Dave Arnold Speaks header image

Dave Arnold Speaks

≡ Menu

The Alley of Religion

This is a guest post by TC Avey. You can learn more about TC at the end of the post. She is a gifted writer who inspires many. Enjoy!

I love the name of Dave’s blog, Reflections from the Alley.

I don’t know about you, but most of my maturing occurs in the Alley.

It’s in the Alley where I’m challenged to grow. It’s also where I find purpose for various stages of my life.

In 2008 I entered the darkest and scariest Alley I’d ever known.

I found myself questioning all my beliefs, including my faith in God.

This Alley brought me face-to-face with a dilemma many Christians encounter at some point: Religion verses Relationship with Christ.

I was confronted with questions such as these:
1. Does devote church attendance make one closer to God than someone who never attends church but reads his/her Bible on a regular basis?
2. Why do so many Christians think they are protected from tragedy and therefore completely taken off guard when God doesn’t act how they think He should?
3. Can one really love God if they never read His Word or Pray?
4. If our actions are an indication of our spiritual maturity, why would the lost want to attend a church that is filled with gossip, strife, and judgment? How does any of that reflect the Love we claim lives inside us?
5. Are we turning legalistic in our worship, church attendance, prayer requests, and programs?
6. Would I love God if He continued to strike me with pain or is my love for Him so shallow that I can only call Him “Lord” when He answers my prayers in a timely fashion?

Answers to questions like these aren’t easy to embrace. They take deep probing, honesty, and individual accountability in order to grow in a relationship with Christ and shake off the convenience of religion.

I can’t say I have it all “figured out”. But I do know that I don’t want to go down any Alley without a strong relationship with Christ. Alley’s can be awesome places to grow, but they can cripple us if we trust more in a religion than we do in a Savior.

Currently, the Body of Christ is facing the Alley of Persecution…Even if they aren’t aware of it.

To help Christians deal with these tough questions I’ve written a book, “The Precipice: When Everything We Know Ends”.

Through three fictitious short stories readers are encouraged to reflect upon their relationship with Christ and assess if they trust more in religion than they do the Creator of the World.

Following the stories are Discussion Questions and Modern Events testing the Body of Christ. These will aide readers in identifying what they would do in similar situations, challenge them to dig deeper in their faith, and realize the world as we know it is on the edge of forever changing.

This book is meant to guide readers into a closer relationship with Christ and help them embrace 2 Chronicles 7:14. Christians must be willing to be Humbled, to Pray, Seek God, and Turn from any idols that may take them down the Alley of Religion.

You can purchase my book, “The Precipice: When Everything We Know Ends” on Amazon April 7, 2014.

May God’s grace and strength hold you through the Alleys of your life.

TC Avey is a Christian devoted to God, family and friends. She is passionate about encouraging Christians to live a life dedicated to Christ as well as helping them understand the importance of preserving our national freedoms through knowledge and love. She blogs at Wisdom of a Fool. You can also follow her on Twitter.

Join my email list!

You want to grow & make a difference in the world around you? Join me every week for practical tips, inspiration, and a good dose of hope. Just enter your email below and get my FREE manifesto.
  • http://www.struggletovictory.com/ Kari Scare

    TC’s book is terrific! It challenges your faith in a way that fits with the challenges of our culture. The questions you ask above are ones I think everyone can relate to. Thank you for being brave enough to voice them!

    • http://tcavey.blogspot.com/ TCAvey

      Thanks, Kari.
      I’m not sure how “brave” I am, just obedient.
      Thanks for being willing to ask them to yourself. That’s even more brave.

    • http://www.reflectionsfromthealley.org/ Dave Arnold

      And I think “voce” is the operative word, Kari. TC has a much-needed voice, one that is crying out in the wilderness for people – and, ultimately, our nation – to turn back to God.

      • http://www.reflectionsfromthealley.org/ Dave Arnold

        Spelled “voice” wrong – hello. My 3 year old knocked the “I” out of place on the laptop. Parenting is indeed a great adventure :)

      • http://tcavey.blogspot.com/ TCAvey

        I’m honored, humbled, and unworthy of such a compliment, Dave. Thank you.
        May God’s will be done. Thank you for your support.

  • http://www.barbraveling.com/ Barb Raveling

    Those are great questions, TC. Can’t wait til your book is out!

    • http://tcavey.blogspot.com/ TCAvey

      Thanks for the compliment, Barb. You’re the one blessed with the ability to ask tough questions and get at the heart of a matter. I’m honored to know you.

      • http://www.barbraveling.com/ Barb Raveling

        As I am you. :)

        • http://tcavey.blogspot.com/ TCAvey

          :)

  • http://theregoi.com/ floyd

    Those are tough questions to be sure, but I believe it is a calling to be brought to them. I’m looking forward to the release of your new book! I’m behind you all the way!

    • http://tcavey.blogspot.com/ TCAvey

      Thanks so much, Floyd. Your support and friendship mean more than words can say. I’m behind your endeavors as well. Blessings.

    • http://www.reflectionsfromthealley.org/ Dave Arnold

      Me too Floyd! It’s incredible to have such a group of like-minded people here.

      • http://tcavey.blogspot.com/ TCAvey

        I know I feel very blessed to know such wonderful people.

  • http://thomasemason.net/ Thomas Mason

    About a year and a half ago, I too was doubting my faith and wondering where was God and why didn’t he care about me. I realized that my past relationship with him was that of keeping rules and doing the right things. I realized that mindset was getting me nowhere. I needed to pursue a relationship with him, not just ensure I was being good enough. No one is good enough and trying to make sure of that is a complete waste of time and effort.

    • http://tcavey.blogspot.com/ TCAvey

      Thanks for your honesty, Thomas (reminds me of your recent post). God is working in you and using you. I’m excited to see where God takes you and how He uses you to further His kingdom.
      God bless and have a great week.

    • http://www.reflectionsfromthealley.org/ Dave Arnold

      Thanks for sharing this Thomas. Love what you say, “No one is good enough and trying to make sure of that is a complete waste of time and effort.” I struggled with this for so long. It’s hard to break out of the cultural and worldly “performance” mindset forced upon us in school, at home, etc.

  • Brandy

    Woohoo. This book is interesting and a thinker! TC Avey does not go wrong in following God’s lead to speak through truth through a wonderful fiction story. TC shows how creative God is while at the same time encouraging readers to take a deeper look, to draw nearer to God. I am inspired.

    • http://tcavey.blogspot.com/ TCAvey

      Thanks, Brandy. Your encouragement means a great deal to me. Seeing God work in you and mature you is a blessing to me and many others. Keep pressing in and God won’t disappoint you.

      Thanks also for the tweet. Much appreciated.

  • http://sparkvoice.wordpress.com/ DS

    Alley’s freak me out to be honest. I always feel like my head has to be on a swivel for protection. In your illustration, an alley of persecution, it’s imperative that we’re aware of our world, what’s taking place, and how we can impact it.

    • http://tcavey.blogspot.com/ TCAvey

      Once, I was in New Orleans (not during Marti Gras) and needed to go through an alley to meet up with some friends. I was scared, even though it was a well populated alley and there was a police officer nearby.
      Alleys can be scarey, we must know who we can trust (God) and be able to recognize His voice. That means having a relationship with Him and not just a religion we follow. We must rely upon the Cross.
      Have a blessed day, DS

      • http://www.reflectionsfromthealley.org/ Dave Arnold

        Good story, TC. A lot of places in New Orleans is scary :) . Really, following Jesus can be scary because it requires death: death to self. But in that there is life. Amazing, really.

        • http://tcavey.blogspot.com/ TCAvey

          Seems ironic, but you’re right, We find our lives by dying to them. God’s way is beyond our reasoning.

    • http://www.reflectionsfromthealley.org/ Dave Arnold

      David: I used to walk through an alley on my way to work when I lived in Chicago (but it was always during the day :) . I designated it “my alley” because I observed all the brokenness in it – the broken glass, the grit, etc., and it reminded me of my life and the fallen world we live in. And yet, there was always some beauty I would discover: a flower pot hanging from a back porch, etc, which would remind me of God’s grace amid the grittiness of the alley. It was I often say God is most at work in the alley. Are they safe? Not really. Lucy asked this of Aslan in The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. “Is He safe?”
      “Safe? Of course He isn’t safe. But He’s good.”

  • Ceil

    Hi TC! Your question list is a very good one. I think I’ve heard at least some them at one time or another from people who struggle with faith. But how can we be ‘grow-ups in faith’ unless we face those kinds of doubts?

    I think the answers to those questions changes as we change. Hopefully we get closer and closer to the truth, and our answers become more satisfying and in line with our Lord. It’s great that your book has some scenarios and questions to think about, and meditate on. That’s how I grow. I suppose that’s how most of us do.
    Blessings on your new book!
    Ceil

    • http://tcavey.blogspot.com/ TCAvey

      I agree, Ceil. I think part of growing up/ maturing in Christ is asking ourselves this type of questions.

      It’s my hope/prayer that my book will help people mature.

      Have a wonderful week.

  • http://billgrandi.com/ Bill (cycleguy)

    Your questions are questions I have asked over a long period of time as I have come out of legalism and basked in the free air of grace. I’m glad I did although I never had that “dark night of the soul.” I knew it would rock my world and everything I was comfortable with, but I have absolutely no regrets.

    • http://tcavey.blogspot.com/ TCAvey

      Praise God you came out of legalism and into grace for now God is using you to help others do the same, Bill!

      Asking these type of questions will certainly rock your world and make you uncomfortable, but it certainly is worth it if one will keep pressing on despite the discomfort. God will answer!
      Matt 7:7-8