Local Church Discussions  

Go Back   Local Church Discussions > Introductions and Testimonies

Introductions and Testimonies Please tell everybody something about yourself. Tell us a little. Tell us a lot. Its up to you!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 07-17-2008, 07:19 PM   #1
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Wedemark, Lower Saxony
Posts: 4,631
Default aron's testimony

I am very, very grateful that not only did I get saved but shortly afterwards I was plunked down by God in the middle of one of the 'local churches'. There is a line that I love in Paul's first epistle to Timothy, in chapter 3, where he says "I write to you that you should know how one ought to conduct themself in the house of the living God..."

I learned how to conduct myself in God's house during my stay in the local churches. I had been an unruly teenager, very antisocial and antiestablishment. I got kicked off the schoolbus, got in trouble with the school, got in trouble with the police, got in trouble with neighbors and schoolmates. I was very rebellious. My morals were bad -- I would steal, cheat, and lie. I would bully and threaten those whom I could. My poor parents!

After high school I was too smart to become a worker in a factory. I became a drug dealer. It just sorta happened...I was doing drugs and hanging out with drug users and there were some opportunities and I took advantage of my good fortune. I liked to lay on the beach and congratulate myself on being so fortunate, as I watched all the workers driving to thier jobs.

But it wasn't all good. When problems arose, as they inevitably do, you can't go to the police. My group got robbed and we had to settle it with violence. This lifestyle went on for several years. I think my parents didn't want to know what was happening. They were just glad I was out of the house. I occasionally had a job for a short time, but as I said I was bad at rules. And I had a drinking and drug lifestyle to attend to, and work interfered with that.

At one job I had, someone spoke to me about Jesus. I was working in the mailroom and in front of all our fellow workers (there were about 5 or 6 of us in the room) this fellow accosted me about my faith in God. He had made a declaration of God's goodness, and I made a snide remark and he just went at me in front of all these people. I was quite taken aback by his boldness. I never forgot that man. Years later, I began to consider God, and one day I was reading the Bible and I believed. It was one of the gospels and they were writing about Jesus, what He said and did, and I thought, "If this guy isn't real then I don't want reality. This is what I want. This is why I came to earth. To see this man." I was so clear. Jesus is the one for me.

I began to church-hop and soon I met the saints and I was in the front row. We'd sing and there would be a row of empty seats in the front, opposite me. Eventually, the 'brothers' would troop in, with their shiny brown shoes and their shiny leather briefcases. They had been praying in the elders room at the start of the meeting and they all walked in together. I was very impressed. Then the saints began to pray. Not just the men in front, but all the people there. Again, very impressive. We got into the Bible, verses after verses after verses. All I could handle. The saints were very nice. I went into their homes, met their children.

But I had no social skills, no graces. I didn't know how to hold a door open, how to say 'please' and 'thank you'. It was quite a change. But I wanted to change so I forced myself. They were very nice with me. Nobody tried to force me to do anything. I just went to the meetings and read the Bible and prayed and called on the name of Jesus. I loved it when I called a song and everybody sang it and enjoyed it. It made me feel like I belonged, like my experiences, my touch with God mattered. Or when I prayed or spoke and somebody would continue in the line of my prayer or speaking when I was done. "Hey, they are listening to ME!" Wow. I loved it.

So I in no way consider myself an opposer, though that is how I heard about people who were "against the recovery". I had a great time, people were very nice to me, the elders were not bossy, I got into the Bible, it was wonderful. I am very grateful and appreciative for the experience. My family was somewhat concerned with what I had gotten myself into, because they were not religious and my new friends were obviously very religious. But it certainly was an improvement over my former lifestyle. I remember my grandmother, when I was in the height of my rebellion, telling me she would come and visit me when I was in prison. But God was merciful; instead of prison I ended up in the local churches calling on the name of Jesus! Yay!

I am very, very grateful I got saved and got plunked into the local churches. It was a good experience for me. Eventually the same voice within that had led me thus far told me to meet with other christians. I needed other perspectives. So I did. I had some prejudices at first because I could quote so many verses, sometimes more than the pastor, that I was arrogant. But I quickly noticed how much some of these other christians loved God, and how much they enjoyed thier salvation. Sometimes more than me! That made me stop judging the walk of others.

I left because I was taught in the local churches that all christians were one, and I wanted to practice it. I didn't want to sit in the same room forever with the same people and pretend we were one with all the christians out there who we were either ignoring or saying how 'poor' they were. I didn't like that part of Witness Lee's ministry at all. I also needed to learn how to think for myself and I really didn't see that opportunity arising. It's okay to make mistakes. I don't have to be perfect. I want to learn and grow and try new things.

So I left. But I am not upset at how I was treated, or what I was taught. It was a good place to start my christian voyage. I truly believe God put me there by His sovereign hand. But eventually I wanted to see other christian fellowships and I moved on. I disagree with the characterization of 'christianity' as 'degraded'. Everything on this earth is degraded. Only God is pure. Those who judge others are just showing how much they lack.

I wrote this testimony to make 2 points:

1. To get saved and come into the local churches is not always a bad thing. It can be a pretty good experience. It was for me.

2. To leave the local churches and fellowship 'in christianity' is not a bad thing either.
aron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-17-2008, 07:35 PM   #2
finallyprettyokay
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 125
Default

Aron:

Thank you for sharing with us. What a great story --- God is amazing, huh?

I totally agree with your conclusions. I think so many of us came into the LC because there was some family-ness to it. I sometimes think it compared to a commune (the hippie way), only on the straight and narrow. I certainly needed that. And I needed the straight and narrow. I think even the strictness of all the 'rules' and peer pressure was a good thing. Like you, like many of us, I had come from a history of a lot of drug use, and all the things that go with that life. So feeling clean, being clean, was so good for me. I think it saved my sanity, if not my life.

So, I don't think coming to the LC was so bad. I do think I overstayed it's usefulness. At some point it became damaging to me, not healing. Well, to be honest, there was always an amount of damaging-ness to it. When I saw the 'brothers' come in from their 'elders' meeting, something in me was always offended by that. I just never thought Jesus was behind that sort of caste system. Big shots, little shots. And my husband and I were part of that inner group --- still, in my heart of hearts, I knew it was wrong.

Anyway, I think I just overstayed it's usefulness, it's healing time for me. Stayed 10 years, 2 or 3 would have been good.

And this, that you said I disagree with the characterization of 'christianity' as 'degraded'. Everything on this earth is degraded. Only God is pure.. Yeah, only God is pure. And we can find Him in all sorts of places. I wrote lots about this in another thread, so I won't belabor the point. But, yeah, only God is pure.

Thanks, aron.

Last edited by finallyprettyokay; 07-17-2008 at 07:44 PM. Reason: premature sending!!
finallyprettyokay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-17-2008, 08:04 PM   #3
SpeakersCorner
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 183
Default

Aron,

I enjoyed your testimony. You write honestly, a quality that is as rare as it is valuable.


SC
SpeakersCorner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-2008, 05:26 AM   #4
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 11,260
Default

Great story Aron ... amazing grace indeed! I finally found someone I can relate to!
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-2008, 05:51 AM   #5
countmeworthy
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: in Spirit & in Truth
Posts: 1,178
Default

Aron.....

You are an example of the WORD of God....the Spirit of God renewing our mind, blessing us with the MIND of Christ.

Your testimony is similar to mine with the exception that before I got into real, real trouble in the world, I got saved throught the LC saints.

I too needed the structure & discipline to grow into the person Christ wanted/wants me to be.

I often refer to my first couple of years in the LC as BOOT CAMP.

And like you, the LORD led me into the LC and led me out.

I'm forever grateful I didn't suffer the hardships in the LC many saints did.

I'm thankful as well to re-connect with soo many brothers & sisters in Christ who were in the LC.

People/Christians who never had the LC church life we had are unable to understand & 'connect' the way we have.

That does NOT mean our connection with people & Christians who were never in the LC is shortchanged. It is NOT. I am very, very thankful to the LORD for all the people HE has brought into my life. What a blessing we have to re-connect with former LCrs, current LCrs & non LCrs!

But it makes sense of course.....because WE are BLESSED and HIGHLY FAVORED by the MOST HIGH GOD! For we are ROYALTY. We are a are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people.
We show forth the praises of Him -KING JESUS- who has called us out of darkness into His most marvellous light!
(1 peter 2:9)

Thank You for sharing your testimony with us!
__________________
Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.
(Luke 21:36)

Last edited by countmeworthy; 07-18-2008 at 05:55 AM.
countmeworthy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-2008, 06:17 AM   #6
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Wedemark, Lower Saxony
Posts: 4,631
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by finallyprettyokay View Post
I needed the straight and narrow. I think even the strictness of all the 'rules' and peer pressure was a good thing. Like you, like many of us, I had come from a history of a lot of drug use, and all the things that go with that life. So feeling clean, being clean, was so good for me. I think it saved my sanity, if not my life.

So, I don't think coming to the LC was so bad. I do think I overstayed it's usefulness. At some point it became damaging to me, not healing.
Anyway, I think I just overstayed it's usefulness, it's healing time for me. Stayed 10 years, 2 or 3 would have been good.
One of the ironies here, that you noted, is that the highly structured program that LSM has promoted for so long actually does some good, especially for us damaged vessels coming out of the world. We are wild, and don't know how to fit into the house of God. They give us a book like "Life Lessons", with steps for new believers, and this structured, ordered approach can really help to put our wild, tangled minds into some fashion of order. But to me, the structure, the order, the 'system', becomes a snare eventually. People pledge allegiance to the system instead of God. Instead of Jesus being the way, some sheet with bullet points becomes the way. But I still wanted to make the point that it isn't all bad, it's only partly bad! Like me, and, I suspect, like most if not all of us.

As far as overstaying its usefulness, I have to agree. But I note that I also overstayed my time in the drug and alcohol-fueled realm of anger, resentment, self-pity and alienation. So my overstaying is only partly due to a system which, in effect, says "You can't leave". I have to admit some responsibility there. I am slow to respond to God. But hopefully I am doing better! God wants progress. Perfection will come in due time.
aron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-2008, 06:29 AM   #7
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Wedemark, Lower Saxony
Posts: 4,631
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by SpeakersCorner View Post
Aron,

I enjoyed your testimony. You write honestly, a quality that is as rare as it is valuable.


SC
Thank you SC. In deference to your point on honesty, I was not a drug kingpin. I didn't kill anyone, or see that happen. I was a user who got involved in the manufacture & sale. In high school, probably 40% of my classmates were users. It was rampant. And buying and selling among peers was ubiquitous. Nearly everyone who used bought and sold it. It was very widespread. I got involved more than most, I suspect. After high school, the trend continued, and at one point accelerated to where basically that's all I did. I definitely could have gone to prison for the amounts I was handling.

But even worse was the people you were dealing with. There are a LOT of unhappy people out there! I suspect in the gospels they would be characterized as 'demon posessed', or some such. Very unstable, lots of darkness. To me, physically fighting with other people over drugs and money was probably the low point. The story of the prodigal son, fighting with the hogs over husks, really resonates with me.

Anyway, I wasn't a really evil man. Just a very unhappy young man who didn't know how to live. I was not the 'good material' that the Headquarters was pushing for. But the local 'troops' took me in and treated me as if I did, in fact, matter to God. And for that I will be eternally grateful.
aron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-2008, 06:50 AM   #8
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Wedemark, Lower Saxony
Posts: 4,631
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by countmeworthy View Post
I too needed the structure & discipline to grow into the person Christ wanted/wants me to be.

I often refer to my first couple of years in the LC as BOOT CAMP.

And like you, the LORD led me into the LC and led me out.

I'm forever grateful I didn't suffer the hardships in the LC many saints did.

I'm thankful as well to re-connect with soo many brothers & sisters in Christ who were in the LC.

People/Christians who never had the LC church life we had are unable to understand & 'connect' the way we have.

That does NOT mean our connection with people & Christians who were never in the LC is shortchanged. It is NOT. I am very, very thankful to the LORD for all the people HE has brought into my life. What a blessing we have to re-connect with former LCrs, current LCrs & non LCrs!
cmw,
Yes, it was a good spiritual boot camp. It was my 'rehab' from the years of excess in the world. I will forever be grateful for the experience. Especially for all the kind people God sent me, who took care of me, prayed for me and with me, and especially gave me an example of how to live in the house of God! God was very merciful to me to give me such an experience to sever my 'old ways'.

Like you, I believe the Lord put me there, and after a season, He pointed me elsewhere and said, "I have other sheep that I want to to meet." So I followed Him as best as I could. Full of missteps, haltings, errors, but I followed.

I have to comment on your "People who never had the LC church life" statement that I underlined. to I don't want to disagree so much as to perhaps modify it. I believe that while every one's experience is unique, it is our responsibility as christians to bridge the gap, to find the common experience of us all. Jesus was the Master. No one was outside his touch. Even the "Religionistas" I believe will eventually find the Lord. I say this because the Old Testament prophets, after thundering doom and judgment, inevitably say that Israel will turn and repent and be healed. This 'type' I hope bodes well for all. I think even Egypt sees God's glory in one prophet's vision.

So while I won't disagree with your statement, I want to say that it is our responsibility to make it disappear. I know that's kind of cryptic but that's the best I can do for now.

Thanks for commenting, cmw. I LOVE your enthusiasm! Every now and then during my day your capital letters swell within me in praises and thanks and glory and honor to God. Amen, Lord Jesus!
aron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-2008, 06:52 AM   #9
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Wedemark, Lower Saxony
Posts: 4,631
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Great story Aron ... amazing grace indeed! I finally found someone I can relate to!
Thank you Ohio. You are a big reason this 'sojourner' found a temporary haven here. I pretty much always resonate strongly with your sharing. Peace to you.
aron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-2008, 07:54 AM   #10
countmeworthy
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: in Spirit & in Truth
Posts: 1,178
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
I have to comment on your "People who never had the LC church life" statement that I underlined. to I don't want to disagree so much as to perhaps modify it. I believe that while every one's experience is unique, it is our responsibility as christians to bridge the gap, to find the common experience of us all. ........I LOVE your enthusiasm! Every now and then during my day your capital letters swell within me in praises and thanks and glory and honor to God. Amen, Lord Jesus!
Aron,
My enthusiasm stems from listening to 'Positive Speaking' the WORD of God teaching CDs, listening & singing to Praise/Worship music, Reading & Meditating on scriptures, fellowshipping with the LORD & with the saints.

(Sometimes I even go to bed listening to Praise/Worship music or teaching cds.)

Jesus is TRULY the KING of my life. I want Him to be the KING of every person's life for IN HIM is the FULLNESS of GOD. In HIM is the JOY of the LORD & HIS JOY is our Strength!

There truly is something 'supernatural' when we speak the WORD of GOD into the atmosphere with a heart of gratitude and thanksgiving as we give Praise, Honor & GLORY to our KING!

The Anointing of the Holy Spirit keeps falling strongly on me..and thus my cup runneth over. It spills over to my brothers & sisters in Christ. It even spills over unto the unbelievers...so even the unbelievers are being splashed with some of the GLORY of God.

Ok...I went on a rabbit trail here.... let me try to remember what I really wanted to share with you.....


oh yes...

People who never had the church life we had did not miss out on God's anointing. There is a reason some of us were in the 'church life of the LC' & others were not. I feel God led me to the LC to get rooted & grounded in the Word of God, to receive the vision of the building of the Body of Christ, to LIVE the book of Acts, (at least in part & for a season.)

I then wallowed in the valley of the shadow of death for some 25 yrs. Ohhh, when I think about Jonah.....that was me. When I think about JOB, that was me (including the awesome end to his story.) There's a lot of Joseph in me too.

I'm sure my testimony is not exclusive. All of us have walked through the valley of the shadow of death.. some longer than others. Mine was lonnnnnng. I was more stubborn & rebellious than Jonah. But because I wandered in the wildnerness for as long as I did, I can relate to some of those characters sooo very well.

Truly GOD has turned my mourning into DANCING for me!

From my natural man perspective, there is a -special- connection, a thread of gold connecting SOME of us who were in the LC. BUT I certainly don't want to go back or live in the past! Some people who were in the LC suffered greatly. Marriages & families broke up. :-(
May God heal the broken hearted & restore the Joy of the LORD in their lives.

I'm taking the GOOD I received while in the LC. I am taking the GOOD I have received from the Word-Faith, Positive Confession Word, applying it to myself, seeing & reaping the fruit and splashing it with everyone I know, as I allow Christ to splash on me through His Word and His church!

That is why I have soo much enthusiasm. My enthusiasm is not only real but it is growing day by day. Sometimes I feel like I'm going to experience a heavenly explosion in my spirit, soul and body!
__________________
Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.
(Luke 21:36)
countmeworthy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-2008, 10:33 AM   #11
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 11,260
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
Anyway, I wasn't a really evil man. Just a very unhappy young man who didn't know how to live. I was not the 'good material' that the Headquarters was pushing for. But the local 'troops' took me in and treated me as if I did, in fact, matter to God. And for that I will be eternally grateful.
Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
Thank you Ohio. You are a big reason this 'sojourner' found a temporary haven here. I pretty much always resonate strongly with your sharing. Peace to you.
Your post just reminded of a little story that occurred just a few days after I was saved. I was working at a huge engineering firm with lots of young people. I was walking thru another department at work, when a guy I never saw before, looked at me with amazement and said, "hey, first time I saw you straight."

How did he know?

I too was a "very unhappy young man who didn't know how to live." I am also very grateful for those "who took me in."
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2008, 11:07 AM   #12
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Wedemark, Lower Saxony
Posts: 4,631
Default On being an 'opposer'

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
I am very, very grateful that not only did I get saved but shortly afterwards I was plunked down by God in the middle of one of the 'local churches'.

... I loved it when I called a song and everybody sang it and enjoyed it. It made me feel like I belonged, like my experiences, my touch with God mattered. Or when I prayed or spoke and somebody would continue in the line of my prayer or speaking when I was done. "Hey, they are listening to ME!" Wow. I loved it.

So I in no way consider myself an opposer, though that is how I heard about people who were "against the recovery". I had a great time, people were very nice to me... it was wonderful. I am very grateful and appreciative for the experience.
The above is from my originally-placed testimony; I wanted to reference it with comments about what it is like for me today to be a dreaded ''opposer'', even perhaps what I have heard referred to as a ''destroyer of God's building''.

I am just a sinner who one day believed into Jesus Christ. I determined to follow Him as best as I could. One day on that journey I was introduced to the concept of the "Normal Christian Church Life" as promulgated by Mssrs Nee & Lee and practiced in the 'local churches'. I resonated with the concept, and the gathering I met with (everyone got to pray, which I thought was marvelous!), and therefore went down that road for a pace. Eventually I got sick of what I felt was a willful ignorance of the rest of Christianity, along with the continual negative comments of how "poor" everybody else was but us. I decided that the "normal" christian life would be to embrace all who have the faith, however "poor" their condition may seem to be at any given moment. God can raise up the poor from the dust, and drop the highfalutin' ones back into the dust. So I began to practice what seemed to me to be a more 'inclusive' christianity and meet others on their turf, however 'leavened' that turf seemed to be.

So I want to go on record (not that anyone is tossing and turning all night wondering) that I am not interested in opposing the legacies of Nee or Lee or anyone else.

The universe contains many things, and one of these things is the notion of "God", or Source, Originator, Creator, etc. That which lies behind all things, that which called all this we see into being. The meaning and destiny of the universe, or at least the chunk of it available to me.

And in all these notions and concepts of God as Reality, there was this person Jesus. Like in the Roman Catholic church, where I met for a while upon entering my spiritual 'quest'; there were all these Biblical characters on the wall and in the stained glass windows: there were Peter and Paul and others, Noah and Moses and Elijah, and Jesus as well. Jonah was getting eaten by a whale (or spit back on the beach in some versions), David was staring down the menace of Goliath, and so forth. A lot to consider there. Well, one day in my considerations of all these things, with all their permutations, I realized that the light shining from Jesus was getting brighter and brighter. It was drawing me, attracting me from my considerations of other persons, concepts, and things. As I began to focus on this person Jesus, the light got brighter and brighter until I couldn't see or consider anything else. Everything else disappeared in His glory. That was when I knew I had found The One; I knew that my search had ended and my journey home to the Father had commenced. Jesus was the answer for me.

And so my journey hopefully continues. I have no intention of opposing anyone. I just want to follow the Lamb, Jesus, wherever He goes. Naturally the journey is full of failures, but hopefully even more full of repentance and resoration and praises. And especially full of learning and changing and growing, and not making the same mistakes twice (or seven times, or seventy times seven! ). That's what I love about the journey -- I don't have to wait until the end of the trip to see if I did a good job at it; instead I get to "die daily" as Paul did (I Cor. 15:31).

So this is hopefully an amplification, a reinforcement of my previous statement, quoted and bolded above. I just want to go on. Like I wrote in my comments to OBW's avatar, "The child is father to the man". In my youth, I was all about enjoyment in the world. Fun, fun, fun, was all I cared about. Party forever. Eventually that dried up, but my 'party', my celebration, continued when I found the living water that never runs dry. Today I don't oppose anyone; I just go on, trying to follow the flowing river. Peace to all who read this.
aron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2008, 01:17 PM   #13
countmeworthy
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: in Spirit & in Truth
Posts: 1,178
Default

[QUOTE]Originally Posted by aron
I am very, very grateful that not only did I get saved but shortly afterwards I was plunked down by God in the middle of one of the 'local churches'.... I loved it when I called a song and everybody sang it and enjoyed it. It made me feel like I belonged, like my experiences, my touch with God mattered. Or when I prayed or spoke and somebody would continue in the line of my prayer or speaking when I was done. "Hey, they are listening to ME!" Wow. I loved it
. [QUOTE]


I remember those times too aron. It did make us (most of us) feel as if we were respected.

We felt as actual contributors to church meetings. The pulpit leaders shared and we participated by supporting the message via a testimony or an insight received from the message..

Too bad more congregations don't allow for that. It is the 'PASTOR' in charge & him / her alone..& their close cronies.
__________________
Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.
(Luke 21:36)

Last edited by countmeworthy; 08-04-2008 at 06:19 AM.
countmeworthy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2008, 04:03 AM   #14
Suannehill
Member
 
Suannehill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: North of Mansfield Ohio
Posts: 165
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by countmeworthy View Post
... I loved it when I called a song and everybody sang it and enjoyed it. It made me feel like I belonged, like my experiences, my touch with God mattered. Or when I prayed or spoke and somebody would continue in the line of my prayer or speaking when I was done. "Hey, they are listening to ME!" Wow. I loved it.


...
Well,
My experience was not so pleasant. Each time I called a song, one particular brother over called it. After years of that I stopped trying.
Sue
Suannehill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2008, 04:08 AM   #15
YP0534
Member
 
YP0534's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 685
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suannehill View Post
Well,
My experience was not so pleasant. Each time I called a song, one particular brother over called it. After years of that I stopped trying.
Sue
Oh, for crying out loud!
How many ways can they invent to screw up the assembly?!


Suannehill, what was your favorite song to call?

I would like to sing it now.
__________________
Let each walk as the Lord has distributed to each, as God has called each, and in this manner I instruct all the assemblies. 1 Cor. 7:17
YP0534 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2008, 05:13 AM   #16
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 11,260
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suannehill View Post
Well,
My experience was not so pleasant. Each time I called a song, one particular brother over called it. After years of that I stopped trying.
Sue
Sue, your story is sad to hear.

This misuse of authority may be one of the reasons for the current conflict in your place. You are probably not the only one who confronted it.
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2008, 06:32 AM   #17
countmeworthy
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: in Spirit & in Truth
Posts: 1,178
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suannehill View Post
Well,
My experience was not so pleasant. Each time I called a song, one particular brother over called it. After years of that I stopped trying.
Sue

I have a correction to make. Just so there is not any confusion. the following quote: ... I loved it when I called a song and everybody sang it and enjoyed it. It made me feel like I belonged, like my experiences, my touch with God mattered. Or when I prayed or spoke and somebody would continue in the line of my prayer or speaking when I was done. "Hey, they are listening to ME!" Wow. I loved it.

is Aron's experience. NOT mine. I don't recall ever calling out any songs. That was mainly the 'brothers' job. Very few sisters ever called out any songs to my recollection in my locality. I personally 'knew' better. I think I was blessed with insight & intuition. I dotted the i's and crossed my t's almost always. That kept me from getting into trouble, I think.

Suanne, I'm sorry you experienced such humiliation!! If we end up going to the 'annual' Ladies retreat..you're going to be the designated 'Song caller'.

.......Love YA-Sister!
__________________
Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.
(Luke 21:36)
countmeworthy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2008, 06:51 AM   #18
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Wedemark, Lower Saxony
Posts: 4,631
Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suannehill View Post
Well,
My experience was not so pleasant. Each time I called a song, one particular brother over called it. After years of that I stopped trying.
Sue
Yes, our experiences were different. That is why it is foolish to paint, broad-brush, all who post on this board as "opposers" or any such thing. Or, for that matter, to characterize those who defend Lee on any point as "mindless robots". People have different experiences, different motivations.

But if we were whisked away, 64,000 light years hence across the inky seas of space, and found ourselves floating off Cygnus X-1 or some other star system, and ran into each other in the same space capsule, we would be like, "Wow, you're from planet earth!? Me too! A believer!? Omigawd, me too! Hallelujah!" My point is, that while I always try to see the differences, and respect them, all those myriads of things that make us unique, at the same time I think we all have a LOT in common.

If the die-hard LC-ers and the adamant "opposers" (in some ways I could be called one by posting on this forum and daring to "discuss" Lee & Nee, etc) realized how much they had in common, despite seemingly intractable differences, the world would be a lot better place. Our oneness is not because we agree on some promulgation out of Headquarters, or on the interpretation of some obscure Greek word (I don't know Greek, sorry) but because we have each made decisions to acknowledge and attempt to follow God through faith in the Son of God, Jesus the Galilean, and this journey has led us to be gathered together.

So, are we now going to squabble, or get along? If we squabble, the Lord will wait, as He has for so long; He is very patient! But if we allow ourselves to get along, because of His Name, we have His promise that "The world will believe that You(the Father) have sent Me(Jesus the Son)" (John 17:26).

p.s.Sue, I am sorry for your experience. The "brothers" in my meetings were indulgent; anyone, whether brother or sister, who got a notion, foolish or otherwise, were allowed to let it run. We had some "flops" and some "duds", but we also had a lot of rich enjoyment when we got caught in the "flow of the Holy Spirit".

p.p.s. Since I'm feeling loquacious this morning, I'll also add that I have learned not to judge others because I cannot say what I would have done had my local church experience been like Sueanne's. We don't need to judge others; that's why we have God, who is both righteous and merciful.

Last edited by aron; 08-04-2008 at 06:54 AM. Reason: addition, correction
aron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2008, 01:05 PM   #19
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 11,260
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suannehill View Post
Well,
My experience was not so pleasant. Each time I called a song, one particular brother over called it. After years of that I stopped trying.
Sue
Over the years, many so-called "wrong" songs were called, yet sung by many, yet were not the most suitable for the saints at that time. The liberty by all to call songs sometimes should be "moderated" by leaders, who had the other saints in mind, not their own personal preferences. This practice should be done only occasionally with a kind and loving explanation to all, that cherishes the original caller, rather than belittling him/her.

Another healthy way is to fellowship lovingly with the original caller of the song afterward the meeting about songs in general and which ones are the most suitable at various times. This is an opportunity to shepherd the callers, and appreciate their healthy desire to lead the congregation in song. The point is this ... the Lord is far more interested in the singers than the song, especially when someone like Sue feels demeaned ... when she had only hoped to help the congregation in song when she called it.

This overriding concern with having "right songs" for "right meetings" was part of the disease which slowly crept into the LC's ... all the while losing sight of God, whom we should worship from our heart, and His children, whom he dearly loves.
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2008, 02:17 PM   #20
Suannehill
Member
 
Suannehill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: North of Mansfield Ohio
Posts: 165
Default

Well, Ohio, it was extremely plain to all that I was undesirable and not "good material". It was just one brother and I don't remember him over calling anyone else except for an unfortunate sister who sat beside me and asked if the song was a good one to call...I nodded and he over called her. Obviously, he thought I told her to call it. She was very hurt. The over calling stopped when that brother "migrated" except for rarely obvious ones that didn't really belong. It gave me wonderful opportunities to die to self
Sue
Suannehill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2008, 02:25 PM   #21
Suannehill
Member
 
Suannehill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: North of Mansfield Ohio
Posts: 165
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by YP0534 View Post
Oh, for crying out loud!
How many ways can they invent to screw up the assembly?!


Suannehill, what was your favorite song to call?

I would like to sing it now.
Well, the love songs from the supplement (some from the Psalms) and some of the very touching deep hymns.
How about...

I love Thee Jesus,
And Thy love to me,
Draws me ever to seek Thee
And run after Thee.

Thou art beloved
Yea! Altogether lovely,
The One in whom my heart delighteth...
Suannehill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2008, 02:32 PM   #22
YP0534
Member
 
YP0534's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 685
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suannehill View Post
Well, the love songs from the supplement (some from the Psalms) and some of the very touching deep hymns.
How about...

I love Thee Jesus,
And Thy love to me,
Draws me ever to seek Thee
And run after Thee.

Thou art beloved
Yea! Altogether lovely,
The One in whom my heart delighteth...

One of my favorites.

I will sing it loudly on my way home from the office today.
When I get home, I might even pick up my guitar and play it.

Thank you for calling the hymn so that I may enjoy Christ!
__________________
Let each walk as the Lord has distributed to each, as God has called each, and in this manner I instruct all the assemblies. 1 Cor. 7:17
YP0534 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2008, 03:56 PM   #23
Hope
Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Durham, North Carolina
Posts: 313
Thumbs up Aron, thanks for starting this wonderful thread.

Aron,

The Lord is surely with you and in your sharing and in the other posts on this thread. His name is Wonderful and we can know Him and share with others in their knowing Him.

Some of my most amazing times have been when meeting a stranger and the immediate connection that is made because we both know the Savior.

On the other hand, I can remember more than once when meeting a LC saint at a conference etc and being checked out as to my loyalty to the program. I experienced this mainly from Chinese brethern from the far east. It was so funny when later they found out I was thick with WL or John Ingalls and they would actually apologize for not recognizing who I was.

I do not know who all are the posters on this thread but I am enjoying the Christ you are sharing. Praise God!!!

Hope, Don Rutledge
Hope is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2008, 04:37 PM   #24
Suannehill
Member
 
Suannehill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: North of Mansfield Ohio
Posts: 165
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by YP0534 View Post
One of my favorites.

I will sing it loudly on my way home from the office today.
When I get home, I might even pick up my guitar and play it.

Thank you for calling the hymn so that I may enjoy Christ!
That brought a smile to my face and tonight I was singing that song while on my mower!
Sue
Suannehill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2008, 06:56 PM   #25
countmeworthy
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: in Spirit & in Truth
Posts: 1,178
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by YP0534 View Post
One of my favorites.

I will sing it loudly on my way home from the office today.
When I get home, I might even pick up my guitar and play it.

Thank you for calling the hymn so that I may enjoy Christ!

Apparently, my response to this thread/post got lost. I want someone anyone to post the words to these songs or is it one song?? so we can all join in ...in a sing-a-long!!
__________________
Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.
(Luke 21:36)
countmeworthy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2008, 08:46 PM   #26
YP0534
Member
 
YP0534's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 685
Default This is Hymn 1154

Quote:
Originally Posted by countmeworthy View Post
Apparently, my response to this thread/post got lost. I want someone anyone to post the words to these songs or is it one song?? so we can all join in ...in a sing-a-long!!
I love Thee, Jesus,
and They love to me
Draws me, ever to seek Thee
and run after Thee,
Draws me, ever to seek Thee
and run after Thee.
Thou art beloved,
Yea! Altogether lovely,
The One in whom my heart delighteth.
Thou art beloved,
Yea! Altogether lovely,
The One in whom my heart delighteth.

Thy love, Lord Jesus,
Is sweeter than wine,
And Thy fragrance of ointments
My heart doth entwine,
And Thy fragrance of ointments
My heart doth entwine.
A fount in gardens,
A well of living waters,
Which streams and flows from Lebanon's mountains.
A fount in gardens,
A well of living waters,
Which streams and flows from Lebanon's mountains.

O come Beloved,
On my garden blow,
That the odor of spices
May break forth and flow,
That the odor of spices
May break forth and flow.
My spouse, My sister,
I'm come into My garden
To feast upon wine, milk and honey.
My spouse, My sister,
I'm come into My garden
To feast upon wine, milk and honey.
__________________
Let each walk as the Lord has distributed to each, as God has called each, and in this manner I instruct all the assemblies. 1 Cor. 7:17
YP0534 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-27-2010, 10:27 AM   #27
NeitherFirstnorLast
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 351
Default Re: aron's testimony

Amen! Thank you brother - that is an amazing testimony and really echoes my own sentiments currently! I wish that there were more who remained and who could say that we truly do accept other Christians as brothers and sisters, and not merely as poor, degraded and even (as I've heard some say), evil.

In Christ,


NFNL
NeitherFirstnorLast is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2014, 08:28 AM   #28
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Wedemark, Lower Saxony
Posts: 4,631
Default Re: aron's testimony

I posted the below, in blue, on the now locked-out and password-protected 'alternative views' thread. Placing it here also because it is my own testimony.

Moderator note: I don't plan on doing this much if at all. Just wanted to append this as a conclusion to both my discussions of theology (such as it is) and my own journey, my own testimony. Thanks for your indulgence.

I was just going to say that I find it interesting that we have our theology, and we have the text. And if you look carefully you realize that the theology and the text don't always match. And if you start asking questions people say, "Don't read too much into it." In other words, don't pay any attention. Just recite the creed.

And if you try to propose alternative theories, then people will start calling you blasphemous and heretical.

So the moral is, ignore the text. Only pay attention to it where it agrees with your theology. That seemed to be Witness Lee's path, and it did him pretty well, no? He got a couple of hundred books published.

Of course, I don't have any good answers. Actually that may be the best answer. The text says, "God loved us and sent His Son." The text says, "Love your neighbor." The text says, "If you believe in your heart and confess with your mouth that God raised Jesus from the dead, you will be saved."

Maybe that is good enough. Probably Dorcas didn't get queried too deeply on her theology when she went to be with the Lord. Probably the fact that she loved the widows and orphans was good enough. Blind Bartimaeus shouted, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy!!" Good enough.
__________________
"Freedom is free. It's slavery that's so horribly expensive" - Colonel Templeton, ret., of the 12th Scottish Highlanders, the 'Black Fusiliers'
aron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2014, 09:53 AM   #29
Unregistered
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: aron's testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
I posted the below, in blue, on the now locked-out and password-protected 'alternative views' thread. Placing it here also because it is my own testimony.

Moderator note: I don't plan on doing this much if at all. Just wanted to append this as a conclusion to both my discussions of theology (such as it is) and my own journey, my own testimony. Thanks for your indulgence.

I was just going to say that I find it interesting that we have our theology, and we have the text. And if you look carefully you realize that the theology and the text don't always match. And if you start asking questions people say, "Don't read too much into it." In other words, don't pay any attention. Just recite the creed.

And if you try to propose alternative theories, then people will start calling you blasphemous and heretical.

So the moral is, ignore the text. Only pay attention to it where it agrees with your theology. That seemed to be Witness Lee's path, and it did him pretty well, no? He got a couple of hundred books published.

Of course, I don't have any good answers. Actually that may be the best answer. The text says, "God loved us and sent His Son." The text says, "Love your neighbor." The text says, "If you believe in your heart and confess with your mouth that God raised Jesus from the dead, you will be saved."

Maybe that is good enough. Probably Dorcas didn't get queried too deeply on her theology when she went to be with the Lord. Probably the fact that she loved the widows and orphans was good enough. Blind Bartimaeus shouted, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy!!" Good enough.
"don't read too much into the text"? ..or.."don't read nonsense into the text"?

"alternative theory"?..alternative to what?..to the truth?..what does that make it?..a lie..yes, I think so..what does that make you?..a false prophet?...well..I'll let you answer that.

Oh, brother, brother, brother...God have mercy on you!

hope we see you when you get back from your journey up the garden path, bro.
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2014, 11:42 AM   #30
OBW
Member
 
OBW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: DFW area
Posts: 3,968
Default Re: aron's testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
"don't read too much into the text"? ..or.."don't read nonsense into the text"?

"alternative theory"?..alternative to what?..to the truth?..what does that make it?..a lie..yes, I think so..what does that make you?..a false prophet?...well..I'll let you answer that.

Oh, brother, brother, brother...God have mercy on you!

hope we see you when you get back from your journey up the garden path, bro.
An alternative theory does not necessarily mean alternative to the truth. If we are discussing to arrive at truth, then you have to start with the assumption that you are not already determined to know what it is and are therefore reasonably willing to entertain alternatives and seek to flesh-out what is actually true.

Now I will assert that some of the alternative theories surfacing in that hidden and locked forum are fairly clearly not worth spending a lot of time on. One thing is certain. If you start with the assumption that the Bible is the word of God (even if you can't stomach some of the assertions concerning "inerrancy") then some can be fairly quickly set aside as not true. That does not mean that of all the items on the table, one of them is true. The truth may still not be on the table.

And while I am a rather conservative Christian with no major changes in my thinking about things in the past number of years, I believe that there are things that we accept as simply right that may not necessarily be so. Therefore entertaining an alternative theory is a way to either establish that what you already thought is more likely correct, or that something else may actually be correct.

And simply quoting a verse is not the answer. The verse must be considered in its context and then compared to the question at hand to determine whether it is really talking about the same thing. We are too easily swayed by a verse that simply has a key word in it when the topic of that verse is actually irrelevant to the question at hand.
__________________
Mike
I once thought I was. . . . but I may have been mistaken — Edge (with apologies)
OBW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2014, 12:52 PM   #31
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Wedemark, Lower Saxony
Posts: 4,631
Default Re: aron's testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
"don't read too much into the text"? ..or.."don't read nonsense into the text"?

"alternative theory"?..alternative to what?..to the truth?..what does that make it?..a lie..yes, I think so..what does that make you?..a false prophet?...well..I'll let you answer that.

Oh, brother, brother, brother...God have mercy on you!

hope we see you when you get back from your journey up the garden path, bro.
Notice that the respondent makes no effort to acknowledge, much less engage, the text of scripture. I find that quite telling.
__________________
"Freedom is free. It's slavery that's so horribly expensive" - Colonel Templeton, ret., of the 12th Scottish Highlanders, the 'Black Fusiliers'
aron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2014, 09:45 AM   #32
awareness
Moderator of Alternative Views
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 7,201
Default Re: aron's testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
And while I am a rather conservative Christian with no major changes in my thinking about things in the past number of years, I believe that there are things that we accept as simply right that may not necessarily be so. Therefore entertaining an alternative theory is a way to either establish that what you already thought is more likely correct, or that something else may actually be correct..
Without mentioning the unmentionable locked dungeon, I agree alternative views can get wild. And aron and I prolly produce the most far out alternative views ... me being the worse.

Here's what I think is the big problem with entertaining alternative theories and views: An example is the internet. It's packed full of alternative theories and views.

I'll allow Josh McDowell to explain it:

Quote clip:
“Now here is the problem,” said McDowell, “going all the way back, when Al Gore invented the Internet [he said jokingly], I made the statement off and on for 10-11 years that the abundance of knowledge, the abundance of information, will not lead to certainty; it will lead to pervasive skepticism. And, folks, that’s exactly what has happened. It’s like this. How do you really know, there is so much out there… This abundance [of information] has led to skepticism. And then the Internet has leveled the playing field [giving equal access to skeptics].”
End Quote


Apologist Josh McDowell: Internet the Greatest Threat to Christians
http://www.christianpost.com/news/in...ll-says-52382/
__________________

"If Christianity is going to survive in the 21st century . . . it must learn to laugh at itself." -Rene Girard
awareness is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2014, 01:40 PM   #33
OBW
Member
 
OBW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: DFW area
Posts: 3,968
Default Re: aron's testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by awareness View Post
Without mentioning the unmentionable locked dungeon, I agree alternative views can get wild. And aron and I prolly produce the most far out alternative views ... me being the worse.

Here's what I think is the big problem with entertaining alternative theories and views: An example is the internet. It's packed full of alternative theories and views.

I'll allow Josh McDowell to explain it:

Quote clip:
“Now here is the problem,” said McDowell, “going all the way back, when Al Gore invented the Internet [he said jokingly], I made the statement off and on for 10-11 years that the abundance of knowledge, the abundance of information, will not lead to certainty; it will lead to pervasive skepticism. And, folks, that’s exactly what has happened. It’s like this. How do you really know, there is so much out there… This abundance [of information] has led to skepticism. And then the Internet has leveled the playing field [giving equal access to skeptics].”
End Quote
Yes, the internet has created a greater problem in many ways that it has solved in terms of Christian thought. The problem with the internet is somewhat linked to the old-school thinking that if it gets into print, then it must be true.

I know that we are not all that stupid. But the fact that so many things that could be the questions are stated as fact on the internet means that there will be a bunch of people who come across one version of some particular disagreement before they come across any other perspective. And it has been fairly well documented that once you have taken in any particular perspective as true, or likely so, you will be more likely to ignore contradicting information, even if it is ultimately true. Sort of a case of personal "first mention."

So a free-for-all of information is not always helpful to any discussion. Especially when some have an agenda — even if not recognized — to direct things in the direction of their perspective.

This is a difficult analysis because on one hand, if we presume that we are all intelligent and open to find the truth, then there should be no problem with differing perspectives as we enter the discussion because there is the expectation that as we exit, the answer (singular) will be found. Or the reasons why the different perspectives (or some of them) are valid in differing circumstances will be seen.

But we are not talking about truth in the scientific realm which can be established by careful analysis and observation. we are talking about things that relate to faith and belief. And that belief is to some extent into things that are not entirely if at all) observable as in a scientific experiment.

So there is a tendency to enter discussions about things of faith with an undue bias. Sometimes having already dismissed some of the possibilities, or having determined that perspective "X" is the only valid alternative. When that happens, there is no true discussion. Everything becomes strictly a matter of defending turf. Alternative perspectives are not even given enough thought to determine whether it might actually fit the place in the belief system better than the perspective already held.

Of course, if there are no absolute touchstones to refer to, then, unlike a true scientific analysis, there is no solid basis to change the mind anyway.

And that is the reason that in discussions of faith, there is generally something that is agreed as such a touchstone. But even then there can be problems. When discussing Christianity, most would agree that the Bible is a close to (and I believe should be seen as solidly) such a touchstone. But even if we all agree on that, there are reasons that it is not viewed evenly among those who refer to it.

And the internet is, once again, not helping in this endeavor. Since most people who do not have regular theological training never hear about many of the controversies that have arisen over the centuries concerning Christianity and the Bible in general, they are set in their thinking about it, whether positive or negative, and if positive, whether Calvinist or Arminian, infant baptism or believer baptism (sprinkling or immersion), open communion or closed communion, etc. (etc., etc.) and the only reason for most of it is "that's the way I learned it." And that is too often based on into which family they were born.

I would suggest that the two named camps on security fo salvation — Calvinist and Arminian — are neither entirely right nor entirely wrong. I honestly tend toward Calvinist with reservations. But I am unsure.

But most people are sure because they were raised that way. Or they first came into Christianity within that "tradition." Of those who seriously contemplate what they believe a few will become so annoyed with the limitations of their base teaching that they make drastic changes. Recently the leader of the Evangelical society (or very recently past leader) converted to Catholicism. Not common by any means, but no unheard of, although at that level you don't expect it. Probably was a step taken because the way his journey in learning was taking him was not acceptable to those around him and he decided that his only way to continue in peace was such a drastic move.

But you might be interest to hear that when my son was in seminary, he heard on at least one occasion that one of the most dangerous things for the Christian faith is the Bible in the hands of the average person. That was moderated quickly by stating that they did not intend to suggest that the average person should not have a Bible, but that the average person is quite unequipped to deal with the Bible as a whole on their own and are easily prone to lead themselves astray. Remember that the early church started with breaking bread from house to house, but listening to the Apostles for their teaching. Later, there began to be some who were trying to teach things other than what the Apostles had taught. And for a while, the Apostles were still around to counteract those teachings. But eventually, there were no original Apostles. No matter what you called the ones who were your teachers, they were looking back to ones before them for teaching.

But despite the efforts to keep the teaching pure and proper, odd things crept in. Peculiar teachings about relics and icons. Then later about Mary. Then about the authority fo the Pope. And Saints. But through all of this, the core that could bring us back was still available. And some who were trained were able to find their way out of some of these. Even the RCC tended to "right ship" on some issues after enough time. (clearly not on everything.)

Then came the printing press. And once people could afford it, they could own their own Bible and read it for themselves. That was both good and bad. The bad was that now we could think our ideas were better than those that went before. Add advances in education and the internet and the potential for chaos is rampant.

But, after all of that, I believe that the truth is in the Apostle's teaching. And that teaching was not in numerology and ciphers, but in clear teaching from some rather straightforward words that were written down long ago.

The truth in in there. It is within what we already have and know and see. It is not something never seen before that is buried within a novel new approach.

For example, for a couple of years now, I have been asking whether the "great commission" was actually given to anyone outside of the eleven remaining apostles. Every time I ask the question, the idea is rejected because they have always heard it to apply to everyone. (And I do not mean to suggest that it does not in any way apply to all of us, just that the brunt of it was actually applied to certain ones and not everyone.) Jesus didn't give it to the rest of the people that had seen him after his resurrection. And when the church took off after Pentecost, it was not the rest that were teaching in the temple. It was the Apostles. And when we hear about who was going out to spread the gospel, it was the Apostles.

And we really continue to follow that model in virtually every aspect of Christianity — even the LRC. It is the ones who have been trained at some level that are the ones who are sent to preach and teach, not everyone.

Except that we think that the average person can just walk up to anyone else and present the gospel. And not only that, we think that it should be a regular part of their living. And if it is not, they are deficient Christians.

I submit that if many of us just walked up to the average non-Christian and tried to convince them that the answer to their problems was Christ, they would laugh because it is clear to them that the answer to our problems is not dealing with our problems. And it is obvious to them. Yet we think that we are simply under grace and just need to confess and move on. Don't worry about it. It will change one day.

Is that the image of God?

Very long post. Rambled a bunch. Short of it is that novel ideas not yet heard are not worth their weight in the electrons they are now written in. Yet we still do not have a solid grasp of what it is that we are dealing with. I would submit that my questions are not invalid. But when I ask them, I expect that the real answer will come from several persons together who have real theological training that does not manage to simply dismiss me because I don't fit in their box.

And in that I admit that I think that the best answer to many questions is dismissed out of hand by the only potentially reliable source because it does not fit in their box.

And that makes even our little sandbox here of questionable value because few if any of us really have the training and knowledge to be those persons.
__________________
Mike
I once thought I was. . . . but I may have been mistaken — Edge (with apologies)
OBW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2014, 02:42 PM   #34
Igzy
Member
 
Igzy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Texas
Posts: 3,988
Default Re: aron's testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by awareness View Post
“Now here is the problem,” said McDowell, “going all the way back, when Al Gore invented the Internet [he said jokingly], I made the statement off and on for 10-11 years that the abundance of knowledge, the abundance of information, will not lead to certainty; it will lead to pervasive skepticism. And, folks, that’s exactly what has happened. It’s like this. How do you really know, there is so much out there… This abundance [of information] has led to skepticism. And then the Internet has leveled the playing field [giving equal access to skeptics].”

I like and appreciate Josh McDowell, but he is basically making the same argument the Catholic Church once made, that "those in the know" should control information for the good of the ignorant masses. McDowell, being of one those in the know, is also being condescending and insulting.

If people cannot find the truth when there is an abundance of varied information, they certainly are not going to find it when information is rationed by some elite.

OBW said, "if we presume that we are all intelligent and open to find the truth." But being open to the truth is not enough. One must be actively engaged in pursuing truth.

I say let the opinions fly. Let the field be leveled. It's up to each of us to vett the ideas we encounter and pass judgment on then. If you abscond that responsibility then having someone spoon-feed you is not going to help and might produce a false sense of security.
__________________
There are three kinds of people: sheep, wolves and sheep dogs. I'm a sheep dog.
Igzy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2014, 03:02 PM   #35
Dave
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 641
Default Re: aron's testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
I like and appreciate Josh McDowell, but he is basically making the same argument the Catholic Church once made, that "those in the know" should control information for the good of the ignorant masses. McDowell, being of one those in the know, is also being condescending and insulting.

If people cannot find the truth when there is an abundance of varied information, they certainly are not going to find it when information is rationed by some elite.

OBW said, "if we presume that we are all intelligent and open to find the truth." But being open to the truth is not enough. One must be actively engaged in pursuing truth.

I say let the opinions fly. Let the field be leveled. It's up to each of us to vett the ideas we encounter and pass judgment on then. If you abscond that responsibility then having someone spoon-feed you is not going to help and might produce a false sense of security.
I have read Josh McDowell's The New Evidence That Demands a Verdict (Evidence I & 2) and despite that this book is 750 pages it is written for the general audience rather than as a scholarly work. In his chapter, "If Jesus Wasn't God, He Deserves an Oscar" you get the sense of his presentation as he states, "The writers of Scripture invite us to examine this person Jesus for ourselves His significance." p137. I find that there is a line not to cross and the same might be said for some on this forum. In other words, you can examine Jesus and level the playing field as long as you don't cross the line. The same was true in the LC and the same as Igzy has stated. The question is, what are the limits of questioning? The Roman Catholic Church history of killing people for not believing what they teach is well documented.
__________________
LC 1969-1978 Santa Cruz, Detroit, Ft. Lauderdale, Miami
Dave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2014, 06:13 PM   #36
awareness
Moderator of Alternative Views
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 7,201
Default Re: aron's testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
I say let the opinions fly. Let the field be leveled. It's up to each of us to vett the ideas we encounter and pass judgment on then. If you abscond that responsibility then having someone spoon-feed you is not going to help and might produce a false sense of security.
Josh McDowell is funny. In the referenced article he says the internet is the biggest threat to Christianity. But in looking into a claim that the earliest manuscript of the gospel of Mark has been found, I watched a video by McDowell, who claims to have found it and own it ; a supposed manuscript dating, he claims, to the 1st c. - just fifty yrs from the autograph.

In this speaking he's at a podium working from his iPad. He's speaking to an audience, sometimes specifically to young people, about the Bible, and he boldly praises his iPad, saying, "Thank you Jesus," while gesturing honorably at his iPad.

So while claiming the internet is dangerous, he sells the iPad to his audience, even speaking specifically to young girls.

In the end, isn't he just confusing us, by overloading us with information, to the point of making us skeptical? Isn't he guilty of doing the same thing he claims the internet is doing?

McDowell is funny, brilliant, and widely and deeply informed. That's obvious. He's also an exceptional speaker. For a guy with no real credentials, he's become quite a phenomenal success, as an evangelical apologist.

Apparently, like what Dr. Bart Ehrman is to New Testament scholarship, Josh McDowell is to Evangelical scholarship ; where credentials don't matter, just as long as Evangelical orthodoxy is taught and supported. And Josh stands out as doing just that.
__________________

"If Christianity is going to survive in the 21st century . . . it must learn to laugh at itself." -Rene Girard
awareness is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:03 PM.


3.8.9