My Story: Index
Continued from part 8...
As I pondered the question of whether or not I should keep more laws of the Torah, I would frequently review my beliefs and their foundations, starting with my belief that God exists, and progressing up through my beliefs that the Bible was the word of God, Jesus was the Messiah, the Torah was still valid, and so on. I would also review my life of faith, and try to determine which strategies I had previously used to help me the most in my search for truth and God's will.
One thing I determined was that prayer and fasting had helped me a lot. Not only did they force me to keep the things of God on my mind at all times, but they were practices that I really thought worked. I truly believed God had been hearing me and slowly answering my prayers.
Another thing I determined was that my journey from evangelical Christianity to Messianic Judaism had shown me the importance of looking into ideas that were contrary to the ones I held at the time. After all, I thought, had I not looked into contrary ideas when I was an evangelical, I may never have became a part of Messianic Judaism.
Thus, I started praying and fasting more, as well as opening my mind to ideas that were contrary to my own.
As I would pray and reflect on things, I was often confronted with the fact that my faith (aside from my belief in God) was based on the literal truth of the Bible. I was also confronted with just how quickly and naively I decided to believe in the Bible in the first place. These realizations began to concern me, and eventually caused me to start re-examining the Bible from a critical perspective.
My reasoning was that if the Bible could hold up to intense scrutiny, then it really was fit to serve as the foundation of my entire faith. And if the Bible truly was worthy of my faith, then God would show me. I was scared, but as long as I sincerely sought for truth, I was confident that God would lead me.
But before I really began to critically examine the Bible, I had a conversation with a good friend.
One early-fall day in 2010, David and I were outside shooting hoops on the driveway. As usual, we were talking about life, the community, and what we were learning about at the time. I told him that, aside from some questions I had been having, things were going very well. I said that I loved the community, and felt blessed to be a part of it. I told him that in Hudson, we had the "best of both worlds," by which I meant that we had the best of both Christianity and Judaism in one community. He tended to agree, but asked me about the questions I was having.
I explained to him my re-realization that everything we believed was based on the truth of the Bible, and my concern about how quickly and naively I believed in the Bible in the first place. I told him that since first believing in it, I had examined some truth of the Bible, but not as critically and intensely as I thought I needed to do then. I said that I wanted to try re-convince myself that what we believed was true. He responded by saying, "as long as you're after the truth, then I'll support you."
And that was all the encouragement I needed to proceed.
Go to part 10...