My Personal Crisis of Faith

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posted on Oct, 23 2012 @ 12:03 PM
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The answers I have received from the "church" have not been willing to deal with my questions. I have been a pastor in the past but this is my lament. I have always sensed there is a greater spirit. One which I have known and accepted as the Lord Jesus Christ in the past. But I am having a crisis of faith! This is my conversation with God.

I join your saints through the ages crying out for mercy and justice. However, it is getting harder for me to imagine a merciful god who would command the utter destruction of men, women and children by the sword as spoken in the Old Testament. Can your justice really be doled out in excruciating fear and pain? Defenseless children destroyed because of their parent’s sin? How can that be justice?

I just don’t get it!

Lord I don’t understand your mercy. I can’t ignore the contradictions anymore. The world is so full of hunger and pain. The poor we will have with us forever? Really? I have seen first hand what suffering surrounds poverty. Can you really allow that to continue and yet be a merciful God? And why?

A crisis of faith? Yes!

If there is no hope of change for some then there is no hope for me. If I have become a joint heir with Christ and you are my father can I not ask you these questions? How could you change so drastically from the Old Testament God to the New Testament God? If you are the same God how could you order entire cities of men, women and children slain without mercy? How can I as your child feel safe that you won’t in your power and anger decide to punish and destroy me forever? That you won’t command your army to wipe me from the face of the Earth?

“Saved by faith not by works,” but “faith without works is dead,” appear to cancel each other out. I know the standard church explanation for this paradox but I am uncomfortable with it. I have come to know I am totally incapable of changing myself or of saving myself! My greatest works would never be enough! I have believed the fruit of the spirit and the gifts of god are all manifested and directed by the power of your holy spirit. If faith isn’t enough then I have no hope! I feel like I have become one of the bleached skeletons lying amidst others in the dust. Will your spirit breathe life back into me? Back into them? The Bible speaks of such an event. I pray so!

If I have truly become a new creature in Christ, I am afraid I do not see it in my mirror. I have become weary with the hunger and pain and suffering I see in the world. I am heartsick and bone weary. Innocent men, women and children are beaten, starved, raped, abandoned and murdered.

Why was there a different justice applied in the old testament? I don’t understand how your character could change so drastically. “Sin that you once winked at,” doesn’t make sense to me if you are unchangeable.

Why would man’s sin condemn him to eternal pain? Eternal pain and suffering? To what end? Surely it would not be something you need to satisfy a need for revenge. I believe many people have died since Jesus died and never heard the gospel. Would you really exact eternal pain to those who have not accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior because they haven’t heard the gospel? With your supreme power and all of your resources available to you is eternal pain and suffering the only option? I have heard man’s explanation for it but it troubles my soul.

I would take no solace in knowing my enemies were suffering forever and I can’t believe you would either. What satisfaction would that bring? You are described as being long suffering, not willing that anyone should perish. If you save me then I ask that you save them as well. For I have sinned as grievously. I have coveted and lusted. I have hated and lied.

All of creation is crying out for mercy, for healing, for salvation. Even the earth groans. Where is my hope and my salvation? If faith isn’t enough then I am quite lost and condemned forever. I will continue to call upon you though I don’t hear your voice. I really hope and pray you exist because if you don’t then all is for naught.

I am growing old and my body fails me. I am in constant pain. Peace has fled me. Joy is an elusive friend that I have not spent much time with for a long time.
Hear my cry o Lord and attend unto my prayer, restore to me the joy of my salvation. I will try to believe in my heart and confess with my mouth that Jesus is my lord and savior. Beyond that I am at a loss for words.
edit on 06/02/2011 by grayeagle because: I realize this post doesn't completely meet the criteris for this forum. Mods please move as appropriate.




posted on Oct, 23 2012 @ 12:16 PM
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Being a true Pastor, is scary to me. You have a flock to lead, and if you are a "douting Thomas," perhaps it's not the best career choice for you.

My husband was a Baptist Deacon. He left his previous wife to have an affair with a woman he met at church.

Fast forward to our relationship, and after him leaving the church he was affiliated with. He was re-baptized as a Pentacostal.

He told me I needed to talk to, "the brother," to which I replied I would. I come to find out that this Pastor knew that my husband started an affair after me being gone, in a very short period of time.

I said, we are married, how can you condone this? This guy said it was okay because I had been gone for so long, because I was in a domestic violence program for about 19 months.

No mention that what my husband did to me was wrong, just excuses for why it is okay for him to have an affair.

One needs to remember that people who lead "flocks," are often human themselves. No matter what sort of degree they have, they are all still just human.

If you are uncomfortable with what you do, then you need to follow your gut instincts saying so, unless you think it is okay to lead people in the wrong direction.



posted on Oct, 23 2012 @ 12:17 PM
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i believe the Lord requires warriors of faith and not pussy cats. your heart is in the right place. but the question is.. will a loss in faith change you? will there be a change in your heart because uve given up on God if u do decide to? the answer to that question is what will decide if u have been truthful all along. God or no God.. if you change your outlook on life and ppl when u seem to have no hope then perhaps finally it would mean u are being true to yourself.


if you wouldnt change.. regardless of a change to a Godless concept of living then you were always true. and where is your faith if u are still the same as with faith or without faith? so who would you be kidding? what is your threat. you've got to be true.. not just for the eyes u think are upon you... but even when there are no eyes on you. that is the true you. who are you without a ruler over your head? let God know how you really feel.



posted on Oct, 23 2012 @ 12:17 PM
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Only an empty cup can be filled...

A99



posted on Oct, 23 2012 @ 12:17 PM
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well, I think you need to take it back to basics. What you describe as the trouble of creation is to me the trouble with the church. I would separate the institution from the faith.

You can still believe in Christ without believing in the infallibility of the church...(people)

I would see your position as a unique one where you can really help people. I would be true to the oaths you took, as it is that all we have is our word. BUT, I would serve in the spirit that you feel is honest and appropriate.

If your issue is with the church, and even if it was with Jesus Christ himself, you could still use valid tools to help people along to a spiritual path of truth and growth.

That is still within your grasp. Your problem IMO is with the church and with the world of men.

You should take a step back and let it be. Focus on the salvation of souls and let the flesh deal with flesh....

IMO of course.

I hope you find what you are looking for. Sometimes we just need a new perspective not a new object of our attention.

Be at ease and remember why you dedicated your life in the beginning. Take that spirit and reanalyze your "works" with your new perspective. Adapt, evolve and grow......you can still serve your purpose, the one you choose. You can still save peoples souls.....unless you see the tools allotted to you being lacking, then my friend that is a question of faith. When you no longer believe that what you are doing is effective. But good news, you can still grow!

Be well father.
edit on 23-10-2012 by BIHOTZ because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 23 2012 @ 12:18 PM
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Amen friend.....
I see you are getting stars and flags, but no comments.
I believe that is because you speak for many of us....well put, I might add.
Sadly, these feelings....are part of awakening. It's not all "love and light"....it is the reality of the world that we truly live in....the reality that so many of us are suffering....
(I hope others will respond to your thread).
jacygirl



posted on Oct, 23 2012 @ 12:19 PM
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great response BIHOTZ



posted on Oct, 23 2012 @ 12:19 PM
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Once you are ready to take the bravest move of anyones life and step off the "Ladder" (religions), pushing away the Ladder forever, you will instead no longer have it be your dwelling place. Ladders are not meant to be places of your dwelling. It took me 59 years to attain what I've always sensed what was on the other side of the Door. Found out it is the Door itself and that It took me instead. The Ladders were needed to get me there though.

Be "warned" once you do this, there is no "off switch" and the growing Providence will eventually overtake. The child-like mystery, faith and glow is gone having been replaced with the Presence that defies all words, art or music to convey to others. I only dare glimpse for an instant.


+2 more 
posted on Oct, 23 2012 @ 12:23 PM
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I do not have the answers you seek and i hope i do not do a dis service by posting the following tale i find helpful for my own personal questions similar to yours.

The Egg
by: Andrew Weir

You were on your way home when you died.
It was a car accident. Nothing particularly remarkable, but fatal nonetheless. You left behind a wife and two children. It was a painless death. The EMTs tried their best to save you, but to no avail. Your body was so utterly shattered you were better off, trust me.

And that’s when you met me.

“What… what happened?” You asked. “Where am I?”

“You died,” I said, matter-of-factly. No point in mincing words.

“There was a… a truck and it was skidding…”

“Yup,” I said.

“I… I died?”

“Yup. But don’t feel bad about it. Everyone dies,” I said.

You looked around. There was nothingness. Just you and me. “What is this place?” You asked. “Is this the afterlife?”

“More or less,” I said.

“Are you god?” You asked.

“Yup,” I replied. “I’m God.”

“My kids… my wife,” you said.

“What about them?”

“Will they be all right?”
“That’s what I like to see,” I said. “You just died and your main concern is for your family. That’s good stuff right there.”

You looked at me with fascination. To you, I didn’t look like God. I just looked like some man. Or possibly a woman. Some vague authority figure, maybe. More of a grammar school teacher than the almighty.

“Don’t worry,” I said. “They’ll be fine. Your kids will remember you as perfect in every way. They didn’t have time to grow contempt for you. You wife will cry on the outside, but will be secretly relieved. To be fair, your marriage was falling apart. If it’s any consolation, she’ll feel very guilty for feeling relieved.”

“Oh,” you said. “So what happens now? Do I go to heaven or hell or something?”

“Neither,” I said. “You’ll be reincarnated.”

“Ah,” you said. “So the Hindus were right,”

“All religions are right in their own way,” I said. “Walk with me.”

You followed along as we strode through the void. “Where are we going?”

“Nowhere in particular,” I said. “It’s just nice to walk while we talk.”

“So what’s the point, then?” You asked. “When I get reborn, I’ll just be a blank slate, right? A baby. So all my experiences and everything I did in this life won’t matter.”
“Not so!” I said. “You have within you all the knowledge and experiences of all your past lives. You just don’t remember them right now.”

I stopped walking and took you by the shoulders. “Your soul is more magnificent, beautiful, and gigantic than you can possibly imagine. A human mind can only contain a tiny fraction of what you are. It’s like sticking your finger in a glass of water to see if it’s hot or cold. You put a tiny part of yourself into the vessel, and when you bring it back out, you’ve gained all the experiences it had.

“You’ve been in a human for the last 48 years, so you haven’t stretched out yet and felt the rest of your immense consciousness. If we hung out here for long enough, you’d start remembering everything. But there’s no point to doing that between each life.”

“How many times have I been reincarnated, then?”

“Oh lots. Lots and lots. An in to lots of different lives.” I said. “This time around, you’ll be a Chinese peasant girl in 540 AD.”

“Wait, what?” You stammered. “You’re sending me back in time?”

“Well, I guess technically. Time, as you know it, only exists in your universe. Things are different where I come from.”

“Where you come from?” You said.

“Oh sure,” I explained “I come from somewhere. Somewhere else. And there are others like me. I know you’ll want to know what it’s like there, but honestly you wouldn’t understand.”

“Oh,” you said, a little let down. “But wait. If I get reincarnated to other places in time, I could have interacted with myself at some point.”

“Sure. Happens all the time. And with both lives only aware of their own lifespan you don’t even know it’s happening.”
“So what’s the point of it all?”

“Seriously?” I asked. “Seriously? You’re asking me for the meaning of life? Isn’t that a little stereotypical?”

“Well it’s a reasonable question,” you persisted.

I looked you in the eye. “The meaning of life, the reason I made this whole universe, is for you to mature.”

“You mean mankind? You want us to mature?”

“No, just you. I made this whole universe for you. With each new life you grow and mature and become a larger and greater intellect.”

“Just me? What about everyone else?”

“There is no one else,” I said. “In this universe, there’s just you and me.”

You stared blankly at me. “But all the people on earth…”

“All you. Different incarnations of you.”

“Wait. I’m everyone!?”

“Now you’re getting it,” I said, with a congratulatory slap on the back.

“I’m every human being who ever lived?”

“Or who will ever live, yes.”

“I’m Abraham Lincoln?”

“And you’re John Wilkes Booth, too,” I added.

“I’m Hitler?” You said, appalled.

“And you’re the millions he killed.”

“I’



posted on Oct, 23 2012 @ 12:24 PM
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continued..
“I’m Jesus?”

“And you’re everyone who followed him.”

You fell silent.
“Every time you victimized someone,” I said, “you were victimizing yourself. Every act of kindness you’ve done, you’ve done to yourself. Every happy and sad moment ever experienced by any human was, or will be, experienced by you.”

You thought for a long time.

“Why?” You asked me. “Why do all this?”

“Because someday, you will become like me. Because that’s what you are. You’re one of my kind. You’re my child.”

“Whoa,” you said, incredulous. “You mean I’m a god?”

“No. Not yet. You’re a fetus. You’re still growing. Once you’ve lived every human life throughout all time, you will have grown enough to be born.”

“So the whole universe,” you said, “it’s just…”

“An egg.” I answered. “Now it’s time for you to move on to your next life.”

And I sent you on your way.


Thanks to superman2012 and his thread www.abovetopsecret.com... that brought this to my attention.

An interesting perspective
edit on 23-10-2012 by MDDoxs because: (no reason given)
edit on 23-10-2012 by MDDoxs because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 23 2012 @ 12:31 PM
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reply to post by jacygirl
 
Thank you for your response! I am no longer actively church pastoring but trying to live my life in a way that supports and encourages others in their struggles. I am endeavoring to be congruent so that what people see on the outside is the same as what I am on the inside. The greatest encouragement to me now is when I hear and meet people who are attempting to do the same. Thanks again for your personal encouragement!



posted on Oct, 23 2012 @ 12:33 PM
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Originally posted by grayeagle
reply to post by jacygirl
 
Thank you for your response! I am no longer actively church pastoring but trying to live my life in a way that supports and encourages others in their struggles. I am endeavoring to be congruent so that what people see on the outside is the same as what I am on the inside. The greatest encouragement to me now is when I hear and meet people who are attempting to do the same. Thanks again for your personal encouragement!



Even though you did not respond to my post, I am glad to read this. You are probably in a better position to help people in this capacity.



posted on Oct, 23 2012 @ 12:46 PM
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reply to post by grayeagle
 


Ah... Sometimes the writers of the OT wrote of their own thoughts.

In my personal opinion, the popular movement in Israel used the Word of God to subdue the people. The spiritual Law became a physical one. The prophets spoke against the physical nature Israel was leaning to and spoke of Jesus Christ coming to break these physical laws and show people how to live spiritually.

It is a common trend for nations to control and twist religion in order to subjugate the people, ie the nationalization of Christianity by Rome when Rome was previously persecuting the Christians before this political move.

Today you see modern Christian theology resembling the theology of the Pharisees during the time of Christ.

There are planned discrepancies in the bible so that when you stumbled upon them, you can ask Father abput what those verses meant. You are doing well and I am glad to see that you are asking Father to help clear this confusion instead of assuming.

To help you to continue walking when asking yourself why there is pain and suffering in the world, just remember that everything happens for the good
edit on 23-10-2012 by DelayedChristmas because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 23 2012 @ 12:47 PM
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reply to post by grayeagle
 



I am growing old and my body fails me. I am in constant pain. Peace has fled me. Joy is an elusive friend that I have not spent much time with for a long time.
Hear my cry o Lord and attend unto my prayer, restore to me the joy of my salvation. I will try to believe in my heart and confess with my mouth that Jesus is my lord and savior. Beyond that I am at a loss for words.



I really don't think it's supposed to be a last resort. And honestly, if you ARE doing it as a last resort, I don't think it's love of the lord that drives you, but a last desperate need for salvation. You're doing it for yourself. You're doing it out of fear of mortality, not out of commitment to any higher power.

And last but not least: "I will try to believe..." Do or do not. There is no trying to believe. I think that alone would render it null and void. Just saying.
edit on 23-10-2012 by AfterInfinity because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 23 2012 @ 12:55 PM
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reply to post by Sissel
 
I know the scripture that states the gifts and calling of God are without repentence. However, I am not participating in any organized religion as a "pastor". I have separated myself from that setting. I interact with people in my community, neighbors, friends and family to support them and comfort them and encourage them in their struggles. My gospel is a hug and a listening heart. My crisis has more to do with how God has been defined and and explained by the "church." I look around and I see a fallen world where terrible things happen to wonderful people and wonderful things happen to terrible people. The rain falling on the just and the unjust. I abhor violence, war, rape, and abuse. Does the Bible really say the meek shall inherit the earth and if you live by the sword you will die by the sword. And yet I hear the rhetoric of "christian " leaders encouraging war to defeat the enemies of the Lord. I feel like the gospel has been so twisted to justify the wrong motives of those in power. Scripture states that without a vision the people perish. Where is our vision? Is it only to patiently wait and join the other believers in the rapture?



posted on Oct, 23 2012 @ 12:57 PM
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Originally posted by grayeagle
reply to post by Sissel
 
I know the scripture that states the gifts and calling of God are without repentence. However, I am not participating in any organized religion as a "pastor". I have separated myself from that setting. I interact with people in my community, neighbors, friends and family to support them and comfort them and encourage them in their struggles. My gospel is a hug and a listening heart. My crisis has more to do with how God has been defined and and explained by the "church." I look around and I see a fallen world where terrible things happen to wonderful people and wonderful things happen to terrible people. The rain falling on the just and the unjust. I abhor violence, war, rape, and abuse. Does the Bible really say the meek shall inherit the earth and if you live by the sword you will die by the sword. And yet I hear the rhetoric of "christian " leaders encouraging war to defeat the enemies of the Lord. I feel like the gospel has been so twisted to justify the wrong motives of those in power. Scripture states that without a vision the people perish. Where is our vision? Is it only to patiently wait and join the other believers in the rapture?


Right On!




posted on Oct, 23 2012 @ 01:01 PM
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reply to post by AfterInfinity
 
I have accepted Jesus as my savior but I join King David in his struggles as well. There are times in our lives when we need joy restored to us. I also join the psalmist and present my lament before him. Faith isn't some concrete immovable wall. It is the beating heart of those in sorrow.



posted on Oct, 23 2012 @ 01:10 PM
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We yearn to be on the "right" side of things, don't we....to know what we are suffering and questioning is not in vain, nor our sacrifices......

Who would not yearn for that, for everything that happens to us here, wherever that is......

Your faith in Christ, in G-d, even a crisis in faith, nods to Him, does it not? It asks Him, but does not question his existence....

I say this, to put you back on the path you are invested in, to give you comfort and affirmation, in times which rob us of that at every turn, because anyone who survives here deserves that.....

However, I feel it imperative to point out, that once the story was spun with the last supper, and christ's supposed words there, all was called into question. It is one thing to sacrifice oneself that others may keep their innocence and avoid judgement, but the Last Supper is about the consumption, the absorption and use
for our own purposes, and declaration of innocence (freedom from judgement) so that we may escape.....while it becomes evident, by every definition, that we are, in fact, living through hell.



posted on Oct, 23 2012 @ 01:11 PM
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reply to post by grayeagle
 


I too was once a man of God until reality hit me, through experienced I begun to understand that if there really is a single higher power, it does not interfere nor care about us. I actually get very heated when I see religious people look down upon people of different faiths and atheists. Peace must come from within you, not from a combination of revised truth and fiction.

en.wikipedia.org...



posted on Oct, 23 2012 @ 01:11 PM
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Originally posted by grayeagle
However, it is getting harder for me to imagine a merciful god who would command the utter destruction of men, women and children by the sword as spoken in the Old Testament. Can your justice really be doled out in excruciating fear and pain? Defenseless children destroyed because of their parent’s sin? How can that be justice?


Your first mistake is assuming that any of those people were human. If you believe in God and the Bible then you have to believe in all of it including the supernatural and particularly the fallen angels intermingling with the humans of the time. I have explained this all before (check my posts) but I believe those were not fully human but creations of the fallen angels to wipe out the genetic code of Adam and Eve. In particular to sever their last remaining connection to the realm of God which is the soul. That is why they had to be destroyed.



I just don’t get it!


Now you do.



The world is so full of hunger and pain. The poor we will have with us forever? Really? I have seen first hand what suffering surrounds poverty. Can you really allow that to continue and yet be a merciful God? And why?


What does wealth have to do with God? We aren't even supposed to be in this realm, aren't suppose to know pain and hunger at all. We are here because of what our ancestors did but now we are here and only the part of us connected to God - the soul can enter his realm and it can only do so when disconnected from our body upon death. He did not do that, he warned against it. Jesus was hungry and he was in pain in this world - its the nature of our reality.


How could you change so drastically from the Old Testament God to the New Testament God? If you are the same God how could you order entire cities of men, women and children slain without mercy? How can I as your child feel safe that you won’t in your power and anger decide to punish and destroy me forever? That you won’t command your army to wipe me from the face of the Earth?


The corrupted genetic line was destroyed by the flood and then by Joshua. God reigned in the fallen angels afterward to prevent such direct manipulation. Time is not linear except here. He gave laws prior to Jesus appearance.


“Saved by faith not by works,” but “faith without works is dead,” appear to cancel each other out.


No it doesn't. You are saved by your faith but if you believe and have no works then your faith is empty. Faith with works is the absolute hardest thing to do and the most rewarding.



If I have truly become a new creature in Christ, I am afraid I do not see it in my mirror. I have become weary with the hunger and pain and suffering I see in the world. I am heartsick and bone weary. Innocent men, women and children are beaten, starved, raped, abandoned and murdered.


You have a God ->not of this reality YOU





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