Any answers......??

Discussion in 'Fundamental Baptist Forum' started by Julie, Jul 4, 2008.

  1. Julie

    Julie
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    I've never posted here before, so I hope that you all don't think I'm terrible, but I thought that maybe this would be a good place to ask about some things that I really don't feel like I can talk to anyone about right now.

    Maybe I am imagining it, but there have been some things strong on my heart lately and it seems like the pastor has been preaching about every single thing. A couple Sundays ago I had been thinking about how I was so scared to surrender my life to Christ, and it didn't seem like I could, even, etc. Well, he preached about the specific things I'd been thinking about. I finally talked to my dad about it and everything, well, next Sunday morning, in Sunday School, the pastor preached about everything I'd talked to my dad about.

    The truth is that I have been getting so confused. No offense to anyone here, but you go to one Fundamental Baptist church, and they preach salvation through faith, repentence, etc...you go to another and they preach repentence is a work, etc...you go to another, it's lordship salvation (which has myriad meanings)...you go to yet another, and it's Calvanist doctrine. And that's only salvation, there are lots of other doctrines that vary, too. To be honest, I don't even know what to think anymore. Especially since Fundamental Baptists are supposed to have the truth and are against other religions and such for having different doctrines. You can ask ten Fundamental Baptists about a passage of Scripture, and you will probably get at least 7 different interpretations. I've been to a lot of Fundamental Baptist churches growing up.
    Anyway, to tell the truth, like I said, I am CONFUSED! Honestly, I've been leaning more and more towards Agnosticism...I don't know how you can know anything about the Bible when everyone believes something differet, even Fundamental Baptists.
    I was heavily considering writing up a letter or whatever about why I am "this close" to becoming Agnostic (theistic-I'm not an atheist), and giving it to my pastor and seeing what he could say about it, but I didn't really have the courage, and besides, it would break my mom's heart. Well, Wednesday night the pastor preached about being satisfied in Christ. How if someone is truly saved, they will be satisfied with Christ and will not be looking anywhere else (i.e. other religions, etc).
    So, I am wondering if someone who is truly born again could possible turn Agnostic, and if anyone of you thinks that what he preached about being satisfied in Christ and not looking elsewhere applies to me.
    Thanks for your input and I am really sorry this is so long. I truly am not trying to attack fundamentalism or anything like that.
    I have always wanted to do right, etc., please understand, it is just that I don't even know what to think sometimes, I don't understand how anyone can be sure of what to believe when there is so many different doctrines and such.
    Thanks again.
     
    #1 Julie, Jul 4, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 4, 2008
  2. Squire Robertsson

    Squire Robertsson
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    I agree it can be easy to be confused. The key here is to remember salvation's bottom line is you (generic) are taking God at His Word. You are taking His Word for your sinful condition. You are taking His Word for His payment of the penalty. You are taking His Word for the consequences. Yes, there's alot of stuff floating around. The key to seeing what's what is to systematically read through the Word, in particular the New Testament. Before making any decisions, I suggest reading through it (the NT)two or three times.

    The illustration I like to use is that of the Secret Services counterfeit experts. When a new recruit starts his\her training, the recruit is placed in a room with a chair and a desk. On the desk is a pile of real US currency of various denominations and in various conditions (some old, some new). The sit there for hours examining the bills. Only when a recruit can proverbially smell a five dollar bill in his\her sleep, is the recruit allowed to touch counterfeit currency. They know the real deal so well, it doesn't take much for them to spot unreal.
     
  3. gb93433

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    I can remember the day many years ago when I felt much like you do now. What I did was to quit reading other books and gathering opinions and started reading the Bible for myself. Too many people want easy answers without studying the background of each book of the Bible. I set aside one hour each day to read the Bible. That in itself solved a lot of my problems. I began to read the Bible for myself rather than listen to someone else. When I knew what the Bible taught it was easy to spot things that were wrong because I knew what the Bible really taught.

    I recommend that a person get a cheap unmarked Bible without any notes and just read it. Most of the time the notes do little good. You would be better off spending your money on a few good Old Testament and New Testament Survey books

    There are some very good Old Testament and New Testament Survey books that you can purchase which should help a lot.

    There are several but two that I recommend are:

    Old Testament Survey: The Message, Form, and Background of the Old Testament, by William Sanford La Sor, David Allan Hubbard, Frederic William Bush, Leslie C. Allen.

    and

    An Introduction to the New Testament by D. A. Carson, Douglas J. Moo, Dr. Leon Morris

    Many years ago an older man asked me, "How do you tell a crooked stick." I went through some explanation then he told me, "You lay a straight one next to it."

    The Bible is the standard (the straight stick) by which you measure faith and practice.
     
    #3 gb93433, Jul 5, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 5, 2008
  4. Squire Robertsson

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    Which is the crux of my advice.
     
  5. sag38

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    Same kind of questioning came to my mind when I went to college. The liberal professors really threw me for a loop. And, like gb#### I started to read the Bible for myself. I don't know why I did, but it seemed that I had come to the point to where I needed to make up my own mind about what I personally believed. There I found my answers. It wasn't preachers, denominations, SS teachers, tv evangelists, or even my liberal college professors who spoke. Rather, I found God speaking to me through the Bible.

    And, Julie it seems to me that is where you are. It's time for you to personally make up your own mind. Your mom and dad, your pastor, nor anyone else can do that for you. You have to make up your own mind. May you find the grace of God sufficient as you read His word for yourself.
     
    #5 sag38, Jul 5, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 5, 2008
  6. Tom Butler

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    Julie, questioning is not wrong. It is a step in your quest for truth.

    It is painful to come to the place where what you have been taught, and what you believed to be biblical truth, doesn't square with scripture.

    But it can also be liberating. You will find that most of the Bible is crystal clear and easy to accept. You'll also hit some passages that you simply can't understand. That is where faith comes in. It will bring you to the point where you may say to yourself, "I don't understand this, but i believe it to be true." because I believe the Bible is true.

    Remember, without faith it is impossible to please God. If you insist on having an inellectural understanding of everything, you will be frustrated.

    Remember, too, that spiritual things are spiritually discerned. The Holy Spirit reveals things to believers that He hides from those who are not.

    Blessings on you as you make this journey. I'm praying that the journey will result in a strengthened faith.
     
  7. pinoybaptist

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    Julie:

    It is piles of confusing mess out there, really, and I sympathize with you. I do not mean to offend anyone but the proliferation of radio and tv preachers and "evangelists" do not help either, with each echoing their particular denomination's creeds and each individually claiming to have "the truth", whatever that is.
    You don't even have to go to the churches.
    Just stay on Baptist Board and you'll see the same thing.
    Having said that, the bottom line is that only Jesus Christ is the Truth, and anyone else claiming to be that is anti-Christ, a copycat not even worthy of sleepy-eyed consideration.
    When Jesus Christ went up that cross to finish His work of redemtion, those who benefited from His work were redeemed not on the basis of their doctorates, or masterals, or numbers of churches planted, or teachings, or doctrines, or how well they promoted their denominations.
    He redeemed them on the basis of His will, His mercy, and His kindness and grace.
    So don't worry about all the confusion.
    Listen to the Shepherd's voice, and you will not lose your way.
     
  8. ktn4eg

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    Julie,

    First of all, welcome to Baptist Board! :wavey:

    The preceding posts have given you much wise guidance.

    My prayer is that you will follow the advise they've given you: namely first and foremost to immerse yourself in the Word of God and see for yourself exactly what God wants you to know about Him and His ways.

    If you've trusted Jesus Christ as your savior, then you have dwelling within you the Holy Spirit. It is He who will guide you into the truths of God's Word (John 16:13). Allow Him to be your guide rather than some human preacher or teacher or evangelist, etc.

    Prior to my salvation, the Bible made very little sense to me. However, after I received Christ as savior, little by little I began to understand what God's Word was trying to tell me.

    I've still got a long ways to go, and there are some things I still don't understand--and probably never will (at least in this life). As a prior post stated, I just take those things by faith.

    A good place to start your Bible study is with the Gospel of John, then the other three gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke). From there, just follow the order of the remaining books in the NT (Acts and so on). But all along, keep asking the Holy Spirit to help you in your study.

    It might be good for you to keep a written journal of your Bible studies in which you can note the things that you learn from God's Word and questions you may have. As you progress in your studies, you'll often find many of your questions answered by other scriptures.

    I would also suggest that you then pray for God to lead you to some spiritually mature Christians for help in your quest for seeking the truths about God. You'll find that there is a lot of wisdom available right here on Baptist Board. (However, there's also some advise on BB that you'd be wise to take with a grain of salt!)

    But when you do this, be certain that what they tell you measures up with the clear teachings of the Bible. In other words, be like the folks at Berea when they encountered the Apostle Paul's teaching. Even if he was the Apostle Paul, they scrutinized what he taught to see if it measured up to what the scriptures taught--see Acts 17:10-12.

    I hope this helps you Julie.
     
  9. nunatak

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    beautiful post pb.

    Christ is all, and we are complete in him.
     
  10. Julie

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    Thanks to everyone for the kind and helpful replies. I really appreciate it. I guess I do have another question, and that is, how can you know that it is really God leading you. Everybody says that God is leading them, and that the Holy Spirit is leading them and showed them this or that. You will get this from everyone who says they are a Christian, whether they believe in lordship salvation or "easy believism" or whether they believe that a person can divorce for reason of adultry or not (just for examples off the top of my head). So, how can you know that God is leading you, or if you are just fooling yourself? How do you know it's really God showing you what the Bible means?
    Thanks so much.
     
  11. nunatak

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    This reminds me of a conversation I had today with a teenaged person I work with. In a conversation she initiated about church, she told me she was "just hanging out with Jesus." I suspect if she really examined what she believes and why she believes it, she would ask the same questions you are. Keep searching.
     
  12. gb93433

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    There are many false proclaimers who boast of great things but there is often a few indicators of their words and life. The first question you should ask is, "Do their words agree with what the Bible teaches? The second thing you should take a look at is "Does the person's life agree with what the bible teaches?" Who are they leading? Who is following them?

    Hebrews 13:7, "Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith.

    For twenty one years I was accountable to a man who was living the Christian life. He was making disciples and was always involved in ministry. I saw the fruit of his life. So one day I asked him if I could get together with him from time to time. We got together once a week to eat breakfast, pray and read the Bible together. At the time he was 55. We did that for 10 years until I left the city. After that we talked on the phone and wrote letters. The last time I talked with him was about 2 weeks before he died. He held my feet to the fire. He always asked me about my time in the Bible and prayer life. He was never afraid to ask the tough questions.

    I would encourage you to pray that God will bring someone into your life that you can be accountable to and have some serious discussions with.
     
  13. Squire Robertsson

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    I'll answer your questions with a couple of mine.

    Are you being obedient to the light God has given you at this moment? God will lead to to where He wants you to be step by obedient step.

    Is what you are gleaning from the Word in line with the other Scripture you have read?
     
  14. ReformedBaptist

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    Julie,

    Just as the many on this board are encouraging you, I will echo their admonishment. Let the Scriptures be your absolute standard by which you compare your own thoughts and feelings, and the teachings of others. Consider this verse:

    "And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful." Revelation 21:5

    This can be said not only of the words and prophecy of the book of Revelation, but also of the whole of Scripture. The Scripture are true and faithful. Consider this as well:

    "For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount. We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." 2 Peter 1:16-21

    Think of what is being said here. Peter, James, and John were the one's who were with Jesus on the Mount of Olives when Jesus was transfigured before their eyes. They saw the glory of Jesus Christ and heard the voice of God the Father. And yet they say we have a more sure word of prophecy: the Holy Scriptures. Which we do well to give heed to, as a light that shines in a dark place. And sometimes that dark place is our own understanding.

    Give yourself wholly to the study of the Scriptures, praying always that the Lord will give you an understanding in it.

    God bless Julie.
     
  15. sag38

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    It really does come down to a matter of faith. All of us eventually come to this point in our faith. Do we believe or do we not? Do I doubt sometimes? Yes, I do. But, the Bible overrides my doubt by faith. I believe even though my feelings say doubgt. Do I feel unsaved sometimes? Yes, I do. But, by faith I go back to that point where I know I believed with my heart and confessed it with my lips. Do I feel at times that God is not there? Yes, I do. Yet, whether I feel Him or not, I choose, by faith, to believe. Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness.
     
  16. jdlongmire

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    Julie - you say that you are getting different answers on different things from different teachers and that is driving you toward agnosticism.

    Let me ask you this - if you asked any of these teachers who "the way, the truth and the life" is - what do you think they'd say?

    Before I fell off the "deep end" of agnosticism, which basically states that there is a God, we just don't know Him, I'd really take a good, hard, Scriptural look at if I am really ready to say that I don't know if Jesus is "my Lord and my God."

    'cause I can guarantee you that all those teachers will agree on what happens if you deny Him.
     
  17. ReformedBaptist

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    And Julie, there is nothing wrong with asking questions about the "sure word" If there are questions there, then let's ask them. Let's explore them completely and fully. Let's gather the evidence and weigh it. We have nothing to fear from the truth right? It is the truth that we love and want, right?
     
  18. stilllearning

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    Hi Julie

    I am relatively new here myself, but from what I have seen you have received a wealth of wonderful advice, from the previous responses.

    I would like to respond, to one small part, of your second question.......
    In this question, you are talking about, “self deception”:
    (I consider this, one of our greatest dangers.)

    First here are three things that cause it.....
    --------------------------------------------------
    But by far the greatest way, to avoid self deception, is by daily studying the Bible.
    As we study God Word, it becomes “a discerner of the thoughts and intents of our heart”, and will quickly let us know, if we are “fooling ourselves”!
     
  19. Julie

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    Well, I keep reading the posts over and over. One of the things I read recently was Proverbs chapter 2. That's pretty helpful. I'll admit-like stilllearning said, self-deception is a pretty scary danger. I mean, Catholics die for their faith, Muslims die for their faith....
    Anyways, I'm not trying to sound like a broken record.

    I don't know how to quote somebody, but Reformed Baptist said,

    "And Julie, there is nothing wrong with asking questions about the "sure word" If there are questions there, then let's ask them. Let's explore them completely and fully.

    Do you mean, about whether or not the Bible is the Word of God. I don't know how seriously, but kind of. Just because I know that, for example, there are other books that Paul wrote, and that they almost didn't put James in the Bible, etc. I am too easy to get mixed up, I know that.

    What jdlongmire said was good. I'm dumb, but I actually hadn't considered the fact of denying Christ too much. I looked up some more about what agnosticism really means, and I don't know that I fit into that category exactly, I just get really frustrated and I think...well, I feel like a hypocrite calling myself a Christian right now, but I can't say that I'm not.
    If I were to confess something, I would say that I really do feel a lot better off just forgetting everything, not reading my Bible, and just going to church because I'm supposed to. Otherwise I get soo mixed up. Sometimes I get frustrated just reading the Bible, nonetheless what someone wrote about the Bible. For a while I've just been saying to myself that I'll just believe what I know my parents want me to and just be obedient and I'll be okay, but I've been feeling like God's been dealing with me about having a relationship with God/having my own conviciotns etc-I don't know how to explain what I mean- because the pastor's honestly killing me. I think he's got my mind tapped or something. Kidding, but he keeps preaching about all this stuff about how if you're a Christian you don't have to look elsewhere, and the Holy Spirit leading you and stuff that I can't explain.

    One more thing, I'll answer Squire Robertsson. He said, "
    I'll answer your questions with a couple of mine.

    Are you being obedient to the light God has given you at this moment? God will lead to to where He wants you to be step by obedient step." Truthfully, no. There is one thing that my parents believe, which affects me very personally, but which I dont feel like I could be reconciled to hardly if I wanted to. I don't know what to do about it, I really don't.

    Anyway, I'm sorry this is so long. I don't want to overstay my welcome so to speak.
     
    #19 Julie, Jul 8, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 8, 2008
  20. menageriekeeper

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    Julie, I really don't think you are trying to turn your back on God. I do think that God is trying to point out a few things to you that you need to learn and that is why the sermons you've been listening to are bothering you so much. God expects us all to "seach the scripture to see if it were so". That in parenthesis is a close quote to an actual scripture from the somewhere within the writings of Paul in the NT.

    You have reached a point in your walk where you aren't sure you want to "believe what my parents believe" and you know absolutely that you don't believe a few things that they believe. And that's okay. I doubt if there are two BBers out of the thousands that are on this board that believe exactly the same.

    Honoring your mother and father, doesn't mean you have to accept everything they tell you without question, especially if you are of the age in your profile.

    My parents hold to many beliefs that I do not. While I lived at home, I respected and abided by those beliefs. Once I moved out, however, it was up to me and God to decide what I believed.

    Questions are GOOD!! Without questions there can be no answers. Do not feel badly because you have questions that you can't find answers to. Instead, find someone of the faith that you respect, but do not fear, and ask them. If you don't feel safe with anyone you know, the BB is a good place to find out what others believe on any particular subject.

    You will to realize that we have some members who are completely set in their belief system and refuse to discuss the opinions of others and simply insist that the others are wrong. That too is okay. Just don't take it as an attack on you personally and you will do fine.

    Once you have reached 50 posts on this board you can apply for admittance to the "private women's forum" where there are several mature ladies who can help answer your questions and we aren't nearly as rough on a person as the open board can be. :)
     

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