Jenny, one of the readers of this blog asked: "How can we change things so that people are not so worried about what others will think and will seek help when neccesary? I don't think the church ever intended for this to be the mindset and to leave people in suffering!"
I know certainly that a loving God would not intend that. I would like to believe that no particular person or persons ever intended that either. Perhaps the reason we have come to this point is because there has been more faith placed on what we have heard from the pulpits and from the mouths of men, than in God and in the Word and in the earnest seeking of Truth?
These portions of the New Testament came to mind:
John 16:13 "Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come."
We need to seek the Spirit of truth and do all things in truth, not in tradition. What would be more important to God, the traditions of men, or truth?
We need to allow ourselves to think about the most important matter of our lives. We need to assess ourselves and our lives with an open heart and mind:
Matthew 7 "Judge not, that ye be not judged.
2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye."
Do we have a beam in our eye? We need to work on ourselves first instead of worrying about what everyone else is doing. We have heard, faith is personal. We need to walk and live in that way.
We do not need to be fearful in our seeking of truth if we are not seeking for ourselves and our own opinions and biases. We can feel free if we seek Truth for the goodness of all and with the guidance of the Spirit.
Truth cannot be exploited, it cannot die. The truth doesn't always feel good, especially when we discover we may not be right, but if we try to hide from it, we remain blinded. How can we know the truth if we blindly accept without consideration, the things we hear from other men and do not seek it for ourselves? Most of us cannot say that we have even read much of the Bible. When we have, I am not doubtful that it was only to research a small portion we heard, or the one on the church calendar and we do not venture much into it. If the Word is the pillar of Truth but we not even read it, how do we know that what we are taught is truth? Are we trusting our own feelings and the preaching from the pulpit above God's word? We should read His word, seeking truth and light.
Matthew 15: 8 "This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.
9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
10 And he called the multitude, and said unto them, Hear, and understand:
11 Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.
12 Then came his disciples, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying?
13 But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up.
14 Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch."
If do not seek the truth and do not pursue it earnestly how do we know that we are not blind following/leading the blind? Why are we so afraid of everything "on the outside?" Do books and music and movies, "unbelievers" and our flesh hold more power than Christ? Why do we give them so much power? If we are planted by the Father why are we so afraid to be rooted up? If our faith is in Him, nothing can take it away or destroy it.
John 16:33 "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."
We do not need to fear the world because Christ has already overcome the world. We can feel free to seek the truth because nothing can separate us from the love of Christ, especially not truth. God loves truth, knowing truth will only bring us closer to Him.
Romans 8:35 "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
All we need to do is simply pray that the truth would be revealed and that we could accept it, trust God, and view Him as our Highest authority. We do not need obey Him out of fear, but we WANT to obey Him because we love and revere Him. He sent His son as atonement for all because He loves us. He is a God of love and has forgiven us for our weaknesses already. We only need to accept that. The message does not need to be repeated over and over and over, we simply need to believe it and accept it. When we do accept it and hold it in our hearts, it does not go away. All of our sins, past present and future are washed away forever. We may make mistakes, but we realize it is ok and we move forward and learn from our mistakes. We can do all things through Christ. We can move forward, we can heal, we can stop making such big mistakes, because we believe in Him and His power.