Thanks Kev, and keep it coming, my friends, if you have more to share. I liken my dilemma to this: As a young child, and still learning, I'm out for a walk with my dad (yeah, like that really happened), anyway, I say, "Daddy, look how green our grass is!" He responds, "Well, son...yes, it does look green, but the color you're seeing is really only a secondary color created by the blue and yellow primary colors used to make it appear green".
Hmmm...interesting, John. Maybe I'm locked into a certain way of thinking on things that I really didn't think mattered much, or that I thought everyone was on the same page with within Christendom. I think I'll end up having to print this thread out from yesterday and on. I don't comprehend some things all that well. I'm a great problem solver of the worldly things, but often scratch my head on topics like these.
Not just by parents, but the liberal population, and even our own government has, or is trying to label bible based Christianity as a hate group...dangerous and to be monitored closely. Follow the megachurch outline of feel good, all is good, you're all awesome and Heavenbound, sermons, or face public outrage, backlash, and empty money plates for preaching lies, hate, and uncomfortable things that people no longer want to hear or confront. I am awesome...I am good...don't hurt my feelings, and don't scare me by talking about this sin and hell stuff...that was your father's preaching and not for today's world.
...and Ladybug, I will read the freewill theology type link that you pointed to, as well as 1517's Luther reference, and I think there was one other link somewhere for recommended reading. I've always promised myself that I would always keep an open mind and look at everything honestly. No, I don5 lean on my own understanding...thay would be foolish of me. I accept anything God says whether this finite mind understands, or my human nature and thought process agrees or not. God knows all, God knows best, and God is far and away smarter than I am, so what He says, goes. I'm just not at the level of understanding many of you seem to be on a couple of issues. I think many of you have had a lifetime to think, and study, and process, and maybe even grew up in the church and Christian homes...I didn't have those advantages, or the advantage of time itself. A work in progress, and out of all the places I could have landed, I'm glad I landed here...
...for sure, but struggle to process things not happening how I thought? I'm not sure if I'll end up being labelled an heretic because I can't process this at some point so I must not have the Spirit within me for understanding, as someone inferred...that's How I read it anyway, but isn't the bottom line that we love Him, are faithful to Him, do our best to emulate Him, fulfill the great comission, and love others as He loves us, or at least do our very best to? Thanks again to all for the time invested, the friendly nature of the responses, and for each part of the body that you energize.
Say someone new stopped by today and gave their testamony. Somewhere in there is the usual, I accepted, I turned my life over to, I surrendered, etc. Guaranteed the person would start receiving correction pretty quick. If God's Spirit is the one who gives us the ability to believe in the first place, after being drawn to Him, isn't it impossible to explain to someone how we were saved or put any date on it unless after that drawing, we acted? Oh, and let me clear something up. Seems it seems I'm doubting if I'm saved...no, just confused about what I read here because if it's something that just happens, just the opposite of what I. Actually let me stop short and just say this: My lifestyle and my thoughts are far removed from who and what I was...far removed. I was miraculously delivered from many heavy things most never experience, and it's also a miracle that I'm even alive, not rotting in prison for life, etc. I've always known God was working in my life...drawing me, but it wasn't until I gave up, gave in, and surrendered, or so I thought, that the major changes took place. I'm a completely new man today, but because of all I came out from, have my mental struggles that I'm pretty good at not acting out on. Everything has changed...everything, so I know I'm saved,
Thanks Kev. I noticed a couple of times in this thread, the word 'edifying" was used...very true. A lot of great information. I haven't had time yet to go through everything again, but will. I completely agree...God draws us in and gives us the ability to act; to believe, and brings us to repentance by giving us the ability to comprehend who He is, what He did, how much He loves us, etc. What I think I'm hearing is that once God draws us in, and opens our eyes, etc, then, after that point it's ok to make statements like, "I surrendered my life to, I...whatever? Most can point to dates, times, and years of their becoming born again, so I'm just not getting how that's even possible, if on that day, you didn't verbalize a commitment, belief, and surrender of some sort. Nobody was just walking down a sidewalk and got zapped and was just saved out of the blue and unexpectedly.
The reason I waited so long to even bring this up is because I can't remember a time when the topic ever went well, but I guess it all depends on how all interact with each other. This thread was great example of how every conversation could and should go, but I also know it only takes one or two to infect and make a good thing turn south.
Thanks Dolores. When it comes to sin itself, I'm hyper-sensitive to it and always catch every little thing, try not to do it again, but some are more difficult for me to get rid of than others. Not really things that take an action so much, but thoughts, or instances where I'm being selfish with my time, and even a hipocrite at times when I do the same things I might frown on others doing, etc. Yes, anyone claiming to be saved while still living in sin as a lifestyle...thats troublesome. I think I might have given a wrong impression because of something Kev said...I can't say I doubt being saved, really, but I have a lot of trouble processing some things said here concerning how and when someone is saved which have caused me more and more concern over the years after hearing it over and over. As a result, my thoughts have been...If believing, repenting, surrendering, and dedicating is wrong, because they are actions on my part, then how does this work exactly? : ) I get what everyone is saying, in part, but I have to read things over a few more times to soak it all in. I don't really have all of the followup questions I thought I would because everyone was so generous with their time and contributions, so thanks. I do have a couple, but will wait until I read things o
...boss, I helped her move out one night that week while he was working, she moved into the same house as me, but a separate bedroom, and we were married shortly after. That lasted about 5yrs. The reason I'm relating it is because it speaks to a much larger picture of why it's so hard to break away from the emotional and "supernatural happenings" within the movement and go back to "boring" and normal. No easy thing to come out of it, for sure.
Women preachers are all over Vegas and California as a part of the Charismatic movement, and considered perfectly fine and normal, preachers, and ministry leaders. The faith healers and prosperity preachers rely upon the Charismatics wanting to be obediant and faithful. Say to almost any Charismatic, "God told me you are to do this, or give that", and they will do just that rather than risk defying God. I don't know if I ever related this, but I met one of my ex's in Vegas, Karie. She was all-in, and full on Charismatic around the same time I became one and afterwards, she went on to head two fairly large ministrys. As an example of what I said earlier, keep in mind that I barely knew her, and had only seen her a handful of times. I thought she was beautiful and wouldn't have minded getting to know her. Well, one night she was over at the churche's house I was living at, and she asked if she could speak to me. We walked outside, sat on the front steps, and there was an awkward silence for a moment...she seemed nervous for some reason. Then it happened, she simply said, "God told me that were suppose to get married". I was shocked to say the least, but long story short, I didn't want to disobey God, so we got married. She worked at a casino at the time, lived with a pit
...us "choosing" Him, and dead wrong. So again, how is one to know when, and how it even happened if we play absolutely no role, even after His Spirit opens our eyes to belief? I know these are big questions. Hopefully I made sense, and don't misunderstand, I'm not trying to argue...Im trying to grasp.
Backing up to 1517's explanation of His Spirit giving us the ability to believe...fine, makes perfect sense, but that's still followed up with the acts of surrendering, repenting, believing, and dedicating which most always say is wrong, regardless, because they are acts of the will. Another issue with that logic is that it seems it would also apply to anyone at all who believes in the God of the bible, and His complete and inerrant Word if anyone and everyone who believes was given that ability by Him in the first place...any denomination, etc., and is the evidence of ones salvation. Before arriving here, I never doubted my salvation for even a moment, but over the years, I've often wondered if I have the "formula" right because if I wasn't re-born due to my own surrender, repentance, belief, and dedication, then when did it happen, how did it happen, or even, did it happen. Summarizing: if we truly do nothing, how is anyone able to provide born again years, dates, and times, how did it happen, and how do you know it even happened if an act of the will has nothing to do with anything? Going off of Luther's Bondage of the Will scenario, even with God's Spirit giving us the ability to believe, many here still claim that an intangible act on our parts, afterwards, is still u
Thanks for some interesting responses. They were all highly valuable, but 1517's was a new thought for me, and I'm trying to process it. Here's why I'm even asking: Since I've been around, I've often seen people getting scolded, or corrected, depending on who they are/were whenever they were to say, "I surrendered my life to Christ", or similar, you know what I mean...an intangible act of the will. The responses are often: You're not really saved if you think you did something and God needs our help, you foolish Arminian. (basically). One of my curiosities is this: Most here, I would guess, can point someone to the year, day, where they were, and what they were doing as their new birth day. Nobody wakes up one morning, sits up, rubs their eyes, and all wide-eyed says, "What the? I can't believe it...I'm saved!" Seems to me that the sole reason anyone is able to pinpoint their new birth day is because they did something...they surrendered, repented, believed, dedicated.
I'll have a follow-up comment/question for tomorrow that'll be piggybacking off of a response, in part, that I'll be real interested in reading the responses to, and which should open a nice, big can of vegemite...ha-ha Not now, done for the night and need to figure out how to word it anyway.