Where I'm coming from and where I'm headed

Greetings!

I am a fairly new Christian. I don't have everything figured out yet, and I don't reasonably expect to reach that goal within this lifetime. But there are some things I do know, and I praise God that the essentials of His gospel are easy to understand.

What I do know is that the Bible has been transmitted through time exactly as God wanted it to be, and that it is trustworthy. I never wanted to look at the evidence for the Bible because I was biased against the concept that objective truth could exist in the realm of spirituality and philosophy... I thought everyone just had their own truth and couldn't understand why anyone would need to insist that "their truth" was the only valid one. It was a conversation with my older sister, who is a Mormon and insists that the Bible was corrupted and can't be trusted that prompted me to look into how we actually got the Bible.

Being willing to engage with the evidence, and to understand the stunning amount of manuscript evidence, what the metrics are for canonicity, the fulfilled prophecies, the archaeological finds that support the Biblical narrative... completely rocked my world, and I haven't even looked into all of it yet! It's stunning. The only way to deny it is to be deliberately blind, or ignorant of the information available and full of unreasoning scorn for it, as I was.

With that said, my background is all over the place. I was raised in a very religious mainstream Mormon family and left at 14 when I didn't get the feeling that they teach you will get from God if the BoM is true and Joseph Smith is a true prophet. I sincerely tried. I fasted, prayed, read their scriptures... and nothing.

From there I started seeking... and the thing I kept from my upbringing is that idea that God - even though I doubted his existence, or denied it, or raged against him depending on my mood - would speak to people through their feelings. That there would be a sense of knowing, of peace, that would correspond with truth. Armed with this feeling and the semi-scientific idea that a true thing would be testable and would function as advertised, I went off into the world.

Long story short, I adopted whatever spiritual practices felt good and worked for me. These included meditation, Yoga, the Law of Attraction, the God of Neale Donald Walsh, Reiki and crystals and sage and herbs, some witchcraft, divination with Tarot cards and seeking patterns in life, making charms for myself and those I loved, and interacting with spiritual beings that I considered to be my spirit guides through a type of journaling. I believed in a panentheistic God and eventual universal salvation for all of us because of this. I was extremely liberal politically.

This allowed me to be extremely accepting of everyone and everything (except for those hateful political conservatives, or those mean and small-minded Christians) and therefore to feel like I was a really good person, and very spiritually advanced. Even so, none of it was ever enough. Even when my chakras were aligned and balanced, I couldn't shake my emptiness and depression. It tinged the edges of everything in my life with a greyish-blue hopelessness and desperation. At some level I couldn't shake, I felt like I couldn't breathe.

In time, I edged into Christianity through a church that preached a sort of moralistic, therapeutic gospel. A Jesus and a gospel that were centered on me, and how to make my life, and relationships, and finances the best that they could be. And there was some power there! It fit right in with the spiritual practices that I already had in place, and didn't challenge any of it... it was just like I had found a new tool to use along with those other things, just to add the name of Jesus to them. It seemed to work really well, and I never once felt convicted about this. The Jesus I believed in agreed with me on everything already, and just wanted me (and everyone!) to feel good and be happy, because he was all love and no judgment.

This is when I started to engage with the Bible. Almost every verse was out of context, and the first hermeneutic I learned was narcigesis - reading myself into the text where I didn't belong, as David, or Isaiah, or even Jesus - but by God's grace I kept studying, and learned to read the verses surrounding the one quoted at me in any given message... and as I continued to learn, I was transformed by the power of the Word.

After looking at the evidence for the Bible and being convinced that it is actually, literally, the word or God, and that He has preserved it through time like He said He would, I read, among others, Matthew 6-7. Deuteronomy 18:9-12. Jude. Revelation 22:14-15.

And fell on my face in sorrow and repentance before the Holy God of the Bible.

With this understanding, I now read Ephesians 2 and I feel it in my bones. My soul sings high praises to God when I read Romans 5:1-11 and every other passage of scripture where the sinful nature of man and the goodness of the grace of God is clearly explained. I know that I must take a stand for truth, which does exist, and that I need to warn those around me, if I love them (and I am commanded to love them) of the wrath of God against sin and the judgment that is to come. It is the bad news that makes the good news of the gospel so valuable!

So I guess where I'm headed is onward from here, according to His will.

The solid rock I have been given to stand on is His word, and it is the only standard that we have to test for truth. I 100% trust that it provides us, not every answer to every question that we might have, but all that we need for life and godliness. I am not affiliated with any denomination, though I do affirm the 5 Solas of the Reformation, and any teaching that is clearly aligned with the teaching of the scripture.

I am a little apprehensive about participating on the forums here, but I have a heart for evangelism and I think this may be an outlet for that, that will still allow me to focus an appropriate amount of time on raising my kids and caring for my home. I pray that I can be used by God to further His Kingdom, and that loving others and speaking the truth would always remain the focus in all of my interactions.
 

balshan

Well-known member
Greetings!

I am a fairly new Christian. I don't have everything figured out yet, and I don't reasonably expect to reach that goal within this lifetime. But there are some things I do know, and I praise God that the essentials of His gospel are easy to understand.

What I do know is that the Bible has been transmitted through time exactly as God wanted it to be, and that it is trustworthy. I never wanted to look at the evidence for the Bible because I was biased against the concept that objective truth could exist in the realm of spirituality and philosophy... I thought everyone just had their own truth and couldn't understand why anyone would need to insist that "their truth" was the only valid one. It was a conversation with my older sister, who is a Mormon and insists that the Bible was corrupted and can't be trusted that prompted me to look into how we actually got the Bible.

Being willing to engage with the evidence, and to understand the stunning amount of manuscript evidence, what the metrics are for canonicity, the fulfilled prophecies, the archaeological finds that support the Biblical narrative... completely rocked my world, and I haven't even looked into all of it yet! It's stunning. The only way to deny it is to be deliberately blind, or ignorant of the information available and full of unreasoning scorn for it, as I was.

With that said, my background is all over the place. I was raised in a very religious mainstream Mormon family and left at 14 when I didn't get the feeling that they teach you will get from God if the BoM is true and Joseph Smith is a true prophet. I sincerely tried. I fasted, prayed, read their scriptures... and nothing.

From there I started seeking... and the thing I kept from my upbringing is that idea that God - even though I doubted his existence, or denied it, or raged against him depending on my mood - would speak to people through their feelings. That there would be a sense of knowing, of peace, that would correspond with truth. Armed with this feeling and the semi-scientific idea that a true thing would be testable and would function as advertised, I went off into the world.

Long story short, I adopted whatever spiritual practices felt good and worked for me. These included meditation, Yoga, the Law of Attraction, the God of Neale Donald Walsh, Reiki and crystals and sage and herbs, some witchcraft, divination with Tarot cards and seeking patterns in life, making charms for myself and those I loved, and interacting with spiritual beings that I considered to be my spirit guides through a type of journaling. I believed in a panentheistic God and eventual universal salvation for all of us because of this. I was extremely liberal politically.

This allowed me to be extremely accepting of everyone and everything (except for those hateful political conservatives, or those mean and small-minded Christians) and therefore to feel like I was a really good person, and very spiritually advanced. Even so, none of it was ever enough. Even when my chakras were aligned and balanced, I couldn't shake my emptiness and depression. It tinged the edges of everything in my life with a greyish-blue hopelessness and desperation. At some level I couldn't shake, I felt like I couldn't breathe.

In time, I edged into Christianity through a church that preached a sort of moralistic, therapeutic gospel. A Jesus and a gospel that were centered on me, and how to make my life, and relationships, and finances the best that they could be. And there was some power there! It fit right in with the spiritual practices that I already had in place, and didn't challenge any of it... it was just like I had found a new tool to use along with those other things, just to add the name of Jesus to them. It seemed to work really well, and I never once felt convicted about this. The Jesus I believed in agreed with me on everything already, and just wanted me (and everyone!) to feel good and be happy, because he was all love and no judgment.

This is when I started to engage with the Bible. Almost every verse was out of context, and the first hermeneutic I learned was narcigesis - reading myself into the text where I didn't belong, as David, or Isaiah, or even Jesus - but by God's grace I kept studying, and learned to read the verses surrounding the one quoted at me in any given message... and as I continued to learn, I was transformed by the power of the Word.

After looking at the evidence for the Bible and being convinced that it is actually, literally, the word or God, and that He has preserved it through time like He said He would, I read, among others, Matthew 6-7. Deuteronomy 18:9-12. Jude. Revelation 22:14-15.

And fell on my face in sorrow and repentance before the Holy God of the Bible.

With this understanding, I now read Ephesians 2 and I feel it in my bones. My soul sings high praises to God when I read Romans 5:1-11 and every other passage of scripture where the sinful nature of man and the goodness of the grace of God is clearly explained. I know that I must take a stand for truth, which does exist, and that I need to warn those around me, if I love them (and I am commanded to love them) of the wrath of God against sin and the judgment that is to come. It is the bad news that makes the good news of the gospel so valuable!

So I guess where I'm headed is onward from here, according to His will.

The solid rock I have been given to stand on is His word, and it is the only standard that we have to test for truth. I 100% trust that it provides us, not every answer to every question that we might have, but all that we need for life and godliness. I am not affiliated with any denomination, though I do affirm the 5 Solas of the Reformation, and any teaching that is clearly aligned with the teaching of the scripture.

I am a little apprehensive about participating on the forums here, but I have a heart for evangelism and I think this may be an outlet for that, that will still allow me to focus an appropriate amount of time on raising my kids and caring for my home. I pray that I can be used by God to further His Kingdom, and that loving others and speaking the truth would always remain the focus in all of my interactions.
Hi

You have a powerful testimony and God can use it to help others. These threads can sometimes get a little intense, but just keep you eyes on Jesus and you will grow in knowledge and ability to post what the HS wants you to say.

Welcome.
 

bluedog1us

Well-known member
Greetings!

I am a fairly new Christian. I don't have everything figured out yet, and I don't reasonably expect to reach that goal within this lifetime. But there are some things I do know, and I praise God that the essentials of His gospel are easy to understand.

What I do know is that the Bible has been transmitted through time exactly as God wanted it to be, and that it is trustworthy. I never wanted to look at the evidence for the Bible because I was biased against the concept that objective truth could exist in the realm of spirituality and philosophy... I thought everyone just had their own truth and couldn't understand why anyone would need to insist that "their truth" was the only valid one. It was a conversation with my older sister, who is a Mormon and insists that the Bible was corrupted and can't be trusted that prompted me to look into how we actually got the Bible.

Being willing to engage with the evidence, and to understand the stunning amount of manuscript evidence, what the metrics are for canonicity, the fulfilled prophecies, the archaeological finds that support the Biblical narrative... completely rocked my world, and I haven't even looked into all of it yet! It's stunning. The only way to deny it is to be deliberately blind, or ignorant of the information available and full of unreasoning scorn for it, as I was.

With that said, my background is all over the place. I was raised in a very religious mainstream Mormon family and left at 14 when I didn't get the feeling that they teach you will get from God if the BoM is true and Joseph Smith is a true prophet. I sincerely tried. I fasted, prayed, read their scriptures... and nothing.

From there I started seeking... and the thing I kept from my upbringing is that idea that God - even though I doubted his existence, or denied it, or raged against him depending on my mood - would speak to people through their feelings. That there would be a sense of knowing, of peace, that would correspond with truth. Armed with this feeling and the semi-scientific idea that a true thing would be testable and would function as advertised, I went off into the world.

Long story short, I adopted whatever spiritual practices felt good and worked for me. These included meditation, Yoga, the Law of Attraction, the God of Neale Donald Walsh, Reiki and crystals and sage and herbs, some witchcraft, divination with Tarot cards and seeking patterns in life, making charms for myself and those I loved, and interacting with spiritual beings that I considered to be my spirit guides through a type of journaling. I believed in a panentheistic God and eventual universal salvation for all of us because of this. I was extremely liberal politically.

This allowed me to be extremely accepting of everyone and everything (except for those hateful political conservatives, or those mean and small-minded Christians) and therefore to feel like I was a really good person, and very spiritually advanced. Even so, none of it was ever enough. Even when my chakras were aligned and balanced, I couldn't shake my emptiness and depression. It tinged the edges of everything in my life with a greyish-blue hopelessness and desperation. At some level I couldn't shake, I felt like I couldn't breathe.

In time, I edged into Christianity through a church that preached a sort of moralistic, therapeutic gospel. A Jesus and a gospel that were centered on me, and how to make my life, and relationships, and finances the best that they could be. And there was some power there! It fit right in with the spiritual practices that I already had in place, and didn't challenge any of it... it was just like I had found a new tool to use along with those other things, just to add the name of Jesus to them. It seemed to work really well, and I never once felt convicted about this. The Jesus I believed in agreed with me on everything already, and just wanted me (and everyone!) to feel good and be happy, because he was all love and no judgment.

This is when I started to engage with the Bible. Almost every verse was out of context, and the first hermeneutic I learned was narcigesis - reading myself into the text where I didn't belong, as David, or Isaiah, or even Jesus - but by God's grace I kept studying, and learned to read the verses surrounding the one quoted at me in any given message... and as I continued to learn, I was transformed by the power of the Word.

After looking at the evidence for the Bible and being convinced that it is actually, literally, the word or God, and that He has preserved it through time like He said He would, I read, among others, Matthew 6-7. Deuteronomy 18:9-12. Jude. Revelation 22:14-15.

And fell on my face in sorrow and repentance before the Holy God of the Bible.

With this understanding, I now read Ephesians 2 and I feel it in my bones. My soul sings high praises to God when I read Romans 5:1-11 and every other passage of scripture where the sinful nature of man and the goodness of the grace of God is clearly explained. I know that I must take a stand for truth, which does exist, and that I need to warn those around me, if I love them (and I am commanded to love them) of the wrath of God against sin and the judgment that is to come. It is the bad news that makes the good news of the gospel so valuable!

So I guess where I'm headed is onward from here, according to His will.

The solid rock I have been given to stand on is His word, and it is the only standard that we have to test for truth. I 100% trust that it provides us, not every answer to every question that we might have, but all that we need for life and godliness. I am not affiliated with any denomination, though I do affirm the 5 Solas of the Reformation, and any teaching that is clearly aligned with the teaching of the scripture.

I am a little apprehensive about participating on the forums here, but I have a heart for evangelism and I think this may be an outlet for that, that will still allow me to focus an appropriate amount of time on raising my kids and caring for my home. I pray that I can be used by God to further His Kingdom, and that loving others and speaking the truth would always remain the focus in all of my interactions.
Welcome and keep reading scripture. Here is a great site that gives very good Bible teaching with very sound doctrine.
Ligonier Ministries. It is chock full of grace doctrine. Look it up and may you grow in the knowledge of God, and be used greatly in His service for His glory.
 
Hello @Anchored in the Word, welcome to CARM forums! I'm glad that you found us and joined in the discussions with us.

Also, thank you for sharing all that you did with us in your excellent intro :) (y) (y)

You said that you are not affiliated with a denomination. Does that mean that you haven't been attending church, or even a Bible study regularly? If that's the case, my advice would be to start doing both, if possible, as soon as you can, ~especially~ since you are a new believer. The Christian life is hardly an easy one in this world, which is one of the biggest reasons that the Lord gave us the church/gave us each other. We need you, and you need us :) .. e.g.
1 Corinthians 12:7-31

God bless you!!

~Deuteronomy


1 Thessalonians 5
23 May the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body
be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
24 Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.
 

SeventhDay

Well-known member
Greetings!

I am a fairly new Christian. I don't have everything figured out yet, and I don't reasonably expect to reach that goal within this lifetime. But there are some things I do know, and I praise God that the essentials of His gospel are easy to understand.

What I do know is that the Bible has been transmitted through time exactly as God wanted it to be, and that it is trustworthy. I never wanted to look at the evidence for the Bible because I was biased against the concept that objective truth could exist in the realm of spirituality and philosophy... I thought everyone just had their own truth and couldn't understand why anyone would need to insist that "their truth" was the only valid one. It was a conversation with my older sister, who is a Mormon and insists that the Bible was corrupted and can't be trusted that prompted me to look into how we actually got the Bible.

Being willing to engage with the evidence, and to understand the stunning amount of manuscript evidence, what the metrics are for canonicity, the fulfilled prophecies, the archaeological finds that support the Biblical narrative... completely rocked my world, and I haven't even looked into all of it yet! It's stunning. The only way to deny it is to be deliberately blind, or ignorant of the information available and full of unreasoning scorn for it, as I was.

With that said, my background is all over the place. I was raised in a very religious mainstream Mormon family and left at 14 when I didn't get the feeling that they teach you will get from God if the BoM is true and Joseph Smith is a true prophet. I sincerely tried. I fasted, prayed, read their scriptures... and nothing.

From there I started seeking... and the thing I kept from my upbringing is that idea that God - even though I doubted his existence, or denied it, or raged against him depending on my mood - would speak to people through their feelings. That there would be a sense of knowing, of peace, that would correspond with truth. Armed with this feeling and the semi-scientific idea that a true thing would be testable and would function as advertised, I went off into the world.

Long story short, I adopted whatever spiritual practices felt good and worked for me. These included meditation, Yoga, the Law of Attraction, the God of Neale Donald Walsh, Reiki and crystals and sage and herbs, some witchcraft, divination with Tarot cards and seeking patterns in life, making charms for myself and those I loved, and interacting with spiritual beings that I considered to be my spirit guides through a type of journaling. I believed in a panentheistic God and eventual universal salvation for all of us because of this. I was extremely liberal politically.

This allowed me to be extremely accepting of everyone and everything (except for those hateful political conservatives, or those mean and small-minded Christians) and therefore to feel like I was a really good person, and very spiritually advanced. Even so, none of it was ever enough. Even when my chakras were aligned and balanced, I couldn't shake my emptiness and depression. It tinged the edges of everything in my life with a greyish-blue hopelessness and desperation. At some level I couldn't shake, I felt like I couldn't breathe.

In time, I edged into Christianity through a church that preached a sort of moralistic, therapeutic gospel. A Jesus and a gospel that were centered on me, and how to make my life, and relationships, and finances the best that they could be. And there was some power there! It fit right in with the spiritual practices that I already had in place, and didn't challenge any of it... it was just like I had found a new tool to use along with those other things, just to add the name of Jesus to them. It seemed to work really well, and I never once felt convicted about this. The Jesus I believed in agreed with me on everything already, and just wanted me (and everyone!) to feel good and be happy, because he was all love and no judgment.

This is when I started to engage with the Bible. Almost every verse was out of context, and the first hermeneutic I learned was narcigesis - reading myself into the text where I didn't belong, as David, or Isaiah, or even Jesus - but by God's grace I kept studying, and learned to read the verses surrounding the one quoted at me in any given message... and as I continued to learn, I was transformed by the power of the Word.

After looking at the evidence for the Bible and being convinced that it is actually, literally, the word or God, and that He has preserved it through time like He said He would, I read, among others, Matthew 6-7. Deuteronomy 18:9-12. Jude. Revelation 22:14-15.

And fell on my face in sorrow and repentance before the Holy God of the Bible.

With this understanding, I now read Ephesians 2 and I feel it in my bones. My soul sings high praises to God when I read Romans 5:1-11 and every other passage of scripture where the sinful nature of man and the goodness of the grace of God is clearly explained. I know that I must take a stand for truth, which does exist, and that I need to warn those around me, if I love them (and I am commanded to love them) of the wrath of God against sin and the judgment that is to come. It is the bad news that makes the good news of the gospel so valuable!

So I guess where I'm headed is onward from here, according to His will.

The solid rock I have been given to stand on is His word, and it is the only standard that we have to test for truth. I 100% trust that it provides us, not every answer to every question that we might have, but all that we need for life and godliness. I am not affiliated with any denomination, though I do affirm the 5 Solas of the Reformation, and any teaching that is clearly aligned with the teaching of the scripture.

I am a little apprehensive about participating on the forums here, but I have a heart for evangelism and I think this may be an outlet for that, that will still allow me to focus an appropriate amount of time on raising my kids and caring for my home. I pray that I can be used by God to further His Kingdom, and that loving others and speaking the truth would always remain the focus in all of my interactions.
You came out of God and you are returning back to him. It is called the law of circularity which is why you are being created in God's image but where you really belong is in the original which is God. The problem with human thinking is that it directly opposes the Spirit of God and thinks of himself as an individual with his own mind, will and emotions yet a new spiritual creation puts on the mind of Christ and God's will not his own will. One who is joined to one Spirit belongs to one Soul and is a spiritual member of a spiritual body. The concept of free will also gratifies the individual concept. However, it is God that works in us to will and do of his good pleasure. This means we are not our own but our lives are hid in God. We make influenced choices and when we through the Spirit choose what God desires it is according to God's will not our own. God bless you. :)
 

SeventhDay

Well-known member
Being written in the book of life is the fulfillment of the Law so we ought to trust in Christ our Lord as we meditate on the Law. God bless you. :)
 
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