A REPLY TO A DOUBTER

I’m addicted to reading blogs about God’s Grace.  I’m not even a little bit trying to be a “Good Christian” by reading Jesus stuff.  No, I’m so addicted to the peace/joy that God’s Truth brings me that I want to find some more.  Below is my respond to a person who was writing on another blog and apparently found this whole hyper-grace viewpoint just bunk.  I could relate to him so I wrote the following reply.  

Matt – The way to find out what “theology” is actually True (there are many with different views claiming Truth in Christianity) is what brings the fruit of the Spirit to believers. For 30 years as a very serious, hard working “Christian”, I had depression and anxiety. In the last year, after learning these Truths, I’ve experience a big growth in all 9 of the fruit of the Spirits named in Galatians. I feel like I’ve been born again…again. If believing the way you do makes your spend your days filled with feelings of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control, then what you believe is True. If you’re more sad, afraid, angry or frustrated than you want to be, then you believe some things that aren’t True. [Hey, God. Please reveal all this Truth and joy to Matt.] Remember that the True Truth is something relatively few may find (small gate…narrow road). But God IS a rewarder of those who earnestly seek Him. If you stay after it, you will find it. It took me 30 years. But I kept at it because the way I was believing wasn’t satisfying my soul even a bit. Once I started believing this new way and my whole life changed completely, I found that there is a whole world of people who believe as I have come to believe. A family friend has quit heroin and is spending his days right now telling his friends how to get free (from drugs and spiritually). He’s gone from hospitalization grade depression/anxiety to being one of the most fulfilled people I know. I am not exaggerating even 1%. It was really THAT bad with him and it’s now THAT good.

Life goes from feeling like a heavy struggle to a light-hearted vacation. I know that’s hard to believe. But, if you “poll” others who frequent these blogs, you will find thousands of people with the exact same experiences as mine. We have found “the pearl of great price for which we will sell everything we have in order to purchase it”.

I also know it’s hard to let go of beliefs like you have. I had them too. And still have some lingering. I’m trying to grow out of them.

I started writing a blog in the very early stages of my growing into this. So, my journey out of pain and into peace/joy is chronicled and documented as it proceeded athttp://www.betterthanexpected2013.wordpress.com.

If anyone finds this path, and if they are a deep thinker as you are, there will be many questions that conflict with what we have believed that need to be worked through. I”m doing that now.

God – Teaching me these things has been the best thing that’s happened in my life. Better than finding my wife. Better than giving birth to my children. Better than starting a company and selling it to Microsoft. Thank you. I needed it so bad. I’m a happy man today. And I think my next 20 years (what I have left) will be great. I hope I can help others to find this pearl.

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3 thoughts on “A REPLY TO A DOUBTER

  1. Rick – I love your spirit and your honesty. It’s your logic I have a problem with. Here’s what I mean:

    Your determiner of what’s true is: “When I believe this (fill in the blank), I feel this (fill in the blank).” If the feeling is good – the belief is true. If the feeling is bad – the belief is not true. In the end, the determiner of what is/isn’t true ends up being our very subjective feelings, rather than, something (anything!) a little more objective.

    If you say: “It’s not really about “feelings,” but “fruit” (as you do in in this blog). Then I wonder: what about someone who believes in “conditional security?” Do you think that none of us, historically, (and I include all of the “church fathers,” the revivalists, even DL Moody, RA Torrey and AW Tozer) experienced the fruit of the Spirit in growing measure? I mean, you wrote:

    “If believing the way you do makes you spend your days filled with feelings of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, then what you believe is True”

    What if a conditionalist has all those “feelings” (and many do)? If what you say is correct and the determiner of what’s true is how a given idea makes us feel (use “fruit” if you want), then the conditionalist’s belief is true. This means that opposing views (unconditional and conditional) can be simultaneously true. This is impossible. It violates the law of noncontradiction. Your thesis can not be accurate.

  2. Dan – I may have something to learn. I’ve never heard or read of any person who who had a theology where they could lose their eternity GUSH about how incredibly wonderful their life is, peace beyond understanding, set free by the Truth, the Abundant Life, a “light yoke” . This is after going to many churches through the years, reading scores of books, watching thousands of sermons on TV and listening to multiple thousands on the radio, etc. If there are people without a belief in eternal security who are as happy as I’ve described, I would like to talk to them. It’s just not what they talk about. They really don’t ever talk about how much joy they are experiencing. Actually, they are usually very burdened, although they do try to hide it because you can’t really mope around. I know because I was sad and wanted to mope for my first 30 years after conversion. People with this theology almost always talk about what they have to do to be a better Christian than they are. If you listen to, say, 3 sermons in the car on the way to work, by the time I get to the office, I have been told to improve in many areas that I just can’t get around to. So, if you ever run across a passage from a book or know a person I could talk to who could tell me that he’s “on cloud 9” almost all day every day because of the Gospel they believe, I’d sure appreciate the heads up so I can learn about that. If, for example, you would go to a Joseph Prince video and read the comments made by people who watched it and believe it, you will see that these comments are qualitatively ENTIRELY different than those that follow sermons/videos by those who believe our eternity can be at risk. The joy in these comments is literally palpable. I’ve never in my life read comments by such a happy crowd of people.

  3. I am a conditionalist that enjoys the abundant, overcoming life of a follower of Jesus. The hundreds I’ve pastored for many years now will likely tell you, if asked, that joy, freedom and grace is a characteristic of my life and ministry. As for “gushing” and “being on cloud nine” I didn’t know that those were requirements. Funny how “those guys” judge you about “being better” and “trying harder,” while you judge them about “not gushing” or “being on cloud nine.” Sheesh…Jesus help us!

    Anyway, your reply doesn’t address my argument as I see it. My comment showed that your thesis, as expressed in this statement…

    “If believing the way you do makes your spend your days filled with feelings of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control, then what you believe is True.”

    …is just not a solid. In fact, it’s bad logic. As mentioned above, it proves too much. It can be used to prove contradictions. Am I wrong?

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