Struggling over believing that the bible is totally believable again

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I wasn't sure where to start this thread - I apologise if its not in the right place and needs to be moved.
I'm struggling with the bible being totally believable as a reliable guide for living to believers in God.

1. I have heard it said that faith is simple and that a child can believe and trust in Jesus - but I can't help wondering if that lasts until they've had a good look at the bible and realised the differences in interpretations that there are, and the differences in opinion amongst denominations. Could that be why so many people fall away?

2. I believe in an intelligent Creator and I believe that there is love and goodness, but idk, I'm having doubts that he is exactly how the bible explains. It seems that men wrote the bible based on their understanding, and therefore it can be fallible - although there may be many right things in it.

3. If God is good and just, then why don't we get more of an explanation for why so many people were ordered to be slaughtered by Israel, including babies and as well as livestock? Could it be that someone made a mistake? Could it be that someone heard a 'voice' and thought it was God? At one point many people were killed, and yet I think in the law God commands Israel to be kind to foreigners. Is there a case, as has been suggested by some, for polytheism occuring in the bible and could that explain why God, who is the same yesterday, day and forever, seems so different in different chapters?

4. Also, with regard to the issue of tithing - churches so often teach that you have to give a tenth of your income, but when I investigated further the tithe in the OT for Israel was more complex and also made provision for the poor, eg orphans and widows. The NT clearly says set aside what you are willing to cheerfully give at the beginning of the week so it kind of bugs me that there is often a pressure to make it a set amount of money.

5. At the church I've been attending,people differ in their opinions over tithing, women's preachers, styles of worship etc etc - can we really all be reading the same book and being guided by the same Holy Spirit? (I guess this refers back to number 1).

6. Also, there's the things that were missed out of the bible - education on healthcare for example - explaining the need for cleanliness during childbirth or when someone is ill etc I appreciate that the guidelines given many many years ago may have been advanced for then - but if the Creator of the Universe was guiding the bible who knows the end from the beginning, why were things like that left out?

7. There are many books or texts which have not been included in the bible as we know it today. Some were referred to in the NT - I think one was the Book of Enoch. How then can we be so sure that the right decision on all books was made at the Council of Nicea? Especially when God's ordained feasts as explained in the OT, were replaced with Christmas and Easter which it could be argued have pagan roots.

8. Finally, could it not be the case that the bible has been man's attempt to understand how God relates to us which has simply evolved over time?

I know that there's the argument that if you reject one part of the bible, then you're on shaky ground with it all - that you can't pick and choose. But I'm not sure I can just accept continuing on this journey without looking more closely at these questions and proposed answers to them, because its got to a point where I'm barely praying now due to difficulties and major challenges lately in my personal life, either the biblical God is real and Jesus is true, or God is perhaps different to what I am reading and understanding in this book (which I have attempted to read through many times but as I am a slow reader I haven't yet succeeded in reading it all). I accept that God is so much greater than my tiny mind can comprehend, but I thought there would be more agreement with fellow Christians and greater clarity on studying..

If you've made it to the end, thanks for taking the time to read this. Now that those thoughts have been typewritten, I feel really tired so I need to go re!st!!
 
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@littlesheep
1. A child can believe or have faith in anything they read and are taught. Just as Adults. Hence public education

2. Yes men predominantly wrote the bible based on the understanding they have or the understanding they were given. Well technically scrolls and men who are said to be wise compiled and translated those scrolls into the language we are conversing in. The same with any book. Not that I am saying the bible is just any book.

3. Mainly because how the bible was translated and what books were decided to be added and what books were decided to not be added or removed. Also because of how Christianity is taught mainstream.

4. I find it very interesting that we are under grace yet the law of tithing is the strongest law emphasized. You are right. Despite what many say a church of Christ is not a building but a gathering of people that believe in Christ. My viewpoints aren't traditional or mainstream like most on here so I am sure someone can explain lol.

5. We can all be reading the same book but potentially led astray based on many factors of the world we live in.

6. Much of the bible focuses and emphasizes our spiritual health. Because of the wickedness of man, cures can be hidden. Most of the foods we currently consume will make us sick in the long run or less fertile. Luckily the flesh even though corruptible is very resilient and enduring.

7. True however it can also be a test of Creator to see how much we love him and will seek his knowledge and the things of him. Hos 6:6
Once you have a solid foundation you should be able to read and glean from any relevant book. I found the book of Enoch to be very insightful.

8. Religion and the various denominations of Christianity which to me are mostly all the same but that another story. Very effective in dividing and controlling people though. God is not greater than our mind can comprehend. Every person has an individual relationship with God. More than likely it is how information pertaining to God is thought. I myself find there to be a lot of inspiration and focus on signs or wonders which they call miracles. However we in general are practical people. Motivation and Inspiration is great however there should be more emphasis on practicality in my book. No need for it to be perpetually feel good and emotion based. Unless we have newly discovered these beliefs. Hopefully someone else continues to address you and discuss what I missed. This is all from texting one handed from smartphone lol
 
Thank you for taking the time to reply Ivar - especially one handed on a mobile for such a long post!! I was interested to read your reply and will give what you've said some thought. I don't want to have a knee jerk reaction to what seems like an overwhelming number of questions and walk away. I just really am seeking help because I tried to deny that I was having issues over these questions but they keep surfacing.
 
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4. I find it very interesting that we are under grace yet the law of tithing is the strongest law emphasized. You are right. Despite what many say a church of Christ is not a building but a gathering of people that believe in Christ. My viewpoints aren't traditional or mainstream like most on here so I am sure someone can explain lol.
I agree with you,however I have more questions than answers and sometimes new question cancel out old ones.
In order to avoid copyright infringement there must be at least 15% difference .That means a lot of tweaking added to the language difference and the the way the different languages change in use over time along with regional variations on particular words.This is just a partial list of issues confronting those who seek truth and pursue worship in Spirit and in truth.

The Webster's Dictionary 1828 has it that Truth is "that which agrees with the end result".
Jesus claimed to be "the truth".
Since Jesus "is " the end result (alpha-omega) then I think it is the best option.

We used to have to go to the library and buy or borrow books.
I found that every time I learned something I had to slightly change my doctrine.
I exhausted every doctrine I could find and found flaw.
Then came scripture on computer and that sped up the learning process.
After the internet the ability to research became absolutely explosive.

Then came brain freeze due to information overload.
I went from the hopeless task of patching my belief system to a single belief goal.
That goal was to "believe on the one whom God sent".
John 6:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.
 
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3. If God is good and just, then why don't we get more of an explanation for why so many people were ordered to be slaughtered by Israel, including babies and as well as livestock? Could it be that someone made a mistake? Could it be that someone heard a 'voice' and thought it was God? At one point many people were killed, and yet I think in the law God commands Israel to be kind to foreigners. Is there a case, as has been suggested by some, for polytheism occuring in the bible and could that explain why God, who is the same yesterday, day and forever, seems so different in different chapters?

4. Also, with regard to the issue of tithing - churches so often teach that you have to give a tenth of your income, but when I investigated further the tithe in the OT for Israel was more complex and also made provision for the poor, eg orphans and widows. The NT clearly says set aside what you are willing to cheerfully give at the beginning of the week so it kind of bugs me that there is often a pressure to make it a set amount of money.
There are answers but you have to really-really dig.
 
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Greetings dear sister @littlesheep :love:

You know the truth......I know you do

Tell the devil to take a hike....and dont listen to his lies, sowing seeds of doubt and unbelief in your head.

Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.
And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help Thou mine unbelief.
Mark 9:23-24


Praying for you.

Blessings grace and peace.
 
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There are a thousand things in the Bible that I find inexplicable, confusing or disturbing. Sometimes I end up with my head in knots, sometimes I'm relaxed about it.

But

I can never shake the conviction that God entered this world in the person of Jesus, and gave everything to redeem us.

And when I remember that, all the troubling issues and question fall into their proper place.

Praying that you will find peace in your heart and mind
 
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@littlesheep -- Take a moment to look at John 14:6 -- Jesus Christ is telling us that "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, no man comes to the Father, but through Me."

And we have 2 Timothy 3;16 "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

These verses are from the older NIV.

John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that who -so- ever believe in Him will not perish but have everlasting life."

You commented that the church you go to -- that there are many varied opinions regarding many areas. What does Scripture say about those things? The New Testament says to give with a cheerful heart -- not grudgingly. The Old Testament is tithing. 10% of your income. Realizing that all that we have Does come from God. So - how much Do we put in the offering plate? Whatever we feel led To give. Remembering that the things we do in life won't earn our way to heaven.
Ephesians 2:8-9 "For by grace you are saved, through faith, and that is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works lest any man should boast."

Genesis 1:1 "In the beginning God created........ just like the first chapter or two says He did."


As you ask God for guidance, He will lead you. Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all you ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path."
 
Thanks to everyone for taking the time to reply .....

As I posted quite a few things I was seeking answers to, I'm going to print off your answers tomorrow and go through this step by step because I think if I dont resolve these as much as I can so that I have peace it'll just come back.
 
Greetings dear sister @littlesheep :love:

You know the truth......I know you do

Tell the devil to take a hike....and dont listen to his lies, sowing seeds of doubt and unbelief in your head.

Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.
And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help Thou mine unbelief.
Mark 9:23-24


Praying for you.

Blessings grace and peace.
Hi Fragrant Grace, thanks for your reply. I do understand what you are saying but I struggled with the response you wrote and am not sure how to articulate the reason why at the moment. But thank you for praying and I'll give it some more thought.
Take care,
littlesheep
 
1. I have heard it said that faith is simple and that a child can believe and trust in Jesus - but I can't help wondering if that lasts until they've had a good look at the bible and realised the differences in interpretations that there are, and the differences in opinion amongst denominations. Could that be why so many people fall away?
The faith it takes to be a Christian is a faith given by God. A faith that Jesus was not just a man, but in fact God in the flesh who rose from the dead. Matt 16:16-17 and 1 Cor 12:3 Therefore I want you to know that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus be cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,except by the Holy Spirit.

A Christian has faith IN Jesus. You have either had a real revelation of Jesus from God or you have not. If you have not, you have not. God does not hold Himself back. We do not open our hearts to Him Rev 3:20. We do not hate what is wicked and cling to what is good Rom 12:9.

The concept of child like faith in scripture speaks to God wanting us to trust Him. Relax and know that He is in control. Of course only once we are convinced that we are in fact in His hands. The wicked cannot / should not relax and just 'trust' things will end well.

2. I believe in an intelligent Creator and I believe that there is love and goodness, but idk, I'm having doubts that he is exactly how the bible explains. It seems that men wrote the bible based on their understanding, and therefore it can be fallible - although there may be many right things in it.
The bible either is or it is not the word of God. What are your doubts?

3. If God is good and just, then why don't we get more of an explanation for why so many people were ordered to be slaughtered by Israel, including babies and as well as livestock?
We do. How in the universe do you miss them? I discuss a lot with athiests and am always amazed at how they make statements like this when they show so much evidence of knowing so much scripture. Not attacking you. I assume you did not read the full passages. I will give you the benefit of the doubt.

Example, In the case of the Amelakites. The Amelakites gave the Jews a promise of safe passage. The Jews said ''we will not stay long, we will just pass through, we will not be in the slightest burdensome''. The Amelakites knew these Jews were 1. God fearing people who would stone to death mortal /grievous sinners. 2. They knew these good people had suffered in slavery for 400 years. Knowing this and promising safe passage, they still attack and catch them unprepared. Killing children, elderly and woman who lagged behind as they could not run as fast as others. They then went to their neighbors and got their assistance to annihilate the Jews / Hebrews.

EVIL EVIL EVIL.
 
4. Also, with regard to the issue of tithing - churches so often teach that you have to give a tenth of your income, but when I investigated further the tithe in the OT for Israel was more complex and also made provision for the poor, eg orphans and widows. The NT clearly says set aside what you are willing to cheerfully give at the beginning of the week so it kind of bugs me that there is often a pressure to make it a set amount of money.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with giving 10%. It is a fair percentage. Church workers should get a reliable salary.

What is wrong is when they show evidence of pride. If they drive a car or stay in a house beyond what is considered modest, they are in error. Failing as ambassadors of God.

5. At the church I've been attending,people differ in their opinions over tithing, women's preachers, styles of worship etc etc - can we really all be reading the same book and being guided by the same Holy Spirit? (I guess this refers back to number 1).
People cherry pick. The full context of tithing is nothing like what is taught. It is not an issue though as church workers must get paid. Missionaries > Ferrari's and big houses as well.

6. Also, there's the things that were missed out of the bible - education on healthcare for example - explaining the need for cleanliness during childbirth or when someone is ill etc I appreciate that the guidelines given many many years ago may have been advanced for then - but if the Creator of the Universe was guiding the bible who knows the end from the beginning, why were things like that left out?
Life skills were passed down by Adam. God gave humans advanced brains that can invent and better lives. He knows this. You are asking that He think for us? He invents Obama care's replacement for us? You need to elaborate more. This statement sounds crazy.

7. There are many books or texts which have not been included in the bible as we know it today. Some were referred to in the NT - I think one was the Book of Enoch. How then can we be so sure that the right decision on all books was made at the Council of Nicea? Especially when God's ordained feasts as explained in the OT, were replaced with Christmas and Easter which it could be argued have pagan roots.
I accept all the Catholic books. None negatively affect me or my belief. I am not Catholic. There are valid reasons for their exclusion that I can accept. It is truly is no train smash. The inclusion of Judas however would be, for obvious reasons.

8. Finally, could it not be the case that the bible has been man's attempt to understand how God relates to us which has simply evolved over time?
No. I can understand and accept people thinking like this though. If you have not had a revelation of Jesus, the bible is not alive to you.

I would still make an argument for it though. There are many who have studied the bible / Christianity vs other books / religions and through an academic review become convinced of its accuracy. We can also look at Jesus and the nature of such a person. Jesus was not insane and a sane person would not accept such a cruel death in vein. I am reminded of Napoleon's statement for example here The Sacred Page: Napoleon's Proof for the Divinity of Jesus.

I know that there's the argument that if you reject one part of the bible, then you're on shaky ground with it all - that you can't pick and choose. But I'm not sure I can just accept continuing on this journey without looking more closely at these questions and proposed answers to them, because its got to a point where I'm barely praying now due to difficulties and major challenges lately in my personal life, either the biblical God is real and Jesus is true, or God is perhaps different to what I am reading and understanding in this book (which I have attempted to read through many times but as I am a slow reader I haven't yet succeeded in reading it all). I accept that God is so much greater than my tiny mind can comprehend, but I thought there would be more agreement with fellow Christians and greater clarity on studying..
God is easily miss-represented. Everyone does it!!! We do it too whenever things go bad. I can completely understand your position.

But we do need to give God / God of the bible a fair trial. David said to us ''guys, give thanks because God is good'' in Psalm 136:1.

1 John 1:5 says '' the message we have all heard from the beginning is that God is light, with no darkness in Him at all''.

We all need to be crystal clear on a truth. God wants us to judge Him and know that He is good. Gen 3:22 says that on the subject of the knowedge of what is good and evil, we are on the same page as God and the angels.

God is patient with the wicked. God is not evil. God allows free will as free will is good. Free will encompasses the need for time, space and opportunity for a creation to exercise rebellion / evil. Genuine love for God is to cling to what is good and hate what is evil Rom 12:9.

Lets not miss-represent God to ourselves. Or allow half truths of scripture or lies from god bashers to miss-lead us.

God is 100% good, loving, patient, kind. 100% Awesome and amazing. The wicked want to rob ''YOU'' of Him. Have you spend much time in a zone of deception. Giving years to the locusts. Oh what an awakening some are in for in heaven. Please do not live a life of regret. God is exceedingly good.
 

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