Posted by: the warrioress | August 3, 2012

Who God Is (Part One)

Dove of the Holy Spirit (ca. 1660, alabaster, ...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Several of us have been having ongoing conversations about who God is. We have hit upon many sub topics under this overall umbrella. I’m going to attempt to tie all of this together in this series, so here is a brief outline in advance that summarizes what I want to provide answers about:

I.  Who God Is

A. Does God Mind if We Question Him?

B.  Is God Good & Perfect?

C. Why Has God Done Objectionable Things If God is Good & Perfect?

D.  God’s Omniscience

II. How to know God

A.  Knowing God Through the Bible

B.  Knowing God Through Personal Experience

——————

A. Questioning God

I’ve had some serious questions about who God is and so have many other people. Some of us believe and some of us do not believe. What does God think about our doubts and questions? What does He think when Christians wonder about why He has acted as He has in the past? Does God consider it a sin to question His actions, decisions, and judgments He has made in the past? Does it upset God if we have doubts about His plans for the future?

Is it a sin to question God?

These are important, valid questions and they demand an answer; they demand an answer for the Christian asking the questions, but the unbeliever is entitled to an answer to these questions as well.

I believe that God doesn’t get angry with anyone when they question Him from a sincere, open-minded heart — a heart that has no agenda short of a simple need to know is not a sinful heart. And don’t doubt this for a minute, God knows each one of our hearts. God knows the difference between the sincere, loving, open heart that merely wants to know and the deceitful, scheming heart that is agenda-driven. It appears that if our heart is rebellious or filled with enmity toward God, we are probably not going to be able to understand or receive an answer from God.  The key is to study one’s own heart and understand one’s motivation for questioning God. What is your intent?

So we’ve been questioning God on this blog and wondering about Him and His motivations for some of the things He’s done in the past. We want God to show us the truth, so we’ll turn to His word, the Holy Bible, for the answers.

In the OT, Habakkuk questioned God about His plans. God didn’t have a problem with it. He didn’t take issue with Habakkuk’s attitude as he questioned God. God patiently responded without malice. In the Psalms, there were many who also questioned God. God didn’t mind these questions and actually appears to honor them, though He doesn’t always answer the questioner as he or she would prefer. And sometimes the one doing the questioning may not particularly care for the answer. God answers as He wills in His own time, not ours. Source

Scriptures to look up: Psalms 10, 44, 74, 77, The book of Habakkuk

Scriptures to think deeply about:

“For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ. – 1 Corinthians 2:16

“Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?” – Romans 11:34

It seems clear as we study these scriptures more thoroughly that though God doesn’t mind our questioning it is valuable if we hvae His Holy Spirit to be able to adequately understand Him. The apostles were able to understand God because they had God’s Holy Spirit.

The carnal mind is at enmity with God. The carnal mind (unsaved/without the Holy Spirit) is flesh-focused. It is in rebellion to holy/godly things and will probably not be able to accept godly principles and knowledge. This is an important thing to grasp. Without the Holy Spirit, it will be difficult if not impossible to grasp the mind of God. So though our questions may be answered or explained, will we understand if we do not have the Holy Spirit? It seems unlikely.

“No one can know the things of God, but his Holy Spirit, who is one with the Father and the Son, and who makes known Divine mysteries to his church. This is most clear testimony, both to the real Godhead and the distinct person of the Holy Spirit.

The apostles were not guided by worldly principles. They had the revelation of these things from the Spirit of God, and the saving impression of them from the same Spirit. These things they declared in plain, simple language, taught by the Holy Spirit, totally different from the affected oratory or enticing words of man’s wisdom.

The natural man, the wise man of the world, receives not the things of the Spirit of God. The pride of carnal reasoning is really as much opposed to spirituality, as the basest sensuality. The sanctified mind discerns the real beauties of holiness, but the power of discerning and judging about common and natural things is not lost. But the carnal man is a stranger to the principles, and pleasures, and actings of the Divine life.

The spiritual man only, is the person to whom God gives the knowledge of his will. How little have any known of the mind of God by natural power! And the apostles were enabled by his Spirit to make known his mind.

In the Holy Scriptures, the mind of Christ, and the mind of God in Christ, are fully made known to us. It is the great privilege of Christians, that they have the mind of Christ revealed to them by his Spirit. They experience his sanctifying power in their hearts, and bring forth good fruits in their lives.” Source

B.  Is God Good and Perfect?

And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God. – Luke 18:19

Why is God good? How do we know He is perfect? Jesus said God is the only one who is good, this is how we know. Jesus considered God to be the ultimate good.

“Good is grounded in the very nature of God, and what He wills is good because He is good. Just as many things can have ‘being’ (or life), but there can only be one thing that actually is Being (or life), the concept of good works the same way. Many things may have some good in them, but there can only be one thing that is good. And this good God invites everyone to “taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psalms 34:8). Source

Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. -Matthew 5:48

Again, Jesus tells us that God, our Father, is perfect. We have the proof out of Christ’s own mouth.

“Be ye therefore perfect – as your Father – God himself is the grand law, sole giver, and only pattern of the perfection which he recommends to his children. The words are very emphatic, εσεσθε ουν υμεις τελειοι, Ye shall be therefore perfect – ye shall be filled with the spirit of that God whose name is Mercy, and whose nature is love. God has many imitators of his power, independence, justice, etc., but few of his love, condescension, and kindness. He calls himself Love, to teach us that in this consists that perfection, the attainment of which he has made both our duty and privilege: for these words of our Lord include both a command and a promise.” Source

“Speak to the entire assembly of Israel and say to them: ‘Be holy because I, the LORD your God, am holy. – Leviticus 19:2

“As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him. 2 Samuel 22:31

He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he.  – 1 Deuteronomy 32:4

For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.  -Isaiah 55:9 I

Our questions have been answered.

God is perfect and He is Holy; His word is flawless. And His ways are “higher” or better than our ways. His thoughts are the same, compared to our thoughts. We cannot hope to compete with God — and this is key to really knowing who God is.  If we do not grasp the differences between humanity and God, we will not have the humility necessary to know God. Without this, how can we have a sincere relationship with God? We need to try to understand this much.

No matter what our questions are about God, if we cannot initially submit to the fact that God knows more than we do and that His judgment is better and wiser than ours, we are spinning our wheels in sand. How do we grow and move forward in real knowledge of God without trusting in His judgment?

If our hearts are so rebellious that we think in our meager human knowledge that we are a match for God, or know better than He, we are truly foolish and we are quite simply – wrong.  Understanding this requires the willingness to accept who God is even if we don’t understand Him, His judgment, decisions, and past or future actions. We cannot even begin to have a hope of respecting and understanding God if we cannot grasp these simple concepts.

(Part Two will be presented as soon as time allows. Feel free to question, clarify and/or comment upon what is stated here and then we’ll move forward).

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Responses

  1. In a way it doesn’t matter if it is sinful to quesiton God, but whether each of us individually considers it sinful – a bit like Paul talking about eating different foods. If we consider it sinful and question him then we are acting with a disobedient heart. If we don’t consider it sinful then we might be wrong but we are trying our best to be obedient and so have a good heart – and so God’s grace will forgive us (he wouldn’t have told us to forgive others if he were not going to forgive us).

    I like what you wrote about us thinking we know better than God. When we do that we are claiming to be better than him, and apart from being silly, it is arrogant and hardly endearing. Is God perfect? Well since he created and sustains the universe, he defined perfect – our attempts to understand what perfect means are simply our attempts to understand his definition; he is thus, by definition, perfect.

    Thanks for the post.

  2. When burdens press and seem beyond endurance, bowed down in grief, to Him I lift my face. And then with love, His gentle reassurance, my child, for thee sufficient is my grace.

    We turn to Him when we have problems, questions and concerns that seem beyond our reach. He always answers, many times in ways we don’t expect or wish to hear, but always with gentle truth and understanding.

    Well researched and thought out post Adrienne, thank you for sharing.

    Your brother in Christ,

    ♥ Ed

  3. @ Adrienne:
    When in edit mode for a post, you will see tab-icon in your panel which allows you to tab whole paragraphs. With that, you could make your outline actually look like an outline with A, B, and C indented under I.

    Likewise, I you indent the paragraphs under each main section, it makes the sections stand out and makes for easier reading.

    Just some blogging suggestion before I start reading this post (since you have been very open to suggestions in the past).

    PS – What do you do for a living?

  4. Adrienne
    If there were an all-good god, I would likewise expect (as you say):

    doesn’t get angry with anyone when they question Him from a sincere, open-minded heart — a heart that has no agenda short of a simple need to know is not a sinful heart. And don’t doubt this for a minute, God knows each one of our hearts. God knows the difference between the sincere, loving, open heart that merely wants to know and the deceitful, scheming heart that is agenda-driven.

    Likewise, to question that the Qur’an is the word of God, is not a problem. To doubt that the Bhagavad Gita (“God’s Song), is the Lord’s words to us (as many Hindus believe), is not a problem. And to doubt that the Jewish and Christian canonized scrolls aren’t God’s word but words of men with their own agendas, would also not be an offense to an all-good God.

    Doubt, from a good heart, is should always be tolerated and even encouraged.

    Now here comes a problem. You agree that no one can judge a heart but God and a sincere heart is a good thing but then you say:

    The carnal mind (unsaved/without the Holy Spirit) is flesh-focused.

    Which is equivalent of saying, “Christians are allowed to doubt, but the ‘unsaved’ can not understand anything. So all of a sudden, non-believers are demonized. This ploy is used by several religions. If you have studied several religions, you will see many using it so as to keep believers comfortable with judging the outside world and feeling comfortable in theirs. Why do you think it is so common? Do you think their technique is a lie of Satan and your use of it is from your God? That insight, when I was younger, was one of the many insights that made me realize the mechanisms of my Christianity — the insubstantiality of it. The generic, parochial exclusivism of my religion became clear to me.

    Of course there are many writers in your Bible that agree with you. But then as I wrote above, I have no trouble doubting the agendas of the texts your church councils have decided to stamp as “orthodox”. So that will always be a stopping point to open dialogue — you will always partition off non-believers as different animals. In this case, because we don’t have the Holy Spirit, we can’t have insight or are morally corrupt. Yet, supposedly as a former believer I had the Holy Spirit and then when I deconverted, he left. But to be honest, I never felt any such thing. And people who know me from those days don’t see a different me at all. Indeed it makes many former Christian friends uncomfortable when I meet them 20 years later and I am unchanged, fun, loving, healthy family and kind to others. They have to figure out why that would be the case. Because for them, Christians have more insight and are essentially better people as they have been perfected by the work of the Holy Spirit.

    Yet the above theology of perfection and insight is not common among all Christians — (C.S. Lewis would have disagreed with you). Yet Bible verses can be picked to support your opinion on that issue — I get that, I use to do it.

    You last paragraphs seems to simply boil down to:

    “OK, I agree, God is Perfectly Good. I changed my mind that he could be egotistical and human like. So though he seems like that in throughout the OT, I will know just stop doubting and say ‘Well, it must be my limited understanding.’ So I will stop doubting that part and just accept his genocides, killing of infants and pregnant women and much more as divine wisdom and wait until heaven to see why it is my limited brain that ever doubted how good that really is.”

    Part of what you are saying also seems to say:

    If we doubt what the scriptures of Jews and Christians say, it is equivalent of doubting God himself. That sort of doubt is rebellious, blind and without the Holy Spirit and will only result in foolishness.

    Agains, seems that for you, everything turns on what the Bible exactly is. And you are a warrioress for the Bible. Lots of Christians view the Bible very differently than you. I think what you are arguing is not “God” but “my view of the Bible”. For on one hand you sometimes lean toward the mystery of God but on the next, you think the boys who wrote the Bible books had a corner on all that — and certainty, smugness, exclusiveness and judgement sneaks back in (“Conservativism”).

    Again, I am not arguing against Christianity, but against certain forms of Christianity. And most conservatives hate the other forms though the try not to say so — out of a pretense of a “unity of the Body of Christ”.

  5. Adrienne
    Have you ever read Dr. Peter Enns: a Evangelical Christian biblical scholar — OT speciality?
    I haven’t, but I have read reviews by several Christians who have benefitted from reading his stuff. There are several scholars like him, of course, but I thought I’d give you one name.

    Here is his blog: subtitled “rethinking biblical christianity”.

    His recent post title typifies his approach: ““And Always Let Your Context Be Your Guide”: Reading the Bible in Context”

    I mention his work because often it is easier to hear things from a fellow believer than a Holy-Spirit-deprived pagan. 🙂

    You might want to try reading his book “Inspiration and Incarnation” or some other. Heck, if you read it, I may read it with you. 🙂

  6. Adrienne, I think the simple answer is that we not so much question God or His motives but rather that we ask Him to reveal His will in our own lives. What God does it up to Him and we have no right to question Him..
    Isaiah 45:9
    ‘Woe to those who quarrel with their Maker, those who are nothing but potsherds among the potsherds on the ground. Does the clay say to the potter, “What are you making?” Does your work say, “The potter has no hands”?
    Isaiah 45:8-10 (in Context)
    Romans 9:21
    Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?
    Romans 9:20-22 (in Context)
    I suppose we may wonder what He is up to and we may remain confused when we read in Scripture some of the things that happened to the ancient Israelites but God does things for a purpose. If we ask for guidance in these matters I am sure The Holy Spirit will reveal His motives.
    Isaiah 45:11
    ‘This is what the LORD says – the Holy One of Israel, and its Maker: concerning things to come, do you question me about my children, or give me orders about the work of my hands?
    Isaiah 45:10-12 (in Context)
    Jesus was constantly being questioned throughout his ministry by doubting people and to me at least having a doubting heart is something we should pray about, ‘forgive me Lord for doubting You, refresh me in spirit and count not this error against me.
    Matthew 22:46
    No one could say a word in reply, and from that day on no one dared to ask him any more questions.
    Matthew 22:45-46 (in Context)
    What about this revealing piece of Scripture?………
    John 16:30
    Now we can see that you know all things and that you do not even need to have anyone ask you questions. This makes us believe that you came from God.’
    John 16:29-31 (in Context)

    Why do we need to ask questions? Place all your faith and trust in God means you don’t need to question Him about His motives and methods.

    Well that’s my two pence worth

    Shirley Anne x

  7. People have being trying to rationalize ‘god’ since granddad fell off the bus –
    Christians managed to worm their way out of the bad-God of the Old Testament by stating that the character of Jesus was sent to establish a New Covenant, thus whitewashing all the naughty things Yahweh did, which is super convenient and allowed all the Christians to breathe a hearty sigh of relief and lay all Yahweh’s rotten behaviour at the feet of the Jews and other naughty disobedient folk.
    “See?, if you’d just done what daddy said then I wouldn’t have had to flood the world.”

    As for questioning ‘God’s’ motives….let’s not forget that questioning almost anything about Christianity was verboten until fairly recently.
    And why should one not question ‘God’?
    Didn’t we as kids ask our parents questions all the time?
    The difference is of course, that Dad and Mum usually provided an answer, whereas ‘God’ in whatever guise you choose to consider ‘him’ remains as tight-lipped as always.

  8. He is only tight lipped to those who cannot hear Him my friend. If you had the Spirit of God in your heart you would be able to understand Him. The ‘bad’ things you talk about are simply the result of disobedience toward God. God lays down the rules and laws and gives us the choice to obey or not. He points out the consequences, as He did with the Israelites and because He is a just and upright God and a faithful God He sticks to His word. If you steal something and you know there will be a punishment if you are caught, how then can you complain if you do get caught? You know the rules, obey them! Everything God does for us is for our benefit but if we choose not to accept Him we lose those benefits. What could be simpler? Where did you get the idea that questioning Christianity was ‘verboten’? People have been questioning Christianity from its inception, by those who are not Spirit filled, by those who refuse to hear the Word. As Christians we do ask God questions, normally to help us in our daily lives but we don’t, or should not question God’s motives.
    Romans 8:28
    And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
    Romans 8:27-29 (in Context)

    Shirley Anne x

  9. @ Shirley Anne,

    arkenaten does not invite friendly dialogue when he uses phrases like:
    “worm their way out of …”
    “whitewashing”
    “since granddad fell off a bus”
    “tight-lipped”

    It seems clear to me he is not really after a conversation. He has an impeccable way of closing down fruitful exchange.

    As for me, I think many Christians believe what they do with a sincere, kind heart and aren’t trying to “worm their way out of” anything.

    I am a little hesitant to address you in this thread because our points of view are not only radically different, but our methods of exchange appear different too. I think our temperaments, our backgrounds and our styles are very different. And I don’t want to distract from my conversation with Adrienne. But I will take this one stab and see how it goes — let me try to bring up two points:

    (1) Do you realize that many Christians feel God is largely silent? Do you know that many mystical Christians don’t look to God for the miracles you may feel are the substance of your faith?
    It is clear that God does not answer prayers in the way people hope: even when they pray with deep faith and a selfless heart. So then they have to figure out how to explain that to themselves. The “Silence of God” is an issue that Christians themselves differ on how the explain it.

    (2) You do acknowledge that questioning the faith has historically be met with horrible acts of violence, don’t you?

  10. @Sabio
    If you had read my comment you would have seen clearly that I made mention of the fact that questioning was not only frowned upon but actively discouraged.
    I am somewhat at odds with the way you conduct these supposed ‘dialogues’; you claim to be an atheist (a de-converted Christian -which may not not be quite the same thing) yet you revel in pussy-footing around this whole ‘god’ issue.
    I cannot for the life of me wonder at your motives?
    Are you trying to win friends, convince people (especially Warrioress) how ‘decent ‘ you are?
    Atheism and Theism are diametrically opposed so how you can state our points of view are different is a little odd – if you are the atheist you claim to be – and at various times your tone suggests you are playing both sides.

    Christians struggle with the silence of ‘God’ simply because logic dictates that an imaginary being; a creation of the mind and men, will NEVER communicate – neither directly, indirectly or via ‘collect call’.
    But faith – which has nothing to do with common sense, and an eon of inculcation is not easily shrugged off.

    Oh, and for the record; as by your own admission you are new to blogging, unless you have been given direct permission, it it is bad manners to address Warrioress by her Christian name.

  11. @ Shirley Anne.
    Please forgive me if I have jumped the gun re: your God’s lack of loquaciousness. As one who obviously has the Spirit of your God in you please would you be so kind as to enlighten myself and other readers of the details of the last couple of conversations/messages you have received from your ‘God’, detailing content, time duration etc.
    As for the benefits….LMAO. The only benefit(claimed) is supposed eternal life proving we worship this deity. What deity would be so arrogant as to need homage from such puny life forms as humans?
    And of course, failure to worship is eternal damnation…
    Yeah, what a trade off.
    You are a little delusional. However, I am open to correction, so please, let’s hear what God is saying to you.

  12. @ arkenaten,
    Yes, I would expect you to be at odds with my dialogue method.
    I think people are people and that we all have similar cognitive mechanism that create our lives. I like to dialogue about those shared mechanisms — our shared minds. After finding commonality, fruitful dialogue seems more hopeful — friends or not.

    Actually, I am not sure I understand your “motives” in threads here.
    (a) Do you feel your style is influencing others?
    (b) Do you just feel good after a rant?
    Those are sincere questions.

    When you say “Our Point of View”, I think you over-estimate your and my overlap of worldviews. I may not believe in a theist god, but there is much more to my worldview than just that — much more. Likewise, it is obvious to me that theists can vary from each other hugely — because there is much more to a believer’s worldview than just their theism.

    I am “playing the side” of shared worlds, shared insights, the same human condition.

    I hope that clarifies for you, even if a little bit.

    As for bad manners, if “The Warrioress” does not like being addressed by her first name (which she signs her comments with occasionally), I would be most happy to change — thanks for the heads up. If you don’t mind, though, I will see if she agrees with you.

  13. @Sabio
    (a) Do you feel your style is influencing others?
    Influencing? What a strange question. I am merely commenting. I have no allusions to influencing anyone. I blog for fun. And unlike some folk it bothers me not whether people comment on my posts, and I don’t into a funk and fret about what I write. But then,that’s me….

    (b) Do you just feel good after a rant?
    Probably no more than you do after one of your sanctimonious offerings.

    Those are sincere questions.
    Yeah, right! LOL

    Your worldview has nothing to do with your supposed atheism and with regards you commenting on Christian posts such as this is irrelevant.

    “I am “playing the side” of shared worlds, shared insights, the same human condition.”

    Looking for shared insights on a reborn Christian blog. LOL…This must be philosophical terminology for BS, yes?

    As for terms of address re Warrioress: No, I don’t mind at all, and if she agrees, then so be it. But why do you need to know what she does for a living and whether she has kids or not, whether she is a single mum etc. ?These things, quite frankly, are none of your business.

  14. @ arkenaten,

    As for me, I like to influence each other and be open to unexpected influence from them. I want to know people better. I like to see ideas interact. I enjoy all of that. I blog for fun too. So it seems we get our fun in different ways — not surprising.

    All our ideas are complexly woven together. Ideas are always attached with emotional states of some sort. And how we use ideas when tied to other ideas and our actions can be very complex. So, if I don’t believe in an all-powerful, interfering deity, but link all sorts of attitudes, approaches and feelings to that, then where you “atheism” rests and where mine rests are completely different. No idea stands alone. We are a complex web of fluxing beliefs.

    Actually, I imagine that when looking for shared insights The Warrioress and I may share more than you and I — though I am not sure. Like I said, belief or no belief in a God is one of innumerable beliefs — and for me, it is the package that is linked with beliefs and how they are used that matters.

    Again, hope that helps and doesn’t send you into LOL spasms.

    Returning to the OP theme–> I have always thought it is more important to know who we are than to speculate on who God is (or isn’t).

    Oh yes, concerning personal questions: ideas don’t live in a vacuum, they are connected to real lives and often heavily influenced by our conditions. The story behind the thinker is very important. As to whether it is my business, again, Warrioress can decline if she wants.

    But I must say, it is ironically odd hearing you play cop here.

  15. Well Anne aka Arkenaten, I am sorry to disappoint you by answering your question save to say a couple of things. In the first instance I was an atheist for 43 years before I came to Christ 23 years ago. I know where you are coming from because I was just like you with an axe to grind. I find so many atheists seem to think it a duty to dispel anyone’s belief in God instead of ignoring what they don’t believe themselves. Like I said before, you need to be filled with The Holy Spirit to understand. You are not, so it is impossible for you to understand. You kick at the goads, you fight against what you don’t know. I pray that you may get a Damascus road experience. You are just like Saul on his way to that place to preach against the faith. Saul was converted by God, actually just as everyone is. Secondly I have had several experiences of God moving in my life even recently BUT thirdly I will not cast my pearls before swine as Scripture tells me not to so until you get converted you will not be privy to that information. My faith is not on trial here as you seem to be keen on doing. I know that God is real, I know that I am saved, I know my destiny. I also know yours but Ii hope and pray that will change. It is with regret therefore that I am backing out of this conversation and possibly any others as I am not going to be party to my God and my Saviour and my faith being questioned by unbelievers. May God bless you and give you the wisdom you need to come to Him.

    Shirley Anne x

  16. Honest, helpful post. In my hardest moments, during the dark nights of my soul, I have never hesitated to confront God, even to shout and argue and sometimes curse. This is my God, afterall, and he is strong enough to handle it.

  17. @ Sabio.
    I reckon you are over thinking here; maybe this is because you still haven’t come to terms with de-conversion and you are trying to get a handle on a version of reality that satisfies your ‘soul’?
    Who knows?

    Ironic that I’m playing cop? Hmmm, you think so? Well, as Warrioress is a degreed individual, a BA in Psychology, no less, maybe she’s playing you?
    Besides, how knowing whether she’s a single mum or not will help you understand the story behind the thinker is just a tad distasteful for me. And I reiterate, it really is irrelevant to the posts.
    She could be a one-legged, lesbian, who regularly attends grunge concerts.
    If this is the case, how will this benefit your interaction?

    Warrioress runs a reborn Christian blog. That should be enough…even for someone as (sic) ‘deep’ as you.
    Maybe you should go back to Jesus, I have a feeling you might be more at home there?

    Silly Person
    ,

  18. @ Shirley Anne

    Yes, the Anne part of my avatar is a mystery that appeared for no apparent reason. But if you feel more comfortable addressing me as Anne, then go for it. *Smile*
    Saved? Well, if you feel you needed to be then so be it. But I am afraid that you were unlikely an atheist, as any conversion would have had to include the bible somewhere along the line – a more erroneous piece of literature one will not find.
    Not divulging the details of any tete a tete’s you have had with His Nibbs, is not surprising, as no Christian has EVER been able to provide an answer.
    I have never said your faith is on trial. Maybe your sanity, but who knows, yes?
    Of course God is real. So is Santa Claus. Saul too. All as real as any narrative character.
    I have no issues with what anyone believes; a point I have stressed time and time again. Just don’t proselytize, especially towards children who, by and large, have little defence against the evangelical claptrap.
    Peace, and may your god go with you.

  19. Done “talking” to Arkenaten. I tried.

  20. @ Sabio
    LMAO…you tried? Shame…Didn’t try hard enough then, did you?

    Anyhow, Messr. Bolt & co. are currently much more entertaining.

  21. @Marilyn

    Hi Marilyn, I’m Adrienne. I appreciate you sharing, however briefly, because I think I’m closest to your take on things on this issue of questioning God. I don’t have a lot of time right now to comment on the various comments because my daughter’s best friend is over here spending the night and we’re pretty busy.

    My take on this matter, though, is that God would never allow even one sin we do as Christians to impact our relationship negatively with Him, short of allowing the Holy Spirit to convict us when we’re out of line. We are covered through the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ and all we have to do is confess our sin, repent, and go and sin no more.

    God allows me a lot of latitude in my relationship with Him, and I find He is not quite as hyper-sensitive to my sins as I would have thought He might be. He is extremely patient with me and my questionings as well; I get the feeling that He doesn’t mind at all. Of course, I believe I question (when I do) from an open, loving heart that is dedicated and loyal to Him to the death; perhaps this is why He doesn’t appear to mind.

    @Minimalist Christian

    Thanks for sharing here because I agree with your take as well… It is exactly like the passage you quoted from Romans about one man eating meat is not sin while another man’s not eating it is his choice and if he feels it is sin, than he better not do it.

    I know what God considers sin for me because the Holy Spirit convicts me when I even think about sinning. I believe God deals with each one of us individually though, in His own particular, unique way because we are all different, unique people and are hardly all alike. There is no one cookie cutter way to deal with all of God’s different people.

    @Shirley Anne

    Shirley, I really appreciate your take on things even though we differ in some respects. I’m sorry you’re having a difficult time dealing with Ark or even Sabio. I’m fond of both men, even though I’ve butted heads with both more than a time or two. I don’t know why, but I have a special fondness in my heart for the non-believing individual, atheists in particular. I have a little bit of a difficult time relating to the downright hateful, but I don’t get that these two are anywhere near close to that kind of person. Maybe pray about them and give this another try, if God wills …

    I really appreciate your participation, Shirley, and what you’ve contributed here thus far.

    @Ark & Sabio

    Don’t have much time but just wanted to say if anyone wants to know more details about the personal aspect of my life, I have shared many of these here:

    https://lifeofafemalebiblewarrior.wordpress.com/2011/12/23/almost-christmas-at-our-house/

    Please feel free to have a read of it and I think it will answer a lot of your questions; if not, let me know and I’ll answer what I can. 🙂

    Anyway, I want to commment further to a couple of specifics from both of you relating to the topic(s) and will get to them asap, but it may be tomorrow evening before I do. Thanks, you two, for sharing here and making everything so intriguing and interesting with your various thoughts and even your testosterone-laden bickering (haha).

    @Ed

    Thanks for your comments, Ed, and many hugs to you and the wife. 🙂

  22. Haven’t forgotten everybody; I’ve just been super busy here at home with a lot of unexpected demands upon my time. I’ll be back as soon as I can be. Thanks for understanding.

  23. @Sabio

    Regarding the links, Dr. Petter Enns & his blog, I will investigate this shortly. Thank you. I will attempt to remember to give you some feedback on this man’s writings. And now onward to your next comment:

    You said:

    Likewise, to question that the Qur’an is the word of God, is not a problem. To doubt that the Bhagavad Gita (“God’s Song), is the Lord’s words to us (as many Hindus believe), is not a problem. And to doubt that the Jewish and Christian canonized scrolls aren’t God’s word but words of men with their own agendas, would also not be an offense to an all-good God.

    Doubt, from a good heart, is should always be tolerated and even encouraged.

    Now here comes a problem. You agree that no one can judge a heart but God and a sincere heart is a good thing but then you say:

    The carnal mind (unsaved/without the Holy Spirit) is flesh-focused.

    Which is equivalent of saying, “Christians are allowed to doubt, but the ‘unsaved’ can not understand anything. So all of a sudden, non-believers are demonized. This ploy is used by several religions. If you have studied several religions, you will see many using it so as to keep believers comfortable with judging the outside world and feeling comfortable in theirs. Why do you think it is so common? Do you think their technique is a lie of Satan and your use of it is from your God? That insight, when I was younger, was one of the many insights that made me realize the mechanisms of my Christianity — the insubstantiality of it. The generic, parochial exclusivism of my religion became clear to me.

    The bible tells us that those who do not have the Holy Spirit are not going to able to understand things of the spirit. I think this is accurate based upon the majority of the commentary from those who evidently don’t have the Holy Spirit because they don’t even believe in Him. They also don’t believe the bible or God, and are atheist. How many people do you know who don’t believe in God claim to have His Holy Spirit? Without this, how could they understand the things of God? It’s not a tactic, imo, Sabio, it’s simple truth. No one’s being demonized; how could people who are skeptical and sarcastic respect what is written within the bible? Until they open their minds to it and God, they can see very little on this topic, again imo.

    You said:

    Of course there are many writers in your Bible that agree with you. But then as I wrote above, I have no trouble doubting the agendas of the texts your church councils have decided to stamp as “orthodox”. So that will always be a stopping point to open dialogue — you will always partition off non-believers as different animals. In this case, because we don’t have the Holy Spirit, we can’t have insight or are morally corrupt. Yet, supposedly as a former believer I had the Holy Spirit and then when I deconverted, he left. But to be honest, I never felt any such thing. And people who know me from those days don’t see a different me at all. Indeed it makes many former Christian friends uncomfortable when I meet them 20 years later and I am unchanged, fun, loving, healthy family and kind to others. They have to figure out why that would be the case. Because for them, Christians have more insight and are essentially better people as they have been perfected by the work of the Holy Spirit.

    I don’t see this as strange at all. We also cannot be certain that the Holy Spirit has departed you, Sabio. I mean… you are here, after all, on a Christian’s blog, discussing He in whom you no longer claim to believe in. Personally, you appear to still be open in some respects to the Holy Spirit. I don’t see a “reprobate mind,” within you as of yet. You say you never felt the Holy Spirit in your past; I think when the Holy Spirit leaves, it becomes evident to Christians, in particular. I don’t know that Christians are better people; I’ve never claimed that they were; I believe we are merely forgiven.

    You said:

    Yet the above theology of perfection and insight is not common among all Christians — (C.S. Lewis would have disagreed with you). Yet Bible verses can be picked to support your opinion on that issue — I get that, I use to do it.

    You last paragraphs seems to simply boil down to:

    “OK, I agree, God is Perfectly Good. I changed my mind that he could be egotistical and human like. So though he seems like that in throughout the OT, I will know just stop doubting and say ‘Well, it must be my limited understanding.’ So I will stop doubting that part and just accept his genocides, killing of infants and pregnant women and much more as divine wisdom and wait until heaven to see why it is my limited brain that ever doubted how good that really is.”

    Part of what you are saying also seems to say:

    If we doubt what the scriptures of Jews and Christians say, it is equivalent of doubting God himself. That sort of doubt is rebellious, blind and without the Holy Spirit and will only result in foolishness.

    Agains, seems that for you, everything turns on what the Bible exactly is. And you are a warrioress for the Bible.

    Personally-speaking, I erroneously thought that God was akin to us because we are made in the image of God. Thanks to studying this in depth in the bible, I definitely now believe that God is perfect, holy, and yes, GOOD. Jesus Christ tells us this is the case. I am a warrioress for the inspired word of God, YES. I defend God’s word. I defend the message of God. I stand by it.

    You said:

    Lots of Christians view the Bible very differently than you. I think what you are arguing is not “God” but “my view of the Bible”. For on one hand you sometimes lean toward the mystery of God but on the next, you think the boys who wrote the Bible books had a corner on all that — and certainty, smugness, exclusiveness and judgement sneaks back in (“Conservativism”).

    Again, I am not arguing against Christianity, but against certain forms of Christianity. And most conservatives hate the other forms though the try not to say so — out of a pretense of a “unity of the Body of Christ”.

    I’m a mixture of conservative and liberal so I am able to see the pros and cons of both as they exist at the present time. I see evil within both. I see anything but Christ-likeness within both. I’m following God’s word as it relates to my vote and my politics. Sabio, this does not mean that I always vote Republican in any way shape or form. I don’t vote according to the party line.

    I’m arguing the bible itself; regardless if we nit pick over the various interpretations, they generally all say something similar. As for “certain forms of Christianity,” i would argue against some of those myself. If they are not biblical, meaning they go against the bible, and do not believe in the basics of Christianity, I think there’s a problem and I am skeptical.

    As for unity in the body of Christ, there is unity within belief in the basics. False teachers/prophets abound, however, as does aspostasy. It is very important to be able to tell the true from the false in these times.

  24. 1. Circular Argument
    Your argument is circular. “How could someone believe in God who doesn’t believe in God?”
    Echo chambers and circular reasoning are difficult to point out.

    2. Holy Spirit
    I clearly had the Holy Spirit in the past. And when I left Christianity, I did not feel Him leave. That is because the Holy Spirit is ourself. It is our imagination, our inner voice, our kindness and all the rest that all of humanity has potential for. It is listening to consciousness and others.

    3. Dropping a Bad God
    You claim to know God. Yet you use to think he may mischievous at times just like people. But in the last month, after study, you decide he is all Good. It is clear that “knowing God” is a head trip to you, not relationship. Just like people know Harry Potter through reading. When they read the books a second time as an adult, they may know Harry Potter in a different way. But none of these “knowings” are because of a personal relationship, of course.

    When Christians talk about “knowing God”, they are mixing these two sense of knowing.

    4. Bible Fan
    Where does all your faith in the Bible come from? Is it circular? –> because the Bible tells you to believe it? I understand how secure it must feel to have one book to run to.

  25. @ Warrioress.
    Sabio doesn’t invite friendly dialogue when he uses phrases like, “It is clear that “knowing God” is a head trip to you, not relationship.”
    This sounds so familiar for some reason. Sheesh, I wonder why?

    Aside from this, Sabio is spot on.
    It’s all in your head….always was.

  26. […] Who God Is (Part One) (lifeofafemalebiblewarrior.wordpress.com) […]


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