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Old 02-27-2015, 07:45 AM   #1
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Default The Experience of Christ

There has been some controversy, mainly between myself and Igzy, concerning the place of experience in the Christian faith and practice. While I do not reject experience outright, I am not sure that the thing that we call experience has the importance assigned to it in the written record. Or maybe it is that we have redefined something else and now call it "experience of Christ" and therefore are, like calling grace "simply Christ," hiding what we really mean — even from ourselves.

So I have begun a study, beginning with the word "experience" in the Bible. I am far from done with it. But I will note that outside of the NIV and the NET, the word hardly appears in the NT. In the OT, it is primarily a reference to training. Experienced with the sword. Experienced in carving or in working with gold. It only barely appears in the Psalms, unless you read the NET. And in the Psalms is found the only places where the word comes close to meaning something like what I understand from most of the usage related to "experience of Christ." Yet even there it is mostly a reference to the experience of joy. Or peace.

I scanned through a book by Lee, The Experience of Christ, and noted a lot of declarations that we are to experience all these things (things for which the word "experience" is not supplied in the Bible). For example, we were to experience the emptying our of ourselves. But when I actually consider the passage, it says to have the same mind, not to do the same thing. Might not be much difference. But might be. The mind of someone who rejects something about themselves for a purpose would be one to follow. But declaring that we should do the thing that Jesus did is not exactly what Paul was saying.

But experience is almost always about how it is lived out. We experience hardship, persecution, salvation, the opening of our eyes (to many things), and so on. While we do experience emotions, that is seldom a point of discussion in the Bible. Even where it mentions joy and peace, it is less about emotions and more about a sate of being. Emotions rise and fall rapidly based on outward circumstances and/or our perception of them (whether right or wrong perceptions). But a steady peace is not emotional (or at least not generally so). It is beyond mere emotions.

I will not declare that experiencing Christ or experiences of Christ are "not Biblical." But those are not the terms that are used in the Bible, therefore they refer to something that has a different name or description. I might declare that I know that these "experiences" are not emotional, or just "experiences" of worship of some type rather than experiences in regular life. But many statements concerning these "experiences" are just that. They are something that has no direct link to life or living. There often are emotions wrapped up with them, and when the emotion fades, so does the experience.

"I experienced Christ in my quiet time this morning" may be a true statement. But what does it really mean? What did you experience? We really don't have anything that is "simply Christ" so it is more complex than that. And if it really is an "experience of Christ," how did it affect your living that day and the ones to follow? Did your daily living require that the experience be refueled regularly? Or having had this experience, do you have the realization of something that you can live according to?

This is not a challenge to Igzy. I'm not worried about him. It is a general request to turn a vague term into a lot of substantial things. And possibly put some wrong notions related to it into the garbage. I do not have anything ready to go on it. As I mentioned, the word is not often used. In one version, it is used only once in the NT. And that one could not support a general book title like The Experience of Christ.

Also, this is not a critique of Lee's book, although that is not out of the question. But that is not my goal.

I will not try to "moderate" this thread. But it would be better if we try to add something solid. Not just our personal thoughts. At least be looking at some scripture, or something that someone has written on the subject that has a decent link to scripture.

I will admit that I have provided some initial thoughts. But they are far from solid. Let's look at the word experience first. Define it. Find it in scripture. Find places where it is implied in the nature of the passage without direct use. And places where we have assumed it but it really doesn't fit. Then look at what should be the "experience" of the normal Christian life (not the book).

And maybe this just sits quietly and is ignored. That is OK.
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Old 02-27-2015, 09:35 AM   #2
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Default Re: The Experience of Christ

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There has been some controversy, mainly between myself and Igzy, concerning the place of experience in the Christian faith and practice. While I do not reject experience outright, I am not sure that the thing that we call experience has the importance assigned to it in the written record. Or maybe it is that we have redefined something else and now call it "experience of Christ" and therefore are, like calling grace "simply Christ," hiding what we really mean — even from ourselves.
One verse which quickly came to mind related to you and the experience of Christ -- Phil 4.6, "Let your forbearance be known to all men, the Lord is near." I love this verse, and it often is in my heart when relating to others, either on this forum or in other venues. Forbearance is tolerance, patience, and longsuffering towards others.

This so-called "experience" of Christ lies in how I relate to others. Do I react from my self, expressing a range of emotions from frustration to anger or worse, or do I give the patience of my Lord an opportunity to invade my response? If "the Lord is near," should not He have permission to interact with what I say? If He is near, I must consider which response expresses Him and hopefully that is what could be "known to all men."

This verse then opens up a wide venue of more "experiences" of Christ. Does what I say come under obedience to Him, or is it just what I want. Perhaps I need to apologize because the Lord is troubled by my words, or maybe my words are fine, but my tone is wrong. To pray is also to "experience" the Lord, hoping that what I post could express His heart, and benefit the reader in some little way.

The Lord often reminds me of these verses in 2 Tim. 2, "Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful." Life is filled with petty arguments, and I have lots of opinions about a host of topics, and would love to jump in and let others know, but then I remember His word. My remembrance is also an "experience" of Christ, and better yet, my obedience to what we remember. And then "the Lord is near," perhaps nearer than He was before.
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Old 02-27-2015, 09:59 PM   #3
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There has been some controversy, mainly between myself and Igzy, concerning the place of experience in the Christian faith and practice. While I do not reject experience outright, I am not sure that the thing that we call experience has the importance assigned to it in the written record.
Thanks for introducing this subject, and for doing the Bible homework. I remain interested in any of your additional research.

I know you want Bible references on The Experience of Christ. While I'm not certain I doubt you'll find verses speaking explicitly of the experience of Christ.

I guess the first thing we need to determine is whether or not the early Christians, after the ascension, spoken of in Acts, were experiencing Christ. If so, there are your Bible references.

And also, if so, the Bible wasn't necessary for them to experience Christ. As there were no books on Christ written then.

And maybe you are not a moderator but if I'm leading your thread astray, please moderate me.
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Old 02-28-2015, 06:16 AM   #4
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Default Re: The Experience of Christ

I probably picked a bad time to introduce the subject. It is getting into a heavy season at work and I need to give more of my little free time to something besides this thread and forum.

If nothing else, I am wondering if we might find that "experience of Christ" should be more general in both finding and application. Is the experience in considering whether something expresses him (at least a significant thing, given that the purpose of man was bearing the image of God on earth) or wondering what could be known to all men?

Forbearance, and tolerance (to the extent that it is part of forbearance) are interesting terms. And they fall within a range of actions that we are called to take that includes both judging, and not judging. So simply forbearing everything is not an end-all. The goal of the Christian life is not to make everyone happy about everything. But where our tolerance is exercised must include our unbelieving neighbor. Until they are part of the body, while they are ultimately under God's judgment, they are not ours to judge. But there is a form of judgment that must go on within the body. While the way of rampant exclusivism is not the way, neither is simply sitting with forbearance about everything. Otherwise, there could be no admonishing, exhorting, or even bringing certain kinds of offenses to the church.

Yes, truly loving the unsaved by being tolerant of them in everything outside of what society (and God) would call criminal is a must. It should be exercised. And to the extent that we do not naturally want to tolerate certain ones, we need to receive the grace to overcome our natural intolerance. We need to set our minds on the Spirit and "walk" in a manner that is tolerant. We can call that an experience of Christ.

But if tolerance is the first thing that comes up, then why aren't we tolerant of Lee, Nee, Lin, RK, Benson, Ray and the others? Maybe it is because there are some things you don't just be silent about. And there is a context in which something should be said. Having seen something that we, collectively or individually, see as potentially damaging, or even limiting in our Christian growth, should we simply tolerate and be silent? And why? because it might offend someone? We are constantly offending the die-hard LCM people, both regulars and leaders. So the forum should end?

What do we gain by hiding the actual experience behind a generic label? I realize that it is a "high" way of speaking of it. But what it is will be true no matter what you call it. And we know what it means to become convicted that we are intolerant of certain people. And to deal with God about that until we begin to change. Sometimes we actually change almost immediately. Sometimes we find ourselves changing slowly as we step out in faith, but find ourselves in our old ways, but are quickly pricked in our consciences when we fail, and return to our walk according to the Spirit.

But more than anything, I am looking to find that what we tend to lump into a generic term "experiences of Christ" should, on the whole, have some occurrences in our quiet times or corporate worship, but as much or more in our daily lives because we come to express Christ in our living more and more. And they are worthy of more detailed analysis, both personally, and in whatever we speak to others. Saying "I had several experiences of Christ this week" is like saying "I lived my life this week." Or it should be. If the term is focused too exclusively on our quiet time, or the corporate worship, then we may only understand part of what could be there. And maybe the problem is that we are not labeling properly. But it could be that we are stuck in a spiritual/secular separation where experiencing Christ is spiritual and living the daily life is secular.

I know that there was a lot of talk about not being able to wait to get to the next meeting. And it was one of the reasons that there was so much looking down on the rest of Christianity — because they don't meet as often as we did. And I believe that is because we had an incorrect understanding of what and how we "experienced Christ." It was a much bandied term will little true definition. But for many it was assumed to be something that happened in our "spiritual times."

This has been a "no evidence" speech. It somewhat expresses the expectation of my search. I will be up front about it because I want to recognize my own tendency to force-fit things to my chosen result. Can we all try to do that? It might help us see beyond our biases
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Old 02-28-2015, 08:40 AM   #5
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This so-called "experience" of Christ lies in how I relate to others.
I agree completely. There's much in the NT, both gospels and epistles, that confirms this. And the companion thought is the necessity to "see Jesus" in the text, a la Heb. 2:9. Which is why WL's treatment of scripture could be so troubling.

If I just try to love people and ignore God's Messiah, revealed plainly to me in the Bible, then my love will eventually dry up. My concept of love will either drift away, or become stymied. God's love in Christ will endure forever.
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Old 02-28-2015, 11:10 AM   #6
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We need to set our minds on the Spirit and "walk" in a manner that is tolerant. We can call that an experience of Christ.
Isn't the experience of Christ all about "the least of these?"

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I know that there was a lot of talk about not being able to wait to get to the next meeting. And it was one of the reasons that there was so much looking down on the rest of Christianity — because they don't meet as often as we did.
Looking back on my local church days I came to realize that surely the busy local church life, with all the meetings and conferences, could not be what Jesus envisioned for his followers.
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Old 02-28-2015, 01:33 PM   #7
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Isn't the experience of Christ all about "the least of these?"

Looking back on my local church days I came to realize that surely the busy local church life, with all the meetings and conferences, could not be what Jesus envisioned for his followers.
I think that the experience of Christ lies in leaving the 99 and finding the one lost sheep. WL made it instead about "building the body". Even the gospel message got subsumed. I remember RK saying that Billy Graham had done absolutely nothing for the kingdom of God because he was only about converting sinners and not about organization-building.
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Old 03-01-2015, 11:49 AM   #8
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I remember RK saying that Billy Graham had done absolutely nothing for the kingdom of God because he was only about converting sinners and not about organization-building.
Did brother Ron really say that? Such a narrow view.

"And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; "

Ephesians: 4:11-12
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Old 03-01-2015, 11:55 AM   #9
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Did brother Ron really say that? Such a narrow view.

"And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; "

Ephesians: 4:11-12
If the evangelist BG wasn't "lined up with" God's apostle WL, then BG's labor was in vain. It did absolutely nothing to build up the body of Christ. That was an actual quote.
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Old 03-02-2015, 06:17 AM   #10
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Isn't the experience of Christ all about "the least of these?"
I think that this may be one of the problems that I have with the term. I can't conclude that it is "all about" anything as narrow as just any aspect of the Christian life.

But part of it is in actually loving others. Like Ohio said somewhat differently —how I relate to others. So the experience of Christ is at least partly about all aspects of how I relate to all others. Not just to LCM members. Not just to other Christians. Not just to "good material." Not just to those who are socially Christian in that they live outwardly according to a Christian ethic though having no confession of belief in Christ. It is also to the unlovely, the sinner in every sense of the word. Even to those who society (and I) think that are horribly opposed to the "right" way. Like . . . let's leave the list of people we might think of as "out" out of the discussion.

Recently a long-time friend who has moved away posted the following on facebook

Quote:
What Would Jesus Facebook?

Answer: I don’t know.

But let’s suggest some things he WOULDN’T facebook:

1. Jesus would not post endless streams of mocking pictures of and posts of NBC anchor Brian Williams failings. Or anyone else’s.

2. Jesus wouldn’t post hateful things about Barack Obama. Or George W. Bush. Or Mitt Romney. Or anyone. Ever.

3. I Don’t know what Jesus’ position would be on the 2nd Amendment. I suspect he wouldn’t (or doesn’t) have one. But even if he did, I don’t think he would celebrate and glorify guns on his facebook page. I just don’t.

4. Maybe Jesus would have some strong political opinions. I’m not sure. But if he did, he would never let his zeal to express those opinions lead him to post anything that would in any way compromise the values the he taught and lived.

To sum up, Jesus may have ridden into Jerusalem on an ass. But he would never have acted like one on facebook.

I have. And so have some of you. Let’s stop.
But beyond this, I believe that what we might call the "experience of Christ" is way more than how we interact with other people. It is about how we live our entire lives. And while we might argue that all of it eventually becomes an aspect of interaction with others, even saying that allows us to overlook things that we do not see as part of that interaction.


At least at the time that we see it. But it is all part of the life of the Christian and is therefore either lived because of Christ or not.
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Old 03-02-2015, 06:33 AM   #11
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I believe that what we might call the "experience of Christ" is way more than how we interact with other people. It is about how we live our entire lives. And while we might argue that all of it eventually becomes an aspect of interaction with others, even saying that allows us to overlook things that we do not see as part of that interaction.
Well put. And something that I needed. I always consider how others see me, but forget to consider how the Father sees me. Jesus repeatedly told about the shut door, and the Father who was in secret; arguably that was the basis of His interactions with people. How quickly I forget that, and become a politician, all about appearances and pseudo "relationships"!

Thanks for posting that.
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Old 03-02-2015, 06:37 AM   #12
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I think that the experience of Christ lies in leaving the 99 and finding the one lost sheep. WL made it instead about "building the body".
And right here may be one of the reasons that I still have a problem with the term. We may have a problem with what Lee called "building the body," but all that would entail would seem to be out of, or part of the experience of Christ.

Yet it is not the whole.

Neither is leaving the 99 to find the one. It can only be part of it. Not all of it.

And this is the problem I have with the term. For so many people, if we continue to call everything of the Christian life "the experience of Christ" yet do not provide details as to what it was in each instance that was "experience of Christ," then we have masked the true meaning of the instance and set an undefined bar as the measure that others see themselves as having to measure up to.

How much better to speak of having something prick your conscience about how you drive, and then taking action to correct it. Or about your attitude toward the gay guy in the office, or the woman who is living with her boyfriend.

I know. I only mention certain kinds of things. We need to be honest in our dealing with the clerk at the checkout counter. We don't always need to mask our emotions, but we need to check whether the emotion is righteous, or just us being upset (or even gleeful when the bad guy "gets it"). We need to deal rightly with our children. Sometimes that means calmly with only "the facts." Other times the emotion, especially of fear or concern is very necessary, especially for the young who have no concept of many dangers.

And on we go.

Someone pointed to being loving until it dries up. But what is required to rehydrate your love? Are we just SOL if we cannot take enough time to stop and pray, or is the realization that we are about to "blow it" simply evidence that we are not taking advantage of what we already have for the purpose of life and godliness?

And rather than making all of these things into a never-really-described "experience of God" smoothie that doesn't instruct or enlighten anyone as to what it means, why not just talk about the actual experience for what it is rather than just saying "I had an experience of Christ."

Especially since there really is no such term used in the Bible. The Bible describes events, including discussions. It does not describe "experience of Christ" or ever say the term.

So why do we have to do so and what does it do for us?
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Old 03-02-2015, 08:04 AM   #13
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What Would Jesus Facebook?

Answer: I don’t know.

But let’s suggest some things he WOULDN’T facebook:

1. Jesus would not post endless streams of mocking pictures of and posts of NBC anchor Brian Williams failings. Or anyone else’s.

2. Jesus wouldn’t post hateful things about Barack Obama. Or George W. Bush. Or Mitt Romney. Or anyone. Ever.

3. I Don’t know what Jesus’ position would be on the 2nd Amendment. I suspect he wouldn’t (or doesn’t) have one. But even if he did, I don’t think he would celebrate and glorify guns on his facebook page. I just don’t.

4. Maybe Jesus would have some strong political opinions. I’m not sure. But if he did, he would never let his zeal to express those opinions lead him to post anything that would in any way compromise the values the he taught and lived.

To sum up, Jesus may have ridden into Jerusalem on an ass. But he would never have acted like one on facebook.

I have. And so have some of you. Let’s stop.
I have never posted on Facebook, so I can't be included in in your final statement, but neither can I agree with everything here. Jesus rebuked those who opposed the Gospel to their face. He mocked them privately with the disciples. He warned the disciples about them repeatedly. The Apostles learned from Jesus and continued with the same admonitions. Whether Jesus or the Apostles would have used Facebook is irrelevant, but the rest of your discussion is open to debate.
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Old 03-02-2015, 08:49 AM   #14
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So why do we have to do so and what does it do for us?
What it does is makes the point that there is a difference between thinking about God and actually having an encounter with him. Frankly I don't think your point about the word "experience" not being used in the Bible really carries much weight. The idea is implied time and again.

Taste and see that the Lord is good implies experience.
Knowing God implies experience.
Fellowship with God implies experience.
Knowing the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of his sufferings implies experience.
Being filled with all the fullness of God implies experience.
And how can you be one with God without experiencing it eventually?

There are many other examples which we shouldn't have to make. Common sense implies that if you have a personal relationship with God you are going to have experiences with him and of him. That's what happens in relationships.

The reason we need to emphasize experience is because we tend to settle for theory. We settle for God at a distance. Whether we use the term encounter, contact, actuality, reality, intimacy, God moment, experience or something else, the point is worth making. I don't see the value in downplaying it in a general fashion.

Why you feel the need to make a big deal out of this word doesn't add up to me. The only thing I can figure is you don't like "experience" because the LCM used it. But that's not a good enough reason to mount opposition to something.

C.S. Lewis said that love seeks the object of its love, and should not be called mercenary for doing so. If you love Christ, you seek encounters with Christ. The Lord does not begrudge this. He didn't in Mary, even after Martha complained about Mary's lack of "fruit." Neither should you.

I used to read conservative magazines until I realized a lot of these dyed-in-the-wool conservatives take their theory too far. I recall one making a big stink about the fact that people filled their houses with family photographs. He thought he had some kind of principle to uphold, but to me he was just making a point to make a point. I recall William F. Buckley himself coming on a talk show commenting about a blind sailor who had sailed a great distance in a boat by himself. Buckley felt to make the point that this sailor could not have as rich an experience as a sighted sailor because of the lack of visual input. He sounded like a jerk.

Both of these guys got so caught up in their brilliant ideas that they failed (1) to apply common sense and (2) to look around and see if anyone else was reacting positively to them in any way, shape or form. When you do that you end up looking like, what was that word you used?

I won't use it. But I will say, "Martha, Martha."
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Old 03-02-2015, 10:09 AM   #15
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Taste and see that the Lord is good implies experience.
Knowing God implies experience.
Fellowship with God implies experience.
Knowing the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of his sufferings implies experience.
Being filled with all the fullness of God implies experience.
And how can you be one with God without experiencing it eventually?
"Be doers of the word and not merely hearers" implies experience. But what is it to "do" the word? Obey. Not attend meetings and shout slogans, which may or may not be related to the word.

But in today's post-modern, relativistic world it isn't easy to know whether I love, whether I have compassion, whether I have patience and kindness and generosity. I'm good at talking about it...

Ultimately I am left with "seek and you will find." I seek the experience. By God's mercy I may find it.
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Old 03-02-2015, 10:49 AM   #16
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"Be doers of the word and not merely hearers" implies experience. But what is it to "do" the word? Obey. Not attend meetings and shout slogans, which may or may not be related to the word.

But in today's post-modern, relativistic world it isn't easy to know whether I love, whether I have compassion, whether I have patience and kindness and generosity. I'm good at talking about it...

Ultimately I am left with "seek and you will find." I seek the experience. By God's mercy I may find it.
I don't think you can truly know what to "do" without the experiencing the Spirit's enlightenment in the first place. I see too many doers of the word operating under their own interpretation. Yes, seeking is important and finding is important. Both in their genuine manifestation are experiences of Christ.

Obviously the LCM distorted experience to the point of error. But that's not a good reason to have a problem with experience itself or with the idea that we need to have it, anymore than the fact that some fraternity guy killed himself by trying to drink 10 gallons of water in 10 minutes should make us hesitant to drink water.

Experience is a general word. So is know. It's even more general than experience. But the Bible uses it. Know can mean know information (Gk. oida) or denote personal involvement (Gk. ginosko). The Hebrew word for "to know" is (surprise!) yada. It implies personal knowledge. When it says "Adam knew his wife" it wasn't talking about him knowing something he read about her. It was talking about a very intimate experience of her.
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Old 03-02-2015, 11:42 AM   #17
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"Be doers of the word and not merely hearers" implies experience. But what is it to "do" the word? Obey. Not attend meetings and shout slogans, which may or may not be related to the word.
LSM definitely crossed the line when they condemned the GLA young people for visiting old folks homes and the like, condemning as "dead works" what the Bible would call "good works." Lee and LSM messed with all our heads on this one. They condemned what the Spirit directed others to do in serving others. They only saw "good" in that which built up their little empire. Thus, screaming in meetings all day long was "good," but loving your neighbor could not be an "experience" of God.

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Obviously the LCM distorted experience to the point of error. But that's not a good reason to have a problem with experience itself or with the idea that we need to have it, anymore than the fact that some fraternity guy killed himself by trying to drink 10 gallons of water in 10 minutes should make us hesitant to drink water.
Some might say, "Can the church meet too much?" or might say, "Can we experience the Lord too much?" It all depends.

The problem with LSM is that they redefined and distorted what the "experience" of God was to the point of error. Shouting can easily become vain babbling, but no one dares to address this when they are bubbling forth ministry-approved slogans. They frown upon any leading of the Lord which does not build up their program, and in this regard, they are anti-Christ because they are against the anointing of the Spirit in the individual children of God. Elders, churches, and saints must all align with LSM or their "experiences" are invalidated by the ministry.
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Old 03-02-2015, 03:27 PM   #18
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I see too many doers of the word operating under their own interpretation.
I was not there, on the holy mountain with Peter and John and James.

2 Peter 1:17-19 "For when He received honor and glory from God the Father, such an utterance as this was made to Him by the Majestic Glory, "This is My beloved Son with whom I am well-pleased "-- and we ourselves heard this utterance made from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain. So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts.…"

John 1:14 "And we saw his glory, the glory of the only begotten son of the Father..."

No, I was not there. But I have the record. I have the truth. And in that truth I'm invited to behold glory, of which nothing is equal. All works that matter flow out of that vision. And nothing else.

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Obviously the LCM distorted experience to the point of error. But that's not a good reason to have a problem with experience itself or with the idea that we need to have it...
But there's reason to have a problem with charismatic experiences that are at best tangenitally (i.e. tenuously, barely) related to the word of God. Like letting a chicken run through a room where water is boiling, and then calling it chicken soup; aahhh, not really. But thanks anyway.
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Old 03-02-2015, 06:29 PM   #19
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No, I was not there. But I have the record. I have the truth. And in that truth I'm invited to behold glory, of which nothing is equal. All works that matter flow out of that vision. And nothing else.
YOU have the written word. Praise God. But you cannot interpret it without experiencing HIM as the Spirit of truth.

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But there's reason to have a problem with charismatic experiences that are at best tangenitally (i.e. tenuously, barely) related to the word of God. Like letting a chicken run through a room where water is boiling, and then calling it chicken soup; aahhh, not really. But thanks anyway.
Those are the exception. And the exception is not the rule. Rather, the exception proves the rule. Which means we still need to experience the Spirit. BTW, the Spirit is a Person, not a force that cooks chickens. Experiencing God's Power means experiencing his Person--his character, his likes and dislikes. Keep that in mind and you'll do fine.
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Old 03-02-2015, 07:03 PM   #20
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YOU have the written word. Praise God. But you cannot interpret it without experiencing HIM as the Spirit of truth.
This is a defining scripture for all proper experience: "But when He, the Spirit of reality, comes He will guide you into all the reality." John 16.13


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Those are the exception. And the exception is not the rule. Rather, the exception proves the rule.
Interesting. Can you say more. Never mind the chickens.
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Old 03-03-2015, 06:15 AM   #21
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I have never posted on Facebook, so I can't be included in in your final statement, but neither can I agree with everything here. Jesus rebuked those who opposed the Gospel to their face. He mocked them privately with the disciples. He warned the disciples about them repeatedly. The Apostles learned from Jesus and continued with the same admonitions. Whether Jesus or the Apostles would have used Facebook is irrelevant, but the rest of your discussion is open to debate.
It was someone else's post, so I am not lumping anyone in anything.

But if you look at the nature of the people listed, there are no "Pharisees" included in the list. Only the ones that he dined with as the Pharisees sat by and complained. The issues were not the equivalent of the sellers of merchandise in the temple, but the laws of the government that ruled over the land. And he did not discuss them. They were not relevant to his kingdom. Paul did say to obey them because they provide peace, yet we gripe about them, creating unrest and chasing peace away.
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Old 03-03-2015, 06:20 AM   #22
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YOU have the written word. Praise God. But you cannot interpret it without experiencing HIM as the Spirit of truth.
Probably we're arguing past each other. Because I wouldn't put "but" to start the last sentence; rather I'd put "and" to start it.

I've gradually decided over the past year or so that the entire corpus of the NT was largely an attempt to convince its readers that Jesus the Nazarene was the promised Messiah of scriptures, "scriptures" being what we'd call the OT. The law, the prophets, the psalms, Jesus' disciples felt, all pointed to the coming Savior who would redeem Israel and rule the world. Now, some of those scriptures are gone -- "Out of his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water" was cited, but from what text? The Book of Enoch was part of NT discourse, but was lost. However the bulk of the work was carefully preserved. And we can see that the NT writers felt that the work, as a whole, pointed to the coming Savior of the world.

Isaiah 9:7 "Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this."

To a people chafing under Roman rule, after centuries of Greeks, Babylonians, Assyrians, and whatnot, this promise loomed large. All those OT references sprinkled through the NT were presenting their readers with the foundation for understanding who Jesus was, according to the promises of God. I've recently covered, on another thread, Peter's speech in Acts 2 and Paul's speech in Acts 13, both of whom it must be stressed were aimed at not merely Jews but "God-fearing people".

Yet 2,000 years later we assume the validity of the NT argument, and skim past the references. It has gotten so bad that we, a bunch of otherwise intelligent people, spent years under an expositor like WL who'd bring out all sorts of pictures from the "types and shadows" of the OT, and essentially ignore the incarnated Word, Jesus Christ. Instead we got all sorts of things: we got "ChristAndTheChurch" and "God'sEconomy" and "TheProcessedTriuneGod" etc. And, tellingly, WL gave us messages telling us the the OT was "natural" and "fallen" where WL couldn't line it up with his "NT economy". That we could disregard the word of God at our profit. And we sat there and took it.

Now, my point is this: any spirit that confesses Jesus Christ from the Bible (both OT and NT) is to be at least considered, and any spirit that comes into the Assembly of Jesus' Name (i.e. "the church") and begins to push other things from the word of God is to be examined very, very skeptically. This is where we have to "prove the spirits" that come among us. When our attention begins to be diverted to arguments over God's trinity, over the structure of the assembly, over dispensation, and over the experiences of hand-waving and shouting as "the Spirit", I fear we've lost our way.

This is where I lumped the LC in with the Charismatic movement, which gets the assembled audience all in an agitated state: shouting, chanting, arm waving, "declaring" and so forth. But shouting what? Yes, "Jesus is Lord" among other things. But that's the problem. We think we are experiencing The Spirit of Christ but we are experiencing "Christ plus", we are experiencing the spirit of other things... some additive spirit has come in. So we can presumably "experience Christ" while we eat toast, while our actual living, and our assembly resembles the Christ presented in the Bible hardly at all.

Where is the love? The humility? The exhortations to good works? The charity toward those who cannot repay us in this age? The receiving of one another? And so forth. Yes we "experience the Spirit". But what spirit?

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Those are the exception. And the exception is not the rule. Rather, the exception proves the rule. Which means we still need to experience the Spirit. BTW, the Spirit is a Person, not a force that cooks chickens. Experiencing God's Power means experiencing his Person--his character, his likes and dislikes. Keep that in mind and you'll do fine.
I am reacting to what I saw, and was under for a time. Am I seeking the kingdom? Only partly. Partly I am reacting to a situation. Was Moses seeking God's glory? Or was he seeking a lost sheep? Was Nathaniel seeking the Messiah or was he snoozing under a fig tree? Our seeking is leavened by our situation and our predispositions. Ultimately the Word is the living sword that cuts one from the other. Otherwise we may find ourselves beguiled by some seducing spirit. In WL's case the seeking seems to have been some combination of mercantilism and a need for control. In my case I'm not sure. Stay tuned. But I know that the Word shows us the way, even if I can hardly see it. Really I "feel" it. It's like the StarWarsian "force". I know it's there.

And maybe that is your "Spirit". That's why I said we're probably saying the same thing. But really all I can say for sure is to stay tuned.
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Old 03-03-2015, 06:25 AM   #23
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But if you look at the nature of the people listed, there are no "Pharisees" included in the list. Only the ones that he dined with as the Pharisees sat by and complained. The issues were not the equivalent of the sellers of merchandise in the temple, but the laws of the government that ruled over the land. And he did not discuss them. They were not relevant to his kingdom. Paul did say to obey them because they provide peace, yet we gripe about them, creating unrest and chasing peace away.
When someone came up and said to Jesus, "Tell my brother to give me my inheritance", He replied, "Man, who put me as ruler over you?" Jesus was indeed concerned with social justice. With righteousness. With peace. But His approach was entirely not "of the Gentiles". We can hardly over-stress this point.
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Old 03-03-2015, 06:25 AM   #24
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It was someone else's post, so I am not lumping anyone in anything.

But if you look at the nature of the people listed, there are no "Pharisees" included in the list. Only the ones that he dined with as the Pharisees sat by and complained. The issues were not the equivalent of the sellers of merchandise in the temple, but the laws of the government that ruled over the land. And he did not discuss them. They were not relevant to his kingdom. Paul did say to obey them because they provide peace, yet we gripe about them, creating unrest and chasing peace away.
There is something to be said about a restful heart and inner peace.

I watch conservative news and I become anxious because they are close to the truth, and I watch liberal news and I become furious because they are lying to me. Then I look at some friends and family who watch no news, and they are more relaxed and stress-free.

Oh the bliss of ignorance.
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Old 03-03-2015, 07:47 AM   #25
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The reason we need to emphasize experience is because we tend to settle for theory. We settle for God at a distance. Whether we use the term encounter, contact, actuality, reality, intimacy, God moment, experience or something else, the point is worth making. I don't see the value in downplaying it in a general fashion.
You are fighting a point that I did not make. I did not say there is no experience. But everything you have listed is something different from the others. Knowing may imply experience. But it may also imply knowing.

And two of your lines were related to "God," not specifically Christ. I don't want to get into a "Jesus is God but God is not necessarily Jesus" debate here, but we are referring to a generic statement that is/was too often used as an overlay, even a mask, on top of experiences.

It is all experience. But the truth of the experience is discrete, not generic or stew.

Complain about why you think I am bringing this up. If you don't want to discuss it, don't. My "experience" in the LCM was that "experience of Christ" was mostly "spiritual" stuff. It was stuff that happened in the meetings. It was stuff that happened in morning watch. And it was my experience because it was what almost everyone talked about when they used the word experience. But even then, so often it was phrased in such a way that the "what" of the experience was fairly hidden. It was too often something with an ethereal kind of implication. Something that they couldn't describe in real terms, therefore something out of reach.

I believe it was the morphing the potential for real experiences into something relatively undefined that allowed us to reject so many actual experiences as being "of Christ." It allowed some to scoff at going to old-folks homes as low, or not even on the chart. It allowed a leading brother to brag about turning away a homeless person from the church property because helping the needy was not the purpose of the church.

And experience is either something real and tangible, or it is not really experience.

You list several things and say that they imply experience. And some of them clearly do. And the others could. But they don't say it. We do. And we don't say "experience X" we say "experience Christ." It is something we learned in the LCM. It is part of our (past) culture. Why are we still anxious to use terms to elevate beyond what something actually is with describable importance and effect into something that we think is important and sounds high and lofty, and in the process lose what we actually gained.

We gain whatever we gain through the things we experience and learn. And our experiences are not all in church or our quiet time. In fact, probably the most important ones are during the day when we are not even engaged in any kind of "spiritual" activity. What I mean is that one of the most prominent signs of a Christian should be a changed life. The lame walk, the blind see, the angry become calm, the speeders slow down, and so on. If we are unable to arrive at any of these things without pointing to some recent "fill up" of the tank, then maybe our lives really haven't changed.

I know this is a tightrope to walk. We require the setting of the mind on the Spirit to walk according to the Spirit and fulfill the righteousness of the law. Yet if we are not out there walking, there is nothing happening. There is no actual change in life.

And maybe the real proof that we are actually operating "in Christ" is when we arrive at the destination and we really aren't angry at all those jerks on the road. And aren't having to repent for the past 10, 15, 20 or so minutes of driving. When our lives are actually changed rather than when we have to have something constantly reminding us to fight against our nature to live in the old way. Some might argue that it is then being done without Christ. I disagree. The only way that could be done is with Christ.

"For me to live is Christ," while not fully explained, could mean that the way I now live is Christ. It is as he would live. I do what he would do. My life has changed. How would you determine if this is true? Not by figuring out what kind of quiet time Paul had. Or whether he "prophesied" forcefully in the meeting. But by observing his life. Not by declaring that he had a lot of "experiences of Christ." If that is all he had was declarations that he had experienced Christ, then where is the example? How were we to follow the one who said to follow him as an example just as he was following?

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Why you feel the need to make a big deal out of this word doesn't add up to me. The only thing I can figure is you don't like "experience" because the LCM used it. But that's not a good enough reason to mount opposition to something.
Pretty presumptuous. I am not taking on this subject because the LCM used it. I am taking it on because my experience (yes, experience) is that the term in question was a mask. It made real Christian experience into a foggy thing that seemed sometimes unachievable. And yes, in the LCM it was also the means for expunging a lot of the real experiences that we should be able to declare are "of Christ."

And I also believe that the substitution of unspecific but high-sounding terms is an excellent way to lead people where they might not otherwise want to go. Not just for the LCM, but for others. Turning this vague thing into something solid will help more people. And I cannot see how it will hurt anyone. Are you for that? Or are you happy to live in a world of vague terminology rather than true experience?

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I used to read conservative magazines . . . He sounded like a jerk.

Both of these guys got so caught up in their brilliant ideas that they failed (1) to apply common sense and (2) to look around and see if anyone else was reacting positively to them in any way, shape or form.
I will readily agree with you about a lot of the guys writing and broadcasting the conservative stuff. They mostly sound like jerks. There are occasions of brilliance, but it is not often.

But as poorly as they do it, and whether you like their ideas or not, their goal is not to have everyone stand and cheer. It is to suggest something that they think is being missed. I don't want to be among them in the way that they are.

But there is something about suggesting that someone is just an @$$ and should shut up because you don't care about what they say. That is really not much better than many of those conservative writers and broadcasters who would love to never hear the voice of (fill in the name of your favorite liberal voice) again.

But just because you, one of the more brilliant on this forum, are not responding positively is not evidence that I should just let it go. Virtually all of us, including the brilliant among us, have groused about what has been said in some thread on some issue and then later could be heard drumming the same thing. Why? Because people who were unpopular simply shut up and went away? No. Because despite our initial disagreement, we took the time to actually look into what they were saying. Maybe not in a concerted manner. But over time we saw something we had not seen before. And it changed our thinking. And without a change in thinking, we are not going to change in any other way.

I want more than your knee-jerk reaction to the idea. That is how we got here in the first place. If you don't want to actually engage in the discussion, then don't.
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Old 03-03-2015, 10:14 AM   #26
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I understand your point, OBW. And I appreciate your patience with me. I just disagree with your conclusion, that's all. I think it's the wrong reaction.

That is, I disagree that it is talking about experiencing Christ (rather than talking about experiencing righteousness, grace, faithfulness, or whatever) that leads to the trouble. What led to the trouble in the LCM was saying we should experience Christ in oneness, devotion to the Lord's Recovery, faithfulness to the ministry, building the church (actually questionable things), while concertedly de-emphasizing other things that we should have experienced Christ in (e.g. freedom to follow our consciences, liberty, etc.)

The problem in the LCM wasn't in focusing on experiencing Christ. It was in the warped results we were taught that experiencing Christ would produce. Many LCMers (Jane, Ohio and many others) experience of Christ led them to have a problem in their consciences about how things were going there, and they were slapped down for it. So it wasn't the experience of Christ that hurt them.

If you generally experience Christ, yet leave the door open for him to lead you in any specific way he wants to (from the Word and other Christians), I think it is hard to go wrong. There is nothing wrong with saying I want to experience Jesus, because you never know quite what you are going to get at any moment. You have to be on your toes. You might be trying to experience the Lord as being quite grave and the Lord might be saying he wants you to be a little lighthearted. As long as it doesn't violate the Word, who are we to argue?

It's my belief that we would have had few problems if we would have done the same things we did (meeting and practicing more or less the same) while leaving the door wide open for the Lord to lead us directly from the Word, rather than from Witness Lee. Because the Lord would have been able to correct us.

There was a reason the Lord so filled the LCM in the early days. It was because he was prepared to use us and bless us. We started out on a pretty good track. We had a (nominal anyway) belief in ultimate authority of the Word and respect for the leading that could come from any member of the Body. But Witness Lee and his cronies hijacked all of that and short-circuited it.

So I just disagree with you that talking generally about experiencing Christ is not good. You put forth a theory that it is, but you haven't really proved the connection between generalizing experience and error. I guess if you stop reading the Word and receiving fellowship and just focus on "experience" there could be issues. But as long as you have them both to balance your experience I think you'll be okay. What happened in the LCM is we actually left the Word and fellowship. We flocked to Witness Lee and his advice and turned our back on 99% of the fellowship of the Body of Christ. No wonder our "experience" got warped.

I think most people can generalize talking about experiencing Christ without falling off the deep end. There is always going to be exceptions to the rule. But as I said, the exception proves the rule.

That's just my opinion.
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Old 03-03-2015, 10:26 AM   #27
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This is a defining scripture for all proper experience: "But when He, the Spirit of reality, comes He will guide you into all the reality." John 16.13
I agree.

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Interesting. Can you say more. Never mind the chickens.
The fact that the exception is called an exception shows there is a rule it is an exception to. People argue about exceptions as if their existence trumps the rule. But they actually establish it. For example, if I say all swans are white and you respond that 1% are not, you've just said that 99% of the time I'm right. I'll take that any day.

People who are always pointing out exceptions are the same people who play the lottery. Overall, what is possible is not as important as what is likely. The more someone tends to make a big deal about exceptions the more you are dealing with a theoretician and not a pragmatist.
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Old 03-03-2015, 10:41 AM   #28
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Here's another thought. The Bible tells us to "walk in the Spirit." Is that significantly less general than saying "experience Christ"? To me they are saying basically the same thing. I don't see much difference at all. Now some might be able to nitpick a difference, but what would be the point of doing that, other than to make a point? So if the Bible feels safe with the general "walk in the Spirit," are we wrong for feeling safe with the general "experience Christ"?
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Old 03-03-2015, 10:55 AM   #29
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Probably we're arguing past each other.
It happens. We all come from different angles. I guess that's why Paul said arriving at the unity of the faith was a matter in the future.
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Old 03-23-2015, 11:02 AM   #30
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The Bible tells us to "walk in the Spirit." Is that significantly less general than saying "experience Christ"? To me they are saying basically the same thing.
And maybe to you they do.

But to me, one says something generic that I cannot define, therefore cannot do, while the other says something that is definable and doable.

To walk has meaning. It is to live and act. If I am to "walk in the Spirit" then there is something about doing life "in" or "with" the Spirit." When you take in the whole passage, it is evident that there is a need to set your mind in a certain direction. To have a mind-set that is geared toward the things of God. And since we have everything we need, having decided to follow/walk according to the Spirit, we can step out and do it.

And it could be that whatever "blindness" or "lameness" we have had becomes healed and we no longer need someone to help us navigate or carry us around. We can actually see and walk and therefore live like those who see and walk. This change is experience.

It is not just self. And it is not stew. It is meaningful and discrete. It is tangible and achievable.

There is a change in my driving. My levels of irritation with others is diminishing. My agitation that drives me to go faster just to get out of the car sooner is diminishing. I am more tolerant of others. I do not find myself being the very "cattle" that I accuse others of being (speed up as someone passes without thinking about it because some cow is going faster).

There is a reason that Paul referred to it as walking in the Spirit (or according to the Spirit) and not experiencing Christ. The reason is that there are steps to take to walk in the Spirit. And those steps have results. To just say "experience Christ" does not provide direction. It may be a reasonable way to bring many things under an umbrella. But it is not helpful in dealing with the specifics.

And when there is nothing concrete, and you are needing to get from point A to point B, you need direction, not an overlay that describes the outcome. I don't want someone to just tell me to experience Christ when I need to deal with [fill in the blank]. I need something solid and meaningful. I am not saying that having a true experience of Christ is not meaningful. But "a true experience of Christ" is something specific, not something generic. And if I need specific, I need the specifics.

If I am going to go further than I can walk, "get a vehicle." OK. A bicycle. But I'm going from Dallas to Portland. Then get a car. With 6 people and lots of luggage. Get a van.

The example is poor because we all know the answers therefore the question seems silly. But if you don't get the point, I don't know what else to say. "Just experience Christ" doesn't cut it. For someone who has a serious alcohol problem, experiencing Christ may come in the form of coming to know Christ as the higher power as they struggle through the 12 steps. For another, it may come down to turning their will over every day and "walking" out of their addiction. And for some, there may be a miracle. And the experience of Christ can be in each.

In an earlier post, you said:
Quote:
Knowing God implies experience.
Fellowship with God implies experience.
Knowing the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of his sufferings implies experience.
Being filled with all the fullness of God implies experience.
And how can you be one with God without experiencing it eventually?
I don't disagree that these are, or can be experience. But do you really think it is better to say that I experience God than to say that I know him? Or that having fellowship with God is less meaningful than experiencing God? Or that being filled with all the fullness is less meaningful than experience of God?

Of course you would not say that.

But does saying "experience God" say as much as saying "being filled all the fullness of God," or "fellowship with God," or even "obedience to God"?

I don't think so. Not that just saying "experience God" is wrong. But it is actually less meaningful and instructive than spelling it out with the particulars. I need to walk according to the Spirit. I need to obey Christ. I need to love my neighbor. I need to be humble, poor in spirit, hungering and thirsting for righteousness. I need to have these things stated and out in front of me. I need to be focused on them. If I just have some stew called "experience of Christ," then what am I aiming for?
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Old 03-23-2015, 01:38 PM   #31
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And maybe to you they do.

I don't think so. Not that just saying "experience God" is wrong. But it is actually less meaningful and instructive than spelling it out with the particulars. I need to walk according to the Spirit. I need to obey Christ. I need to love my neighbor. I need to be humble, poor in spirit, hungering and thirsting for righteousness. I need to have these things stated and out in front of me. I need to be focused on them. If I just have some stew called "experience of Christ," then what am I aiming for?
"Groceries" is a generality. But that doesn't stop us from saying we need to go grocery shopping. You don't always need specifics to get the point.

But there is also the fact that you don't know every way Christ can be experienced, and if you think you do then you are limiting him in some way. You always have to leave the door open to an experience you didn't know was possible.

I see your point. I just think there are two sides to this issue. Certainly it's good to think about specific ways we are to experience Christ. But it's also good hold a general view of things as well, just in case there is a specific you have not itemized yet.
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Old 03-23-2015, 08:08 PM   #32
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Another point is we don't just experience Christ in things we do, e.g. as obedience, as patience, as humility, etc. We also experience him simply for what he is, e.g. as King, Friend, Brother, Lover, Savior, Confidant, Living Water, Bread of Life, Life, and on and on. We experience HIM. Christ is infinite. So there are bound to be an infinite number of ways to experience him. There are bound to be an infinite number of ways to experience him that we have not even imagined yet, and which aren't specified in the Bible. Some are indescribable, like colors or music. You can experience them, but you have a hard time putting them into words. So I don't think everything needs to be specified, because there are some things that are simply beyond our specification. We just experience them. The best we can say is "Wonderful."

Let me put it another way. You are married, right? Do you think of experiencing your wife as "discrete" things? Is that really how you experience another person? Is it important to define and put into words how you experience her as you are doing so? I mean, I'm sure she loves your meaningful, discrete, tangible and achievable poetry on Valentine's Day. And to be fair the Song of Songs was quite descriptive. But I wouldn't say describing an experience is essential to having it, though it certainly has its place and is fun to try, later.
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Old 03-24-2015, 05:22 AM   #33
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I have been reading this thread with some interest. I came upon the following quote from the English Study Bible (ESV) and thought I would offer it here as a comment on how we can experience (the author of the quote uses "communion with God") God without going astray into religious experience.


"To be sure, God is active everywhere in the world today, and we experience his precious power wherever we trust him and do his will. But we will go astray if we make this daily experience of God the basis of our communion with him. We know God for who he is, and meet him as he is, when we meet him through his Word— the Bible. We see this principle at work, for example, in 1 Samuel 3:21 : “The L ORD revealed himself to Samuel at Shiloh by the word of the L ORD .” The Lord himself is revealed by his word , that is, by what he says to us, whether audibly or in written form. Therefore, when we seek to enjoy communion with the Lord— and not to be led astray by the ambiguities of religious experience— we read the Bible. From Genesis to Revelation, God’s words and God’s deeds reveal God himself for our knowledge and our enjoyment. Of course, it is possible to read the Bible without enjoying communion with God. We must seek to understand the Bible’s meaning, and we must pause to contemplate what we understand and, by the Spirit, to feel and express the appropriate response of the heart."
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Old 03-24-2015, 06:45 AM   #34
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Another point is we don't just experience Christ in things we do, e.g. as obedience, as patience, as humility, etc. We also experience him simply for what he is, e.g. as King, Friend, Brother, Lover, Savior, Confidant, Living Water, Bread of Life, Life, and on and on. We experience HIM. Christ is infinite. So there are bound to be an infinite number of ways to experience him. There are bound to be an infinite number of ways to experience him that we have not even imagined yet, and which aren't specified in the Bible. Some are indescribable, like colors or music. You can experience them, but you have a hard time putting them into words. So I don't think everything needs to be specified, because there are some things that are simply beyond our specification. We just experience them. The best we can say is "Wonderful."

Let me put it another way. You are married, right? Do you think of experiencing your wife as "discrete" things? Is that really how you experience another person? Is it important to define and put into words how you experience her as you are doing so? I mean, I'm sure she loves your meaningful, discrete, tangible and achievable poetry on Valentine's Day. And to be fair the Song of Songs was quite descriptive. But I wouldn't say describing an experience is essential to having it, though it certainly has its place and is fun to try, later.
You presume that providing an analogy for your thoughts is the same as providing evidence that it is the way it should be. You list all of these things that we should experience. On what basis is this so?

Or is this view an overlay on the scripture that is not supported by the scripture itself? Even Paul did not suggest that we should "experience" being crucified with Christ. Instead he said because it is true we should live a different way.

The emphasis on experience in a way that is not stated, or even described tends to be in contrast to what is actually taught. In another place you mentioned that the scripture is more about making us all leaders rather than followers. Yet followers is exactly what we are called to be. The leadership for most of us is in not simply following the ways of the world. But the way we "lead" is in following a different way.

In fact, I think that one of the reasons that so many both within and without the LCM have problems with their ongoing life in Christ is that they are constantly given examples of mighty men of God. They are constantly given the impression that truly following Christ means as a missionary or preacher. Or in intentionally going out to preach the gospel on a regular basis. Yet the importance of living day by day in a way that demonstrates both the oneness that Christ said would show the world that God sent Him, and the righteousness and love in our living that is not like even the best of the rest of the world is missed. That is the life that we are mostly called to. To be people loving each other and our neighbors as ourselves. We can layer on a lot of other things, like good stewardship of our resources, including the earth and environment. Not as green zealots, but as those who are charged to tend to the earth.

But this chasing of the experience — the thought that it stands a so important to our life — is not supported by the evidence. You have said it is implied. Yet even those implications are only part of what could be implied. And the implications you see are not necessarily really there. Even accepting that there is an aspect of experience, it is too unspecified and left to the digging in the implications and metaphors (often that we create, just like Lee constantly did) to support it as anything like a primary meaning or a major thrust of the Christian life.

Both the inner-life movement, of which Nee was and therefore Lee as well, and the Charismatic movement seek experience. And while Paul does not simply deny the Corinthians the pleasure from what they sought, it does seem to read that this experiential aspect of the gifts of the Spirit was significantly downplayed in his responses. Despite this, the modern Charismatics search for evidence that their kind have always been around, turning over every stone to establish a progression of practice. And while we think that we are free of the bondage of the LCM — and I think we mostly are — we have brought aspects of its ways with us. Some of those ways are not necessarily wrong. But they are not simply right or "the way."

I would say that given (in my reading) that these "experiences" are not delineated in the scripture as something to seek, they are, at best, the result of something other than seeking after them. More like what we realize in the "after-incident debrief." At that point, if we feel the need, we can dissect what happened and realize that there was something in it that is among these experiences.

If we need to label it, we will know that we have experienced living water when we realize that we have not gone dry simply because it has been 5 hours since our morning quiet time, or after what was otherwise a difficult or dry time. These are things that we have in Christ, not things that we should be seeking separately. Especially when there is no directive in that way.

Just like being crucified with Christ. Paul did not suggest experiencing crucifixion. He gave it as an existing fact that provided the way to live differently. No need to continue trying to appease God with sacrifices, even of a little skin, or refraining from certain foods. The penalty for sin on my behalf has been made sure. My penalty was completed in the crucifixion of Christ. So I can now live life by Him. And walk in newness of life.

Call that experience if you want. But the experience is in the living, not in the crucifixion.
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Old 03-24-2015, 01:55 PM   #35
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You presume that providing an analogy for your thoughts is the same as providing evidence that it is the way it should be. You list all of these things that we should experience. On what basis is this so?
You presume your analysis in some way connects you with reality. What is your basis for believing that?
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Old 03-24-2015, 02:59 PM   #36
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You presume your analysis in some way connects you with reality. What is your basis for believing that?
You are the one that made an assertion about there being this implication of experience that we should be going after. I fail to see the directive to have "experiences of Christ" in the way that is being suggested. If it is my lack of reality, then you should be able to show me where I am missing the dots. Not liking the question does not make it unreal.

And having an analogy does not make it relevant. I fell for too many "it's like this" stories in the LCM. You need to make it real. The analogy does not make anything real. It provides a way to explain what is real. You still need to establish that it is real before the analogy is useful.

And so the question stands.
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Old 03-24-2015, 04:26 PM   #37
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You are the one that made an assertion about there being this implication of experience that we should be going after. I fail to see the directive to have "experiences of Christ" in the way that is being suggested. If it is my lack of reality, then you should be able to show me where I am missing the dots. Not liking the question does not make it unreal.

And having an analogy does not make it relevant. I fell for too many "it's like this" stories in the LCM. You need to make it real. The analogy does not make anything real. It provides a way to explain what is real. You still need to establish that it is real before the analogy is useful.

And so the question stands.
"Know" in the biblical sense means personal knowledge. Look up the Greek. Personal knowledge without experience is a contradiction in terms. Therefore we need experience.

It's not that I don't like the question. I just don't like being told I didn't make a case when it's more likely either you didn't understand it or you didn't like it. I've noticed when you don't like the point someone is making you tend to accuse them of not having made it well. It's sort of your fall-back argument of choice. It's patronizing and it gets old.

Instead of accusing "you didn't make your case" why not just (occasionally) admit "I don't understand?" I admit often that I don't understand you. I don't understand half of what you write and I'm not too proud to admit it. A little humility goes a long way.
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Old 03-25-2015, 05:45 AM   #38
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And having an analogy does not make it relevant.

And so the question stands.
An analogy is simply an illustrative tool. It's purpose is to make the point in a different way than plain vanilla explanation. Hopefully it helps shed some light on the idea the writer is trying to make. But, no, the fact that one can come up with a good analogy doesn't help prove the point, it just helps make the point. Jesus used analogies with parables. C.S. Lewis was great at using analogies to make his ideas clearly.

I never said that the fact that I can come up with an analogy proved my point. It seems a bit harsh for you to call an analogy irrelevant. The effectiveness of an analogy depends on the willingness of the reader to try to see the point the writer are making. A person who's mind is closed is going to be able to cook up a weakness in any analogy, if that's his goal.


I don't think most people are going to be tripped up or misled by saying "we need to experience Christ" any more than someone is going to be tripped up by saying "we need to buy some groceries." People can understand that it is general description of something that is worked out in specific ways.

There are two reasons saying experiencing Christ is proper. The first is because we need to be reminded that there is a difference between just thinking about Christ and actually encountering him. Since he's invisible it is easy to confuse the two. The second is that sometimes our experience of Christ is quite general, as when we are simply enjoying his presence. There is nothing in particular we are enjoying other than the fact that he is near and with us. Now you might say that then we need to say we are enjoying his presence and not say we are experiencing him. I would simply reply that you are being picky and unreasonable.

Also, I don't think that your argument that the scripture doesn't say we need to experience Christ holds any water. The idea is implied throughout scripture. It seems to me not being able to see that is a symptom of too much squinting and not enough common sense.
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Old 03-25-2015, 06:49 AM   #39
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There are two reasons saying experiencing Christ is proper. The first is because we need to be reminded that there is a difference between just thinking about Christ and actually encountering him. Since he's invisible it is easy to confuse the two. The second is that sometimes our experience of Christ is quite general, as when we are simply enjoying his presence. There is nothing in particular we are enjoying other than the fact that he is near and with us. Now you might say that then we need to say we are enjoying his presence and not say we are experiencing him. I would simply reply that you are being picky and unreasonable.
We definitely needed voices like OBW when we were back in th LCs to question everything, like the Bible says, Prove all things. We needed voices like that because we were slowly moved from the standard of the scripture to another solely based on Lee.

After the Max Episode in the late 70's, Lee took a distinct turn from speaking of experiencing Christ in our daily life, to The Truth. He successfully convinced us all that this was needed due to OUR lack of knowing the truth, and not the actual truth of the facts which occurred and were covered up. Subsequently Lee, due to unrighteousness, embarked on a ministry of dead doctrines in the name of Truth. He taught about the experience of Christ while little of that actually occurred.

Truth requires the genuine experience of Christ, because truth has the power to liberate us. Truth without this reality is nothing but deadening doctrines. Now that we have stepped back and looked at where Lee's teachings have taken us, we don't need to examine each other with the same microscope. Excessive analysis creates paralysis, fear, and confusion, thinking everything we do, say, or write is potentially dangerous, unscriptural, or heretical.
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Old 03-25-2015, 07:04 AM   #40
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"Know" in the biblical sense means personal knowledge. Look up the Greek. Personal knowledge without experience is a contradiction in terms. Therefore we need experience.

It's not that I don't like the question. I just don't like being told I didn't make a case when it's more likely either you didn't understand it or you didn't like it. I've noticed when you don't like the point someone is making you tend to accuse them of not having made it well. It's sort of your fall-back argument of choice. It's patronizing and it gets old.

Instead of accusing "you didn't make your case" why not just (occasionally) admit "I don't understand?" I admit often that I don't understand you. I don't understand half of what you write and I'm not too proud to admit it. A little humility goes a long way.
You have continued to argue for a construct that is not found in the Bible. And assuming you intend it as a catch-all for real things that are there, it fails to identify any of them. You have asserted that the word "know" means personal knowledge and therefore requires experience. But the experience that underpins the knowledge is also experience with the subject matter, not only some kind of "experience of Christ."

I have said that you have not established a reason that talking about "experiences of Christ" without definition is preferable to talking about the actual things that we say, do, learn, etc., that you might like to re-label as "experience of Christ." I am not saying that the statement is not true. Rather that skipping the details and rushing to "experience of Christ" makes the content of the claimed experience of uncertain value outside of the claim that it is "of Christ." And how often are we so certain that things we hear of are "of Christ" yet someone is claiming it to be so. We may not have the fantasy life of that guy over on the other forum who believes that Jesus is sitting beside him and telling him things that do not sync-up with the written Word.

You argue that I am just fighting because I do not understand. But you are defending an overlay that is not found as such in the Bible and preferring it as a vanilla statement about things over real discussion of real, concrete things that do not need a loftier label to be worth the discussion.

It is part of a system of redefinition of things so that the language of the group, the LCM, is out of touch with the rest of the Christians they want to pretend are only barely so. And we retain it . . . why? Because we got to liking it? Because we still feel good for saying it?

Your characterization in your next post that I "like being different an innovative" is just short of an ad hominem. It is not an attack. But it is not a constructive point on the argument, but a characterization of it suggesting that the characterization makes it of no value. I don't just look for innovative things. I am far from innovative. But I see what I see. And I speak about it. If you don't see it . . . well, that would mean that it is you that is not seeing. So rather than just saying it is true and real and meaningful and important, tell me why. Why is this kind of thing that we label experience of Christ that we cannot put a finger on and that is so generally described as "nothing in particular we are enjoying other than the fact that he is near and with us." I understand that. But note how often that is spoken of in the scripture (almost never) and how often it is given a label like this (never).

Yet that is far from the whole of it because we don't hardly talk about any of the other kinds of experiences that are claimed to be included in there. And you don't bring them up as your examples. The reasons you supply for using the term are one of the primary reasons that I don't like the term. They are almost all about things that are outside of our normal life. They are elevations of a spiritual, inner-life and are not part of that secular life. It was a code-word for things that are not part of living ordinary life. So it underscores a spiritual-secular divide rather than unifying everything into the spiritual for the Christian.

That is why I do not like the term. And the reasons are not new or innovative. They are based in the realization of the problems that the LCM made be as extreme as possible so that we thought we were better.

And you are no longer there, but you are defending taking a part of that error with you. It is not "wrong" in an overt way. But it is incomplete and hides things. And even you primarily discuss it in terms of "spiritual" things, therefore help to make my point that if there is such a thing, we don't really acknowledge all that should be in there. Instead it is this nebulous spiritual experience.

And it goes along with a tendency to be dismissive of the "experiences" of other Christians because they are not as "high" in their experience. They don't seem to demonstrate to you something outward that you call joy or something like that. We really think we got superior knowledge from the LCM because we still are dismissive of things that are not like they were there.
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Old 03-25-2015, 07:13 AM   #41
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Truth requires the genuine experience of Christ, because truth has the power to liberate us. Truth without this reality is nothing but deadening doctrines.
This may be true. But the way that John said it was not that truth "requires the genuine experience of Christ, because truth has the power to liberate us." Instead he quoted Christ who said "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.

Question. What is it to "hold to" teachings? If we want to call anything "experience" that brings truth, that would be it. So what is it?
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Old 03-25-2015, 07:45 AM   #42
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You have continued to argue for a construct that is not found in the Bible. And assuming you intend it as a catch-all for real things that are there, it fails to identify any of them. You have asserted that the word "know" means personal knowledge and therefore requires experience. But the experience that underpins the knowledge is also experience with the subject matter, not only some kind of "experience of Christ."
"Experience of Christ" is a generalization. But it is an accurate one. There is nothing wrong with using the term that you have demonstrated. You've given theoretical reasons for not using it, but nothing from experience that is conclusive. Yes, the LCM had a bad connotation for it sometimes. That's not enough reason to throw it out.

I've considered your argument and I disagree with it. And I think most people would. I've never heard anyone else arguing that saying we need to "experience Christ" is not a good thing. Since you are clearly in the tiny minority of people who would argue for such a thing the burden is on you to demonstrate its validity. And you can't do that by simply making a theoretical point. You have to show evidence, both that doing something produces negative results, and that not doing it produces better results. You haven't done that. You've just argued theory.

You have the tendency to put what someone says in the worst light possible and then attack that. That's one step from a straw man argument. I mean, if you are going to be stubborn I can be just as stubborn. If you are not going to at least acknowledge the usefulness of my ideas I certainly am not going to acknowledge yours, especially if I tend to disagree with them. I've already said I can see your point in theory. I just have not been shown that it actually produces the negative results you tie to it. You've provided no evidence that speaking of "experiencing Christ" has directly led to anyone being led astray from the truth. Nor have you provided evidence that only speaking of specific experiences produces better results. You just speculated it does.

How has holding this belief improved your relationship with God and your living out of the fruits of the Spirit? That's the bottom line. Since you are in the minority on this you need to tell us how it's made you a better Christian, because frankly I don't see how it has. We can all argue for things. But the proof of the pudding is in the eating.
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Old 03-25-2015, 08:21 AM   #43
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You have continued to argue for a construct that is not found in the Bible.
No, I have not. Do you wish to continue this standoff? Or shall we agree to disagree?
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Old 03-25-2015, 10:24 AM   #44
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I will admit that I have provided some initial thoughts. But they are far from solid. Let's look at the word experience first. Define it. Find it in scripture. ... look at what should be the "experience" of the normal Christian life (not the book).

And maybe this just sits quietly and is ignored. That is OK.
Ha. I bet you wish it had sat quietly, ignored. (humor, there).

I've been following this from afar, and this quote, below, caught my attention:

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Question. What is it to "hold to" teachings? If we want to call anything "experience" that brings truth, that would be it. So what is it?
It brought to mind the idea of the Christian experience as analogized by a race. Common, right? We've all heard this; it's so true it's trite. But there may be insight, there. Think of, for example, two runners, one who does excellently, then falls into a deep hole about a hundred yards from the finish line and disappears. Occasional weak cries emerge, with extended gaps of silence, which gaps grow ominously long. The second runner does a terrible job of it. Manages to trip over every uneven spot. Hits every obstacle, and gets weary and sits down often, complaining loudly and threatening to quit. But at the end, he gets up and roars off like a rocket and has Peter's proverbial "rich entrance" at the finish line.

So who did well? The second guy. But all during the race, if we wanted to assess the "experience of Christ" of the runners, we'd bet on the first. This indicates to me that ultimately, our assessment means nothing or nearly nothing. We can't truly assess our "experience of Christ", except to press on. It's only truly assessed by God, at the finish. So forget about it, and carry on. The only thing that you can really do is assume that if you have in any way "experienced Christ", then you're probably among the least of all the saints. Other than that, ignore it. Your evaluations, enroute, simply are not trustworthy.

So I tend to side with OBW in this conversation. Not that I'm taking sides or promoting antagonism, but his objections to the notion of the generic "experience of Christ) carry more water with me. Carry on (and that's where the "hold to" part comes in).
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Old 03-25-2015, 11:16 AM   #45
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Old 03-25-2015, 11:49 AM   #46
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I'm afraid to ring in.
You? Afraid to wade in? Now I'm getting worried! What have I done?!?
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Old 03-25-2015, 11:53 AM   #47
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So who did well? The second guy. But all during the race, if we wanted to assess the "experience of Christ" of the runners, we'd bet on the first. This indicates to me that ultimately, our assessment means nothing or nearly nothing. We can't truly assess our "experience of Christ", except to press on. It's only truly assessed by God, at the finish...
I probably should have put in my scriptural reference, given that OBW asked for them, and I usually assume (wrongly) that people get what I am alluding to. I am specifically thinking here of the parable of the two sons. One promised to obey the command, then didn't. The second refused, then repented and did it. Jesus asked them, Which one did the will of the Father? They answered, the second.

So my analogy was, we can be in the front row of the meeting, making noise, testifying of all our "experiences of Christ" during the week, which may be real and legitimate. But they may not. So drop it. Drop it and go on. Ultimately it is what you "hold to", that is real. And that cannot be assessed until it is found what you are holding to, at the end.

Ultimately, WL developed a catch-phrase, sold a few thousand books, and a few thousand folks bought them and read them. Or put them on the shelf, unread. Life goes on.
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Old 03-25-2015, 12:22 PM   #48
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I probably should have put in my scriptural reference, given that OBW asked for them, and I usually assume (wrongly) that people get what I am alluding to. I am specifically thinking here of the parable of the two sons. One promised to obey the command, then didn't. The second refused, then repented and did it. Jesus asked them, Which one did the will of the Father? They answered, the second.

So my analogy was, we can be in the front row of the meeting, making noise, testifying of all our "experiences of Christ" during the week, which may be real and legitimate. But they may not. So drop it. Drop it and go on. Ultimately it is what you "hold to", that is real. And that cannot be assessed until it is found what you are holding to, at the end.

Ultimately, WL developed a catch-phrase, sold a few thousand books, and a few thousand folks bought them and read them. Or put them on the shelf, unread. Life goes on.
Again, I don't see that talking about experiences of Christ generally was the cause of the problem. To me the cause of the problem, ironically, was thinking we needed specific "experiences of Christ" that you could shout about in the meeting, i.e. get a bunch of Amens to. So the problem was not generality. Quite the opposite. It was a misguided specificity, i.e. of LCM-approved "experiences." The LCM-approved experience list was actually quite narrow.

To me saying we need to experience Christ is like saying we need to pray. Paul said "pray unceasingly." He didn't say at that moment what to pray about specifically. Being general about experiencing Christ doesn't encourage invalid experiences any more that generally encouraging prayer encourages invalid prayers.

A generalization for a real encounter with God, whether as grace, or love or joy or service or prophecy, is an experience of Christ. It makes a very valid point that genuine Christianity has the element of real experience, not just theory. God is involved and when he is you, at least eventually, realize that. That's an experience. I think it's silly to be told that I have to find in the Bible where it talks about experience. As far as I'm concerned it's implied all over the Bible.

I think you guys are making a huge mountain out of a molehill. I see correlation masquerading as causation.
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Old 03-25-2015, 01:18 PM   #49
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All genuine Christian behavior and living is by definition an experience of Christ, because the Christian life is "not I, but Christ." So whenever the Bible commands any action from us it is by definition commanding an experience of Christ.

So not to put too fine a point on it, but seeing that the Bible encourages all kinds of participations which are all by definition experiences of Christ, yet to turn around and say that the Bible doesn't encourage experiencing Christ is possibly the most illogical thing I've heard in a long, long time. It's right up there with the argument that increasing the amount of money the nation owes will help us reduce the national debt.

It's like you saying that people should fly, drive or take a boat to another destination, and then turn around and say you didn't encourage anyone to travel. I mean, duh.
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Old 03-25-2015, 01:20 PM   #50
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I taught a Jr Hi Sunday School class around 45 years ago and taught them and me Gal 5:22 which goes..But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsufering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance... Wow!

I think if we were to get into these items, what would we be like. At the end of the day, I so often come to the Lord with no peace, no joy, little love. Lord, where am I? Then quite often I hear, "Come unto Me all that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Learn of Me." As many have said, the Lord led us into the LC and now has led us out but my sense is that I am too often in a quagmire. Howe we need the experience of those Gal verses.

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Old 03-25-2015, 04:36 PM   #51
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It's like you saying that people should fly, drive or take a boat to another destination, and then turn around and say you didn't encourage anyone to travel. I mean, duh.
But at the end of the day you don't know if you've traveled or not, so what are you talking about? You're just talking to make noise. Only God knows whether you've traveled or not, and how far, and by what means. And God won't tell you until the end of the journey. That's what the Judgment Seat is for.

If you need scriptures, how about, "Lord, when did we do this or do that?" Answer: "When you did it to the least of these my brothers". Then the one who said, "I did this, and I did that", is told, "Get away from Me. I don't know you." So they simply don't know until God tells them. Until then they don't know.

So if Paul said, "I have not yet laid hold", i.e. "I have not yet assessed whether and to what extent I have traveled (by boat or plane)", then who are we to presume? And if so, what then are we talking about? Terminology and concepts. Both of which WL made many books out of.

You wrote:

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How has holding this belief improved your relationship with God and your living out of the fruits of the Spirit? That's the bottom line. Since you are in the minority on this you need to tell us how it's made you a better Christian, because frankly I don't see how it has. We can all argue for things. But the proof of the pudding is in the eating.
To me, OBW is saying he doesn't want to eat the "experience of Christ" pudding being offered by WL, or whomever. He's not judging your pudding nor your eating. He just says there's no compelling reason for him to partake of it. It's just terminology and concepts.

Again, I apologize for speaking for someone else. That's what I get from his argument and it seems reasonable to me. But I may be off on a number of accounts here.
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Old 03-25-2015, 04:40 PM   #52
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Gal 5:22 which goes..But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsufering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance...
There was this guy, named Jesus. He embodied all that you've stated above, and more. And He was here, among us. The record is clear. Keep your eyes on Him. Don't look at yourself. That is a waste of time. Peter was doing fine until he looked down and began to take stock of things. Then he sank like a stone (pun intended).
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Old 03-25-2015, 04:59 PM   #53
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This may be true. But the way that John said it was not that truth "requires the genuine experience of Christ, because truth has the power to liberate us." Instead he quoted Christ who said "If you hold to my teaching,AK)" data-cr="#cen-NIV-26413AK"> you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.

Question. What is it to "hold to" teachings? If we want to call anything "experience" that brings truth, that would be it. So what is it?
What I said is exactly what John said, only in different words.

"To hold" is to believe, to obey, to keep. The scripture uses a host of expressions.

You remind me of this guy who condemned all "new" English versions of the Bible because they were different from his Authorized King James Version, which was to him "THE WORD OF GOD." I tried to tell him that it was the King of England who "authorized" his own version, often using the edge of the sword. He would hear none of that. He even went so far as to say the Greek N.T. text should be changed to match the "Authorized" version.

Witness Lee, like so many other preachers, liked to use expressions like "experience Christ, the Triune God, etc." If there is nothing inherently wrong with these expressions, and outside Christians also use them, are we serving anything positive by opposing these expressions?
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Old 03-25-2015, 08:27 PM   #54
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aron,

I don't understand your whole reaction to my travel analogy. My point was that every specific thing we legitimately do as Christians is generally an experience of Christ. Therefore the Bible does tell us to experience Christ.

Saying we should experience Christ is like saying we should eat food. Obviously when you do eat you eat some specific items of food: meat, bread, fruit etc. But that doesn't imply that saying "we should eat food" is wrong or dangerous.

I mean, strictly speaking there is no food. There are just apples and dates and beef and tomatoes, etc. Therefore it's wrong to say we should eat food. That's what OBW's argument sounds like to me. It just sounds silly in the light of common sense.

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To me, OBW is saying he doesn't want to eat the "experience of Christ" pudding being offered by WL, or whomever. He's not judging your pudding nor your eating. He just says there's no compelling reason for him to partake of it. It's just terminology and concepts.

Again, I apologize for speaking for someone else. That's what I get from his argument and it seems reasonable to me. But I may be off on a number of accounts here.
Well, I understand a reaction to Lee and urging caution about misinterpreting the concept of experiencing Christ. I get that. I don't get trying to stretch it into some kind of case that the Bible doesn't support the general idea of experiencing Christ. That's just being too cute by half. Actually more than half.
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Old 03-26-2015, 05:45 AM   #55
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Saying we should experience Christ is like saying we should eat food... when you do eat you eat some specific items of food: meat, bread, fruit etc. But that doesn't imply that saying "we should eat food" is wrong or dangerous. I mean, strictly speaking there's no food. There are just apples and dates and beef and tomatoes, etc. Therefore it's wrong to say we should eat food. That's what OBW's argument sounds like to me. It just sounds silly in the light of common sense.
The problem here is that here we trust our common sense, just like once we trusted WL. Both are suspect: we remain in the flesh of sin, with a fallen soul, and its ideational outputs. Our mental constructions are ephemeral at best, and delusional at worst. There may indeed be food, and the experience of eating food. Likewise, there is Christ (Jesus, the Nazarene, who died and rose again), and there is the experience of Christ (for the obedient believer who endures in the faith).

Ontologically speaking, therefore, we may posit the existence of a thing called "the experience of Christ". But I caution that if we pay any undue attention to this thing, we get nothing, because it's merely a mental construction. We must pay attention to Christ. The so-called "experience of Christ" was constructed by WL to sell books and cassette tapes and so forth. It was mere merchandise, just as we the buyers became. Our only "experience" was to get fleeced (pun intended). And, Christ Himself paid no attention to the experience of Christ. Rather, Christ paid full attention to the Father. If He didn't pay attention to the experience of Christ, why should we?

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I understand a reaction to Lee and urging caution about misinterpreting the concept of experiencing Christ. I get that. I don't get trying to stretch it into some kind of case that the Bible doesn't support the general idea of experiencing Christ. That's just being too cute by half. Actually more than half.
I may be too cute by half, and perhaps got up yesterday with a strange urge to be combative, which was activated by reading the back-and-forth on this thread. But it seemed to me that OBW was being sensible.

Anyone who goes to the church meeting and says they're 'experiencing Christ' is not. Some, conversely, may indeed experience Christ, but they are not paying attention to that. Rather, they're paying full attention to Christ. Similarly, we may say there's such a thing as the church, right? But when we gathered, WL got us distracted away from Christ by a mental construct: he gave us "the church"; we got The Normal Church, the Church Life, the Ground of the Church, and the Body of Christ, the Fourth Member of the Trinity (I kid you not). We cried, "Hallelujah for the church!" But we forgot about Christ; Nee and Lee got us to look away, and Brothers Wee told us that we were in an ontological entity they called "The Church". In fact it was no more the ontological entity "the church" than the RCC or any other human organization.
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Old 03-26-2015, 06:33 AM   #56
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What I said is exactly what John said, only in different words.

"To hold" is to believe, to obey, to keep. The scripture uses a host of expressions.
I didn't ask the question because I didn't think you knew. Or that it was some challenge to you.

I asked it because it has been suggested that the key to real knowledge is this undefined "experience of Christ" when the Bible provides a different way. It does not seem to be about "encounters with God" or "simply enjoying his presence." Instead it is in the facts of living life in obedience to what has been provided as the way to live. Belief was almost always tied to action — generally to something like "go and sin no more." He gathered a multitude onto the side of a mountain and spoke for what we have carved into 3 chapters. It is entirely about the nature of the life of the people of the kingdom of God. None of it looks like anything that has been provided as reasons that we need some vague term to stand in for just knowing that you are in the presence of God.

In fact, the only place where there is something mentioned about "spiritual" stuff is where some declared that they had prophesied, cast out demons, and performed miracles in the name of the Lord. And they were turned away.

And it ends with the declaration that doing all that had been said was like building a house upon the rock. Having a close, personal relationship was not on the list. I do not dismiss the idea. But even the mantra of modern evangelicalism/fundamentalism that centers on the personal relationship is a construct built on few actual statements and an overlay that adds a need to everything else (sort of like rereading everything in light of Lee's version of God's economy). "Believe in me and obey my words" becomes "have a personal relationship with me so that you can obey my words." It sounds too good to be argued against. But it is not there. And so Igzy can come along and complain about how he has observed what he thinks is hollow obedience and lack of outward joy (just like we learned to do in the LCM).

And we still like to talk about how we can't just do anything. We need something else to be able to do it.

Peter said otherwise. Paul said otherwise. Jesus said to hear and obey.

We say work on your personal relationship and then you can do it.

Obedience is preferred to worship. And we still mock those in whom we see more obedience than our kind of worship.

I honestly think that the whole thing is upside down in our minds. We are chasing an alternative to tongues as a spiritual high. Or at least a spiritual experience rather than practical obedience. The ones who are blessed are those who are poor in spirit, who mourn, who are meek, who hunger and thirst for righteousness (in life, not just in some spiritual way), who show mercy, who are peacemakers, and who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness. Not those who seek spiritual experiences of being "in the presence of Christ" or (go down the list of "experiences" that are listed in Lee's book). Our experiences should be of this life lived in obedience to what Christ commanded.

We think we have achieved righteousness, peace, joy, etc., when we wall ourselves off from the world and seek these experiences. But those are only truly found in our living in obedience, not in private or even public "worship." The Bible does not support the construct that is the bulk of what has been called the "experience of Christ" by so many. And so they deflect and ask for proof that they might not be right. I say show me proof that you are right. That you are not just making up yet another dodge to obedience as the key rather than "spirituality."

And I quit talking specifically to Ohio a long time ago.

And I see the fight against even thinking about it as evidence of the remains of a sickness.
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Old 03-26-2015, 06:37 AM   #57
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You know, once I was on a sheep farm. I noticed that the sheep just loved each other. They hated to be alone. They always wanted to be together; I always saw them in these clots, clusters, groupings, and flocks. But I never saw them getting all worked up about 'togetherness' or 'loving the flock'. They just stuck together. And the problem is, we're too smart, by half. We can spend all day arguing about 'togetherness' and 'loving the flock'. I just want to be a dumb sheep. I want to hear the Master's voice.
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Old 03-26-2015, 07:01 AM   #58
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And I quit talking specifically to Ohio a long time ago.

And I see the fight against even thinking about it as evidence of the remains of a sickness.
Sorry, I didn't know that you had quarantined me for my "sickness."

Please do pray for my "recovery."





OBW supervising the removal of quarantined poster Ohio still inflicted with Lee-itis.
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Old 03-26-2015, 07:31 AM   #59
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The problem here is that here we trust our common sense, just like once we trusted WL. Both are suspect: we remain in the flesh of sin, with a fallen soul, and its ideational outputs. Our mental constructions are ephemeral at best, and delusional at worst. There may indeed be food, and the experience of eating food. Likewise, there is Christ (Jesus, the Nazarene, who died and rose again), and there is the experience of Christ (for the obedient believer who endures in the faith).
The above shows a lack of common sense. No, really. This is what I'm talking about. If all your mental constructs are ephemeral and delusional then the above statement is as well, and I should ignore it.

In other words, if you don't have at least some confidence in your ability to sense reality, then you can never do it. It certainly is a contradiction for you to be pontificating if you think your mental constructs are delusional.

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Ontologically speaking, therefore, we may posit the existence of a thing called "the experience of Christ". But I caution that if we pay any undue attention to this thing, we get nothing, because it's merely a mental construction. We must pay attention to Christ. The so-called "experience of Christ" was constructed by WL to sell books and cassette tapes and so forth.
Meh. As I said, thinking in terms of experiencing Christ is useful in that it reminds us that we are to have real encounters with the living God, not just theoretical ponderings about him.

And Lee didn't invent the idea, nor does he own it. Others have taught the idea.

See here: http://lfwy.co/1D1tt2S

I don't think of ordering my life based on what Lee did or didn't do. I've learned from his mistakes, but I don't go around with a "is this like Lee" detector all the time like I'm afraid of my shadow or something.

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Anyone who goes to the church meeting and says they're 'experiencing Christ' is not. Some, conversely, may indeed experience Christ, but they are not paying attention to that.
Yeah, you are kind of cranky this morning. But that's okay, it humanizes you when you admit such things. As for your comment. It's pretty funny. There's no such thing as food either and I've never eaten any, nor have you. "Food" is just a mental construct.
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Old 03-26-2015, 07:38 AM   #60
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Ontologically speaking, therefore, we may posit the existence of a thing called "the experience of Christ". But I caution that if we pay any undue attention to this thing, we get nothing, because it's merely a mental construction. We must pay attention to Christ. The so-called "experience of Christ" was constructed by WL to sell books and cassette tapes and so forth. It was mere merchandise, just as we the buyers became. Our only "experience" was to get fleeced (pun intended). And, Christ Himself paid no attention to the experience of Christ. Rather, Christ paid full attention to the Father. If He didn't pay attention to the experience of Christ, why should we?
Since Witness Lee was quite prolific over an extended period of time, touching on nearly every topic in scripture, if we limit ourselves to those items not specifically mentioned and marketed in his meetings, outlines, and books, so that we run the risk of never being fleeced again, we may then unfortunately be reduced to a few Psalms (as highlighted by aron in his informative posts) and the book of James (much loved by OBW over the years in his posts) in our beloved Bibles.



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Old 03-26-2015, 08:01 AM   #61
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And we still like to talk about how we can't just do anything. We need something else to be able to do it.

Peter said otherwise. Paul said otherwise. Jesus said to hear and obey.

We say work on your personal relationship and then you can do it.

Obedience is preferred to worship. And we still mock those in whom we see more obedience than our kind of worship.
Right, but you are living testimony that your theory doesn't work. Because your consistent demeanor on this board is not one of a Christian living in obedience. It's of a religious zealot living according to some law. You don't give much evidence of the fruits of the Spirit, specifically love, joy and peace. I mean someone as ungracious as you consistently are isn't living according to grace.

Call that unfair, but that's how I see it. Not much about how you act recommends your philosophy.

So you want to talk about sickness? How about yours?
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Old 03-26-2015, 10:49 AM   #62
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Since Witness Lee was quite prolific over an extended period of time, touching on nearly every topic in scripture, if we limit ourselves to those items not specifically mentioned and marketed in his meetings, outlines, and books, so that we run the risk of never being fleeced again, we may then unfortunately be reduced to a few Psalms (as highlighted by aron in his informative posts) and the book of James (much loved by OBW over the years in his posts) in our beloved Bibles.
I think you mistake me. I am rather interested in the Bible. What I said, for example, was that if WL uses a term or concept to push off something I like, then I'll look askance at the teaching. Not at the Bible.

So if WL used Paul's 'oikonomia' to push off the Psalms, even when the same writing by Paul recommended the Psalms, then I'll be leery of WL's explication of Paul. Not of Paul's work itself. And I'm not afraid of the work 'oikonomia''; in fact I noted its use by Jesus, for example, in the gospel of Luke. I didn't use my distaste for WL's explanation as an excuse to avoid the Bible.

Do you see the difference? WL's work looks increasingly weak, the more I examine it. But the Bible remains.
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Old 03-26-2015, 11:02 AM   #63
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The above shows a lack of common sense. No, really. This is what I'm talking about. If all your mental constructs are ephemeral and delusional then the above statement is as well, and I should ignore it.

In other words, if you don't have at least some confidence in your ability to sense reality, then you can never do it. It certainly is a contradiction for you to be pontificating if you think your mental constructs are delusional.
My mental constructs are temporary. I put them out as such. If I think they are permanent, and equivalent to reality itself, then I am delusional. I allow my thinking to be changed, over time. That's one reason I think aloud here on this forum. I do appreciate when people pay attention and comment, and usually I'm more helped by critiques than by praises.

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Yeah, you are kind of cranky this morning. But that's okay, it humanizes you when you admit such things. As for your comment. It's pretty funny. There's no such thing as food either and I've never eaten any, nor have you. "Food" is just a mental construct.
Food the object that has nutritional value is different from the word, which has negative nutritional value. When I open my mouth, force out air and aspirate with my incisors over my lower lip to make the sound "ffff.." and follow it with "ooo" and then the the glottal "d" I burn calories. You can't eat noise. But food, by contrast, has calories, and we eat it for that reason.

Suppose you are eating a big meal, and in the middle of the meal you suddenly stop eating, look up, and exclaim loudly, "I am eating food!" Actually you stopped eating food, to declare that you are eating food. If you eat and speak at the same time it does a bad job of both. At the very least it's poor manners.

Likewise, if you go to church and exclaim that you are "experiencing Christ" you are posturing. You may have been, but as soon as you took your eyes off Christ and onto the "experience of Christ" you lost. You looked away from the things of God, and down to the things of men.

But so be it. Our "experiences" are full of vacillations, away from reality. Look at Peter: one minute he was channeling the Father, next minute he was a vector for Satan's wiles. One minute he was walking across the water, the next minute he was drowning.
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Old 03-26-2015, 11:52 AM   #64
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Originally Posted by aron View Post
But so be it. Our "experiences" are full of vacillations, away from reality. Look at Peter: one minute he was channeling the Father, next minute he was a vector for Satan's wiles. One minute he was walking across the water, the next minute he was drowning.
The only thing that makes our lives real are the genuine experiences of Christ we have. Those are our connections with what is real. Sure we drift away from them, but that's not an indictment of them. Jesus said he is "the life." He said he "came that we might have life." What is life but an experience? I mean, if you are going to try to sell me on the idea there is a better way to participate in life than to experience it then you're going to have tough time with that one. There is experience, and there is theory. Theory isn't bad, but it's not experience. Life was meant to be experienced, not just theorized about. And Christ is life.

Christ fills me with joy. He makes me want to jump and shout. I like that. So sue me. OBW might think his longsuffering "obedience" model is the best thing going. But if it was I'd be picking up from him that he wants to jump and shout, too. And we could do it together. But I don't get that from him, and haven't for a long time, sadly. All I pick up is grumpiness. He can think he's right all day if he wants, but if he can't even pretend to be a happy Christian then I'm not interested in what he's peddling.
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Old 03-26-2015, 12:02 PM   #65
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I think you mistake me. I am rather interested in the Bible. What I said, for example, was that if WL uses a term or concept to push off something I like, then I'll look askance at the teaching. Not at the Bible.

So if WL used Paul's 'oikonomia' to push off the Psalms, even when the same writing by Paul recommended the Psalms, then I'll be leery of WL's explication of Paul. Not of Paul's work itself. And I'm not afraid of the work 'oikonomia''; in fact I noted its use by Jesus, for example, in the gospel of Luke. I didn't use my distaste for WL's explanation as an excuse to avoid the Bible.

Do you see the difference? WL's work looks increasingly weak, the more I examine it. But the Bible remains.
Oh sorry. It seemed by your last post that your were more put off by Lee's merchandizing, even willing to discard items of the Bible that Lee had merchandized. I was afraid that my Bible was once again reducing in size.
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Old 03-26-2015, 12:07 PM   #66
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Food the object that has nutritional value is different from the word, which has negative nutritional value. When I open my mouth, force out air and aspirate with my incisors over my lower lip to make the sound "ffff.." and follow it with "ooo" and then the the glottal "d" I burn calories. You can't eat noise. But food, by contrast, has calories, and we eat it for that reason.


You have been watching too many commercials on TV.

They used to say that "sex sells," but over the course of time, they have found that "stupid sells" even more.

Pay careful attention to what you see. And read on forums.
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Old 03-26-2015, 12:38 PM   #67
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Right, but you are living testimony that your theory doesn't work.
You have no basis for saying that other than your apparent disdain for what I am bringing to the table and preference for the opposite of it. You don't have a lot of room to talk about demeanor.
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Old 03-26-2015, 01:16 PM   #68
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The only thing that makes our lives real are the genuine experiences of Christ we have.
That is one of those things that when said seems impossible to refute. But rather than refute it, please show how and why it is correct. I know that we have been taught stuff like that over the years. And it just sounds so spiritual. But where does it come from?

You work your logic backward. You end by saying "if you are going to try to sell me on the idea there is a better way to participate in life than to experience it then you're going to have tough time with that one." And I would agree. But the only way to not experience life is to not be there — to be dead. Literally. Yes, we are promised a lot through the life of Christ. But "what is real" is not just Christ and spiritual stuff. It is all of the life of a person in Christ. You don't have to chase after something "spiritual" to "keep it real" as some like to say.

No one said that there is no experience. But the experience is not simply "experience of Christ" unless you have redefined all experience for the Christian as being experience of Christ. And if that is what you are doing, then it works. And is simultaneously almost meaningless because it is just a semi-private way of saying that living is an experience of Christ.

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Christ fills me with joy. He makes me want to jump and shout. I like that. So sue me. OBW might think his longsuffering "obedience" model is the best thing going. But if it was I'd be picking up from him that he wants to jump and shout, too.
And with that you turn life into jumping and shouting and your stature in this discussion goes down a notch or two.

And I have a better understanding of the person who had to throw cold water at some other Christians that weren't busy jumping and shouting in a recent post.

Your idea of Christ as life is mired in the inner-life theology of feelings. It is just a step away from the charismatic forms that chase feelings, and the miraculous. That need a sign to believe that they are still in sync with Christ. You are convinced that not jumping and shouting means grumpy.

And your attack on anything that does not agree with your theology is not displaying any more joy than anyone else. I did not attack you (to start with). But you have managed to characterize me over my positions. Now I am starting to do the same for you. You are arguing in favor of something you can't even defend other than to claim it must be so.

Our connection with what is real is to live this life as it comes in its mundane and troublesome way as believers in Christ who are hungering and thirsting for righteousness, meek, poor in spirit, turning the other cheek, loving neighbor as self.

I can assure you that I am not grumpy about any of this. That is your characterization. And you really don't want to be involved in this discussion other than as a thorn. So either you think it is still important, yet won't actually engage the subject matter, or you don't and should take the advice I gave early on and just let it go. I think you are looking foolish just insisting that this need for experience in a way that is not hardly hinted at in the Bible is so important, especially with a label that is also not found — even sort of. The Bible is too blunt, over and over, about the obedience you virtually dismiss in favor of something it doesn't say. Even most of Paul's spiritual writing was factual underpinning to support whichever church's taking action to live right in some way. The spiritual stuff was not a challenge to get through so that they could do it. It was fact that gave the way. In Peter's words, it would be the stuff we already have so that we can live godly lives.
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Old 03-26-2015, 01:25 PM   #69
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Pay careful attention to what you see. And read on forums.
Okay, Ohio. Thanks for that experience.
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Old 03-26-2015, 05:23 PM   #70
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Okay I'll wade in.

So where or what is the switch that turns on the experience of Christ?
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Old 03-26-2015, 05:36 PM   #71
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Harold, you're not ganna like this.....

THE BIBLE IS THE SWITCH. The bible is one ginormous switch. Or maybe it's 66 separate switches! Either way, it's the only way to switch from not knowing God to knowing Him! Isn't that cool that God has done this for us? Just think about it, "the information age" actually started way back about 2,900 years ago with the most important information of all: "In the beginning God".

So what does knowing God have to do with experiencing God? Sounds like a good subject for a new thread! Yeeepeee!
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Old 03-26-2015, 07:32 PM   #72
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Harold, you're not ganna like this.....

THE BIBLE IS THE SWITCH. The bible is one ginormous switch. Or maybe it's 66 separate switches! Either way, it's the only way to switch from not knowing God to knowing Him! Isn't that cool that God has done this for us? Just think about it, "the information age" actually started way back about 2,900 years ago with the most important information of all: "In the beginning God".

So what does knowing God have to do with experiencing God? Sounds like a good subject for a new thread! Yeeepeee!
I do to like it. I was hoping for an answer and got it. Thanks.

So do all others agree, like OBW and Igzy? Is that what they mean by experiencing Christ?

So all we have to do is read the Bible? Then I experience Christ daily ... Eezy Peezy ...
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Old 03-27-2015, 07:32 AM   #73
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[COLOR="Navy"]Harold, you're not ganna like this.....

THE BIBLE IS THE SWITCH. The bible is one ginormous switch. Or maybe it's 66 separate switches! Either way, it's the only way to switch from not knowing God to knowing Him! Isn't that cool that God has done this for us? Just think about it, "the information age" actually started way back about 2,900 years ago with the most important information of all: "In the beginning God".
If there is such a "switch," then I would have to say that it is our FAITH, rather than the Bible.
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Old 03-27-2015, 07:37 AM   #74
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You have no basis for saying that other than your apparent disdain for what I am bringing to the table and preference for the opposite of it. You don't have a lot of room to talk about demeanor.
No, the basis is how you've come across for years on this board. The reason I said what I said is because of the way you act around here. For example, you said I've given "no evidence" for saying that the Bible supports the experience of Christ. Well that's a flat out lie, bro. Either that or you are not reading my posts. I've given plenty of evidence. Now, you might not agree with my conclusions. But don't say I haven't given any evidence. That kind of statement, consistently exhibited by you over the years, shows a lack of honesty, humility and graciousness.

I don't dismiss obedience. I'm very serious about it. But obedience means following the Holy Spirit's enlightenment of what the Word means. Obedience means following the Lord. It doesn't mean following the dead letter. It doesn't mean reading the Bible in the vacuum of your own thoughts and then coming up with a theory and carrying that out and calling yourself obedient for doing it. A truly obedient person is obedient to the Spirit, and that produces the fruit of the Spirit, love, joy, peace, gentleness, kindness, etc, and I don't see that in you enough to believe your philosophy produces the goods.

Your mischaracterization and dismissive attitude, the way you consistently take apart another person's argument and put it back together in a way they didn't mean, shows a lack of respect for others. It shows a lack of love and care. I just get tired of it. I've heard many people here complain about it. So I'm not the only one. Then, getting this kind of feedback from several directions, you turn around and, instead of a little self-reflection about how you might change your approach, you try to turn it around on them and say they don't have a good argument, or they are inferior in some way or something. But the problem couldn't be you. Oh no.

I admit I can come on strong and sometimes that offends people. I've apologized for that several times, including to you. I've considered long and hard whether the problem might be me. Have you? I don't think you give it a second thought. Certainly not enough to change. I've been corrected on this board and I take it to heart. Ohio popped me good a while back and God said "listen to him" and I did. You never listen. I can not once remember you apologizing or expressing regret for anything you've ever done, except regretting wasting your words on the great unwashed here. If anybody complains to you about what you do, you always rationalize it away or accuse them of trying to change the subject. The problem is never you.

The bottom line for me is we had a confrontation like this a couple of years ago. I knew we couldn't work it out by writing back and forth, and I wanted to get past it and get a better chance at understanding you. So I sent you my phone number and asked you to call me. I believed if we talked we could get past things because I'd done that with others here. But you refused to call. That showed me you weren't really interested in understanding or reconciliation, you were more concerned with just arguing online because, I don't know, I guess you feel like you have an advantage. But for my money, you're not really interested in being vulnerable and honest with a Christian brother. I've seen you bully too many people here and I'm tired of it. I wish I had a dollar for every complaint about you I've ever received.

But you'll probably turn around and accuse me of some tactic to win an argument. Like I give a darn about this stupid argument.
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Old 03-27-2015, 08:32 AM   #75
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If there is such a "switch," then I would have to say that it is our FAITH, rather than the Bible.
Yes, I agree. The key to a real encounter with Christ is faith.

"And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him." Heb 11:6
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Old 03-27-2015, 08:45 AM   #76
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If there is such a "switch," then I would have to say that it is our FAITH, rather than the Bible.
Good answer ... and we have both ... and grace ... and the Spirit ... and nature and the cosmos ... and ... and ... and ... and
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Old 03-27-2015, 09:26 AM   #77
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At the risk of "paralysis by analysis".... I think our faith is the finger that hits the switch. But maybe we're venturing into Lee territory, where one over-allegorizes the trees to the point of missing the forest.

Oh well, maybe just a momentary distraction from "experiencing" Christ on this thread.
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Old 03-27-2015, 10:29 AM   #78
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At the risk of "paralysis by analysis".... I think our faith is the finger that hits the switch.
Concerning the "switch" you proposed, I gave no "analysis" which could in anyway cause "paralysis," but if I did ... I would begin by citing ...
  • that Abraham was the father of faith
  • the Hab 2.4/Rom 1.17/Gal 3.11/Heb 10.38 series stating "the just shall live by faith"
  • the Faith Hall of Fame in Hebrews 11.
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Old 03-27-2015, 10:37 AM   #79
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For this reason, we, from the day when we had word of it, keep on in prayer for you, that you may be full of the knowledge of his purpose, with all wisdom and experience of the Spirit. Colossians 1:9 BEB

Grace and peace to you many times over as you deepen in your experience with God and Jesus, our Master. 2 Peter 1:2 MSG

As we keep his commands, we live deeply and surely in him, and he lives in us. And this is how we experience his deep and abiding presence in us: by the Spirit he gave us. 1 John 3:24 MSG

But I have sure faith that I will experience the LORD's goodness in the land of the living! Psalm 27:13 CEB

We saw it, we heard it, and now we're telling you so you can experience it along with us, this experience of communion with the Father and his Son, Jesus Christ. 1 John 1:3 MSG

Let me experience Your faithful love in the morning, for I trust in You. Reveal to me the way I should go, because I long for You. Psalm 143:8 CSB

And {you will experience joy and exultation}, and many will rejoice at his birth. Luke 1:14 LEB

And all who believe in God's Son have eternal life. Those who don't obey the Son will never experience eternal life, but the wrath of God remains upon them." John 3:36 NLT

Then you will experience for yourselves the truth, and the truth will free you." John 8:32 MSG

Now I'm returning to you. I'm saying these things in the world's hearing So my people can experience My joy completed in them. John 17:13 MSG

He became hungry and wanted to eat. While others were preparing the meal, he had a visionary experience. Acts 10:10 CEB

"I was in the city of Joppa praying when I had a visionary experience. In my vision, I saw something like a large linen sheet being lowered from heaven by its four corners. It came all the way down to me. Acts 11:5 CEB

He has brought us by faith into this experience of God's grace, in which we now live. And so we boast of the hope we have of sharing God's glory! Romans 5:2 GNT

And let not your behaviour be like that of this world, but be changed and made new in mind, so that by experience you may have knowledge of the good and pleasing and complete purpose of God. Romans 12:2 BBE

I'm simply trying to point out that under your new Master you're going to experience a marvelous freedom you would never have dreamed of. On the other hand, if you were free when Christ called you, you'll experience a delightful "enslavement to God" you would never have dreamed of. 1 Corinthians 7:22 MSG

But when you proclaim his truth in everyday speech, you're letting others in on the truth so that they can grow and be strong and experience his presence with you. 1 Corinthians 14:3 MSG

Because I was sure of this, I wanted to come to you first, so that you might have a second experience of grace. 2 Corinthians 1:15 ESV

Did you experience so much for nothing? I wonder if it really was for nothing. Galatians 3:4 CEB

Be very sure now, you who have been trained to a self-sufficient maturity, that you enter into a generous common life with those who have trained you, sharing all the good things that you have and experience.
Galatians 6:6 MSG

You'll be able to take in with all Christians the extravagant dimensions of Christ's love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Ephesians 3:18 MSG

May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so great you will never fully understand it. Then you will be filled with the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Ephesians 3:19 NLT

And my prayer is that you may be increased more and more in knowledge and experience. Philippians 1:9 NIV

All I want is to know Christ and to experience the power of his resurrection, to share in his sufferings and become like him in his death, Philippians 3:10 GNT

So that, somehow, I can experience the resurrection from the dead! Philippians 3:11 NLT

If you do this, you will experience God's peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7 NLT

Receive and experience the amazing grace of the Master, Jesus Christ, deep, deep within yourselves. Philippians 4:23 MSG

How can we thank God for you in return for all the joy we experience because of you before our God, 1 Thessalonians 3:9 CSB

This is why I endure everything for the sake of those who are chosen by God so that they too may experience salvation in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. 2 Timothy 2:10 CEB

If we believe, though, we'll experience that state of resting. But not if we don't have faith. Remember that God said, Exasperated, I vowed, "They'll never get where they're going, never be able to sit down and rest." Hebrews 4:3 MSG
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Old 03-27-2015, 11:30 AM   #80
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For this reason, we, from the day when we had word of it, keep on in prayer for you, that you may be full of the knowledge of his purpose, with all wisdom and the experience of Christ. Colossians 1:9 NIV

Grace and peace to you many times over as you deepen in your experience of Christ. 2 Peter 1:2 MSG

As we keep his commands, we live deeply and surely in him, and he lives in us. And this is how we experience Christ: by the Spirit he gave us. 1 John 3:24 MSG

But I have sure faith that I will experience Christ in the land of the living! Psalm 27:13 CEB

We saw it, we heard it, and now we're telling you so you can experience it along with us, this experience of Christ. 1 John 1:3 MSG

Let me experience Christ in the morning, for I trust in You. Reveal to me the way I should go, because I long for You. Psalm 143:8 CSB

And {you will experience Christ}, and many will rejoice at his birth. Luke 1:14 LEB

And all who believe in God's Son have eternal life. Those who don't obey the Son will never experience Christ, but the wrath of God remains upon them." John 3:36 NLT

Then you will experience Christ, and this experience will free you." John 8:32 MSG

Now I'm returning to you. I'm saying these things in the world's hearing So my people can experience Christ in them. John 17:13 MSG

He became hungry and wanted to eat. While others were preparing the meal, he had an experience of Christ. Acts 10:10 CEB

"I was in the city of Joppa praying when I had an experience of Christ, in which I saw something like a large linen sheet being lowered from heaven by its four corners. It came all the way down to me. Acts 11:5 CEB

He has brought us by faith into this experience of Christ, in which we now live. And so we boast of the hope we have of sharing God's glory! Romans 5:2 GNT

And let not your behavior be like that of this world, but be changed and made new in mind, so that by experience of Christ you may have knowledge of the good and pleasing and complete purpose of God. Romans 12:2 BBE

I'm simply trying to point out that under your new Master you're going to experience Christ you would never have dreamed of. On the other hand, if you were free when Christ called you, you'll experience Christ in a way you'd never have dreamed of. 1 Corinthians 7:22 MSG

But when you proclaim his truth in everyday speech, you're letting others in on the truth so that they can grow and be strong and experience Christ. 1 Corinthians 14:3 MSG

Because I was sure of this, I wanted to come to you first, so that you might have a second experience of Christ. 2 Corinthians 1:15 ESV

Did you experience Christ so much for nothing? I wonder if it really was for nothing. Galatians 3:4 CEB

Be very sure now, you who have been trained to a self-sufficient maturity, that you enter into a generous common life with those who have trained you, sharing all the Christ that you have and experience.
Galatians 6:6 MSG

You'll be able to take in with all Christians the extravagant dimensions of Christ's love. Reach out and experience Christ in all the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Ephesians 3:18 MSG

May you experience Christ, though it is so great you will never fully understand it. Then you will be filled with the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Ephesians 3:19 NLT

And my prayer is that you may be increased more and more in knowledge and experience of Christ. Philippians 1:9 NIV

All I want is to know Christ and to experience Him, to share in his sufferings and become like him in his death, Philippians 3:10 GNT

So that, somehow, I can experience Christ! Philippians 3:11 NLT

If you do this, you will experience Christ, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7 NLT

Receive and experience Christ, deep, deep within yourselves. Philippians 4:23 MSG

How can we thank God for you in return for all the Christ we experience because of you before our God, 1 Thessalonians 3:9 CSB

This is why I endure everything for the sake of those who are chosen by God so that they too may experience Christ with eternal glory. 2 Timothy 2:10 CEB

If we believe, though, we'll experience Christ. But not if we don't have faith. Remember that God said, Exasperated, I vowed, "They'll never get where they're going, never be able to sit down and rest." Hebrews 4:3 MSG
Nice set of verses. However, I had to modify them all, somewhat (see bolded sections above), to make them line up with the conversation we've been having on this thread. They're much improved, now, and I really ''gained Christ'' by the ''experience'' of modifying and re-typing these translations.

Of course, that was sarcasm. In reality I now see one of WL's generic processed smoothies, writ large. An interpretational overlay of the so-called experience of Christ didn't bring us deeper, but smoothed it all out to bland and homogeneous nothingness.
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Old 03-27-2015, 12:31 PM   #81
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Nice set of verses. However, I had to modify them all, somewhat (see bolded sections above), to make them line up with the conversation we've been having on this thread. They're much improved, now, and I really ''gained Christ'' by the ''experience'' of modifying and re-typing these translations.

Of course, that was sarcasm. In reality I now see one of WL's generic processed smoothies, writ large. An interpretational overlay of the so-called experience of Christ didn't bring us deeper, but smoothed it all out to bland and homogeneous nothingness.
The lengths some people will go to try to make a point.

Why can't we just take the logical conclusion, that we do experience Christ but even that idea can be abused? Why take one extreme or the other? Lee's "everything is Christ" is an extreme and OBW's reaction to Lee is an extreme the other way.
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Old 03-27-2015, 12:48 PM   #82
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The lengths some people will go to try to make a point.

We can't we just take the logical conclusion, that we do experience Christ but even that idea can be abused? Why take one extreme or the other? Lee's "everything is Christ" is an extreme and OBW's reaction to Lee is an extreme the other way.
Perhaps we have all been stricken by Lee with the disease of extremism. So many of the ones I know, who have left the LC, have just gone to another brand of it.

Wise old Solomon said something about moderation. Perhaps his is a point well taken. Apostle Paul had something interesting to say also, "Let your moderation be known to all men, the Lord in near."
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Old 03-27-2015, 02:24 PM   #83
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Perhaps we have all been stricken by Lee with the disease of extremism. So many of the ones I know, who have left the LC, have just gone to another brand of it.

Wise old Solomon said something about moderation. Perhaps his is a point well taken. Apostle Paul had something interesting to say also, "Let your moderation be known to all men, the Lord is near."
Yeah, I know what you mean. When I see some of the people who have posted here in the past (no offense meant to anyone) who had been in the LCM and I see some pretty strange, extreme views taken on by them. I want to say "Dude, haven't you learned your lesson?"

Maybe the LCM originally just attracted some people who could not be satisfied with something typical. Maybe it had to be unusual to them in some way to be attractive.

Give me the middle of the road now. I don't mean lukewarm. I just mean something that isn't going off on tangents. To me, getting all bent out of shape because someone thinks in terms of "experiencing Christ" is an extreme tangent.

If a person talks about "experiencing Christ" and produces no fruit, then you know you have a phony. If a person talks about "experiencing Christ" and produces fruit, then you need to tip your hat to him. But don't make a big deal about the "experiencing Christ" part. Just look at the fruit.

I like trying to help people here. But I don't want to base my life on a reaction to the LCM. I don't think in those terms anymore. Sometimes I have a hard time with the discussions because I'm beginning to forget what they taught there. It's fading into the mist, and the future seems bright. Part of me longs for the day when this board isn't needed anymore.

I want to help people move on. I don't want to instill in them a whole new set of dogma. I want them to find their own way.
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Old 03-27-2015, 04:07 PM   #84
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Why can't we just take the logical conclusion, that we do experience Christ .
I've seen some take the logical conclusion that Mary is the Mother of God. Because Jesus is God incarnate and Mary is the mother of Jesus. Logical.

The "ground of the church" is a logical construct. Watchman Nee took that one very far. Etc. Not interested. Number one, what does your logical construct add? Anything? (Other than selling someone some books). My answer: No, I don't see anything of value coming along. Number two, if you do pay too much attention, and place undue value on your logical construct, as something to hold in your attention, what do you lose? My answer: a lot. Instead of loving one another, you try to "experience Christ" or "take the ground". And so on. Not interested.

I'm not "bent out of shape" about it, as you've said some here are. I was just reading the online discussion here on this thread, essentially between you & OBW, and it seemed to me that you were dismissing his position as one of intransigence. As if he didn't have a valid argument, or a point. I came on here simply to say, No, I think he does have a point.

We could take 856 different subjects and do the same thing, argue different sides without going anywhere. It really doesn't matter. Your proverbial "middle of the road" is to acknowledge that different people have points of view, which are to them valid. That includes OBW. I was just trying to say that his argument wasn't simple intransigence, that there was substance to it. That's all. Not trying to convince you or Ohio that he, or I, or anyone, is "right". (And if I have gone to extremes, well, that was to make my point Mea culpa).

Have any of us "experienced Christ" while writing these posts? I don't know. I don't know how I would know. OBW can be a prickly sort, but he has points to make, and sometimes they make sense, like this one did, to me. If my coming along, here, and saying "amen" was experiencing Christ, okay. Whatever.

(Now to another point: what is the switch? I believe WL would say, Your mouth is the switch. Right? I didn't read his books, but I sat in a lot of meetings. He would say, "Your mouth is connected to your spirit. Open your mouth and activate your spirit. Gain Christ". That was his incessant theme. Unfortunately, our mouths occasionally spew forth salty water, as well as sweet. So simply opening our mouths is no guarantee that we either experience, or gain, the Christ of God. And WL's mouth occasionally spewed forth garbage, as well; Exhibit A is "The Fermentation of the Present Rebellion." I read that book when I was a die-hard Leeite, and I was quite unsettled by it... it had language that would make a sailor blush. So "exercising our spirits" over "every word that proceeds out of the mouth of Lee" isn't an adequate benchmark for "activating Christ", either.)

It's very clear to me that Jesus Christ won the victory. Where I am relative to that victory remains at least somewhat unclear. Obviously I try to co-operate, and have done so. But where I am in the scheme of things is unknown. The safe thing to do, it seems to me, is not to assume anything. Because of the fact that occasionally my mouth has betrayed me (and my eyes, and my hands, and my feet), therefore I don't assume that the times it has cooperated have left me with a net benefit. The very act of trying to ascertain my position on the ledger sends me backward. I simply cannot ascertain, on a day to day or moment to moment basis, if and how much I am "gaining Christ". That will be left to the Bema. So I let it go. I have other things to pay attention to.

If I look at that score-card in the sky as valuable in its own right, I get distracted, I get discouraged, I get confused, I get frustrated, or if I think that I'm "gaining Christ" I get proud, lazy, and arrogant. It just doesn't work. Jesus told us our evaluative skills are warped. We can see the splinter in someone else's eye and miss the beam in our own. We can kill people and think we are serving God. Think about that for a minute: you can kill someone while loudly proclaiming that you are "experiencing Christ"! Why bother. Don't get distracted.

I think that was OBW's message. Maybe he didn't phrase it nicely enough for some. But there was a point being made, there.
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Old 03-27-2015, 05:20 PM   #85
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I've seen some take the logical conclusion that Mary is the Mother of God. Because Jesus is God incarnate and Mary is the mother of Jesus. Logical...
I don't understand how you can post day in, day out, with such confidence about a diversity of topics, and then when considering the most basic item of the faith, i.e. do we experience God according to the scripture, you lose all assurance of faith.

If the Bible repeatedly speaks to the contrary, as in the case of killing people in the service of God, or is silent completely, as is the case with Mother Mary, then we should hesitate in our false assurances, but this is not the case. OBW says we should not say "experience" because his Bible does not say it. Then what do we do with all the quotes Igzy provided from the various translations of the Bible?

Oh well, sometimes we are commanded to love the brothers without understanding them.
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Old 03-27-2015, 05:31 PM   #86
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Nice set of verses. However, I had to modify them all, somewhat (see bolded sections above), to make them line up with the conversation we've been having on this thread. They're much improved, now, and I really ''gained Christ'' by the ''experience'' of modifying and re-typing these translations.

Of course, that was sarcasm. In reality I now see one of WL's generic processed smoothies, writ large. An interpretational overlay of the so-called experience of Christ didn't bring us deeper, but smoothed it all out to bland and homogeneous nothingness.
But those verses are just adorable. They fully support Igzy's position. I get it. The Bible supports experiencing Christ. If you put it on a torture rack, to make it say the "right" thing. I wish we had a talking Bible, that could tell us what it means.

Many, many, traditional Christians, wouldn't and don't have a clue of what is meant by experiencing Christ. It's not even in their vocabulary.

When I was attending the Church of Christ they had a visiting preacher come and speak. And he really pitched Henry Blackaby's "Experiencing God: Knowing and Doing the Will of God."

Our preacher was enthused. And bought a hard bound copy of Blackaby's book and give everyone in the adult Sunday School class our own personal copy. We covered the book for a few weeks. I read mine but no one else did. I tried to generate excitement about it. They weren't really interested. As a result experiencing God fell flat, even with the preacher, in the end.

Seems to me this notion of experiencing Christ is germane to the local church. Are you not a Christian if you don't experience Christ?
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Old 03-27-2015, 06:03 PM   #87
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I don't understand how you can post day in, day out, with such confidence about a diversity of topics, and then when considering the most basic item of the faith, i.e. do we experience God according to the scripture, you lose all assurance of faith.
The more I consider it, the more assurance I get that the talk about experiencing Christ is just spinning cobwebs. There were a lot of folk, back in the day, who said they experienced God according to scripture. They were a confident bunch: they said, "We have Moses." But they had nothing. They had feasts, they had new moons. They had sacrifices & prayers. And they had faith, all right, but it wasn't in God, but in their experiences.

The problem with the sentence "I experience Christ " is not in the "Christ" part, nor the "experience" part, but in the "I" part. We should know better by now. And if you say that you didn't claim the experience for yourself, just that the experience exists, I reply that if so it exists not for the talkers but the doers. Talk means naught. Those who experience aren't giving speeches about it. They know better. They don't trust themselves, and they have learned to look away from their experiences, both good and ill.. As soon as you talk of experiencing Christ you exclude yourself from it. You have spun a cobweb and crawled in, and built your house on shifting sands.
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Old 03-27-2015, 07:43 PM   #88
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The more I consider it, the more assurance I get that the talk about experiencing Christ is just spinning cobwebs. There were a lot of folk, back in the day, who said they experienced God according to scripture. They were a confident bunch: they said, "We have Moses." But they had nothing. They had feasts, they had new moons. They had sacrifices & prayers. And they had faith, all right, but it wasn't in God, but in their experiences.

The problem with the sentence "I experience Christ " is not in the "Christ" part, nor the "experience" part, but in the "I" part. We should know better by now. And if you say that you didn't claim the experience for yourself, just that the experience exists, I reply that if so it exists not for the talkers but the doers. Talk means naught. Those who experience aren't giving speeches about it. They know better. They don't trust themselves, and they have learned to look away from their experiences, both good and ill.. As soon as you talk of experiencing Christ you exclude yourself from it. You have spun a cobweb and crawled in, and built your house on shifting sands.
I'll let you inform all the apostles about this. Perhaps you can set them all straight. As for me, I'm too confused, caught up in this forum spider cobweb since I thought the apostles talked about nothing but the experience of Christ in all their epistles.
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Old 03-27-2015, 09:18 PM   #89
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I'll let you inform all the apostles about this. Perhaps you can set them all straight. As for me, I'm too confused, caught up in this forum spider cobweb since I thought the apostles talked about nothing but the experience of Christ in all their epistles.
Isn't this a different - experience of Christ - than the one practiced in the LRM? and maybe the one Igzy is speaking of? I'm finding it hard to put my finger on it ... this experiencing of Christ. It's a moving target. Like when a big spider shakes its web (-aron - thanks for that). No one, it seems, is speaking of the same thing.

I think in the end it's quite probable that we all have different pictures in our heads of what experiences of Christ is, and we can't help but to be talking about something different.

After all, any and all experiences of Christ are completely and utterly subjective. Plus, for me it's been a long time since I've had the local church style of experiencing Christ. These days one of my high peek experiences of Christ is sitting out back, in the dark, and "joining" the cosmos while looking into the milky way (weather permitting). I couldn't see that "glory of God" in the city. Surely that's a different experiencing of Christ than anything y'all are talking about.

And didn't Jesus more or less say that the "switch" is in the closet? It's dark in there. Jesus is found in the darkness. It could be said that, he's the light in that darkness. And that, I suppose, well defines a certain type of experiencing Christ.

Is that what we're all trying to talk about?
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Old 03-28-2015, 02:27 AM   #90
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I'll let you inform all the apostles about this. Perhaps you can set them all straight.
Did Judas experience Christ? He walked with Him, talked with Him, even at one point kissed Him on the cheek.

In Luke 13:26 Jesus has them saying, "We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets"... but they got nothing. Don't trust your experiences. They are shifting sands.
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Old 03-28-2015, 06:29 AM   #91
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No one said that there is no experience. But the experience is not simply "experience of Christ" unless you have redefined all experience for the Christian as being experience of Christ. And if that is what you are doing, then it works. And is simultaneously almost meaningless because it is just a semi-private way of saying that living is an experience of Christ.
Isn't that what Paul meant when he said "For me to live is Christ?" Wasn't he saying in some sense that the experience of living to him was Christ?

I wouldn't redefine all Christian experience as solely an experience of Christ. That was Lee's extreme. Obviously there are other things we experience as well. But I would say that all legitimate Christian experience should, sooner rather that later, include the experience of Christ. I would say it is the most indispensable thing, "it" meaning having a personal relationship with him. Obviously other things are going on as well. But the essence of the thing is that Christ is present and real and being lived out. If not, then why do we need the Holy Spirit? God could stay in heaven and we could be on earth "obeying" him and all would be well. All this "spiritual" stuff that you dislike could be eliminated and we could just live a life like the Jews did with a Christian spin. So if God is not interested in the "spiritual" or the "inner life" at all, where does the Spirit come in?

Experience of Christ to me just means a real encounter with Christ. It means you are really in his presence and being led by his Spirit in a conscious way. It's very possible to be seemingly "obedient" and not have this in your life. "Dead religion" is observable possibility. It's also possible to claim to have all kinds of experiences and yet display no fruit in your life. I think we always need to be alert to whether we are living according to God's presence and whether we are producing the right fruit. A plane needs two wings. The Lord never just gives us one principle. It's always a balance of things. So be balanced. Don't take an extreme view either way. You don't have to invent a new theology of how the Bible doesn't support "experiencing" Christ to make your point. Like I said, when the Bible says "know" in many cases, such as "know him and the power of his resurrection," it's talking about personal knowledge. It's talking about a knowledge that comes from direct experience. So in many cases substituting "experience" for "know" is okay, and as I've demonstrated in an earlier post many accepted translations do just that. So the argument that the Bible does not support the experience of Christ walks on thin ice. The Bible doesn't support Lee's extreme view of it, but neither does it support your over-correction to it.
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Old 03-28-2015, 07:28 AM   #92
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I've seen some take the logical conclusion that Mary is the Mother of God. Because Jesus is God incarnate and Mary is the mother of Jesus. Logical.

Don't trust your experiences.
Reason (logic) and experience are the only tools we have to discern reality. We have experiences, we analyze them and we draw conclusions. Then we repeat. This is true at all levels, from the mundane to the sublime.

You can re-run the experiment, but Descartes already did it. He tried to reduce knowledge down to the basics of what he could confirm, and he came up with I think (an experience) therefore I am (a logical conclusion). You might disagree with him, but my point is that the basis of his conception of reality was built on two things: experience and logic. So if you are going to mistrust both, you don't have anything left to go on.

I know you don't mean to throw them out totally. I'm just saying you can't get along without them, so you'd better try to make friends with them as best you can.

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I'm not "bent out of shape" about it, as you've said some here are.
I know you are not. You are not as opinionated as OBW, which makes you easier to converse with. You understand that discussion is a two-way street. You are proof that a little graciousness goes a long way, something some of us would do well to learn.

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So simply opening our mouths is no guarantee that we either experience, or gain, the Christ of God.
In my experience any time we try to come up with foolproof technique for being a Christian it always ends up making us look like fools. There is no guarantee of anything, other than God is good. It isn't that God isn't solid, it's that he's always nudging us toward genuine reliance on him by taking away our substitutes.

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The very act of trying to ascertain my position on the ledger sends me backward. I simply cannot ascertain, on a day to day or moment to moment basis, if and how much I am "gaining Christ". That will be left to the Bema. So I let it go. I have other things to pay attention to.

Don't get distracted.

I think that was OBW's message. Maybe he didn't phrase it nicely enough for some. But there was a point being made, there.
I told him I understood some of his point. I just disagreed with all his conclusions. I get it that anything can become a distraction. But that includes trying to formulate airtight cases in reaction to Witness Lee. OBW gets so caught up in building his arguments against Lee that he becomes unreasonable, and when you call him on it then he says you are attacking him. Anything but admit he could be mistaken. There's never an "Oops, my bad!" with him. It's always somebody else's fault when there is a misunderstanding.

OBW's reaction to Lee is to distrust spirituality. He thinks in terms of fruit. What he forgets is real fruit is of the Spirit. It's not just of our trying to be fruitful. You cannot produce the fruit being a good Christian without a relationship with God, which is by definition experiential and spiritual. So again, you'd better make friends with those things as best you can. Because if you dismiss them enough you'll eventually miss their benefits.

An analogy might be a liberal who distrusts capitalism, or a conservative who distrusts government intervention. Each will spend a lot of time bad-mouthing those things they don't like, as OBW repeatedly bad mouths "inner life" and "spirituality" and "experience of Christ." The more extreme the person the more he will bad-mouth the other side and give his side a break. But if both persons were truly honest they would admit and make peace with the fact that both capitalism and government intervention are necessary. It's a mistake to try to destroy the other side of an argument to try to prove your side. Emerson wrote that "a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds." Every rule has an exception, including this one.
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Old 03-28-2015, 08:28 AM   #93
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I would say that if you don't like the idea of "experiencing Christ" then by all means try to avoid all experiences of Christ.

If you detect anything you are experiencing in your life that could in any way, shape or form be characterized as "Christ" then run away from it as fast as you can.

Because if you are experiencing something and realize that something is Christ then that would mean you are experiencing Christ and you can't have that.

Follow these simple rules and you can be sure you never experience Christ.


See how magnanimous I can be? No one can ever say that Igzy isn't looking out for them.
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Old 03-28-2015, 09:06 AM   #94
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Did Judas experience Christ? He walked with Him, talked with Him, even at one point kissed Him on the cheek.
Judas was like the personal valet of Jesus on earth. He had the money in order to arrange for accommodations for the entourage traveling with Jesus. Psalms say Judas was His close companion who lifted up his foot against Jesus. (41.9, 55.12-14)

The Bible never says, however, that Judas "experienced Christ" or that he even believed in the Christ. There is no proper experience of Christ without faith. (Heb 11.6 et al) Judas did indeed kiss Jesus on the cheek, and the soldiers later slapped Him on the cheek, and you are positing that these were also legitimate "experiences" of Christ?"

By your superior logic everyone throughout history that has ever claimed that "Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God" is also Satan himself, because that's what happened to Peter. And Jesus Himself said so!

You might want to rethink your position here.
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Old 03-28-2015, 09:13 AM   #95
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I've seen some take the logical conclusion that Mary is the Mother of God. Because Jesus is God incarnate and Mary is the mother of Jesus. Logical.

Don't trust your experiences.
Just to review. Here you are making a logical conclusion based on your experience with your experiences. You have determined from your experiences that they are not trustworthy. But you had to experience their untrustworthyness to come to this conclusion. So there is at least one experience you trust, that of experiences being untrustworthy. Therefore your statements are contradictory, because you have both trusted an experience and used logic to formulate a conclusion about it.

So please clarify your directive to not trust logic or experience. You might want to rephrase your statements to make them less black and white. Obviously we must trust logic and experience to some degree.
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Old 03-28-2015, 10:04 AM   #96
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The Bible never says, however, that Judas "experienced Christ" or that he even believed in the Christ. There is no proper experience of Christ without faith. (Heb 11.6 et al) Judas did indeed kiss Jesus on the cheek, and the soldiers later slapped Him on the cheek, and you are positing that these were also legitimate "experiences" of Christ?"

By your superior logic everyone throughout history that has ever claimed that "Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God" is also Satan himself, because that's what happened to Peter. And Jesus Himself said so!

You might want to rethink your position here.
The Bible also doesn't say that John or Peter "experienced Christ". So what have we added, here? When Jesus says, "Get away from me, all you workers of evil! I don't know you!" Isn't that also an experience of Christ, just as valid an "experience" as any other? No? We need qualifiers, then? So what did the "experience of Christ" add? Answer: nothing. Except to captivate our minds with their mental constructions. Don't stay there.

When John wrote "And he carried me away in Spirit, onto a great and high mountain, and he showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven, from God" was that an experience of Christ? When John tried to worship the angel as "Christ" the angel forbade it. So where was Christ, there? The "he" who carried John away in Spirit wasn't the Holy Spirit or Christ, but a ministering spirit. Is everything positive and good simply an experience of Christ? If so, well then fine. But it doesn't seem to me to be so, in the text. If the Bible could be simplified by our metric, then by all means it's well and good. But I don't see it. It's an oversimplification that ultimately needs so many exclusions and supporting clauses that it's really not worth the time it took to build it or hold it forth. Unless of course you're trying to sell books. That of course is different, then it's "cobweb city", baby! Rock on.

If you need "faith" to "experience Christ" then focus on the faith. If you look at the experience you'll sink just like Peter did.
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Old 03-28-2015, 10:17 AM   #97
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You have determined from your experiences that [experiences] are not trustworthy. But you had to experience their untrustworthyness to come to this conclusion. So there is at least one experience you trust, that of experiences being untrustworthy. Therefore your statements are contradictory, because you have both trusted an experience and used logic to formulate a conclusion about it.

So please clarify your directive to not trust logic or experience. You might want to rephrase your statements to make them less black and white. Obviously we must trust logic and experience to some degree.
I do trust logic. But only to some degree. And I very much enjoy coming to the meetings and being disabused of my logical constructions. And also on this forum, as well.

Our senses are tricky: we shouldn't rely on them as purveyors of reality. Secondly, our interpretation of what our senses deliver us is also flawed. We are logical, yes, but only partly so. That is why the "flock" is such a safeguard. WL and WN both over-rode all safeguards and the result was ruinous.

So I saw OBW providing a "not so fast" safeguard to the all-encompassing notion of "experiencing Christ" and I simply wanted to say "amen". I don't think it's something that can be proven or disproven. It just doesn't appear to add value, and by the time you've hung all the cautionary flags on it, what is the point? It's just a distraction from the plain words that are in front of us.

Concepts are great. I love them, actually. I can churn them out daily. But at heart I'm still a sinner struggling home to the Father. My concepts won't deliver me. They have limited, temporary use.

Let me give an example. A few months back I got interested in the "grey area" between angels and the Holy Spirit. It became evident to me that there was possibly some overlap, that when John wrote of "spirit" in the apocalypse he may have meant the ministering spirit (angel) and not the Holy Spirit. So I put my verses out there, and my thinking, and was pretty soundly disabused of the notion. So I dropped it. I could either start my "church of Aron" where everybody agreed with me, or I could put my concepts on the shelf, possibly never to return, and simply go on. No big deal. I do it every day. I think, but try not to become captive to or emotionally invested in my thoughts. I don't trust them implicitly.

And I have a habit of phrasing my statements out in black-and-white simply to see if they can stand. I like the challenge. Many of them don't stand, very long. The objections to them arrive, and qualifiers to preserve them pile up hard and fast, and eventually I don't take them too seriously as representations of objective truth. The whole "experience of Christ" as a concept seems to fall in that category for me. Doesn't matter whose idea it was, initially. It really doesn't stand up well, on its own.
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Old 03-28-2015, 10:48 AM   #98
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Isn't that what Paul meant when he said "For me to live is Christ?" Wasn't he saying in some sense that the experience of living to him was Christ?
Of all the things you've written, this was the one that gave me most pause. I had to ask, well, isn't living an experience? And don't I want to "live Christ" as Paul put it? So don't I want to experience Christ?

I'm somewhat biased about that verse, though; I've always seen Paul as saying, "For you to live may be your job or your family or some philosophy. But to me to live is the person of Jesus Christ." Life itself, eternal, uncreated, divine, incorruptible, was presented to us in the very person of Jesus the Galilean. And Paul wanted this: nothing else. But this is a subjective statement. That is Paul's choice. Ultimately, God also will speak. "We all have to stand at the Judgment Seat of Christ". Then God will either say "amen" or "nay" to Paul's declaration. Until then we take it as provisional.

Of course Paul wrote a dozen or so epistles. We take it as granted that he "experienced Christ" or "lived Christ" or "gained Christ" to some degree. But to what degree we don't know. God knows.

When Paul said, "that I may gain Christ, and be found in Him" in Philippians 3:8, I think he was likewise saying that this was his goal, his ultimate object. How much did Paul gain or experience Christ on a day-to-day basis? Who knows. So what is the "gain Christ" or "experience Christ" as some kind of divine currency of enduring value in our daily lives? Nothing.

WL turned "Christ" into an objective commodity that could be "gained" by coming to (his) meetings and saying "amen" when he spoke. By pray-reading and PSRP'ing and whatnot. There is a big, big danger of people thinking they have "gained" some commodity, stored up in heaven, and one day hearing, "I don't know you" from the Judge of all. This is serious. Our faith is in God's goodness, not our experience. I certainly hope to "gain Christ" and be found in Him. But I look away unto Him, not to my daily experiences of Him.

I know RK said once at a meeting that he had "more Christ" than before. He said that because WL said that. Ultimately he put his trust in WL. Bad move. I think that to humble ourselves is to distrust ourselves, our experiences, out thinking, our motives. Look at WL's motives. When some young gullible brother inherited money, suddenly a motor home factory was in the works. Where was that lurking, while WL was experiencing and gaining Christ?

I do have faith, and believe: the conclusive proof that I see, of Jesus being the personification of life itself, is God's proving to all that Jesus is Lord and Christ, by raising Him from the dead, and giving Him glory. I trust that. I believe in that. That, to me is irrefutable. And if I didn't have faith, why struggle forward, daily? But how much am I going forward, if at all, I don't worry about. Am I gaining Christ today? Am I experiencing Him? I just keep going on, and like Paul said, "I forget what is behind", including all my possible experiences of gaining Christ. The race is on.

To claim the experience is to obviate or annul the experience. We claim, rather, that we believe Christ is the victor. He finished the race. Now we follow Him. Couldn't He have "claimed" to be higher than the angels, while on earth? No, He humbled Himself and took the lowest position. He claimed nothing. It was the Father's testimony (resurrection, ascension, glory) which ultimately claimed Him and what He had laid hold of, here on earth. But if we, today, claim our experience as somehow objectively real and valid in its own right I think we trust ourselves too much. The scriptural record is littered with the carcasses of those who trusted in themselves too much while they were still on the way. "The people sat down to eat and drink, and got up to play."

It's like saying, "I am a five-talented saint." By saying that you probably disqualify yourself. You err, and will be unpleasantly surprised. If you say, "Well I am merely a one-talented saint" you may also err - maybe you are two talented. Who knows? Just struggle on. Evaluating yourself, or others, is a waste of time and attention. And the idea of experiencing Christ seems to me like a self-created and imposed evaluation. By the time you get done qualifying it, it has no value. And if you don't qualify it, then you risk being seriously led astray, or captivated, by your conjectures, as if they had reality of their own. And that, to me, was WL's ministry in a nutshell.
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Old 03-28-2015, 11:03 AM   #99
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Good post Igzy ....

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Reason (logic) and experience are the only tools we have to discern reality. We have experiences, we analyze them and we draw conclusions. Then we repeat. This is true at all levels, from the mundane to the sublime.
So true ... and we have the awareness reading these words as a "tool" to discern reality. Reason and logic are extremities of that/this.

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You can re-run the experiment, but Descartes already did it. He tried to reduce knowledge down to the basics of what he could confirm, and he came up with I think (an experience) therefore I am (a logical conclusion). You might disagree with him,. . .
Yes. So a rock doesn't think and therefore it isn't?

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but my point is that the basis of his conception of reality was built on two things: experience and logic. So if you are going to mistrust both, you don't have anything left to go on.
Isn't that when faith kicks in?

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In my experience any time we try to come up with foolproof technique for being a Christian it always ends up making us look like fools.
True that ... this post an exception.

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It isn't that God isn't solid, it's that he's always nudging us toward genuine reliance on him by taking away our substitutes.
That's what got me where I'm at today. God has pulled all the rugs of substitution out from under me. That's been a type of experiencing Christ to me.

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You cannot produce the fruit being a good Christian without a relationship with God, which is by definition experiential and spiritual.
Where does Gal 5:22 say that? It doesn't say there's no other way to have or gain any of those fruits.

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Emerson wrote that "a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds."
Yet Waldo consistently, according to his "English Traits," believed in "whiteness," or the superiority of the white English Saxon.

Yet he might have something to add to our discussion of experiencing Christ:

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Emerson had come to accept the idea that the highest, most trustworthy knowledge consists of intuitive graspings, moments of direct perception, free mental acts of cognition and recognition, a series of mental activities that, as he now realized, could be summed up in the word reason. Customarily he used visual imagery for these acts of knowing, calling them insights, perceptions or visions.
- "Emerson: The Mind on Fire" by Robert D. Richardson Jr.
And I think we need to cut OBW some slack. Sure he's a thick thinker but all in all he's a pretty great guy ... as far as I've seen.
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Old 03-28-2015, 12:34 PM   #100
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The Bible also doesn't say that John or Peter "experienced Christ". So what have we added, here? When Jesus says, "Get away from me, all you workers of evil! I don't know you!" Isn't that also an experience of Christ, just as valid an "experience" as any other? No? We need qualifiers, then? So what did the "experience of Christ" add? Answer: nothing. Except to captivate our minds with their mental constructions. Don't stay there.

When John wrote "And he carried me away in Spirit, onto a great and high mountain, and he showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven, from God" was that an experience of Christ? When John tried to worship the angel as "Christ" the angel forbade it. So where was Christ, there? The "he" who carried John away in Spirit wasn't the Holy Spirit or Christ, but a ministering spirit. Is everything positive and good simply an experience of Christ? If so, well then fine. But it doesn't seem to me to be so, in the text. If the Bible could be simplified by our metric, then by all means it's well and good. But I don't see it. It's an oversimplification that ultimately needs so many exclusions and supporting clauses that it's really not worth the time it took to build it or hold it forth. Unless of course you're trying to sell books. That of course is different, then it's "cobweb city", baby! Rock on.

If you need "faith" to "experience Christ" then focus on the faith. If you look at the experience you'll sink just like Peter did.
I don't think it is wise to "focus on faith" as you have suggested. People in the world often say "keep the faith," which has little meaning at all, basically "hang in there," or "cheer up, things will improve." I contend that faith without believing in Jesus Christ is no faith at all, at least not the faith of Abraham our father, and the faith of the Bible. Believing in Jesus, especially in our times of need, is by definition an experience of Christ. Real believing is a seeking experience of God as Jeremiah says, "you will seek Me and find Me, when you seek Me with all your heart."

You mention the "dangers" of not "experiencing" God in a real way. This is a very real danger for us. The book of Hebrews was written entirely with this thought in mind. The Hebrew believers had little genuine experience of Christ, and consequently were drifting back to their ancient Jewish traditions. They had drunk the milk of the word, but not eaten the solid food, not having their spiritual faculties exercised to discern the good from the worthless. Sure they had what they thought were numerous "experiences" with their traditions and celebrations, but they lacked faith. The Hebrews lacked Christ as experience. Did they have Christ? Yes, initially, apparently, but were seriously deficient in the full knowledge of His Son. They needed healthy spiritual exercise! (Now if that don't create a forum stir!)

The Lord said, "Get away from me, all you workers of evil! I don't know you!" Isn't it interesting that the omniscient Lord, the creator of all, would say this? How in the world could He not know them? Obviously what they did, how they served, etc. was not proper, not knowing His will. They may have had a lifetime of "experiences," yet little experience of Christ, in order to bring about His approvals.
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Old 03-28-2015, 01:50 PM   #101
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Good post Igzy ....

Yes. So a rock doesn't think and therefore it isn't?
Questions of being are the privilege and curse only of self-conscious beings. Rocks are spared this.

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Isn't that when faith kicks in?
Faith to me is an extension of reason and experience. Eventually we all believe what those two have led us to. Since God is a logical conclusion gathered from the experience of existence, failing to have faith in him is a fatal denial of reality (according to our Christian faith anyway).

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Where does Gal 5:22 say that? It doesn't say there's no other way to have or gain any of those fruits.
It just says they are of the Spirit. Presumably you can't get them without getting the Spirit, however He's gotten. What are you going to do, get bootlegged copies?
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Old 03-28-2015, 02:05 PM   #102
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I would say that if you don't like the idea of "experiencing Christ" then by all means try to avoid all experiences of Christ.

If you detect anything you are experiencing in your life that could in any way, shape or form be characterized as "Christ" then run away from it as fast as you can.

Because if you are experiencing something and realize that something is Christ then that would mean you are experiencing Christ and you can't have that.

Follow these simple rules and you can be sure you never experience Christ.
Let me rephrase my argument. There was once a guy who killed a lion, after fighting with it in a snowy pit. Now, the lion was real, the snow was real, the pit was real, and the fight was real. But if the guy stopped at some point and said, "Gee, I am having the experience of fighting a lion in a snowy pit" he would have lost. No time for that. Just time to fight. The time for claiming is after the battle is over (or the proverbial race has finished).

If you claim the experience you lose. If you fight, you may win (and have the experience of winning). Either way you'll have an experience. But if you try to lay claim it, while you're having it, you lose.

But if your goal is writing and publishing books I'm sure there's a book in there somewhere. But God may not count books being published as experiences of Christ, at the Bema. So don't count your books published as experiences of Christ.
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Old 03-28-2015, 02:09 PM   #103
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To claim the experience is to obviate or annul the experience.
I don't think you can take it this far. Mary exclaimed "My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior!" She claimed the experience. I don't think her doing so annulled it.
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Old 03-28-2015, 02:09 PM   #104
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It just says they are of the Spirit. Presumably you can't get them without getting the Spirit, however He's gotten. What are you going to do, get bootlegged copies?
Glad you said presumably. I've know non-believers with those fruits. Not that they had all of them. Then again believers don't seem to have all of them either.
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Old 03-28-2015, 02:17 PM   #105
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So I saw OBW providing a "not so fast" safeguard to the all-encompassing notion of "experiencing Christ" and I simply wanted to say "amen". I don't think it's something that can be proven or disproven. It just doesn't appear to add value, and by the time you've hung all the cautionary flags on it, what is the point? It's just a distraction from the plain words that are in front of us.
If he had just said that I would have said amen, too. But he went on talking about "stew" and that speaking generally about the experience of Christ wasn't supported in the Bible (a claim which some of the verses I shared contradicted). He just took it too far. It may not appear to add value to you, but it does to me. So why make a big deal about it? And it's not "just a distraction" and is the plain word. There are verses that clearly talk about a general experience of Christ. Read the list again. As I said, any verse that talks about "knowing God" is talking about experiencing God. It's talking about knowledge that comes from experience.

I don't think saying "experiencing Christ" carries any more risk than saying, for example, we should "cut off our hand" or "sacrifice our bodies" or "hate our own selves." Each of these carries risk of misinterpretation and with that possible serious consequences. I don't see how saying "experiencing Christ" is more risky, and there can be no argument that those other things are in the Bible.
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Old 03-28-2015, 02:22 PM   #106
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I don't think you can take it this far. Mary exclaimed "My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior!" She claimed the experience. I don't think her doing so annulled it.
Someone has said that we are just a collection of memories. That is our life. Memories are recollections of our experiences. They together shape who we are.

This discussion is bewildering at best. For the life of me I just can't see the down side of desiring to experience Christ.
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Old 03-28-2015, 02:27 PM   #107
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Let me rephrase my argument. There was once a guy who killed a lion, after fighting with it in a snowy pit. Now, the lion was real, the snow was real, the pit was real, and the fight was real. But if the guy stopped at some point and said, "Gee, I am having the experience of fighting a lion in a snowy pit" he would have lost. No time for that. Just time to fight. The time for claiming is after the battle is over (or the proverbial race has finished).

If you claim the experience you lose. If you fight, you may win (and have the experience of winning). Either way you'll have an experience. But if you try to lay claim it, while you're having it, you lose.

But if your goal is writing and publishing books I'm sure there's a book in there somewhere. But God may not count books being published as experiences of Christ, at the Bema. So don't count your books published as experiences of Christ.
Then why would anyone say to "slow down and smell the roses?" Obviously when your life is at stake, fighting off bears and lions, that is not the best time to reminisce the good times, but when it is all over, get out your selfie stick and get a pic with your latest "kill."
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Old 03-28-2015, 03:58 PM   #108
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This discussion is bewildering at best. For the life of me I just can't see the down side of desiring to experience Christ.
I'm with you bro. I don't get it. I guess it comes down to perspective, of what "experiencing Christ" means to someone.

To me it means basking in his presence, enjoying sweet fellowship with him, with all my problems fading into the mist.

To others it must mean LeeLeeLeeLeeLeeLeeLeeLeeLEELEELEELEELEELEE AAAEEEE!!!!

It depends on what comes to mind when you hear the phrase, I guess.
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Old 03-28-2015, 06:36 PM   #109
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I'm with you bro. I don't get it.
No, you don't get it. One simply doesn't stop and snap selfies whilst fighting lions in snowy pits. But once you see your fruits, your beloved "experiences of Christ" all vanish in a trice like Job's children, you'll get it. I have and I get it.
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Old 03-28-2015, 07:00 PM   #110
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No, you don't get it. One simply doesn't stop and snap selfies whilst fighting lions in snowy pits. But once you see your fruits, your beloved "experiences of Christ" all vanish in a trice like Job's children, you'll get it. I have and I get it.
I'll call you when it happens. Until then please keep such predictions to yourself.
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Old 03-28-2015, 07:13 PM   #111
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No, you don't get it. One simply doesn't stop and snap selfies whilst fighting lions in snowy pits. But once you see your fruits, your beloved "experiences of Christ" all vanish in a trice like Job's children, you'll get it. I have and I get it.
That's what I said. I agreed with you. Read my post again.
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Old 03-28-2015, 10:55 PM   #112
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I'm with you bro. I don't get it. I guess it comes down to perspective, of what "experiencing Christ" means to someone.

To me it means basking in his presence, enjoying sweet fellowship with him, with all my problems fading into the mist.

To others it must mean LeeLeeLeeLeeLeeLeeLeeLeeLEELEELEELEELEELEE AAAEEEE!!!!

It depends on what comes to mind when you hear the phrase, I guess.
I think you are talking exactly what comes to mind. Like managing to work up a brew of serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin in your brain, bringing about a euphoric mystical oceanic experience. That is what happens in those states of mind.
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Old 03-29-2015, 08:10 AM   #113
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I'll call you when it happens. Until then please keep such predictions to yourself.
Really? No failures? None by you, nor by others? I'm impressed. If you somehow have managed a Christian journey untouched by the taint of failure and loss, well, then I do recant. By all means, do carry on.
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Old 03-29-2015, 08:21 AM   #114
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That's what I said. I agreed with you. Read my post again.
Ohio, you wrote:

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Then why would anyone say to "slow down and smell the roses?" Obviously when your life is at stake, fighting off bears and lions, that is not the best time to reminisce the good times, but when it is all over, get out your selfie stick and get a pic with your latest "kill."
The battle isn't over. Congratulating yourself partway through is like a yo-yo dieter congratulating themselves every time they drop 8 pounds. The congratulatory process itself is indicative of instability, and portents the coming relapse, or failure.

Peter said that the roaring lion is walking about, seeking to devour (1 Pet 5:8). If you don't get it, then you are either in some exalted state like Igzy, untouched and untouchable, or you are oblivious.

We only can assess whether and how much we have "gained" or "experienced" once the race is over and the battle won. And that assessment is only made by God. Until then, put down the pom-poms.
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Old 03-29-2015, 09:30 AM   #115
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Really? No failures? None by you, nor by others? I'm impressed. If you somehow have managed a Christian journey untouched by the taint of failure and loss, well, then I do recant. By all means, do carry on.
A misunderstanding. I never said I did not have any failures. Far from it.

What I said was that experiencing Christ (the real deal that is) has never failed me. Now, I've been deceived in the past on what I thought was Christ and what wasn't. And I'm still deceived sometimes. But as I mature those mistakes are lessening, which tells me I'm on the right track.
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Old 03-29-2015, 11:45 AM   #116
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Ohio, you wrote:

The battle isn't over. Congratulating yourself partway through is like a yo-yo dieter congratulating themselves every time they drop 8 pounds. The congratulatory process itself is indicative of instability, and portents the coming relapse, or failure.

Peter said that the roaring lion is walking about, seeking to devour (1 Pet 5:8). If you don't get it, then you are either in some exalted state like Igzy, untouched and untouchable, or you are oblivious.

We only can assess whether and how much we have "gained" or "experienced" once the race is over and the battle won. And that assessment is only made by God. Until then, put down the pom-poms.
aron, you sure have taken a sour turn as of late. Sorry if I contributed in any way. I have tried to address your complaints about using the word "experience of Christ." I have chased down the rabbit holes of a lion fight, the Judas kiss, a yo-yo dieter, etc. and each time either misunderstanding or watching you move on. You seem to be so anti-Lee, that a basic statement of "experiencing Christ" causes you to suit up for battle.

Now you bash Igzy and I as being in a "faultless, untouched and untouchable, oblivious and exalted state." These comments really take this discussion outside the realm of meaningful discourse. From my distant vantage, it seems that ... once again ... poster bitterness against Lee is turned on those whose views may differ slightly. That's unfortunate, but just how it is sometimes, so I would like to end my thread discussion here. Can't see anything good coming out of it. Peace. Sorry.
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Old 03-29-2015, 01:06 PM   #117
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[B] I would like to end my thread discussion here. Can't see anything good coming out of it. Peace. Sorry.
But really bro Ohio what good has come out of experiencing Christ in the local church? Where's the fruit?
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Old 03-29-2015, 02:05 PM   #118
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Default Re: The Experience of Christ

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But really bro Ohio what good has come out of experiencing Christ in the local church? Where's the fruit?
II Corinthians 4.17-18 "For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, works for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal."

Matthew 6.19-21 "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
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Old 03-29-2015, 02:58 PM   #119
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II Corinthians 4.17-18 "For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, works for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal."

Matthew 6.19-21 "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
Okay. But where's the fruits spoken of in Gal. 5? Is one of them exclusivity?
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Old 03-29-2015, 04:31 PM   #120
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Default Re: The Experience of Christ

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But really bro Ohio what good has come out of experiencing Christ in the local church? Where's the fruit?
Well, I would say one of the things is Ohio himself. I would say all the believers who genuinely love the Lord are fruit. Their experience in the LCM of Christ stamped in them an indelible desire for a deep relationship with the Lord. Many have gone different ways but continue to be faithful. Yes, the LCM system damaged them and many. But the genuine experience of Christ was not a product of the LCM system. It was a product of the Spirit and still is.

Sometimes this board reminds me of the French Revolution. Surely the French aristocracy and monarchy were corrupt. But the rabid desire for revenge left the guillotines exhausted and the street of France running red with blood. Many of the executed were simply unfortunate victims of the revolutionary fervor. 40,000 died without trial or waiting for trial. Yet the revolutionaries thought they were just.

Obviously that's an extreme example of the vengeful backlash of being wronged, but let's not repeat the principle.
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Old 03-29-2015, 07:35 PM   #121
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Well, I would say one of the things is Ohio himself. I would say all the believers who genuinely love the Lord are fruit. Their experience in the LCM of Christ stamped in them an indelible desire for a deep relationship with the Lord. Many have gone different ways but continue to be faithful. Yes, the LCM system damaged them and many. But the genuine experience of Christ was not a product of the LCM system. It was a product of the Spirit and still is.
Well experiencing Christ in the local church didn't do me any good. Nor did it do any good for all the others I know that came out of the LC. Except, it seems, those that haven't managed to get the local church completely out of their system yet.

But I understand. It takes time, years, decades, to get the local church out of our systems. And it's hard for us to admit we were/are wrong. That takes time too.

But I say, just look around, and be honest, what good has experiencing Christ done for those you know of?

Then again, come to think of it, my old friend from 2nd grade, who was an elder in the local church, is now experiencing Christ in sweat lodges, as a Native American Shaman. Only he doesn't call it experiencing Christ. He calls it experiencing the Great Spirit. What do I know? It may be the same experience, by different names. They both prolly kick in the same dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and endorphins, and produce the same euphoric, mystical, oceanic, heavenly, sensation, consciousness and exulted experience. Don't get me wrong. I'm not knocking those natural occurring drugs in our brains. I guess we all need to get our fix one way or another. So, more power to those experiencing Christ ... become intoxicated with it. Just don't be surprised if it doesn't accomplish anything but good feelings ... which can be good just on its own. I'll grant that much.
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Old 03-29-2015, 08:37 PM   #122
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Well experiencing Christ in the local church didn't do me any good. Nor did it do any good for all the others I know that came out of the LC.
Well, surprise, now you know some!

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Except, it seems, those that haven't managed to get the local church completely out of their system yet.
To me trying to eradicate every vestige of the LCM is a waste of time. How do you know doing so is really going to make you happy? I saw this transvestite today. He may have had a sex change, I don't know. He was moving into middle-age and he was one of the ugliest "women" I've ever seen. He had tried to eradicate all vestiges of being a man. But he couldn't do it. And he never will be able to. Eventually that has to result in unhappiness, or admitting such extreme measures are futile.

Trying to "get the local church completely out of [your] system" is a silly goal. How do you know when you've done it? When you hate everything about the LCM, including the idea of experiencing Christ? Is that how you know? And when you think you've reached that goal, what do you have? Do you have what God wants you to be? Is that really how you look at things?

Why not rather just seek God, and let him take away things and add them? Why declare war on your past? That's not the way to get where you need to be. Jesus's blood covers your past, you are saved by grace and fully accepted. You don't need to eradicate anything. You just need to focus on him and the positive and let him do the work of fixing you. None of us are wise enough to discern what needs to be eradicated. "Eradicate" sounds like one of those words Witness Lee would use. It's an extreme.

At some point you have to make peace with your past. Like it or not, it's one of the things which defines you. You don't have to run away from it.

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But I say, just look around, and be honest, what good has experiencing Christ done for those you know of?
I don't know what anyone else means by experiencing Christ. I just know what it means to me. And to me, experiencing Christ has changed me. It works in me the fruits of the Spirit.

If you say experiencing Christ never did anything for you then you weren't really experiencing Christ. And if you don't think we can experience Christ that means you don't think God is knowable. If you know God you've experienced Christ, because Christ is the way to God.
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Old 03-29-2015, 09:43 PM   #123
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Default Re: The Experience of Christ

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Then again, come to think of it, my old friend from 2nd grade, who was an elder in the local church, is now experiencing Christ in sweat lodges, as a Native American Shaman. Only he doesn't call it experiencing Christ. He calls it experiencing the Great Spirit. What do I know? It may be the same experience, by different names.
Wrong forum Harold. Way out there my man...even for Alt Views...way out there. But if you want to continue on about Native American Shamans, the Great Spirit and such I might consider letting you ramble on about such nonsense over there in la la land. Give these last few posts a look here and then kiss them goodbye....
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Old 03-30-2015, 06:04 AM   #124
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Default Re: The Experience of Christ

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aron, you sure have taken a sour turn as of late. Sorry if I contributed in any way. I have tried to address your complaints about using the word "experience of Christ." I have chased down the rabbit holes of a lion fight, the Judas kiss, a yo-yo dieter, etc. and each time either misunderstanding or watching you move on. You seem to be so anti-Lee, that a basic statement of "experiencing Christ" causes you to suit up for battle.

Now you bash Igzy and I as being in a "faultless, untouched and untouchable, oblivious and exalted state." These comments really take this discussion outside the realm of meaningful discourse. From my distant vantage, it seems that ... once again ... poster bitterness against Lee is turned on those whose views may differ slightly. That's unfortunate, but just how it is sometimes, so I would like to end my thread discussion here. Can't see anything good coming out of it. Peace. Sorry.
To Ohio,

In my defense, you posted
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You have been watching too many commercials on TV.

They used to say that "sex sells," but over the course of time, they have found that "stupid sells" even more.

Pay careful attention to what you see. And read on forums.
a long time ago and I didn't respond in kind. What is the "crazy eyes" or "nutty face" moniker supposed to represent? Me, or my ideas? What is the comment "stupid sells" supposed to represent: me or my ideas? I didn't get all in a huff about it. I carried on. Suddenly when the attention turns to the quality of your ideas, you get offended. Not only that, but you're perfectly happy to "bash" WL, WN, the Blendeds, or TC or whomever, but when the attention turns to the deficiencies of your ideas you get insulted. Think about that for a second... it looks like the argument is slipping away from you, and suddenly you don't want to be part of the conversation any more.

I have consistently carried one theme, and that is that trying to assess one's experiences while partway through them is vanity. So the existence of "the experience of Christ" is something that can be posited, ontologically, i.e. something that exists. Water exists, and water is "wet", therefore when I take a shower I get wet. Right? Christ exists, and we Christians hear and obey, therefore we experience Christ. Right? I simply said, So what? What if anything does it add? Zip. Does talking about "the experience of Christ" equal an additional experience of Christ? No, I say. So, what does it take away, to hold it up as a one-size-fits-all metric of the Christian journey? A lot, I say.

So I carried it through rabbit holes, eh? The story of a man fighting a lion was from the OT. That man was one of David's three "mighty men". He didn't get called mighty until the fight was over. The fight isn't over. The "food" analogy came from Igzy. I responded, arguing that by saying "food" (or writing it, or reading it) it's not the same thing as the object itself or the experience of consumption. One has positive caloric (nutritional) value, one has negative. And Jesus also said, "Don't be hearers of the word but doers" -- I had pointed out the difference between saying and doing, and Igzy replied that it was if I'd said that "food does not exist", when I never implied such a thing. I just said that ideas of fallen but redeemed sinners about God's word, and the divine reality the words present are not always synonymous. Ideas without action are vain. To say, today, "I experience Christ", to me, is like saying "I have laid hold", when Paul wisely said, "I have not yet laid hold" (Phil 3:12,13). Orson Welles (I'm dating myself) said, "We do not judge any wine before its time". Anyone who claims to "experience Christ" today is making judgments that belong to God, and made at the end of the race. To me it seems presumptuous, pure and simple.

The yo-yo dieter remark is likewise not a rabbit hole. I saw Oprah Winfrey trying to lose weight, and she had a big celebration on national tv on her show, when she could finally shoe-horn herself back into her slinky jeans. But 8 months later she was pudgy again. I realized that the very act of self-congratulation was indicative of instability (need for approval) which ultimately wouldn't work, and back to the binge eating again. Surprise, surprise. Someone so smart, talented, driven and successful as Oprah couldn't see this. And at the base of it, that's my critique: we simply can't see clearly enough to make true and valid assessments. So why waste our time doing so? Unless we want to sell books, and so forth. Today I know something of WL's motive, in it all. What is yours? I guess we won't find out.

What's my motive? I don't like the idea. Igzy had told OBW that he was in the minority and the burden of proof was on him. No, he'd said it was a bad idea and he didn't want to "eat the pudding", to use Igzy's phrase. Now Ohio and OBW are at least temporarily gone, and Igzy is on one side and I on the other. No more minority.

Igzy says that he can tell what is a genuine experience of Christ and what is illusion, that this comes with maturity. I say that circumspection comes with maturity, and we no longer presume to claim things that don't belong to us. In the LCs we would say, "In Christianity they believe into Jesus, and hope to go to heaven, but here we 'experience Christ'!" And we would all smile and nod and say, "amen". But looking back it was illusion. It was something WL taught, and WL was God's oracle so it was real, so we thought. I'm now out of the LC and still don't see any substance behind the expression. It's like saying that a tower, half-built, is a tower. No, it's half a tower. Jesus said that if you don't finish building it, people will come by and mock you. Don't give speeches about your tower-buiding prowess, half-way through building it.

I think that I've been consistent in my argument. If I've been insulting or belittling then I apologize. If I've projected my own failures and loss onto others, I'll admit that. It's entirely possible -- maybe I have a string of half-built towers behind me, and I'm blaming Igzy for his, when he doesn't have any! In fact, that is my point (yet again!): that we are incapable of making objective assessments of what is in front of us or around us or in us. Here on this thread, I simply react to Igzy and Ohio, and vice versa. But I don't presume that my reaction perforce equals objective reality. I'm still warped, or colored, by the fall of Adam, and my own unresolved issues. Those issues didn't vanish completely the day I said, "Lord Jesus". And there is no day here in the flesh of sin (so I argue) that we're so "mature" that our ideas, arguments, or assessments take on oracular status. Those who think that all their discernment issues are resolved and what they say equals truth (i.e. "today I am experiencing Christ!") may want to check scripture again. There are simply too many cautionary tales littering the Bible, for my comfort. Those are words of warning and OBW was pointing out something like this, and I agreed with him. I still agree with his point.

And I am not saying that confessing Jesus is vain. I have believed and confessed, and I try to obey. But I don't make value judgments about my progress, while on the way.
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Old 03-30-2015, 06:39 AM   #125
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So the apostles were writing about "the experience of Christ" in the NT? So, when Jesus said, "Get behind Me, Satan" to Peter, was that an experience of Christ? When Peter went out and wept in the darkness was that an experience of Christ? And if so, are the proverbial "goats" hearing, "Go into darkness, you who are accursed" having an experience of Christ?

If every possible experience is an experience of Christ, what does it add? I say, nothing. But, if we need strings of qualifiers to keep the idea from dissolving, what does it add? I say, nothing. If we meet together and simply try to say, "Today we're experiencing Christ", what are we looking away from, that we should be attending to? I say, a lot. That's why I say it's a vapor, a cobweb. It has the appearance of reality with none of the substance.

I think the following by Igzy at least partly looks to my arguments on this thread:

Quote:
To me trying to eradicate every vestige of the LCM is a waste of time. How do you know doing so is really going to make you happy? I saw this transvestite today. He may have had a sex change, I don't know. He was moving into middle-age and he was one of the ugliest "women" I've ever seen. He had tried to eradicate all vestiges of being a man. But he couldn't do it. And he never will be able to. Eventually that has to result in unhappiness, or admitting such extreme measures are futile.

Trying to "get the local church completely out of [your] system" is a silly goal. How do you know when you've done it? When you hate everything about the LCM, including the idea of experiencing Christ? Is that how you know? And when you think you've reached that goal, what do you have? Do you have what God wants you to be? Is that really how you look at things?

Why not rather just seek God, and let him take away things and add them? Why declare war on your past? That's not the way to get where you need to be. Jesus's blood covers your past, you are saved by grace and fully accepted. You don't need to eradicate anything. You just need to focus on him and the positive and let him do the work of fixing you. None of us are wise enough to discern what needs to be eradicated. "Eradicate" sounds like one of those words Witness Lee would use. It's an extreme.

At some point you have to make peace with your past. Like it or not, it's one of the things which defines you. You don't have to run away from it..
I have no doubt that I've written ugly and offensive things, and don't pretend to be perfected. I try not to be a quarrelsome know-it-all who assumes that everything I say is fully thought out, and clear. And I try to give the grace to others' deficiencies that I expect for my own. And that includes Lee and the Blendeds. But bad ideas are bad ideas.

Surely I've been insulting to some of the LC faithful, and to others as well. But at least I can say when I see a worthless idea. The argument for the "experience of Christ" doesn't look like it can hold up on its own. It doesn't matter who's holding it forth. Igzy says we have to make peace with the past. I have the peace, today, to say that this isn't about me or Igzy or Witness Lee or the LC or my unresolved issues. It's just a bad idea. If there is such a thing, ontologically, as a "bad idea", then that of "the experience of Christ" as I've seen it put forth, both here and elsewhere, qualifies. It just cannot survive on its own. The more you look at it, the more it shrinks away to nothing.
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Old 03-30-2015, 06:49 AM   #126
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Early on I suggested that my timing was bad to start a topic. And it was. I have had little time to keep up with much of anything.
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OBW says we should not say "experience" because his Bible does not say it.
I did not say that we should not say "experience." What I said is that we are prone to using the word "experience" about heavily fuzzy events, feelings, etc., that are "spiritual" in a world divided between spiritual and secular. In fact, other than Igzy's list, which I have not had time to more than read through, too many of the arguments for the generic have been about private time sensations of the presence of God or something like that.

I do not say those are false or that they are not experiences (although there is always the question as to how certain we are as to what they are since so many speak of these kinds of experiences and the result is something we could hardly call spiritually or scripturally sound — of course it is never what we do).

I suggest that rather than saying something generic that forces the interpretation that it was clearly of Christ —without argument or consideration — we talk about what was actually experienced. It is a little like declaring something to be biblical or not biblical. I can find the words in the Bible so it is biblical. But what do they mean? I can't find the words in the Bible, so it can't exist. (And before you rush to say that is exactly what I am doing, consider that my goal was not to crush things that are real, but to demystify something that is a catch-all. To stop and think what is actually being said when the term is used. To consider whether we actually engaged in something that was real, and when not sure, assumed it must be and gave it a label that squashed further consideration.

Not saying that this is all of the cases. But even when it is not, what more could be gained from the realization that Christ was working in me through the Spirit to actually be different during the day than just saying I had a real "experience of Christ." But as "real" and as much as that is "experiencing Christ," we don't use that term for those things. And we expect that such an experience will be followed by a desire to jump and shout. If that is the case, then the most mature Christians should be constantly unable to contain themselves because they would constantly be reminded that so many events of the day would have been different in their old life. The fact that they don't even have to think about being different in so many ways is the ongoing "experience of Christ" that does not come with a need for exuberance. Instead it comes with the realization that we are still short of the glory of God.

Yes, there are times for joyous shouting, or some kind of equivalent. But the presumption that there is a need for it to be so ongoing and yet so indescribable that you can only say that you had "an experience of Christ" makes me wonder. Was if real or was it uncertain and the label is required to force the understanding to be what we want it to be? Is it somewhat like saying "the Bible says" when we are not talking about what the actual words say, but rather what we take them to mean?

And a list of the occurrence of a word does not answer that question. And despite the number of instances noted, does not, in itself, make it a major construct of Christian life, nor force its meaning in the way that we so often insist. It is worthy of review, not push-back and incredulity on the part of some. Maybe even the list does not mean what we want it to mean.
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Old 03-30-2015, 07:18 AM   #127
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If you say experiencing Christ never did anything for you then you weren't really experiencing Christ. And if you don't think we can experience Christ that means you don't think God is knowable. If you know God you've experienced Christ, because Christ is the way to God.
Well now. Finally a definition of experiencing Christ we can sink our teeth into. I didn't know that is what you meant. I was thinking of the "Oh Lord Jesus ... Oh Lord Jesus ... Oh Lord Jesus," kind of experiencing Christ. Not the Baptist kind of experiencing Christ, or the Catholic kind. Sorry about that.
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Old 03-30-2015, 08:11 AM   #128
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To say that experiencing Christ has changed someone is meaningless unless there are tangible outcomes such as, for example:
1. Change in outlook of others---seeing their value or worth and dignity.
2. Caring about equality
3. Caring about the rights of others
4. Change in outlook of others who are different
5. Worldview of connectedness---understanding how we are all connected---how life is all connected
6. Tolerance and respect for others viewpoints

Unfortunately what often seems to happen to those who say they have experienced Christ is this outcome, for example:

1. Have little value of the worth or dignity of others
2. Hatred of people different then themselves
3. Intolerance of other viewpoints
4. Narrow and isolated view of the world
5. Doctrinaires

I found that my "experience of Christ" in the LC resulted in the second set of negative outcomes. I have no intention of merely dropping the LC and picking up the same set of outcomes in another fundamental church and calling it experiencing Christ. I just don't see how it is possible to say one is experiencing Christ when the primary outcome leads to rattling off the "correct" doctrines and beliefs. To me, it also doesn't mean that I get with a group of people who believe the exact same doctrines and we all experience Christ in the same way and have little toleration for other perspectives. If reading the Bible and praying leads to a change in positive outcomes in our outlook of our fellow human beings, world and other life then we have the makings of truly experiencing Christ from my perspective. There are only two commandments: love God and love our neighbor. I just don't see a lot of love coming out from those espousing that they are the true lovers of God who experience Christ. I am sure that "your" experience of Christ has changed you but what are the outcomes.
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Old 03-30-2015, 09:04 AM   #129
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I cannot go through Igzy’s entire list, but my findings were interesting. But first, there is something troubling about the number of translations, mostly not the mainstream, that were used. And I think it will come out as we go through.

Key to Translations:
BEB: ?
MSG: Message
CEB: Common English Bible
CSB: ?
LEB: Lexham English Bible
GNT: Good News Translation
BBE: ?
NLT: New Living Translation
ESV: English Standard Version
NIV: New International Version

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Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
Colossians 1:9 (BEB). For this reason, we, from the day when we had word of it, keep on in prayer for you, that you may be full of the knowledge of his purpose, with all wisdom and experience of the Spirit.
The word is “understanding” everywhere that I can find (and I cannot find a “BEB version). Is this an outlier you are asserting is standard understanding of the verse and its meaning?


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2 Peter 1:2 (MSG). Grace and peace to you many times over as you deepen in your experience with God and Jesus, our Master.
Another translational outlier? All other translations I consulted said “knowledge.”


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Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
1 John 3:24 (MSG). As we keep his commands, we live deeply and surely in him, and he lives in us. And this is how we experience his deep and abiding presence in us: by the Spirit he gave us.
You are fishing for the one translation (typically not a primary “go-to” translation) to provide meaning. In this case, it seems that it simply says “by the Spirit.” Not experience, or knowledge that comes from (neither is provided). So where is the insistence when only one says it that way?


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Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
Psalm 27:13 (CEB). But I have sure faith that I will experience the LORD's goodness in the land of the living!
Finally found one that the NIV even agrees with. But what is experience? Several other translations use “see” rather than “experience.” So “observe” might be reasonable. Something that can be seen, not just felt or “experienced” in that kind of meaning of the word.


And a good Psalm. But what is it to behold the beauty of the Lord in this context? To have some kind of inner thing that only you can “be there” to see? I suspect it is in the observation of the peace of Israel, the prosperity of the land, and so on. David is not waxing poetic about how good he feels inside because of something no one else can see. He has lived a life in which God’s pleasure and displeasure are tangible and visible. The people know when it is one way or the other because they see it too.

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1 John 1:3 (MSG). We saw it, we heard it, and now we're telling you so you can experience it along with us, this experience of communion with the Father and his Son, Jesus Christ.
”Fellowship.” Surely if you don’t “experience” the fellowship, then you probably weren’t there. But again, the Message is the odd one. It is confirming your insistence that “experience” is all over the Bible. But even if the word can be used (and is used by one out of many) it is problematic to prefer the generic over the specific. Fellowship is something specific that you can put within “experience” if you so choose. Why not insist on fellowship here? Why prefer something that does not say “fellowship”?


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Psalm 143:8 (CSB). Let me experience Your faithful love in the morning, for I trust in You. Reveal to me the way I should go, because I long for You.
”Let me hear in the morning” is the primary translation. Surely hearing is an experience. But experience is not hearing even if hearing is experience.


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Luke 1:14 (LEB). And {you will experience joy and exultation}, and many will rejoice at his birth.
Have joy and gladness. Can’t find it any other way outside of this one translation. You are fixated on the word and not on what it means. And ignoring the preponderance of the evidence in each that “experience” might not be “wrong” but it less specific and is not what it would appear that the majority of translators got from the verse.


Shall I continue? I agree that I am not half-way through this. But it looks more like a search for data that supports a conclusion. Confirmation bias.
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Old 03-30-2015, 09:31 AM   #130
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I note that a couple of people went off recently insisting that this is all about finding Leeisms and LCM heretics.

Those people did not read the first post. This was not about the LCM. I will admit the origins of the term and thinking for many of us started there. But I doubt we keep it because we think Lee was right in that case. More because we have not considered it. And what we keep is not "LCM" or "Leeisms" per se.

I did mention Lee's book on the Experience of Christ in passing, but stated that critiquing the book was not intended. It was to define a term in a meaningful way and determine whether it is serving us well.

And certain of the LCDiscussions group have gone nuts trying to shut me up. One complained about my cold, analytical way of approaching things, then has more recently said that you can't just go by your experiences and feelings.

Seems that closing the discussion is necessary.

As I mentioned before, for those that are interested in the topic, engage it. Otherwise leave. And posting a list of verses after searching a lot of translations to find the word at all is hardly engaging the topic. I had already noted that the word was only barely in the Bible outside of certain versions. And if you search through enough never-heard-of translations, I guess you can find more.

But apparently few translators agree with those results. I went through roughly 1/3 of Igzy's list and none of it was instructive for maintaining the label. Should I keep it to myself until I have time to really study the rest? I don't think Igzy really thought about what he posted. He found the word so we thinks he won the argument.

And the proof that he insisted he had already given was really a restatement of a number of other phrases actually in the Bible as "has to mean experience." Something to consider. Not proof that it is so.

Don't like my demeanor? Seems to be on par with the kind of push-back I've been getting.

So what will they do now? Get indignant? Calm down? Engage the actual discussion? Decide it is not for them? I would hope for the two in the middle because I will find no answers doing this in a vacuum. But despite the number engaged here, it has remained mostly a vacuum because it is not about the topic, but insisting that it should not be talked about.
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Old 03-30-2015, 11:33 AM   #131
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I suggest that rather than saying something generic that forces the interpretation that it was clearly of Christ —without argument or consideration — we talk about what was actually experienced.
Instead of experiencing God's love, or peace, or redemption, we may try to "experience Christ", but without the specifics I don't see how the generic term adds anything helpful to the experience itself. If there's some meta-principle that fully casts all of our specific experiences into a new and bold relief, fine. But otherwise we risk being Jack Horners, sitting in the corner with our Christmas pies. We're happy with our newfound "plum" but really it's not connected to anything.

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what more could be gained from the realization that Christ was working in me through the Spirit to actually be different during the day than just saying I had a real "experience of Christ." But as "real" and as much as that is "experiencing Christ," we don't use that term for those things. And we expect that such an experience will be followed by a desire to jump and shout. If that is the case, then the most mature Christians should be constantly unable to contain themselves because they would constantly be reminded that so many events of the day would have been different in their old life. The fact that they don't even have to think about being different in so many ways is the ongoing "experience of Christ" that does not come with a need for exuberance. Instead it comes with the realization that we are still short of the glory of God.

Yes, there are times for joyous shouting, or some kind of equivalent. But the presumption that there is a need for it to be so ongoing and yet so indescribable that you can only say that you had "an experience of Christ" makes me wonder.
Going to the meetings and shouting "We are all experiencing Christ" was a kind of charismatic dodge... we got excited about something tenuously (at best) connected to the scriptural record. And our momentary excitement was taken as if it were the claimed experience itself. We thought that we were excited shouting "We are all experiencing Christ" because it was the experience (of Christ) itself, where in fact we were excited because we were jumping up and down, waving our arms, and shouting. We felt surely this was the generic and all-encompassing "Spirit" which was the generic, all-inclusive "Christ" which was therefore the "experience of Christ".

And we decried the "Denominations" for being in some holding pattern, waiting to go to heaven, while we were all experiencing and gaining Christ. But we were in our own holding pattern, with our rituals and habits and behaviors and concepts, which we thought were reality itself. Pray-reading, declaring, shouting, arm-waving, jumping, "prophesying" strings of buzz-words was taken as if it were the experience of Christ itself.

Now maybe I've already beaten this horse to death. So the LCM "experience of Christ" isn't ready to saddle up and ride. So what one is?
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Old 03-30-2015, 12:11 PM   #132
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Similarly, I remember going to an LC meeting and we all declared, "Let's gain Christ!" as if the declaration were somehow the experience itself. It was stirring, even exciting; it seemed right from the Bible. I was exercising my spirit on the local ground, what could be finer? And what could be wrong with that?
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Old 03-30-2015, 12:25 PM   #133
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John 3:36 (NLT). And all who believe in God's Son have eternal life. Those who don't obey the Son will never experience eternal life, but the wrath of God remains upon them."
”See life” or “see eternal life” in every other translation consulted. Is this seeing not experience? Surely it is experience. But again, seeing is experience, but experience is not seeing. Why insist on the unspecific.


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John 8:32 (MSG). Then you will experience for yourselves the truth, and the truth will free you."
”Know,” not “experience.”


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John 17:13 (MSG). Now I'm returning to you. I'm saying these things in the world's hearing So my people can experience My joy completed in them.
”Full measure.” “Fulfilled.” “My joy fulfilled in themselves.” Is this experience of Christ, or of joy? Or do we dismiss joy and declare it all to be Christ. While the latter sounds theologically superior, it really does not provide the meaning that “experiencing joy” does.


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Acts 10:10 (CEB). He became hungry and wanted to eat. While others were preparing the meal, he had a visionary experience. Acts 10:10 CEB
”Fell into a trance.” This interesting construct of “had a visionary experience” is just way too much addition of “meaning” and removed from the truth that the words actually supplied convey.


I’m not allowing Peter’s retelling of the event to duplicate this false positive.

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Romans 5:2 (GNT). He has brought us by faith into this experience of God's grace, in which we now live. And so we boast of the hope we have of sharing God's glory!
”Into this grace.” Nothing about experience, other than as supplied by the translator(s) of the one version.


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Romans 12:2 (BBE). And let not your behaviour be like that of this world, but be changed and made new in mind, so that by experience you may have knowledge of the good and pleasing and complete purpose of God.
Again, “experience is not there except in the one translation. And even if we take this one, what “experience” is it talking about? Something that has to be supplied from somewhere outside the text because it is not there. And so you like the supplying of the word “experience” despite the fact that it is not there. And if it is, would it be to redirect you from what it was talking about, or to something else?


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1 Corinthians 7:22 (MSG). I'm simply trying to point out that under your new Master you're going to experience a marvelous freedom you would never have dreamed of. On the other hand, if you were free when Christ called you, you'll experience a delightful "enslavement to God" you would never have dreamed of.
This rewrite is a little exuberant in its adding of words not found by so many other translators.


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1 Corinthians 14:3 (MSG). But when you proclaim his truth in everyday speech, you're letting others in on the truth so that they can grow and be strong and experience his presence with you.
This is getting old. Yet another anomaly of translation that overflows with extra words that are not necessary to understand the text, and not necessarily relevant to it. If you want to suggest that this verse is something that should e considered as a reason to hang onto this nebulous term, then make the case. Don’t just quote verses that don’t actually say what you want them to say.


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2 Corinthians 1:15 (ESV). Because I was sure of this, I wanted to come to you first, so that you might have a second experience of grace.
I will not contend that “receive a blessing” is not an “experience of grace.” But at the same time, “receive a blessing” is the way it is spoken and the two are not simply synonyms. A blessing is something specific. It is not “simply grace” (which Lee would have rephrased as “simply Christ”). It is a blessing.


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Galatians 3:4 (CEB). Did you experience so much for nothing? I wonder if it really was for nothing.
”Suffer,” not “experience.” And even if you want to leave the word in there, it was personal experience. Their suffering was real and tangible because they had become believers. It was not some “experience of Christ” other than in parallel because Christ also suffered.


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Galatians 6:6 (MSG). Be very sure now, you who have been trained to a self-sufficient maturity, that you enter into a generous common life with those who have trained you, sharing all the good things that you have and experience.
So to “share all good things” is now “have and experience”?


OK. I think I am done. Well over half-way through your list. And nothing.

You have clamored on as if you have been supplying all this evidence that the Bible supports the term and the meaning. But even when you finally do this, you just quote verses that do not actually say what you think they do. You even went to great lengths to find novel translations to assert that they were even there to consider.

The least you could do is try to then make a case for what it means that they might kinda, sorta, maybe mean what you want them to mean. But instead you go off complaining about how that OBW guy is so cold, callous, and doesn’t read your posts.

False.

I read them all. And your ranting has been found wanting. Besides, all of the ranting about me is a strawman to avoid the topic. Or muddy it. Until it got worse, I at least engaged the things you actually said, not your person. But your person is becoming hard to avoid. It is evident that you are neither reading my posts (maybe scanning the words) nor seriously engaging the topic.

Maybe it is better if you just sit this one out.
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Old 03-30-2015, 12:28 PM   #134
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Similarly, I remember going to an LC meeting and we all declared, "Let's gain Christ!" as if the declaration were somehow the experience itself. It was stirring, even exciting; it seemed right from the Bible. I was exercising my spirit on the local ground, what could be finer? And what could be wrong with that?
You mean rhetoric doesn't make it real? and saying "I'm experiencing Christ" doesn't make it so? Now we're back to the switch thing? And how do we know when experiencing Christ that it's actually Christ we're experiencing?
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Old 03-30-2015, 12:59 PM   #135
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Going to the meetings and shouting "We are all experiencing Christ" was a kind of charismatic dodge... we got excited about something tenuously (at best) connected to the scriptural record. And our momentary excitement was taken as if it were the claimed experience itself. We thought that we were excited shouting "We are all experiencing Christ" because it was the experience (of Christ) itself, where in fact we were excited because we were jumping up and down, waving our arms, and shouting. We felt surely this was the generic and all-encompassing "Spirit" which was the generic, all-inclusive "Christ" which was therefore the "experience of Christ".

And we decried the "Denominations" for being in some holding pattern, waiting to go to heaven, while we were all experiencing and gaining Christ. But we were in our own holding pattern, with our rituals and habits and behaviors and concepts, which we thought were reality itself. Pray-reading, declaring, shouting, arm-waving, jumping, "prophesying" strings of buzz-words was taken as if it were the experience of Christ itself.

Now maybe I've already beaten this horse to death. So the LCM "experience of Christ" isn't ready to saddle up and ride. So what one is?
If the Spirit's work in us is experiencing Christ, it could happen anywhere. Whether in the so-called local churches, denominations, or non-denominations.
Some might have the concept "being inwardly disturbed" as negative. Really? When I read scripture or listen to a message that causes me to be "inwardly disturbed", that's an experience of Christ. That's the sensitivity of my inner man. When outward or inward circumstances aren't proper, the Word of God should make us "inwardly disturbed".
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Old 03-30-2015, 02:58 PM   #136
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If someone says "I experienced Christ" and you ask "How?" and they can't be more specific, then you know they have a problem. But if someone says "I experienced Christ" and you say "How?" and they say "I enjoyed his loving presence." Or "I felt he wanted me to give money to a poor family." Then in that case, what's the real problem with the term?

I don't have a problem with the term and I'm not fuzzy. I know what I experience. But the shorthand just helps sometimes. It's no worse than if someone asks if you want to go get a hamburger and you say, "No, thanks. I just had dinner." You don't feel the need to say "I just had two tacos, beans and rice, guacamole, a large coke and sopapillas."

"The experience of Christ" is to me just a catch-all phrase. I don't see anything wrong with it as long as when pressed you can describe each experience in a more specific way.

Let me ask a question this way. If I come home and my wife says, "How was your day?" and I say, "Great! I had some amazing experiences of Christ today!" And she says, "Really! Tell me about it!" And I go on to tell her how I had a great quiet time where I felt the Lord speaking to me about Matthew 5:16. And how I was in the line in the grocery store and I felt the Lord nudging me to "let my light shine," and I asked a lady in line if I could pay for her groceries just to show her that Jesus loved her, and felt the Lord's strong confirmation of this act, and I drove home full of joy.

Now, is it okay to start that conversation by saying "I had some amazing experiences of Christ?" Or is that bad, too? Please enlighten me, all you experience of Christ Nazis.
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Old 03-30-2015, 03:26 PM   #137
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There was a Lord's Table meeting at a certain local church after which all proclaimed that "Christ had been experienced". Immediately after the meeting one "small potato" brother leaned over and told another brother that he was sorry for not showing up to help mow the grass; while a so-called "leading" brother walked by and ignored the waving and calls of a grieving brother who was seeking reconciliation because he was told by the "leading" brother that "his humanity is deplorable, his kids were not in the church-life, and that he was 150 pounds over weight and could no longer sit on the good furniture". Of the two, which brother most likely "experienced Christ" at the meeting?


Matthew 7:15-20Amplified Bible (AMP)

15 Beware of false prophets, who come to you dressed as sheep, but inside they are devouring wolves.(A)
16 You will [a]fully recognize them by their fruits. Do people pick grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles?
17 Even so, every healthy (sound) tree bears good fruit [[b]worthy of admiration], but the sickly (decaying, worthless) tree bears bad (worthless) fruit.
18 A good (healthy) tree cannot bear bad (worthless) fruit, nor can a bad (diseased) tree bear [c]excellent fruit [worthy of admiration].
19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and cast into the fire.
20 Therefore, you will [d]fully know them by their fruits.

Momma always said "pretty is as pretty does". LSM says if the leading brother was "in his spirit" it's all good.
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Old 03-30-2015, 03:31 PM   #138
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Now, is it okay to start that conversation by saying "I had some amazing experiences of Christ?" Or is that bad, too? Please enlighten me, all you experience of Christ Nazis.
It doesn't seem bad, to me. Dave mentioned the idea of "outcome" and it is perhaps relevant here. Certainly it's been my incessant theme in this thread:

Quote:
I just don't see how it is possible to say one is experiencing Christ when the primary outcome leads to rattling off the "correct" doctrines and beliefs. To me, it also doesn't mean that I get with a group of people who believe the exact same doctrines and we all experience Christ in the same way and have little toleration for other perspectives. If reading the Bible and praying leads to a change in positive outcomes in our outlook of our fellow human beings, world and other life then we have the makings of truly experiencing Christ from my perspective. There are only two commandments: love God and love our neighbor. I just don't see a lot of love coming out from those espousing that they are the true lovers of God who experience Christ. I am sure that "your" experience of Christ has changed you but what are the outcomes..
Suppose you had a great experience of Christ. Peace, joy, the sense of being forgiven, and loved, guidance, intervention, salvation in one of a myriads of ways. Wonderful. Now, is that part of a process of change, or today's "feel-good" moment? I admit I'm biased from my LC time because the "feel-good moments" of being sensorily stimulated by shouting, singing, pray-chant-reading (or whatever) was the stand-in for the experience of Christ. And what was the outcome?

I'd like to give my own example. Once I went to a church and they preached the gospel from the pulpit and I got saved. Now, there was an outcome. I believed, I confessed, I prayed. But that led to another process, the outcome of which is not definitively settled. I still have a journey.

I have much to be thankful for. All those good things are from the Father of lights. They are "experiences of my Father's love". Likewise I have many "experiences of Christ" (presumably). And I won't deny your experiences; whatever validity they have is known to the Father. If He says, "amen", then fine.

But my point remains, as well: "Forgetting what is behind me and stretching to what is before". And with that measuring stick all my "experiences of Christ" really don't matter. It's like the two sons, one of which said "I will" and the second refused. Then the first goes back to sleep and the second repents and goes out and obeys the Father's commands. Which one did the will of the Father (Matt 21:31)? The second son. But initially it looked like the first son had the right experience, of giving the "right" answer. But while we are yet in the way, we should be very wary of handling our experiences. There is no general "experience of Christ" which stands immutable. But there are experiences, tied to specifics. For me, I think of John's, "We were witnesses of that One's glory" (John 1:14). If that isn't an experience of Jesus Christ what is? Obviously John never forgot it and it was a referential touch-stone for him the rest of his life. I hope we all have those experiences.
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Old 03-30-2015, 03:39 PM   #139
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It doesn't seem bad, to me. Dave mentioned the idea of "outcome" and it is perhaps relevant here. Certainly it's been my incessant theme in this thread:
That's what I said. Look at the fruit. Is the fruit of the Spirit there? Whether you have the absolute correct doctrines or not, whether you are clear about whether we should say "experience Christ" or not, or whether you say it or not. The bottom line is the fruit.
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Old 03-30-2015, 03:42 PM   #140
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There was a Lord's Table meeting at a certain local church after which all proclaimed that "Christ had been experienced". Immediately after the meeting one "small potato" brother leaned over and told another brother that he was sorry for not showing up to help mow the grass; while a so-called "leading" brother walked by and ignored the waving and calls of a grieving brother who was seeking reconciliation because he was told by the "leading" brother that "his humanity is deplorable, his kids were not in the church-life, and that he was 150 pounds over weight and could no longer sit on the good furniture". Of the two, which brother most likely "experienced Christ" at the meeting?

Momma always said "pretty is as pretty does". LSM says if the leading brother was "in his spirit" it's all good.

Or are you someone who proclaims how right you are. Or do you have a modicum of humility. As per, Luke 18:13:

"But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, 'God, have mercy on me, a sinner.'"
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Old 03-30-2015, 04:02 PM   #141
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I agree completely that specifics are often better that generalities. But generalities do serve a purpose. I don't see the sense in banning them.

Besides, in talking about the "stew" we lose track that the LCM was very specific about certain things and they still went off-track. They would talk about "loving the Lord," and "walking in the spirit," "following the new testament ministry," "being a testimony," "being absolute," "being in the Word," "being obedient to the heavenly vision."

In all these things, they had a proprietary meaning, rather than the mainstream meaning. Specificity didn't help them a bit with avoiding error. Because in the end it doesn't matter how specific your words are if you have a warped view of them in the first place.

So if I say, "experience Christ," that's a lot better than an LCMer saying "be obedient to the heavenly vision." Because my "Christ" is more legitimate that their "heavenly vision." They are more specific, but I'm more according to the truth. Or if I'm not, someone is.
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Old 03-30-2015, 05:10 PM   #142
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Christian experience is rightly used when it helps to convince us that the events narrated in the New Testament actually did occur; but it can never enable us to be Christians whether the events occurred or not. It is a fair flower, and should be prized as a gift of God.
But cut it from its root in the blessed Book, and it soon withers away and dies.
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Old 03-30-2015, 10:21 PM   #143
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in the end it doesn't matter how specific your words are if you have a warped view of them in the first place.
Frame it. It is a classic statement!
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Old 03-31-2015, 06:11 AM   #144
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I agree completely that specifics are often better that generalities. But generalities do serve a purpose. I don't see the sense in banning them.

Besides, in talking about the "stew" we lose track that the LCM was very specific about certain things and they still went off-track. They would talk about "loving the Lord," and "walking in the spirit," "following the new testament ministry," "being a testimony," "being absolute," "being in the Word," "being obedient to the heavenly vision."

In all these things, they had a proprietary meaning, rather than the mainstream meaning. Specificity didn't help them a bit with avoiding error. Because in the end it doesn't matter how specific your words are if you have a warped view of them in the first place.

So if I say, "experience Christ," that's a lot better than an LCMer saying "be obedient to the heavenly vision." Because my "Christ" is more legitimate that their "heavenly vision." They are more specific, but I'm more according to the truth. Or if I'm not, someone is.
I don't think we want to ban your generalities, but rather to accept them as provisional, as having subjective meaning that isn't necessarily transferable. The specifics of your experience are yours. I might not have the same subjective assessment of the same circumstances. That doesn't mean either of us is wrong or right. So we don't deny your experience, if you don't deny us the right to have a different response to the same experience.

And on that note I'd like to revisit your earlier question:

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"The experience of Christ" is to me just a catch-all phrase. I don't see anything wrong with it as long as when pressed you can describe each experience in a more specific way.

Let me ask a question this way. If I come home and my wife says, "How was your day?" and I say, "Great! I had some amazing experiences of Christ today!" And she says, "Really! Tell me about it!" And I go on to tell her how I had a great quiet time where I felt the Lord speaking to me about Matthew 5:16. And how I was in the line in the grocery store and I felt the Lord nudging me to "let my light shine," and I asked a lady in line if I could pay for her groceries just to show her that Jesus loved her, and felt the Lord's strong confirmation of this act, and I drove home full of joy.

Now, is it okay to start that conversation by saying "I had some amazing experiences of Christ?" Or is that bad, too? Please enlighten me, all you experience of Christ Nazis..
Suppose you went home and told your wife, "I really felt the Father's love today", or "I felt the presence of an angel near me when this happened", or "I felt the fellowship and guidance of the Holy Spirit" in the same specific circumstance. Now, who would deny you that? But at the same time you have your subjective response and I have mine. I don't think any response should be seen as a denial of any other.

Now, to fruits: I got hailed in the hallway yesterday at work, and it was a former colleague who'd stopped by to visit. Unfortunately when I heard someone calling my name, and turned, and saw her, I couldn't remember her name. Later, the Lord rebuked me by saying, "The reason you couldn't remember her name is that you never prayed for her." God loves her: who's praying for this person? I felt very convicted. Now I worked with her for 3 years and I'm sure I had many experiences of love, joy, and grace during that time. But I never prayed for my colleague. So how much fruits did I bear during that time? I dare not say none, but I dare not say very much, either. So if I don't dare to measure my fruits I don't really hang too much weight on my experiences, either. I forget what is behind and press on.

So the idea that it isn't wise to pay much attention to our experiences as something in and of themselves, while we are yet in the way, seems fitting and valid. Everything still has to be proved, of what sort it is. And that includes me. (Please don't misunderstand me - I'm not questioning my salvation or anyone else's, just that our string of "experiences" is still playing out, so don't judge anything or anyone before its time).
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Old 03-31-2015, 06:26 AM   #145
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There was a Lord's Table meeting at a certain local church after which all proclaimed that "Christ had been experienced". Immediately after the meeting one "small potato" brother leaned over and told another brother that he was sorry for not showing up to help mow the grass; while a so-called "leading" brother walked by and ignored the waving and calls of a grieving brother who was seeking reconciliation because he was told by the "leading" brother that "his humanity is deplorable, his kids were not in the church-life, and that he was 150 pounds over weight and could no longer sit on the good furniture". Of the two, which brother most likely "experienced Christ" at the meeting?
I remember seeing the Congressional Record where they cited all the achievements of WL. How many thousands of local churches were "raised up", how many years of service, and people who were helped in their spiritual journeys. But they didn't mention defrauding the saints with Daystar and other schemes. They didn't mention that WL couldn't control his own family, whom he allowed to prey on the saints. They didn't mention that when his children were exposed, that WL "shot the messengers". They didn't mention that when he purged those who tried to hold him to minimal spiritual standards, of the "turmoils" and "rebellions" that followed forthwith. They didn't mention in all those "storms", how many families broke apart because some were "of Lee" and some couldn't stomach the hypocrisy any more. How many saints were discouraged and gave up on their Christian journeys because they were "wrecked" for the LC and when "the church ground" dissolved around them they had no clue how to go on with the Lord.

Philip Lin, in his book "Sacrifice and Sail On", said "how much WL loved the Lord"... but how much did he love the Lord revealed in scripture, versus the Lord that emerged from his hermeneutics? If that wasn't a different Christ it was at least a truncated one. And speaking of love, how much love did the "quarantined ones" and the "rebels", and for that matter those in "Christianity" get? If you say that you love God but don't love your neighbor, what love is that? And I should hold myself to the same standard. So I don't judge the quantity nor quality of my experiences, nor of yours. God will do that, in the end. I have my hands full already, believe me.
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Old 03-31-2015, 08:23 AM   #146
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Originally Posted by UntoHim quoting Machen
Christian experience is rightly used when it helps to convince us that the events narrated in the New Testament actually did occur ...

What say you, forum?
Interesting bro UntoHim. So according to Machen experiencing Christ needs to be rightly used. And apparently that is to prove the New Testament true.

But if we are really experiencing Christ, the real Christ and a real experience, we don't really need to know the status of New Testament stories ... we've arrived BY and THRU Christ and have our own true story to tell ... perchance a new new testament.

I think that's what Igzy is trying to say.

What say you Igzy? and well, goes without saying, UntoHim?
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Old 03-31-2015, 09:12 AM   #147
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Harold, you left out the best part of the quote:

It is a fair flower, and should be prized as a gift of God.
But cut it from its root in the blessed Book, and it soon withers away and dies.

What words of wisdom from a true man of God who put Christian experience in it's proper perspective, and in so few words!
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Old 03-31-2015, 10:42 AM   #148
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If someone says "I experienced Christ" and you ask "How?" and they can't be more specific, then you know they have a problem. But if someone says "I experienced Christ" and you say "How?" and they say "I enjoyed his loving presence." Or "I felt he wanted me to give money to a poor family." Then in that case, what's the real problem with the term?

I don't have a problem with the term and I'm not fuzzy. ....etc....

"The experience of Christ" is to me just a catch-all phrase. I don't see anything wrong with it as long as when pressed you can describe each experience in a more specific way.

Let me ask a question this way. If I come home and my wife says, "How was your day?" and I say, "Great! I had some amazing experiences of Christ today!" And she says, "Really! Tell me about it!" And I go on to tell her how I had a great quiet time where I felt the Lord speaking to me about Matthew 5:16. And how I was in the line in the grocery store and I felt the Lord nudging me to "let my light shine," and I asked a lady in line if I could pay for her groceries just to show her that Jesus loved her, and felt the Lord's strong confirmation of this act, and I drove home full of joy.

Now, is it okay to start that conversation by saying "I had some amazing experiences of Christ?" Or is that bad, too? Please enlighten me, all you experience of Christ Nazis.
The phrase 'I had an experience of Christ' imho is strictly an LC phrase, coined by Nee or Lee. I have never, ever heard any believer outside of the LC realm use that phrase but most true believers do have an experience of Christ. However they express it like this: God spoke to me. God told me. I felt the Holy Spirit lead me. I felt His Presence. The Lord opened my eyes. OR more often than not, The "Anointing" of the Lord was all over me today, meaning the Power of the Holy Spirit was on them. I hear the charismatic churchers use this phrase a lot. And since that phrase is often used in the bible, I'm cool with it. Having done a study on the meaning of the Anointing, it is the biblical expression of 'having had an experience of Christ.

A couple of days ago, my friend's 16 yr old grandson told his grandma, my friend this: Grandma. I was feeling really sad today. And out of nowhere, Jesus went 'POOF' inside me and I became very happy. He really went POOF inside of me!! and I have been happy all day since then." Aww... he's really a sweet guy. Unchurched for the most part but reads his bible and prays a lot...truly loves the Lord. He has lots of 'experiences of Christ' and shares them with us all the time. He just doesn't use that catch all phrase. And neither do I. I assure you if I told my friends 'I had an experience of Christ today', they'd say ' a what????

scriptures on the anointing:
Leviticus 8:12
And he poured of the anointing oil upon Aaron’s head and anointed him, to sanctify him.

Isaiah 10:27
And it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing.
1 John 2:27
But the anointing which ye have received from Him abideth in you, and ye have no need that any man teach you. But as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in Him.

scriptures on 'the experience (of Christ)':

Genesis 30:27
And Laban said unto him, “I pray thee, if I have found favor in thine eyes, tarry; for I have learned by experience that the Lord hath blessed me for thy sake.”

Philippians 3:10-11
I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death,

as an fyi....
some translations use the word 'experience' a lot more than others. NLT (New Living Translation) for one. NKJV uses the word 'experience' only a handful of times.

Shalom in Christ Jesus!
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Old 03-31-2015, 08:14 PM   #149
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There was a Lord's Table meeting at a certain local church after which all proclaimed that "Christ had been experienced". Immediately after the meeting one "small potato" brother leaned over and told another brother that he was sorry for not showing up to help mow the grass; while a so-called "leading" brother walked by and ignored the waving and calls of a grieving brother who was seeking reconciliation because he was told by the "leading" brother that "his humanity is deplorable, his kids were not in the church-life, and that he was 150 pounds over weight and could no longer sit on the good furniture". Of the two, which brother most likely "experienced Christ" at the meeting?
I guess what I'm saying is similar to what many are posting here. Whatever "experiencing Christ" means, if it's genuine then it should lead to a transformation that makes me more like Christ (whatever that means). In some way it's a similar story for all of us. Kind of like Saul who started out breathing murder to the Jewish followers of Christ, then somehow became beloved brother Paul who like Jesus laid down his life for others. If at the same time you're telling me how much you experience Christ you also lust for my money to start an RV business while your son is allegedly abusing sisters and you slander honest brothers that try to bring correction into your life don't be surprised if I call you a hypocrite and stop buying your books!
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Old 03-31-2015, 08:17 PM   #150
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Interesting bro UntoHim. So according to Machen experiencing Christ needs to be rightly used. And apparently that is to prove the New Testament true.

But if we are really experiencing Christ, the real Christ and a real experience, we don't really need to know the status of New Testament stories ... we've arrived BY and THRU Christ and have our own true story to tell ... perchance a new new testament.

I think that's what Igzy is trying to say.

What say you Igzy? and well, goes without saying, UntoHim?
No, that wasn't it. Sorry.

We need to be triangulated Christians. We need experience, we need the Word and we need to check our fruit. Each balances the others.

Word knowledge tells us what kind of fruit we should have, and keeps us from going off the deep end with experience.

Fruit focuses our experience on a practical result, and keeps us humble about our word knowledge.

Experience sheds light on our word knowledge, and empowers us for fruit-bearing.

Lee talked only about two, experience (the Spirit) and the Word. But actually we need three: experience, the word and fruit.
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Old 03-31-2015, 10:30 PM   #151
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Harold, you left out the best part of the quote:

It is a fair flower, and should be prized as a gift of God.
But cut it from its root in the blessed Book, and it soon withers away and dies.
Because I don't agree with it.

It may be true for those with a love affair with the Bible ... that their fair flower withers and dies when they lose a root system mingled with fallen men ... where failure can only be expected.

But fair flowers rooted in God don't wither and die ; the God that was clearly before the blessed book ; the book that tells of Abraham, who was rooted to God, and not to any Bible whatsoever. Clearly it's best and wisest for fair flowers to be rooted where fallen men have not been the intermediary.

Ultimately, God is the only real root system for fair flowers.
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Old 04-01-2015, 05:50 AM   #152
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Originally Posted by countmeworthy View Post
scriptures on 'the experience (of Christ)':

Genesis 30:27
And Laban said unto him, “I pray thee, if I have found favor in thine eyes, tarry; for I have learned by experience that the Lord hath blessed me for thy sake.”

Philippians 3:10-11
I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death,

as an fyi....
some translations use the word 'experience' a lot more than others. NLT (New Living Translation) for one. NKJV uses the word 'experience' only a handful of times.

Shalom in Christ Jesus!
You can experience God. You can experience the Spirit of God. You can experience Christ. You can experience peace, and joy. You can experience heavenly visitations. You can experience eating a hamburger. You can experience a lot of things. But in the end, what you experience will be determined by God, and by God alone. And imho the people who claim a lot of experience here in the flesh are those with the least experience. Because they don't know how to be quiet. They want a parade, today, while the battle rages. And this is NOT a jab at anyone here on this forum! This is simply a principle. If you make a lot of fuss to be something, or have something, here on Earth, you are in a vulnerable position, and risk losing whatever you think you have. The battle rages on. Don't make a parade of your gifts. Use them wisely. Satan would love to get you off-balance.

There was a guy in the "Lakeland revival" in Florida named Todd Bentley. He was "anointed" with "gifts", at least he persuaded himself and many others. They made him an "apostle". Later he decided that he wanted a new wife, from among the congregants. He and one of the parishioners fell in love so he wanted to dump his current wife and start over with a new one. Now, maybe Bentley had some genuine experiences. I don't know. But somewhere along the way his experiences deluded him. And this is not only a peril for the Charismatic movement, with their emphasis on experience (and I lump the LC fully in that fold, even without the miracles and tongues) that jumping up and shouting and rolling one's eyes become the sufficient "works" or "fruits". In other words, God put His Spirit on me, and God's works and promises can't be wrong, so I am going on to glory! And your living becomes more and more incidental. You have the anointing, so you claim, and begin to feel invulnerable, and invariably suffer loss. And you hurt others who've put their trust in your claims.

I had experiences of anointing, and blessing, and I also had experiences like Peter where I went outside and wept in darkness. In our experiences we may sense apparent "gain", and also apparent "loss". But at the end of the day we soldier on; God will keep score. Believe me, God is paying attention! Don't focus on the score, on the sum of your experiences. Focus on God's Christ. He is the one who passed the test, and received everlasting glory. Forget about your teachings, your impressions of those teachings, or your organizational position, or lack thereof. God's Christ is shining before us. All of His experiences were fully tested and proved. Don't look at yourself; look at Him.
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Old 04-01-2015, 06:19 AM   #153
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Because I don't agree with it.

It may be true for those with a love affair with the Bible ... that their fair flower withers and dies when they lose a root system mingled with fallen men ... where failure can only be expected.

But fair flowers rooted in God don't wither and die ; the God that was clearly before the blessed book ; the book that tells of Abraham, who was rooted to God, and not to any Bible whatsoever. Clearly it's best and wisest for fair flowers to be rooted where fallen men have not been the intermediary.

Ultimately, God is the only real root system for fair flowers.
There's no problem with the blessed Book; the problem lies with those who handle it, people like you and I. Jesus handled the blessed Book correctly. He was the very Word incarnate. No problem there. You and I, on the other hand, at best are partial. If we presume, Lee-like, to handle the word impeccably we maul it worst of all. Then we simultaneously claim (as his acolytes do) that every thing is "rooted in the word" while producing all sorts of strange fruits.

I got a call from an LC friend, once. He wanted to see how I was doing, and came by to visit. I liked the guy and received him, and we chatted. He did nothing but spew LC cliches. "We have to build the Body", and "we go on together in the oneness of the Spirit", words which arguably derive from scriptures but in the hands of his LC masters have become twisted caricatures.

WL once captivated us with his ideas: Christ is the Good Land, we can experience Christ, and so forth. It was all so new and fresh. But 40 years later it isn't new and fresh. Anyone with new and fresh ideas got run out of town long ago. So they just repeat the same words over and over again. Yes they're related from or derived from the Bible and to their current experience (which experience is mainly speaking the same words over and over again), but the Spirit of God has long since left the building.

God's word is new and fresh; we've barely begun to touch it. I'm not a scholar by any means, and don't mean to cast undue influence to them versus anyone else. But they're exploring, and discovering. Any of us can explore; anyone can discover. God's house has many rooms, many palaces of ivory. We've barely crossed the threshold. Why restrict ourselves to reciting creeds and formulas from days gone by?

I recently challenged the Nicene Creed here on this forum, not to promote heresy nor to create a new gospel or a new Christ. But I wanted to poke the Creed with the word. I wanted to explore the word, versus the Creed, and see if there was any tension there. What can the tension open up? How can we appreciate the Creed as a historical construct, rooted in time, which then further opens up the word to us, which word is timelessness itself?

Doing this in public naturally caused alarm, and several posters said I was going off the deep end. But you know what? I was having fun. The word was opening up to me. I simply wanted to challenge the nice, neat and tidy "truths" and show that sometimes to keep them nice and tidy, we ignore the words of scripture that don't fit. Or we use interpretive rules in one section of scripture, which rules we abandon elsewhere to maintain the neat doctrine. So what do we really care for, doctrines, or interpretive rules, or the word? Have we advanced so far in the word that we can now safely ignore it and gaze reverently at our thought-constructions?

I myself don't want to lead a new religious movement. Things are bad enough already! But I really enjoyed looking at the word as if it were fresh, and new, and had the power to destroy all my ideas and concepts of how things were and ought to be. And I was glad that people eventually got alarmed, and protested. Those two guys on the road to Emmaus certainly had concepts: "We thought that He was going to be the Savior of Israel. (Luke 24:21)" Certainly they had Bible verses to back up their concepts. But Jesus destroyed their concepts. And in so doing their hearts were open, and burning.
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Old 04-01-2015, 09:04 AM   #154
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You can experience God. You can experience the Spirit of God. You can experience Christ. You can experience peace, and joy. You can experience heavenly visitations. You can experience eating a hamburger. You can experience a lot of things. But in the end, what you experience will be determined by God, and by God alone. And imho the people who claim a lot of experience here in the flesh are those with the least experience. ..... But at the end of the day we soldier on; God will keep score. Believe me, God is paying attention! Don't focus on the score, on the sum of your experiences. Focus on God's Christ. He is the one who passed the test, and received everlasting glory. Forget about your teachings, your impressions of those teachings, or your organizational position, or lack thereof. ..... Don't look at yourself; look at Him.
amen brother Aron! Well said! Any "experiences of Christ" should only draw us nearer to our Creator that His WILL be done in us.
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Old 04-01-2015, 09:50 AM   #155
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It may be true for those with a love affair with the Bible ... that their fair flower withers and dies when they lose a root system mingled with fallen men ... where failure can only be expected.
"fallen men"? Where in the world did you ever come up with that idea, Harold? Oh wait, that's right, YOU GOT THAT CONCEPT FROM THE BIBLE! Now Harold, you haven't been cheating on your Humanism girlfriend again by reading the Bible have you? I wouldn't normally encourage such a thing, but in your case...CHEAT AWAY MY FRIEND!

Quote:
But fair flowers rooted in God don't wither and die ; the God that was clearly before the blessed book ; the book that tells of Abraham, who was rooted to God, and not to any Bible whatsoever. Clearly it's best and wisest for fair flowers to be rooted where fallen men have not been the intermediary.
Of course God was clearly before the Bible, just like you were clearly before you made this post. Kinda makes sense, right? Abraham was rooted to God by the faith he put in the words God spoke to him. Now, as the later day followers of God, we also are to have faith in what he has spoken, which has been recorded for us in the glorious Gospel and the various epistles of the earliest apostles. In the end, the Word of God will be ultimately culminated in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ "and His Name is called the Word of God" (Rev 19:13). What a great and glorious day that will be!

Quote:
Ultimately, God is the only real root system for fair flowers.
Now there is something I can say AMEN to!
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Old 04-01-2015, 10:04 AM   #156
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"fallen men"? Where in the world did you ever come up with that idea, Harold? Oh wait, that's right, YOU GOT THAT CONCEPT FROM THE BIBLE! Now Harold, you haven't been cheating on your Humanism girlfriend again by reading the Bible have you? I wouldn't normally encourage such a thing, but in your case...CHEAT AWAY MY FRIEND!
Too funny! awareness got busted cheating for reading the Bible!
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