Religious Confusion!

In talking to some people not too long ago it was said to me, “Now that you have come away from the Kwasizabantu cult you have to find and worship in a church where you may be built up in your most holy faith! You lack deepness in your faith.” I wonder, if the piercing of one’s heart with a knife could match the pain in my soul in hearing such advice at that moment.

This happened some months ago and it kept reverberating in my mind every single day since then. I so much wanted to be a genuine Christian, a true follower of Jesus Christ and an authentic minister of His Gospel all my life. Hence, I have gone into all the corners of my life seeking to find any cult-like remnants to ensure the destruction thereof and searched out the hidden crevices of my life lived to destroy anything not pertaining to pure and holy faith in Christ Jesus. With a skeptical attitude, prepared not to be easily convinced and having doubts or reservations about all my religious beliefs, I crisscrossed all I had preached and believed as missionary at Mission Kwasizabantu. With a cynical attitude of suspicion and believing my theological future to be bleak unless I find the Truth in Jesus Christ, I relentlessly kept up the pursuit for religious Truth. Realizing that many religious people are acting only out of self-interest I confronted my very beliefs cherished through the years at the Mission and evaluated them in the light of Scripture.

Now, outside of the cult, I once again read through my Bible, from the beginning to the end. I spend hours upon hours listening to preachers and religious teachers preaching and teaching on You Tube. I indulged myself in reading the multitude of books that flowed from their minds. I dug into their beliefs and the belief systems they adhere to. My only prayer was, “Open my eyes Lord, open my eyes to see You!” I studied the Reformation, Calvinism, Arminianism, Charismatic movement, Pentecostalism and Cultism. I listened for hours to the likes of Ravi Zacharias, Stegen, Sproul, MacArthur, Copeland, Washer, Graham, Lawson, Ferguson, Piper, Walls, Whitherington, etc. I listened to the learned scholars debating Calvinism, Arminianism, Lutherism, Catholicism, Pentecostalism, Methodism, Free will, Paedo and Credo baptism, Millennialism, the Rapture and End Times and so much more. These tend to be “boxes” into which the Gospel of Jesus Christ is forced at all cost to satisfy the specific denomination’s Confession of Faith, inter alia meaning its interpretation and understanding of the Gospel as found in the Scriptures. I studied the books on Systematic Theology and Christian Ethics written by Grudem, Skinner, MacArthur, Berkhof and more.

I looked for and read numerous confessions of faith and creeds. A confession of faith is a formal statement of doctrinal belief ordinarily intended for public confession by an individual, a group, a congregation, a synod, or a church; confessions are similar to creeds, although usually more extensive. So, I looked at the 1648 Presbyterian Westminster Confession, the 1689 Baptist Confession, The Apostolic Creed, the 1561 Belgic Confession of Faith, the Nicene Creed, the Heidelberg Catechism, the Canons of Dort, and the 1571 Anglican Thirty-nine Articles. Indeed, there are many more as every religious denomination has its own set of Confession of Faith, Creed and Catechism.

Where is the Truth in the cacophony of all of these? Where was the deepness that I had to have, and people wanted to experience in me? I came away from all of the above with a deep understanding of myself and a deep understanding of the simple essence of the Christian religion. All people will have to answer this one question standing before the Creator God at the end of their lives, “Who do you say I am?” There is no deeper Truth than the answer to this question! As the Lord Jesus Christ said, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” To do so, throughout the history of religion, various systems of belief, or rather Systematic Theologies had been formulated which gathered adherents from the multitude of God’s created people, just as the Kwasizabantu cult based their Systematic Theology on a 1966 Maphumulo revival and not the Scriptures alone and gathered their adherents from across the globe. And so, the simplicity of what the Lord Jesus Christ demanded was turned into a complexity of religious denominational doctrines concerning God, Creation, Man, Salvation, Truth, Knowledge and much more and set out in uncountable variants of Confessions, Creeds and Catechisms to be believed, followed and taught with relentless harshness and brutal spiritual absoluteness as true faith as per specific faith system.

Notwithstanding the above, within this magnitude of complexities there is a guiding principle to be remembered though! God wrote the Bible; He is the first Author of Scripture and He wrote the Bible. Says the apostle Peter, “20knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. 21For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2Peter 1:20-21). God wrote the Bible so that people could understand what He wanted them to understand, “Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.” (1John 5:12; John 3:36).

This is what I found then; a simple yet lifesaving message that precipitated from the Bible and is sufficiently and adequately mouthed by the Savior as He came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, 15“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” (Mark1:15). The 16th century Protestant Reformation only really helps one to grasp this truth and understand the Word of God in giving us five principles to study the Scriptures; Scripture alone, Christ alone, faith alone, grace alone and to the glory of God alone (The Five Solas). The deepness of faith in Jesus Christ, the simplicity of the Gospel as set out in John 3:16, hinges on making these five principles the basis of one’s personal spiritual walk and protects one from deviating into all manner of skewed and boxed doctrines of faith.

The apostle Paul said it so right, “1when I came to you, brothers, (I) did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. 2For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.” We surely can take the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, at face value in what he said and believe! For it is said in Scripture:

9But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”— 10these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. 11For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.” (1Corinthians 2:9-11).

There is nothing ever deeper than this to understand and comprehend!

Soli Deo Gloria!

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