Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Getting things started....

My first blog entry.  I am a middle aged man with a wife and two kids living in the midwest.  I was raised in an evangelical Christian environment.  I consider myself a Christian. Though in the past I have spent a lot of time questioning that.

Every day I try to understand what I see in the world.  I want to know what the truth is.  Is there a God?  Do I believe in a God just because I was raised that way?  Why are there so many religions? Am I just a pattern of molecules, or something more?  And if so, why?  Why? Why? Why?

Currently I am at a sort of crossroads in my beliefs and thinking and that will be a lot of what I blog about.


  1. Chuck - very interesting. :) I have a relationship with Jesus and my faith is that God is all-powerful and His Word is the truth. He chooses to love us unconditionally even when we mess up. He is fair and just which is why we have consequences for our sins even though we are forgiven. Colossians 1:16 tells us that everything was created for God. "For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him." Don't we live instead as though God is created for us, to do our bidding, to bless us, and to take care of our loved ones? Psalm 115:3 reveals, "Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him." Yet we keep on questioning Him: "Why did You make me with this body, instead of that one?" "Why are so many people dying of starvation?" "Why are there so many planets with nothing living on them?" "Why is my family so messed up?" "Why don't You make Yourself more obvious to the people who need You?" The answer to each of these questions is simply this: because He's God. He has more of a right to ask us why so many people are starving. As much as we want God to explain himself to us, His creation, we are in no place to demand that He give an account to us. All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him: "What have you done?" - Daniel 4:35
    So then it begs the question...Can you worship a God who isn't obligated to explain His actions to you? Could it be our arrogance that makes us think God owes us an explanation?"

    Amber P.

  2. Thanks for your comments Amber! Good thoughts!
    Yes, I do in fact have a relationship with Christ as well though it has come through a lot of experiences and questioning, or more to the point of finding answers to silence the doubts and questions that come up. Not to mention it's been a path of a lot of steps such as you can believe in Christ without believing that a specific book should have been included in the Bible (Martin Luther doubted Revelations), or if you believe that the Biblical cannon is correct, you can question the interpretation given by modern Christians. Not to mention, I simply like to figure things out. :) It's one thing to say that Jesus is God (agreed), it's quite another thing to say that the modern church is accurately representing him and the teachings of the apostles.

  3. :) I don't think that God doesn't want us to question Him as long as we are seeking His truth and accepting we may or may not get it from Him unless He wants us to know. The thing about the Bible is it is His Truth. We are to read and meditate on it and it is God that gives us discernment on what He wants us to learn from it as is the pastors of our church with understanding that they are too are sinners. We need church for accountability, for fellowship and for learning. All churches can be different and in my mind, I don't think that my church's teachings were incorrect, just incomplete. This allowed my view of God to be narrow and small. People in the Bible saw, witnessed and yet still did not believe. In John 20:29 Then Jesus told him (Thomas), "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." I have questioned Sovereignty and had my share of doubts. I stumble and fall but today, my faith will not be moved.

  4. Deep subject, but that is what this is all about...
    I do agree that God does not want us to question Him, that is reasonable and also scriptural. However, what I do question is how do we know what God actually says. If someone tells me that God says such and such, I don't question what I believe God said, but I might question if God actually said something.
    Amber, just curious, why do you believe that the Bible is "His Truth" (I actually do believe this for a long list of reasons, just curious for yours)? Jesus pretty much validated the OT, and there is a lot of evidence that the 4 gospels are pretty accurate but the NT did not exist at that time, nor did the NT exist when Paul wrote "All scripture is inspired..." (and even if he did, why does he have the authority to make such declarations?)
    Now I will let you know, that having asked all that, I myself do in fact believe that the Bible is from God, all of it, actually a little more as I now trust the Orthodox Bible which contains a few additional books (Maccabees, Tobit, etc.) as the reasons that I found for believing that the Bible is God's Word also became sound reasoning for accepting some additional books.
    I don't question God, I do however question what modern Christians say about God. I think often people get the two confused.

  5. Absolutely deep! :) As far as believing what God actually says, again you have to ask Him for His discernment and if you really listen, He will provide an answer, sometimes not the one we really want/desire to hear but His Truth. When Paul wrote, "All is scripture is inspired" I believe it was inspired by God. If our God is big enough to breathe our stars bigger than our Earth, he could certainly inspire words - there are no limits. God gave these people the words He wanted people to know. When I witness to people, the words that come out of my mouth are from Him because I KNOW that I couldn't have possibly remembered that or I look at myself like, I didn't know I knew that. I believe the Bible is "His Truth" because so much of scripture has been revealed to me and validated by God. There are so many examples I can provide you that is clearly God intervening. I have a problem with my 8 yr old daughter and her behavior. I am undeniably all about why isn't she a kid that makes better choices. I go to church and the message is about having a wayward child only the message I got was about me being God's wayward child. Working on my own transformation with His help so that I am not all caught up in my daughter's craziness and I am being more of an example for her. I have a slew of experiences that are so coincidental that they are not, they are God. I honestly feel that as unique individuals created by God, that there are some "core" lessons that as Christians we should be in agreement on backed by the Gospel and others so different because the lesson for "that person" from God needs to be different. God knows everything about everyone, our heritage, how we think, our experiences, which means how each of us need to learn about Him is going to look different so that we learn about Him the way He desires us to see Him. That can't be the same path for each person and sometimes not the same beliefs. My husband is a great example of someone who challenges me to think outside of the box which is definitely something I was not taught to do in the small Baptist church I grew up in (converted from Catholic) and now I am non-denominational. Now I respect everyone's differing beliefs, religions and just try to share Jesus with others the way God wants me to - with unconditional love and with abandon to judgment if they don't accept Him.