Perhaps you heard in the news that some fairly well-known Christians recently denounced their faith after years of being church leaders and influencers. One of them on Twitter no less. They each said, in one way or another, they had too many doubts and unanswered questions about their belief in God. They found their faith had frayed so much they couldn’t hold onto the thread any longer.
I’m sad for them. But, I am far more sad about the impact their public denouncement will have on the people who look up to them.
Too many of us in the Christian community live on weak or shallow faith. What we have, even after years of being Christians, is not strong enough to withstand a major trial or period of serious doubt. This is why we see so many people fall away.
For some, when their religious convictions are challenged by circumstances, they find they aren’t as convicted or as convinced as they thought they were. They begin to question … WHICH IS A GOOD THING! That’s why we find the phrase in the Bible, “I believe, Lord. Help me with my unbelief!”
We call this a “crisis of faith”. Most of us will have several in our lifetime. Whether or not we survive these times with our faith intact wholly depends on the foundation our faith stands on.
We have way too many Christians living without any foundation for their faith. They believe. Sincerely! But they don’t know the stories, the lessons or the history behind the truths that support their dearly held affections for the Gospel. Because of this, when they are challenged to defend their faith, they simply cannot.
The vast number of Christians only read the scriptures that are printed in their Sunday sermon notes. Thoughts, insights, and ideals carefully curated and prepared for them by someone else. They pay attention well enough to fill in the blanks; but the lesson, as well as the scriptures, are forgotten by the time they leave the building.
Your pastor can’t build your faith or your foundation for you.
A pastor’s job is to inspire you and help you more fully understand the Word of God. But, let’s face it. If that’s all the Bible you are taking in each week it just isn’t enough for spiritual formation and growth. That would be the equivalent of only eating once a week. Eventually, you’ll find yourself in a crisis. And you’ll be too weak to stand against any enemy wanting to take your life …or your faith.
And this is both my point and my warning for you. Your faith has to be in the Word of God, not your pastors’ presentation of it –even if it’s a great presentation.
Life will throw your faith against the rocky cliffs at the edge of your understanding like a violent, rageful ocean.
Every foundation will be tested. Yours and mine. And we must be prepared for that.
“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.”1 Peter 3:15
Your only defense is to know and understand the full counsil of God. This means taking in the words and the wisdom of the whole Bible.
The foundation of the New Testament is the Old Testament. Reading and studying both will help you understand SO MUCH MORE.
You’ll learn why it doesn’t make sense to pluck one scripture and use it as a proof text for any complicated human or social issue. You’ll see how the 66 different books and the 2000+ years it took to write them collectively express God more than any single idea, concept or scripture ever could.
“You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that–and shudder. “” James 2:19
You once believed in Santa Clause simply because someone told you he was real. You had no real evidence to defend your belief when someone told you he wasn’t. Don’t treat your belief in God with the same childish faith you put in Santa Clause.
We are not without evidence. God made certain of that!
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”Ephesians 6:10-17
There is a battle going on. You’re going to need the full council and the Full Armor of God to survive it. I pray you will.
Read your Bible. Listen to it on the Bible app if you don’t have time to sit down and read. Get some Bible inside you! We need you in this fight.
In His love and service,