..... is that the emphasis on one's "own personal Jesus" and being "sold out for Jesus" produces a Christian that is focused on self. They are continually taught that God speaks to them in the same way as he spoke to Abraham, Moses, and Elijah, that God gives them his interpretation of the bible via the Holy Spirit. So when said Christian meets another to whom God has apparently said something else, either 1) they consider that they themselves heard incorrectly or 2) maybe God hadn't spoke to them after all. It's not long before 1) and 2) are dismissed as being impossible and they conclude 3) that the other Christian is not a proper Christian.
I was told in Church so many times not to argue my faith from wisdom or knowledge as they can be refuted. But to argue from my personal experiences "which no one can refute".
Taken together this leads to a Christian who does not study their bible objectively without preconceived opinions, and with whom debate is impossible.
Very nicely summed up. But I've never thought they compared themselves to the prophets. They appear to think they are Christ himself.
A blind person can feel the ground beneath their feet, this does not entail that to said individual, that it exists beyond the feeling of the ground. On the other hand, they can feel it without seeing it. You can't experience God/god in this way, for whatever is said of God/god is heresay...
I think the root of the problem is that community means very little, almost nothing, in large sections of the church. Some churchs will shun someone based on very small doctrinal disagreements. Christianity in this context means adherence to a group of doctrines, not to people. Jesus didn't operate this way. His closest followers included a tax collector, a zealot (the equivalent perhaps of the IRA in our own times), and Judas, the man who would betray him. He also had women among the disciples who followed him and camped with him. To men of the time, who were used to the social expectation that a man never spoke to any woman in public, not even his own wife, this must have been strange and uncomfortable. One can hardly imagine a group who agreed with one another less. When Jesus said that he was accused of being a "drunkard and a glutten" I don't think he was making that up. People saw him spending alot of time just eating and drinking with his followers, eating and drinking alot, and enjoying it. Another words, living life with them, being himself. I don't think they spent all their time reciting doctines and religious beliefs to each other, making sure everyone had it right. I think they just plain bonded as human beings.
Much of the church is missing this type of bonding, and this type of loyalty. It isn't the paradigm. Church all to often revolves around a charismatic public speaker, or a set of doctrines.
I have met many "Christians" that have cobwebs on thier Bibles,never listen to Christian music Christian or watch Christian movies. They have no Christian life except for one hour begrudgingly on Sunday. Yet, they believe they know it all and refuse to listen to anyone else.
Those and the self righteous that are quick to condem others do more damage to the Christian church as a whole than an army of liberals or moslems could do combined
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