Monday, February 23, 2015

When quit just isn't good enough.

Got another email from my friend today. It follows. 
Excerpted from an op-ed piece in a local newspaper:
" The total of human knowledge is increasing at an astonishing rate. It is estimated that it took 300 years for knowledge to double after 1450, but only 150 years for it to double again. From 1900 to 1950, it doubled once more. It is now believed to double every 900 days, and after 2020, it is expected to double every 72 days. 
" Regarding God, we debate our axioms and truths as if we have complete and comprehensive knowledge about God. We must always be reminded by the words of the prophet ( Isaiah ) when God says, " My ways are not your ways. My thoughts are not your thoughts. As the heavens are above the earth, so are my thoughts above your thoughts. "
What say ye?
I was tempted to respond with a reasoned reply asking him if he did not understand this as an indictment of his attitude to having a hard and fast knowledge of God, but chose not to. I was reminded of the quote about: "dragging you down to their level and then beating you with experience." Pax y'all and have a Holy Lent.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

An Efm thing 2.02 - The Last Word

In follow up, I received a note from my friend saying he was: "withdrawing from EfM, as his beliefs were different from many others in the group. He wanted to follow Holy Scripture as he deems them the Word of God. And he hoped we would remain friends."

A few days later I personally told him he was still my brother and would always remain so.

Today is Ash Wednesday and I received the following text from him. Perchance in hopes of a reply. However, following a morning phone call from another friend about him and his situation and a sharing of prior texts, I'll skip a personal response and only offer my final thoughts herein; as I indicated I would allow him the last word in our text conversation. 
"2 Timothy 3:16-17, 4:1-5 
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, throughly equipped for every good work.
I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers;
and then will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.
But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. 
What say ye?"
In reply I might offer:
I have a special affinity for the Books of Timothy, for that is one of my Christian names. And in good conscience agree with what the quoted passages say. However, much as C S Lewis speaks of "the deeper magic", so too do I believe Scripture does in its own way. Mankind has spent at least 3000 years trying to discern the Word of God and probably is no closer to tying it down today than when His first words were offered for our edification.

I agree with what is being said, but... I do not necessarily read the passage with the same filter ANYONE else does. And therein we find our differences; we each read the same words but our understanding of the message isn’t the same. ONLY by examination and discernment, in a group setting, do we develop the ability to ascertain what message Scripture offers each of us, individually, for no one knows the mind of God but God Himself. By faithful study we learn the deeper meaning of what He offers us, and so it has always been. Else wise why do we have so many different accounts of the same message? 

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

An Efm thing 2.01 - Continuing dialogue

On the heels of the previous two posts:

31 Jan
And Elijah came to all the people and said,
"How will you falter between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow
Him; but if baal, follow him."
But the people answered him not a word.
1 Kings 18: 21

There is only one God, the God in the Holy Bible. The God of Hebrews
( Jews ) and Christians.

What say ye.

1 Feb
There is only one God, the God in the Holy Bible. The God of Hebrews and
Christians. But it does not exclude other faiths. Where are the exclusions?

            1 Feb
 There is only one true God.

 And God spoke these words:
 " I am the Lord your God."
 " You shall have no other gods before me ."
 Exodus 20

 Explain to me how you believe that the God of the New Testament is not
 the same God as in the Old Testament.  You said that at E F M.

 I believe the words God spoke answers your question as to how other
 faiths (religions) are excluded.

 But there is a way. What is the way?


1 Feb
Do NOT believe that the God of the OT and the God of the NT are different, THEY ARE THE SAME. You must have misunderstood my comments. I believe  there is ONE TRIUNE GOD; however, my belief is also that He does not LIMIT Himself and salvation to ONLY Christians and possibly Jews as revealed on earth.

                      1 Feb
You might ask others.

3 Feb
My Brother:

Am calling it quits after this reply and your response if desired. In other words, you get the last say.

I respect your right to your belief.

It so happens mine is not in TOTAL agreement with yours.

I BELIEVE I have the right to mine just as I BELIEVE you have the right to hold yours.

EfM does not call us to establish dogma for ALL; but rather to examine our beliefs after listening to others with an open mind and then to solidify our PERSONAL understanding of God and thereafter being able to be an apologist (under a theological def.) for one's own position and that's all I'm doing; offering possibilities for consideration rather than trying to establish doctrine for anyone else.

Don't judge, just love in an Agape manner.

Peace & Grace,