There is nothing that brings me more mental torment than having cognitive dissonance in what I believe. Growing up in the church while struggling with abuse, neglect, depression, anxiety and other mental ailments has really messed with my mind. I can truly see why some have lost their faith. Not necessarily not believing in God; more just disillusionment with their default religion that they grew up in. Seeing people with (from my perspective) “normal brains” be able to “get it”: feel God’s presence, worship and obey God, produce fruit in their lives and break free from strongholds is hard for me because I cannot say that in nearly 30 years of being a Christian that I’ve had much personal progress. I’m not saying I haven’t matured as a person, I just feel like what works for other people hasn’t been effective for me. It feels like there is a puzzle piece missing in my brain that if it was there, something would click and I would get it. At the same time, I find myself increasingly fascinated with how things work: the universe, spirituality, psychology. When something is explained in a logical and scientific manner, concepts start to click. Instead of feeling lost in a world of spiritual confusion, my mind seems to be expanding and understanding ideas and concepts that others can’t seem to grasp. Maybe it’s because my mind is on another level. Maybe I’m what some call a “volunteer” soul that is spiritually ascended and this world just messes with my higher vibration? (LOL)
In all seriousness, this makes me wonder if the church has been dumbing down Christianity by removing spiritual aspects of it. Sometimes, I’ll watch “new age” teachers on YouTube…typically frowned upon by many Christians and called dangerous. yet I hear them explaining things that make sense from a logical perspective that Christians have been saying in their own words all along. It’s almost as if they have been stealing ideas and concepts from Christianity! So many things they teach sound strikingly similar to scripture! I remember how Jesus told us that we would do things even greater than He. Why don’t I see the church talking about that? Could it be that instead of stealing these ideas and concepts from Christianity—maybe spiritual concepts are TRUE no matter WHO says it? Like a law of the universe. Or math. 1+1=2 regardless of whether a Christian, Jew, Muslim, Buddhist or any other religious group believes it. And these people DARE to believe they are divine beings (Jesus quoted scripture, saying, “you are gods”)? Could it be that also applies to spiritual concepts? This is not to say other religions are correct per se. Some of these new age folks believe that Jesus was just one of many ascended masters. Funny, I only know of Jesus LITERALLY ascending to heaven 40 days after the resurrection. The point is—if someone has the spiritual truth about God—and they aren’t “Christian”, are they automatically wrong?
Jesus said that He is the way, the truth, and life. No one comes to the father but through Him. However, the Bible also seems to lend to the idea that folks that don’t know of Jesus can still make it to heaven based on how good they were with their conscious. Could it be that there will be a lot more people in heaven than we are taught? Maybe God is expanding our consciousness and showing us truths about ourselves that we have denied because it didn’t fit into the box of “Christianity”? Or even dare I say—the Bible itself?
Speaking of the bible, there is no way I can put the bible through some sort of litmus test to see if it is true or not. I’m not going to put it into some kind of machine that will go “ding ding ding!” and display a message on a screen that says, “Everything in here is true and the total and COMPLETE word of God.” I have to rely on what other Christian leaders have told me. Although I believe the bible is true, who is man to say it’s the only source of truth? I can disprove that by one statement: The bible doesn’t say 1+1=2 and yet we know that is the truth. Therefore, the Bible doesn’t contain every bit of truth in the universe. There are also several translations and several denominations —some of which cannot even agree on what books belong in the bible. Should I believe the Catholics? Should I believe the Orthodox? Should I believe the Protestants? None of you can tell me and none of you can give me a straight answer. Who should I believe? Do you see the predicament I am in? Then to make it worse—there are so may interpretations of what is in the Bible.
Part of my self-worth relies on being RIGHT. I don’t mean, “I’m right—you’re wrong.” I mean being RIGHT about what matters—faith, beliefs, people, God, Satan, etc. How would I know the church is not deceived by Satan? How do I know Satan/demons are deceiving me by all this doubt? You have no idea how much the thought I could be being deceived haunts me every day. However, you have also no CLUE how I suffer from wondering why I’m still stuck no matter how much I pray and beg God for healing and deliverance. You have no idea how much it hurts knowing that I am all alone in this suffering, that no one understands me and that I feel like friends and family will forsake me over it.
There seems to be one common denominator that brings me peace. It comes down to logic. Here is my thought process:
I believe in God. I believe in Jesus. None of this soul-searching research has made me lose faith in God or Jesus. I want to be right; I want to be righteous in his eyes, I want to do good—I don’t want to hurt others. In fact, I want light and love in myself. I want to be on God’s good side. In light of this—pun intended—am I somehow out of the will of God or —worse— condemned because I am not satisfied with “Christianity” alone and I’m seeking the truth about God wherever I may find it? Is God going to curse me because—with all my good intentions—I am totally a mess and confused in my mind about what is the truth and what is not the truth? I keep coming to the conclusion that there are SO many religions and SO many denominations within religions that how can one POSSIBLY make an unbiased choice? Why should I choose “Christianity” just because I was born in America in a Christian home?
I choose Jesus because he’s the one person who has shown us the love of God more than anyone else. I don’t see Mohammad or Buddha fitting that. Still, that is just too convenient for me. I want to know God more than anything else in the world. I am truly seeking Him. But all you human’s voices are making me go mad!