That which I once believed to be true is no longer the same today as it was yesterday,” these were the words of Amanda Parking.
Amanda was raised in an Evangelical Christian church. For years, she believed in a number of things that she thought was Christian doctrine and gospel truths. Though raised a Christian and sat through twenty years of listening to sermons, bible studies and Sunday school classes, she couldn’t help but take notice that what she read in the Word was completely different from what she heard her fellow brothers and sisters believe and speak about in Church. She also couldn’t overlook the fact that so many people were constantly debating over scriptural matters without ever coming to an adequate resolve.
For quite some time, Amanda thought to herself,“I don’t know! Maybe it’s me. Perhaps I’m losing a spiritual struggle? I fast and pray, but why I read in the Word is not lining up with what I hear in church. Could it just be me?” So, Amanda continued to fast, pray and read the Word.
Meet Lee Anne. Unlike Amanda, Lee Anne was one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, what many Christian Evangelicals would call an occult. As a member within the organization, Lee Anne had many fears about leaving the society that few could understand. Still, for reasons of her own, Lee Anne left the organization and lost almost all of her family support groups that she was fond of having growing up.
For some time, she discovered throughout her own biblical research that what she read in Scriptures was not agreeing with what the organization taught. She couldn’t explain this miserable feeling she was having deep inside of her and dared not talk about it. She thought to herself, “Maybe with time, it’ll all just go away and I will understand truth?”Yet, as she continued to do a more careful analysis of the Scriptures, the more she came to realize that what she was discovering was extra ordinary.
So, how can two totally different people from different biblical belief structures have the exact same experience? Can both the Jehovah’s Witness and the Evangelical Christian be wrong in their assessment? Or, is there something that many have overlooked?
Both are suffering what we call spiritual disillusionment. A spiritual disillusionment is “a feeling of disappointment resulting from the discovery that something is not as good as one believed it to be” (OED 2014). In fact, many Bible enthusiast has suffer from this condition from one degree to another. Even though both studied the Scriptures and came to the realization that what they were not in complete agreement with what they read in the Word, they both agree on one very important point: “Every word of Elohim proves true. He is a shield to all who come to him for protection” (Proverbs 30:5).
So, why is it that more and more people are suffering from spiritual disillusionment? Psychotherapist and author Mariana Caplan, PhD explains, “Many people get disillusioned on the spiritual path, and it is not because spiritual practices and approaches are not effective -- they are. […] Through working with hundreds of spiritual teachers and practitioners in the western world, I am convinced that spiritual work alone neither addresses many of our deepest hurts nor does it provide [the necessary] tools to address our wounds in relationships that block us from fulfilling our deepest longings, dreams and spiritual possibilities” (2011).
Though Amanda and Lee Anne both suffered from a spiritual disillusionment, both needed the adequate support system in order for them to transition into a new life that would help encourage the spiritual support that they needed. In other words, they both began to grow spiritually to the point that they needed that sense of self-determination, a process true believers can expect to experience at some point in their lives.
“It isn’t that I gave up my belief in the Word; my views changed and I’m just not getting the spiritual nourishment or support that I need in order to understand myself at this point in life,” Amanda said. “I was just afraid of the serious consequences that would follow if I left the organization,” Lee Anne said. Yes, they both may not be saying the exact same thing, but they’re feeling it; they having a Spiritual Awakening.
© 2014 by Nehr HaOlam Publications.
Winslow, New Jersey, USA
All Rights Reserved.
Unless otherwise indicated, all Scriptures were taken from the New Living Translation of the Bible.
For more information, contact NehrHaOlam@gmail.com.
Nehr HaOlam Publications
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