When I was in high school I never dreamed that one year at a decent Bible school that lots of older comrades had loved and that had great credibility would so radically confuse me and tramble my faith in the mud. Not that it was solely Bible school, but that was a key piece of it. I couldn’t even touch the Bible without being afraid of reading it wrong and of course that had a detrimental effect on my Spiritual life. While I have finally discovered the answer to reading the Bible correctly is to submit it to the Spirit’s interpretation and trust him to guide me, I am still wrestling with rebuilding that trust and all these other questions that keep piling up with no answers. I am desperately looking and hoping to find some answers here again. I am very thankful for Refresh 2017 and Ravi’s online lectures that I frequently listened to. I am honestly not sure I would still be here if I hadn’t had all those apologetics established beforehand.
When Bible School and Christian community wrecks your faith in Scripture and who God is, how do you pick up the pieces? How do I start trusting again?
Thank you so much for sharing your testimony @Arbrown99!
Wow. As @enatirbofff said – thank you for sharing. I’m so sorry that you had to walk through that. I’m not going to claim that I have any answers that you might not have heard before, nor do I want you take my words as powerfully as the Bible – because as you have already seen, humans are limited and fallible. And the more power/authority we give them in our lives the more it deeply cuts us when their failure happens.
I know there must be much more to your story than you could ever write here. I’m not sure how your faith in Scripture and the character of God was wrecked by your experiences. But I am praying that even this conference would be a place where you might continue to be open to processing and pondering answers. We are SO glad you are here.
It breaks my heart to hear that you were afraid to read the Bible for fear of misinterpretation. You are right – when you have chosen to accept new life in Christ and have made Him Lord (Romans 10:9), you have been given the Spirit of God to guide you into all truth. I love John 16:12-15, which talks of Jesus’ promise that Spirit of God will take from Jesus’s words and make them known. What an encouragement that is!!! We are also promised the mind of Christ! (I Corinthians 2).
Don’t stop asking questions, Aurora. Even about the legitimacy of the things you are being told! Acts 17 talks of the Bereans – a group of people who had noble character because they received messages with “great eagerness AND examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true” (v.11).
But I would encourage you – that although we have to make sure to not put people on pedestals so that their failures won’t represent Christianity’s failure to us – we do need to be supported by those in the church. I would encourage you to pray and ask God for a local community of believers, one with a variety of ages, who can help come alongside and point you to Christ. It is completely understandable to feel the need to rebuild trust in people when they have let us down. Just don’t let those people win. Don’t let them define all of Christianity to you…and especially don’t let them define Jesus. Allow Jesus to tell you Himself who He is – and the best place you can do that is through reading the Bible.
In my experience, I have found that the only person who has never let me down is the Lord Jesus Christ. After years of reading the Bible, I still have questions for Him and things I don’t understand…but I have learned that I can trust Him on my journey because the things I do understand provide enough credibility to trust Him with the things I don’t. And I would humbly submit to you that He is entirely worth following. Please don’t give up in your search for truth.
Don’t be surprised if your viewpoints and interpretations require even more painful adjustments as you grow and develop.
It’s possible you’re destined for greatness (Romans 8:29)
And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope … (Romans 5:3-4)
On your path to “rebuilding that trust” as you call it, don’t loose the benefit (adverse as it may have been) of having gone through the experience. For Christians: bad experiences, and malevolent experiences are sometimes a starting point for knowledge and wisdom that becomes important later on:
As life would have it: Sometimes it’s rather ironic how those experiences can become strangely useful in the next chapters of your life.
“Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God.” 1 Sam 17:36
thanks for your thoughts. I appreciate it.
Thanks. That was an encouraging thing to read.