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PART 6 My Search for the One True God
The Emphasis of Faith – God’s Personalness
In the following chapters, we will determine if there are some religions that are not following the one true personal God, in which case they will be removed from consideration. I sincerely hope that all of these faiths are on track and if this is the case, then hooray. Why wouldn’t I rejoice if I knew that followers of these religions are able to know the one true personal God, and will spend eternity with Him and one another? But the question is, “Are all of them following Him if indeed there is only one?”
As stated earlier, I will not use theology to determine which faiths are or are not following the one true God. How can it be sorted out if each faith simply says this is how we have decided to exercise our faith so that’s it? This determination is based on my earlier quest to find Him for myself, and even though I now adhere to one of the faiths discussed, it is the personalness of God that is being emphasized.
Wouldn’t you want to get to know a God who also wants to know you in a personal way? If not, then you are evidently content in the path that you are on. But if yes, keep reading.
I know there is a God that wants to give you a new beginning, a new life, a new direction, a new power source, a divine plan, a divine purpose, and an eternal destiny. Do you want to know this God for yourself?
To review, this God has become personal to me in the following ways:
- Imparted His presence within me, giving peace and joy when I believed in Him.
- Answered prayer by providing divine peace in place of overwhelming fear during a speaking engagement.
- Provided healing for my blood disorder.
- Gave a yes-or-no answer with an audible voice in my mind to a question about a Bible course that I was taking.
- Provided a one-word answer to prayer, indicating a particular geographical location where I would go to receive further instruction.
- Relayed information from a total stranger that provided assurance and comfort concerning the situation that I was in.
- Provided the things asked for in prayer—a new job, new housing, and finances to move my family into a new location.
- Answered prayer when a person from another state had a vision to come and co-labor in the faith on the island where I live.
- Answered prayer in the form of a letter written by an employee that was available to use in court regarding an accusation made against me by a fellow worker.
- Used me as an intermediary to pray over someone for healing, and have him experience a divine sensation.
- Used others to convey God’s thoughts by speaking in an unknown language along with the Interpretation of the language with which everyone was familiar.
- Answered prayer by disclosing a place for me to worship once a month during the winter season, using many different people who didn’t know each other to provide clues and confirmation of the location.
In my opinion, whoever these gods are, or whoever this God is, they/He will attempt to intervene in each and every life right here on earth. There should be no reason that a personal deity wouldn’t want to get to know us here and now. Right? If not now, when? When it’s too late?
Some who submitted personal testimonies have stated that God has become personal to them in some way. This is not for me to dispute. However, the search for the one true personal God will be based on whether or not the personable-ness of God is the emphasis of the faith under consideration. If it is, then their God will remain a candidate for further discussion. If not, the religion will be eliminated from our discussion.
Let’s begin our search.
Been There, Done That
Two religions with similar teachings and a few differences will be removed initially.
The similarities include:
- Following the ordained hierarchy of bishop, priest, and deacon.
- Using the same Bible.
- Believing in the trinity of one God in three persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
- Believing in the atonement of Christ.
- Believing in infant/adult water baptism that, in conjunction with the Holy Spirit, causes a person to become a child of God.
- Observing the seven sacraments of Water Baptism, Communion, Confession, Confirmation, Marriage, Holy Orders, Anointing of the sick.
- Believing that the more that one partakes of communion, the more he/she grows together with Christ and one another.
- Observing some of the same Holy Days/Official Holidays, such as Sunday (The Lord's Day), Advent, Christmas, Lent, Holy Week, and Easter.
- Believing that Jesus is the Messiah.
Differences include disagreement regarding:
- Christ being present in the Eucharist at Communion.
One of these faiths believes that the bread and wine become the literal body and blood of Christ while giving appearance that they are bread and wine.
The other faith believes that the bread and wine co-exist with the body and blood of Christ.
- Who should be in leadership over the local churches.
- Whether or not women can be ordained as bishops or priests.
- Whether or not a person in leadership can marry.
- Whether or not a gay person can be appointed to leadership.
- The place where a follower will go immediately after physical death.
- Obligations that are observed.
- To whom prayer is made.
- To whom confession of sins is made.
- Observance of the Holy Days/Official Holidays.
I have attended both of these churches, and was a member of one in my younger years. Not only did I adhere to their teachings, but was for a brief time assisting those in leadership in their liturgy proceedings. When I was14 years old, I went to a high school that taught classes about their beliefs, and I even considered becoming one of the church leaders
Why are these two churches not being considered as following the one true God? Because I never experienced God’s presence there—no matter how much I was involved. Also, my destiny after death if I followed the tenets of these faiths were never an assurance, but only a hope.
These churches do offer consistency in the rules for membership, and they do provide buildings that display architectural beauty and aura, but I could never find a personal God there. Years ago, I did meet one of the leaders who evidenced God’s personalness in his life, but this seems to be the exception rather than the rule. However, it does testify to the truth of the verse that says, “With God all things are possible”.
No longer a part of our quest to find the one true personal God are Catholicism and Episcopalism. If you currently attend one of these, or any of the following religions that will be eliminated, I hope you will continue on in our search to find the one true personal God, remembering…
When you find him you will realize that your quest has brought you to where you always wanted to be.
To Be With Him Forever
The faiths still under consideration in this quest to find the one true personal God are Judaism, Christianity (Born Again), Seventh Day Adventist, the Church of Latter Day Saints, Buddhism, Jehovah’s Witness, Christian Science, Islam, and Unitarian.
Having already shared ways that God has become personal in my life, would it be a reach to say that He would want to continue this relationship after I die? I believe the answer is that He does, so my next question becomes, “Are there any remaining faiths that don’t share this belief?” Yes, there are two of them.
One faith says that its members are free to develop their own concept of God, and instruction revolves around human growth and potential, as well social, moral and ethical issues. Jesus is only one of the many teachers from whom members are encouraged to learn. There is no belief in a literal heaven or hell, and no continuing individualized existence when we die.
Another faith believes that a follower’s purpose in life is to attain enlightenment or, in other words, to become free from all suffering, pain and misery, experiencing instead inner peace, wisdom and love. If enlightenment is not achieved, reincarnation offers the opportunity to try again. Having finally obtained enlightenment, no matter how long it has taken, one enters into Nirvana, a higher state of such perfection when the soul dissolves to nothingness.
If you are a member of either religion, please don’t despair because each of us selects our faith because we seek a purpose in life that exceeds our own conception—something that gives meaning beyond the routines of eating and drinking, working and playing; just filling the hours until we die.
Two faiths will no longer be considered simply because they don’t believe that God will be with their followers after death. Members of these faiths are invited to continue on with our quest for, as a friend once told me, it doesn’t matter that we don’t know God right now, but it does matter whether or not we will ever know Him.
As you may have guessed, the Unitarian and Buddhist faiths will no longer be considered in our quest for the one true personal God.
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