My views are typically against the norm on this site, so I wanted to explain where I am in my faith journey. I have struggled with my faith for a long time. When I first discovered LIBAW, I took it as a sign and joined immediately. When I arrived I was welcomed warmly, and have always been treated with respect even when my views differ from the group. So when I joined the site, I dove in and learned more about fundamentalist Christianity. I felt maybe I was missing something and I needed to be a fundamentalist in order to find peace with myself and God. But the more I read and learned about living in black and white, the less sense it made to me. The God portrayed in the bible contradicts himself. He is an ultimate being capable of anything, yet he is jealous. He created the world, but wants us to ignore vast parts of it. He created people of different races, creeds, orientations, and beliefs, and then forces those who do not agree with him to suffer eternity in hell. The sin in the world gets blamed on Adam and eve, yet that makes no sense. If God is omniscient and omnipotent, then he already knew Eve would eat the apple before it happened, and yet he still put the apple in the garden of eden.
If God is beyond all, then he should be above the petty emotions of jealousy and anger. Yet we are told we will face his wrath if we do not follow his word specifically. These qualities are contradictions.
In short. I have come to a place in my faith where I know that I am, and will likely not ever be a fundamentalist. If the God portrayed in the Bible is 100% accurate, then he is a God I could not, with good conscience, worship.
To me, God is love. Pure and simple. Do I think people go to hell? Probably. But not near as many as you would think. I believe he loves us all, regardless of our beliefs, and judges us on our character and actions. Not our ability to follow guidelines written thousands of years ago. I do not believe the Bible is the unaltered and 100% accurate word of God. Im not an athiest. I do believe in God. I believe in the teachings of Jesus. But I cannot live in black and white in a multi-colored world.
So I ask you all this. Should I leave the LIBAW site?
You know that's a "duh" question for me. You should not leave. You make us "fundamentalists" dig deeper & search harder because a lot of your beliefs are questions that we've all had at one time or another though some may not admit it. I've never put a tag on my faith like Calvinist, Fundamentalist, etc. I've never followed man so I've never placed their tag next to my name other then "Christ"ian. I know someone else is going to reply to the rest of your discussion as far as your beliefs go so I'm just going to respond to your question. NOOOOOOOOO. If you left, who would pray for you after all?
*/ So I ask you all this. Should I leave the LIBAW site? /*
Are you asking for a show of hands? Seriously, I don’t think anyone here is asking you to leave or wants you to leave. In fact, I think most of us would see your departure as a loss, leaving behind a void. Sure you could pick up your marbles and go home, so to speak. What would that accomplish?
I see a lot of genuine love, affection and warmth for you coming from the LIBAW community. I, for one, am grateful for your presence (sometimes disturbing but always appreciated!) here. It doesn’t matter that your views may not line up with my own or those of the majority of people here. You’ve always presented your views and asked questions with sincerity, gentleness and respect. You’re bathed in the light and love of Christ.
You’re often applauded by members of LIBAW for having the courage to be honest about your doubts about the authority and trustworthiness of Scripture and for raising thought-provoking questions that cause many of us to step outside of our comfort zones.
In the same spirit, though, I want to challenge you to re-think some of your assumptions about God and to re-read the Bible, and to be open to the possibility of seeing things differently. Your criticism of narrow-minded thinking is valid, but I urge you to exercise care and caution. You said, “If the God portrayed in the Bible is 100% accurate, then he is a God I could not, with good conscience, worship.” With all due respect, in reaching that conclusion, I wonder: How well do you really know the God of the Bible?
I'm not questioning your sincerity here. You see, I struggle with many questions about my faith, too. I am often challenged by what the Scriptures say. I believe as you do that our God is love. The Apostle John tell us “God is love” (1 John 4.16), the Apostle Paul instructs us to clothe ourselves in love because love is that which binds everything together in full and perfect harmony (Colossians 3.14), and Jesus commands us to love one another.
But, when you take exception to the inspiration and authority of the Bible, I have to ask: Is your disagreement really with the words of the Bible itself or with a distorted, faulty and incomplete understanding of what the Bible really says? When we substitute Biblical authority with our own subjective personal feelings about God, define him on our own terms and place limitations on him, if I may be so bold to say, we become guilty of the very fundamentalism that you rail against.
God gave us the Scriptures so that we could come to know his will and purpose for our lives, his plan of salvation, and to share with us the story of his son Jesus Christ--his life, death, and resurrection. The Bible is an incomparable source for knowing God. There is much to be learned through its study. The more we study and reflect on the Scriptures, the more we recognize that its treasures can never be exhausted. Often, we read things into the Bible that aren't there. There's a tendency look to the Bible to confirm our presuppositions and mine it for proof texts rather than to be challenged and confronted by what it really says.
Our understanding of Jesus Christ, the Scriptures and our faith is, truth be told, filtered by our individual experiences, biases, perceptions, prejudices, upbringing, socio-cultural and economic circumstances, biblical literacy, and denominational distinctives. Further, each of us (you and me) is at a different point along the Christian journey.
One reason why I want you to stay here is to serve as a much needed check and balance on groupthink. The LIBAW community benefits greatly from your presence and active participation in discussions precisely because you have a different take on things and you challenge others to think critically and to defend their assumptions rather than taking them for granted. There's a tendency to conform and stifle other opinions in any kind of club, organization or social networking community. Individuals who are not as confident in their points of view or their communication skills begin to withdraw from the discussion and feel unwelcome. A few individuals with strong opinions begin to dominate the discussion. As this happens, discussions become decidedly one-sided with fewer participants, more like "preaching to the choir," and any thoughtful discussion raising different points of view is squelched or silenced.
Let’s not let our differences divide and separate us. Instead, let’s stay engaged and get on with the business of doing God’s work in the world despite those differences. Stay or leave. It's your choice, but you asked for my thoughts and now you know how I feel. I welcome you and I love you in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior!
“Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality” (Romans 12.13).
But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. Matthew 7:14
I, too, have been much troubled by many replies as you guys have. I've been on the other side of the continent then you guys though. We are in a race & the finish line is at our corpse & not until then. I say shove it down their throats until they puke it back up. Imagine the pastors that would be sitting home on Sunday mornings if they took this same approach? I'm sure it gets very stressful for them many many times when they see no response year after year to a message that they truly know comes from the power of the Lord but they keep striving for that goal. You think this is rough, you haven't seen anything until you've faced the youth who you love soooo dearly & can't seem to get them to see the full picture. That is where the goal becomes harder to see & the finish line grows dim. Grown ups are a breeze.
Reread my reply Sean. In no way did I say you wasn't running anything. I think you are an awesome young man who wants nothing less then to see the world saved. The only point I was making is you said he was a grown man. I was saying that grown-ups are a breeze compared the youth - whom you are going to be serving soon. I think we're all running a great race. I just think we all take different directions in order to get there. One one situation, your path may be the best path. In another, my path may be the best. And why leave? I don't understand that either. You have a great ministry here but if you feel your time has drawn to a close, then it was great getting to know you. I pray the best for you always. May you always be used in His kingdom & stay on the path no veering to the right or the left. I pray your ministry will be blessed & anyone under the sound of your voice would come to trust Jesus or draw closer to Him. May His face shine on you. I would never stand in the Lord's way if it's your time to move on. Just know you will be missed. I would ask you to pray about it first before making your decision. As far as this discussion goes brother, if you feel it's a waste or if any other discussion is as well, don't respond. Just move onto the next that makes you feel useful. Love you
Sean, I thought I would respond to what you were saying about this being the internet, your point "Let's get out there in the mission field and quit wasting time" caught my attention for a couple reasons. I absolutely agree with you...if all we are doing is coming on LIBAW and posting and discussing these things then we are completely missing the point. To live "out there in the mission field" and come on here secondary is however a great way to stay connected too. The issue here with Jason for example is one encountered in life, face to face, and online. We will always come across those who refuse to see the truth of God's Word no matter how much they have seen or heard...one must use discernment to know whether stating more scripture is going to just be throwing pearls to swine, at some point the seeds have been planted and we just have to stop. On the other hand Jason is loved by God no less today then yesterday, last year or ten years ago, and we also need to be a conduit of God's love and grace to Jason, which includes admonishment and rebuke. If he denies that admonishment or rebuke the Bible is clear in Proverbs what that makes him. I am asking that you don't delete your profile...you are an asset to this site and have alot of wisdom and insight to other members. Please I hope everyone takes your challenge to "get out there in the mission field and quit wasting time" but that doesn't mean you can't ever stop in.
Jesus laid down the stipulations that would apply to the immediate mission He was sending His followers out two-by-two to carry out. They were to travel light and unencumbered, depend on others’ hospitality for their daily provisions, and not stay long with any who remain unresponsive to their message. They were to limit their mission to Jewish territories and communities. As God’s chosen people, the Jews had the right and the privilege of hearing and responding to this latest and fullest revelation from God before the rest of the world did.
This Scripture was for that very moment in time. I think we need to be careful about who we shake our feet off at. You don't want to put yourself in the place of God as Judge & Jury. I pray that if any one of you ever speak to my son, you would NEVER kick the dust off of your feet & be done. I refuse to accept that my young'un has chosen the world & he'll never change. If I ever come across your children, you can bet your bottom dollar that I will never give up on them as long as they are still asking questions & keep coming around those who have the real answers.
I meant to say that the first paragraph I posted was speaking about Matthew - the one Sean posted. I think it's dangerous to pick & choose who we should reach for the Lord & who we feel is no longer worthy. The Scripture about dusting the feet off is about Jesus & the Jews. That's a dangerous decision on our behalf. We're choosing who should hear & who should not. Like you said Colby, many have given up in other countries. As long as I have breath, I pray I would never be done sharing the Word regardless of whether it is received as I think it should be or not. Yes, I get aggravated when others don't want to hear the Truth but should I quit? I think not. Should I be the one to determine if I should quit? Again, I think not. But, I leave that decision up to the Lord. If He tells me to move on, so be it. He's not led me to stop. I always pray that maybe just that little som'in som'in I say will hit a light bulb i their head. But, until then, I'll continue running the race set out before me. Jesus Himself never quit with Judas & he walked with the Savior daily but He never stopped.
My sentiments exactly.
My son is 26. He is a grown man as well. He's dying & going to hell if he falls dead at this moment. God is not a respecter of persons.
If you're tired of spending your life talking to him, step off. He asked a question, you answered it - Step Off. You continued coming back time & again & if you'll notice, Jason never once came back at anyone. What's to say he wasn't reading your posts & something hit home for him? But then came the posts hammering & hammering. You say it's straight Scripture but personal blows were involved. LIBAW seen they were doing more damage then good & they deleted it. That's the answer to why her reply was deleted. It wasn't just straight Scripture. There was a few statements made at first & those were towards the others that were replying. As much as I love everyone here, they were full of vile. That's the way my spirit accepted it. Then to accuse others of behaving like Joel Osteen & the very churches we were bashing was a bit hurtful. Especially when they know my heart to say those things to me. Saying "I don't mean it personal" or "I'm not meaning to offend anyone" & them slap 'em in the back of the head was quite hurtful to me. If you say first that you're not going to offend, you're usually going to offend them. If you don't feel led & you don't have the right spirit, you should not be part of the discussion anyways. Not one Bible verse is going to matter if it's delivered with resentment or "Got You" attitude.
I'm not angry at any of the remarks, just really really hurt. But, I know in my spirit, everything I said came from the Lord. I refuse to ever give up on anyone EVER until the Lord physically comes down & tells me face-to-face that I'm no longer needed there. If you aren't led by the Lord, you can do more damage. I just thought I would explain where I was coming from with my replies. It's not that I am backing up on Christ's truths. I just feel the deliverance can make others run as well as it can bring them into His arms.
Yes hun I did. However, let us all move on in the Name of the Lord binding together to seek the greater good-the planting of seeds. I know the desires of your heart are the same as the desires of mine. I know your heart. Let's put this behind us as we all will disagree at one time or another. The goal isn't for us to be right but for Christ to be presented & glorified. This was Satan's way of putting a speed bump in our path & for one complete day, he succeeded. He had us so focused on each other that our eyes came off of the blood that covers us all. Let's all say together that we won't allow him to work any further in this discussion. Let's start a new one focused on Him. To God be the glory.