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Archive for September, 2010

Pyromaniacs blogger Dan Phillips hit what I needed to read in a comment of a recent post on Charismatics…all credit to him and NOT to me, but I have to quote this comment completely:

“Everyone has good days, bad days. Sometimes you feel close to God, sometimes you don’t. The feelings are not God talking to you. There is no Scriptural warrant to turn your eyes away from the (hel-lo?) Word of God to reading tea-leaves, feelings, chicken-livers, or events. That message was so clear that an admitted non-Christian emailed me that he got it.

So, suffering Christian who is walking with the Lord to the best of your knowledge of Scripture, your experiences of trials and treachery and pain are not God telling you that He has rejected you. Look to Jesus, look to God’s word. Jesus saves, signs and portents don’t. Stand on Him and His Word.

And, despairing Christian who knows the same gloom and darkness of Spirit — in spite of walking in faith and obedience — which David, Luther, Spurgeon and countless others knew, those feelings are not God telling you He has rejected you. Look to Christ, look to God’s word. Jesus saves, He is what matters — not how saved or loved you feel.

God rejected Job’s comforters then, and He rejects them now. Supposed Christians will tell you (as you see here) that your tragedies are some sort of extra-biblical revelation, or that (as here) if you admit your suffering aloud there’s something wrong with you, and maybe you need drugs.

The truth: you can suffer while loved by God, and while in the will of God (1 Peter 1:6; 2:20-25; 4:16-19). Fix your hope completely on God’s mercy at Christ’s return (1 Peter 1:13). Your trials will turn to joy and glory (2 Corinthians 4:16-18).

Never lose sight of Him.”

http://teampyro.blogspot.com/2010/09/good-news-from-far-country.html

Good post too….

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Youthfront has a Spiritual Formation “school?”  I am linking an article with big claims about having a meal together and community.  I just have to say that you CAN have community without Christ.  You can.  You can budget, plan a meal, and become interdependent without Christ.  It happens in communes, it happens with college groups, it happens in families, it happens in cults, it happens in other religions and other cultures.  It’s not inherently Christian (or whatever Youth Front people are calling themselves these days) to eat together and plan and budget meals.  It can be a good thing to do, but it can also be a very dangerous thing to do. 

Link to the article here:  http://youthfront.com/_blog/Youthfront_School_of_Formation

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I read several blogs and also read some fb comments from friends out there who are Baptist, Lutheran (very conservative), Presbyterian of the reformed style, Calvinists, Arminian (at least one staunch one), Catholic, Nazarene,and non-denominational garbledy gook (some might be emergent/seeker driven puposey peoples…others don’t buy that garbage).   I grew up attending the nearest Protestant church because I was from a broken home, so much of what I believe had to be discovered in the Bible.  I did go to youth meetings in high school and Navigators in college.  I was taught altar calls, the bridge illustration, say a prayer and accept Jesus in your heart, get baptised at birth but no…get baptised after you accept Jesus.  I was taught you have to be born again but you shouldn’t share your religion.  I was taught win, build, send and do and go.  I was taught  believe, receive, and confess.  I was taught so many things, and believed some of them.  I was taught Jesus lives in my heart and cleans up the closets.  I was taught to surrender to him, and trust him.  I loved Jesus and did believe in him from an early age, and yet I knew I could not be perfect enough for him.

Growing up in a family who drinks and cusses, who beat me and called me stupid (followed by cuss words) and who exposed me to rated R movies with sex, rape, violence, and the like…I struggled as a Christian girl.  I was very immature in my faith, but was strong willed about my belief in Christ.  Somehow, despite my environment, I knew I had to beleive and trust Christ.  I prayed every day and night before sleep.  I read through my bible and sought other believers.  I sought older women to try to learn.  I joined bible study groups.  I fought every chance I got to be the Christian I had to be.  I failed a lot at perfection, and yet knew I was forgiven.

So my husband and I married in our immaturity and began our family.  We joined bible studies and attended church.  Non-denoms attracted us because of the mix of protestants.  We were careful to go to the classes for membership and asked questions.  We found a church that proclaimed what we believed.  Trinity, Jesus died and resurrected, the Father created, the Holy Spirit was sent as a deposit.  To be a Christian one needed to believe in Christ, repent of sins and pray to Jesus.  I believed this was important, still believe you should acknowledge Christ and come to him in humility…begging for his mercy.  I do believe God is the one who does the work and saves. 

Our non-denom was quickly becoming a purpose driven nightmare, and was leaning into spiritual formation.  This stuff blew us out of that church.  Now I am trying to figure things out.  I read all these different articles and comments.  Some insist on being Reformed, and I think this has merit, we need to go back to the bible for our doctrine.  Some insist on the baptism of babies, some insist communion has the presence of Christ.  Some don’t want songs to come from a human perspective (Jesus I Adore You would be too man centered for these…it’s about the person’s feelings and not Christ).  I see all these things and cannot decide if we’re doing the right or wrong going to a baptist church that seems to have reformed leanings. 

I just want to get back to basics, clean and free.  I know it’s not about feelings and yet my feelings are flat.  I need desperately to get into the bible.  I find when I’m reading the bible I’m still analysing things.  I do enjoy my time in the scriptures, but I don’t feel free yet.  I still feel the former church and the errors haunt.  What church best represents Christ and best preaches the bible as the Father would like?  Where should we make our home?  Are we there?  Am I wrong to want friendship with beleivers?  I want to socialize and love and be loved.  I want to feel good when I’m in church.  I want to feel like I’m getting closer to home.  I want to feel that music is not just part of the menu but is meaningful.  So much gets in the way.  I want my spirit to be comforted.  I want peace.  I want peace.  I want peace.

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I recall the venom my former pastor spit at us(not literally, ick, that would have been a sight) when my husband and I gave him a letter that connected dots.  It went from pastor’s sermons to those they quoted to others those quoted to heretical beliefs.  Rick Warren didn’t even bother to quote a person who quoted a person today on twitter, he lead his followers straight to Henri Nouwen.  Hiddenness is the place of purification. In hiddenness we find our true selves” -Nouwen   Funny that, our former church not only quoted Rick Warren and Dallas Willard, but they have implimented the programs.  Now, with Warren and Willard both being into people who into mysticism…I know my dots were rightly connected.  Sadly, my former pastor tried to hide those connections, tried to make my husband and me look like liars, even called us liars “from the pit of hell.”   Very sad. 

Adam and Eve hid when they sinned.  Of course, I could be taking Nouwen out of context, you see, I have no idea what book that quote comes from.  So, he might be talking about something  good, but it’s such a short quip.  Sounds bad though to me.  The point is Nouwen’s work and quotes show his mysticm, show his affinity for Buddist ideas.  No place for a Christian.

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