Neil, I too have seen a very cold spirit of posting here recently, but over the years these things come in waves, and I'm sure will warm up once again. I think there are many that need to check and recheck before posting. And I also agree that many lately use the scriptures as "ammunition" instead of for edifying the body.
I will caution you, however, regarding "red letters". Every word of Christ in my bible is black. He said ALL of it. The red letters in your version are a hindrance. It draws attention to "Jesus' words" as opposed to the rest of Jesus' words, and the red letters are not quotes. They are translators' addition/edition. They have altered the text for who knows why. We only have one definitive quotation of Jesus. "eloi eloi lama sabbachtani?" The rest are recounts of what he said, but not quotes. Matthew, Luke, John, etc. did not use a red pen, nor did they have a way of "quoting". What do you do when the red letters in Matthew are different than the ones in Luke? Is one of them "misremembering?" Surely not. God had purposes for giving slightly different angles to each account. This would not be possible with quotations, but completely logical and acceptable with "narrative accounts". It would be wooden, or errant with quotations.
And, Paul did have a "canon"...the Old Testament.
| 2010/4/27 12:43||Profile|
| Re: i am grieved beyond words at what we have become.|
Neil: I love your heart brother. I am not so sure it is what we have become, rather what we have not yet become that is the problem. Every one of us live in a fleshly body and are in the process of renewing our soulish realm by the power of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. Romans 12:1-2. Every one of us battles the flesh in one way or another. All of us who are born again are like Christ in our spirit, but none of us are like Christ in the sense that our soul and body have been glorified. God has to work out of each one of us the parts of us that do not please Him and that interfere with His desire to use us for His glory. This caused problems in the early church just as it does in the modern church. Remember the contention over John Mark that caused Paul not to take him along. Later Luke records that Paul sent for him and said that he had become useful (useable). The point is that it is tempting to allow our flesh to get in the way.
It is this same flesh that causes the problems in doctrinal discussions or disputes. We all have such a tendency to hold onto and defend what we see as the truth or the correct interpretation. In reality, these doctrinal stands are often more the result of past teaching that we have particularly liked or past experiences that have shaped the way we see things more than they are the result of lengthy, careful, and prayerful study of scripture and time in prayer over the issue.
We absolutely must come to a place where we hold man's interpretation of scripture loosely (including our own) while realizing that scripture is the written word of God and that God did not intend His word to mean different things to different men. To put it another way, if you and I disagree on scripture, you or I or both must be wrong in our interpretation. Assuming the latter is the most likely is probably the safest bet. State your opinion in love, and be willing to have your mind changed as you submit to the Lord and to His word. I believe in doing this in an attitude of prayer and humility we will come to a place where we begin to see the truth of scripture as it is, outside of denominational or personal bias, and we can submit to that word and it will be fruitful in our lives.
I have prayed, "Lord, am I wrong on this interpretation?" and had the Lord show me from the word that I was not. I have prayed the same thing and had the Lord show me that I was wrong and had to change my mind. I have many many areas where I simply do not know yet, and I must recognize and admit that as well.
May we all be in pursuit of Him and of knowing Him and His word, not academically, but throug the perspective of the anointing of the Holy Spirit.
| 2010/4/27 13:17||Profile|
| Re: elanham|
The standard that we are to live by is the Lord's own speaking. Whether that be His booming voice speaking from Heaven declaring 'this is my Beloved Son' or His voice speaking to the people of His day or if it be His voice being expressed by His body.
We as His body are not to make a distinction from those instances because they are all Gods own speaking. One may be more sensational than another, yet sensationalism is not the basis upon which we establish a level of authority. The Word spoken through the physical lips of Jesus was no less the Word of God as THe Father voice from Heaven. The thundering voice from Heaven would certain command more respect from those standing around. Also the Word of God spoken through the Apostles of old are no less the Word of God as the Words spoken through the lips of Jesus.
We dare not hold to the words in red with some sort of special devotion while ascribing to His voice when expessed through a broken human vessel as not as powerful or authoritative. The opening of that kind of door will swing wide the door or misintepretation and the devaluing of the Word of God.
The Gospels are there to record the story of the earthy tenure of Christ in the light of the prophetic scriptures. Jesus mentioned to the Apostles he had things to share with them that they could not bear at the time. All of the books after the Gospels are to be considered the Word of Christ and there function is more along the lines of doctrine. That is the Lords intention for them.
We make doctrinal or ecclesiastical points more from the epistles than the Gosples because the Gosples purpose is not to give detailed information on the Church and its being. That is the purpose of the other books.
There is a reason why Jesus never spoke on how the CHurch should function or how Faith relates to Salvation. This would be reserved for Him to express through His Body which is the same as it being expressed through His physical mouth. No distinction whatsoever. Hope that helps you.
| 2010/4/27 13:40||Profile|
| Denver....here's where i get to the intersection of the road |
God bless you for answering my post.
I used the term "red letter" as form of short hand.
and i am particuraly blessed by the Four Gospel Accounts, because of this; what must it have been like to apprehend that Jesus is Messiah....in those days. The first to actually attestify to this Fact were demoniacs, then Peter finally confessed that Jesus is the Son of God. Correction, God, at Jesus' baptism at the river with John spoke this Fact, then the demoniacs, then Peter, and Jesus told Peter, that Jesus' Church (congregation) would be built on this Rock, Rock being that first confession, Jesus is Messiah, Son of God....then we know what happpened next...the apostles and disciplies were witness's to a humliating, tortured death of our Messiah on the Cross. This was their King, their Saviour, their Messiah, and the romans were actually able to "KILL HIM"?!?
what must have been going thru their souls, "was i wrong? was i deluded? No, Jesus was ressurected in three days, appeared among them, recommissioned Peter, ate with them, allowed Thomas to see the nail marks,opened hearts anew,laid on them the Great Commission and then was taken up into the Heavens...then go back to their houses, pondering, seeking the Voice of God, and then, as promised, the day of Pentecost, when the Helper, the Holy Spirit was poured upon them in the Upper Room, and filled them with boldness, Peter goes out and in Power preaches the first sermon, 3,000 are saved.
so, what intrigues me, at this point, the apostles and disciples, WANT to remember everything Jesus did while in His earthly ministry. obviously, Praise God, they dont video recorder's, tape recorders, they have their memories, and like Precious Gems, they want to rememeber them all. I can almost them, "do you remember when the Lord fed 5,000? ....did not He speak to the assembled crowd on that Mount....he said "blessed are the poor".....didnt he also say "poor in spirit, etc etc etc...or another apostle, disciple, said, remember the Lord spoke in many parables, and prayed, dear God, help me remember those Precious Words, all Your parables, and they began to write, to remember, to never forget. What days those must have been.
I have to go, i will pick this up, because the apostles, disciples were no different from us..really! one of their moms even badgered Jesus about seating arrangements in the Kingdom of Heaven>....to be cont
| 2010/4/27 13:54|
| Re: |
Travis or twayneb said:
God did not intend His word to mean different things to different men. To put it another way, if you and I disagree on scripture, you or I or both must be wrong in our interpretation.
Mr. Bill say's:
Travis,I do personally believe that the Word can Minister to two different people, differently. Jesus said it is the Spirit of truth that teaches us all things.
| 2010/4/27 14:24||Profile|
| Re: Denver....here's where i get to the intersection of the road |
tzadiqim, (saints) i RELISH this dialogue, and have much to prayerfully say, but the "world" just intruded, and may i beg off for either a couple of hours, or a day or two. I do so love you all for your Godly measured responses, you bless me more than i deserve, but my mind is smoking right now, and unfit for Godly discourse, in Jesus' love, neil
| 2010/4/27 15:52|
| Re: i am grieved beyond words at what we have become.|
I may be taking this off course and forgive me if I do. I've wanted to post a new thread with the following thoughts, but decided to post here instead.
Jesus simply said, "Follow me". While I may disagree with Neil on some details I think he is spot on in spirit. We (the Church) have make this thing so difficult. Jesus just said "Follow Me". He didn't say learn Greek, or Hebrew. I think we are being led to make the Church simple again. We get so caught up in who is right and who is wrong. Beloved, just follow Jesus.
My dad and I had a "nice" talk about Christians in the military and politics. I told him of my non-resistance stance and he asked about my pistols. For me to follow Jesus I have to sell at least one, and the other will be put up and unloaded only to be used for recreation. I have to follow Jesus as He leads me. We sometimes need to realize that we didn't get where we are by being so good at holiness. We got here by following Jesus, by locking eyes with Him so that the journey seemed effortless. Not everyone is at the same place spiritually. Sometimes we need to be kicked, but most times God will handle that. Our job is to proclaim the Good News, not force people to believe it. We don't always know how God is dealing with a person.
I've listened to Ten Shekels and a Shirt a few times now. It has stuck in my spirit and at times I've regretted listening to it. God really opened my eyes to a lot that shouldn't be going on in the church. But I thing that a lot of times we take the idea of humanism and a self-centered Christianity a little too far. We take the sheer joy that Jesus has provided us and make it a stumbling block. 1 Corinthians 9:22 says "To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak; I have become all things to all men, so that I may by all means save some."
Sorry Neil, but it supports your point. Paul put on Christ. That is he became as much like Him as he could. That means that Jesus is all things to all people. If you're of a fiery disposition, He cleansed the temple. If you are by nature a little distrusting of the establishment, He challenged the Pharisees. If you're compassionate, He healed the sick simply because He had compassion on them. If you're merciful, He used Peter who was both violent and weak willed. If you're physically strong, He carried His cross up the hill. If you're sensitive, Jesus wept. If you're forceful, He preached, "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites". If you're easy going, He slept in the bottom of a boat during a storm. If you're giving, He gave His very life. Even if you're selfish, He did it all for you.
It's when we stop here and when we forget about these things that we get in trouble. It was all done for us. We just can't stop there or it's empty word of faith/prosperity destruction. Nor can we go too far past it or else it's Pharisaical law and therefore death. In the beginning was the Word. It is all profitable, but not when we use it to back up out pride and self assurance. Follow Jesus, follow Jesus, follow Jesus.
I don't know beloved, God is doing something. The tone of so many threads just gets ugly so quickly lately, and yet so many are pleading the same things. Just like this one and a few others and the one I started to post. We must be still and wait on God before we speak. We must let go and cling to Jesus. The world is watching. John 17:17-21 17"Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. 18"As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. 19"For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth. 20"I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; 21that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.
Acts 1:14 These all with ONE mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer, along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.
This is the only way we can do what Jesus has asked us. We must be one in order to follow Him and we must be one in order to make disciples. Yes, you've heard it before. But please, just follow Jesus and see where He takes you. Turn off the world and see what Jesus says to you.
Because of Christ, Matt
| 2010/4/27 22:42||Profile|
| Re: Seasons|
If I may, I'd like to share a few thoughts.
Those of us who have been around these forums long enough should be noticing a pattern of seasons. Seasons of heated debate; seasons of rest and cordial affections. Seasons where a preponderance of threads are decidedly worldly and shallow; and seasons of great profundity and blessing within the majority of the threads.
We need to understand that these seasons are inexorable and assured and put here for our spiritual training, for our persevearance in rightouesness, and for our exercising of self-denial. We can no more prevent these seasons from coming as we can prevent a hurricane from forming at sea, but the wise and mature Christian takes necessary precautions to comprehend how he ought to act when he finds himself "in the midst" of a particular season.
When you log onto SermonIndex and see a plethora of shallow-topic threads and current event fear-mongering and divisive discussions, we need to immediately recognize what is happening and decide for ourselves if the Lord would have us, as individuals, contribute. For those of us who enjoy deeper discussions of real spiritual meat, a season such as this is often the method God uses to wean some of us from public freethought to get us alone with Him in the quiet, secret place of reality. He will purposefully dry up the forum and allow immature activity to ultimately "work together for good" in those He has called to meet on higher ground.
Approach these forums with care therefore during respective seasons. Be sensitive to the voice of God; if you see a divisive topic or one that you know will bring your thoughts down to carnal, disputatious level, consider forgoing participation and instead preserve your strength and joy in Christ for a more edifying cause and occasion.
If we can learn these principles of self-restraint and divine prudence, the Lord will give us the grace to act upon them and abide in the light. But if we stoop to peer presure and instead gormandize the spoiled milk, we will miss the true meat and consequently not grow as we ought. We will repeat the same season over, and over and over again until we master the lesson.
Paul Frederick West
| 2010/4/27 23:40||Profile|
| Re: |
Good word brother Paul............Frank
| 2010/4/28 0:45|
| Re: |
Good word brother Paul...
"are we one"
My experience is it is an easy thing to be one with those we agree with, its harder to be one with those we disagree with. Some may say how can we be one if we disagree? well i think it is a process, brother Art Katz shares in some recordings of their community life together, how through very hard trials and problems as of living together, how their own self and own wills where brought down to become one. But before that they where ready to throw in the towel, give up.
Not saying a forum on the net is the same thing, but there is some thing with being one that will not come easy, i am not just saying let us "agree to disagree" , that also is not one. But even tho we disagree we stick with it, in love and patience and forbearance and always remember from under what rock God pulled me out from, and to speak with brothers, try let God forge us to one in Him.
I just know it is a painful process, but if we allow it we will become one.
Want to share a short word that blessed me, I hope it will you all, to remember what is the most important thing.
Our minds are so often occupied with service and work; we think that doing things for the Lord is the chief object of life. We are concerned about our lifework, our ministry. We think of equipment for it in terms of study and knowledge of things. Soul-winning, or teaching believers, or setting people to work, are so much in the foreground. Bible study and knowledge of the Scriptures, with efficiency in the matter of leading in Christian service as the end in view, are matters of pressing importance with all. All well and good, for these are important matters; but, back of everything the Lord is more concerned about our knowing Him than about anything else. It is very possible to have a wonderful grasp of the Scriptures, a comprehensive and intimate familiarity with doctrine; to stand for cardinal verities of the faith; to be an unceasing worker in Christian service; to have a great devotion to the salvation of men, and yet, alas, to have a very inadequate and limited personal knowledge of God within. So often the Lord has to take away our work that we may discover Him. The ultimate value of everything is not the information which we give, not the soundness of our doctrine, not the amount of work that we do, not the measure of truth that we possess, but just the fact that we know the Lord in a deep and mighty way.
| 2010/4/28 6:51||Profile|