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TomL
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PostSubject: Confession   Fri Feb 07, 2014 2:24 pm

CONFESSION

I have a confession to make.  I don't trust God.  It doesn't matter what you might want to call him.  Whether Jehovah or YHWH.  I just don't trust him.

I am not an atheist, because I believe that God does exist.  I believe God created the heavens and earth just as Genesis 1 describes.  I believe that Jesus the Christ is the Son of the living God, and that He came to earth, and died for the sins of the world.  I believe everything in the Bible.  I believe that God is able to do super abundantly more than what we ask or imagine.  But when I look at my life, and indeed, the condition the world is in, I have to wonder where God is.  If God is in complete control as Calvinists and others claim, why is there so much evil and wickedness in the world?  The logical destination to that train of thought is that God created and causes evil and wickedness.  But, I don't see that taught in the Bible.  The other extreme is that God created the heavens and earth, set everything in motion and left it go.  Again, I don't believe the Bible teaches that either.  So, obviously, the truth is somewhere in the middle, maybe even exact middle, wherever that is.  

Whatever the case maybe, God doesn't seem to be to interested in people of this world.   If He was, is it altogether senseless to believe that the world would be in better shape than it is?  And, if you don't understand what I just said, you have your head in the sand, proverbially speaking.  The world in which we live is a mess.  Of course, that's not new.  Historically, humanity has been a mess since the beginning, whenever that is.  How we have been kept from completely destroying ourselves is a curiosity that has been the basis of many religions.  Every religion, with the exception of atheism, recognizes a God figure.  Some are multi-theistic with several God figures.  And I believe it is this that has kept humanity from extinguishing itself.  But, the condition the world is in makes me wonder if any religion is true.  Every religion seems to have beliefs that good will always triumph over evil.  And, perhaps in some cases, that's true.  But, in most cases, I don't see that.  Usually, I have observed that evil is stronger and wins over good.  So, it is obvious to me that, including Christianity, religion is failing.  Since Christianity is what know, that will be my focus from this point.

Christianity has it's foundation in Christ.  Like so many other religions, Christianity teaches love.  But, I don't see a whole lot of love in this world.  In fact, there is a song that says, "What the world needs now is love."  Obviously, the writer of that song saw the same thing then that I see now.  The way most human beings treat others is certainly not based on love.  In fact, it seems obvious that humanity doesn't even know what love is.  And, if the Christian definition of love in First Corinthians 13 is accurate, one has to wonder where love is.  And since Jesus said that God is love, that leads to wondering where God is.

Christianity teaches that we should not only seek our own advantage, but that of others.  But, do Christians really practice that?  If God is even in control of Christians, one would think that Christians would practice it.  But do they?  If all that call themselves  "Christian," really were would they not seek the interest of others, not merely their own?  But do they?  And, is this the cause of my current struggles about God?  

Again, unless you have your head in the proverbial sand, you don't see what Christianity is really like.  And that is a subject for protracted discussion.  In fact, there is an occasional book on the subject.  I found one a few decades ago called, "Church In Frenzy: The Crisis Of Christianity Today," written by Father Canon William V. Rauscher, an Episcopalian.   I recommend this book.  As I often do in my writings, this book focuses on American Christianity.  Keep that in mind as you continue to read.  

The forward of the book includes the following...
Quote :
We ask the question, "Is the present state of religion a result of the Holy Spirit or human manipulation?"

We have known the world to be in frenzy ever since man has recorded  history, but for the Church of God to be in frenzy deliberately perpetrated by men and women within the household of faith is an awesome and dangerous course.  To quote the Psalmist, "He that troubles his own house will inherit the wind."

We know that the church has been a barometer of society.  It reflects and originates trends, it deals with excesses both in the dilemma of it's dignity as well as in its accessibility.  Yes, the church has always been in frenzy; however, the flamboyant opportunism of the present is new and not historical.  The traditional fermentation of the Spirit is one thing, but the competing in the marketplace with faddist tricks designed to attract attention and to bring into the evangel of the church the current promotional techniques of the bizarre is in no way reflective of the mysterium tremendum we know to be Divine Providence.

The question I have now is, is this the basis for my mistrust?  If so, maybe my mistrust is not in God after all, but in those called to be His ambassadors in this world.  Perhaps it's from the fact that the church replaced Divine Providence with faddist tricks of modern marketing schemes as suggested in the book.  If that is the case, shouldn't the church jettison those tricks and allow Divine Providence prominence in the church?  

Sometime ago I have come to the idea that the reason for the mess the world is in is that man has a free will, and we would certainly obliterate ourselves if it were not for the restraints of Divine Providence.  There, it must be concluded that my mistrust is not in God, but in the church.  If the church would do as taught in Scripture, the world not be as messy as it is.

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PostSubject: Re: Confession   Fri Feb 07, 2014 6:59 pm

Gee Tom, I am confused. You sound very upset.
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PostSubject: Re: Confession   Fri Feb 07, 2014 10:31 pm

What makes me sound upset?

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PostSubject: Re: Confession   Sat Feb 08, 2014 4:57 pm

Because you said you don't trust God. Do you mean you really don't trust Him?
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PostSubject: Re: Confession   Sat Feb 08, 2014 11:50 pm

WhiteDove, I do struggle. But, I believe my more major problem is with the church.

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PostSubject: Re: Confession   Sun Feb 09, 2014 8:54 am

Tom, I read something in one of my lessons this week and thought about you. The lesson was about the man who had a son possessed with demons that the disciples were not able to heal. It comes from Matthew 17:14-21 The lesson stated that the father of the boy did not say "Christians have failed me; therefore, I don't want religion." He turned instead from the failure of the disciples to Jesus Himself. Jesus never changes, and never fails. (Heb. 13:8 NIV) He is the same yesterday, today and forever. He cares about you. "Whoever comes to me I will never drive away." (John 6:37 NIV)
I am not in your shoes, and have no way of understanding the difficulties you face. However, I do know the Jesus is always available, and always ready to help us in our time of need. Please remember this and never lose hope, even when the ship you are in seems to be sinking. Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. (2 Cor. 4:16 NIV)
Look not at the storm that surrounds you, but keep your eyes upon Jesus.

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PostSubject: Re: Confession   Sun Feb 09, 2014 4:32 pm

NanHancock wrote:
Tom, I read something in one of my lessons this week and thought about you. The lesson was about the man who had a son possessed with demons that the disciples were not able to heal. It comes from Matthew 17:14-21 The lesson stated that the father of the boy did not say "Christians have failed me; therefore, I don't want religion." He turned instead from the failure of the disciples to Jesus Himself. Jesus never changes, and never fails. (Heb. 13:8 NIV) He is the same yesterday, today and forever. He cares about you. "Whoever comes to me I will never drive away." (John 6:37 NIV)
I am not in your shoes, and have no way of understanding the difficulties you face. However, I do know the Jesus is always available, and always ready to help us in our time of need. Please remember this and never lose hope, even when the ship you are in seems to be sinking. Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. (2 Cor. 4:16 NIV)
Look not at the storm that surrounds you, but keep your eyes upon Jesus.


Nan, I hate computers. I had a long answer to this post, and I lost it. I'm sorry. I wish I could remember it word for word, but I can't. Perhaps I wasn't supposed to write it.

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PostSubject: Re: Confession   Sun Feb 09, 2014 7:41 pm

It's ok Tom. I have done the same thing many times. It is frustrating. Hope you are doing well.
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PostSubject: Re: Confession   Sun Feb 09, 2014 8:41 pm

NanHancock wrote:
It's ok Tom. I have done the same thing many times. It is frustrating. Hope you are doing well.

I got enough sleep, from 5 in the morning to 3 in the afternoon. That helps.

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PostSubject: Re: Confession   Mon Feb 10, 2014 12:21 pm

Tom, my major problem is organized religion also. To the point where I don't know where the truth lies. I don't dwell on it constantly, usually in sprints because I get depressed if I think about it all the time.

Nan, you are very knowledgeable. What does it mean when you read something in one of your lessons? Do you take lessons on the internet? My ship seems to be sinking a lot in the last 5years. I just have to trust Jesus, His will for me will be just fine.
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PostSubject: Re: Confession   Mon Feb 10, 2014 12:39 pm

WhiteDove wrote:
Tom, my major problem is organized religion also.  To the point where I don't know where the truth lies.  I don't dwell on it constantly, usually in sprints because I get depressed if I think about it all the time.

Nan, you are very knowledgeable.  What does it mean when you read something in one of your lessons?  Do you take lessons on the internet?  My ship seems to be sinking a lot in the last 5years.  I just have to trust Jesus, His will for me will be just fine.

The truth is, and is in, Christ. The New Testament is where to go for written truth.

I yearn fellowship, and I also am saddened that it doesn't exist in a church setting around here,

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PostSubject: Re: Confession   Tue Feb 11, 2014 9:15 am

WhiteDove, I am currently attending Bible Study Fellowship with a group of lady's in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. The majority of the lady's there are premillenialist, which means that they are still looking for a future bodily return of Christ. I no longer believe that Christ is going to return bodily, and I no longer believe that we (Christians) will be raised bodily one day. However, I do not stop going to the studies because it helps to keep me disciplined in studying the Bible. I have been studying God's Word for about 30 years now. Not that it has helped me intellectually, because I am still at a layman's level of intellect, but I still love God's Word, and I love to discuss Jesus with others.
If I am understanding you correctly, you are not familiar with the Preterist view of Christ's second coming. I only came to this view within the last several months or so myself. Here is a brief outline of how I understand Christ's return:
When Jesus was here in the flesh with his disciples, He told them that he would return before that generation passed away. "Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened." Mark 13:30 (NIV) He was telling them that all the things he had just spoken of in Mark 13 would happen before that generation passed away. This was around 33 AD. The disciples were expecting Christ to return in their generation.
After Christ's death and resurrection, the disciples were given power by the Holy Spirit to preach the gospel to all nations. Paul tells the Colossians that to the world has been made known the gospel. Colossians 1:6 "which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing—as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth,(EST), and in Colossians 1:23 "if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.(NIV).
The Christians were persecuted by the Jews and by the Romans.
Jesus had warned his disciples that when they saw Jerusalem surrounded by the enemy they were to flee to the mountains of Judea. They did! When Jerusalem was surrounded by the Roman army, a break came that gave them the opportunity to flee, they did. This was around 69, 70 AD.
Josephus, who was a historian at the time, tells of the horrible things that happened during that time. It was the time of vengeance when God's wrath was poured out upon that wicked generation. Jerusalem was destroyed. I will send you a link to Josephus' writings if you are interested. I have to go for now, but will continue later if you'd like.
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PostSubject: Re: Confession   Tue Feb 11, 2014 9:16 pm

TomL wrote:
WhiteDove wrote:
Tom, my major problem is organized religion also.  To the point where I don't know where the truth lies.  I don't dwell on it constantly, usually in sprints because I get depressed if I think about it all the time.

Nan, you are very knowledgeable.  What does it mean when you read something in one of your lessons?  Do you take lessons on the internet?  My ship seems to be sinking a lot in the last 5years.  I just have to trust Jesus, His will for me will be just fine.

The truth is, and is in, Christ.  The New Testament is where to go for written truth.

I yearn fellowship, and I also am saddened that it doesn't exist in a church setting around here,

It is exactly the same here in most churches Tom. If you are new and walk in their door, you are ignored until you force your way into one of their cliques. It is so hard to get accepted. So many are so judgmental.
I have two nice Christian friends, one goes to church in another town from me and the other one is getting fed up with her church and her husband is a missionary in Africa. When he gets back home, they are thinking of branching out in a new direction and starting a study to teach the bible. They are so nice.

The rest of my friends are non believers so I really don't enjoy their company much.
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PostSubject: Re: Confession   Tue Feb 11, 2014 9:23 pm

Nan, yes, please send me a link to Josephus' writings, but please don't expect me to understand for a long time as this is all foreign to me.  I have been taught also to expect Jesus to come soon.  I am very open minded Nan as I want to learn the truth, so don't be afraid to tell me anything and you also Tom.  

It is all so confusing to me, but I am trying very hard and someday I will understand I am sure.  Because I BELIEVE God directed me to this forum.  It all happened so mysteriously after I decided to give my ALL to learning more about the scriptures and the teachings of Jesus.  So I am just sailing along at my pace and enjoying it here while learning.

Thank you both ....... Ev
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PostSubject: Re: Confession   Wed Feb 12, 2014 9:07 pm

http://www.biblestudytools.com/history/flavius-josephus/
I have put one link above WhiteDove. Pay special attention to "The War of the Jews". This part of his writings tell about what happened during the siege of Jerusalem during the 1st century. It will take time to read and to understand. I know I had to read it slowly and some of it over a few times to understand. If you study his writing with some of the Preterist views, you will begin to see how all that Christ said would happen in Matthew 23 and 24 happened during this time.
Here is another link to one of J. S Russells' book entitled "The Parousia." http://www.preteristarchive.com/Books/1878_russell_parousia.html
This book was very helpful to me and I hope that you will gather as much from it as I have.
Here is another good site to visit.
http://fulfilled-eschatology.blogspot.com/
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PostSubject: Re: Confession   Wed Feb 12, 2014 9:16 pm

WhiteDove, Here is another link to Josephus' War of the Jews;
http://sacred-texts.com/jud/josephus/war-6.htm
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PostSubject: Re: Confession   Sat Feb 15, 2014 5:16 am

Thanks Nan  Very Happy 
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