Monday, June 19, 2006

Continued....

So, there was a discussion going on in the "Ask Mae" section of the Mae messageboard and since this is the new arena for discussion that goes more indepth on certain issues, I will post the last comment that was made on the thread and continue it here.

someone posted this:
I think it's pretty clear that God wants us to discover His complexities and the multi-faceted nature of His personality. He doesn't want Himself to remain completely unknown to us. The gospel is mysterious and so is the character of God, but that doesn't mean that He wants people to stay completely in the dark. I think that's a huge part of why He's given us His word to begin with, and why Jesus came-- to be like the hem of God's robe to humanity.

my opinion:
you say that the gospel is mysterious, I agree completely. The truth of God's message lies in a personal search, although, those that hold the most influence on a mass level (the mainstream church and other evangelical mass media campaings, political campaigns) have taken advantage of the mysterious message and made it into something that fits an agenda, or an idea they have of the bible. I don't think personal ideas, or interpretations are evil (obviously) or wrong, but I do think it's wrong when you make that personal interpretation into dogma on an official level, whether it be in a church, or anywhere else. There's a sensitivity that is required to actually lead people to Christ, and that sensitivity has been lost on many levels. Witnessing is such a touchy task, to approach someone (and have only beneficial and honest intentions) can easily push people away when it becomes a task to "fix" someone, or "make them a better person"...even though in your own heart and mind, it is not that simple, it can easily become offensive and counter productive. To be a christian with a "mission" is just bad terminology. But I will get into more of that later. Feel free to comment and tell me what you think.
Zach

4 Comments:

Anonymous Simon said...

I agree. I think its important that whilst God remains a vast ocean to explored, the bible describes his character enough for us to allow to trust in him completely. I think personal interpretations of the bible are diluting the content of it - The bible speaks several times about sexual immorality, for example, but where we draw the line seperates us from either man or God. I think it's important that we don't try and draw lines for other people and the truth of the matter is that if we were full of the Holy Spirit, we would know if something was wrong or right anyway. At the moment in our Youth Ministry which has a fantastic website! (www.impactshaftesbury.com) we are learning about the armour of God. The Belt of Truth was one of things we've learned about, and knowing what the truth is is what holds the rest of your armour together. If you don't know what's truth then you can't put on the rest of your armour. I've been enjoying your discussions Zach, I'm glad you're continuing them where we can have more input.

12:30 PM

 
Blogger Zach said...

And I enjoy your comments, I hope I don't come across as someone who is trying to dictate how to interpret anything the bible says, I am here to learn from you guys and girls and these types of discussions make me think about things that, in many cases, I would not have thought of on my own. This blog is the first of many...it'll be a good thing.

3:47 PM

 
Anonymous Katie said...

Hey Zach! I am glad to see you are willing to continue this discussion. I guess I'm still having an issue with part of what you are saying, although it might just be a wording thing:

The truth of God's message lies in a personal search
See, I think am more in the camp of believing that the truth of God's message is something concrete and definite. We each discover it on our own spiritual path and at our own rate, but what the message is remains the same, no matter how people interpret it differently. I have a lot of issues with people claiming that their interpretation IS the same as God's truth, without a willingness to admit that their human view might be incomplete (or even wrong!). It sounds like you have similar issues, especially with "mass level" Christianity (we should say "Christianity", because the Church has so often distorted Christ's message).

I definitely agree with what you've said about how certain "official" interpretations of the Bible have turned people off to God's truth. I've heard it said that Christians in America have been "inoculated against the gospel"-- they've heard its weakened form enough to be able to reject the real thing. And yet I think a lot of people in this country have never really heard the true gospel. I don't think I myself had heard it until a few years ago. When I say that, I mean that I grew up in church hearing a gospel that was all about my individual relationship with Jesus, and had to do with that vertical situation, me being right with God.

Through my own study and through discussion with a lot of Christians I really respect, I've come to see the gospel as something that is not limited to that vertical relationship. It's about "horizontal" relationships too-- especially my relationship with the suffering world around me. Christians ought to be bringing God's kingdom to earth today. And I think part of that means having a sense of "mission". I don't think that has to translate as thinking about people as projects or anything like that. But there ought to be a certain urgency about letting God work through us in transforming ways.

Of course sensitivity and cultural relevance are vital to witnessing and evangelism. But for me, it's a lot easier to be too cautious than it is to be too bold. I think a lot of people are ready to hear the Good News that Jesus loves them and came to bring them healing and radical change. It's a matter of communicating that honestly and with humility.

Sorry I wrote you a book again.

6:45 PM

 
Blogger Zach said...

I completely agree with this..."I've come to see the gospel as something that is not limited to that vertical relationship. It's about "horizontal" relationships too-- especially my relationship with the suffering world around me. Christians ought to be bringing God's kingdom to earth today." In fact, I'm reading a book called, "The Secret Message of Jesus" that talks about that. I highly recommend it.

9:19 PM

 

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