Have you ever felt like good Christians were perfect?
Well, you won't find that here. I'm Trey Murray and I want to tell you about The Only Bible because while I'm not perfect, God designed me to be a witness to His grace and a reflection to His glory. I need Jesus for exactly the same reason you do (and everyone else for that matter).
Before I knew Jesus, I thought the same thing. I thought people who were Christians had it all together. I thought that I had to be as perfect as they seemed before I could experience the joy and abundant life they seemed to have.
Boy, was I wrong!
Then, I thought those who sinned were hypocrites. I concluded that Christians who failed to follow in Christ's steps were con-men. They didn't act like the old saying people quoted about The Only Bible. I declared that I knew enough to know I didn't want to be a part of it at all.
But I learned the truth. Church is a hospital for broken people, and every Christian is a human. They were hypocrites because hypocrisy is a human trait. Those who claimed the sacrifice made by Jesus to cover their sins weren't hypocritical though, they were forgiven! Now I want to educate you about The Only Bible.
The long and winding road
As a child, my parents professed a faith in Christ, but I rarely saw any real evidence for their faith. We would go to church infrequently and for a time, I was even sent to ride the bus to church and home. I rarely paid attention to the stories there and despised those who seemed so happy at church.
It felt like school on the weekend. There was memorization, and angry adults, and mean kids. We had to stand up and participate in singing and marching. It felt like Physical Education and history class all rolled into one and forced upon us for a couple of hours every Sunday.
Meanwhile, adults sat and drank coffee, some even sleeping in the nearby sanctuary. None of them seemed to care about The Only Bible quote. They all seemed to be friends at church, but never saw or talked to each other outside of the church doors.
I hated everything about it. These early experiences with church tainted my view for years and kept me from taking Christianity seriously once I started junior high.
Adolescence or chasing after the wind
Once I hit junior high, I looked for the wrong crowd. I wanted to fit in so bad, I tried smoking, I harassed girls, and I refused to turn in my assignments. I was so tired of being seen as the 'nerd', I was willing to do anything for the love of my classmates.
I began reading Stephen King novels because people said they were evil. I researched the occult and celtic rituals. I wanted to know everything that wasn't Christian because I knew how those people were, and I didn't want to be them.
I quickly found all of my endeavors lacking. Nothing would give me the answers I was looking for. I saw that the Christian students seemed to be more successful and more confident, and I wanted those traits. I wanted to know about The Only Bible.
I joined the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), being neither a Christian nor an athlete. I thought if I could understand them, maybe I could be like them. They were all really nice to me, but I could tell I did not fit in. Some of them even acted like they knew about The Only Bible quote. Eventually, I quit attending the meetings. It was about this time, I developed various addictions.
Happiness in slavery
I enslaved myself to sin. I didn't deny myself any desire that I had. From video games, to alcohol, to naughty magazines, I used them all to pursue happiness.
I tried to do other things to stop. I took ROTC for my PE credit to add extracurricular activity. I joined the basketball team as the manager. I became a cast member for the musical performance, and joined the show choir team.
I always came back to seeking happiness in fulfilling my desires. I even used other people to secure what I needed to placate the "need" I had to be happy.
No matter how hard I tried, I could never obtain happiness. It was always this elusive emotion I could never catch. In the rare occasion I did, it almost never lived up to my expectation and was gone before I could enjoy it.
A blessing and a curse
Going to college, I figured I would outgrow these pursuits. I thought if I could just be popular, happiness would follow me around and I would never feel alone, unworthy, or unwanted again.
Surprisingly, I ended up being more popular than I thought I would be in college. I met people who knew about The Only Bible quote and lived biblical principals in their daily lives. I started going to the Baptist center and even did some Evangelism Explosion training. But I was living a double life.
I had a choice of scarred and abused women that I took advantage of to be happy. Then I met my wife. She is the first and only woman I spoke to and befriended before I ever saw her face.
I met her one night at the Baptist center on campus in a chat room. She was in Kansas and I was in Arkansas. We talked on the phone every night, and shared many things about ourselves. Eventually she moved to be with me and I made the decision to ask her to marry me.
Do you take this woman and...
She said yes, and I panicked. I was sure I needed to change who I was at this point. At first it was easy. I loved her so much I thought I could just choose to love her instead of seeking my own happiness.
It didn't take long before I discovered images of other women online. My old friends had jumped from the naughty magazines to the anonymous screen. I turned my desire from my wife to these sites.
I exchanged them for my soul. I became a zombie, ever hungry for more images. She discovered my addiction and it hurt her deeply. I hated how she felt, but I was now enslaved to this new addiction.
The exhausting rouse
I played the role of loving husband and father when I was around my family, and fed my addiction when I wasn't. I was also living a double life when it came to God. I claimed to be a Christian, but secretly despised church and other Christians.
One day, my daughter asked if she could go to church with a friend. We let her go and she came home excited about the church. She asked if we could visit on Sunday. I resisted at first, but gave in to make her happy.
Sunday came and I slept in purposefully. She was so upset I made another promise to go the following Sunday on a few conditions. I refused to go to a cowboy church if I had to sit on hay or sing country music.
My wife and I went and everyone greeted us from the car to the sanctuary. I felt that the preacher was talking directly to me. I told my wife we needed to visit one more Sunday, but if I felt the same way we would join.
Joining the church
We joined the church and were encouraged to join a small group. We decided to go to the one at the preacher's house mainly because he had dinner there.
A few weeks later he asked if I would join the media team which displays the Bible verses and song lyrics on the screen. I agreed and within a few weeks, the media team leader moved his membership to a church closer to his house. I was asked to fill the role.
After about a year or two, I met a man at church and saw him again the preacher's house who loved to read. He read some of my writings and told me he enjoyed them very much.
When this man started a small group, we started going because it was held at the church on Wednesday and we were taking our daughter there at the same time.
He started having to miss and asked me to fill in a few times. Then he asked if I could take over the group altogether. I have been leading this group for about 3 years now.
The hidden sin
I was leading this group, but still continuing my hidden sin. The day I chose to come clean came in a men's group. I confessed my sin and chose to repent. The men prayed over me and I felt like I had shed the addiction.
A few months later, I found myself mired in it even deeper. I read some books and gained some more months of sobriety. I even got up and confessed to the church and asked members in the same addiction to confess and come into the truth.
Then I started feeling unloved and unworthy again. I dove deeper into the addiction. It got to where I didn't even care how anyone felt, I just wanted to be happy, and my addiction gave me happiness.
The preacher was praying one Sunday and prayed that if anyone had anything getting in the way of a relationship with God, that they would not be able to move until they prayed about it. When he came to the media booth after his sermon, I was still stuck to my chair. I confessed again, and he told me he would be holding me accountable. He asked me to put a blocker on my phone.
A new mission: about The Only Bible
God impressed on me that I needed to change my habits. I installed the blocker and had my wife create the password. I confessed my continued addiction to her and asked her to help me kick it for good.
I learned that my attitude toward her directly reflected how she treated me. I began writing her love texts whenever I thought of going back to my addiction. This has completely changed our relationship.
I felt convicted that I wasn't doing enough for God. I knew my talents lie in computer repair and web design. He convicted me about The Only Bible website and I began putting the lessons on here that I was using for the group.
Now I am looking to expand the scope to include reviews, how-to articles, informational articles, and more. I'd love for you to join me on this journey to learn about The Only Bible, the Christian. I'm far from perfect, but I'll be honest. I know firsthand that the truth has set me free!