Since 2009, I have taken a very active role in knowing what I believe as a Christian and now consider myself a reformed Christian. I became a Christian in 1994, but I sat in very seeker-sensitive churches for years without really knowing why I was there. Well, I mean, I knew Christians needed to go to church each Sunday, and I knew that my boys needed to learn about Jesus so that they would one day "accept" Him too. However, I sat there Sunday after Sunday as a spectator being entertained by the musical performances and waiting for someone to "respond" to the sermon as we sang 'Come as You Are' over and over (until someone did respond). The sermon was not really for me because I had responded years ago. I was there to learn more about Jesus to help make me a better Christian, mom, wife, etc.
But is that the role of the church? No, it's not. Could I adequately explain what I believed and why? No, I could not. I took evangelism courses and participated in Bible studies, but the end was the same; no real change took place in my spiritual growth. By God's grace, a significant change did take place in me as I read the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith for the first time in 2011. This confession is a systematic overview of the truths found in the Bible (with scriptural support). Through studying this confession along with the Westminster Shorter Catechism (as a family devotional), Keach's Catechism (at church), and more recently, the Heidelberg Catechism (our new family devotional), I can clearly express the truths found in the Bible. My Bible study is now more God-centered as I desire to know Him more and see Jesus at work from Genesis to Revelation.
Through this process, I found many blogs, books, podcasts, and lectures to help guide me as a paradigm shift took place in my thinking. I read about the Regulative Principal of Worship and why we should worship God only as outlined in the Bible. I realized that many of the "Christian" books I had on our bookshelves were not orthodox. I had this insatiable desire to read, learn, and apply sound biblical principles to my life. The sanctification process took off as the Holy Spirit led me to the Truths of Scripture. I still feel that desire today. My goal is to make sure that the books and blogs we read are written by sound Christian theologians or writers (which is why we've turned to the Puritan writers, who cannot change their minds). As a family, we've selected the Puritan Jeremiah Burroughs to read and study. In addition, I try to stay current on the more popular "Christian" speakers and/or writers that do not preach a true Christ-centered gospel.
But why? Why do I do this? Part of the reason is that I feel cheated in the earlier years of my spiritual life, so I'm trying to make up for lost time. Also, my husband and I are raising three boys who will one day be the spiritual leaders of their wives and children, and I want to make sure that they have a strong foundation as they start their own families (and not flounder as I did). If they move away, I want them to be able to find a strong, Bible-based church that preaches the true gospel and follows a confession (a confession is not the Bible, nor can it replace the Bible, but it makes sure that everyone in the church reads the Bible through the same lens). But the main reason is found in the Shorter Catechism of the Westminster Confession of Faith (which is very similar to the 1689 LBCF):
That's also why I go to church every SundayQuestion 1: What is the chief end of man?Answer: Man's chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever.