Greetings my fellow facttruthers. I hope you all have been continuing to study the Word for yourselves and make your own conclusions as to what accurate Christian beliefs you should hold. It’s always a joy to see your likes indicating that you appreciated my thoughtful insights, and to read your comments as you offer your thoughtful perspectives or encouraging appreciation to me as we enhance each others knowledge of things. In this post I’m going to be a little bit more transparent as to my current frame of mind in my faith, and this will be less of a Christian topical study where we review over Scripture. But I will still reference Scripture in sharing my thoughts.
In my journey of being authentic to my Christian faith, I’ve striven in trying to be as close to the type of Christian based on God’s Word, and not based on any church tradition or culturally influenced theology. In doing so, I’ve never thought of myself as more genuinely connected to God than this present time in life. But in saying that, it’s often unclear to me at all how connected to God I am. I rarely get any sense of a connection other than my own knowledge that in reflecting my lifestyle to Scripture, I am technically more connected to God.
Now as many of you who’ve followed my posts over the last two years know, and those of you who’ve not followed my posts over the last couple of years should know, I don’t particularly believe in any form of communication from God outside of scripture. Do I deny the possibility of God using such communication? No. But God never spoke audibly to one Christian in scripture. So to say such a communication is not only plausible but common as well is at the very least a leap in my estimation, and I humbly and sincerely think an intellectually honest person should agree with that minimal estimation. But beyond audible communications, I know some believers of Christianity believe in signs, “confirmation”, and other forms of spiritual interactions suggesting the same form of outer scriptural communication from God being prevalent. But again, these things are not heavily taught by the Apostles nor appear to be heavily evident in most of the chapters after Christianity was established.
As I make clear this way of thinking that I have in my mind, it leads into an interesting problem that I have as a practicing Christian at times. I see myself doing things according to Scripture to the best of my ability, and putting aside the fact that I know I’m certainly not perfect in my best efforts, I come to an inevitable struggle of whether any of what I’m doing matters. When I say “matters”, I mean do my efforts make a positive difference in my life/environment? Do good things I desire come as a result? Is God appreciating my efforts? It’s something I ponder in my lack of seeing or sensing that.
Hard to say what specifically I’m really looking for as an answer, but I can tell you it’s definitely not some kind of “super-spiritual” feeling. Many Pentecostal traditions for example have a tendency to base their connections with God off of an emotional experience, to the detriment of scriptural foundation sadly. I’ve grown up watching televangelists influence many into emphasizing a feeling over scripture associated with connection to God, and if you don’t have it, you’re doing some wrong or you need to believe more through giving these persuasive swindlers your hard earned dollars “in faith”. Of course we know faith is action in concurrence with conclusion of thought of something to be true.
Though if you agree with that common Pentecostal tradition, you may find yourself asking, where does your motivation to believe even come from Mr. FactBasedTruth? Well I can tell you it comes from a personal decision I make. I’d rather believe in a greater good operating the universe, than all of this we see before us as being meaningless. I don’t like the hopelessness in that thinking, and I’d rather have something to hope for, than just live in the despair of knowing this is it, and I’m stuck with making the best of what’s left of my time until I cease to exist. I’ve concluded also there’s evidence that strongly suggests the truth of Christianity, and in my own personal studies of reaching an authentic Christianity according to Scripture, I’m inspired by what I read, which further makes me want to choose to believe in living as a follower of Christ.
So I could never see myself becoming agnostic or atheist. But the constant struggle of being committed and devout in faith whilst lacking a sense of connection definitely makes indifference seem like an easier option. If one prays, reads, and does their best to live by scripture, but sees very little positive result, sees themselves continuing to endure the same difficult struggles, and does not get any sense that their faith is appreciated by God, one would reasonably not desire to be as devout to that faith. One would have to reach really hard for an understanding that makes them accept the way things are in their practicing of their faith no matter how good or bad, perceived or not perceived they may be, and continuing on in commitment knowing that at least when life is over, there will be something better on the other side. The story of Job comes to mind.
Though ultimately, the faith isn’t based on our desires being eventually fulfilled, getting a feeling, or seeing things happening. It’s based primarily on the Gospel that saves people being spread, and obedience of the followers of Christ knowing that our obedience to Scripture exhibits love towards God and towards others, which is what God desires of all Christians. But as true as that all is, it’s understandably still tough. But I can only continue to do my best to try to connect and conceptualize my connection with God, and trust in the end that something good will come of all of this, because of the fact that I do believe in the greater good of God allowing things to happen/making everything that happen for the best.
Peace to all those who are in Christ.