What do you believe?
Sorry it's been so long, I've been working on another project that is just about fully functional. I'll post more about it in the next week or so...
I wanted to present a question to get everyone thinking.
I have been working with the youth for a couple of months, maybe longer, on discovering what it is that they themselves believe. 2 Cor 13:5 tells us to test ourselves and determine whether we are in the faith. Notice there Paul doesn't say test each other or test those around you but rather test yourself! I presented a challenge to the youth several months back to sit down and write what it is that they believe down. Now while they haven't done it, yet, they have been reminded and given ways to make it even easier on themselves to do. I have spent some time myself going through the same process, not necessarily writing it down, but as I spend a lot of my days driving I get to really think on what exactly it is that I believe. I have found some things that I believe to be misguided, some even outright lies, but because I spent the time thinking on it and investigating what Scriptures say I now know that I what I believe on those topics more closely resembles what Christ taught. That may sound strange, I'm a 29 year old youth pastor who has been in church my entire life, how is it possible that I had some beliefs that weren't in line with Christ?? But the beliefs that I once held were there because that's what I'd been taught, not because I'd discovered them on my own. And that's a problem.
You see, we currently live in a society where pretty much everyone has access to the Net. Everyone can learn anything they want. I learned just the other day that with enough patience, and a street sweeper or two, one could potentially collect enough platinum from the side of the road that is emitted from engines that they could live a pretty cozy life. Of course you'd have to know the science behind how to extract the individual platinum molecules from the road dust, but you get the idea. I could get online right now and view a set of cameras overlooking amazing natural sights and wonders (like this bald eagle's nest...). The point I'm trying to make is that we have all of the knowledge of man at our fingertips, nearly instantly. And yet, what do we as individuals really know? I've personally become so accustomed to having an answer whenever I need it, that many of the basic references of information that I once had have all gone because I can just Google it. While this can be a dangerous position to be in, we also have one of the greatest tools at our disposal! We can learn ANYTHING!
When we have available to us the ability to learn anything shouldn't we be seeking the answers to the questions that we have? Ah, here we reach a point of concern. While yes the truth is out there, so is falsehood. Where there is growth, there is also reduction. You have to know where you stand on the most concrete, foundation level pieces of information. And that's why it's important to take the time out, sit down and really think on those things. Do you believe something? Why do you believe it? Is it because you've been taught that all of your life or because you sat down one day and sought the answer? If it's because you've always been taught such and such a way then maybe this would be a great challenge for you as well. Sit down and write down what it is that you really believe, and why. The things that you can't really and truly answer the "why" on, search for the answer. Jesus tells us that if we will Ask He will provide, Search and we will find, Knock and that door will be opened. (Matt 7:7). But be careful where you search, know that there are many false teachers out there who are willing and able to lead you astray to better themselves.
What do you really believe?