jesus as our Savior, then we are God’s children and He has given us His very Spirit. Which means that we are never alone. When we cry out in the darkness, “God, where are You?” we must not miss the gentle whisper in our ear, “I’m right here.”
And that, my friends, is where we start to reconstruct our deconstructed faith. These are the simple core truths of original Christianity.
If you’ve followed this blog for a while, or know me in real life, then you know I’ve experienced some of what this broken world has to offer. I spent ten years in a legalistic, twisted, cultic sub-culture of Christianity. We had two late term miscarriages in a row, and I delivered my second, tiny baby on Valentines Day. My father-in-law died suddenly and tragically a few years ago. I’ve been hurt and betrayed by Church People I trusted on more than one occasion. Prayers I’ve prayed for years have gone unanswered. I have more than enough reasons to doubt.
But, I’ve met Jesus, and there is no way I am leaving Him. I want you to meet Him too!
You aren’t going to find Him on a screen. 🙂 You might find information about Him, people’s opinions, Bible verses, etc. These are a good start. But you will need to put your device down and seek the old fashioned way if you are really going to meet Him.
Be quiet. Listen to the longings of your heart. Ask the Spirit to show you who He is. Let me know what you find!
I’m including some links to other posts I’ve written as well as to a few books I found amazingly inspiring. 🙂
The Missing Member of the Trinity
God Does Not Care About Your Jenga Blocks
Rediscovering Jesus – In the Garden
“The Jesus-Centered Life” by Rick Lawrence
“Recapturing the Wonder” by Mike Cosper