Table of Contents
- Making your faith your own
- What the Holy Spirit does
- Don’t jump on board
- Think for yourself.
- Grow your own faith
Making your faith your own
I’ve been on a quest for a long time to make my faith my own. But in that quest, I read every new Christian book that came along. I believed every word spoken from the pulpit because it was from the pulpit. Pastors are always right. Right? Plus, I didn’t want to be like those who serve up the typical “pastor on a plate” Sunday after Sunday. It never occured to me that it was OK to question, that just because a pastor said something it was correct or that every word in print was accurate.
Wanting to be considered open-minded and a real intellect, I listened intently to what all kinds of Christian leaders espoused. But as I grew in Christ, l learned the importance of doing my own thinking and research. Eventually, I threw away much of what I’d read and heard. Now my faith is “my” faith.
What the Holy Spirit does
The Holy Spirit reminds us of what we’ve read in Scripture. But how can the Holy Spirit possibly remind us of something we’ve never even read? This is why there are so many Christians who fall victim, as I did, to every new popular theme churches adopt. They hadn’t studied the Bible for themselves.
Who can forget the popular “The Purpose-Driven Life”? Thousands of churches jumped on board. Most attendees forgot it all when they finished the class.
And then there was the movie, “The Passion”. Once again, many churches promoted this popular movie.
I am not saying there is anything wrong with either the book or the movie. But was the book or the movie appropriate for all churches?
In my opinion, it is never a good idea to latch on to a new idea or way of thinking just because it’s new and popular.
Yes, I read the book. And, yes, I saw the movie. The book was fine but I wished I had not seen the movie. It appalled me that movie viewers were eating popcorn and drinking pop while they watched Jesus being beaten half to death.
Don’t jump on board
All of this is just to suggest that maybe we all need to think before we jump on board about anything promoted as the latest “new” anything. Shall I remind anyone of Ecclesiastes and the phrase “nothing new under the sun? Think about that for a minute.
God’s words are as old as the world, aren’t they? There is nothing “new” man can write that has not been written before.
Trends come and go. Even in the church.
Sure, we can learn about a new way to study the Bible. One author explains something better than another author. That’s not what I mean. I am talking about blindly following the newest trend.
Some new trends are good and they stand the test of time. I was on a zoom call for a group I belong to and the guest speaker was talking about the Enneagram test. Everyone was over the top about it. Not me. Personality Assessment tests have been around for years but you would have thought no one had ever heard of one. I bowed out of the conversation because I wanted to shout, “Ladies, think for yourself!”
Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with taking a personality test but to think that a personality test is always accurate or that you should base everything you do on the results, is naive. We might fit in a general category but God has made each us unique and while a personality assessment might be beneficial, we mustn’t let it cloud what God has called us to do.
Do you remember how women bought into the whole season idea for deciding what color clothes they should wear? If you were a summer, for example, you should basically wear pastels. According to the test results, I am a summer. I hate pastels and decided I knew better than some test.
Think for yourself.
Make your faith your own. If someone says something you disagree with, ask for clarification. If you still don’t agree, say so. You will do both of you a favor.
A woman in a bible study I was in once commented that she didn’t think the story of Abraham attempting to sacrifice his son, Isaac, was meant to be factual. I was impressed. That’s a pretty bold statement to make but I admired her courage.
Learn and think for yourself
We can always learn more. We can grow in our understanding of Scripture.
The way some Bible scholars explain scripture appeals to us more than others. And it is always a good idea to read those scholars of old, as well as newer authors. I like Dallas Willard, Charles Spurgeon, A. W.Tozer, Beth Moore, Tony Evans, and Oswald Chambers, to name a few.
Why do Christians seem to feel they can’t question anyone? Why do we feel we can’t disagree with our pastors, or our Bible teachers?
Many Christians don’t want to find themselves in a disagreement because, my goodness, that would mean they aren’t very spiritual. I would suggest it’s just the opposite. The more we are growing in our faith, the more questions we should have.
It means we are thinking and processing. The book of Proverbs has a lot to say about naive people. How they are often led astray. We shouldn’t be naive about our faith either. There are leaders in every denomination who have left the pulpit in disgrace and right up until the moment they left, the congregation was shouting amen.
Grow your own faith
It’s more important than ever that our beliefs are based on our own studies. Yes, absolutely, we can learn and should learn from good pastors and good books. But we need to be discerning about who we listen and what authors we read. Make your faith your own by doing your own research.
If you are new to Bible study here’s a resource you can download to begin.
- Think for yourself.
- Ask questions.
- Study God’s word, don’t just read it.