Sunday, July 28, 2013

"All We Need is Love"....(and Sound Doctrine....)

 [NOTE: if nothing else, please see the important video at the bottom of this writing]
"In a word or two, Jesus said that we are to Know Him, as a Bride knows the Bridegroom. In this level of intimacy with Jesus, all other decrees, denominations, segregations, and separations of man are only of this world and an act of deception and distraction from our real purpose - To Know Him, Yeshua, that gave His life to save us from the sin we were born into. 
Thank you for your continued searching and posting and educating of those out there that are willing to listen. We only need to be still and Know God, Jesus, and The Holy Spirit!
Love and God Bless,
~ antbrother"

First off, I generally agree with everything you wrote, A-bro.......and I understand and honor where your heart is coming from in the matter.......

In practicing my apologetics, then (for fun) I would like to expound on some observations.......(as I have been surfing "logical argument" as of late :).......

So . . . it's written above that "all other decrees, denominations, segregations, and separations of man are only of this world and an act of deception and distraction from our real purpose - To Know Him"

. . . I note that what you've written IS a creed (or "decree) itself.  So . . . are all "decrees" "only of this world" ....EXCEPT the one you just wrote?

Indeed it was one of my initial points made when I said, in effect, that the person who says, "doctrine divides, doctrine doesn't matter, you only need Jesus" . . . that that person is themselves making a doctrinal statement.  That itself is a doctrine, a "creed" of sorts . . . but the people who assert such things are often strikingly unable to see their hypocrisy in the matter.  As in, they want to disparage or dismiss everyone else's "creeds", "decrees" . . . but their own they assume is somehow transcendent, above and beyond such things. . . .

It's not a direct parallel topically, but it reminds (in its mode) . . . of those atheists and liberals who scream at the Christian, demanding "tolerance" (calling the Christian "judgmental", "intolerant" etc.) where the atheist or liberal themselves is showing (hypocritically) their own intolerance and jugdmentalism against the Christian's viewpoint and beliefs. 

It's quite stunning and a tad amusing (though it's getting old) when you see it, actually . . . where the post-modern, "all you need is love" unbeliever is shaking with anger and vitriol, yelling at the Christian to be "loving" and "accepting" and demanding we all "co-exist" . . . and "respect everyone's truth" . . . lol . . . EXCEPT the Bible believing Christian's. . . . That's the one "truth" it seems, that the world has no place for.  Everybody else is cool . . . but not those "Jesus freaks"! 

(Kinda suspicious . . . actually . . . heh. . . . )

Myself, I appreciate and find great insight and clarification in some of the creeds and statements of faith.  True, they are not the Word of God--not God-breathed scripture, but they can be very helpful in clarifying and codifying basic first principles and fundamental doctrines.  Just like your statement.  It is not scripture, but it points to the truths found in scripture.

Now, when you say our "purpose" is to "know Him" . . . I immediately think of all the different kinds of people who themselves claim to know Him.  There are lots of "new agers" who say they know Him . . . but their "Him" is often an impersonal "force" . . . or Jesus is just another "ascended master"--one of many "avatars" who have come to earth to show us that "we are all gods". . . .

Do they "know Him"?

Or, the Mormons who say Jesus is just another of this world's god's children, just like us, our brother, brother of Lucifer, among endless other gods filling out the universe ruling worlds and procreating "spirit children."  Do they "know Him"?

Muslims claim to know Jesus.  They say he was just one of a line of prophets, NOT the Son of God, who didn't die and resurrect. . . . Do they "know Him"?  They claim to. . . .

So what's the difference between those who have found the REAL Jesus, versus those who haven't?  I dare say it was what we are told about Him--Who He is . . . which is inextricably tied up with what He did.  And HOW do you get to "know Him"?  Where are the clues found?  Does it matter HOW you find Him?  (Nevermind for a moment, that scripture actually teaches that HE FINDS US)....

But do you "know Him" by . . . looking at a painting of Him?  Does that do it?  Does just reading the Bible, reading the history of Him do it, ie., knowing ABOUT Him?  Does watching Oprah or listening to Deepak Chopra help you "know Him?"  And not only that, but it must be an "intimate" knowledge/relationship, right?

Are their steps to take, specific things to be done to attain that "level of intimacy with Jesus?"  Prayer . . . getting in the Word . . . and it is said it is not enough just to believe (the devils believe) but to genuinely repent and put your trust, your life . . . in God's hands, recognizing Jesus as Lord.

What are these things?  What is "doctrine"?  It "is a codification of beliefs or a body of teachings or instructions, taught principles or positions."  Is it not taught . . . that if we have the wrong set of beliefs/body of teachings . . . then we don't have the truth?  Can you know Him if, for instance, you believe (as your doctrine teaches) that He is really a transcendental being reclining on the Serpent King Sheshanaga while over the Ocean of Milk with his consort Lakshmi (as would be Vishnu)?

Or, why do Christians preach to Mormons while Mormons contend that they believe in and know Jesus, yet the Christian says "no, you have the wrong Jesus and you will go to Hell!"

Doctrine matters . . . and divides . . . as it should . . . lies, false teachings, blasphemies etc. from the Truth . . . . and divides those who love lies, false teachings and blasphemy . . . from those who love truth, correct teachings and worship.

34 “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law."  --Matt. 10:34-35

Now, I realize that many are saved without knowing much if any doctrine (which creeds, statements, decrees merely attempt to restate, codify).  Although, so far, I think all of those truly Born Again whom I have met soon hunger to learn more and before long DO start knowing the doctrine behind their salvation.

Also, there are other kinds of people, more intellectually minded than experiential . . . who come to faith THROUGH study, analysis, evidences.

But while I agree generally speaking that "all other decrees, denominations, segregations, and separations of man are only of this world" I think it is reckless exaggeration to charge that they are ALL also acts "of deception and distraction from our real purpose - To Know Him."

For one thing, our "real purpose" according to scripture . . . is to GLORIFY God.  He made us for Himself.  It is a subtle difference of perspective but I wouldn't put the purpose of "knowing" Him above "glorifying" Him although it seems to follow that we must know Him to glorify Him. . . . I'm just sticking to scripture here. . . .  

And have you read the creeds (which I'm assuming you mean by "decrees") such that you find them so worldly and offensive?   Some of them are not only extremely beautiful . . . but profoundly full of Biblical truth and wisdom.  For instance, the "Apostle's Creed" which was written to refute various of the blasphemous heresies creeping into the church and contains much foundational truth: 

I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
the Creator of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord:

Who was conceived of the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.

He descended into hell.

The third day He arose again from the dead.

He ascended into heaven
and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty,
whence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and life everlasting.


Or, how about this section from The Council of Orange:

Concerning Christian courage. The courage of the Gentiles is produced by simple greed, but the courage of Christians by the love of God which "has been poured into our hearts" not by freedom of will from our own side but "through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us" (Rom. 5:5).

When I look at all the different denominations--those who adhere to basic doctrinal principles, though differing on certain minor issues--I do not see attempts to deceive and distract.  I see flawed, fallen men who have, under various degrees of inspiration, attempted to organize, fellowship, codify . . . Christian beliefs as they were able according to the times and other limitations they suffered under.

Certainly there ARE evil men, sons of the devil . . . who have and continue to . . . deliberately mislead and corrupt, but as there have been wheat and tares, goats and sheep side by side . . . through the ages . . . much good has been done by sincere (albeit fallen but saved) believers, teachers, preachers, church leaders, scholars, missionaries etc., who have devised sects, groups, creeds, statements . . . in their spirit-led attempts to share and promote the Gospel and make disciples (as charged.)

Now, your last bit of advice, that we "only need to be still and Know God, Jesus, and The Holy Spirit!" . . . I must say, reminds me of the teachings I use to study and follow when I was a Hindu and also practicing Zen and Yoga.  One of my favorite books at that time was by the 1st century B.C. Hindu sage Patanjali called "How To Know God."  It was basically a study in how to . . . still the mind . . . and know God through inner peace and freedom from ego.

And when I practiced "being still" . . . I indeed had mystical, metaphysical experiences--even experiences of what I took to be "the divine" . . . God . . . (who I was fine with calling "Jesus" or "Krishna" or "Allah" at the time, His name not being that important, but my "EXPERIENCE" and FEELING of him . . . most important of all!

And without the Bible--without knowing certain specific doctrines taught in the Bible--I assumed I had found and knew God.

And this is the danger of basing truth on simply subjective experience--which is often the result if all you think you need to do is "only . . . be still and Know God, Jesus and The Holy Spirit."  It happens quite frequently . . . when in meditation, for instance, that spiritual beings (even appearing as "angels of light") come to you and portray themselves as "Jesus" or "The Holy Spirit."  They can make you feel "spiritual"--give you expanded, cosmic thoughts and sensations, which are easily mistaken for "communion with God."

I'm not suggesting you are advocating this, but just pointing out that perhaps there is more to it than "only" being "still and know(ing) God . . . " 

As in . . . those doctrines--Biblical warnings, directions, details--which divide . . . error from truth.

[okay . . . okay . . . I can now hear my sweet ol' Mormon grandmother Thelma's voice telling me, like she use to do, with her hands clutched to the sides of her shaking head, "Oh Tommy, why do you have to think so much about all that stuff--it boggles the mind . . . just go to church!" . . . so I'll leave it alone at that . . . . my thoughts on the matter........fwiw :)]


Sooo one more thing . .

Speaking of Mormons . . . how about this . . . . . Let me share with you a video I found recently of a typical Christian street preacher (Jim Deferio) . . . trying to witness to some Mormons . . . back in Palmyra, New York near some L.D.S. historical sites . . . and . . . well . . . it is frightening . . . the brilliance I'm afraid . . . of the three Mormon men there as they responded to Jim and the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. . . .

This video shows how intellectually hungry and sharp the typical Joseph Smith apologist is, which . . . is ominous for us Christians.  I mean, we had better up our game to contend with their thoughtful, artful, piercing logic and arguments defending their faith . . . . . . And just so you know, the example of these 3 fellows here is not unusual.  Many young Mormon men exhibit similar aptitude and fervor debating the Bible vs. Book of Mormon controversy........

Please, take a look:


Linda L. said...

Uh, are you sure you have the right Youtube? These Mormon guys had no rational arguments. They did not strike me as very sharp and intellectual at all, lol!! Only acted like monkeys with their fingers in their ears and making noises to drown out truth of the speaker. They would not even stop and listen to what the speaker had to say refuting the authenticity of the Book of Mormon or try to refute what the Christian guy was saying.

Mark said...

In Davids battle with Goliath, David had five "rock's/stone's".It's important to remember that it took just "ONE" to take out Goliath.

My full given christian name is:

Mark David Anderson

Oh, The party that was massacred in the meadow by the Mormons where from the hill's of Akansa.

Antbrother said...

Well done counselor. i certainly do not have the room or time to dissect your breakdown of my simple heartfelt comment, but yes, i agree that there is so much to God than we even know, but He will reveal Himself to us more and more as we get closer to Him, through prayer, reading the Word, and yes being still and listening. My experience in Knowing Him at an intimate level started with God and will be finished and completed by Him. My only part in the matter was being the shattered vessel that He chose, and repenting from my sin, with a humble and contrite heart. It reaches a point where one aches to know God, to feel His touch, and feel His breath, warmth and love, and He does respond in a manner of His choosing. Words and mental discourse pale in what He has done in my heart and where He has taken me. Perhaps i need to start writing again to share what has happened since i began crying out to Him for help. It is, has been, and continues to be a mystical experience. Just ask Jesus, He can fill you in on His friend antbrother. Don't forget to test the spirits 1 John 4.

Love and Blessings.

Antbrother said...

Acts 6:41
So they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name.

Thank you my Brother

Brother Thomas ©2015

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