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My struggles with my Faith.

Discussion in 'Testimonial Forum' started by Mike Waters, Jun 1, 2020.

  1. Mike Waters

    Mike Waters Well-Known Member

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    For me, it all began in my early adolescence, when I progressed from junior Sunday School and up into the Young People’s Fellowship in the Chapel opposite my parent’s bungalow. We were a strong and closely knit group that filled two rows of pews when we attended the Chapel’s Sunday services, and we annually holidayed together at various UK Christian holiday camps. Each of us professed to having experienced a ‘Road to Damascus’ conversion although, looking back, I have to admit to somewhat ‘shamming it up’ since I had never enjoyed such an experience.

    In hindsight I must admit to the major attraction of the part played by the presence in the group of my ‘childhood sweetheart’ since the age of 10. By the age of 14 I had made my move on my sweetheart and two years later we were baptised together by immersion in a joint ritual. From thereon I committed myself to the Chapel’s teachings and, as a result of their majoring on pacifist deference, I followed their exhortations to resist conscription into combative military service, and registered as a conscientious objector. I thereby broadened my religious horizons by being housed in a billet set aside for other “conchies” from every imaginable denomination of Christianity.

    When I was demobilised after two year’s non combative duties, and after several more years of career and family diversions; I returned to the Chapel, only to find that, contrary to its claims to ‘pacifist deference’, the chapel had imploded into three warring groups regarding which, of its assistant Pastors, should succeed the ageing senior Pastor. Two of the groups had left and joined other chapels and, after likewise trying various other chapels only to find similar controversy, I became so disillusioned that I abandoned my search in order to devote myself to a long examination of the history of Christianity to see if I could find a plausible explanation for the great divide that I had come to recognise.

    That was 60 years ago and, to this day, I have been unable to reconcile the conclusions that arose as a result of my ‘examination’. Whether or not any of them have relevance that would merit a mention would be a very subjective matter. Collectively they certainly paint a very negative picture. Those with better academic qualification than myself would probably disagree with my conclusions, as would most of those with deep religious conviction.
    Those with adverse religious experiences might well agree, as might those with atheist or agnostic inclinations. In my favour I claim allegiance to no denomination whatsoever, and I hope to have benefited from my more mature efforts at further historic self education at libraries and relevant museums, and visits to ‘The Holy Land’.

    However history from the dark ages and beyond is said to lean in favour of the ‘victors’; the losers from long ago having not survived to tell their side of the story. Add to this my conclusion that, whereas I could well come up with plausible explanations based on my researched knowledge of the UK’s progression throughout the relevant ages, I have little idea of the comparable progression of Mediterranean Christianity, or of the religious progression of countries in which Christianity is not their dominant faith. But, in my opinion, there just has to be a ‘bigger picture’ than that narrowly held by western evangelical fundamentalists who hold to the plenary verbal inerrancy of the bible, yet insist that their interpretations are sufficiently different to warrant the formation of over 30,000 different sects, cults, and denominations.

    I guess I must just leave it to God as to how He will “bring in the sheep that are of other folds”.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2020
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  2. Fred Eans

    Fred Eans Member

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    Each of us has a long verbal story to tell. I have one that is also broken into sections over the period of 65 years. I found that the more I thought about, the more confused I became. However towards the end of that time, I found a cure; which was really a very simple one. I did not really have a goal which would take the place of what I thought to be a big problem. It became apparent, that I had not fully dedicated my life to Christ; and this was impeding my focus on peace of mind. I began to replace my self - centeredness with, learning more about God and other people’s problems. I did have one of those knockdown moments, which was in the form of finding out that I was really millions of years old. I won’t go into the details, but I will tell you what became the basis of this was. I had always been holding back because of science, and the reports of cave men which were more than the 6,000 to 7,000 years I had been learning about. This knock down began in the Book of Job. In the late Chapters, God was telling Job that he had been created at the same time as behemoth. In that same scripture, God described behemoth; it turned out to be a dinosaur. So, this told me that I and all of God’s Children were created millions of years ago. The Word does not tell us when Lucifer fell from grace, but it does say God destroyed the first heaven and earth age, ten to fourteen thousand years ago. After this, I knew that my plan should be finding out about God’s Plan. The rest is history - that is His story. I did not really have time to be concerned about myself. In addition, I found, the more of that Plan I uncovered (needless to say) through the Holy Spirit, the happier I was. I do hope this helps someone else.
     
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  3. marks

    marks Well-Known Member

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    I'd say yes, to leave it to Him. I find, for me, the center of everything is to focus on my own relationship with God. I just need to make sure I'm following Him as I believe I should, trusting He will correct me as needed, and everything else is taken care of.

    Much love!
     
  4. Angelina

    Angelina Prayer Warrior Staff Member Admin

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    It appears that you have spent many years looking for truth brother @Mike Waters and how that plays out in life. Although I have had first hand experience of his divine power prior to becoming a born-again believer, it took a conscious decision on my part, to accept the bible as God's truth and if I have got some understanding of it incorrect, that the Holy Spirit within me, would reveal it. Our pathways to salvation and eternal life may look different because we are different people, however, our God is the same unchanging God who loves us and sent us his Son so that we can have life and have it abundantly.

    I think sometimes our biggest problem is our brain. We can be still thinking with an unrenewed mind [Romans 12:2, Ephesians 4:23] and not the mind of Christ. I remember a brother who was a new believer, came to ask me questions about God. As a new believer myself, I knew it would be difficult because I did not know enough of my bible to be able to help him in his request for understanding so I asked God to help me with his questioning.

    What struck me in our conversation was how the Holy Spirit bypassed my mind to speak to him directly, the answers he was looking for. This was then checked out in the word of God and found to be the true. Bless you brother. I still think that you are awesome!
     
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  5. Mike Waters

    Mike Waters Well-Known Member

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    In which respect I always regard God's Holy Spirit as my Divine anti virus program inasmuch as He filters out errors (if any there be) before planting the true living word into the fleshy tables of my heart.;)
     
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  6. Mike Waters

    Mike Waters Well-Known Member

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    I picked on this song after hearing it on what I have found to be the most poignant ‘Word of God’ (to me) on a site from the very last page 16 of Google search for ‘Christian forums’.
    The song was one that our choir used to sing at Gospel Rallies over 70 years ago, and the site took me back so powerfully to my earliest Christian faith that I feel like I have been born again.

    It was Christian Issues

    I must now start writing a post that will reveal the new ‘born again’ me.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2020
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