Over the years of our Christian lives, my wife and I have gone through many times of new growth. It is a normal process to grow, bloom, become dormant, and then have new growth again.
If we never had new growth, our Christian life would eventually wither and die. It is not wrong to re-think and question and have times of new interpretations and new inspirations.
We grew up in the traditional church and have many good and happy memories over the years of being involved. We were taught many things over the years, most of which we never questioned. We accepted what we were taught and considered it to be the truth. As time went by, we began to let some of the questions we had in the back of our minds come forward. Some things we had always accepted just didn’t make sense.
We’ve found that so many times in church, people just take what they are told and don’t question it. Most people feel questioning is a lack of faith or a lack of trust in the pastor. After all, didn’t the pastor go to college and get all the training necessary to understand the Bible? Doesn’t the pastor have the inside track on hearing from God?
We began questioning why one person has the right to have the authority to tell everyone else what God is saying. We read that we are the temple of the Holy Spirit and we have no need of anyone else to teach us. There were so many different views and interpretations. There were so many denominations that seemed to cause division among Christians. Yet we read we were to be one as Jesus and the Father are one. We read that everyone should have a word, a song, a praise, yet we sat in a service week after week just looking at the back of someone’s head, never getting to talk or discuss or have true fellowship with our brothers and sisters in Christ.
All of this brought us to our most recent time of dormancy and questions, which actually lasted over several years. Of course time is not something that God worries about, since a day with Him is like a thousand years. So when I say we were going through this dormant, questioning stage for nine or ten years, it was not a big thing.
Having grown up in the typical, modern day church, we had come to a place where we really questioned some of the doctrines and ways of ‘doing church’. Some things just didn’t make sense anymore, others seemed different from what we read of the believers in the New Testament.
Over the years, we continued to attend a few different churches thinking the answer was in finding the right church. After several years of that process and still having the same feelings, we realized that there was something more than finding a church.
After some time, we both started meeting people who were having the same thoughts, the same questions, and the same uneasiness. We met people at a local cafe and started talking, hearing them mention the same concerns we were going through. Many books and various websites started coming to our attention, and each were from people who were going through, or had gone through the same things we were going through.
It was amazing to us how we felt a time of new growth beginning. We are finding people who were going through the same things, and we are starting to find answers to some of our questions. We no longer feel alone, and we no longer feel guilty for the questions and feelings we are experiencing.
For us, it’s a time of new growth in the knowledge and understanding of grace. The grace we have in Christ, the freedom we have because of his grace. We no longer worry about the man-made denominations, doctrines and ways of ‘doing church’. We are free from the guilt of sin because of his grace. We are now learning to ‘be the church’, realizing we are one with Christ, and it is his spirit that lives and loves through us.
Article originally published on Faithful Bloggers ( http://www.faithfulbloggers.com/faithful-bloggers-new-growth.pdf ) on June 18, 2014.