I grew up in a “Christian” home. We went to church every Sunday, including Sunday school. I was what I now call a “cultural Christian.”
In college, I didn’t go to church except when I was home for the weekend. In my 20s I went to church; but it was more for friendship and community than for spiritual filling.
After marriage and kids, we “tried” to go to church; but we ran into “snags” (i.e., excuses).
Nevertheless, when both boys were in elementary school, I decided again to try to take my family back to church. This time the “snags” were external.
- One son’s fall (resulting in a bleeding head cut requiring a trip to the emergency room) kept us from attending my sister’s non-denominational contemporary church when we were visiting her from out of state.
- At one church we attended, having the boys at the “wrong” pre-school (i.e., not the one at that church), in effect, kept us out of the young families group.
- Another church was great for me – but not for our family. Whenever our sons weren’t at church, there was no Sunday school – there were no other children their age!
Unchurched to Churched
Then a mom from the boys’ cub scout pack invited us to her church.
We went and our lives were changed.
The casual, contemporary-style church was meeting in the boys’ elementary school, so they were very comfortable there. Many of the worshipers were from our neighborhood, so we had a lot in common. As a new church start-up, it was easy to move into service in the church without stepping on toes or hearing “we don’t do it that way.” Connection and community were quickly built.
When small groups were forming, we signed up as host if someone else would lead – hosting would solve the childcare problem. That first small group was incredible. It set a high bar for all others we have been a part of.
The group was diverse: men and women, couples and singles, old, young, and in-between. And, as I discovered, it was spiritually diverse as well. Not as non-Christians, rather, diverse in spiritual maturity. That our 60s leader/ facilitator and our 70s “elder statesman” were mature Christians was no surprise. The surprise was the spiritual maturity of a 20s woman.
What? You don’t have to take years to become a mature Christian?
What? That I am older doesn’t automatically make me more spiritually mature?
There I could see Christ in the lives of others. I was seeing fruit of the Spirit. I was seeing God move in others’ lives in big ways. They were speaking of and living out this relationship thing that I had heard about but didn’t understand. And didn’t have.
They had “more”! And I wanted that “more” too!
7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Matthew 7:7, 8 ESV
I found a Relationship instead of a Religion.
I became what I call a “committed Christian.”
I began to ask, to seek, to knock for “more.”
My Search for Biblical Truth
- I studied multiple English versions of the Bible in order to discern the varied nuances of translations.
- I discovered the Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible and began to seek the connotations and extended meanings from the Hebrew and the Greek behind the English words in my Bible.
- I went to seminars at the local Jewish synagogue!
- I researched the Hebrew language in the synagogue library.
- I took classes sponsored by a local seminary and church.
What I Found
And, I found teaching that described the Hebraic roots of the Christian faith.
- I found the story of the original Jesus, the Jewish Jesus – Yeshua.
- I found the Hebrew “radical” Yeshua instead of the Greek “weak and mild” Jesus.
- I found the explanation of the Hebraic cultural basis for the events of the Christian Bible.
- I found the “Jewish bits” which are ignored or even expunged from the Christian Bible.
- I found a true integration of “Old” and “New” Testaments into one revelation – a revelation of the Creator, from the Creator.
- And, I found out about religious tradition.
- I found beliefs taught as true “because it’s always been taught thus” or “everyone (knows) believes it’s true” – as separate and different from Biblical Truth.
- I found religious tradition that come from human inference and extrapolation of divine revelation.
- And, I found others who ask, “Does the Bible really say that?
Be like the Bereans
I learned to be a Berean.
10The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue. 11 Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.
Acts 17:10, 11 ESV
Now I want you to be a Berean too.
I want you to check out the things you have been taught to see if they are truly from Scripture, or from the mind of men.
I invite you to join me in this journey of discovery.
- Share this blog with others, whether they are doubting, or not.
- Take what I say and CHECK IT OUT FOR YOURSELF!
It’s ok to doubt, if you check it out!
May the Spirit of Truth guide to you all Truth.
May the Spirit of Truth reveal to you all Truth.
May you know the Truth, the Truth that will set you free from the Religion of man and into the freedom of Relationship with God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.