Concrete Vs Abstract

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Joined in 2006
November 27, 2007, 15:45

I can’t help but get the impression that people reject alot of the (debatably communal) rules in the bible because it suits them not because they know that God wants them to follow a different set. It becomes a bit of a guessing game and our selfish side always wins.

In my experience, when God speaks to my heart it is the FURTHEST thing from a guessing game I could ever get and that also has NEVER appealed to my selfish side.

For me the Bible and my personal/spiritual relationship with my creator go hand in hand – one doesn’t work without the other.

Anthony Venn-Brown
Joined in 2005
November 27, 2007, 16:15

I don’t think any of us have a complete understanding of God himself to even be able to begin to understand what he meant when he wrote the bible. If we don’t know God then how can we know what he means? The desire to WANT to know God, to WANT to hear his truth and to WANT to serve him faithfully probably means a whole lot more to him than whether we get it right or not.

I chuckle now when I think back about the years I was so sure i ‘knew’ god……..who did i think i was… arrogant….i think Job talks about that. Today I think i know nothing really……just got a few ideas and opinions about some things.

if you haven’t heard Jim Bakkers sermon on finding grace……

he reads a wonderful piece from a book (not sure of the author though) that i think you’ll enjoy……..yeah the podcasts downloads eh mazdragon.

Joined in 2006
November 27, 2007, 17:44

I agree with Anthony, its just not possible to fully know God, far out just when I thought I knew him, the less I realised I did know him, I barely knew him, sure Jesus represented the Father on earth but 3 years wont show it all and what he did show was love and acceptance and a scolding of the religious and those who do things literally, empty, robotically, puffed up by works, without r/ship, either way, how can you fully know someone as huge as that plus consisting of three persons in one, mind blowing shock I too just have opinions and my own thoughts and its never going to agree with everybody, just not possible. But Im with Bec, I dont try and bend scripture or dismiss it out of selfishness, I committ everything I do to him, my r/ship included. Yeh, I also believe that Sandy that God looks at the motives of the heart, Im not a lesbian to dishonor him and have a g/f too, I truly dont believe what I am doing is wrong, its people that confuse me at times, my shame base is still healing obviously, I remember my christian counsellor pointing it out to me one day “maggie are you with your g/f to be rebellious against God or worship another God?” and of course the answer was no. It was such a relief to see that.

Anthony Venn-Brown
Joined in 2005
November 27, 2007, 19:43

I find lots of things guide me how I should live. my heart, some of the bible, books I read…….people teach me a lot to.

Joined in 2007
November 27, 2007, 19:50

Sorry if I came across harsh Bec, I didn’t mean that it was a guessing game for the individual involved only that it looks that way from the outside. I will openly admitt to being dubious about anyones personal experiences of God because they can not be authenticated. Like Maggie said there are some bozo’s out there with some wacky ideas and its difficult to seperate the wackos from the genuine.

*shurgs* I think we are all selfish in our Christian lives at times, if given a choice our selfish side will win. Maybe this is more my stuff than anyone elses. I struggle constantly with not letting my own self interest get in the way of God’s plan. 🙄

LOL it goes to show you how much I have grown doesn’t it Anthony?

Today I think i know nothing really……just got a few ideas and opinions about some things.

That doesnt bother me anymore. Do you remember when I first emailed you and you replied with something similar? I think I basically said “WHAT? Why did you write a book then?? Books are suposed to have answers!!! Your crazy!” 😆

Joined in 2006
November 27, 2007, 20:16

Far out the life experiences and words of wisdom from people are priceless, written or otherwise, as Yancey wrote in his book soul survivor, he was helped in his faith by some very interesting non religious people. Great Book recommend it.

Joined in 2007
November 27, 2007, 22:03

wow! I didn’t expect for this post to become a hot topic! I posted my thoughts, just as they occurred to me and thought one or two people might have a comment on them, so I am stoked that it has sparked some discussion.

Sandy, I don’t think that my walk with God is a guessing game, and I try very hard not to let my own feelings and desires get in the way of his guidance. I think I have mentioned that I spent 23 years struggling to live the way I was certain God wanted me to live, without any of it working out, ever. To the point where my own children were urging me to leave my marriage because it was making them, my husband and me miserable and I was sick to the point of wanting to die.

Since leaving that marriage, I have seen so many positives come out of it that I cannot and will not ever think that it was the wrong thing to do.

After I left him, I resolved that I would live a celibate existence for the rest of my life. I even bought a ring, had it engraved with a Scripture that has meaning to me and held my own little commitment ceremony.

Obviously that wasn’t his plan either, because I think I lasted about three months before I was miserable again and it wasn’t from a lack of sincerely wanting it… 😥

Celibacy is a calling, it is not a whim. Marriage is a calling too, I think. While I was married, I treated it as one for 23 years. I won’t say I was never unfaithful…although I never was physically unfaithful, it would be a lie to say I wasn’t emotionally unfaithful or that I didn’t err in my thoughts.

I can’t tell anyone else what’s right for them, and I don’t like to get into debates about what I believe is right for me.

I know you have already apologized lest what you’d said earlier came across too harshly, but I felt the need to respond.

I feel convinced that where I am now is right, and I have committed my heart my life and my relationship to God. He knows my heart and that it is to honor and please him…

That will have to be enough.


Joined in 2007
November 28, 2007, 09:45

I keep telling myself one day I will learn when to shut up, when enough is enough so I think in that spirit I will back out now. We seem to have some very different ideas about things. Thats ok 😉 I hope peoples responces to your initial post have been helpful.

Joined in 2007
November 28, 2007, 11:55

I keep telling myself one day I will learn when to shut up, when enough is enough so I think in that spirit I will back out now. We seem to have some very different ideas about things. Thats ok 😉 I hope peoples responces to your initial post have been helpful.

It’s okay, and I am sorry if my response was emotive. I have had a lot of people treat my decision to divorce my husband, and the subsequent relationship with Sandra, as something I did on a sudden, selfish whim, and I guess that’s still a sore spot for me.

I arrived at every decision I’ve made, only after long hours of soul searching and prayer and I feel that every step I’ve made has been guided by God. *sighs* Maybe I should write a book, too. 😉 The thing that stops me is my ex-husbands Italian connections, if you know what I mean. 😆

Not sure how he would react to a tell-all from me.

To go back to two opposing truths being impossible, I’ll frame it in more abstract terms, because God is an abstract being imo so lets look at it like this.

Today the weather is fine where I am, but somewhere else it may be raining. I can say: “It’s hot and sunny here.” and my friend in the rainy zone can say: “It’s a wet, cloudy day here.” We’re both right. They’re both truth.

It’s like the six blind men and the elephant Poem.

John Godfrey Saxe’s ( 1816-1887) version of the famous Indian legend,

It was six men of Indostan,

To learning much inclined,

Who went to see the Elephant

(Though all of them were blind),

That each by observation

Might satisfy his mind.

The First approach’d the Elephant,

And happening to fall

Against his broad and sturdy side,

At once began to bawl:

“God bless me! but the Elephant

Is very like a wall!”

The Second, feeling of the tusk,

Cried, -“Ho! what have we here

So very round and smooth and sharp?

To me ’tis mighty clear,

This wonder of an Elephant

Is very like a spear!”

The Third approach’d the animal,

And happening to take

The squirming trunk within his hands,

Thus boldly up and spake:

“I see,” -quoth he- “the Elephant

Is very like a snake!”

The Fourth reached out an eager hand,

And felt about the knee:

“What most this wondrous beast is like

Is mighty plain,” -quoth he,-

“‘Tis clear enough the Elephant

Is very like a tree!”

The Fifth, who chanced to touch the ear,

Said- “E’en the blindest man

Can tell what this resembles most;

Deny the fact who can,

This marvel of an Elephant

Is very like a fan!”

The Sixth no sooner had begun

About the beast to grope,

Then, seizing on the swinging tail

That fell within his scope,

“I see,” -quoth he,- “the Elephant

Is very like a rope!”

And so these men of Indostan

Disputed loud and long,

Each in his own opinion

Exceeding stiff and strong,

Though each was partly in the right,

And all were in the wrong!


So, oft in theologic wars

The disputants, I ween,

Rail on in utter ignorance

Of what each other mean;

And prate about an Elephant

Not one of them has seen!

We are in the same, unfortunate state as these six men of Indostan. The Bible is very much open to interpretation, and like it or not, when we interpret something, we do so through the filters of our own lives, experiences and levels of knowledge. We are all reading the same book, with different eyes, and thus we often come up with a different part of the elephant, and we think our part of it is the whole.

I guess we need to go back to Anthony’s method at that point, and ask ourselves, “what would love do now?” Because far above everything else the Bible teaches, it teaches us to deal with one another from the standpoint of love.


Joined in 2007
November 28, 2007, 12:37

LOL I like that poem, totally cute. 😆

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