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HolyGround >> My email discussion with a normal Christian


5/27/13 9:58 AM
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zealot66
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Im going to post some emails between myself and a fellow I work with that attempted to witness to me. Thought it might be interesting if someone wants to know what makes me and other skeptics tick.

 

Sorry for my tardy response.  I took a couple of days off work to focus on getting my other house on the market again.  My target was yesterday and it is now next week.

-Good luck with that. The market appears to be rebounding.

 

I appreciate your depth and breadth of knowledge on the matters we discuss.  You have already devoted more time and effort to your information gathering and thought process than I probably will my whole life.

It appears to me also that we have communicated from different reference points.  You seem to have accurately described my interest and efforts to be essentially devotional in nature.  I do not have a natural curiosity and have limited time and energy resources.

                       

-I think that with all the resources available today that we treat Christianity and study in the same manner that we treat TV shows or movies. Consumerism of a product. We find the product that gives us the most satisfaction and we then hold that to be our standard. 2000 years is a long gap to make claims that what is being preached, sold and pushed from the pulpits is all the truth you need. As I stated, ministers that are on radio, TV and in writing with large following are given a great amount of trust because the average Christian is not willing and has no desire to feed themselves. You went to that rally and gave me the packet of a preacher. Its no different than a political campaign for ‘American Values’. We are a sorry lot when he have to be reminded to be faithful to our wives, don’t lie cheat or steal…

 

Just as politicians want a dumbed down public so that they can throw them bread and cirucses, they can’t allow people to dig deep into the issues because they may discover things that upset the apple cart. For example, the ‘Rapture’ is always a favorite tool to bring people down the sawdust road. Nevermind that the concept as preached today  did NOT exist prior to 1850 and was based on a dream a young girl had in Scotland and was preached by John Nelson Darby, the founder of Dispensational Theology ( which is what the majority of Evangelcials base their view of the NT on ) who was banished from the Plymouth Brethren over his heretical teachings. He lost favor in England and came to America and essentially planted the seeds and then came along CI Scofield and his reference bible to Gin up the Baptist church and many others. You won’t find this teaching in most other western countries or even among the Reformed and Presbyterian doctrine.

            If I am going to meditate on something or invest my time learning, I want to know from ‘whence’ it came. 

5/27/13 10:00 AM
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zealot66
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 My contribution to the stream of life is to encourage others to love and good deeds and to help provide practical steps to accomplish same.

Since my search is much targeted and my available resources to invest are very limited, I am very choosey about the reference points I consider.  One of the most important and non-negotiable factors in my choice of study resources is trust.  It is very likely and probable that I cast an overly broad brush of discrimination in this regard.

 

-Again, your discrimination may be misplaced. General acceptance by a large body of people is essentially meaningless when you accurately understand the beliefs and concepts of that body. Hence, Abortion is the law of the land and well over 50 percent of the people are for ‘Pro Choice’. You have to remember that being popular doesn’t equal correct. By simply reacting in the previous email to words that you clearly misunderstood in definition is an indication of your limited interest in the scope of inquiry. This isn’t a criticism, its just an example of knee jerk reaction to something that isn’t popular simply because its overwhelmed by ‘pop’ Christianity.

 

Christian ministry is an industry. With books, music, rallies, teaching material, don’t kid yourself that it isn’t a billion dollar business and it is designed to meet the needs and expectations of the consumer. Unfamiliar territory isn’t a large seller, due to the potential realization that if One thing I believe is wrong, I could be living in a proverbial house of cards. Very unsettling.

5/27/13 10:01 AM
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zealot66
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I trust you and very much appreciate your understanding.  I also, to some degree, recognize your skeptism of the American church in its common form (regardless of its theological orthodoxy).  I share much of your dissatisfaction, but believe it is important to be part of a church community (if orthodoxed), in spite of its flaws.

 

-People oftentimes mistake my absence and resistance to church as some way to escape the scrutiny of some secret life I lead or that I can sin more openly. I have no such secret life. I have a problem with swearing and have since I was a kid. It’s a challenge. Working on the phones has allowed me to be able to check myself before I wreck myself with word choices ( most of the time lol )

               I want to continue our discussions.  If it works for you, please share with me specifically what you have learned related to my two personal goals:

1)  Personally trusting, obeying, and enjoying God.

2)  Paradigm shifts orthodox American churches, and other people groups, need to be more what God intended and how to affect these.

Respectfully submitted,

Jeff

 

-These are large questions that I will have to fully respond to as time progresses. However, I feel that the conversation will be steered down a one way street. I will answer but do you place any value on doctrinal issues ( which I believe heavily influence how we act out Christianity ). In return, I challenge you to read this section on the history of Dispensationalism which is a complete underpinning to the people you listen to

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dispensationalism#History

 

Suprisingly, Wikipedia has good articles on several subjects but if your ‘radar’ goes off, the facts in this article can easily be cross referenced in numerous other places that might hold more weight with you. I was aware of these things long before Wikipedia and that is why I was surprised at how accurate some of their stuff is, especially on some religious subjects.

Personally trusting and obeying and enjoying God.

 

I have rather simple first answers to these issues. I think it is often times made more complex as if it is a puzzle to solve. I believe the God exists. An intelligent creator of the universe. The question , not yet personally settled upon, is what is trusting God. He is ominipotent, He knows the future. I long ago quit ever asking WHY when something bad happens. It is a futile human response to a belief that we will prosper and be happy if we do what God says. I believe more in the principle of making choices. Should I stand at the edge of a cliff and decide to jump off, God will not stop me. In the same manner, we are a sum total of all the choices we make in life. Trusting is more to me that there are universal principles in the world and just because I have a relationship with God does not mean that I am exempt or that God will step in in any remarkable fashion.

 

People talk of miracles, I have yet to see one or even know of one happening. We often pray for something, trusting God but we also become self fufillers of our own prayers. He simply is not going to drop life out of the sky and say, here it its.

                                                                                                                                   

‘Do you trust God?’ the question comes booming from the pulpit….I don’t know. What does it look like when we don’t trust God? Then I can give a fuller answer. That’s all for now.

 


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