invite jesus into your heart

i hear this statement from time to time. i'm just wondering, what if i did,

sincerely & earnestly over several years, & nothing happened? what if
another spiritual experience came much more easily & struck me as
equally profound as yours did? why do you assume that if i do what you
did, i'll have the same results? in short, why must my experience of the
divine be the same as yours?

regards,
jf

the "you're communicating with demons" argument often goes along with
this & is very frustrating. really? are you a demonology expert all the
sudden?

"oh yeah? what you think is JESUS is really a DEMON!!!! so there!"

sorry, just grumpy & ranting today.

This is just nonsense.  You definition of a fundamentalist Bludhall is a person who believes Jesus was resurrected.  That is either true or it is not. It is not true and untrue based on each individual's opinion on the matter.  Likewise, Jesus is either alive and influencing Christians today or he is not. 



What is really ridiculous is that you still try to hold on to Jesus even though you reject that he was God.  Think about all the things he said that you are a giving a pass to.  He claimed to forgive sins.  He claimed to be the sole path to God.  He demanded loyalty to himself against one's own family and on pain of death.  He preached hell for those who were not his disciples.  Where is the so-called awakening you are talking about in all of this?  There is no middle ground with Jesus.  You have to totally avoid the Bible to come up with a middle ground.  The four gospels are in reality the only sources we have for the life of Jesus.  Accepting their claims makes sense.  Rejecting their claims makes sense.  Picking and choosing a small portion of their claims as it suits you is just tin god idolatry.  When your vision of Jesus just happens to agree with you in reality you are just remaking Jesus over in your own image. 



It is the height of personal arrogance to think that you need a special esoteric path back to God and that you are too unique or sophisticated to need the same patch that lowly illiterates took. 

" The four gospels are in reality the only sources we have for the life of
Jesus."

unfortunately they don't entirely agree with each other, which leaves lots
of wiggle room. back to my original point, let's say hypothetically you
had a religious experience which contradicted mainline christianity &
parts of the bible. the experience does, however, gel with other
scriptures that were actively suppressed. would you deduce that a) god
allowed demons to put an incorrect vision in your head, or b) orthodox
christianity contains some errors that you cannot reconcile, & is not for
you?

p.s. black sabbath is the greatest metal band of all time.

jarrod, the 4 gospels are supplements to each other and they harmonize with each other. You should read the book of acts and look for a church or a group of people receiving the same experience when being born again. being reborn is a supernatural experience, an experience that completely changes you...

"It is the height of personal arrogance to think that you need a special
esoteric path back to God and that you are too unique or sophisticated to
need the same patch that lowly illiterates took."

can't speak for blud, but i don't believe this. i think it is arrogant to think
any one way is the only way.

for instance, i can't wrestle for sh*t. i live in the midwest, where there is
no shortage of high-level wrestlers. so to develop my takedown game,
should i try & catch up to all these wreslters, when it's not natural to me,
or learn judo? i can learn judo without thinking it superior to wrestling.

it's just a better fit for me.

likewise there are things in christianity that i cannot accept, try as i might.

however, i've seen people who have really turned their lives around for the
better with christianity, & hey, more power to them.

rooster, if you read the synoptic gospels side by side, you will see
differences. i will try & dig up some examples tonight.

here's the thing, i believe in the supernatural experience you describe.

how is it more valid than non-orthodox divine experiences? also, how are
experiences i've only read about more valid or real than one's i've actually
experienced?

jf

[edit for typo]

Jarrod, I think you've discovered the danger in basing your faith on emotionalism.

do go on.

"a person who believes Jesus was resurrected. That is either true or it is not."

Word

Jarrod,



Unfortunately many Christian sects are to blame for this viewpoint, but Christianity was never meant to be about personal experiences of God.  That is one of the reasons I don't like phrases like "personal savior" and "accept Jesus into your heart".  The truth of Christianity always lies in communion and that means Church (however a particular Christian may define that in our current state of disunity).  The biblical pattern for conversion is repent, be baptized, and receive the Holy Spirit and you need the Church to do those things properly.



Now every person is going to experience God in a unique way because every person is unique and is uniquely "ill" in sin.  But the path carved out for wellness is the same basic plan for everybody. 



This is not to say that people don't have powerful emotional experiences from other things.  I have no doubt that for instance the vision quests of the Native Americans were very powerful life-altering experiences.  Sometimes plain old Christianity won't even compare to those spiritual highs.  But the difference is in the purpose.  Many spiritual paths are full of intensity but they don't really go anywhere.  Christianity is supposed to be a therapy for sin sickness so its not about thrills.  Many Christians do have powerful experiences, but this is usually rare and after a lot of hammering away at daily spiritual discipline in states of dryness.  God doesn't want people to love him based on the same psychology as an adrenaline junky. 

I agree with Ridgeback's general point here. I find nothing intrinsically wrong with any particular sect, including Ridgeback's, claiming they may have a better understanding of Christianity (or God's will or whatever) and that they may have honed closer to "the truth." Bully for them if they can make a good case for their stance. So I don't see anything inherently invalid with Ridgeback making the case some other forms of Christianity are off the tracks.

In fact, if there is "truth" to Christianity that can be known in any important way, it seems odd to deny that some sects might be getting it "more right" than other sects.

What I tend to disagree with is more the position that anyone holds the Absolute Truth - that they can not be wrong. (And often enough this happens within Christianity, because it's like the interpreter forgets his own position in the process and imagines God speaking scripturally, directly and clearly with no interpretation necessary).

Prof.

LOL at that being like an adrenaline junky.  The people I am thinking of are not the ascetic types.  The powerful mystical experiences of Orthodox monastics come through daily discipline and denial.  But why should I be surprised that you have once again twisted what I wrote. 

Bludhall, in looking at the lives of well-known Christian mystics, they universally had such mystical experiences as a result of years of discipline, orthodoxy, prayer and good works.

Unfortunately many Christian sects are to blame for this viewpoint, but Christianity was never meant to be about personal experiences of God. That is one of the reasons I don't like phrases like "personal savior" and "accept Jesus into your heart". The truth of Christianity always lies in communion and that means Church (however a particular Christian may define that in our current state of disunity). The biblical pattern for conversion is repent, be baptized, and receive the Holy Spirit and you need the Church to do those things properly.

Excellent point Ridge. This is the key to understanding the truth's of the faith.

jarrod: rooster, if you read the synoptic gospels side by side, you will see differences. i will try & dig up some examples tonight.

me: differences...yes. disagreements...no. My brother in law was in a bad accident...his version of what happened was different the the truck driver that hit them, as well as his buddy in the passenger seat and the cop. Each told the same story a little differently. each focused on a different aspect of the story, leaving some information in or outl

you: here's the thing, i believe in the supernatural experience you describe. how is it more valid than non-orthodox divine experiences? also, how are experiences i've only read about more valid or real than one's i've actually experienced?

me: I'm not sure I understand you. Our experiences with God take place in the natural and supernatural. Some manifest in the natural a greater propensity of supernaturalism (healing, speaking in tongues, etc.) then maybe just a "good feeling" while praying. It doesn't discount those less dramatic experiences...they are just different.

The validity is based on the biblical pattern. taking drugs as a means of spiritual enlightenment is not part of the biblical pattern. It doesn't mean it's not a valid supernatural experience, it's just not a biblically valid supernatural experience. I crave biblical experiences...I'm unsure of, or reject non biblical supernatural experiences.

blud: Rooster the gospels are not uniform at all, thats the first thing you learn in history class about the bible.

me: I didn't say they were not "uniform". I said in response to jarrod's affirmation (they disagree) that they don't. see above.

you: They ceratinly do not think they are historical records and if they are then so are the gnostic gospels.

me: what a silly assertion. they are a documentation of history. They record the historical birth of Jesus, the historical calling of his disciples, his historical ministry, in historical places. These were written just after Jesus' death. The gnostic gospels were repudiated by Paul and John (and Jesus in principle as well as the OT) and were written as pseudo gospels much later then the gospels. There emphasis on matter being evil makes them much more suspect as "history" (as well as their later penning, pseudo authors etc.

you: What makes something a historical record is its value as a window on that world, not whether or not it conforms to your beleif system. Thats the difference between academic study of religion and religious.

me: really? So the x-men, the fantastic four, etc. are historical?

ridge: Unfortunately many Christian sects are to blame for this viewpoint, but Christianity was never meant to be about personal experiences of God. That is one of the reasons I don't like phrases like "personal savior" and "accept Jesus into your heart". The truth of Christianity always lies in communion and that means Church (however a particular Christian may define that in our current state of disunity). The biblical pattern for conversion is repent, be baptized, and receive the Holy Spirit and you need the Church to do those things properly.

me: I actually think that these are complimentary. Through repentance, through baptism (uniting with Jesus) through receiving His spirit, you are in fact having a personal experience with god and accepting His as your savior and He is living in you...

blud: But they are not considered uniform or accurate as they are not considered to be writtien by the people you think wrote them, they were writtien over time by groups not individuals, and copied and recopied. In addition we don't have any complete versions of the earliest ones, we have pieces.

me: I'm calling "Bull Spit" on this. Ummm...cite me your source, who the group or individual is and what there background is.

I studied "redaction theory" in college in my New Testament class and I would affirm that historians no longer hold to a redaction perspective of the NT. All you have to do is read the earliest disciples of the disciples to see that they quoted from these very gospels or named them by name!

And also cite who said they were not "accurate" (individual or group) there background, oh, and their ax they bring to grind (Jesus Seminar, etc.)

you: Who cares what paul and John or even Ringo thinks about them, i am discussing them as historical documents and the gnostics documents are every bit as historical as the synpotic gospels, they are mostly written down in the 1st century AD and were around long before that in verbal form. and as i have said before many times, gnostic is a word used by people with an agenda to discredit a whole range of religious groups so trying to say Gnostic is this is pointless. Its everything from the "god is evil " guy to the Gospel of thomas.

me: who cares what Paul said? Well: 1) Peter...who called Paul's writings "SCRIPTURE" which meant he viewed them as authoritative and divine as the Old Testament he revered. 2) Paul cared. He was brutally stoned and eventually martyred, based on his claim and testimony that he saw the risen Lord and He told Paul to proclaim the gospel to the gentiles. 3) Luke cared. Luke wrote about the historical birth of the NT church. In it he states the testimony of Aninas (an early Christian Jew who was initially opposed to ministering to Paul). 5) the earliest Christian communities who revered Paul as an apostle 6) early Christian leaders who cite Paul's letters as SCRIPTURE.

So, tell me, what gnostic gospels have this same endorsement?

you: And if you don't like following the work of pseudo authors you might just wanna check out a biblical archeology and history class sometimes becasues guess what, severl of you synoptic gospels are actually not conisderd to be writtien by who you guys claim and they have some pretty damned good proof for it.

me: I have and no they didn't. what courses did you take and where? I had my courses at William Jewell college taught by very liberal religious professors including those who taught redaction theory.

Here's a link to 2 of my college professors:

http://www.amazon.ca/Rereading-Bible-Introduction-Biblical-Story/dp/0136742769/sr=1-1/qid=1168032661/ref=sr_1_1/702-6313985-8019268?ie=UTF8&s=books

you: Course you only listen to facts when it supports your position but i kinda like facts to speak for themselves. Also do you really feel if a gospel is first writtne down 10 or 20 years later its that much less relevant?

me: I would suggest that my background is actually much more "open" then yours. Again, if you look at the link above, I studied, argued and debated extremely liberal theologians who supported your view and passed their tests, which required spouting their theories. Have you studied under conservative theologians, passed their courses, etc. having to have studied the more traditional view of the gospels...or are you against just spouting off the hip?

you: If you ever took the time to look at the books not included in the bible, the gnosticd gospels and other heretical issues you would see exactly why they were banned and repudiated and purged. Mostly they deny the authority of the church, you know sorta like you protestants did.

me: Again, I have. My own modalist views are considered heretical. I think you need to pay a little closer attention to the debates here.

you If the protesteant reformation had happened in 300 ad or 500 ad it would have been a heretical target and so would all of you evangelicals.

me: I'm not sure what this means, except you show an astounding ability to generalize, accuse others of having your own scholastic limitations, and don't really know what you are talking about.

?? Um...Peter was a devout Jew. He did not worship anyone but Jesus. He viewed the OT as holy scripture and did not view Moses, Abraham and others as God. I'm not sure where you extrapolated that but you need to keep these things in your back pocket ;-)

Methinks you make things up my funny friend.