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erika
09-08-2006, 07:36 PM
I am looking for answers. Went to Bible Study the other night and came away more frustrated than ever. There's an issue in our community that deals with a Church's bad conduct to its neighbor that has me confused even more.

In a nutshell, this is my question. If Christians are supposed to hate the world (1John), struggle against the flesh and expect to be hated by the world (John), how exactly is joy possible? And if you don't have the joy, does that mean you're not a Christian? Finally, if He really loves us, wouldn't He answer these questions outright instead of giving us vagueries?

Yeah, I'm depressed. Gee, hard to tell isn't it?

davids
09-08-2006, 07:42 PM
Didn't Jesus speak in parabolic? What's to understand-beats me too-I hate the fact that about 35000 children die in our world each day from starvation-especially since it is not necessary-so how do you figure that He gave us free will and still we get to blame him for everything-the still small voice of God speaks the answers to me every second of my life-but hell-who wants to listen to that crap-I might stop having fun and learn to stand up and be counted-what fun would that be?

T-bone
09-08-2006, 08:37 PM
Please read the "Purpose of this Board" sticky.

davids
09-08-2006, 08:39 PM
Oh help-where's the Purpose of this board sticky moderator?

erika
09-08-2006, 09:37 PM
I thought this was a place not only to discuss the Christian literary market, but Christian struggles and issues. If not, my bad. Delete the whole freaking thing and forget I ever posted. If it is, then I can honestly say this is precisely the kind of encouragment Sylvia Plath needed.

Robin Bayne
09-08-2006, 09:54 PM
Erika, I sent you a PM.

Unique
09-09-2006, 12:06 AM
This is quoted material and probably copyrighted (Roger's like that) so fair use only, please.

"...Does this mean that all discussion of beliefs is forbidden and you can ONLY talk about writing? No, not at all. However, if your beliefs are disrespectful of someone else's beliefs, I'm going to ask you to keep that to yourself.

This is a place for Christians and non-Christians alike to come together for mutual understanding. Think of it as an ecumenical service where we celebrate our commonalities rather than dispute our differences. There are also a fair number of atheists, agnostics, pagans, and what have you, wandering about. Let's put on our best company face.

The Bible calls us to build each other up, not tear each other down. As Romans 14:13 says: "Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother's way."

I'd like that to be the motto of this board. Think to yourself: "Is my being right so much more important than my fellow poster's feelings?" "

Calla Lily
09-09-2006, 12:48 AM
erika, I sent you a PM.

SeanDSchaffer
09-09-2006, 08:29 AM
I am looking for answers. Went to Bible Study the other night and came away more frustrated than ever. There's an issue in our community that deals with a Church's bad conduct to its neighbor that has me confused even more.

In a nutshell, this is my question. If Christians are supposed to hate the world (1John), struggle against the flesh and expect to be hated by the world (John), how exactly is joy possible? And if you don't have the joy, does that mean you're not a Christian? Finally, if He really loves us, wouldn't He answer these questions outright instead of giving us vagueries?

Yeah, I'm depressed. Gee, hard to tell isn't it?


There was a saying that used to go around when I was younger. It went: We cannot see God's whole purpose.

It's true, we suffer a lot of problems in life, Erika. But one thing I've noticed in my own life is that our problems are caused more by people than by God. God will not interfere in human affairs very often in the Bible, because He made us with a free will. All of us, whether good or bad, saved or not, godly or ungodly, have a will of our own.

Many people try to blame God for things that other people do to them. They say, "Why does God allow this to happen in my life?" Well, He allows it, but that does not necessarily mean He approves of it.

I want to tell you something from, I believe it is in the Book of the Revelation. According to the vision John the Elder had, God keeps all our tears in a bottle, and keeps that bottle before Him to remind Him of the pains and struggles we all go through. The idea is that when He judges at the last day, He remembers every tear and every sigh and takes away those pains in the last day.

But the thing is, Erika, He has to wait until the last day, because right now, according to Scripture, the Devil is the 'god of this world'. That simply means that everything runs on this Earth not according to God's plans, but according to the plans of the Wicked One.

Even so, God will judge all the evils that have ever been done to you, and to me, and to all who love Him, throughout all time. But for right now it's hard for us, because the god of this world is not the God we serve. Rather, it is the Devil himself. I don't know if this will encourage you or not, but I hope you will just know that there is a grand scheme, as some would put it. God will eventually right all wrongs, but it has to be done in His time, not ours.

mrsrgm
09-09-2006, 04:16 PM
Erika,

Everyone has those questions - Christians, Pagans, Atheists, etc. I don't believe in a 'company face' - how fake is that? I'd rather the boards were used for writing purposes, but if someone asks I'm happy to try and answer. That's how I feel about living my life in general. There are hundreds of Scriptures to argue your feelings on topics like you mentioned, good and bad. Find a couple of the good ones and read them over and over. It won't answer the questions, but it will make you feel better.

Nateskate
09-09-2006, 09:10 PM
I am looking for answers. Went to Bible Study the other night and came away more frustrated than ever. There's an issue in our community that deals with a Church's bad conduct to its neighbor that has me confused even more.

In a nutshell, this is my question. If Christians are supposed to hate the world (1John), struggle against the flesh and expect to be hated by the world (John), how exactly is joy possible? And if you don't have the joy, does that mean you're not a Christian? Finally, if He really loves us, wouldn't He answer these questions outright instead of giving us vagueries?

Yeah, I'm depressed. Gee, hard to tell isn't it?

Hi Erika. Sorry to hear you are depressed. I'm sure people here will pray for you. I will.

First, there are different words for "world" in the Bible. We are not told to hate "mankind". John 3:16 says, "For God so LOVED the world." Nor is the Bible telling us to hate dolphins or trees or objects that God created. Genesis tells us that these things are "good". In Romans 1, Paul goes so far as to tell us God speaks through and reveals himself through creation, which is also consistent with Jesus telling us to "consider the sparrows" and "consider the lillies" So go out and enjoy sunsets and fireflies and whatever else you can find. Enjoy people- see that Jesus went to weddings and events. He loved the people. At times he praised people. He wept over people. And many loved him.

The word used for "world" in some places meant "Adornments"- the other stuff that was not natural to the world or apart of our origional nature. In the beginning our nature was "like God"- before the fall. Now being "like-him" often goes against our nature. "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." A part of our nature fights against the good we would do and makes us want to do that which will hurt us in the long run. (See Romans 7 and Galatians 4)

What are these adornments? Specifically, the attitudes, values and priorities that are contrary to that which God created us for. Love is always a right priority. Anything done in love meets that standard. Love your God. Love yourself (Ephesians 5) Love your neighbor. Love your enemy.

In 1 John the Apostle indicated "The pride of life" is not one of the priorities. Pride is not the same as self-esteem or approval or honor. People confuse these. Pride is elevating ourselves above our estate- thinking more highly of ourselves than we ought to. Paul was not being "proud" when he asserted his authority, because it was his to assert. Pride tells us we are not given positions to serve those others under us- as Jesus did, but to lord ourselves over others; looking down upon them as lesser.

Jesus addressed this, "You were told to hate your enemies (A commonly held worldly outlook)..."I say...love your enemies." And as much as we love those who do NOT love us, we are being Christ-like. As much as we hate our enemies, we are being worldly. So Christians can be very off-base and not doing what we were told to do.

We are not to buy into some strongly held values of society. (Adornments)

Bad conduct is a terrible thing. Unfortunately, I'll tell a secret. In 1 Corinthians, and throughout the book, you see that the "Cream of the crop" of humanity are not necessarily the ones that become Christians. So many people are rather messed up people. And as seen in other parts of Corinthians, they were engaged in very bad behavior. In Romans 2 it says God's name is slandered because of this kind of behavior. Christians can lie, steal...etc. That doesn't mean they will get away with it. In fact 1 Corinthians 11 and Hebrews 12 tells us that God will discipline us rather sternly- not to destroy us, but to bring us to maturity and growth. We must participate and not rebel againts the process God is working in us. But people, even Christians, still have the free will to mess up their lives and the lives of others.

People in general assume Christians should lead a better life- love neighbors, be generous, thou shalt not judge, love one another even as I have loved you, serve...etc. And in fact we should. And we see the terrible fallout whenever Christians didn't and don't. Not only does Christianity get a black eye, but people get angry at God.

God wants you to enjoy life. "I have come to give you... life more abundantly" "That your joy may be full..." "keep you in perfect peace..."

God does want us to have peace, joy, and an abundant life- let me also stress this is not contingent upon everything going our way. Life didn't go Jesus way, insofar as pleasing his flesh. He was despised, rejected, and at times driven out of towns. The disciples faced no less. In Ecclessiastes (Spelling?) Solomon indicated God's gift to us was to allow us to enjoy our labors under the sun. This means it is good for you to enjoy writing. However, everything we do UNDER THE SUN- meaning- that only has an earthly temporal value- is in some ways frustrating and doesn't lead to permanent satisfaction. Yet, that which is from above is not earthly or transient, and there are treasures that never tarnish.

Still, your question leads to answers if you keep seeking. What should we expect out of life?

Nate.