The following article was written for a writing competition sponsored by Faith Writers, a Christian Writers Community. Follow the link on the right for more information.
Is there an after when you reject the notions of traditional Christianity? Is there any place to go? Are we as believers even allowed to question such notions? Who are the authorities in such matters?
Finding myself at this crossroad did not take place instantaneously. I now understand this crossroad was designed for me by my Creator long before my physical existence. For over 40 years I was to travel the road of Christianity with the same fervor that has seemed to flavor all of my life. From accepting Jesus in to my heart at the age of six years old and being in church every time the doors were open to formal Bible and Ministry education culminating in 20 years of Pastoral leadership, my life seemed to be pretty well ordered. I had a successful marriage, a successful family, and a successful multi staffed church. The ministry that God had given me was one to be envied! If only He hadn’t placed within me such a strong desire to know truth.
It was extremely disconcerting for me to realize that my own brand of Christianity embraced more of the traditions of men than the truths of Scripture. I did not want to admit that I had embraced many traditions that were simply Paganism in disguise. My denomination had led me astray by trying to force God into a box. My Heavenly Father was teaching me that He is simply too big to fit into any man made box!
Coming to this realization caused me to take every part of my Christian experience and place it upon a shelf. This was not for the purpose of walking away from it, but instead to examine it under the scrutiny of the whole of Scripture. Beginning with salvation, I would pull that particular piece down from the shelf and tear it apart, allowing the magnifying glass of Holy Writ to illumine portions that heretofore I had thought inconsequential. Things that I’d taken for granted to be truth were not backed up in Scripture it all. Conversely, details that were too small to be noticed came rushing to the forefront for further scrutiny. There were many spiritual “sighs of relief” when I would find portions of my Christian experience that lined up to scripture. There were also many tears of repentance when I discovered things that I had preached as truth were in grievous error.
When we, as believers, find truths that are new to us it is natural for us to want to share them with our fellow believers. I was very naïve to think that my fellow believers would embrace what I was discovering. I had to also rediscover that my Father had not called me to do that which only He could do, namely convict people.
Where do I go now? To whom do I turn? Who is the authority? These questions are answered for me with brand new illumination and renewed relationship with my Messiah! In the words of an old chorus, I conclude:
I go to the Rock of my salvation;
I go to the Stone that the builder’s rejected;
I run to the Mountain and the Mountain stands by me.
When the earth all around is sinking sand,
On Christ the solid rock I stand.
When I need a shelter, when I need a friend,
I go to the Rock!