Monday, March 10, 2008

abode cubed

"A party? Yes, girl. It will be a party such as the world of Krynn has not seen since before the Cataclysm! Be ready, Tika Waylan. Be ready!"

something jumped out at me in galatians one day. not the radical freedom. that's something else... (that jumped out at me a different time.) for our discussion here, this has to do with gal. 2:11-14. what's important about this story for us is not whether paul was right or peter was wrong. what is important to me here is that post-resurrection, post-pentecost, post-conversion of saul, we see THAT ONE OF THE APOSTLES WAS WRONG ABOUT SOMETHING. of course, since paul is the one telling us of the event, he paints himself as the hero. and as i said, it matters little to me for this discussion, which one was wrong or right. but it is, to me, a very big deal to know that through it all, the apostles were not perfect.

which makes me wonder if there was anything else they were not perfect about? is it possible that some of the things they had to say came out of their own experience and limited understanding and were not god desperately trying to communicate a message of law for all people for all time? when jesus said that holy spirit would guide us into all truth, could this perhaps have been a bigger process than even the apostles knew?

because as i read their letters, i get the sense that they are simply sharing out of their own wealth of experience from god. but as they write, you can certainly tell that their own experiences and personalities color what is being shared. for example, paul is one who LOVES to use extreme language. he frequently uses words like, "all" or "never." and i'm sure he was using them to drive home a point much like many of us do when we use similar language, even though it may not be the whole truth. "i'm starving" and "i LOVE this television show" being two examples off the top of my head.

yet, because we have been given and taught the assumption that the apostles were "orthodox perfection" and that their letters are "god speaking to us" we do not take his extreme language into account. we form our theologies and doctrines off of something so grandiose and inflexible, that many times being in institutions founded on precisely this type of thinking, you find yourself cold, empty, and devoid of the real power of a life lived experiencing god first-hand.

as i believe these men did.

one of my big problems, and one the leadership didn't know what to do with, is not that i haven't studied, but rather the opposite. i HAVE studied. too much. i've heard the theories. i've read the books. i've debated the doctrines. i've fought for being right and trying to put to shame all who oppose for the sake of "god's glory" never seeing the irony. until one day...

god simply cracked open my world and began to show me the truth about what it means for me to be a follower of his. and it is a much more wide-open freedom based thing than i could have ever imagined. at least, that has been my experience. to learn, to grow, to mess up, these things are all a part of it. and as i began to see this through my own experience, i began to see it also through the eyes of men and women thousands of years ago who had similar experiences. i began to see through the cracks to the people just doing the best they knew with what knowledge they had. did they receive revelation? to be sure. but did they receive a new law? hmmm.... i am much less convinced of that notion any longer.

i believe WE ARE ALL priests and now have equal access to god. and instead of hearing over and over again what a pastor believes, or what some other men hundreds and thousands of years ago believed, i want to know what I believe. i want to know what god wants from me now, today, in this specific moment in history. and while i can read these accounts and relating experiences, and in many cases find them to be the only ones who can relate to god reaching into their lives and asking such wild and unpredictable and unpopular things from them, i don't think those things in and of themselves are what god wants from us today.

for example, i have heard ezk. 3:17-21 used by many as the reason they feel the need to get in people's faces about their "eternal destiny." they assume that if they don't use their best tricks (guilt, manipulation, fear mongering...) to try to get that person "saved" then god will "send them to hell" as well as the other person. i maintain this is a faulty understanding of grace, first and foremost, but also the bible and what it actually is. strange that people feel so convicted over this word from god to ezekiel, but they don't get too twisted up or feel obligated to "lay on their sides and cook their food over cow dung." why is one directive for everyone for all time, and the other for ezekiel specifically? really, there is no reason. it is arbitrary.

but once we can get ahold of the fact that nothing in the bible, in the original context, is a "message for me", then and only then do i feel that the spirit can really break through in your life. the bible can be used to show you things and teach you things as the spirit directs, but it is not, in my mind, a list of imperatives for each individual to try to clone themselves after.

this leads to me needing to know what god wants from me specifically, and needing to understand the difference between "abiding by the law" and "abiding by the spirit."

damn it. i'm going to need another post to finish this up. this is enough for now. at least we got down 4 more lines...


One Voice of Many said...

i think your site has been spammed

good post though


One Voice of Many said...

Were you able to determine if that link was fatal or not? I stupidly clicked on it and got weird errors. I hope I didn't fry this computer with it..


Nate said...

Lot's of things to respond to. First the post at hand, then the comments from the part deaux.

The thing that really brought the bible into focus for me was when I realized that it was entirely a parable. Jesus spoke in them all the time. Where did he learn that, from dear old Dad. When I stopped taking it as the literal truth being spoken to me at every turn, I was able to read and understand, without saying to myself, "here is another way you suck." Such as the parable of Abraham taking his son Isaac out to the wilderness to sacrifice him. Is God expecting me to do this, and if I have enough faith a Ram will be there instead? Yet we tend to take a lot of things in the bible that seriously.

Also, I agree with Michelle, about the spirit of the Heart that is behind the scriptures. It is a teaching heart. One that is trying to get us to understand what it is looking for, but not in specific terms.

Next is the cherry picking of verses about what each person should do. I think that this is the correct thing to do, but only on an individual level. While reading a passage of scripture, something will jump out at me. That to me is the spirit prodding me to pay attention to that verse and act on it. But for me to say that everyone else is wrong because I had this revelation, is ludicris.

You said that you knew what was right at one time, and you were so sure it was right, and now you don't know what to think. Well guess what, you will never be completely right. EVER. It is called growth. Normally, within a church setting, when we first begin to believe, we are given a rudimentary belief system. Then, we are given an expounded one, but still within the framework of that doctrine. But still it changed. You belived you were right, in the beginning, but you still learned and grew, and your beliefs changed. While you were still in the church. So when were you wrong? When you first got the framwork? Or after you changed the beliefs within the framework? The answer is, neither. The answer is growth. My beliefs will continue to change until the day I die. So the question is, when in my life time am I right or wrong? The answer is never. I am never completely right, and I am never completely wrong. I am just on the journey of faith. There is no right or wrong faith. There is just being committed to God and Jesus, and following them to the best of your abiblity. No one can ask more than that. God definately doesn't. Correct me if I am wrong, but I do not know a verse in the bible that says, if you are not 100% correct in your beliefs you are going to hell. That is a dumbass human assumption, brought about by the ego of learned men. Trying to puff up their own importance to God. God decides who goes to hell, no one else. That is why I laugh, and laugh hard, when thinking about the idiots who think that when they excommunicate someone that is actually matters. Listen to this, "God, I have decided that Jon is a heretic, and you have to send him to hell." Then imagine the setting. A man six foot tall, speaking to God on the throne. And God sitting, is 100 feet tall. Anyway, Michelle, quit trying to be right, you never will be. Neither will I for that matter.

Sorry about that verbal vomit. But in was in there, rumbling around. Since I had no pepto bismol, it came out.

PS Ruth, I am enjoying your pot stirring.

Nate said...

Almost forgot, Wanting More. I know two of us in this group have read SYDWTGTCAM by Jake Colson. Great book. Also I agree with you wholeheartedly on your boot camp idea of going through the fire. God is wiping the slate clean, so that he can write there, instead of someone, or something else. Your analogy helped me to see something much more clearly, thank you for that. Good luck in the new place.

Ruth said...

Well thank you Nate...and I enjoyed your vomit. Shucks you just missed me.

Could you define some terms here so I know where you're coming from?

"when I realized that it was entirely a parable."

Um...isn't a parable fiction? Are you saying the bible is entirely fiction?

"There is no right or wrong faith. There is just being committed to God and Jesus, and following them to the best of your ability".

Do we agree "that if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved?"

I realize that you were just vomitting midstream what was rumbling around so I don't mean to be picky about the theological details....

I do agree with much of what you said about rightness and growth. I have changed my views many times. I hope I'm getting more right though. :)

Jon - yes you are definitly throwing me for a loop. I'll have to tackle that tomorrow.

Very powerfully written and you give a good logical arguement. But from what I can tell, you're saying that the bible is just a suggestion?

Erin said...

I just know that when I was willing to accept that much of the bible is NOT meant to be taken entirely literally - it's full of metaphors and parables and allegory and historical contexts that don't literally apply today - it made so much more sense to me...and it helped me keep my faith.

That's not to say it is entirely fiction...just that it can't be read as a textbook.

jON said...

michelle, no i never found out. i simply deleted the comment as soon as i was aware. i apologize if anything on your end has died.

"so you don't want to go to church anymore" is indeed a fabulous book. one of the better books i have read in the past few years. i read it in about a day and a half. you can read it for free here. the choice i made was to download the PDF file and read it offline...

nate, i have a similar question to ruth as to what your views of the historocity of the bible are.

ruth, in order to clarify your question for myself, i'm going to ramble aloud a bit to try to cover the bases. feel free to correct me at any time.

"But from what I can tell, you're saying that the bible is just a suggestion?"

although i am making an assumption here, it sounds as if you are asking this question from a worldview that either the bible is a framework of commands or suggestions. one or the other. but truly, i don't see it through that paradigm at all. i see it as simply being a record. history. accounts of people and their experiences OF god and WITH god.

which then, in my opinion, makes the book powerful in helping you to recognize holy spirit at work in a person's life in all manner of situations. through having a confident record of holy spirit at work in other's lives.

which is why people from the institutional paradigm can completely miss their own pharisaism. how they can haul someone in, quote the "religious leaders" who brought jesus is, who brought the apostles in, almost verbatim, and think they are the "good guys" doing service for god.

it is easier to control people if you tell them that the bible is a series of commands that they must follow. once you can convince them that they need to follow and do these things, it is easy to convince them that you are their savior giving them the correct interpretations they need in order to avoid being condemned forever.

which is, of course, a fallacy. the cross has made our way to the father secure, not our "adherance to scripture."

more often than not, evangelicals are more concerned with converting people to christianity (something the bible is not concerned with at all) and not simply bringing people to christ.

"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you travel around on sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves."
(i'm not trying to use this quote as anything authoritative. it is something that happened in the past that i feel has much bearing on explaining the heart of current religious events. so i'm bringing it out to show a parallel. make sense?)

One Voice of Many said...

nate -
I really don't have a long comment today. I'm just tired. I hear you and I agree. I just so don't want to believe something that isn't true that I want to KNOW what's right. Does that make better sense? So many people want to tell you what to believe - I just wish I could figure it out on my own. But I'm not usually a successfully analytical person so I keep asking other people about their journey.



Ruth said...

Good morning! I work at home so now that the kids are off to school and I have my coffee I'm all set to be distracted from my work. I better make this quick.

Erin - I agree with what you said. You put it very well.

I believe that we need to read between the lines of the bible to absorb the heart of it and avoid being legalistic. It is through the bible that I have gotten a grasp of God's character and can recognize him when he shows up.

I think you said something to that effect too Jon - "which then, in my opinion, makes the book powerful in helping you to recognize holy spirit at work in a person's life in all manner of situations"

This is what got me -
"i see it as simply being a record. history."

What about the supernatural quality of scripture as in Hebrews 4?

"For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart"

And what about the authority of scripture? I am no theologian and I never went to bible school. I have no idea how they decided which writings should make it in. But now I want to know. I don't even know where to look.

I guess what it comes down to for me is how far do we take seeing the bible as a historical record and not submitting to it's authority because we decide that something is no longer relevant today or to us personally?

Jon you are making me think to much! My brain hurts.

Michelle - I just saw your comment come in. I think asking others about their journey is the best way to make your faith your own. We are meant to build up one another's faith.

Susan said...

The thing that struck me most about this post, Jon, was - what is it with American churches? don't they preach about God's love and grace?

The way you talk about the leadership of churches is something I cannot relate to. I mean we do have some people who are a bit legalistic but I have not come churches in Australia like you describe here. (For which I'm very thankful.)

Nate said...

Ruth and Jon,
After the vomit, I thought about what I had said, and realized that I indeed did not clarify very well, but was putting things down that I understood, but others would not without my explanation. Wendy (Valorosa) emailed me a Wykapedia thing on how the red sea crossing could have happened, with scientific proof of this. That is what I love most about the bible. Archeologists often prove that in fact the things spoken of in the bible happened, and that it is speaking the truth historically. So in the sense is it real, oh yeah. But should it be taken absolutely literally from every verse, no. The reason that I see it as a parable is that we have these stories, whether true or fiction doesn't really matter to ME, that can help us to see what God has in store for us. By reading and understanding the motivation behind the story, I am able to shape my faith. No I am not going to lay on my left side and cook my food over my own dried crap because God told a prophet to do it. But to understand why God ask him to do it, is to understand the point God was trying to get across. (I am not reallly familiar with the story, I only know of it.) That is what I use the bible for. To read and understand what God is trying to make of me.

The right or wrong faith. Like Methodist instead of Baptist. Whatever. There are only 7 things that I have found so far that are absolutes. Repentance, confession, obedience, faith in God, belief in the gift of Grace, loving God with everything in you, and loving those around you. If you have those 7 main ingredients necessary for salvation, the rest is in degrees of learning. Take this example. You have a person with an IQ of 160, and a person with an IQ of 80. The person with the IQ of 160 will learn twice as fast as the person with the 80 IQ. If both study the bible the same amount of time, that person with the 160 IQ will grow twice as fast in their faith. Does that then make the person with an 80 IQ wrong. No, it just means that they are not as far down the path as the 160 IQ person. So just because someone knows more, does not make them right and you wrong. It just means that they know more. Then, God will also expect more. "Each according to his gifts."

I know that I have thrown a lot at you. Here and on email. It is time to let the crock pot stew and see what it becomes. Nothing has to be determined today.

Ruth said...

Thanks Nate for the clarification. I figured that was what you meant. I've seen your 7 tenets of faith somewhere else (your blog or a comment your made somewhere)and I do agree that it about sums it up. You didn't mention Jesus though - when I saw it before you said something about the gift of grace from the cross so I assume that is what you meant here.

As for the bible, I believe if it says it happened, then it happened. If it says its a parable, then it didn't happen. But I agree with you that we don't have to follow everything literally. It's about the heart of the matter.

I'm with you on the degrees of sanctification thing too.

I happen to be reading Ezekiel right now in my One Year Bible. (I'm in November cause I'm a little behind from last year) Very interesting story. God was one pissed off dude.
In reading through the OT last year, it struck me that what really mattered to God was that people believed him. I think that's still true.

jON said...

ruth, i absolutely think that the bible has amazing supernatural power infused in its words. what i am sharing here is the view that actually unlocked that "heb.4" power for me.

to get into the heads of the people and stop trying to get into god's head. i can't understand the mind of god. but i can relate to god asking you to stand up before the leader and say, "let my people go!" and me asking if he couldn't send someone else? like my brother, perhaps?

feeling the dilemma of the person, as well as feeling the spirit that approaches them and deals with them, i know more and "hear" more in my day to day life, which is where things are actually important.

not that what happened in the past isn't important, its just that it's not what's happening now. and we can miss what's happening now if we are always looking backwards to a time that we are not living in. especially when trying to supplant a hierachial model of christianity on a church that just didn't operate that way
in order to justify its own existence.

susan, it can be hard to explain if you have never experienced it first hand. (i'm sure several others can bear witness as to th truth of these coming statements) and all i can say to is: consider yourself extremely lucky.

because mixed among those who come with simple faith to worship their god, there is also a socio/political organization that has its base of operations in the same building. it also goes by the name of "church." but it is a life ruiner.

instead of building people up, it tears them down. in many small ways every day, slowly eroding a true understanding of grace and perfect love and acceptance from god into a completely terrorizing fear and a joyless, hopeless, loveless, depressing experience. almost a nightmare from which one can not awake unless someone or something shakes you awake.

it is happening, and it is real. i cannot speak for anyone else in this place, but it is an evil taht i believe i have been called to fight. by destroying the lies with truth and freeing people from the oppressive system by letting them know the truth of the cross. that everything they have ever done has already been taken care of. you're in good with god now and forever and no one can take that away from you. NO ONE. not on the basis of what movies you watch, books you read, thoughts you have, music you like, people you hang out with, things you do for fun, or any other myriad of stupid cultural man-made add ons that people base the hope of their future on.

i believe in one thing and one thing only. the blood of jesus. that is the only thing that i will be able to say to god on judgement day. because it is the only hope i have.

and i have this hope because i believe in the freeing power of scripture. because i believe it is sharp and divides. and because when i take this view, i feel alive and empowered and my spiritual fruit grows. when i think of going back inside the doctrinal boxes, which do not approve of me or my life one bit, i get so sad and dpressed and all of my fruit just shrivels on the vine instantly.

so i go where the fruit blossoms. because i read somewhere that's what the master wants.

i could be wrong. but i don't think i am.

jON said...

and you, ruth, are not the first to complain of brain-pains here. you're in good company... :-)

Nate said...

Yes, Jon often give me a headache too.

The bible is powerful. Very powerful. While reading it the holy spirit will often impress upon me his design for a particular part of my life. For me, that is what is realy important after understanding salvation, being within God's will for me. Those little nudges he gives me while reading are very helpful.

Ruth said...

From your original post:


I laughed at this. It's true we take whatever the Apostles say as infallible even though they were human like us. In fact - they got to just wing it cause they were the first.

But I'm sure there's some theological reason for it somewhere isn’t there? What about the authority of scripture? I don't mean to inundate you with questions Jon, I'm just throwing them out there in case someone knows.

It always struck me as funny that the disciples were such bumbling buffoons before the resurrection and the Holy Spirit. But there was an innocence and hunger in them too.

I heard a term today - someone called themselves a "red letter Christian". Do you know what that means? I am assuming it means they focus on what Jesus said and not everyone else.

I’m rambling but in my mind it all goes together.

Dena G said...

The "official" Red Letter Christian movement was started by Jim Wallis (of Sojourners) and Tony Campolo. Here's part of the blurb on their website, since I'm too lazy to put it into my own words. ;-) I'm a big advocate.

"The Red Letter Christians are a network of effective, progressive, Christian communicators urging an open, honest and public dialogue on issues of faith and politics. We believe and seek to put in to action the red letter words in the Holy Bible spoken by Jesus. The goal of the group is to advance the message that our faith cannot be reduced to only two hot button social issues - abortion and homosexuality. Fighting poverty, caring for the environment, advancing peace, promoting strong families, and supporting a consistent ethic of life are all critical moral and biblical values."

(I AM still here...just primarily in lurking mode. Craziness abounds here.)

One Voice of Many said...

This is me hijacking a post again but, let me ask you all this, (jon - I'm sorry --- kick me out of the circle if I'm interrupting too much...seriously!)

Life seems to be taking a turn for the better for us financially. Briefly speaking, I'm still quitting but I'm starting my own office solutions outsourcing company and this job is my first major client. I'll do the same job, but just as self employed contractor. That gets me out of needing to sit here for hours on end and be able to manage my family much better yet still meet work deadlines.

So - with some hope for a break in the pressure on the horizon - I catch myself thinking thoughts like "maybe God worked it all out", etc. etc.

WHY?! WHY... WHY if I'm trying to reform a theology that doesn't blame God for the wrong and awfulness, why would I revert back to Vacation Bible School thought of "God worked it all out because now I have what I think I wanted"?
I mean - how incredibly fickle of me!

Anybody care to take a stab at that one?


Ruth said...

Dena - thanks for the info about Red Letter Chrisitanity. I think I will check it out.

Nate said...

Why, Why Why?

You will never stop asking that.

Did God work it all out? Probably yeah.

Why? For your situation I don't know. But for me, it is when God has taken me another step down the path. I am where he wants me to be. Then when I have rested up, and have some order to what he wants me to be. Off we go again, on another step down the path.

Plus, God also knows when you have had enough for a while. It also means to me, that you are still in his hands, and being taken care of.

One Voice of Many said...

nate -
You will never stop asking that.

NOPE -- probably not.

Ruth said...

Yes Michelle, I do see humility and honesty in you. You might have your fists up in front of you though. I can't see too well from here. :)

I wonder if it would do you good to stop trying to figure God out and trust him. But your problem is that you're not sure if he is trustworthy.

So why don't you ask him to show you personally that he is trustworthy?

I have the same questions about why God does this or allows that to happen. But I guess he's revealed enough of himself to me that even though I don't understand him, I can trust him.

We each have to come to that conclusion in our own spirit. My struggle with it has led me to Jeremiah 17:7-8. which is my "life verse"

7 "But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD,
whose confidence is in him.

8 He will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit."

wanting more said...

Ruth - in your comment to Michelle, you hit the nail on the head for me. It is hard to stop asking why and just rest if you don't trust. I have been fed the church version of God, and then God didn't turn out to be that way at all, so it's hard to trust. See...I know this stuff in my head well enough to put it down here, but deep in my heart, I still struggle with it. So, thanks...I guess asking Him to show us that he is trustworthy is a good start.

Michelle, I think somewhere you mentioned something similar - about really wanting God to be the way the church said He was! So, now that your situation has changed, is He really the one that did it? Or is it just coincidence?
And if it was God, why did He do this now?

I long for the freedom to simply trust...

I know I don't comment very much or participate in the conversation, but I am really thankful for this conversation. Thanks for letting me intrude every once in a while.


wanting more said...

Oh, and Jon...I think I found you through Adrift Many Thoughts, and then found everyone else through you. I went back and read the comment I posted the first time I think I read your blog - on the "F" word...and I was embarrased by my own legalism and self-righteousness.

I used to think that I had the corner on doing the "God thing" right, but he has completely rearranged my life/faith/everything in the past 2 years...well, it's still a mess, but it seems that is where it should be for now. STrangely, when I thought I knew it all, I was in a very young, awkward, open-minded little I live in a super tiny little town stuck in the 1940s, go to an AG church building (did legalism originate there? :)), and am scrutinized daily...the only reason we go there now is because my 2 yr old wakes up every Sunday and says she want to go to the church. :)

I guess God wanted me to know that it doesn't matter where you are or if you even go to a church building, or if you say fuck or not.


One Voice of Many said...

Kari -
That's exactly my question. When things have been dreadful I've tried to talk myself down by saying it's just coincidence. My years of church programming, though, say that when things are good, it was God. Which of course makes me ask for the millionth time, when things are bad - isn't that God too? The logic can't be true only in His favor, can it?

I dunno. I think it's just life cycling through like it does. It's just that gnawing programmed voice in the back of my mind feeling guilty for not shouting "Hallelujah... He's made a way!" like the good pentecostal/charasmatic would.


Ruth said...

Hi Kari - Thank you so much for letting me know that I was an encouragement to you!!!

It is so good to know that I have been a blessing.

I have been so drawn to this conversation for the past couple of weeks because it feels like the kingdom of God is here. I can't explain it. I have often had tears streaming down my cheeks as I write and read. All of you are on my heart! Am I crazy or what???? I do have a real life you know.

Michelle - you said
"The logic can't be true only in His favor, can it?"

You are right. ITS NOT LOGICAL!!! The kingdom of heaven is upside-down to our logic.( ...more Alice in Wonderland going on here)

Sometimes we can say with certainty that God did something and sometimes we don't know for years or ever. And I don't think God ever asks us to decifer, he just wants us to trust him with a childlike faith. But he will confirm his presence in our lives. I always ask him for nuggets......"just give me a nugget Lord and let me know you're in this." And he does in some way.

We are to be "thankful in all things" including "counting our trials a blessing" because "we know that in all things God works for good for those who love him." Now is that logical?

Take a look at Josephs life as an example.

I sooo don't mean to preach at you. I am just passionate. I think you have been fed a lot of lies and you have stepped out of the matrix, woken up in your pod and now you need to know who God really is. Yes – He will woo you back.

Nate said...

Why, Why, Why? I think you misunderstood that. It is not just you asking why, it is everyone.

That is why Jon and I are here, we keep asking why. That is why I say, you will never stop asking why.

Also, is God in the bad as well as the good? Yes. He causes trouble to come into your life, as much as he blesses you. That is how he teaches us thick headed humans.

Nice to finally learn your name. It is also nice to have conversations with you. I like your input. It is meaningfull.

Thank you so much for saying that you feel the kingdom here. We (the old timers to this blog) try to make everyone feel welcome, and loved. We have o problem at all with dissention, because we sow so much of it ourselves. We have also had it thrown back into our face so much, that we do not do it to others. Actually we like the good verbal sparring that comes out of it.

Valorosa said...

It was a Trojan

jON said...

very nice to come home and find a conversation of this magnitude and edification happening. i think it is community at its finest, and i thank you all for engaging one another, and encouraging one another, in my absence. you guys are pretty stingy with the snacks, though. but until you get it, i guess i'll keep stocking the clubhouse table.

all i've got right now is a handful of mints i swiped after dinner...

been getting my mother moved down here to be by my sister and i these past few days. little bro flew up on thurs. and nate gets in tomorrow. they will both have a chance to experience firsthand the church that goes on in our home as we have organized a party for tomorrow night. i am so excited!

dena, good to see you. been a little while. is the craziness abounding "here" as in this cyber-place or "here" as in your physical daily life?

ruth, you have asked this question twice with no takers. "What about the authority of scripture?" so let me ask you first, what do you mean by "authority of scripture?" what does this term mean to you? and where did you get this definition?

michelle - hijack away. with me "traveling" this summer, i'll be around here less. so if people are going to hang out here, they'll need to take a more active roll.

on that note, i will be posting things for discussion over the summer. they will be relatively short in nature, but equally stimulating.

kari - it is always good to see you again. my policy is complete openness and honesty in this place, so feel free to share anything as you need. that's just who you were being when you were here before, and i respect that. if you've grown since then i'm sure you're comments (like these) will reflect that. you're welcome anytime.
i assume you know that our "thought drifter" was recently wed?

nate, as always, your input is blunt and insightful. no holds barred in your opinion. that's why i like you're stuff. no one ever wonders where you stand for long. thanks for facilitating conversation in my absence.

wendy, sorry about the virus. that's twice now. i don't use "word verification" like most because i try to leave the comments as simple as possible for people who are unfamiliar with the blogging world. that way it is simpler for them to join in. and soon become seasoned veterans who realize that they shouldn't open up random links from strangers. ;-) seriously, though, i'm sorry if any damage resulted from these spammers...

i realized after the last post that i need to study a bit more before i finish it. i realize the bible has much to say on the subject and i want to be able to articulate my position well.

so we'll just call abode cubed the end of season 2. season 3 will begin with a more ample discussion of spirit vs. law.

so, in the interim, i plan on doing two things.

1. - posting questions for rumination

2. - well, number 2 is actually a favor i am asking of you. i plan on reposting all of my stuff from the very beginning at the rate of 1 month per week. all i ask is that you would be willing to read this stuff and give me an outsider's perspective. as i am the only one who has been here the whole time (although wendy has been here for over 2 years with me), i would love some feedback on anything i might be missing. any patterns or something that you can see in this story that i may be missing? not REALLY sure what i mean by that, it just seemed like a good idea. if the spirit moves you to speak, then please do so. but you are by no means obligated. lurk at your leisure.

i'll be around once in a while, but not anything approaching normal. i have too much that needs my attention this summer. new job. new living situation. relearning a relationship with my recently widowed mother. a daughter who is rapidly becoming on the move. (something zaavan has never troubled us with.)

i will however, be "traveling" to different cyber-communities this summer to see if they are any more out there who are interested in this conversation. so hopefully you guys will keep coming back to welcome them in. at least make them some cocoa or something for me if they stop by...

much love to you and yours this summer. roll down the windows and listen to something loud! have people over to do something fun! enjoy your freedom! enjoy your life! and don't forget why you have both of those things...and why other people can only take one of them away!


Valorosa said...

"Why other people can only take one of them away?"


They ain't takin' either of them away.

Hugs to you and Erin and your wee ones. They will be grown far faster than you can know now at this stage in your life. Enjoy every moment no matter what comes your way ...

Love in all situations and if its all too hard for you to love in the heat of the moment get back up and start loving again ... don't ever give up ... because of all the things our guide book speaks of this is one I've tested in the fire and it is true ...

Love never fails

Ruth said...

Jon Said
"ruth, you have asked this question twice with no takers. "What about the authority of scripture?" so let me ask you first, what do you mean by "authority of scripture?" what does this term mean to you? and where did you get this definition?"

DANG!! A question with a question. Okay, I'll bite.

I guess to me it means that the bible represents the very word, character and will of God so it should be submitted to as an authority. It means that we trust that the writings that got in there were inspired by God and represent him truthfully. So even if the apostles were wrong at times, it didn't make it in there. That's why Pauls rendition rather than Peter's of the story is there. Or, perhaps Peter received the correction and repented. Maybe Paul received a correction about something else at some point and repented too. The point is that I trust only the truth made it into the final cut.However, I don't disagree that the authors of the bible were humans and could sin and make mistakes.

What I think you are suggesting (and please correct me if I'm wrong) is that perhaps we should take what they say with a grain a salt because they were only human and maybe they got it wrong sometimes. I just don't think I can go there.

Original Post:
yet, because we have been given and taught the assumption that the apostles were "orthodox perfection" and that their letters are "god speaking to us".....

"....which makes me wonder if there was anything else they were not perfect about? is it possible that some of the things they had to say came out of their own experience and limited understanding and were not god desperately trying to communicate a message of law for all people for all time?"

A far a where I got the term "Authority of Scripture", I honestly don't know - it's just from years of being in the machine. :)

This is why my brain is hurting because it is making me think about why I think this!!!!

And so Jon, I anticipate your response and my brain hurting some more.

Have a great time with your family and at your "party".

Valorosa said...

Authority is given to God alone as we read along.

The Word spoken of in John 1 is Christ ... a living breathing deity in human form.

verse 16 tells us that the law came through Moses and grace and truth through Jesus Christ who lived in the bosom of our Father.

At any rate the WORD is not papers bound in leather or heavy shiny paper.

It is Christ himself according to the papers bound in leather and shiny heavy paper. LOL

jON said...

i love when you say things like this wendy. you said almost exactly the conclusion i came to last night. i just got there by a different route...

ruth, i have difficulty with this statement. which, i think is the crux of our 2 differing views. " it should be submitted to as an authority." the reason i have difficulty with this is twofold:
1. - how does one "submit to it as an authority?"

2. - in my opinion, it keeps god in a box in history when god is actually very much with us in the here and now.

because i do agree with valorosa that god is the final authority that we need to give our obedience to. and in my personal view, i see a difference between god in history and god in the now. while there are many parallels that can be drawn in our lives between current circumstances and historical ones, i think there is a difference between what god wanted for those people in the past and what he wants from me now.

i don't believe that scripture is "how god speaks to us" as a rule. do i believe he CAN speak through scripture? absolutely and without a doubt. do i think that is the ONLY way in which he speaks to us? no. no i do not.

which is why a problem was created for me. i had been told my entire life that "god will never ask you to do anything that "contradicts" or is "outside of scripture". and i simply don't see any biblical basis for that statement. as far as i can tell, it is simply popular opinion at best, and another means of behavioral control at worst.

i think how god dealt with people in the past, and the continuing story from genesis right on through revelation, is powerful and gripping. it is life-changing to get ahold of it and study it. but god is bigger than the past. as i said before, and as wendy said, i don't think god's spirit resides within pages and words. he is with us in the here and now.

all the rest of the "heroes of faith" had their time and their encounters and challenges and obstacles. and they succeeded and failed and learned and won. but now, we are the ones being tapped. we are the ones having ridiculous things asked of us. if we are willing to listen and obey. god is with us in the "here and now" and, in my opinion, what he has to say to us now is just as valid and important, if not moreso.

which reminded me of a quote from a movie called "the goonies." and with this quote, i shall end for now.

"Our parents, they want the best of stuff for us. But right now, they got to do what's right for them. Because it's their time. Their time! Up there! Down here, it's our time. It's our time down here...

Ruth said...

I think we tied up this strand of the conversation over at my place so I invite anyone who is following to check it out.

The only thing I want to add about submitting to scripture is that it gives me a plum line with which to recognize God's ways and character when I see them. However, I can't necessarily predict what God is going to do. Or pronounce judgement on what someone else should do for that matter.

I hope I am making sense here. I think it goes along the line of the "Goonies" quote.

I've certainly enjoyed spending time in your abode Jon - thank you for engaging me and yes sharpening me!

I'm taking off for a few days and I'm going to have blog withdrawl. But maybe that will give you some time to collect your next post with out me pestering you with quesitons. :)