As we grow in our faith, we are met with many challenges.  We have to figure out what is means to take up our crosses.  We have to decide on almost a minute by minute basis how we can seek purity and justice.  We have to balance all of our church responsibilities with upcoming ministry opportunities and the day to day obligations of our livelihood.  Basically, we are in a constant quest of figuring out who God wants us to be.

However, as we work to become more like the people we were created to be, we also have to figure out who God is to us and what that means for our belief system.  There are many issues that, at some point, we all have to choose a side on.

Is Baptism necessary for salvation?  Are we still responsible for keeping the laws of the Old Testament?  What is your opinion about evolution theories?  For some of us, we grew up in Christian homes and usually have somebody telling us that there are right and wrong sides to these debates.  That is good in that it provides a foundational perspective on which we can begin our spiritual journey. 

However, it is important that we take time every now and then to reassess our beliefs and how they match up with the Bible and what we know about the character of God.  Even if you may not have grown up around other Christians, at some point you have heard people speaking their opinions as if they are facts.  And I believe that, as Christians, we are all responsible for vetting any information we hear before accepting or denying its validity.

Some people will tell you that you should never question your beliefs.  I could not disagree more. If you are constantly seeking to get closer to God (which you should be), it is inevitable that questions will come up about something you read, something you hear, or something that you feel God is leading you to do.  Asking these questions is very healthy and it motivates us to actively seek answers.  It is in that search that we truly come closer to God.

I encourage you to be open to what other people are saying.  Whether it is a friend that has a different understanding of a scripture, a colleague from a different denomination, or even a minister that teaches principles you do not agree with, listen to them and try to understand what they are saying.  Once you grasp their point, you can take the time to analyze how that matches up with your own beliefs.  You can consult spiritual mentors and dig into scripture to get a more holistic view of the topic.

You may find that they are actually right or that there is at least some hint of truth in what they are saying.  Or if you determine that you still disagree with them, you will then be better prepared to talk about why you believe the way that you do. Either way, challenging others’ viewpoints as well as your own faith, as long as it is done in the pursuit of God, will ultimately bring you closer to Him.  After all, isn’t that the point?

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