Friday, March 24, 2006

gary coleman, todd bridges, conrad bain, and dana plato...

it seems as if there is no room to know god differently. there are a bunch of religions out there. and i think too often we, as christians, spend too much time trying to prove differences between the religions and why those religions aren't true. and there is a place for that. studying contradictons as we seek a life in conformity to christ and god and truth. but if we are to be TRUTHFUL, a scrutinizing look at the world wide practice of evangelical christianity also has much that does not square with scriptural teaching. so maybe it's not about one religion being better or truer than another. perhaps we just need to open our ears and hear what god would say to us, ALL OF US, today. perhaps if we allowed room for people to know god differently than ourselves, we would learn more about god and his true character and how he reveals himself in different ways and aspects to all of mankind and we could all get a more complete and accurate picture of a father who loves all of his children and is ever wooing us towards him with his kindness and love. all of the ones who would hear him, know him, love him, and obey him. not just people who would champion the "correct religion" and then FIGHT for it and WAR for it and HATE for it and BELITTLE for it. because in doing that... i don't see much of god or his spirit at all behind those actions. and i'm left to wonder whose side i'm really on. or which side i even want to be on.


Tessa said...

just to clarify... because you are drifting very close to the line. You're not saying all paths lead to the same spot are you?

and maybe im spoiling it for you because you were hinting at that but didn't want to fall under that cliche saying.

but in all other aspects AMEN!

jON said...

humanly speaking, i'm having a hard time identifying myself anymore as a "christian." this does not change anything about what i believe about the son, or that i worship the father, or that i drink from and am lead by the spirit.

and i am not necessarily saying, "all paths lead to god." what i am questioning and studying in my life is what other people from other faiths know about god. though they may not have complete knowledge of the god of the bible and the entire story in context, it would seem to me that there are people of other faiths who have indeed hit upon biblical truth in the way they live and move and have their being. so, should we discount everything they have to say simply because they don't know correctly about jesus?

how did the wiseman know to follow the star to bethlehem? (and it lead them truly) how did the apostles happen upon so many gentiles who ALREADY knew god, though they were unaware of jesus? and what about the countless number of missionary stories where the missionaries were greeted and told, "we've been waiting for you?"

i'm saying, perhaps god has revealed certain aspects of himself to different peoples and we can learn something from them instead of always trying to "convert" them and saying that anything they believe is crap because it's not christianity.

many of these people live lives more in keeping with the scriptures and the fruits of the spirit than many so called christians in the world. so it makes me wonder some things...

JudLee said...

Have you read Eternity In Their Hearts by Richardson? I have it to loan.

jON said...

no. no i have not, but i have thought about it several times.

Dena G said...

(Deciding to no longer be a lurker here...) ;-)

It's WELL worth reading, Jon...I read it several years ago at a friend's request and it made me stop and do some DEEP thinking.

I question a lot of the "missionary" tactics of the American church, because, for the most part, the American church is not the church of the Bible. And, for the most part, we also have that American arrogance that says "we're right; you're wrong" to everything that's different.

I don't believe that "all paths lead to the same place", but I think we DO miss some of the beautiful, wildly diverse nature and character of God because we reject those differences and try to conform others to what WE perceive, from our short-sighted, very small vantage point, is what a "real Christian" should look like.

zaavan said...

thank you, dena. (hi! long time listener, first time caller)
good to hear from you over here.

you kind words were very refreshing to me. it is good when people will let down their guards and let me in on their innermost thoughts. especially of such a sensitive and possibly volatile nature as this subject can be.

it is not my desire to lead anyone astray, but just to discuss openly and honestly what goes on inside my head and heart and the resulting questions (more frequently) and answers (less frequently) that arise.

so thank you for speaking up. it can be hard to get into this sort of topic around the table at a good ol' potluck. don't get me wrong. the tater tot hot dish, bars, and cookies are excellent. so is the fellowship. what i mean is that sometimes i feel as if i cannot share things like this within the four walls of the building we call church. so it is refreshing to me and healing and theraputic for these things to not only find outlet, but for someone such as yourself to be willing to sacrifice to come along side of me in the midst of wherever i am today.

much love.

jON said...

that was me, not erin.

Herschel said...

a book for your reading leisure:

fearless faith by john fischer.

very cynical but good and thought provoking none the less..he actually asks some of the questions you area sking

jON said...

as yes, cynicism. which, as i understand it, is idealism gone sour through realism.

though the title sounds familiar, i cannot say that i ever perused the book. i think i shall. and perhaps will start it once i am finished with the subversion of christianity.

Susan said...

I think I'm starting to get my head around what you mean, Jon. There have been times when I have been surprised about susposedly non Christians or people from other religions who seem to live out and understand some Biblical truth. I have come to think that all truth is God's.

I met a lady once who had been abused as a child and was suffering emotional turmoil as an adult. Over a period of time she began to accept the truth about her past and she began to change. Truth was setting her free. I saw her grow and change in ways that amazed me because she didn't "accept Christ" but nevertheless experienced healing and wholeness. So I came to the conclusion that all truth is God's and to the degree we accept His truth we become free. Nevertheless to be completely free I still think we need to accept Jesus who is the truth.

jON said...

yes, yes, and amen. god's full revelation of himself is in jesus. i think what i'm getting at here, the more i think about it, is that while jesus is the full revelation of god, i do not believe he is the ONLY revelation of god. god is revealing himself in many ways every day. and i think those revelations are "out there" to be picked up on by anyone. and that those who do, are his sheep and "know his voice."

the more i listen to "christian" radio, the more i just get a horrible sense of something behind what is going on in the christian agenda. i think each individual person is actually streiving to know god and serve him, but the methodology that is used and justified through certain biblical texts seems to make my stomach turn. and i find i have a hard time ommunicating the truth of jesus to people who have been victimized by a church seeking to "christianize" the world.

it's almost as if we long to see the world become christian rather than see the world serve god from their heart in freedom. because making people christians, with the rules set up for propper behavior, makes it much easier to idenitfy one another that way. people who are lead by the spirit are much harder to pin down.

but the further away i get from law and the more i live by the spirit, the more i hear the spirit speaking from other places and the more regular "evangelism" seems to just hit me wrong. because i usually agree more with the person who is being evangelised than the one doing the evangelism.

Wendy ftfs said...

people who are lead by the spirit are much harder to pin down.

Well said ...

John 3:6-8

Jesus to Nicodemus
"Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, 'You must be born again.' The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit."