You are on a journey.

Be careful !

On this journey, strange as it may seem to you now, your enemy
is not the non believer; unless they are openly antagonistic.
Respect their reservations, criticisms and understand their
concerns. Their detached form of 'realism' can at times help
provide a normalising perspective.

Before you on this journey are more deceptions than you realize
and very few sincere Christians will reach a clear and balanced
understanding of the overall teaching of Scripture.

As you journey through this wilderness you will find many
persuasive teachers and conflicting teachings. Each denomination
will present a claim to be the true representative of God. 
You have entered a land of confusion, called Christianity.

Despite this, in each church there will be sincere and devoted
members with a true desire to serve God. Many with many more
years of Christian experience and awareness of Scripture than
a new Christian.

The reality is that new Christians are usually ill equipped to
separate valuable quality teaching from erroneous or lower
quality reasonings. And once they have formed friendships,
with other like minded Christians, they will have the tendency
to 'settle'.

For those who develop a strong desire to find God,

You have two weapons.

  FIRSTLY SCRIPTURE. Do not be deceived, this weapon is not
  for the unskilled. You must try to master this weapon!
  Be advised deceptive teachers (well intentioned or not) will
  use it against you, to ensnare you in falsehood. Only a
  stronger understanding will in the long-term protect you.

  SECONDLY COMMON SENSE. Never, ever let go of it. It is
  your hold on reality. Like a compass it will actually help
  point you to God.
  Be extremely wary around those who would wish you, in the
  name of religion, to loosen your hold of it.

In your journey expect discouragement. The journey is long
and many of the friends you meet along the way will have
grown tired or comfortable, and not join you as you progress.
Be diligent and persevere.

Your enlightenment and opportunity to serve is in your hands.
Don't be overly concerned about those who fall in the wilderness
or never start on the journey. God is just, and in His due time
He will bring all before His 'Promised Land'. Nevertheless,
you yourself redeem your opportunity, that you may be amongst
those who reflect the glory of God.


Finally, some advice in regards to Scripture.

     1) Avoid becoming narrow minded. Do not make your ideas,
        your minister or your church a god! Explore the thoughts
        of others honestly, not letting your own pride prevent
        you from seeing truth.

     2) Be aware that Scripture was designed to entangle those
        who do not handle it with sufficient care. Surface
        meanings can be deceptive. The disguised use of
        symbolism has caused many to fall into error!

     3) No scriptures are to be viewed in isolation. All are
        pieces of a very complex jigsaw puzzle. In the persistent
        exercise of your faith assemble these with care, and
        expect to perceive more of the true 'face' of God.

     4) Remember always, the creator of this universe is the
        author of Scripture. That His wisdom is buried deep
        within it, out of sight of those who would treat His
        word lightly or believe in a harsh or nonsensical God.
        By this means He sifts the hearts of those who come to