Post Number: 348
|Posted on Wednesday, September 01, 2010 - 4:14 pm: || |
Maybe it's rather like we are all together in a funnel, with none of us yet honed and refined enough to slide on through to the goal of that "full knowledge," so we continue to be shaken and refined, and shaken and refined some more, as we get closer to the goal of a perfect understanding. We have to be patient toward each other and toward ourselves as we each endure the process, without ever giving up. I don't believe anyone will or can reach that point in this finite life, because that would be setting the rest of us up with an unrealistic expectation of perfection (sound familiar???) and set such a person up as an example instead of Jesus. But it takes courage to accept the necessity to continue, never giving in to despair, always dependent on God's wisdom to guide us into greater understanding as we submit to Him.
Post Number: 973
|Posted on Wednesday, September 01, 2010 - 4:52 pm: || |
YES ! I agree totally :-)
We are all in a learning process. We are all at different places in our learning and understanding and I do not believe that anyone will EVER reach a level of full maturity and understanding while housed in these earthly bodies. And in my personal opinion...not in Heaven either as I think we will continue to learn and be amazed by the wonders of God throughout all eternity. :-)
Post Number: 974
|Posted on Wednesday, September 01, 2010 - 5:01 pm: || |
HAPPY BIRTHDAY ENOCH !!!!!! Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you...Happy Birthday Dear Enoch, Happy Birthday to you... :-)
Post Number: 169
|Posted on Wednesday, September 01, 2010 - 5:18 pm: || |
Yen, are you saying that one must have "full knowledge" or perfect understanding to be clear about any truth, or just certain ones? If Biblical knowledge is possible to even the least "refined" of us, then you might expect some members who have clarity on an issue to give a vigorous defense of it. Isn't that what we are commanded to do?
Post Number: 3378
|Posted on Wednesday, September 01, 2010 - 5:32 pm: || |
Let's take a look at that verse in context:
"I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.
13"But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.
14"He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you.
15"All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you." (John 16:12-15 NASB.)
He is speaking to the apostles, and in the context here, is clearly talking about the revelation of the Holy Spirit to the apostles. Which is found in the New Testament.
In other words, the Holy Spirit has guided the apostles into "all the truth," and "all the truth" is sitting there right in front of us, in the New Testament.
"Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints." (Jude 1:3 NASB.)
There is no new truth left to be revealed.
Post Number: 11651
|Posted on Wednesday, September 01, 2010 - 5:49 pm: || |
I can't give a explicit, comprehensive answer to the "how" of this question, but I can say that Truth is absolute. It exists in God Himself, and it is communicated to us without error in His word. He does not clearly reveal the "how" of everything, but He reveals the "what" that we must know.
The core of truth is the gospel, and when we submit to it and receive Jesus as our Savior, He pours out the Holy Spirit on us so we can begin to "know" spiritual reality.
So--my few years' experience as a Christian has begun to reveal that my spiritual perception requires at least two things from me: first, a consistent immersion in Scripture--not just reading it, but deeply meditating on it, perhaps just one or two verses at a time--but in context. For me, this meditation has taken the form of memorizing longer passages, repeating each day every verse from the passage that I know and adding one.
It's impossible to explain how this "works", but I know that as I ponder the prepositions and conjunctions, the verbs and even their tenses, subtle but profound insights begin to occur. And the more Scripture on which I meditate, the more the consistent themes and repeated declarations of God and His truth coalesce.
Second, I have to consciously surrender my beliefs and worldview that I bring to Scripture. Now, more than 11 years out of Adventism and in the environment of hearing and studying Scripture as taught by people who are actual Bible scholars but not Adventist, I have some beliefs that I know I can count on. Nevertheless, I never approach my study time without asking God to teach me truth from His word and to show me reality.
Sometimes I encounter a passage that seems slightly obscure--perhaps the wording is a bit vague, or the context seems a bit confusing...and I always ask God to show me what I need to know about that passage. Sometimes I just keep repeating the verse every day without great insight...and suddenly, an "a-ha!" occurs.
So, learning truth is never done, but with time and inductive study where we trace phrases and passages back to other places in Scripture from where they are quoted, a deep consistency and cohesion begins to emerge.
Concurrently, if we subject ourselves to the teaching of people who embrace an orthodox statement of faith, we will begin to see that our understanding is not unique. Instead, we'll find that people from all over Christendom and over the centuries have had similar understandings of Scripture. Only the Holy Spirit could accomplish this sort of generational consistency. At the same time, some understandings of "secondary" doctrines or facts become clear at certain times or in certain places. But these understandings are not "new". They are right there in Scripture, verifiable from multiple passages and clearly known to the apostles as recorded in the epistles.
It is essential to study the Bible with other people, especially in a setting where people actively embrace an orthodox statement of belief and are intentional about honoring the Word and have committed themselves to teaching and studying it.
One of the offices God gave the church as recorded in Ephesians 4 is the office of teacher along with pastor. His intention is that people will preach the word and teach it for the building up of the body. Our own study should actually complement, not contradict, the teaching of a Bible-honoring teacher.
Post Number: 349
|Posted on Wednesday, September 01, 2010 - 6:24 pm: || |
We are probably all clear on some (few!) points and unclear on (many!) others, so we can and should be open to help to and from each other. The acquisition of truth is not an established and predictable continuum, proceeding in an even manner from Point A then to Point B then on and on to Point Z--DONE! That's why as fellow Christians we are all in different spots and able to both learn and teach others. What you have come to an understanding of, I may still be struggling to grasp, and you can help me, while I help a sister somewhere with a different point. We need each other!
Have you ever worked with several other people seated around a table working on a large jigsaw puzzle? Each person searches among the pieces gathered in the middle to find some that fit together. Suddenly you notice that another person has a piece that fits your little section! Gradually the whole puzzle is assembled. In the case of doctrine and faith, I doubt the "whole picture" will be finished until eternity is finished! There will forever be things that we see coming together! But while we are here together, we can receive light as we help each other.
For us, progress is possible, and yes, sharing is commanded (Matt. 28:19). But only God holds total, perfect knowledge and wisdom.
And to your final point, don't you think a vigorous defense is more effective with an attitude of respectful courtesy than with scorn and rudeness? We need not waffle or compromise our beliefs, or display a phony niceness, but we should follow the Golden Rule, treating others as we would want to be treated.
Post Number: 350
|Posted on Wednesday, September 01, 2010 - 6:32 pm: || |
I should have been more specific: my last post was mostly in response to Martin's 5:18 pm post!
Post Number: 1318
|Posted on Wednesday, September 01, 2010 - 7:37 pm: || |
Still, the SDA say that they need EGW to interpret for them, and the RCC say that they need the Pope/magisterium to interpret for them so that they would be all in the same wavelength.
We say that we only need the HS living in us and that He will bring to us whatever it is that the Bible says since He inspired it.
Again, my question is, how come the HS is teaching us, but we have different interpretations? Shouldn't we all have the same interpretation since we have the same teacher?
Post Number: 3380
|Posted on Wednesday, September 01, 2010 - 7:49 pm: || |
Maybe we sometimes "fall asleep in class."
Post Number: 1321
|Posted on Wednesday, September 01, 2010 - 7:55 pm: || |
Oh, I know that. I do it all the time. Being a teacher, I also know that sometimes teachers teach above the student's level and need to have patience so the student can understand.
Post Number: 979
|Posted on Wednesday, September 01, 2010 - 9:07 pm: || |
And sometimes a teacher can also learn from a student if they are themselves open to learn:-)
I learn interesting things from my grandchildren quite often. :-)
Post Number: 748
|Posted on Thursday, September 02, 2010 - 7:29 am: || |
Hec, I read an interesting commentary on Eph. 2:20-22 that makes sense. These verses are talking about Christ as the cornerstone of a building being built by the Holy Spirit.
The comment was that in Roman/Greek times, when a temple was being built it looked like chaos! They didn't build these temples like we build a large building today. The temple grounds would contain several buildings, and you would have blocks of stone; pillars and columns scattered around...and work of all sorts going on. The foundation would be going up in one area while stonemasons would be carving reliefs in another area with columns being roughed out in another. Chaos seemed to reign, but eventually a magnificent temple would stand there.
Same for the Christian church that is being built by the Holy Spirit. It looks like chaos with all sorts of beliefs and practices present. But a bit closer look and you can find the common threads that run through all orthodox beliefs. Of the essentials that are taught in the New Testament, you can find unity among many Christians.
And I would second Colleens post and experiences in meditating on Scripture. The Catholics call this 'lectio divina' and it's a very ancient practice. The problem is that quite a few Christians don't approach Scripture in this fashion. They instead use it as a sort of 'answer book', and try to read the Bible as they would any other book. That just doesn't work!
In turn, that's why it's important, as Colleen mentioned, to study under and learn from gifted teachers that honor the Bible. A lot of grief can be avoided if one is careful as to whom they are learning from.
Post Number: 6643
|Posted on Friday, September 03, 2010 - 5:39 am: || |
That is about the most PROFOUND and wise answer that I have observed yet on this forum ever.
I think Paul exhorts us to this effect in Corinthians I 3:1-23.
Loneviking, thank you! I am going to try and remember this, because there are important principles in it that I need to remember at all times. And if I end up working with the C.M.A. I am SURE going to need it.
Post Number: 113
|Posted on Friday, September 03, 2010 - 8:09 am: || |
Hec I have had that same question for decades. I also used to wonder how other Christians could just switch from one church to another, & even more puzzling from one denomination to another, no big deal. I thought it was because of Sunday. (See the focus on a day?!)
But this spring I had an insight. They HAVE JESUS!
They can 'switch' because they have the same foundation - the gospel of Jesus Christ & Him crucified. It's NOT about DOCTRINE, it's about HIM. That's the foundation. It's the FOCUS.
As an SDA I never had this as my focus & my foundation.
Praise our great God for the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Post Number: 986
|Posted on Friday, September 03, 2010 - 10:00 am: || |
You are right !
As a SDA the 'FOCUS' was on the Sabbath, and the 'FOUNDATION' was the doctrines of the SDA denomination.
The WHOLE thing changes when the FOCUS changes from a DAY (whether it be Saturday OR Sunday) to Jesus. And when the 'foundation' built on doctrines is replaced with a FIRM foundation built upon HIM.
Thank you Jesus for being our firm foundation.
Post Number: 8505
|Posted on Friday, September 03, 2010 - 10:20 am: || |
That is the one thing that really surprised me when I left adventism. All the churches I visited and continue to visit have Jesus Christ as their foundation. It is not about a day!!!
I meet people when I travel to and from where ever my son is and I meet people. When we find out we have Jesus Christ as our foundation it is like instant friendship. What an Awesome God we have!!!
Thank You Awesome God for Jesus.
Post Number: 988
|Posted on Friday, September 03, 2010 - 11:17 am: || |
Diana, that is true about the fellowship aspect you mentioned. When Christ is your foundation, there are Christians in every church who will welcome you as a brother or sister in Christ.
When you attend a different SDA church, people are often viewed with a bit of suspicion until it is known if they are a fellow "Sabbath keeper" or not.
It was like a "us /them " mentality.
There is just WAAAAAY too much focus on the Day and not nearly enough on the Savior.
Post Number: 8507
|Posted on Friday, September 03, 2010 - 12:43 pm: || |
I found out, as an SDA, it was not only if you were a sabbath keeper, but also what your profession was, what was the profession of your husband. It did not matter if one graduated from LLU. What mattered was what the husband did and if he had loads of money.
When I was married we moved to Montreal, Quebec, Canada. At the church there, on the first sabbath I attended, one of the ladies asked if my husband was a medical intern at Mc Gill U. After I said no, I was ignored. They also had their favorite places to sit in the church. If you sat in "their" place, you would be asked to move. I was asked to move many times until I caught on and did not sit in anyone's place.
If I was going to leave adventism over how I was treated, it would have been then. But I did not.
I waited until 33 years later to leave it for good. Thank you awesome God.
Post Number: 215
|Posted on Saturday, September 04, 2010 - 11:29 am: || |
Money is everything in Adventism, it seems. In the local curch here, the men in the in group had money. Also, school teachers,and those with a lot of musical talent. My best friend at church is a very talented singer. She actually doesn't care about money etc, and she didn't see the class thing, cause well, she was one of the "cool kids'. I was seen as her sidekick, and that was all. of course she pretty much dropped me when I get pregnant and couldn't keep helping her with all her church stuff whenever she asked. She actually had to cut back on her church work when I couldn't help her as much. I a still friends with her, but i don't see or talk to her much, and I miss her so much.
Post Number: 992
|Posted on Saturday, September 04, 2010 - 1:29 pm: || |
Angelcat,it hurts when a "friendship" is so one sided doesnt it ?
You said: "of course she pretty much dropped me when I get pregnant and couldn't keep helping her with all her church stuff whenever she asked."
I have had a couple of "friends" like that in the past also and I know the hurt that comes with the discovery that I was just a convenience to them for a time and the feelings of actual "friendship" was very one sided.
Now, I just pray for them and hope they will let God change their hearts, because if not, they will continue to use others and it must be a very sad and miserable feeling to be that way.