SP: What a thread!
James: What a post!
GOD! What does the word really mean? When I hear it I picture a man all powerful, all knowing. OK so why is that what I see? Thats what I was tought to picture. I think it's odd how many churches tell a person how it is. Seems to me that a real church would show someone how to find the answer's for themselves.
James I agree! By my beliefs the picture is right as far as it goes anyway. But I came to those answers on my own not becuz someone said so. Otherwise they're his/her answers, not mine.
I have never had one church, not one, show me how to "use" my bible. They just say "The answer's your looking for are in the bible." Well great there in the bible, that does me a lot of good if I have no idea how or where to look.
James that's a shame--the shame of all those churches! That's lazy & neglectful
"spirituality" in the name of God IMNSHO!
Like, I used to get irritated when someone said about the spelling of a word, "Look it up in the dictionary." If I knew how to spell it I wouldn't need to look it up!
There are Bible commentaries (notes about the Bible & what's in it), concordances (listing many or all of the incidences of a given word in the Bible), also Bible dictionaries & encyclopedias.
So that people can "search the Scriptures" as Jesus said, for themselves. Many can be found online, and many are free.
Here's a few links, bro: http://www.blueletterbible.org/ http://bible.christiansunite.com/index.shtml http://www.internetdynamics.com/pub/vc/bibles.html
If you want James use these to look up some things
like the characteristics or attributes of God, the
power of God, the wisdom or knowledge of God.
Decide for yourself. Paint your own picture, bro, using the brushes & paints, the tools, of the Bible.
They say if you are having a problem
"Take it to God, leave it with him and let him deal with it." OK so just what does that mean? If Im having trouble with my CSA I sould take them troubles to him and give it to him and poof Im healed?
No way! Dont'cha just love
the way people who apparently have had no serious problems in their entire lives or are in total denial about them try to make things sound so easy when its so obvious they are not?!
Of course we can take things to God and He can help us with them, but they don't just go away.
God is not a magician, prayer is not magical incantations, & Bible verses are not magic pills.
At least that's the beliefs I've come to from what I've seen & experienced. FWIW.
Seems that every church I have ever gone to or watched on tv or had someone knock on my door about tells me they are the way to the truth.
Christian churches had better
believe that they are a
way to the truth; but they better be showing it by showing people the way to the truth, helping them find their own way.
Otherwise what are they taking up space for?!
Now, any church or person or group that says they have the
truth, the absolute only truth, I would avoid like the plague!
TRUTH? At this point I would like some consistency (spelling?).
Yes bro you spelled it right. Too bad so many churches & religious groups can't seem to do that.
I mean how is that; using the same bible (the king james version) that 15 different churches can have such different beliefs they teach? OK so Im told God left the bible open to interpation to each one of us.
Sometimes its a matter of different yet compatible
beliefs, interpretations, applications. Scriptures
can honestly mean a many different things, for different people in different times & situations.
But sometimes its just stuck in the mud traditions
or personal pet peeves or personality preferences.
Little to do with what the Bible actually says.
Then it is our job to read it and determan just what the words mean to us. But when you do that and start to question what is being tought to you, suddenly you need to pray for guidence. lol guidence? How do they know I didnt do that BEFORE I start looking?
Oh it gets under my skin when someone has the cast
iron nerve to ass-u-me Im not doing something then
suggests I do it, especially when I already am!
And to tell you to decide for yourself but to
"pray for guidance" when this leads you, as by definition it would, to question what you've been taught! Why tell you to read it & decide for yourself in the first place then?!
This is a violation of what I believe is the God-given right of each person to make their own choices, free will. Talk about lazy & insecure. I left one church denomination primarily becuz of just this problem. I'd leave my current one in a heartbeat if it became a problem here.
Why is it if I have questions about what the man on the stage is saying to me, it's my fault because I dont have enough faith.
Becuz the man on the stage or those who blindly listen to him are too insecure in their own faith
to have it questioned. Their faith is seriously misplaced. You'd better
have questions about what the man says! The first question being how does it match up with what the Bible says!
This is just my understanding but I don't think its as much a matter of how much faith we have as what or who we have faith in. In a Christian church faith by definition is in Christ. Period.
OK then what is "faith". Im told it's believeing in something you cant see. OK so I cant see an atom, science tells me they are there. So I buy it, is that faith? I dont think faith is quite that easy.
No faith is not that easy, at least it sure hasn't been for me! How I envy those for whom it is so simple!
Sure I have faith that atoms exist, but so what? That's not a life & death matter for me.
"Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." (Hebrews chapter 11 verse 1). Faith is believing for things
that you haven't seen & that haven't happened yet.
For Christians, this faith is founded in Christ.
But what that means for each individual life is anything but simple!
One way I think about it:
I sit in my recliner every evening with unthinking
faith that its going to hold me & not collapse. But if my life depended on that chair holding up,
I would think about it & sit carefully every time I sat. Or I would find another chair to sit in.
For me one aspect of faith is that its what I stake my life on. I've tried a lot of things and some have damn near killed me! Christ, in turn, died for me. As a Christian I stake my life on Christ. Period. Again, thats me.
Now, they say if you have "faith" then you must understand "faith without works is dead." Meaning; if you have faith in God and all he has done for you in your life you will do his work.
Fine. Agreed. So where's the beef?
Where's the faithful works of the church in helping others to find their way to faith--or not--for themselves?
Where is the faithful work of the church on behalf
in particular on behalf of male survivors of SA?
Oops; and you thot you were rambling James?!
OK so I got up on the soapbox or into my bully pulpit or whatever. I just get real aggravated with churches & church people that try to make it sound so easy when they know damned well it isn't!
Especially for us male survivors.
My mission is to do everything in my very limited power with whatever help God in His unlimited power will grant me to kick the church in its collective arse until it wakes up to the plight of male survivors, gets out of bed, and gets busy offering good teaching, support & advocacy, showing the way.
OK I'm down off the box now.
James you're right this thread can really get you going! As does your wonderful thot-provoking & very powerful post. Thank you!
Well I thot I might edit this but nah, if you guys want you can edit it for me.