As I look back in retrospect at all the different areas of concern that I have looked at over the years regarding my faith and trust in our Heavenly Father and Jesus, God’s Son and the Holy Spirit, I find that I am confident with the conclusions that I have come to and especially the rationale behind my deductive reasoning.
There are so many issues that have caught my attention over the years. I’ll list some of them but the list is much longer than this short one presented directly below.
- I investigated the authenticity of the Holy Bible including textual criticism.
- I investigated the canon of the Bible and the history behind it.
- I investigated creationism versus evolution which includes the origin of life and our universe.
- I investigated the history of the Christian Church in concert with world history.
- I investigated the history of the Christian Reformation.
- I investigated the history and doctrines of the Roman Catholic church.
- I investigated the validity of Intelligent Design.
- I investigated some of the other major world religions.
- I investigated archeology as it relates to Christianity.
- I investigated all 66 books of the Bible via reading, research and study.
That’s the short list. There have been many other inquiries along the way but these are the basics. And I can’t say that I’m an expert on any of them but depending on the particular subject, I do have a relatively good working knowledge on most of them.
Interesting enough, there isn’t one of the items on this list that doesn’t have conflicting opinions. In other words, regardless of what area of concern you look at, you’re always going to encounter others who oppose the opinions that you personally come to. That’s just reality. Everyone that I am aware of, has a tendency to put a particular spin on what facts are presented, how they are presented and the conclusion they want you to come to. And all of these areas of concern come with tons and tons of information, details, facts that can be validated or filtered with bias, depending upon your subjective objective. As an example, if you read a book written by a Roman Catholic Theologian on how Transubstantiation within the Roman Catholic Church came to be, the author’s presentation of facts and conclusions are going to be very different from that of a Protestant Theologian. Many, if not all, of the aforementioned items on the above list, work in exactly the same manner.
But information is just information, it’s impersonal, it’s a collection of particulars providing background on a given subject. It’s input that we process that helps us formulate an opinion or evaluate the risk associated with acceptance. I use the swimming pool analogy as a practical example of using information. We see an enclosure of water, we evaluate it’s properties, we make assessments of it’s capabilities as it relates to us personally. But we haven’t made the decision to throw ourselves into it yet. There’s a reason for that. Even though it can provide a refreshing experience, we also become aware that there is a danger involved, especially if it covers us completely and we are cut off from our oxygen supply. Before we jump, we evaluate.
But alone the way I also experienced the reality of learning from my own shortcomings, areas of weakness, deficiencies if you will, within myself and most importantly, the negative repercussions of decisions made, due to these inherent deficiencies. I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t or hasn’t made mistakes. We all can be prone to make rash decisions, focus on self gratification, picture ourselves as being ignored or isolated through, what we perceive, no fault of our own. With maturity normally comes the recognition of our own ability to tell ourselves what we want to hear and act on it. And for many of us, this eventually leads us to a place where we begin to take a good hard look around, at what we see externally of ourselves and also within ourselves and wonder if there is a better way in which to approach our journey through this gift of life that we have been given. When we take a serious look at the beauty of nature and all the things that had to come together to give us all that this world provides, it really isn’t much of a stretch to ponder the possibility of a God. At least it wasn’t for me, which eventually, through a series of very personal circumstances, brought me to my list.
Personal Focus Points
And as I look back in retrospect, I can also recollect many instances where my life was spared or there was clear evidence of a loving God who wished to break into my consciousness. I could easily produce another long list here but I won’t due to the need to keep this relatively brief. But I will give you one. Just bear in mind that God has given me many of these personal focus points throughout my life.
When we only had two children (we eventually had five which included twins) I used to tuck the kids into bed and say their prayers with them. And after that I would say my own prayers. One night, as I was doing this, I became aware of an overwhelming need to tell my wife about a gambling debt that I had been paying off. I had never experienced anything like this previously. There was no discussion, I absolutely had to do this and I had to do this right now. There were do audible words that I heard, it was just internal, within my mind. Very clear, very insistent.
I don’t gamble but while at work a few months previously I had got into a card game and I eventually lost about $500.00. In today’s money that would be equivalent to about $3000.00 or so. I got a loan to pay it off and I did not tell my wife about it. I thought that I could pay it off and she would never know. I specifically told the loan company NOT to contact me at home. Just prior to this I had done a United Nations tour in Cyprus with the Canadian Armed Forces and I received extra UN peacekeeping pay and made my payments that way. I actually thought that I had managed this quite well. Nice boy but not too bright.
And then the guidance came from God to tell my wife about it right now, as in that very evening. I didn’t want to do it because my wife was a stickler for honesty and as we can see, at this point in time, this really wasn’t my strong suit. But because of the urgency given to me to tell her, when I came down from upstairs , I told my wife I had to tell her something and I basically came clean about everything. I think I still owed about $100.00. As I recall, she wasn’t overly impressed but at least I had told her.
The next morning the loan company called my wife (something that they had never done before, as per my instructions to them) and inquired as to whether she knew I had a loan with them and that there was an outstanding balance. She replied that she was aware and that the outstanding balance would be paid off by the end of the week, and it was.
The thing is, there is a list of direct guidance I have received from God throughout my entire life. Some are more dramatic than this one here. The bottom line is that God has witnessed to me, many times, of Himself and His concern for me. And I can assure you, if He cares for me, He also cares for you. Trust me, I am nothing special, nothing special at all.
- History tells me that Jesus walked on this earth.
- The eye witness accounts of the Apostles and early disciples tell me that Jesus died on the cross for my sins and rose from the dead and the letters and epistles of the Apostles and disciples clearly attest to this.
- History shows that the early Christian Church transformed the then known world. I know that in many respects we are along way away from what took place in the early Christian Church but have no doubts about the reality of God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit being with us today and that God’s will, will be done.
- Jesus has told us that He is always with us and I can give testimony that He indeed is.
- These are my conclusions, this is my testimony.
Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!