Monday, April 7, 2014

Is it OK to challenge your beliefs?

I had a friend who grew up in a community and a home where religion was a mainstay. In her home there were many rules and everyone was expected to adhere to those rules. This is how it was. As she grew older she became aware that there were others who did not share in her beliefs nor live by those same rules. She began to question her faith, and to her parents dismay, she has strayed far away from those rules and traditions that she was taught, even to the point of publicly mocking her family, close friends, and others who follow any religion.

It is a pattern that we see so often in life. There are many who follow the rules, regulations, and religion taught to them, and then.... when exposed to something different, get swayed by popular opinions and begin to believe something different than what they have been traditionally taught. I have heard it said that any belief is nothing more than a thought or opinion that you have come to treat as automatically correct. Once we label it as a "belief" we convince ourselves that it is different and must not be questionedI would ask, is this true?

I grew up in that very same religion this friend mentioned above but, I was taught in a different manner. We were given many of those same rules to live by, but we were not forced and coerced into living them. We were taught that these rules were there to guide, protect and help us. We were given the opportunity to live by the rules. We were given the opportunity to choose to live in righteousness, for righteousness is chosen and cannot be forced. We were taught to govern ourselves within the boundaries that God has set for they will never change. We were taught in the same manner as the Savior taught when he invited the those who would be his apostles to "come follow me"  He did not force them to come and be a disciple but called out to them who would hear and follow.

Jesus Christ himself challenged the popular beliefs of those in Jerusalem and surrounding areas. He challenged those who "professed to believe."  He set the pattern for us to follow. We cannot fall prey to the idea that something must be true because that’s what lots of people believe. The number of believers has no bearing on how correct it is. There was a time when just about everyone believed, in fact they knew for an obvious fact that the world was flat. That didn’t make them right. How can we tell if our beliefs and actions are correct?  How do we know we are on the correct path? I would suggest asking questions? If we do not question, if we do not challenge our beliefs we are easily swayed by popular opinion.

From my friend Caleb Warnock's blog

Two years ago, I was at a local university to hear a speech by New York Times editor and writer Tom Zeller Jr. While taking questions from the audience, he was asked about how the media is doing when it comes to helping the people understand complex issues.

His answer jolted me.

Media has changed, he said -- and so have we, the consumers of media.

"It is easier than ever now for individuals seeking information to find only information that affirms their preconceived notions of an idea," Zeller said. "It is very difficult to be exposed to information that challenges your point of view."

This answer was interesting to me. We live in a world of information that is mind boggling. It is easy to find people that believe the same way you do. It is also very easy to let that be a way to excuse ourselves into thinking that what we are doing is right. It makes it easier to let sin creep into our lives. It is easy to find someone who will stand with you in the wrong. I would suggest that the time is now to question some of your beliefs and habits to examine where you stand with God and Christ.

2 Corinthians 5:17  Therefore, if in man be in Christ he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new. Have you become changed through your belief in Christ? Are you following Christ, or the things of the world? Are you becoming a new creature in Christ, or are you an old creature of habit?

In the United states it used to be that the Christian ideals were upheld in society itself. It was easier to live a Christian life because it was popular to believe and uphold those values. It was a part of everyday life and society. Things have changed. We have come to a point that upholding Christian faith takes much more strength. It is not popular to be a Christian anymore, but as a Christian I still stand. Who is standing with me? If you have not decided for sure, I would suggest that now is the time to decide and show whether you are on the Lord's side.  You cannot stand with the world and Christ too.  They are not compatible, society does not uphold the things of Christ anymore. The time has come to choose sides.  "Choose ye this day, whom you will serve....... but as for me and my house we will serve the Lord"

May the Lord bless each of you as you examine your own lives and strive to come closer to him.


  1. This was a great post! I wish I had incorporated more of a belief system in raising our sons than a rule system. That was a good point you made about people finding some group in society that agrees with whatever crazy notion or lifestyle they want to follow.
    God fill you with His wisdom as you raise your little ones.
    Blessings, Janis

  2. Forgot to tell you that I came from "The Beauty in His Grip."

  3. It's like how we test a hypothesis. We don't try to prove it right, because that's easy enough. We try to prove it wrong. Does it continue to stand firm through the testing? I had to learn how to own my faith when a lot of hurt crashed my way. It was tumultuous and hard to hear God's invitation to come to Him. But He continues to call out to us. I agree with you that we need to ask questions, and the church and the home should be a safe place to ask those questions. Blessings from Sharing His Beauty linkup!

  4. I am stopping by from Word Filled Wednesdays. I was raised in a home of religious rules. I rebelled. But I am back, abiding in His Grace and unconditional love; hopefully, teaching that to my grandchildren.

  5. I've tried to raise my children to own their faith. To delve in and seek the Truth for themselves, not just take my word for it. Of course, first we taught them about God's Word and why we believe in Jesus Christ, but ultimately, they must decide if they will accept Jesus' gift of salvation or not. Too often we are scared to let our children really examine Christianity, to look at biblical historicity. But the Lord will triumph over all scrutiny. He will stand when all else falls short. But I think key in their living and active walk of faith is seeing me actively seeking Truth through the Word and prayer, not just taking my Pastor's or another Christian's word for it. Great post. Thanks!

  6. This was a very challenging-in-a-good-way for me. I am a twenty year old, Christian school graduate (for 4 years now) who God led to stay at home instead of running off to college because it was simply the ‘thing to do’ or ‘what everybody does’; and I don’t regret it. But, as of late, I’ve been going through some forced (and NOT FUN=extremely stressful) “belief questioning” and soul searching. So this post was extremely timely for me. Thank you. God used you with this post J He’s also given you a talent for writing! Very fluid and official J
    Also, whether you did this on purpose or use it exclusively, I literally let out such a sudden, loud exclamation when I read the Scripture you shared in KJV that I startled my sister! :D I so little see the KJV used on good, Godly woman/mother blogs, that it was such a blessing to find here :D

  7. Thanks for linking up at New Every Morning!

    One of the reasons I enjoy blogging (reading and writing) is to see someone else's perspective on [insert issue]. I don't always agree with them, but I do have to step back and begin to understand where they're coming from... even if I never fully agree. It's easy to read only the blogs I agree with, but that just helps me get puffed up -- a very dangerous road to travel.

    The women who have challenged me, whether through blogs, in real life, or books, have been instrumental in my growing process. They've "added to the person I've become" (to quote Clark Davis from the movie Love Comes Softly). We were designed to walk in community -- and sometimes... sometimes that community doesn't fully agree with our viewpoint. But iron still sharpens iron. :)