as to your comment-
"The fruit of this type of belief in my own heart was that I may have had many tears but my heart didn't seem to change. There was an old secular song some years back entitled "Hooked on a Feeling" and I was hooked on a sentimental view of God."
I fully agree that this is indeed an extreme danger that can/does happen to those that take the message of "Love" to the wrong conclusion. This does not mean "throw the baby out with the bath water". It does mean that if a leaders led to promote the benefits of being a "lover" of Christ..he must preach against the dangers of abuse within this structure. I am aware of the abuses that can and have happened when you start using the word to promote "fleshly" responses...right up to sexual abuse of women, children etc, all in the "name of the Lord".
However the fact remains that "it is His kindness that leads us to repentance". Kindness is of course an expression of Love...when love received prompts one to give love (read obedience to what God desires) then the message is sound and Biblical. The reason King David is such an enigma to us is that he was such a failure and such a success all at the same time. A murderer, a lustful sinner, a fearful man...yet at the same time one called by God Himself "a man after my own heart". This is because of the Love David received from God and the consequential repentance David had usually immediately upon realization of the offense he committed against the one he also Loved.
The alternative to not focusing on this great and mysterios Love which God gives to us (undeservedly) and deserved love he should have given back to him in the best capacity humans can give (whatever that is)...is dead legalism...driven by fear and subservience not love and kinship. Remember He is the Kinsmen Redeemer.
Also the tears you had many of while involved with this "Love Movement" is interesting to one such as I. My tears seemed to have dried up over twenty years ago...mostly having to do with growing up under legalism and having my heart cauterized to emotion...in the 2 years involved with the International House of Prayer, my tears are still bound up...but I sense a movement of my heart towards a true love that God has for Humans in general and me in particular (being me) not special as in He loves me more. This is unthawing my heart...not towards emetionalism but towards a heart that is able to respond in Love back to Him and out to my Brothers. Again....nothing to do with "being Jesus's little girlfreind".....a statement that really gets me riled. (still working on peace.)
| 2006/3/30 12:40||Profile|
When he says eros.. is he saying it in a mystical sense or in a more solid way?
| 2006/3/30 12:55||Profile|
| Re: Jesus as 'Lover'|
Quote:Despite what TS has shared, which is very heartening, and although I've not had your experience quoted above, I do see the danger in this approach, it immediately bringing to mind something I read in the Old Testament... which I had to find.
I have had experience with some ministry that included what they call a "bridegroom fast" where they mourn in "lovesickness" for the purpose of "experiencing" more of divine Love. Seems to be really over-emphasizing emotional experiences.
It is in Ezekiel 8 - a whole chapter about abominations being practised [u]in Jerusalem[/u] - specifically I recalled 'and, behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz'. This was an abomination to God. The women were [i]encouraged[/i] to work themselves into this state, as part of their worship of Tammuz, who was 'the son' (sun), and who had nothing whatever to do with the worship of God - quite the opposite.... A whole range of practices are described in Ez 8, which it is good to note are all completely unacceptable to God.
There are many idols from which we all must guard ourselves, but the practice described by Andrew Strom, if true, is a pernicious deception to seekers of truth.
| 2006/3/30 12:55|
Phoenix, Arizona USA
Clearly when you saw God as mean and waiting to come down on you all the time, you had a distorted and unbalanced view of the nature and character of God. Andrew's article addresses an equally unbalanced view that swings the other way.
I see Andrew's article as clearly exhorting the body about the need for a balanced view of the nature and character of God as revealed in Scripture. Why should seeking a full and clear revelation of God's character causes people to run away from Him?
| 2006/3/30 12:59||Profile|
| Re: Jesus as 'Lover'|
TS, please take a deep breath. Here is the paragraph which you are misquoting slightly - enough to make a difference, I think, to what is being said by the writer.
Quote:Here, Andrew Strom is trying to correct by the previous sentence to the one I've emboldened, the error which he understands is being produced.
Incidentally, the 'Bride of Christ' in Revelation is described as a 'holy city' - a "new Jerusalem" coming down from heaven. (Rev 21). So it is clearly a 'CORPORATE' entity that exists at the end of the age. -[b]Not some individualized "girlfriend of Jesus" in the here-and-now[/b].
Quote:And then quickly moved on with 'However...'
I am aware of the abuses that can and have happened when you start using the word to promote "fleshly" responses...right up to sexual abuse of women, children etc, all in the "name of the Lord".
There should be no easy 'however', to follow the kind of abuses in your previous sentence. Those kind of abuses ruin lives and the Church in general has few resources and little understanding of the damage which has been done. Men of God are neglectful of the reality often going on under their noses, and they do nothing to protect the vulnerable (usually). They prefer to believe the best about men who are openly unsuitable as leaders.
Please remember that the men who do these things often know their Bibles better than you do. They preach amazingly; even prophesy; they pray for people effectively; but, out of sight, they are leading another life.... and they allow those under them to do the same, and they select their victims very carefully. Once a man is free to lead a mass movement, or has other men of flesh opening their congregational doors to him, he is much harder to intercept.
What kind of woman might be vulnerable to this kind of man? Easy .... one who has been shown little love in her own real life.... maybe from a Christian legalistic background like yours. Or maybe from a broken home, or was abused as a child. Men are just the same and just as vulnerable, given the right amount of flattery and time.
You are justified in defending the reputations of those you know in person, but it is crossing a line to use that defence to undermine the message in Andrew Strom's letter.... which raises awareness to an extremely valid spiritual and practical concern.
As they say, just my 2 cents.
| 2006/3/30 13:13|
Thank you TS.
It was some older teacher that brought "revival" into my own life by teaching me about AGAPE.
It was experiencing God in an intimate way that is on the Devotional board right now, titled "The Real Presence".
TS, I too wondered why so few posted to "Who is Jesus ?" on the Scipture/Doctrine board and I don't want to judge, but until we've had a true encounter with Love Who became Incarnate ... we legalize His Love back to laws rather than a Father who made those laws because He Loves us.
I was a legalist at one point ... and I am so ashamed of that now. But when we ever could find out that it is agape that will get us to Heaven and not all our self righteious law keeping ... then our eyes are opened to all the mysteries of why He created us and what will win in the end and why He rebuked the Pharisees.
The article does steer one from books about the Song of Solomon.
It does have the imbalance of His Holiness over His Love, which should be seen as 50/50.
Weighing too heavy on either side does injustice to His character And His Purpose. God IS Love.
He's not just "loving". His nature and purpose is to win out by love and not a hammer. You can't make a person Love God until their last breath ... only those who KNOW Him from a personal intimate knowledge and experience of Him will serve Him in Spirit and in Truth.
These other revivals don't last, because they are not based on an equal balance of His Divine and Perfect Love and His Holiness, which we do not understand nor comprehend ... and most especially to the degree that we border on law first.
The balance, when off to just the slightest degree, can cause another bunch of modern day Pharisees and you can see it in their lack of compassion and self-sacrifice as seen in Matt 25's last verses.
Isa 54:5 For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called.
This verse is the balance.
If we don't grasp agape in it's truest and purest sense, than we've missed it all, even our salvation.
I can't do this the justice it deserves right now ... but true agape will cause a desire for Holiness as nothing else can do.
I am just saying the "balance" is off, if even to a small degree.
Jam 2:23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
Joh 15:15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.
John knew Agape-Love. He rest his head on Jesus' chest and was called the disciple who Jesus loved and was given the Revelation.
I don't agree with the new teaching that he is coming against, but there is a way to do it, without tearing down those things that are hard enough for humans to see or experience.
This is the best I can do with words right now.
| 2006/3/30 13:27|
Los Angeles, California
I also believe that balance is essential - if we paint a picture of God as a mean old task master constantly waving a stick of wrath and condemnation it is just as bad as painting Him as a mushy, old Santa Clause grampa who is all love no wrath or holiness. Both views of God are un-Scriptural and equally as dangerous - and should be torn down and corrected when ever we see them.
MeAgain brought up the point about John. John knew Agape-Love. He rested his head on Jesus' chest and was called the disciple who Jesus loved and was given the Revelation. And John also knew balance - when John was given the Revelation and he saw Jesus in the pure holiness of His resurrected state - did he run up and give Jesus a big hug? or dance before Him? no he fell on face as if dead!!!! Is this balance we are looking for? When you see Jesus what do you picture? A big hug? A dance? Or flat on your face trembling in fear and awe before the righteousness and holiness of the King of Kings the Son of the Almighty God?
| 2006/3/30 13:59||Profile|
After reading through the article and some of the comments I wish to help bring some clairity to this by sharing from the many personal conversations Andrew and I have had on this topic.
As he stated, he lives close to IHOP which is in the Grandview are suburb of KC. Many people attend there and that by the hundreds if not thousands. I admire their work as they pray 24/7 365.
The 'concern' (as I have seen also and share with him to a [i]certain extent[/i]) is that many (not just IHOP but in many circles) are entering into a relationship with God that seems almost eroto-mystical (I made that word up). They are approaching God with the same type of affection as one would have towards a girlfriend or boyfriend. I have 4 teen aged children and I often (carefully as not to discourage them) point this out in the newer worship and 'Christian' music.
Consider these lyrics:
DEEPLY IN LOVE
In my life You`ve heard me say
I love you
How do I show you it`s true
hear my heart, it longs for more of you..
I`ve fallen deeply in love with you..
You have stolen my heart
I`m captivated by you
Never will you and I part
I`ve fallen deeply in love with you
You and I, together forever
Nothing can, stand in the way
My love for you, grows stronger
each new day.
I`ve fallen deeply in love with you
I have to say, that this is boyfriend/girlfriend music in the 80's when I was a teenager. I could cite many such songs. Our church sings this as a worship song btw.
Contrast that with:
ROCK OF AGES
1. Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
let me hide myself in thee;
let the water and the blood,
from thy wounded side which flowed,
be of sin the double cure;
save from wrath and make me pure.
2. Not the labors of my hands
can fulfill thy law's commands;
could my zeal no respite know,
could my tears forever flow,
all for sin could not atone;
thou must save, and thou alone.
3. Nothing in my hand I bring,
simply to the cross I cling;
naked, come to thee for dress;
helpless, look to thee for grace;
foul, I to the fountain fly;
wash me, Savior, or I die.
4. While I draw this fleeting breath,
when mine eyes shall close in death,
when I soar to worlds unknown,
see thee on thy judgment throne,
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
let me hide myself in thee.
I understand everyones concerns not to discourage our youth or get out of balance. Is it not alarming that we have gone from Rock of Ages to Deeply in Love?
Robert Wurtz II
| 2006/3/30 14:09||Profile|
Patrick my friend, John saw Rev 19:11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
Rev 19:12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.
Rev 19:13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
Rev 19:14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.
Rev 19:15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
Rev 19:16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
But he also saw this other verse Rev 1:17 And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not
Patrick, last year you posted a thread that said basically that "prophets" don't really have a sense of humor. You'd remember the name of that thread better than me.
There's no way you can have the vision of God that I mentioned of God above, and not see both sides of God. 100% Agape Love + 100% Holy Truth.
Yes, even just His Love will drop you on your face, but like John, He will say "Fear not" if you're living up to the knowledge you have and are doing your best to fulfill His first to commandments.
All the law and the prophets hang on those.
Love the Lord and your neighbor and if you don't - you're not making it to heaven ... bottom line. And if you LOVE, you WILL fulfill His commandments. He said so. "If you love me you'll keep my commandments. And those commandments were those two, as you can't sin against God nor man and Love them with His Love and without His Love perfected in You ... you are obeying in the flesh.
I think I made myself clear enough in the last post.
I know the balance Patrick. You're just not reading my posts. Maybe you've moved again on some things and back to no sense of humor too.
Forgive me ... but I gotta bail here. I don't want to lose what those who have died and past the test of time have implanted in me and saved my very life.
| 2006/3/30 14:16|
Thanks for the clarification Robert,
There's a great danger of creating a God in our own image. In our church, we call it the "cotton candy Jesus" that requires no repentance, no separation from the world, no holiness, etc.
As one who was quite legalistic in my earlier years, there's a clear distinction in the Spirit between obedience and legalism. God is not a taskmaster but He does require separation from the world and obedience.
There is great joy in submitting to God, even in the midst of great trials. I'm finding that the lack of joy I sometimes experience is an indicia that I'm unwilling to let go of something (e.g. perhaps an attitude, an old habit, whatever He has laid His finger on).
I think we all need great discernment in these days to test the spirits and allow the Holy Spirit to continually search our own hearts.
Quote: Yes, it's very disturbing to me.
Is it not alarming that we have gone from Rock of Ages to Deeply in Love?
| 2006/3/30 14:39||Profile|