"Listen to me, Raistlin. The magic will not solve your problems. It will only add to them. The magic will not make people like you. It will increase their distrust. The magic will not ease your pain. It will twist and burn inside you until sometimes you think that even death would be preferable."
what i have found, in my own experience, is that when a person encounters the living god, she asks for some pretty crazy things that can be hard to understand. or even believe that it is indeed her speaking. for example -
acts 10:9-15 tells us the story of peter and an encounter he had with god through a vision that completely negated previous instructions of the written, "scriptural", variety. (lev. 11:3-8)
likewise we also read the story of samson in the book of judges. many of us already know the story of samson and delilah. but it is not often pointed out that we are told in judges 14:4 that, "...it was of the LORD, for He was seeking an occasion against the Philistines..." completely negating his own decree in deut. 7:3
he asked ezekiel to lay on his side for 430 days and "lay siege" to a model of jerusalem. as well as cook his food during this time over human shit. ezekiel said that was a little much for him, so god said it was ok to use cow shit instead.
he asked hosea to marry a prostitue who would be completely faithless to him and rip his heart out and embarass him over and over and over and over.
point being, god asks ridiculous things of his most intimate followers. mostly, i believe, because they are actually listening and willing to respond with obedience. none of these things were done because any of these men "read about them in scripture." so how did they know? what did god's servants do before there was a bible?
nate has spoken on this subject at length elsewhere. so i won't overlap too much.
because what i'm really talking about here, if we can all recall, is how my views of the bible have changed and why i don't believe in doctrines anymore. in my opinion and experience, the bible is not to be believed because it is god dictating our behaviors to us or laying down some sort of an inflexible law by which we must live in order to be saved. and i don't think the bible is to be believed because it has wonderful logical arguments for showing others how wrong they or their belief systems are. i know this is the majority evangelical view, and one i used to hold, but no longer.
i believe the bible because it is a continuious story of lives changed. people who had radical encounters with a "divine other being" and the resulting events surrounding such encounters. period. end of story. which leaves much more room for learning how to "hear" god through the studying of the encounters of others. which is a much different thing from thinking that if we "imitate" these people, and their specific actions based on specific requests god made of them, that we will too somehow have an experience of god.
i believe the pharisees used to use this same type of approach. and jesus said to them, based on this approach, "You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life..." note that what jesus is saying here, in plain language, is that the scriptures ARE NOT WHAT GIVES US LIFE. in fact he follows up this statement directly by saying, "...it is these that testify about Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life." "coming to jesus" gives us life. because jesus gives us access to the great "divine other being". it is not reading a book and thinking that obeying this book is what we need to do in order to please the "divine other being". that approach, in my opinion, is a lie served up by men for whom that lie benefits them. i.e. putting them in places of authority that they love, leaving people under their care dependant on their interpretations of the bible. and leaving the sheep devoid of the knowledge that they can hear directly from god themselves. not needing a human mediator.
(for extra fun, the very next statement that jesus makes in this passage is, "I do not receive glory from men." how does THAT fit in with what goes on in most evangelical churches every week?)
well, we're about 7 more lines down in my notes, and again, this is enough for now. looks like we will need one more post to complete this thought. but let's see where this conversation goes first...
A two week break
9 hours ago