A little over a month ago, I was scrolling through my YouTube feed and stumbled across a familiar face on the thumbnail of a BuzzFeed video. She was half of an alternative Christian band duo that I enjoyed listening to occasionally. I clicked immediately, the title of the video stated that she was no longer a believer. I had not caught the initial wave of the duo’s revelations, which had been released through numerous articles and social media post years ago. So I watched. Hoping that the story and title would come full circle. Hoping for a Jesus success story. That maybe she had stopped believing in Jesus for a period of time and realized in the most beautiful way that she could not live without Him. Within the first few seconds of the video, it was evident that this story had no plot twist. Although the title of the video had been somewhat misleading the assertion was true. She no longer believed in Jesus Christ.
Instantly she was being criticized and Christians were addressing the flaws in her faith. I found this interesting and appreciated it as well. YouTubers created videos as rebuttals to lookout for their brothers and sisters who could be on the verge of taking the path that she had. Though I agreed with the statements in these rebuttals I needed more information. And just like that, she posted on Instagram saying that she is not an atheist, that she believed, and we should purchase and read her book for clarity. My thoughts after reading this were, “Hmmmmmmmm? Is this some kind of propaganda to get people to purchase this book?” I did want to know more details though. So I waited a few weeks and decided, actually this past week, that I would do as she recommended.
Before we go into the details of the book, I think it is necessary for me to take a moment to explain my interest in this singer and her new-found beliefs. Even though the video made her spiritual shift clear the details were important to me because this story line felt so familiar. I had to know what situations and moments caused these people, who created such incredible worship songs, to completely jump ship. Their worship songs weren’t the ones that made you question whether they were Christians. Jesus and scripture were consistent in their lyrics. So once again even though the video made the root of the issue clear, I was so perplexed that I needed the details.
I read the book and the details painted the picture that I expected them to paint, only worse. They had come from a religious environment that made them susceptible to grief that no Christian in the true body of Christ should ever endure. They began to have those moments that question the goodness of God based on the sin of the world. Life circumstances had began to riddle them with pain, suffering, and confusion. They could not comprehend how they had been so “good” and were having to endure so much affliction. As I once believed, they thought because they had done some things right in life they deserved to get what they wanted absent of the desires God had for their lives. Due to all of these new-found concerns their faith started to unravel and they were left in wonder. Wondering if everything they had believed in all those years had been true or was the idea of God the Father, Christ, and the Holy Spirit just some predisposition that they were forced to believe and follow based on the decisions of their parents. I have been here before. I have been here before. I have been here before. I now find it to be one of the most spiritually reassuring moments of my life. What made me any different? I had asked those same questions. Why had I come out still believing in Jesus Christ?
Other than God’s incredible grace the answer was my foundation. Let’s liken our faith to a building. The foundation of any building is what allows it to maintain structural support, it keeps the building intact. If there is anything true about life, it is that every building must go through a storm and whether the building endures will solely be based on its foundation. As life happens, circumstances and personal perspective bring about storms that begin to test the structure of our buildings. This is the shaking of our faith. Their buildings were going through spiritual storms. Probably the worst kind. The kind that keep you from reading your bible and puts a halt to your prayer life. I find it necessary now to mention ,once again, that I have been here before. The storm is never the issue, it was promised. We were promised suffering and the testing of our faith. We have also been told to glory in these storm.
James 1:2-3 (NLT)
“2] Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3] For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.”‘
1 Peter 4:12-13 (NLT)
” 12] Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. 13] Instead, be very glad—for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world.”
Although we do not like, or initially appreciate, the storms they are necessary. After the storm the building will either be transformed in a way that makes it more durable and beautiful or it will be completely shaken to never recover.
Luke 6:47-49 (NIV)
” 47] As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. 48] They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. 49]But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.”
Remember the building is your faith. The course our buildings take is solely based on our foundation. If the foundation is not Jesus Christ, The Rock, the building will not be able to endure the storm. Only faith firmly founded in Christ will last. We make Christ our foundation simply by knowing Him. Not knowing of Him but knowing Him. Make Christ the center of your life and the root of everything you believe in. Most importantly know Him for yourself and use the word to understand who He truly is.