Locked Out

If Isaiah helped me find the door, I think Mark showed me the keyhole and the lock.

That summer of 1970 I had a small New Testament I carried in my purse. It was a tiny, white King James Version I had been given by my Sunday School teachers when I was four years old and my family moved away from Lakeland, Florida. Now that’s an incongruous picture for you. Here I was an eighteen-year-old college coed with long hair taking my childhood New Testament to my summer job on a campus rife with hippies and the radical Left.

Well, in the gospel of Mark I came to his account of a father whose son was possessed by an evil spirit. It’s a tumultuous scene with crowds, arguments and a desperate father trying to find help for his son.  As I was reading I came to these words,

And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears,
Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.

The father’s words gave voice to the cry of my heart. We use the phrase locked in a struggle. That’s how I felt, locked in a struggle, locked in, yet locked out. I knew I thought some things were true about Jesus, that He existed and was God’s Son, but I realized I didn’t have the whole picture, and I had no idea what else I needed to believe or what I was even capable of believing.

I was locked out from God, and I knew I’d found the keyhole where the lock was. I thought belief was the key; but what that key of belief looked like or how I could find it,

I did not know.

Key Hole, Parish Church, Whalton, Northumberland: FreeFoto.com, Site has been deleted since posting.
Mark 9:24: King James Version.

Copyright ©2010 Iwana Carpenter

8 thoughts on “Locked Out

  1. I remember those little KJB New Testaments. I wonder if they still hand them out. I was not religious when I younger but those little books were probably my only contact with Christ when I was in college.

    That quote from Mark sticks in my mind too. I understand your struggle. I had a similar struggle at some point, though it happened at a much older age for me.

  2. The Gideons are still handing Bibles and New Testaments. I looked around their website. They were founded back in 1899.

    I remember the Beatles mocked them in “Rocky Raccoon,” but the Beatles are the ones who are now gone while the Gideons’ work continues.

  3. INC:

    I truly believe you have found your place in the blogging world with your new site.

    These posts are beautiful as they show every side of human emotion possible.

    The religious vulnerabilities which you discuss in your posts are identical to those of many I am sure.

    What I particularly admire is your ability to tell your story without professing that others must believe in the same way you do, in other words, you leave the preaching to the men and women of the cloth.

    I have always believed you can be an instrument of Him, but each must find their own way of acceptance and practice of their religion.

  4. Thank you, Sue. I appreciate your kind words.

    With these posts I am trying to walk through my thinking and emotions during that summer to share how I became a Christian. While I have a different story than other Christians, I do not have a different truth. God has given us His Word, the Bible, and it is truth.

    When we define truth according to own own inclination, we usurp the place of God and declare that we can be our own god defining reality. Differing truths is a contradiction of the very concept of truth. Differing truths would mean there is no “true” truth to be found, and we can each follow our own way.

    The Bible clearly teaches that the only way that people can know God is through Jesus Christ. In John 14:6, Jesus said to Thomas,

    “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”

    When Peter is preaching in Acts 4, he says of Jesus Christ:

    “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.”

    God’s truth must be taught, in humility and without pugnaciousness.

  5. When we define truth according to own own inclination, we usurp the place of God and declare that we can be our own god defining reality. Differing truths is a contradiction of the very concept of truth. Differing truths would mean there is no “true” truth to be found, and we can each follow our own way.

    I understand where you are coming from with the above quote Iwana, and I agree with your thoughts.

    What I was suggesting in my comment is that while people might follow and believe in the Word, individuals belonging to various denominations have their own beliefs in what their path to salvation might be.

    I don’t know that I would say they were defining their own truths so much as practicing as they have been instructed.

    Perhaps I am not finding the words to express exactly what I am trying to say, which on a Friday evening is very, very possible LOL.

  6. Sorry Iwana, I didn’t not close the quote of yours in the above comment and see no edit button so I can fix it.

    My apologies.

  7. Sue, don’t worry about the quote. I fixed it. This is a basic blog so unfortunately it doesn’t come with an edit feature.

  8. Thanks for your clarification.

    I have heard excellent and careful preachers and teachers who have helped me tremendously with their knowledge and insight, but I think that every Christian has the responsibility to understand what they believe and why they believe it.

    In Acts Luke wrote about Paul’s time in Berea:

    The brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so. Therefore many of them believed, along with a number of prominent Greek women and men.

    They heard Paul, but they check his words against the plumb line of Scripture. From their careful examination they realized Paul was speaking the truth, and they believed in Jesus. We must each be Bereans.

    I hope to write more later on the Bible and on the hermeneutics, the science of interpretation, to clarify further my beliefs.

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