- Religion and Philosophy
Chameleon in search of truth
One of the things that I find confuses people is that they cannot seem to define what I do not believe.
Since starting my writing here I have made some good friends; both in faith and in the world.....and a few enemy's.....though it seems that it may be possible to win those enemies over as at least interested parties.
My readers list (what HubPages call 'followers') is wide and varied, but if you take out those who have 'followed' me on the same day that they have 'followed' 32 other people, the folk who think that having hundreds of 'followers' equals financial and collective success, if you dismiss those folk from the numbers, there is a common denominator between all my real 'friends'.
They read what I write, and they are passionate in what they write.
I don't follow anyone unless what I read tells me that they are worth reading and therefore I legitimately want to know when the publish.
But they don't seek members and they don't do most things any denominational church woould be doing.
They are probably the most serious bunch of bible scholars and teachers I would want to imagine, yet they present (scripturally correct) positions on subjects that most normal churchianity cringes to even think about.
Most of what I write tends to gravitate towards religion and faith, or lack of it.
I don't start out like that in many instances, it just seems that as I write about a subject, the things that stand out as relevant have a strong connection to God.
Which is not surprising as when you walk in faith, you realise that God is in everything, especially your life!
So why am I a chameleon?
Well being quite 'catholic' in my approach to faith, people seem to find that I agree with what they believe, they see a fellow traveller on the same road.
Most of what the traditional church deem to be heretical has attracted my attention during my quest for truth, and I have embraced many strange concepts of faith, kissed a few frogs and wasted much time sifting the wheat from the chaff.
Two famous men who have been considered heretics were actually quite fundamental to what the modern church believes: Christ and Luther.
In both instances the traditional church hierarchy of their time sought to silence them for their heresy, and they were cut off from what was considered to be the 'official' government of God on earth.
As Michael Caine said "Not many people know that"...... but in reality it should be, not many people want to think about that. I have been 'blessed' or 'cursed' dependent upon your viewpoint, with a brain that thinks about things.
I've been doing my thinking for about fifty years now, and not surprisingly I have thought about a good number of things during that time.
Some of them have proven to me that they are 100% truth, at least for me.
Others have eluded my truth test and seem interesting but unproven possibilities.
Most have been filed for future reference when someone 'discovers' them for themselves at some time and starts their quest for truth about them.
All church denominations have SOME truth in what they believe, NONE have ALL THE TRUTH in what they believe.
The number of things which would cause me to disassociate with you are very small, in comparison to the huge number of things we probably share as truth.
It was man who wanted to declare that they had ALL truth, not God.
God chose to hide His truth amongst the thorns and weeds of churchianity.
Only distinguishable to Him and His own, hidden amongst the teeming hoards out to serve themselves not serve God.
For about twelve years I have been on what we call 'the debate list' of a group of believers who have all agreed about one particular book 'The Great Dream' which to give it the full title is better described as 'The Great And Final Apostasy Of Christendom, described.'
The unity of faith is basically that we are in the time of apostasy, and that during these times the bible must be our one constant and unchanging standard to gather around and hold to be true.
In particular they use the KJV, the good old King James version as the bible of reference for their debates, in other words, the KJ will win over a full hand of NIV's or Amplified, and don't even think of trying to raise the stakes with The Message, which is only really useful to use in the toilet.
Basically a pretty secure bunch of folk who have all normally been in ministry of leadership and decided (or have had it decided for them) to live 'outside the gate' for a while, well for a long while for some of them, like maybe for ever more.
So some attend what 'we' call 'synagogues' (churches to other folk) whereas others have their own house churches consiting of family and friends in faith.
The whole thing is very early church in it's formation, which is actually not to have a formation.
At various times people have decide that they/we are a cult and into mind bending, which was and is amusing as these folk live scattered all across the world and most have never met each other. They have just had a long record of communication about most every aspect of Christianity.
I remember just after I started communications (joined 'the list') I read about their cult status, and had to ask whether they would send me the Kool Aid by post or did I need to make my own. It was a sick joke after Jonestown, but equally the idea of a cult of 50 - 100 people who never met together except electronically was bizarre also.
The main man in this 'cult' wrote the book which formed these people about it, to discuss what that book stated as truth. It had cost him dearly to write that book and he believes that it was a God given task written under divine inspiration.
The 'authors' name on the book is just 'JAC' and he takes no credit (or financial reward) for his labours then (1991) or since, and has been an internet presence since 1998, available free of charge to answer all and any queries....personally.
To answer your question, I am not that man!
Now when I first read this book, my life turned upside down as I realised that by direct reference the nearest identification I could make with the book was as a 'hireling'.... which in TGD terms relates to someone who is taking their reward now for their work on behalf of the 'kingdom'.
I had all the classic signs of being a hireling Pharisee, and when I realised that, things just had to change. The change lead to my spending seven years 'outside the gate' looking inward at 'the church' and working out how to stay with Christ without any supervision, encouragement of authority over me.
Agreed I had 50 or so 'brothers and elders' who examined my every word for fault, error, heresy or just bad spelling, but that just makes one more cautious about opening your mouth when you only THINK something is right.
It has been a fine training ground to live and work around.
Now I have been led here, and my involvement with 'the list' is just about non existent, and that is fine with me, for they no more need my involvement, than I need their input into my life.
After so many years most of the debates that take place with 'newbies' (and folk come and go all the time) are covering the same ground we covered years ago, and we having defined 'our' position, can answer with prewritten articles that cover most every 'jot and tittle' of scripture.
Have they become a denomination?
No, not at all, they have defined exactly what they believe and have debated each succinct point to the nth degree, even inventing the '1% more correct' rule to cover how to end a debate where both parties are presenting opposite but equally viable discussions about something.
And that is probably why I am a chameleon, and it's probably why I can seemingly agree with you whilst actually (seemingly) hold an opposing opinion in another of my hubs or whilst commenting about something else.
It's not that I am a double minded man, that would be a disaster for any believer, and it's not that I just don't know, it's more that I am open to learning and closed to rejecting someone simply because we don't agree in doctrinal matters.
With the notable exception of where what you are trying to persuade me is truth, could or would, affect my salvation if I agreed with you.
So I will happily sit and discuss bible with my Jesuit friend who has been a devout member of the RCC and the Jesuits all his 86 years, and find some common ground to meet upon, and learn from the encounter, and maybe be more equipped to assist another younger, less entrenched RCC member, born into a religion that they have doubts about, yet living with the constant threat of hell if they reject their Pope.
And before you reach the comments box, I could equally change the RCC title to one saying Church of England member who was wary of this rampant evangelical group they were encountering, who were (in her churches opinion) in excess as they danced and worshiped with such excess.
Horses for courses!
You see when I first realised that I had a problem with Satan, I sought to get rid of THATproblem; not to find a religion to replace my jaded faith.....but to find a spiritual entity strong enough to kick the butts of the demons I had accumulated along the spiritual pathways I had been walking.
Recognising that Christ was the answer posed a problem, as I had been denying His name for years, but I resolved it in typical 'toss the coin' fashion by telling both 'dudes' that whoever owned me next morning was my boss for life.
Christ won, which is no surprise to me now, but was a complete shock at the time, as my (then) boss (Satan) had been quite adamant that he owned me lock stock and smoking barrels!
My entry into organised religion then, was less than a conversion, and more akin to a defection, I therefore took every point under consideration from day one.
When my new found pastor told me "You will love reading the old testament" I was wary, and told him that I was quite happy with the 'red letter bits' for now (only the words spoken by Christ) which made it easier to understand Thomas Jefferson when he mutilated his bible to make it more user friendly to himself, by striking out all and any reference that eluded to the divinity of Christ.
It did not make him (Jefferson) any less wrong (IMO) nor make me any less strident in my faith for trying to understand why Jefferson could not accept Christ as divine.
If my faith can be challenged and defeated by the opinion of man (even a man like Jefferson, who was no slouch intellectually) then my faith is worthless, certainly worth less than Jeffersons version of the bible in any case!
But like the other side say, that which does not kill me makes (my faith) stronger!
So my reasoning goes like this....
- Is what you are telling me new revelation?
- If I believe what you say, will it affect my salvation with Christ?
- How does what you are saying fit into the canon of scripture?
- Have I already covered this in my studies?
These are the filters I run a new concept or proposal through before I start to make any assumptions or decison on what you have proposed.
- Is what you are telling me new revelation?
Because if it is, then logically I need to question whether your revelation is from God, because my trusty bible tells me that we are now living in the last days, and frankly, for a new 'revelation' to happen would require sufficient time for it to be adopted by all believers,,,, do we have that time left to this dispensation?
- If I believe what you say, will it affect my salvation with Christ?
Simply put, and self explanatory.
For instance, take pantheism, where all roads lead to God, well as a John 3:16 believer I am unaffected, for if your god will accept whoever gets to them in whatever condition.... well I should be as acceptable to that god as you are, especially if it makes no conditions for my acceptance.
- How does what you are saying fit into the canon of scripture?
Being a simple sort of believer, i present the conclusion that if the God of my bible is who He says He is, then in His omniscience and omni-potency He will have known that His word would need to be sufficient for all mankind to find Him from he evidence He has presented to us.
Therefore the canon of scripture I possess will be accurate and I have no need to query whether what I have as His word is accurate. God will have ensured that my source documentation is correct.
Many people have told me that man has 'corrupted' Gods word, that we have a bible obscured from truth due to man changing the scriptures to suit themselves.
Most will point at the Council of Nicaea as being the point where a corrupt clergy doctored Gods word to enslave the world.
But the scriptures deliberated on at that council, by over 300 of the leaders of world Christian sects, were scriptures that were already in common usage by those sects of believers, that council was deciding which best represented Gods holy scriptures for mankind.
I believe that God will have 'loaded the dice' to ensure that His plan was successful in their selection and deliberations, so why abandon them now simply because some people disagree with what is in the bible, and more importantly, what is not in the bible?
I have studied many areas that folk find in their walk, and have never been afraid to search for any scripture that would make me (force me) to change my understanding, and I have been in a few 'dispensations' of Gods Grace during my walk.
It became apparent to me that the first love faith I held had changed with the increase of knowledge I consumed in the first three years of my walk.
God blessed me with the ability to consume this scroll, and I ate with a voracious appetite to the point of spiritual gluttony, and gluttony is a sin however and wherever we commit it for whatever reason.
There are no sins committed for good reasons.
Then I applied this knowledge, sometimes wisely, sometimes aggressively and sometimes with great pride to display what a happy camper I was and how much I had learned, and how dumb must you be to not understand.
God did not like that one little bit.
I said in another hub that God had shown me, during my last 'pictogram' that the first seven years of my walk were absorbing His word, my second seven years were when God stripped that all away, and the third seven years would be when I used what was left for His glory.
As I write He is showing me a Joseph picture emerging, with the seven fat years followed by the seven lean and then the seven spent in administering the grain for Gods people.
I am not presumptuous to think of myself as Joseph, or even a form of Joseph, though I know that God has displayed all the biblical characters and stories for our edification, and use.
So I have been through a few transformations myself during this walk, and things that I held to be 'deal breakers' with my fellow Christians, which would cause me to try and 'correct' their inadequate thinking, are now recognised as my 'youthful enthusiasm' misconstrued in my endeavour to be 100% right in my understanding of Gods word.
It does not happen that way.
A time ago, whilst I was residing a while in Gilgal, being restored from my last failure to be Christlike in all things! - I asked God to show me what this whole 'thing' was about with His word, how it spoke to me differently at times and for various purposes.
"Its a jigsaw" was the reply, a jigsaw that was so very large that you could never hope to see the whole picture, just the bit you were working on.
How many pieces? I wanted to know.
A week or so later I saw that each verse was one bit of the puzzle, and found out that there are over 31,000 'pieces' in His book, and that even if I could hold all of them in my memory, it still would not fit together to show me the whole thing, for each piece is the same shape and will fit together with any other piece.... getting a small inkling of the picture God was showing?
We see in part, as through a glass darkly, or so I am told.
When I 'did' rune stones and tarot cards, (before I came to faith) I would lay them down and get a different reading from each deck I laid, OK sometimes the same reading from different card combinations, but always those cards and those stones could tell me different information from the varied combinations.
I never thought that was strange, and neither do all you card readers out there.
But those same people will always try to lay together scripture to prove their point or disprove Gods existence, they are always looking for the loop holes in scripture that will justify their personal belief or disbelief.
Sorry folks, I believe the bible to be the LITERAL word of God and I stand on that word.
I may take you on flights of fancy where you get presented with concepts that may get you thinking; or challenge your preconceptions; or destroy your prejudices against my doctrinal interpretation of what your section of Christianity believes.
Whew, that was a mouthful!
But in the end result, my bible is still my cup, my shield and my comforter and although I am submitted to anyone who can show me in scripture my error, it must be from scripture, not opinion, or other writings.
On the forum our pet atheists are always seeking to lay down ground rules that state that 'we' cannot use the bible as evidence of anything.
I rebuke them and silence then in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
The bible is sufficient for all things and contains everything we need to find our way back to God through His son Christ Jesus, Y'ashua, Xtian or whatever you want to call Him.
Secular folk need tactile and visible evidence, the bible believer needs no such thing.
I have felt the power of the Holy Spirit in my life and when praying for someone, felt that power leave me as Christ did when the woman with an issue of blood touched His gown, known that something I did not understand and could not understand had happened, and been unsurprised when the man being prayed for reported back that his enlarged heart had returned to normal size between two X rays taken AFTER prayer for his healing had taken place.
We believe in Christ, he believed in Christ and we all knew that God still heals the sick, we all believed and expected that 'these things and greater you will do in my name' was a fact not a quotation.
I guess that we are winding this hub down to normal again.
I cannot help being a thinker, nor apologise for where it has taken me in scripture and life, nor deny that God seems to have some plan over what is forming for my future, and it will be His doing, and His glory that will be sufficient for those He chooses to touch with His word.