Why Do You Believe What You Believe?
Updated: Aug 29
There are two non-negotiables. The Bible is absolutely true, and God is absolutely real.
Look around, without a firm foundation chaos comes to a culture that abandons constraints.
I don't know about you, but I thought I believed what the Bible says. That is, until I started examining Scripture to make sure. I was raised in Christian School, I went to Church multiple times a week, and my parents did far better than average of reading the Bible with us. But, you see, a couple thought provoking questions were asked of me and instead of allowing that to destroy my faith I took those questions to the Truth. I knew the Bible was true. I knew God was real. And I also saw a mess around me of people who weren't living even remotely close to what the Bible teaches- yes, myself included.
Increasingly, we hear stories of people trading popular opinion in favor of Scripture truth. I want to suggest to you that perhaps they never truly believed Scripture. Simply going along with “good” culture isn’t enough. As culture secularizes more and more so do those who don't really know and believe God. When we really believe God and know the Bible to be true, we gravitate towards it when things get stormy. If you rely on the people surrounding you to be the foundation...Best wishes. You're on sinking sand and you probably won't know it until it's too late.
If the moral failure of someone you know causes you to doubt God maybe, you don't believe in the same God I do. Because if you believe in the one true God, Yahweh, you'll know that people have failed since the beginning- yes, literally the beginning of time. But God never does. God never fails. Try You can be disappointed, devastated, horrified, or maybe even outraged but you should never doubt the goodness of God and the truth of the Bible in that moment. People will fail but God never does.
When we start examining 21st century Christianity against the Bible and the Church of the New Testament we come to some startling realizations. Maybe like me you'll start asking, "How did we get here?" And there's certainly some history behind that, but more on that another time.
What I want to ask you to do is test what you believe and how you live. Don't compare it to your neighbor, your friend at Church, the Sunday school teacher, the pastor, or anyone else. Test what you believe and how you live to the Word of God.
Ask good questions. Scary questions. The kind that can unravel your faith if you don't believe God and believe the Bible. Remember the two non-negotiables? Ask the kind of questions that would make the status quo Christian upset. If you really believe God and you really believe the Bible, your foundation is firm, and you'll end up better off than when you started.
Questioning the way church is experienced does NOT mean we don’t love the Church. It does not mean we abandon the Church. This is not a vendetta against the body of Christ, but rather a sober reflection on the fact that perhaps we, the Church, have left the foundation of truth found in the Bible.
When I started asking these kinds of questions about 10 years ago I was shocked to realize that what I thought I knew so well, what I thought I believed, didn't really stand to the test of Scripture. Much of it did, but much of it didn't. Hopefully you have the basics right. Jesus is the way, the truth, the life. He is fully God and came to earth as a man, lived a sinless life, and died as the Messiah to save the world. This basic truth will literally save your life. Don't worry about anything else until you are sure that you know that you know Jesus is the Lord of your life and your salvation.
Be willing to let Scripture answer your questions, and don't brush what doesn't add up under the rug. It's time to pull up the rug of religion and expose the dirt. We need the Lord to clean up the mess.
"Say this prayer, repeat after me," sound familiar? If so, here's the first question: Where does the Bible say that? Is the sinners prayer Biblical? If not, how is a person saved?
Do you go to church in a building on Sunday? Why? Search Scripture and ask yourself why people go to a building that we spend copious amounts of money to build and maintain on Sundays. Do you believe that the Sabbath day is Sunday? Why do you believe that? Test it to Scripture.
How about pastors? Is a single, head pastor a Scriptural idea? Hint: Check out overseers and elders. Church leadership is Biblical, but you might be surprised how it was structured.
What did Jesus really do? If you've been in Christian circles long you've probably seen WWJD- What Would Jesus Do. Well, what did Jesus really do? How did He live, how did He talk, where did He gather, what Law did He obey, what days did He celebrate? Read the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John) and Acts without imposing what you already do and believe onto them. Read them and ask what you would do and how you would live if you had never set foot inside of a modern, 21st century church (sometimes ran more like a corporation than anything you can find in the Bible.)
Do you belong to a denomination? Why? Are they in the Bible? Are you sure yours is right? What about unity in the body of Christ? Explain to Jesus why there are 100s of denominations in your city all professing to worship Him. Ask Him who's right and if that is HIS idea of the Church. I mean it. Really pray right now and ask God to give you discernment and wisdom through the Holy Spirit to test all of this to the Word of God.
We cannot afford to sit around and lament the droves of people who are abandoning their faith without asking why. We must examine ourselves and check the Church. The Bible says that judgement starts with the household of God. (1 Peter 4:17) If you really care about the body of Christ, holiness, and Biblical truth you'll be willing to ask hard questions. Spend time in the Word of God and make sure your beliefs reflect truth.
"This is just the way we do it" does not suffice as an answer. God gets to decide what is right and wrong. Not me, not you, not your pastor, not the leader of your denomination. God and God alone is the one who calls the shots. Every way isn't the right way. Work out the non-negotiables between you and God. Invite the Holy Spirit to lead you and guide you in this process. The Lord is faithful and He is the firm foundation to build upon!
Thanks for reading through my first blog post on Lamp & Light. I promise not every post will be this intense...you'll find a variety here, Lord willing! Devotionals, Biblical word studies, homeschool content, and Christian Living are all things I hope to write on. You can follow me on Instagram @lampandlightliving and join me here for a bit more depth and variety!
"Your Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path" Psalm 119:105