I can definitely relate, I grew up in a christian home... but strayed later on in life. My own self perception of what it was to live right haunted me for so long and in return I sought all the bad habits you can think of. Only to find those things made me feel even more unfulfilled and in a pit of my own despair for too long. I'm now expecting my first child and it has left me searching for purpose and meaning in life again to raise my kid to be better than I am.
The thing about Christians and religion is too often it exploits people and disguises itself as enlightenment and lies masquerade as truth, God loves an honest agnostic more than a religious hypocrite. What being a Christian should mean is simply to be a follower of Christ.
Just like you sharing your experience, testimonies have the power to connect us with one another. Our stories that share our personal experience of the divine support us in our spiritual journey. The history of faith in God has been built on personal testimony, the bible is a collection of testaments. The New Testament Gospels are the most amazing testimonials to God's love for all people, as Jesus exuded the greatest example of a perfect man. In essence, thats what we are all looking for acceptance and love. The power of God works through these stories to change our lives. It was the power of God that worked in the lives of a few men and women telling stories of Jesus Christ that conquered the most powerful empire in the history of the world. (not in the physical but more importantly in the spiritual sense, which was after their regret of crucifying the messiah)
If you read the bible with indifference or cynicism it doesnt respond. The spirit of God that spoke to the hearts of the writers of the books of the bible will not impose its living word on any unwilling recipient. The spirit of truth wants to converse with us as long as we are receptive to know and grow in the divine conversation.
It's crazy you posted this I felt lead last night to share my testimony with someone but wasnt sure with whom. I recently read this book; My Descent Into Hell A second Chance At Life by Howard Storm. It is about a man who had a near death experience and had encounters in the spiritual realm, they are far too vivid and meaningful to be hallucinations. A lot of what I said is some of what spoke to me from the book. I encourage anyone to read it, the book really sheds light on a lot of the main issues we all struggle with understanding.
Origin of the Bible - The Power of Prophecy
The origin of the Bible is God. It is a historical book that is backed by archeology, and a prophetic book that has lived up to all of its claims thus far. The Bible is God's letter to humanity collected into 66 books written by 40 divinely inspired writers over a period of over 1,600 years. The claim of divine inspiration may seem dramatic (or unrealistic to some), but a careful and honest study of the biblical scriptures will show them to be true. Powerfully, the Bible validates its divine authorship through fulfilled prophecies. An astonishing 668 prophecies have been fulfilled and none have ever been proven false (three are unconfirmed). God decided to use prophecy as His primary test of divine authorship, and an honest study of biblical prophecy will compellingly show the supernatural origin of the Bible. Skeptics must ask themselves, "Would the gambling industry even exist if people could really tell the future?" Again, no other holy book comes even close to the Bible in the amount of evidence supporting its credibility, authenticity and divine authorship.
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