Seeing With My Own Eyes

I have a lot of questions about Christianity and the Bible. These questions are something I’m often told to be careful about–that is, asking too many questions could be dangerous or lead me down a dangerous road. I always wonder why it is people feel this way–why is it dangerous to ask question? If a question has a good answer, then asking the question is the best way to get to that answer, right? Maybe people are just afraid there aren’t good answers or hard questions will show the weak spots in the answers. I think perhaps people misunderstand me too; for instance, when I ask a question that sounds like I’m doubting God or the core beliefs of Christianity, then people get defensive and tell me I have no right to question God or Christianity. But I’m not so interested in questioning God himself as I am in understanding and knowing him better and these questions are part of that process for me.

I think sometimes we put too much faith in our “beliefs” and too little faith in God himself. We are so sure of our own beliefs and understanding that we refuse to let God open our eyes to anything new. How can we be so sure our church, denomination, books, pastors and teachers are right about God and what God wants? Isn’t it possible that God is bigger than even our beliefs about him and can sometimes surprise us or change our minds? I’m not out looking for new revelation or throwing everything I’ve ever been taught out the window–I’m just trying to keep my heart, mind, and eyes open to what God has to say–even if it seems to contradict something I’ve always been taught or believed.

I recently decided to start a project that I hope will help answer some of my questions–I want to read every word of the Bible with my own eyes. Obviously lots of people have done this before and many do it every single year on a Bible reading plan but it’s not something I have ever actually done myself. I don’t want to read the Bible just so I can say I did, but I want to read it with an open heart and mind–one that’s ready to either change or affirm my beliefs about God.

Now, I know some will read this and will want to answer all of my questions and I know you mean well in doing so. I’m open to everyone’s thoughts and opinions and actually really hope people will comment on this so we can have discussions and learn from each other. But at the same time, I know this a journey I have to take no matter how many answers people can give me. I need to read and understand the Bible for myself and seek out my own answers and not just accept the answers of others (even if those answers are right or the exact same conclusions I will eventually reach). I’m not looking for quick, accurate answers; I’m looking to see God with my own eyes through his word and whatever else he uses to help me know and understand him.

God said, “Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me. When you seek me with all your heart, I will be found by you declares the LORD.” Jeremiah 29:12-14

I’m taking God at his word and looking forward to having my heart and eyes opened to his truth–whether that is just exactly what I’ve always believed or something radically different.

10 thoughts on “Seeing With My Own Eyes

  1. Kari, I have just stumbled across your blog and found your article on christianity offered a genuine insight into an onlookers interpretation of the bible, literally or metaphorically. I have recently started a blog and have but my first post up and would love to know what you think of my thoughts on guantanamo if you get the time – the link is http://baittobite.wordpress.com/

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  2. Kari, I love your honest, fresh desire to know God more. Asking questions is crucial for a real faith. Yet, as you say, the doubt must ultimately fall on my precarious perceptions rather than on God’s omnipotent goodness. There are a lot of things in the Bible that puzzle me, but I would expect nothing less from a book authored by the Creator of the Universe.

    May he continue to reward your pursuit (he has promised to).

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  3. I whole-heartedly agree with this statement, “… I do feel that we sometimes put too much faith in our “beliefs” and too little faith in God himself. We are so sure of our own beliefs and understanding that we refuse to let God open our eyes to anything new. How can we be so sure our church, denomination, books, pastors and teachers, etc. are right about God and what God wants? Isn’t it possible that God is bigger than even our beliefs about him and can sometimes surprise us or change our minds?”

    The year I turned 40, I got tired of hearing that the Bible says this and the Bible says that but I did not know if that person was correct or not because I came across too many people who got their knowledge of the Bible from the pulpit only. That year, I read through the Bible with the NIV Daily Bible, 365 daily readings in chronological order. It opened my eyes and reaffirmed my belief in God. I now know the Bible … what is there and what isn’t.

    God bless you in your search for answers. I’m sure that there are many many questions to which there are no answers and I believe that God honors our questioning.

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    • Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. I’m looking forward to getting to know God better and better as I study his Word and his creation. It’s so nice to meet others who share this faith and journey.

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  4. What a great pursuit. I always think of Matthew 6:33: “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” I have that on a bookmark in my journal, reminding me to pursue my Creator first and everything else second. Can’t tell you how blessed I’ve been by that. Thanks for blogging, for sharing about your struggles, questions and triumphs. God bless. 🙂

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  5. HI, I am a fellow blogger who just started about three months ago as a result of our family struggling with faith along with losing a daughter to brain cancer. She passed away on March 11. She left behind an amazing husband and a ten month old son. I wrote about our faith in the midst of this until this month and am now starting a new series.
    I really liked you post and your honesty about your own questions. I won’t answer your questions directly, just suggest you take a look a my blog and see if there is anything there in my journey that you can connect with.
    Blessings,
    Don

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  6. What a great pursuit. You’re asking great questions, and, in my opinion, going about asking in the right way and to the right person! Another “recommended reading” if you’re interested would be “Faith and Doubt” by John Ortberg (where he argues that the most important word in the title is the “and” – they go together!). I’ve recently just discovered the power in claiming His promises so definitely keep that Jeremiah verse close, and He’ll follow through. I have another blog where I post my own “Monday Meditations” that are usually my own questions or observations on various passages that I have read. (http://frifflethoughts.blogspot.com). Happy reading – congrats on being freshly pressed!

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  7. Kari,
    It sounds to me like you are seeking God and not men and that is GREAT!! If you read my testimony on my blog (it has its own page at the top) you will see I did the same thing. I am a much better person for it! Whenever someone tries to tell me that ____ isn’t in the Bible I can say “Oh but it is.” and then I pull out my 4 pieces of paper where I wrote down the chapter and verse to that particular thought and I can show them. Sometimes people are amazed and thank me for sharing. Sometimes people get angry and ignore that verse and quote another one to make me think I am wrong. Either way, I know what The Word says. That also works for me when I see a Facebook Status, or Tweet on Twitter, or post on a blog that questions my beliefs. I can say to myself ‘But didn’t God say not to do that in the Bible?’ and I can go look through my papers and find that He did. One last thing- I used to start my daily reading by praying something like ‘God, let me learn the lesson that I need to learn today. Show me Your Word.’ I think it helped. 🙂
    May God bless you and answer your questions as you need them answered.
    Sam

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  8. I recently started reading through the Bible myself, I have finished Genesis and Exodus and switched over to the New Testament where I have finished Matthew and am in Mark right now. One version that I enjoy reading is the Amplified Version (have it on my phone :)) I highly recommend it! One of the verses you mentioned is Matthew 5:48 about being perfect. The Amplified reads this way: “You therefore must be perfect (growing into complete maturity of godliness in mind and character, having reached the proper height of virture and integrity), as your heavenly Father is perfect.
    I take that as meaning that we are to constantly strive to be as perfect in our Christian walk as we can, not always repeating the same mistakes but learning and growing in Christ.
    I know this is kind of rambling….sorry about that, just wanted to get some thoughts down while I had a chance. Love you!!

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