As a minister in my former church/congregation, I would frequently use the term ‘Spiritual paradise,’ which gave the membership an adverb to describe the feeling of being home spiritually. It is not a phenomenon exclusive to one denomination, it is what we feel when we are fulfilling our part in the advancement of the good news of salvation through Christ (Matthew 28:19,20) and we feel strong and protected in a difficult world. We abstain from most sin, we are regular in attendance with our local church (Hebrews 10:23-25), we also feel that we have fully responded to our calling in life (John 6:44) having made clear our acceptance of Gods invitation through Christ.
We know we are in a healthy relationship with God that is like a tree planted by streams of water (Psalms 1:1-3) as we read from Gods word on a daily (or almost daily) basis and through acquiring knowledge of the Father and the Son, we get to know the personality and expectations of both (John 17:3). We are astounded by Gods great patience (1 Timothy 2:3,4) and Jesus example of mercy, forgiveness and self-sacrifice. Like any good book or movie, we get a clearer understanding of what the author intended to communicate with us. We learn of how ‘The Law’ was given to a recently freed people of Israel to help them shed Egyptian ideologies and return Israel to pure worship. We learn how they were instructed to Never amend their own rules to ‘The Law’ or ignore any part that was inconvenient to them (Deuteronomy 4:2). We see clearly how Christ Jesus updates this arrangement to fit all of humanity and pushes for love of God and neighbor above all other laws (Matthew 22:37-39). We read the closing words to all of Biblical scripture found in the book of Revelations 22:18-21 where Jesus echoes the words that accompanied ‘The Law’ in Deuteronomy 4:2, when he makes clear that no one is to amend their own rule or custom to the Bible, much less omit any of its words that are inconvenient at the time.
The Crisis of Faith occurs when our specific denomination of Christianity completely disregards scripture and begins to impose supposedly ‘necessary’ rules and amendments to the load that Christ partly came to Earth to make lighter on worshippers of God (Matthew 11:28-30). They completely ignore or twist scripture to suit an agenda of authoritative control over Jesus flock. While on Earth, Jesus Christ would encounter holier than thou teachers of ‘The Law’ that would beat on the faith of Gods people with their amended customs, traditions and twisting of The Law (Isaiah 29:13,14) (Matthew 15:8,9) (Matthew 11:29,30). A Crisis of Faith is the burden which comes with coming to an exact knowledge (John 17:3) of scripture by very simply and faithfully reading once and again a book that is shorter than most series dominating best-seller list are and finding what is read to be in direct conflict with what is required by ones church. It is also a great blessing to be able to sit at your church/congregation listening to an imperfect teachers sermon and be in on the TRUE context of any Biblical passage quoted. Calling said teacher out on ignoring the context of the passage and attempting to turn scripture into high school Shakespeare is a conversation for another day. Who knew a Crisis of Faith could be such a good thing (John 8:32) (John 4:2,4).
Would a bad church/congregation experience justify our leaving Christendom altogether? Absolutely not, more on that later.