Archive for the ‘experience’ Category

Belief, forgiveness, and spiritual growth are topics, today. Also, there is more on loving ones enemy. The “Yahoo! Answers” writer using ID “Jack” (Level 1 with 98 points, a member since June 24, 2012) posted the following:


Struggling with christianity helpp!?

Well a week or so I was seriously contemplating making a deal with the opposite of God (I don’t want to say his name) and I decided not to since then I have been very dedicated toi christianity and saying prayers. Do you think God will forgive me and is there any chance that I made a deal with the man in my sleep accidently if so is there anyway I can undo it. Really worried please help!


THE BATTLE AXE: Loving the Enemy (05/10/2013)—(5.) The concept of “enemy” contained within Mosaic law establishing Israel as a sovereign state is not the same as that for those who were to be utterly removed from the Promised Land, even to the slaying of women, children, and livestock. (See Deuteronomy 23: 19-20, Leviticus 25: 17-18 and 39-46, Exodus 23: 3-5, KJV). The ministry of Jesus acknowledges the promises of GOD regarding the Gentiles, and in accordance with sacred purpose, Jesus introduced broader understandings for the terms “brother,” “enemy” “family” and “neighbor.” (See Mark 3: 31-35, Luke 10: 24-34 and Ephesians 2: 11-22, King James Version.) (6.) In the same way GOD did not create sin, and sin is not a substance made from spirit, GOD created no adversary or enemy at Creation. Even so, there are those who oppose the law and rule of GOD. Such are properly called “children of disobedience,” “sinners”, “transgressors”, the unjust,” “the wicked,” and “antichrists”. The language that speaks of enemies derives from military and political thinking; and is replaced by language that speaks to spiritual judgment and salvation. See 1st John 4: 1-21 and Revelation 22: 1-21, KJV.


THE GOLDEN ARROW: Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters. Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf. For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator. (1st Peter 4: 12-19, King James Version)


THE DOUBLE DAGGER: Life Given By Knowledge? (04/03/2013); A Spirit Church? (04/04/2013); GOD Does Exist? (03/20/2012); The “Original” Bible (03/21/2012); Binder 34: Take My Yoke (10/31/2011); Dispatch 25: Comparing Spiritual Things (09/04/2011); Dispatch 26: The Shield (09/05/2011)


Jack, here are some points that mean a lot to many mature Christian believers:

(1.) Everyone struggles with Christianity; believers rarely go from first hearing the Gospel to standing in full conviction at the speed of thought. A person becomes engaged in multiple sacred processes including death, re-birth, redemption, repentance, salvation, judgment, and sanctification.

(2.) The human process of approaching GOD, and maintaining a relationship through Jesus Christ is rooted in carnal, emotional, material, psychological, and social challenges. Every sacred concept and divine truth repeatedly appears in ones experience, and the believer must increasingly recognize and re-affirm their spiritual belief without also “breaking faith,” embracing contradiction, or violating conscience.

(3.) Other believers only may share their knowledge of the formal doctrines and teachings, or declare their own belief and conviction. Each one who comes to Christ must practice a discipline wherein they put aside ideas from their own experience and imagination, and completely rely upon what is in their understanding as having come from Christ—his life experience, his ministry, the record of his appearance upon the earth, his belief, and his imparted, holy Spirit. (See Psalm 2: 10-12 and Philippians 2: 12, KJV.)

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended. (For example, (4.) The choice IS yours. What do you choose to believe? Believe it now, act upon it now. There’s no reason to ask for forgiveness where you are absolutely certain it won’t be given. Where you truly believe you no longer have the salvation that comes from GOD, you also must truly accept, there is nothing anyone anywhere can do to change that. Go on with your life, and, like everyone else, do the best you can to keep from being miserable.) Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful. Be it unto you according to your faith.


THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

      The possible benefit from mandatory church attendance is considered, today. Also, there is more on whether experience is acceptable evidence for spiritual truth. A “Yahoo! Answers” writer using the ID “Looking in With Wonder” (Level 2 with 732 points, a member since March 25, 2013) posted the following:

School is mandatory, surely the church should be too. It would mean a lot more respect. thoughts?

THE BATTLE AXE: Experience Is Not Evidence? (05/05/2013)—(5.) Carnal, material and social experience do not serve as the highest evidence of divine truth (see Psalm 19: 1-14 and Romans 1: 16-32, KJV). GOD is a spirit, and must be known and understood as present through spiritual content, eternal purpose and sacred process. While the revelation of GOD to all created beings and living creatures continues to use human actors, awareness, and human events, the power of the sacred process does not depend upon the sum of ones knowledge, information, intelligence, memory, and reason. Belief is driven by the appearance and interaction of divine substance. Included are faith, forbearance, forgiveness, holiness, humility, joy, longsuffering, love, wisdom, and wrath against sin. See Psalm 119: 98-106, Matthew 15: 7-20, John 20: 19-31 and 2nd Corinthians 5: 7, KJV. (6.) GOD does not manipulate human affairs and natural events to supply mankind with “proof” to convince and persuade anyone that He is GOD. GOD is not obligated to argue or debate, and to remove disbelief. The proofs and signs granted to his servants are to acknowledge, affirm and reinforce the divine intent residing within the believer, to further their understanding, and to ignite zeal within believers (see Judges 6: 11-24 and 33-40 and 2nd Kings 13: 14-19, KJV). Spiritual gifts, resources, and tools are shared, however, this is to permit human awareness, recognition, and realization of divine presence as well as sacred operations, and eternal purpose. Spirit content is imparted through the holy writings along with understanding that reveals the divine nature and sacred purpose that frames and underlies all existence.

THE GOLDEN ARROW: Then I contended with the nobles of Judah, and said unto them, What evil thing is this that ye do, and profane the sabbath day? Did not your fathers thus, and did not our God bring all this evil upon us, and upon this city? yet ye bring more wrath upon Israel by profaning the sabbath. And it came to pass, that when the gates of Jerusalem began to be dark before the sabbath, I commanded that the gates should be shut, and charged that they should not be opened till after the sabbath: and some of my servants set I at the gates, that there should no burden be brought in on the sabbath day. So the merchants and sellers of all kind of ware lodged without Jerusalem once or twice. Then I testified against them, and said unto them, Why lodge ye about the wall? if ye do so again, I will lay hands on you. From that time forth came they no more on the sabbath. (Nehemiah 13: 17-21, KJV)

THE DOUBLE DAGGER: GOD in Schools? (12/20/2012); Naaman the Leper (12/21/2012); Holiday Displays? (12/07/2012); An Attack Upon Creation? (12/08/2012); Parental Duty? (10/08/2012); The Gender of Angels? (10/09/2012); Mob Rule and Violence (09/27/2012); Suppose I Am Wrong? (09/28/2012); What Is Reality (a.k.a. Truth)? (09/29/2012); The Content Of Prayer (01/29/2012); Teen Believers? (10/07/2010); Foiled Again (10/08/2010)

      Many mature Christian believers would agree that the sacred benefit of church attendance, and participation within assemblies, congregations and communities centered in shared belief can not be provided to all simply by the demands from civil law, or from the “bully” pulpit. Here are some points to consider:

(1.) GOD is a spirit, and must be known and understood through spirit content, eternal process, and sacred operations. Included are atonement, birth, condemnation, death, forgiveness, rebirth, repentance, and salvation. GOD appears to created beings and living creatures by expressions of divine will such as holy law, incarnation, and wrath against sin. (See John 4: 23-24, KJV.)

(2.) The church is a community of elect persons, and is a material and social instrument to present the divine will. Neither all the angels of heaven nor all mankind in the earth are embraced as members of the divine priesthood established by Jesus Christ. Their rule and service as kings goes forward in the form of ministry, works of faith, and continuous worship of GOD.

(3.) As an idea and process within the law, “religious liberty” generally is described as a freedom, as ones choice to be accountable and acknowledge sacred duty as well as a person’s right to maintain and practice in accordance with their own “faith” (usually undefined). Most mature believers understand the church where Jesus Christ is Head is not a democracy or institution built upon human consensus and majority rule. Participation is no longer on the basis of self-will and volition. Membership and support of the church are imperative, and no longer optional once they have surrendered to Christ in baptism (i.e., death and rebirth). Saying this another way: In the same way breathing is what one must do to stay alive, Christ is what one must do to know eternal life.

      There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended. (For example, (4.) Social process for respect, sharing and trust often begins in our assuming there is agreement and equality in spite of diversity and individual differences as well as a commitment to ordered change, growth, and learning. For the sacred process of the church, the starting points may be doubts, questions and uncertainty that come under the operation of faith, and the endowments of divine person imparted to believers.) Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful. Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

      Acceptance, evidence, and proof for spiritual beliefs are the topics, today. Also, there is more on why one ought not assume that Jesus is dead, and Christianity as a belief system. The “Yahoo! Answers” writer using ID “Canadian Duck” (Level 4 with 4,760 points, a member since January 4, 2010) posted the following:


Why cant theists understand that personal experience is not evidence unless they can prove it?

People say that they see Elvis Presley or Jesus all the time, a lot of theists claim to “feel” god, how the f*ck is that evidence? Someone please explain this logic, a christian tried to convert me by saying he saw jesus lmao.


THE BATTLE AXE: Jesus Lives! (05/04/2013) (5.) Christianity endures as a belief system that is balanced, dependable, detailed, lucid, productive, sensible, and sound. Even the youngest believers are easily able to recognize the connections between, and among the multiple elements and levels of sacred truth; and are able to trace clear connections for assumption, process, and understanding that must be acquired and built up. Belief systems must be closed, and may not allow inclusion of contradictions, exaggerations, half-truths, impurities, and lies. Even so, as with Christian belief, statements appear that serve as announcements, approximations, commands, conditional truths, promises, veiled truths, and understatements. As a closed system manifesting GOD, judgment and salvation, Christian belief does not directly address many issues relevant to other belief systems. Included are historical and natural events, philosophies, politics, and human sexuality. In general, those continuing in Christian belief gain a reputation as affectionate, approachable, blameless, committed, compassionate, creative, dutiful, faithful, firm, fearless, friendly, generous, gentle, honest, humble, industrious, intelligent, open, plainspoken, prudent, sensitive, sober, stable, thrifty, unprejudiced, unwavering, and wise. (6.) An assumption is a statement taken to be true without complete documentation and detailed evidence in order to construct or support a necessary awareness, and systematic truth. To “assume,” then, is to propose conditional acceptance of a statement as true so that it may be used temporarily to present a unique argument. Assumptions are used as starting points, while conclusions are understood as end points. Where one begins with assumptions that are accurate and correct, they may add on and fit together various statements of fact to establish a closed and perfect structure comprised entirely of truth. However, where one begins with false assumptions, they may only arrive at false conclusions, and a structure having questionable foundations. Where one assumes that Jesus is dead, they agree to rely upon and use the false notion that Jesus is deceased as though it is a proven and valid fact that determines the truth-value for all other statements about the divinity, eternal life, spirit presence, and continuing work of Jesus. To “presume” is to assume that one may take upon oneself the authority, privilege, property or status of another without their agreement, knowledge, or permission and without that of those having greater rank and position. Where “to assume” is to take thought that may be contrary to truth “to presume” is to take action contrary to truth. Presumption is held to be sin, and is accounted as a form of stealing (i.e., taking the belongings of another without their knowledge and permission; identity theft). Where one promotes truths that contradict, counterfeit, disagrees with, and opposes the truth presented through the holy writings, they are said to presume upon GOD. See Deuteronomy 17: 8-13, Numbers 14: 43-45, Deuteronomy 18: 15-22, John 10: 10, 1st John 2: 21-25, 2nd Peter 2: 9-11 and Psalm 19: 7-14, King James Version.


THE GOLDEN ARROW: Now about the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and taught. And the Jews marvelled, saying, How knoweth this man letters, having never learned? Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself. He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him. (John 7: 14-18, KJV)


THE DOUBLE DAGGER: Jesus Lives! (05/04/2013); Illusion? (04/25/2013); Not of Legal Age? (04/26/2013); Why Blood? (04/13/2013); Time Before the Sun? (04/14/2013); To See With New Eyes (11/06/2012); A Life Companion? (11/07/2012); Suppose I Am Wrong? (09/28/2012); What is Reality (a.k.a. Truth)? (09/29/2012) Why Religion, Anyhow? (02/18/2012); On The Messiah (02/19/2012)

    
     Canadian Duck, here are some ideas that have been carefully examined by many mature Christian believers and continue to be useful as guides when considering judgment and spiritual truth:

(1.) Eyewitness experience, personal testimony and reports of spiritual events (e.g., apparitions, dreams, visions, visitations, etc.) are measured and weighed using internal standards generated within a detailed belief system. Outsiders, and those lacking the concentration, knowledge, and skill to apply the belief system’s rules for consistency and clarity, cannot achieve the goals of corroboration.

(2.) Material offered “in evidence” need not be repeated reports that are exactly the same. Differences and diversity do not stifle corroboration, where peculiar facts may reinforce and support spirit truths on many levels otherwise overlooked, and not immediately taken into account. Thus, the weighing of spiritual truth involves more than physical events. Included are such features as duration, effect, nature, purpose, and specific spirit substance—faith, holiness, joy, love, wrath against sin, etc.

(3.) There is no “burden of proof” for spiritual experience. Where you say, This orange juice is cold and sweet!, it is not reasonable to demand you produce “empirical evidence.” The dynamics for mutual acceptance, respect, trust and truth should be sufficient. Even so, to ask for clarification, details and elaboration (that you, say a little more) might not be out of line.

      There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended. (For example, (4.) The convicting evidence from GOD is intended for those who obey the Almighty, who are part of the ministry and work, and is not for unbelievers. The “evidence”, in fact, is an aspect of himself, an imparted, indwelling spirit from GOD (we say, the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Prophecy, the Spirit of Truth). By internalization, and the ongoing operation of GOD, believers all come to understand.) Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful. Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

     Again, contradictions in the Bible are a topic, and there is more on why believers are used to speak for GOD.  The “Yahoo! Answers” writer using ID “religion to rational” (Level 3 with 1,155 points, a member since June 1, 2012) posted the following:


Why do some people think that there are no contradictions in the Bible?


THE BATTLE AXE:  Why A “Spokesperson”? (01/14/2013)—There are many things from GOD that believers must learn, and their instruction must be clear, direct and plain.  Through the use of human agents, GOD has demonstrated a divine purpose to bridge, and eventually remove, the gulf that presently continues to exist between the Creator and the created.  The Scriptures record pleadings, questions, reflections and responses by men and women to acts and pronouncements from GOD describing every level of economic, political and social life, from farmers to statesmen, from paupers to kings.  These all have used language and references that are sufficiently familiar and easily understood that the average person seeking answers from GOD may immediately connect, and recognize that many of their own fears, feelings, observations, questions and views are being spoken.  The full spectrum of human concerns have been addressed through the mechanisms of apostles, elders, covenants, husbands/wives, judges, kings, law, judgments, nations, patriarchs, priests, prophets, and warriors.  The contemporary tool of the church clarifies all that has gone before, and will continue the presence of Jesus Christ and his Gospel to the very hour of his coming in glory.  There is no “disappointment” for those having discernment as if GOD were absent or away, for the vessels of true divinity are, in fact, abundant and plenteous.  In modern America, gangs and other structured social groups are often all over our communities.  However, they usually lack the spiritual discipline, focus, insight and maturity that allow men and women to serve as balanced and effective examples, students, or teachers for the things from GOD.


THE GOLDEN ARROW:  This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,  Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:  Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.  But ye have not so learned Christ;  If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:  That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;  And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;  And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.  (Ephesians 4:  17-24, King James Version)


THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Contradictions? (09/21/2012); The Spirit by Measure (09/22/2012); Reading Only The Red Part (11/19/2012); According to the Eternal Purpose (11/20/2012); To See With New Eyes (11/06/2012); A Life Companion? (11/07/2012); Prophecy Fails? (03/15/2011); Bible Benefit? (03/16/2011)

     Where readers approach the holy writings as generated from GOD, having been produced through the faith of others, or as spiritual documents that convey content and substance that are divine, they continually operate in the terms of their own faith and spirit content, rather than academic and intellectual routines that emerge from our animal nature and that are tainted by “human error.”  Saying this another way:  They use spiritual rules for growth, learning and understanding in the place of secular rules.  This is no different than not using the rules of baseball when playing cricket (even though both speak of using a bat).

     One does not instantly achieve the ability to correctly realize sacred meaning and value within scriptural writings; and the spiritual maturity that includes discernment, insight and recognition for accord and harmony does not come over night.  There must be growth that comes by sacred practice such as giving, observance of sacraments, prayer, and unselfish service.  These create a “vocabulary of shared experience” that unifies believers, and illumines scriptural truth.  More than this, the imparted, indwelling Spirit from GOD makes visible otherwise “unseen things,” and supplies what otherwise would be “missing links.”

     There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended. (For example, contradictions in Scripture are only important where blindness, ignorance and spiritual confusion are common and widespread.  There have long been those who carefully research the Bible to find contradictions, rather than to have a full grasp that would allow them to spread the Gospel.  Just as human logic and reason are not enough to eliminate criminal behavior in society, declaring contradictions are not enough to comprehend and eliminate sin, or to lay hold upon divinely provided salvation.  As humans, men are made up of mental, physical and spiritual elements that must be nourished and maintained in a peculiar balance for there to be health, prosperity or understanding.  Therefore, the careful study of Scripture by believers in Jesus Christ is primarily intended to discover accord and agreement, not contradictions.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC