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My Response to the One Who Told Me I Needed to Read My Bible and Flee My Church

When Others Criticize My Faith


John 13:34
– A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.

When I first started writing to share my experiences with God, I feared what people would think. I didn’t even begin writing for 40something years because I feared I couldn’t do it, that I wasn’t good enough. I defeated that fear and found another. We do that, don’t we? Fear always seems to find its way in. Something always tries to hold us back.

My Response to the One Who Told Me I Needed to Read My Bible and Flee My Church - living John 13:14 every single day.

Brooke and I began Loving Christ Ministries as a way to share with women our great love for Jesus Christ. His love and grace had and has done and will do amazing things in our own lives – we, who felt flawed and unsure, scared and alone, unworthy and insignificant, were filled with Him. We wondered how many women felt the way we did and knew the numbers must be huge.

It became exciting to think about sharing Christ with everyone, about His love and acceptance, hope and grace. Our desire to build a network of women to support and encourage each other in His name moved us to act. We want all women to understand that Christ is meant for them. He is meant for us; we are all worthy of Him. He motivated us to step up out of our comfort zone and begin sharing our lives in Him with everyone we can. Yes, we know our beliefs won’t match up with everyone; that’s normal. I venture to say no two individuals have the exact same faith and beliefs.

With Loving Christ Ministries, we brainstormed ideas about how incredible God’s kingdom could be if every woman understood how valuable she is. If each one could recognize that light in her that is from Christ. Imagine that. Think of the incredible difference we could make in His name if we just had the courage to step out and love in His name, accept in His name, do for others in His name. If the joy He brings could touch the world through us…

I don’t know everything. I’m well-educated, but I didn’t go to seminary. Every day, I learn something new, some way to acknowledge Christ, some ‘how’ to share His love. There are times I fail. I’m mean or cranky. I worry and doubt. But I try to move forward in Him. I’m hoping I’ve made it to the stage of two steps forward and one step back instead of the opposite. We’ll see.

I pray my faith is an active, living, learning faith.

My bible actually gets read pretty much every day. Oh sure, there are some days when it just lays by my bedside, but those days are few. I’m in the process of writing a study over the book of Hebrews. Why Hebrews? I don’t know. Mostly because I couldn’t get Hebrews out of my head, and I believe that’s one of the ways God talks to us. I’m not sure what He wants me to learn there (faith), but I’m willing to trust and follow.

Sometimes I say bad words – not as bad as Brooke, but still. (shhh…don’t tell her I told on her). Okay, maybe sometimes they are as bad. They slip out. Sometimes I drink wine. I eat too much. I’ve lied before. I’ve even spoken badly about others. By human standards, I’m not perfect. By His, I am. I don’t strive to live those ways. I’m just human. And I’m not making excuses. I’m not saying it’s okay or not okay to ‘do’ certain things.

I think about Jesus’ NEW commandment – John 13:34 – A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. Love….. I strive to let love be my intention in all I do and when I slip, I don’t excuse it but work to recognize it and do better (repentance?). The things we do aren’t necessarily sins. The way we are, our intentions, can be.

That’s why I (and I may lose some of you here) choose Christ’s new commandment over everything. It’s new because everything had been so rules based for so long, and no one could keep up. They were lost. So Christ came and gave us a new commandment. He shared the ultimate example of this by His death on the cross. I am awed and humbled by His love. I choose it – love. Whatever is done in love – true, unconditional, unselfish love – is okay by me. If you have love, there’s no judgement, murder, lies, violence…love fulfills the law.

Many months ago, when I finally started writing, I wrote a series on worthiness (or lack thereof). My focus was for each woman to understand that because of Christ, through Christ, we are worthy. I won’t rewrite my thoughts from those posts here, but I’ll link to them at the bottom of this post if you’re interested.

If people don’t read the complete posts, they may believe my goal is to focus only on ourselves and not on Jesus. That has never been my intention. I just know that if we don’t believe we are worthwhile, if we don’t love who we are, then we can’t authentically and confidently share Him with others. We can’t love others as ourselves if we don’t love ourselves.

It’s my faith, and I take complete ownership in it. I share it not because anyone needs to have my faith but because by learning through and with others she can nourish her own faith. Christ is a personal journey, one that I would pray is not guided by the laws of the Old Testament but by His NEW commandment.

Yes, I’ve been afraid to write my story, my beliefs. I don’t want to offend. I don’t want to be criticized or be made to feel less. However, I can’t see how unconditional love can offend. I am confident in Christ, in my faith, in how I love in Him. I will continue to be true to myself and my relationship with God and will always pray that whomever might need my words will hear them.

And so to the one who suggested I needed to read my bible and flee the church that has been teaching me these things, I love you.

My cup runneth over.

signature lcm

 

 

 

 

Here are links to the ‘controversial’ posts:

Yes, I’m Worthy, So Are You!

9 Ways to Remember You’re Perfect the Way You Are

 

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8 Comments

  1. I agree with most of what you said but this statement “one that I would pray is not guided by the laws of the Old Testament but by His NEW commandment”. That commandment is actually in the old testament..not worded the same way but it is asking us to love one another. Lev 19:18.
    And to disregard the 10 commandments because they are in the old testament? The 10 commandments are repeated in the NT even though not worded exactly the same way as in the OT. For example look at Matt 4:10, 1Corinthians 10:14, 1 Timothy 6:1 just to name a few.

    1. Hi Marcia,
      Thank you so much for commenting. I believe I understand to what you’re referring and appreciate your thoughts. I call it His NEW command because that’s what the scripture calls it. And while I wasn’t only referring to the commandments but also the laws in Leviticus such as wearing blended fabric, not eating shrimp, and so on, I do also believe that if we truly live in Christ and in His new command then we will constantly be striving to follow the Ten Commandments. It is my faith and belief that truly living in love would make it impossible to not follow them (or keep trying to). Now, we will fall short because we are human. This is not an excuse (we shouldn’t make it one) but instead an acknowledgement of God’s mercy and grace that Jesus came to fulfill the Law. Thank you again for sharing your thoughts. God bless you!

      1. I think ur post was great it was totally honest and I can’t respect u enough there are sooo many blogs out thetr to read I just signed up for ur coarse I can’t wait for the email tomorro You can’t please everyone they can always find somthing else to read and I don’t mean that in a disrespectful way I like to read truth I don’t l ways need someone to agree all the time I feel like that’s when I’m learning. Something new thanks for blog I really do like it a lot and hope maybe some day to speak with you but as for now I keep checking in n my mailbox GOD BLESS u girl

  2. Beautiful writing. I’ve been feeling pretty lost and confused as to how to apply my Christian beliefs to my life in this highly-unChristian world, and it’s been hard, but this post has made it to be just bite sized, so that as I grow in faith, this new commandment can also encompass everything, like the verse that talks about seeing life through God’s eyes.

    I’ve also been struggling to understand what is acceptable to read as a follower of Christ, and I noticed that you say in your “About us” section that you love reading Stephen King. I don’t know a whole lot about Stephen King, but have heard that generally his stories are gory, and therefore I would assume that they would be frowned upon by followers of Christ (like I said, I don’t know King very well and I don’t mean to offend you), so I just would like to know if you have a guideline for what is acceptable to read. I mean, a lot of people in the Christian community don’t like 50 Shades of Gray (and I can see why). There also don’t seem to be a whole lot of narrative-driven Christian books out there that I know of (I just turned 17), so if you have any explanations/advice, I would love to hear it!-Karla

    1. Hi Karla,
      Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. I love how at such a young age you are searching and striving to live in faith. Yes, it’s true I love to read Stephen King. His books certainly can be gory and if that’s something a person is uncomfortable with, she should definitely not venture into reading them. As a long time English teacher and lover of literature, I just plain enjoy the way he tells a story. I like his characterizations and the fears (external but mostly internal) his characters face. I also always love to see good win out over evil. This does not mean I’m recommending him to you, though. Especially at your age, I would discuss reading options with your parents first and possibly other trusted adults. I know there are many Christian fiction authors out there; any Google search could give you some ideas plus check with people you know to see if you can get firsthand references. Thank you again for sharing your thoughts. Your journey of faith is an inspiration. God bless! Julie

  3. Amen that be loved of God today and from our brother and sister in grace an share love around us by the HOly Spirit with us to helping and qaurd and set us us free from bondage of hate,thanks and bless and joy and pray,keijo sweden

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