Sunday, April 24, 2016

Be led in truth...

Over the past two thousand years Christianity has splintered into more denominations and factions than I can count. 
What makes me saddest about this is the confusion it puts into the hearts and minds of new believers, and the ammunition it gives non-believers to aim at us.

I can't tell you what denomination to follow, and you can't influence me either. 
I may not agree with some of your theological teachings and you may not agree with mine. 

But we Christians, we followers of Jesus, have each been adopted into one family under God through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. We were redeemed though sinners and made clean through Christ's sacrifice, death and resurrection. Not through any power of our own, but through HIS atoning grace.

Compared to Jesus, we are no better or worse than each other. 
We are all imperfect, prone to sin day by day, and carry life legacies which influence our actions, responses and beliefs. 

None of us, not one, is righteous enough to teach total truth. No single Christian denomination on earth has the fullness of the knowledge of God, no preacher is perfect, and no church doctrine is faultless. 

This is why we can't sit in church and accept everything we hear.
This is why we must go home and search the Scriptures, every day discovering His truth for ourselves. 
We must, especially in these times, check everything we're taught from the Word of God in context. Don't just read the verse of the day, read a chapter before and after it...what does it mean? Who was it written to? Paint a bigger picture and understanding will come. 

When I was at Bible College I had a silly notion that if anyone had been a Christian a month longer than me then they must know more and I should take their opinions as gospel truth. I think the Lord had a chuckle over this because He gave me a lecturer that year who week by week turned my beliefs upside down! This teacher challenged me over and over with "Why do you believe that, Jenny? Why?!" 
At first I was flustered and annoyed, but gradually I came to understand he was pushing me into the pages of my Bible to seek the truth for myself. That year changed me and I've never taken a sermon on face value since. 

Example:  after moving to a new town we began attending a church where the large congregation was predominantly late teens/early 20's, an age group which suited our youngest daughter who was 17 at the time. Already disturbed by the number of people around us who were texting and playing on their mobile phones all through the service, it was the sermon we heard which caused us to not return. 
The pastor preached on the feeding of the 5,000 with his sole aim to manipulate the congregation (remember, they were in the 17-24 age group mostly) to give. He did this by teaching that the child with the loaves and fishes was a teenage boy who was very selfish and didn't want to give the disciples his bread and fish. He wanted to keep all he had to himself. Now, from there he elaborated more and more about the selfishness of young people and how giving to the Lord will give them an abundant harvest of blessing (a commitment card with a section to write their bank details was handed around near the end of the sermon).

Well, my husband, daughter and I looked at each other in amazement. We had no idea where this pastor had dug up that hidden bit of information between the pages of his Bible but it certainly couldn't be found in ours.
The story this pastor told came from John 6, and the incident with his 'selfish teenage' boy is in verse 9.

"There is a lad here which hath five barley loaves and two small fishes:"

In the original language of the Scriptures the word 'lad' is 'paidarion' which refers to a small boy, a child - not a teenager. 

How many of the hundreds of young adults sitting in church that night accepted the pastor's rendition of Jesus feeding the five thousand and a selfish teenager angry about giving his food away, and have carried his story to this day as gospel truth?
Probably most. 
I could barely find a bible in anyone's hand and afterwards there was a barbeque to attend at the beach, so I wondered if they'd even think to check this story for themselves when they got home.

I sincerely pray today's message encourages you to seek truth between the pages of God's Word where only truth resides

Remember, don't believe me. Only believe Him.



Cyndi said...

False prophets are becoming so prevalent as we draw closer to His coming. The word of God is faithful and true all the time. My pastor once said "All means all, that's all all means". All of God's word is true and we should always verify, no matter who the person may be against God's word.

Blessings to you, thank you for sharing the truth.
Cyndi Shaver

Flora's DIY said...

Thanks Jenny
Great article and filled with so much truth.. something we all need to reminded of. It is so easy just to set in church Sunday after Sunday and take someone's word for what the Word of God tells us.. We definitely need to get in The Word for ourselves and compare scripture to scripture to see the truth.. We are told that ....if anyone lasts wisdom that we just need to ask and the truth will be revealed to through The Holy Spirit who is our Teacher. If we seek to draw closer to our Lord, He will not without this from us.. It is His desire to have a close personal relationship with each of His children. God bless you as you continue to serve Him and for sharing with all of us your God given talent... Hugs ~~~Flora~~~

janice15 said...

This so amazinly wow, me and my oldest daughter have been discussing the issue about what is the true church, I was raised a Jehovah Witnesss went away came back as a grown adult but recently have encounter some things that made me question some things. But I have great love for God and his son Jesus Christ I have no doubt that he is the Almighty creator of us. But now my new problem is what church do I go to how do you decided. How do you know. So in the meantime I told her there is nothing wrong with continuing to study and read the bible. I some what feel lost about it.. Thank you much for sharing this post. I think you did a great job og summing it up in the beginning. Hapoy weekend Jenny ty with love Janice

Deborah said...

Thanks for a very thoughtful post. Sometimes it is so hard to discern what is truly Christ-taught and should be followed and what is religiosity--man made rules. Such great advice to go to the source --the Scriptures. God bless you Jenny.

Anonymous said...

Wow, Jenny, I certainly never got either teenager or selfish from the child with the fishes and loaves! How sad that someone would so badly and boldly misrepresent the word given us by the Lord. I always believe that I must find my own testimony of things and not accept someone else's. There have been times when my faith was weak, and I looked to someone I knew who had strong faith to lift me a little. I think that's different. I think that's what you are doing right here in your Sunday posts all the time. That sharing and caring is why we are supposed to meet together, to strengthen one another. Thank you for providing extra strength every week!

Águeda said...

Dear Jenny:
Your reflection today is wonderful.
The leaders of congregations, church leaders, should set an example to others. They with their shortcomings because they are human, but they should be more than we are.
I agree with you that a bad responsible not near people of God. Because we think knows more responsible, and the head is closer to the truth than me.
And how sad is this, when you see that many use their position for a different purpose.
I personally believe that God is in every good person on Earth. And each of those who sincerely believe in God, try to be a better person every day.I appreciate the good deeds of good people. And I do not care if they are of a congregation or another; of a church or another. I even not care if they are not believers but carry goodness in the heart. Somehow, God is in them also.
Thank you for You share yours thinks. God Bless you and your family.

Corinne76 said...

le partage de la Bible à plusieurs, la commenter, essayer de comprendre est aussi important que de la lire seul. Et dans les enseignements de nos "pasteurs" tout ne peut pas nous interpeller et on ne comprend pas toujours non plus. Quelle soit notre Eglise nous sommes enfants de Dieu, Dieu ne fait pas de différence, ce sont les hommes qui créent les barrières. J'ai une très amie protestante et c'est un vrai bonheur de partager notre foi ensemble malgré nos différences, on se respecte beaucoup.
Bon dimanche

Little Penpen said...

Amen, Amen, and Amen! I TOTALLY agree with you Jenni. I have never heard the little boy was selfish either.... just how awesome our God is, to be able to feed all those people, with such a small sacrifice! "Little" is much, when God is in it..... Love this post!

barcord said...

Thank you once again Jenny for your God given wisdom. The bible is the best place to learn from our heavenly Father. Remember when Jesus walked the Emmaus road with two sad disciples he opened the scriptures and told them everything concerning himself. All scripture points to our Saviour, Jesus. I have felt led to read more and more as I get older in years and in my faith journey. God Bless you.

Brenda said...

Good Morning Jenny! I remember discovering your blog posts while you were "teaching" and I received so much during that time. I still learn from your teachings each and every day in one way or another and am so thankful for it! It was exciting for me to find out that you studied the Bible in College Jenny. I do not recall you having mentioned that previously. What a magnificent accomplishment and the class mentioned with the specific Professor has left many positive memories. I am thrilled that you had the opportunity to accomplish this. Thank you for sharing and have a fantastic creative day!

Jocelyn said...

It is so sad to see how the younger generation has become so enamored with visual images that they cannot search out the truth for themselves. Many have been taught the truth but have chosen to turn away. Like sheep, they are easily led astray. As we draw closer to Christ's return, there will be more false teachers and doctrine. There are no perfect churches because none are perfect except our Lord. I pray for those who have heard of Jesus' saving grace yet do not believe. I pray for those who minister and preach the Gospel. May the Lord bless them and allow the fruit of their labor to fall on ripe ears. Thank you Jenny for not being ashamed to share your faith.

Baa. xxx said...

Yep, gotta wonder about those preachers who manipulate scripture to their own message. One of the churches we visited while Miss H was trying to find one to attend near Uni just recently was off on a tangent of his own. But how can young people tell if they don't see it is one story, sixty six books and how the Old testament and New relate , how Jesus fulfils the Old. How when Jesus spoke he put the Old into context. Our chapters and verses are not the way the original was written. You can make one verse or story say anything. But you have to read verses and chapters around it to make sense - maybe even the whole book. Love what you have written. It is so valuable to remind people of this. Love ya.

Marla said...

I found your blog while searching for embroidery, and I found that and so much more. I appreciate your talents, both in your stitching and patterns but even more so in your willingness to share the truth of God's word. Each week I look forward to seeing what you've written and what you've stitched. Thank you.

Margaret Stickland said...

Excellent post and creative designs , Blessings Jenny