Let me get personal. My husband and I… and most of our family… are worshipers of Jesus. If you have tossed that religious conviction out, please keep reading.
Why do I keep the faith? Is it because it provides insurance for life after death? Is it because my faith serves as a crutch to prop me up when life brings questions? Is it because I blindly believe what I’ve been taught?
It’s true that I have complete assurance of eternal life in “heaven,” and would stake my life on it if it came to that.
How can I be sure? Because as a doctoral graduate, I studied textual criticism and know for myself that more than any other ancient writings, the Bible is documented thoroughly through manuscripts.
A couple of our five adult children have strayed from the faith, though. And there have been comments made about the inconsistencies in scripture and the Bible’s validity.
Recently, I found a book in one of our “enlightened” children’s homes which helped me see where these ideas came from. Interestingly, her bookmark indicated she had only read the first chapter, but the author had done plenty of damage by that point with his erroneous statements, broad generalizations, and biting implications.
I was delighted that a response to “Misquoting Jesus” had been written by Timothy Paul Jones, who did a great job of addressing these accusations in his book, “Misquoting Truth.” Could giving her this book bring her back to the Christian faith?
I was eager to loan it to her until I remembered a dream I had received.
I saw our daughter in her boyfriend’s condo. In the dream, there was a towel sitting on one of the bar-stools in front of the bar in his living room. It self-ignited, burst in to flames and disappeared (poof- very dramatic).
Then I went out to the back deck. Another towel went up in flames without incitement. Naturally, I became concerned that the entire condo would ignite and burn down!
THE INTERPRETATION AND APPLICATION
This dream informed me that the boyfriend (she has since moved on from him) had a profound impact on her. He was highly successful, extremely wealthy, and saw no need for faith of any kind. He demonstrated to her the value of wealth and pleasure… and she bought it.
Here’s the secret message in those disappearing towels. Towels are what we use when we bathe. Getting cleaned up in a shower or tub requires towels to dry off with. We no longer need towels if we no longer need to bathe.
Spiritually speaking, we allow Jesus to cleanse us when we acknowledge that things we’ve done are unpleasing in his sight. And BTW, He alone is qualified for that job, because he alone was without sin when He took our punishment for sin.
The incinerated towels showed me that at some point while they were enjoying life together and drinking in the voice of “unholy spirits,” she concluded that her actions were completely acceptable and that she certainly did not need the forgiveness of anyone, let alone Jesus.
And as a matter of fact, she didn’t need to repent for anything she had done, even things in the past (deck overlooking backyard). That new philosophy apparently brought her a smidgen of peace (though counterfeit).
SO WHAT AM I TO DO?
Am I to shelf “Misquoting Truth”? Can’t I reach her with facts and logic?
The answer is that feelings generally trump logic when it comes to accepting or rejecting Jesus. We know this because Jesus himself addressed the issue… and He addressed it just one time. He told Nicodemus that people reject him because they enjoy the darkness they walk in, and want to continue walking in it.
Here’s the Message version of John 3:19-20, “This is the crisis we’re in: God-light streamed into the world, but men and women everywhere ran for the darkness. They went for the darkness because they were not really interested in pleasing God. Everyone who makes a practice of doing evil, addicted to denial and illusion, hates God-light and won’t come near it, fearing a painful exposure.”
Yes, I could give her the book… or better yet, give it to her with a page I create of its highlights.
But the more powerful answer is PRAYER… and God told me how to pray in the dream! Pray she again sees the need for Jesus and the forgiveness He provides.
Paul tells us in 2 Tim 4:3-4, For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.
The time Paul spoke of has come, and many of us see its affect on our children. Pray for them… pray daily.
I believe that God wouldn’t have bothered to send me that dream if our daughter couldn’t be reached for Christ. I don’t know how the Lord will answer my prayers. Only He knows what it will take to bring her back to him, but I will keep walking in faith and peace… and keep loving on her!
Hope this was encouraging,educational,empowering