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WHAT I BELIEVE
16Be not wise in your own conceits. (Rom 12:)
I suspect it's near impossible to read what I've written without asking oneself “What is this guy saying, and what does he believe anyway?” This doesn't surprise me since I often ask that of myself as well, especially after I read a story I've written. “How can anyone know what I'm trying to get across when I can't even follow my own reasoning?”
In many of my stories, especially those I don't expect anyone to accept or believe, I insert a statement somewhere indicating that I fully expect someone, if not everyone, to discount what I've said. And I state that later, if not already, I may have changed my mind as well.
This website, along with my writings and studies are essentially nothing more than a scratchpad that I use for exploring the Bible while trying to see what it has to tell me (us). Like with any other such study there will be a lot of information that will be placed on the pad that later will be found to be erroneous, and erased. Sometimes that error won't be discovered for many years, and until then fully accepted as a valid part of the equation. Writers, even novelists experience this, as do inventors and scientists. Those of us who venture out of the well-cultivated fields of doctrine find themselves lost in a no-man's land where there are few guideposts with which to orient themselves, all the while finding an overabundance of people claiming that the one searching for truth is a heathen and a villain condemned to hell forever because he or she doesn't completely agree with their (the accuser's) church's established doctrine to the 'nth degree.
Since I oppose all church(s) doctrine and consider them off base to one degree or another, usually to a large degree on the most important issues, every church, and every church member will find fault in what I have to say. Where I find a difference is: whereas I don't condemn the people holding what I consider a false doctrine, they find it important to condemn me, or at least call me crazy or a “nut case.” That's OK, and so I might very well be. But consider: If I'm a heathen and a fruitcake, then why are those who feel this way reading what I have to say in the first place? Why aren't they spending their valuable time reading more profitable material like the Bible, or even paying for a website (or acquiring a free blog) and posting their own writings for the world to see in order that they (the deceived world) might “get their doctrine straight”?
When a person becomes disenchanted with the churches and their doctrine, they feel a need to look somewhere to find other like-minded people, and to find a leader who will tell them the “truth.” This is perfectly normal. We all do this, except those people who seek to become leaders, even when they have no ability to lead, nor any truth to offer (which includes far too many in every field I'm afraid). Those 900 who followed Jim Jones to their doom are good examples of those who blindly seek a leader without watching for danger signs.
The churches tell all those who are baptized that they have, along with the baptismal experience, received the Holy Spirit who's job it is to lead them into “truth” (John 16:13). At the same time the churches warn those so instructed that they are not to listen to any voice except those who confirm what is taught from the pulpit of the church they have become a member of. Because of this confusing situation, those who are converted feel that much more lost when they sense the need to come out of the denominations, because they know they don't hear the voice of the Lord, so they seek someone who says they do hear the Lord's voice (Mat 24:11, 24).
In our attempt to find someone with the truth we do as did the 250 followers of Korah in the Bible (Numbers chapter 16), we listen to the voice of someone who teaches what sounds right to our carnal ears. Once we've found such a person, someone who tells us what registers as truth to us, we turn our trust over to them, clinging to their words in the same way we did the pastor's words in the church we came out of. Then, when that person says something that doesn't agree with our understanding of the Bible, or says something that proves to be wrong (such as a prediction that doesn't come to pass), then we feel as if we've been betrayed, and discount everything that person has to say. We come to the disheartening conclusion that our “prophet leader” has no more contact with God than we do, and we cast him aside.
Far too many well-known and respected theologians and leaders of the churches have placed themselves in a position where they demand that people believe every word they say, whether it fits the words of the Bible or not. I find this even with the (me included) “nobodies” of the web as well, everyone feeling it their job to be the critic and the judge of those who are at least trying to do what the Lord commands of us.
I am not a leader in any sense of the word. I don't claim to have the truth, or even a part of the truth. I'm just one of those in the wilderness who is seeking the truth, looking to the Lord for guidance, and not to someone who decides they should be followed. God led His people into the Promised Land, but in so doing, He had them spend 40 years just wandering hither and yon, not knowing where they were nor showing them any sign that they were anywhere near their destination. I often feel like one of those wandering in the desert, hoping that God will give me a clue as to what He has in mind for me. Whereas I see many big-named preachers and theologians who are in the wilderness with me playing the part of Korah, taking the lead they are not entitled to, I freely state that I'm a searcher, not one to be followed nor even listened to. I post all that I see, even those things that don't make sense to me in order that you might use it as information in your search for the truth.
Truth can only come from the Lord. Even if what I (or anyone else) say is right-on correct, and you can memorize every word of it, it will do you no good other than to make you feel wise in your own eyes if you haven't also been given the understanding of what those words mean by the Holy Spirit.
So again, if you're looking for a leader, you won't find it in me. If you're looking for truth, you won't find it here (remember the shofar notice as you enter this section). If you're looking for new outlooks on the Bible, possibly the Scripture references I've presented will serve as pointers to what the Lord wants us to know.
What do I believe.
First of all I believe that the Bible is the complete and true Word of God. Unlike so many others who have used these same words, I don't believe in ignoring or twisting the words that don't conform to my way of thinking. If I find passages that counter or in some other way doesn't fit what I expect them to mean, I assume that there is still more search ahead in order to understand what God is telling us.
I believe what Paul said, the Old Testament is just as much for us today as it was for the Jews before Jesus. (2Tim 3:16; 1Cor 10:11-12). Both Jesus and the Apostles used the Old Testament for teaching the Word to the churches and the people, and I believe we should as well.
I believe the law is still for us (the Ten Commandments) (Luke 18:18-20). We changed the fourth commandment to be read as Sunday rather than Saturday, but on that day, even when I was young, everything closed, including the bars. Over time the secular world succumbed to the call to ignore the things of God, and there was no longer a call to observe the law. Sunday came to be disregarded by the world, and as in other ways, the church soon followed suit. Now we hear little about the law, and we're often told that obeying the law can cause a person to be sent to hell, even if they are a baptized Christian given assurance of eternal salvation that can not be withdrawn from them (as some are taught).
The law is no longer written on stone, but on the fleshy part of a true believer's heart.
Satan and his beginnings. This is a big issue in many people's way of thinking. To me it's no issue at all. Of all the doctrines, that of Satan once being a special angel, close to God, fits the bottom rung of importance on the ladder of doctrine. I have had people cling to my words as if I knew what I was talking about, and wanted to hear all I have to say: Then they hear that I don't believe in the Satan origin (being separate from believing in the existence of Satan, which I do), and they turn on me as if I said there was no God. Now I tell those who show interest in what I have to say that I don't believe the Satan theory, and let them depart from the get-go, rather than after a relationship has been formed.
The biggies of the Fundamental churches, the yardstick most churches use to measure if a denomination is a legitimate organization (or if the members are worthy of consideration) – the Articles of Faith. Just about all (I'm allowing for exceptions, though I know of none) churches worthy of the name (in their opinion) believe in the virgin birth, the Trinity, the divinity of Jesus, and others according to the denomination. A person has to be in agreement, to the letter, with each of these doctrines or be cast out as a demon from hell, unfit to associate with those of the “approved” churches.
Do I believe in these fundamental beliefs? My question to those who may ask is: Show me in the Bible where any of these things are clearly indicated that they have anything to do with salvation. The virgin birth was just a passing comment in the Bible, not a factor pressed to the forefront. Jesus made every effort to avoid saying that He was divine. This was not part of His ministry, nor should it be part of ours.
The Trinity, like the Satan theory, has to be dug up from under fallen leaves, it is not something that Jesus or any of the Apostles said has to be believed. Is it OK to believe in these things? Why not? I see no commandment for or against such a belief. At the same time, I see where we are not supposed to judge others according to what they believe, if they believe it as unto the Lord (Romans chapter 14, especially verse 23).
As to how I believe concerning the divinity of Jesus: I don't believe He was “God” while here with us, but I believe He is now. I'm not going to try to prove my point since, as I said earlier, I don't believe it matters what a person believes in this regard, and I want to allow myself room to change my mind in the future since I can see some evidence that causes my stance to be on a weak foundation concerning this matter.
What are my fundamental beliefs? By this I mean, is there anything that I consider to be of utmost importance in order to be the Christian God wants us to be? Yes, absolutely! The points I consider important however have long ago become of no consequence at all in most of the modern churches. I believe what Jesus said about being a Christian, about being “Born Again.” I believe what the Epistles say about what causes a person to be right in God's eyes, and what causes them to be lost. I don't have to say what these things are here in this brief article since this subject is what most of my thousands of pages have been about from the beginning. Besides this, all you have to do to know what Jesus and the Apostles said is to read the Bible, without the blinders the churches hand out at the door.
In conclusion, what am I saying here? What do I want you to take from what I've said? I'm saying you should forget everything I have to say. Give my words no value at all. Search for yourself what God has to tell us. If you have the Holy Spirit as you've been told by your church, then He will lead you to the truth, if truth is in fact what you desire. If you don't have the Holy Spirit, then truth will be of no value to you because you will be unable to fulfill (or even understand) what that truth is telling you.
First things first, and last things last – Topsy-turvey what we now find in the church world.
16Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. (Rom 12:)
25Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 26For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: 27But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; (1Cor 1:)
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