Question:

I have some thing i would like your opinion on. I was part of a church called the Shepherd's Chapel from the time I was 13. Their ideas run parallel to some of the ideas of the Nazis and the Christian Identity Movement. My mind has been opened to the idea of entertaining these thoughts that they may be racist and false teachers, even though I've been hearing it since my teens. I put no truck into it because the chapel teaches that those people who say those things are Kenites; people that the Shepherd's Chapel believe to be the sons of Satan.

Now here's my problem. Now that I have been thinking like this I've been losing my faith in God for the first time in my life. Imagine if one day you had to question every thing your faith was built on. For me that was the Shepherd's Chapel. I wanted the truth about God's Word. I didn't know of a church or group of people who were teaching God's Word in a way that I could understand. Until I found the Shepherd's Chapel and it struck a cord with me. A lot of what he was saying matched with how I already felt about God. So I grew in my faith and at age 14 I was saved. And now I have to question every thing I thought I knew. It really is horrible, and now my life is a wreck. I don't know what's true. My faith is decimated and I don't really fully understand why.

I keep thinking in my heart that none of it's real. Those thoughts scare me because not only do I know where those thoughts will take me if I'm wrong, but it feels like every thing is pushing me far away from God. I have no hope and I feel like a terrible person. My life just got worse when I started thinking them a month or two ago. I really don't know what to do.

I'm afraid that God doesn't want me because I was so damaged when I was sinning for three years without repenting. I also worry that the Shepherd's Chapel may be right and if I don't stand against the antichrist I'll go to hell. Maybe Satan wanted me to question them, so I would leave the church. I liked living with God. I hate my lack of faith. It is worse than anything, and I've been dealing with POCD. But the feelings and uncertainty I get from this are far worse. It got to the point where I'm not afraid of death or any thing! I really mean that. Do you know how scary it is to feel like that and not really know why? You just don't care and want to give up. It seems like everything is pushing you toward that. In truth my only fear is losing myself and pulling so far away from God that I could never go back. I feel angry and hopeless.


Answer:

I looked up the Shepherd's Chapel and found mostly generic statements that could describe most groups. It is a premillennialist group and you can read An Overview of Premillennial Theories about why these type of teachings are contrary to what is found in the Bible. I listened to a few minutes of his teachings. It is clear that he believes in modern-day miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit from one recording I heard. See: Belief, Baptism, and Signs Following Still Today? What bothers me most about this group is that it centers around the teachings of one man and he doesn't seem to keep any long term records of his teachings.

There is a basic assumption that you've made most of your life and I believe the core of your problem. You selected this group because it matched the way you thought. But your thoughts are not necessarily God's thoughts. "O LORD, I know the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man who walks to direct his own steps" (Jeremiah 10:23). Now that you are getting older and more perceptive, you are realizing that this group's teaching is not always correct. But again, your appeal is to yourself and your feelings. You just assumed that whatever this group taught, it was God's teachings, so now that you have doubts about the group, you mistakenly assume that these are doubts about God.

What is lacking is a firm standard. Christianity is about following Christ. It is about conforming to Jesus' teaching, which are recorded for us in the Scriptures. Therefore, we have to be like the Bereans and compare everything we learn to what the Bible actually says. "These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so" (Acts 17:11). Things that do not match the Scriptures are to be rejected. "I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed. For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ" (Galatians 1:6-10).

God is real. His teachings is truth. "Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth" (John 17:17). If there is any question, then it is whether some man is actually teaching the truth. I heard enough in the few minutes of listening to a few minutes of one sermon to know that this man is not teaching the truth fully or accurately, but that is based on years of experience with the Bible. You need to get out your Bible, put your faith in God's Word and when some man teaches you something different, put your faith in God and not man.