Surfing on life banner
The ShovelShack Archives
Between January 2002 and December 2011, almost 46,000 posts were created by members of the Shovel Shack discussion group.
In 2012, the Shovel Shack moved to a new home: shovelshack.org. Shovelshack.net will be kept intact as an archive for those amazing discussions.

Browse a bit and then join us at ShovelShack.org

Personal IC experiences
 Shovel Shack : Personal IC experiences
Subject Topic: Is church attendance a hinderance or help?
Author
Message << Prev Topic | Next Topic >>
JustLiving
Digger
Digger


Joined: Dec-07-01
Location: United States
Posts: 26
Posted: Jan-19-02 at 2:48pm | IP Logged  

I just wanted to fuel a discussion.  
Back to Top
 
Dave S
Shackaholic
Shackaholic


Joined: Dec-01-01
Location: Isle Of Man
Posts: 913
Posted: Jan-19-02 at 4:07pm | IP Logged  

Hi JustLiving

<I just wanted to fuel a discussion. >

Where the Spirit is,there will be the life. If the life is present, one would not want to be anywhere else but in attendance. For the life would bring an abundance of liberty ,peace, joy etc.

Follow Him.

Much love, Dave S ;)

Back to Top
 
Guest
Guest
Guest


Joined: Oct-01-03
Posts: 36
Posted: Jan-19-02 at 4:08pm | IP Logged  

Hi, good question.

To be honest, I think it depends upon the individual person and upon the church involved.

I do think it is harmful to teach Christians that they "have to" go to church (or else).

A simple way to evaluate your church experience is to ask yourself whether it is helping you or not.

Oceanwaves

 

Back to Top
 
the shovel
Shackmeister
Shackmeister


Joined: Oct-01-01
Location: United States
Posts: 4187
Posted: Jan-19-02 at 4:21pm | IP Logged  

Hi all,

For myself, I have come to see that even "bad" experiences have turned out for my good.  This is not to say that all church experiences have been bad for me, but those I had considered so have all gone to build something in me in a unique way.  Ironically, many of the things about "church attendance" I had considered "good" don't necessarily seem as good as they once had.

JustLiving, thanks for kicking up another discussion.

Jim

Back to Top
 
JustLiving
Digger
Digger


Joined: Dec-07-01
Location: United States
Posts: 26
Posted: Jan-19-02 at 4:41pm | IP Logged  

I guess BEFORE the revelation comes that Christ is YOUR life.  Church is YOUR LIFE.  In experience I mean.  Because of the fact that I was needing to "get something" from my attendance caused me to miss His LIFE.  I still attend meetings with kids now and love seeing them.  I absolutely dislike all the other "stuff" that goes on in the name of Jesus.  ALL OF IT.  The songs are full of begging, the sermons are full of begging.  All to get what we ALREADY have. 

 

Back to Top
 
midmichman
Digger
Digger


Joined: Jan-19-02
Location: United States
Posts: 10
Posted: Jan-19-02 at 4:46pm | IP Logged  

I have often pondered that same question. I think it is a hindrance if the church is caught up in preaching burden instead of life.  What I mean is from the pulpit do you hear mostly law, dos, don'ts, performance, etc etc or grace, love, life, liberty, etc?  My current church is a mix of both. I have spoke with the pastor about matters such as 'the tithe', 'abstension from alcohol', and the lack of 'life' in the church to which he agreed with some of my points and disagreed with others.  I guess is is a hindrance if your growth in the grace and truth is hindered. I sometimes feel in that boat because it seems the main message I get most of the time is one of having to perform and meet certain levels of maturity in order to be 'right with God' and 'being in fellowship with God'.  On that note, I plan to start a thread on a discussion we had last Wed night about 2 Tim 2:12.

Scott

Back to Top
 
mcdave
Shackaddict
Shackaddict


Joined: Dec-25-01
Location: United States
Posts: 1809
Posted: Jan-20-02 at 6:21pm | IP Logged  

hi to the group from minnesota,

isn't the church merely the saints?and any regular gathering of the saints"church"?personally,i have been hindered,harmed AND helped by traditional "church" attendance.it does seem rare where the finished work of Christ is preached in the tradional church,at least that has been the case here in minnesota.while i do attend and call myself a member of a traditional church i gain more life from the believers that meet regularly for bible study and fellowship in my home.i attend the other church more for what my wife mary and i can bring than what we receive.

      

     It's not works,it's coffee.
   

Back to Top
 
Alan
Extreme Digger
Extreme Digger


Joined: Nov-30-01
Location: United States
Posts: 146
Posted: Jan-21-02 at 10:10am | IP Logged  

What a beautiful and relevant question. Until I was able to verbally express and deal with "Sacred Cow" issues like this, I never begin to experience real freedom.

Personally, I get sick to my stomach at the thought of walking back into my "traditional" 50/50 grace and law "cocktail" church. I do it still for my kids (I'm not sure why...that's a new post discussion in itself), but I cringe at every word of manipulation, condemnation, and religious pontification.

I'm just happy and free watching Jesus being all and fulfilling all in me (no matter WHAT I'm doing - where I'm doing it) and to me, that's real church.

Thanks for posing the issue!

Alan

Back to Top
 
Guest
Guest
Guest


Joined: Oct-01-03
Posts: 36
Posted: Jan-21-02 at 4:14pm | IP Logged  

Is church attendance important?

You can't attend something that you are!


Back to Top
 
midmichman
Digger
Digger


Joined: Jan-19-02
Location: United States
Posts: 10
Posted: Jan-21-02 at 4:55pm | IP Logged  

Like Alan said, I too can get sick to my stomach at the thought of going to my church to hear the 50/50 message.  I am trying to work on the approach that I should bring something to the church instead of just expecting it to conform around me. It is difficult at times. Their are many 'sacred cows' to stumble around.

Scott

Back to Top
 
Richard
Shackaholic
Shackaholic


Joined: Nov-11-01
Location: Canada
Posts: 733
Posted: Jan-21-02 at 4:56pm | IP Logged  

People would say you're just triping over words,< Is church attendance important?

You can't attend something that you are!>

Like so many other things within the organized system, it's just a matter of learning some new words, NOT!  Paul didn't say the Lord gave him some new words to speak..it was a revelation that didn't come because someone sat on his head. He got it straight from the Head! You know the typical shit, who are you sitting under? Church attendance, give me a break.
Richard

Back to Top
 
mcdave
Shackaddict
Shackaddict


Joined: Dec-25-01
Location: United States
Posts: 1809
Posted: Jan-21-02 at 5:50pm | IP Logged  

dave,awsome.i like your comment about "attending what we are.it is so easy to slip into "churchspeak" and not just recognize what God has already done in us.after all,it is a finished work,is it not?

      

     It's not works,it's coffee.
   

Back to Top
 
the shovel
Shackmeister
Shackmeister


Joined: Oct-01-01
Location: United States
Posts: 4187
Posted: Jan-21-02 at 6:43pm | IP Logged  

Hey "JustLiving" ... see what you fueled here?! 

Now, Richard, a "revelation" would require some real input from the real God.  Don't you think you're going overboard here suggesting that God REALLY REALLY gives insight into realities not seen or understood by our natural mind?  hehe!  Hey, this is dangerous, you know!!  It would mean all barriers would have been broken down to create such a reality. 

Dave, I think I'm going to go "attend" to myself by getting some dinner here before long.

And Alan, that "Traditional 50/50 cocktail" has a familiar ring to it.  Ah yes, "Maddog 20/20".  The 50/50 mix sounds much more potent.  Heck, I bet it can make you go absolutely crazy! 

Thanks everybody for all the input.  Don't stop now!!!

Jim

Back to Top
 
Adam
Extreme Digger
Extreme Digger


Joined: Dec-31-01
Location: United States
Posts: 124
Posted: Jan-22-02 at 12:45am | IP Logged  

I was amazed to speak with a brother about this religous build up sorrounding "shoulds"..i found that the amazment was that  he wasnt concerned with cleaning up his life so much but that he was freind to Christ in it!This "should" be our true concern.....our ADVOCATE!He aint here to make you any better,anymore religous,anymore acceptable to "moral "people,anymore beautiful to the human eye or responsible to humanity...He is here to be with you ....He couldnt be  at one time and now He can!He came to remove the "sin" barrier to enjoy our spiritual self and to give us a permanant break from the morality trip the people "of this world "will put you under.....to sooth the wounds of legalistic self  riteous rejection which is what  our banner  was even as a sinner!We were  once standing in hatred and judgment and arrogance destroying those around us but thank God He has come that we might have life!Not more death,religon,self effort,and rules of reward in regard to our morality level!I guess these are the 21st century words to explain the ideas the apostles gave us 2000 years ago which we need to be using to get ahandle on what God meant when He siad it is finished ...let go of the Christian traditon crap!.......
Back to Top
 
carol
Digger
Digger


Joined: Dec-28-01
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 7
Posted: Jan-22-02 at 5:18am | IP Logged  

Hey Adam,

What can I say but Amen

love Carol

Back to Top
 
Guest
Guest
Guest


Joined: Oct-01-03
Posts: 36
Posted: Jan-22-02 at 8:21am | IP Logged  

(Chanted like a cheerleader)
Go Adam, go Adam, go Adam! ... you go, bro'!

So, can we agree that it's not about "attending" some building's "service" that makes that a church? It's recognizing the fact that all those that are His are His Church.

And further so... (next question) If all the religious stuff we see in the world, that calls itself "church," isn't, because we believe that we know differently, then what should the Church look like? Or perhaps a better way of stating the question... how then should we be living this life in Christ?

Ten minutes on this question, then put your pencils down and pass your papers forward.
Back to Top
 
the shovel
Shackmeister
Shackmeister


Joined: Oct-01-01
Location: United States
Posts: 4187
Posted: Jan-22-02 at 1:51pm | IP Logged  

Quote: Originally posted by Dave Aldrich on 1/22/2002


If all the religious stuff we see in the world, that calls itself "church," isn't, because we believe that we know differently, then what should the Church look like? Or perhaps a better way of stating the question... how then should we be living this life in Christ?


I like your restatement of the question because it puts it into a totally different framework.  Considering what the Church should look like still has me trying to come up with a substitute framework based upon the "model" of the institution.  But in asking how we should be living this life in Christ brings the focus of the "church" into a very real thing. 

Your question - as you are most likely aware - sheds more light upon the requested answer than most "answers" written on the subject.    I think the answer is found in our relating to one another as the new creation we are.

Well, there are a couple thoughts for now.

Jim 

 

Back to Top
 
Alan
Extreme Digger
Extreme Digger


Joined: Nov-30-01
Location: United States
Posts: 146
Posted: Jan-22-02 at 3:46pm | IP Logged  

Quote: Originally posted by Dave Aldrich on 1/22/2002


So, can we agree that it's not about "attending" some building's "service" that makes that a church? It's recognizing the fact that all those that are His are His Church.

Agree!

Or perhaps a better way of stating the question... how then should we be living this life in Christ?


How should we?  I submit, how COULD we.  Herein lies the million dollar question: "Should we be doing ANYTHING?" 

Now, the obvious answer at face value from some noble saint who knows who they are in Christ would say, "Of course not!  It's Christ in and through me!"  But what does that mean?  I think it means, If I take a hot meal to a little old widow and it blesses her in Jesus name, I take the perspective that it is Jesus ministering in and through me.  No debate there.

But the issue is, did I have to do that?  If so, I'm under law.  If not, what compelled  - what "convicted"  - me to do it?  If it was from me, it's self righteousness.  If it was from man it is legalism.  If it was from the Holy Spirit, is it simply His "Law" written on my heart?  If so, what if I don't submit?  If not, what do you call it?

Should I just quietly go back to my scotch and water? (just kidding...no water!  Hee hee!)

(Disclaimer:  1) Dave, this is just a play on the words you wrote to pose a point for discussion, not an assumption of your meaning.  2) Based on my readings of your insightful posts, I'm confident you have a far better grasp of this wonderful stuff than I do.  3)  And unfortunately, I'm at work...drinking just water!)

A


Back to Top
 
Guest
Guest
Guest


Joined: Oct-01-03
Posts: 36
Posted: Jan-22-02 at 5:55pm | IP Logged  

Alan... I'm not a Scotch lover but I'll take a Sam Adams if you got one cold. (now we just allienated half the Shovelers out there! - sorry!)

Relating to one another, as Jim said, is what I wanted the focus to come to. When I first realized my freedom in Christ (sans religious churchianity) I wanted to share and relate this Good News with others! I understand where you were going, Alan, with your response. Your right, it's not about following some set of "have to's" or "shoulds," but about following Him and allowing Him to be Him in us.

Here's what I see...

I've learned, and am learning, that this is a journey we're on with Jesus (duh!- it's taken me a while, folks), and along the path we find others who come our way to teach, to encourage, to admonish, etc. It's the whole Body illustration that Jesus paints for us... different members... different abilities... all needed to complete a healthy Body.

This is where relating/fellowshipping with one another is so important. I think that happens here in this Shack, albeit it's a limited way of fellowship and I wouldn't substitute this for real life relating.

It is wonderful stuff! And it's often hard stuff. Most folks prefer surfacey relationships where we can put our best in front and our worst hidden. We don't grow that way. We mature in Christ when we admit our weaknesses and our need for one another. Ouch that hurts!

Did I take a side track here? Sorry, folks. I got on my bandwagon again!

Dave
Back to Top
 
the shovel
Shackmeister
Shackmeister


Joined: Oct-01-01
Location: United States
Posts: 4187
Posted: Jan-22-02 at 8:30pm | IP Logged  

Quote: Originally posted by Dave Aldrich on 1/22/02

Did I take a side track here? Sorry, folks. I got on my bandwagon again!

Dave

Dave, this doesn't sound like a side track to me!!  I happen to like this bandwagon. 

Jim

Back to Top
 
Adam
Extreme Digger
Extreme Digger


Joined: Dec-31-01
Location: United States
Posts: 124
Posted: Jan-23-02 at 3:26am | IP Logged  

i wonder if we are all stunned.I mean church really meant something to all of us at one time or another.Now we got a message of human tradition between its walls and part of this very message is that we should secure a pastors income by being overtly aware of this gathering we call the church.But  on the other hand isnt there something to seeing,touching,expressing face to face the life of Christ?Dont we all long to see with our owns eyes and  relate in some personal way with oneanother?Have the security of knowing that i will "see" mr preacher on this day for sure and explain my personal situatin after "church".I s there really any spiritual "sopposed to" when it comes to this need ?Could we not just maybe need reminding that we are people with personal struggles and some who are strong ion the faith are to help those weak?Isnt this like the "church"?On the rock of the faith of Son of God arent we established ?When i write you now isnt it like when timothy writes Paul 2000 years ago?Having them writing to each other expresssing themselves or communicating in person probably never was made out to be "church"and yet they were His church...and yet they needed personl communication and probably desired it! Yes they sang and clapped but Paul did this any where![including jail]In a sense we all gather here on line and fellowship...it probably isnt the same as a face to face conversation for some of us and for even a few this might seem impersonal but i find it to be simaliar to what we call church in its own way....still wish you all lived down ther Block! Adam
Back to Top
 
Richard
Shackaholic
Shackaholic


Joined: Nov-11-01
Location: Canada
Posts: 733
Posted: Jan-23-02 at 6:54am | IP Logged  

Adam...I love what your sharing here and want to comment furter but time is short, work becokns me, will add more later.

Richard   

Back to Top
 
Alan
Extreme Digger
Extreme Digger


Joined: Nov-30-01
Location: United States
Posts: 146
Posted: Jan-23-02 at 9:32am | IP Logged  

Quote: Originally posted by the shovel on 1/22/02
Quote: Originally posted by Dave Aldrich on 1/22/02

Did I take a side track here? Sorry, folks. I got on my bandwagon again!

Dave

Dave, this doesn't sound like a side track to me!!  I happen to like this bandwagon. 

Jim


Hear, hear!!!

Alan

Back to Top
 
the shovel
Shackmeister
Shackmeister


Joined: Oct-01-01
Location: United States
Posts: 4187
Posted: Jan-23-02 at 2:16pm | IP Logged  

Quote: Originally posted by Adam on 1/23/02
In a sense we all gather here on line and fellowship...it probably isnt the same as a face to face conversation for some of us and for even a few this might seem impersonal but i find it to be simaliar to what we call church in its own way....still wish you all lived down ther Block! Adam

You know, I wish you all lived down the block, too.  It is very easy to knock the traditional forms of what is called "church" and then be left with the idea that personal face-to-face communication is somehow bogus.  The only thing that has made it bogus is the religious bondage we have so enmeshed in our thought processes that forces a lack of life and reality among us.

Communication such as we are enjoying here is not a replacement in any way for actual physical presence.  Now, I believe it is a totally valid form of serious heart to heart communication, but I think it's even more than that.  I think this "impersonal" internet form of relating is giving us more "personal" connection than most of us have found in "real life".  

Because it does not fit our concepts of true communication I think we have been surprised to discover real life outside the norm.  The unexpected fellowship and realism we find in this form of medium may (and often has) broken the barriers of expectation in many other areas of our lives for we are talking and asking and considering many things in our everyday that we used to brush aside.  You know, if God can be real in our lives here on the internet He surely can be real in the rest of our life. 

Maybe we will come to understand more about "church" in a face to face way by simply realizing more and more that it needs NO buildings or books or doctrinal statements or board of directors or programs or bulletins or rule books for it to "happen".

Jim

Back to Top
 
Guest
Guest
Guest


Joined: Oct-01-03
Posts: 36
Posted: Jan-23-02 at 10:43pm | IP Logged  

Jim said: Maybe we will come to understand more about "church" in a face to face way by simply realizing more and more that it needs NO buildings or books or doctrinal statements or board of directors or programs or bulletins or rule books for it to "happen".

Yes!
"Where ever two or three are gathered in My name."

Wonderful stuff being shared here!
Back to Top
 
Guest
Guest
Guest


Joined: Oct-01-03
Posts: 36
Posted: Jan-25-02 at 5:40pm | IP Logged  

"We don't grow that way. We mature in Christ when we admit our weaknesses and our need for one another. Ouch that hurts!"

How about this view:  we admit and find ourselves admitting our weaknesses and our needs freely to and with one another when we are focusing on Christ as our Life ... when we are viewing ourselves and each other in the Living Reality of who we are and who each other is in Him ... together as One.

Hi Sherri,

Yes, you said it well. I didn't mean what I said to be some kind of "have-to-formula" for maturity. The freedom that I am learning to enjoy in Jesus seems to be fully realized when I allow that same freedom in others.

So many more thoughts, so little time right now. This is a wonderful discussion.

Dave A.
Back to Top
 
Guest
Guest
Guest


Joined: Oct-01-03
Posts: 36
Posted: Jan-25-02 at 6:03pm | IP Logged  

By the way... my view of maturity...

B]Maturing = becoming less like me, more like Jesus... allowing Him to become Him in me, and me learning to get out of His way!

(there's still so much more of me!)

Dave A.[
Back to Top
 
mcdave
Shackaddict
Shackaddict


Joined: Dec-25-01
Location: United States
Posts: 1809
Posted: Jan-25-02 at 8:30pm | IP Logged  

hello saints,

are we having "church"here?:)

mcdave

      

     It's not works,it's coffee.
   

Back to Top
 
the shovel
Shackmeister
Shackmeister


Joined: Oct-01-01
Location: United States
Posts: 4187
Posted: Jan-25-02 at 10:24pm | IP Logged  

Quote: Originally posted by mcdave on 1/25/02
hello saints,

are we having "church"here?:)

mcdave

Or are we BEING church here? 

Jim

Back to Top
 
Adam
Extreme Digger
Extreme Digger


Joined: Dec-31-01
Location: United States
Posts: 124
Posted: Jan-25-02 at 11:18pm | IP Logged  

Sherri you had some real good stuff....yiou have agood handle on the subtlty of the struggle over how farr grace will go with ya.....i think most wont go that far with it because they have never thopught through what they were saying!If you have to do something,anything to do the right thing to be ok with God then its bogus...but its not enough to just say this we must go on to real life how does it play itself out in our daily lives...when someone is offended by us...do we pick up our legalstic golf cart to get to were we :should"go or is their some explaining on the other side were there is this grace and peace that is talked about....
Back to Top
 
Guest
Guest
Guest


Joined: Oct-01-03
Posts: 36
Posted: Jan-27-02 at 8:14am | IP Logged  

Sherri... I need those reminders too frequently it seems! In my head I know and understand... it's in my practical, "living it out," where the old dead flesh rears its ugly head and tries to tell me otherwise, that I struggle. On paper and in these posts I can come across as "one who knows!" Truth is it's a struggle.

Thanks.
Back to Top
 
Adam
Extreme Digger
Extreme Digger


Joined: Dec-31-01
Location: United States
Posts: 124
Posted: Jan-27-02 at 6:45pm | IP Logged  

boy sherri i wrote a huge response but for some reason it didnt post...shovel do ya got it perhapes
Back to Top
 
the shovel
Shackmeister
Shackmeister


Joined: Oct-01-01
Location: United States
Posts: 4187
Posted: Jan-27-02 at 8:23pm | IP Logged  

Quote: Originally posted by Adam on 1/27/02
boy sherri i wrote a huge response but for some reason it didnt post...shovel do ya got it perhapes

No, my brother, I haven't seen anything come through.  :(

Jim

Back to Top
 
Guest
Guest
Guest


Joined: Oct-01-03
Posts: 36
Posted: Jan-27-02 at 8:54pm | IP Logged  

Whew, Sherri... you said some potent stuff there, sister! Shovel and Shovelina... you make a heck of a team. I am grateful for you guys as well as the other folks who share in the digs here.

It's taken me many years to be honest with myself... honest with my short comings (By the way, are there long comings?) I used to think I was so unique in my struggles. My wonderful wife reminded me otherwise this morning. She is my reality checker!

And it brings comfort in knowing that Jesus struggled like us as well, so He knows what we're going through.

Thanks for starting this post, JustLiving... this topic has brought forth more fruit than just this topic.
Back to Top
 
Alan
Extreme Digger
Extreme Digger


Joined: Nov-30-01
Location: United States
Posts: 146
Posted: Jan-28-02 at 10:39am | IP Logged  

Quote: Originally posted by Sherri on 1/26/02

Great news, Dave!  It is not even dependant upon our 'allowing' Him.  You are even free-er than that!    : )

If by "so much more of me" you mean the OLD you, it ain't there no more!  To borrow some words from one of the Shovel's old tunes ... "You died with Jesus ... you're dead unto sin.  You died with Jesus ... you're risen in Him ... He left that old man hangin' on the tree ... "  

By the way Shovel-babe, did you ever change the next couple of lines to that tune?  I can't remember ... hmm ...

Anyway ... we are NEW!    And when GOD says NEW, HE means NEW!  Old is gone ... done away with on the cross ... raised with Christ totally a NEW CREATURE by HIS work ... done, finished and complete because HE HIMself is our New Identity.  

I know you know that.    Truly I say to you that  I'm really  not  questioning that ... just calling it to remembrance and asking how you reconcile yourself and/or all of us together  (ie. our New Reality)  with what you said about  "still so much of me".

Have I totally confused you now?  

  Probably ... I am good at that.  But ... whadaya think anyway?

Sherri


Sherri - let me say that I TOTALLY AGREE.  Your words throughout this post have been right on the money.  However, I think the rub (especially for us "Freshmen Freedom Fighters") is not in the traditional "Postitional" identity of who we are...that's established and easy to believe for me.  What confuses and bogs down my thinking is the "Practical" evidences of that old dead person - that isn't supposed to exist anymore.  Adam sparked my thinking when he said that we can talk about this all day, but how does it practically work itself out in our lives.

YES we're new, YES the old is gone, YES we are a new creature by His work, YES He is our new identity; but what is this behavior that comes out of us that clearly contradicts this new creation?  What is my response to be when I lie and cheat and lust and hate on daily basis?  My temptation regarding this has been to try to explain it away or somehow make it go away with some ethereal statement about who I really am in Christ, etc.  But it doesn't change the reality of what I'm experiencing.  It might sooth the heart, but it doesn't address the fundamental reality of, "why am I doing this evil crap!?"

How do we deal with it? (I know, Jesus dealt with it on the cross - but if that's true - and it is - why am I still dealing with it?)  Since it's no longer "sin" because of Christ, do we just shake it off and declare, "That's not who I am - so, stop it old self or dead self or whatever you are!"?

See, I think this is where a lot of people who read and post on this forum struggle - deep down.  We rejoice in the poetic words of who we are and who and what Christ is, and our new creation in him, but we don't have a clue how to define or what to do with this dark crap that lurks within us. 

Alan

Back to Top
 
JustLiving
Digger
Digger


Joined: Dec-07-01
Location: United States
Posts: 26
Posted: Jan-28-02 at 12:36pm | IP Logged  

Alan,

I hear what you saying.  Sherri didn't say you wouldn't do those things again.  Christ didn't say you or I wouldn't do those things again.  BUT that is not who we are!  Are you asking will you or I ever stop doing those things?   Is that the question you are asking?

 

Love

JustLiving

Back to Top
 
Alan
Extreme Digger
Extreme Digger


Joined: Nov-30-01
Location: United States
Posts: 146
Posted: Jan-28-02 at 1:04pm | IP Logged  

Quote: Originally posted by JustLiving on 1/28/02

Alan,

I hear what you saying.  Sherri didn't say you wouldn't do those things again.  Christ didn't say you or I wouldn't do those things again.  BUT that is not who we are!  Are you asking will you or I ever stop doing those things?   Is that the question you are asking?

Love

JustLiving

Sort of.  I know (by universal observation and experience) that we are still going to do those things.  I was honing in primarily on the concept of the old man being "dead" or "not there" anymore.  My question for discussion is, if it's not there anymore, what is this in me that is producing the junk?  In other words, "If that old man is hanging' on the tree, who's this raising hell in me?"

It goes right back to the positional vs. practical thing.

 

 

 


Back to Top
 
Alan
Extreme Digger
Extreme Digger


Joined: Nov-30-01
Location: United States
Posts: 146
Posted: Jan-28-02 at 2:41pm | IP Logged  

Quote: Originally posted by Sherri on 1/28/02

Ya know, I think the viewpoint of 'positional and practical' tends to suck the whole reality of LIFE out of our thinking.  It tends to trap us back into thinking 'responsibility' and 'accountability', 'performance', 'behavior', 'sin', etc.

Very perceptive observation.   I believe this is an excellent place to start.

I think there is a lot of free-ing up when we start thinking past that way.  We have MORE than a 'position', and our new Life in Him is more than 'practical' ... better even. 

Even better stated.  Now, if it's more, how can we come close to defining what it really is? 

 I think we tend to fear that His miraculous Life in us is somehow going to come up short, ineffective, anemic, lacking, not good enough,  ... fill in the blank.

Bingo.  I do fear this every day.  Because when I sow towards the flesh, guess what I reap?  (Hint:  it ain't nothin' miraculous I assure you)  When the fruits of the Spirit are being displayed through me I don't have this concern...I know His miraculous Life is never going to come up short.

Why would we fear that?  Maybe because we have a lot of ingrained unrealistic expectations of what the Life of GOD in us should 'look' like, 'feel' like, etc. 

NOW WE'VE HIT THE ISSUE!!!!  You go girl!!!  Here's where the cocka hits the fan, because much of the New Testament is where we get these "ingrained expectations" - realistic or unrealistic - of what the Life of God in us should look like!!!!!!!

Now, we have three choices: 1) We can throw it out.  2) We can ignore it and keep talking about how free we are in Christ ; but that doesn't make it go away.  3) We can re-interpret it.  If we re-interpret it, it will involve a painstaking process of going verse-by-verse and addressing every hint of expectation or imperatives, or admonishments, or instructions, or exhortations, or reproof found in the New Covenant. 

I promise you, this is the "Mountain" that most of those who are desiring to walk in the fullness of freedom must hurdle.  We can't throw it out;  I've tried unsuccessfully to ignore it; and I'm not smart enough or disciplined enough to re-interpret it.

So, how do we know what God and His work should look like apart from the Bible?  Answer this (somebody - ANYBODY!) and I'm over that mountain.

 Maybe we have adopted and adapted the religious realm's expectations of what GOD and HIS work should look like, and when it should occur, and how it should occur, and even what it can't look like or feel like or actually be.

I assume here, you mean "non-Biblical" rules and codes of conduct. Religious realm expectations are by nature easy to spot and full of baloney.

I am not making light of any 'raising hell' inside of any one.  I have my own hell raisings going on, believe me!  : )   I very much relate with you, really.

I'm going to be quite offended if Jim doesn't add my lyrics amendment to his song...he could turn it into a Country and Western Song!

I am just shoveling right along with ya, that's all!  Interesting all the stuff we find, huh?

I'll keep _____ing and you keep shoveling!

Love ya!!  Sherri


Back to Top
 
Ashton
Digger
Digger


Joined: Dec-06-01
Posts: 56
Posted: Jan-28-02 at 2:43pm | IP Logged  

Hi - thought I would interject a little here - Alan I hear you loud and clear.  I'm there - so aparently are the majority of the posters on this board.  Now what I see is that 20 years ago I was somewhere else - and everyone I surrounded myself with was in the same place.  A few years later I saw more of who I was in Christ and low and behold the people and books I gravitated to reflected me or should I say my current perception of me in Christ.   Same thing a few years later.  Well for the last couple of years I have not been able to 'hook -up'  with anyone who I can relate to.  Haven't found a book , magazine or person - except a couple of web sites and this discussion board.  What I have been seeing a little more clearly the last few weeks is that this too is a place further on in the journey and is reflecting what I know, don't know and want to know.  Lots of affirmation that I am not alone - people sharing the same stuggles, confusions and hunger for truth.  I therefore am led to blieve that when this board no longer fills the purpose for which the Lord intended it in my life, I will find myself somewhere else with new questions, new experiences and a bunch of new people who find themselves in the same place.   I don't think the Lord every intended for us to get answers from anyone but him personally.  This doesn't mean I don't keep looking and asking - I do it probably way to much  - but in retrospect the stuff that sticks is usually directly from him.   I do find that this questioning of like minded folks does help us to put our thoughts down and that sometimes helps clarify for me somewhat where I am confused or in unbelief.  This is not to offend anyone on this board - just my observation.  Blessings to all.
Back to Top
 
Connie
Shackaddict
Shackaddict


Joined: Dec-03-01
Location: United States
Posts: 1559
Posted: Jan-28-02 at 2:56pm | IP Logged  

Hey Ashton and all,

I couldn't have said it any clearer.  Little by little we're being weaned, aren't we? 

If all things will be summed up in Christ, then that's what's happening, NOW in each one of us in the way Jesus would do it.....uniquely, individually.

Blessings,

Connie

Back to Top
 
Alan
Extreme Digger
Extreme Digger


Joined: Nov-30-01
Location: United States
Posts: 146
Posted: Jan-28-02 at 3:48pm | IP Logged  

Quote: Originally posted by Ashton on 1/28/02


I don't think the Lord every intended for us to get answers from anyone but him personally. 

I agree, but He often brings those answers through multiple channels; including the spoken, penned or typed words of people in and through whom He resides and flows.  Don't forget that.

but in retrospect the stuff that sticks is usually directly from him

I wish I were there.  I've always had trouble hearing Him directly...too much static in my spirit, I guess.

Thanks for the post!


Back to Top
 
the shovel
Shackmeister
Shackmeister


Joined: Oct-01-01
Location: United States
Posts: 4187
Posted: Jan-28-02 at 4:01pm | IP Logged  

Wow, what a fantastic discussion going on here!!  Those shovels are kicking up a lot of dirt, for sure!    Hey, by the way, isn't my wife incredibly encouraging with such wonderful words of life?    She keeps me on my toes, I tell you!!

So, why do we still do the "crap" if we have died to the old empty life and are new and alive in Christ?  That should pretty well sum up the various questions, huh?  Actually, I think we all really know, but I think we're so used to having it redefined by the logic of the fleshly mind.  Sherri was relating it to its connection with law, and we DO know that.   And, as she was describing so well, I think we too easily pass off how incredibly deceiving the working of the law is!!

Sherri had written this:
The apostle Paul explained that what gives life to sin is law.  Behind any sin is law pumping life into it.   We will get stumped on the 'sin' every time, but we do not usually give a thought to the law that has been subconsciously or even very consciously rolling around upstairs in our mind, swelling and eventually exploding at the point of 'action'  (sin) to scream at us "SEE!  You DID it you worthless, hopeless pile of ... well ... you know what!"   ha!

Consider all the warnings issued by Jesus and the disciples.  Have you ever really checked out the NATURE of those warnings?  Now, I've witnessed many "grace" believers shy away from - and even denounce - many, or most of the "warnings" given - under the pretext that they just seem too legalistic and/or condemning.  Do you know what "spirit" it is that would have us be afraid of such warnings?  It is the spirit of the world that has dressed itself up in "righteous" clothing, that's what!! 

How is it that we have let that sneaky, slimy deceiving spirit intimidate us into ignoring the warnings that alert us to the sneakiness and slimy-ness of the same fleshly performance-based self-righteous, sneaky, slimy pretenders that got blasted by Jesus?  I hope you're following me here. 

In other words, haven't you noticed how easy it is to talk about our "sin problems" while picturing ourselves as the "low-life's" of the world instead of as those "do-gooder's" of the system?  What I'm saying is that if you will really check out all the warnings from Matthew to Revelation you are going to have to eventually recognize that it was the principle-preachers, the sermonizers, the moralizers, the lawmen, the "spiritual" elite, the high-minded people and their "philosophies" of proper, "godly", moral living that were the focus of the admonishment!!  Again, in other words, Jesus and the disciples had warned the "low-life's", the "nothings" of the world to beware of the philosophies, teachings, practices, and words of the ones who for all intents and appearances were the ones who were living "right".

We have been intimidated into thinking that the radical freedom of Christ is nothing more than a "grace-talk" attempt to hype ourselves into believing something that is not true.  No, no, no!  We've got it all backwards!!  This is why the miraculous reality of Christ keeps getting pushed into a damnable "category" that has been labelled "Positional Truth".  How lifeless (sounds like Sherri's comments, huh?)

Consider what has really taken place in the "real world".  We have grown up learning to lie to ourselves - and to each other - about bogus performance standards by way of compare and compete.  This is all related to the "elementary principles of the world".  Talking ourselves into believing our own BS is what we have all learned how to do rather proficiently!!!  It is "survival of the fittest".  Promotion and recognition has gone to those who have best learned to master and refine this "skill". 

"Self-talk", or verbal hype, is EMBEDDED into the nature of the empty life, and it is what formed and guided our every move when we belonged to the world.  This ongoing redefining of our every thought, word and action has become so automatic that we rarely notice it anymore.  The fact is that you and I are doing it right now!!!  Yep!

"Psychology" was one of the "professional" ways developed by the mind of man to talk ourselves out of "undesireable" effects of "primative" mentalities into "higher" forms of "proper" thinking.  There is no doubt that much of this psychology seems to have positive and even good and noble results.

But notice the trend:  We believe we can talk ourselves into believing something that can change our basic nature!!  But this is earthy, this is fleshly, this is worldly, this is RELIGION!!  It is NOT, nor does it have ANYTHING in common with the good news message!!  Those who rank well according to this earthly logic, whether in the church or as an upstanding member of the community, are almost always those who have mastered the skills of BS - often fooling both themselves and others.  In this fleshly wisdom the game of compare and compete is EVERYTHING, for we didn't know how to even consider anything about ourselves outside of it.  It is everywhere and in every thought-process of man.

What does this have to do with the baffling crap that still happens in us?  Everything!!  For we have been trying to "master" Christianity, or godliness, or goodness, or morals, etc ... only "in the name of Jesus"!!  And when we keep discovering our failures (and why would that be such a surprise?) we do that same old fleshly-learned "self-talk" BS to try to find our balance in the scheme of things.  Are you following me so far?  If not, please go back and re-read this to catch up while I continue writing more.  hahaha!

Jim

Back to Top
 
Alan
Extreme Digger
Extreme Digger


Joined: Nov-30-01
Location: United States
Posts: 146
Posted: Jan-28-02 at 4:41pm | IP Logged  

Quote: Originally posted by the shovel on 1/28/02

Wow, what a fantastic discussion going on here!!  Those shovels are kicking up a lot of dirt, for sure!    Hey, by the way, isn't my wife incredibly encouraging with such wonderful words of life?    She keeps me on my toes, I tell you!!

Your wife is amazing!  She must have taught you everything you know!

Are you following me so far?  If not, please go back and re-read this to catch up while I continue writing more.  hahaha!

Yes!  Don't stop now!!! 

Alan


Back to Top
 
Alan
Extreme Digger
Extreme Digger


Joined: Nov-30-01
Location: United States
Posts: 146
Posted: Jan-28-02 at 5:00pm | IP Logged  

Quote: Originally posted by Sherri on 1/28/02

Now, if it's more, how can we come close to defining what it really is?

It is not an 'it' we have .... it is a Person and His Life that we have.  How do we define that?  Well, we would have to be able to define Him, wouldn't we?   : )   We may as well put all our boxes away, 'cuz we simply can't cram Him in, right?  He is far toooooo BIG!    : )   And it is He Whom we have entered into!  A realm that is beyond human reasoning, and that is what we find that we try to understand Him and our New Life by ... human reasoning. 

That's gooooood!!  Actually, the "it" I was referring to is our Life in Christ which you so elequently described above. 

What are you talking about throwing out?  I think I missed something?  Are you talking about throwing out the 'New' Testament?

Just as a hypothetical argument.

If you are, that may be your own personal hurdle right there.  The New Testament/Old Testament are all about CHRIST ... GOD in man.  This has been and continues to be fulfilled, does it not?  Jesus Christ was the fulfillment of the Old and He Himself is the New Covenant with man!  It is fulfilled in you, in me, in others. 

Are you saying that it's fulfilled in me even when I'm being a bad boy?

 We can even close that book and still be safe and free in Him.  We fear that, don't we?

Correct.  That's probably what's fueling this discussion on my part...

Notice how you felt you had to specify non - biblical as opposed to biblical?   Biblical, schmiblical .... no difference. 

That's hard to swallow for an expository preacher boy!

If we re-interpret it, it will involve a painstaking process of going verse-by-verse and addressing every hint of expectation or imperatives, or admonishments, or instructions, or exhortations, or reproof found in the New Covenant. 

Yep, the Shovelman calls that the syndrome of VERSITIS.    : )

Yes, but that was my point about the three choices: (Throw it out, ignore it, or redefine it...)

I'm going to be quite offended if Jim doesn't add my lyrics amendment to his song...he could turn it into a Country and Western Song!

Hey, what amendments?  I missed them.  Where are they?

"He left that old man hangin' on the tree ...so what's this hell rising up in me? "   Can't you see a C&W song brewing?

Your words have been a fortress of LIFE (in spite of my rebuttles).  Thanks.

Alan

 


Back to Top
 
the shovel
Shackmeister
Shackmeister


Joined: Oct-01-01
Location: United States
Posts: 4187
Posted: Jan-28-02 at 5:33pm | IP Logged  

Quote: Originally posted by Ashton on 1/28/02


What I have been seeing a little more clearly the last few weeks is that this too is a place further on in the journey and is reflecting what I know, don't know and want to know.  ...  I therefore am led to blieve that when this board no longer fills the purpose for which the Lord intended it in my life, I will find myself somewhere else with new questions, new experiences and a bunch of new people who find themselves in the same place.  


Hey Ashton,  I've heard similar comments many, many times.  Please know that I am not at all offended by what you wrote, but instead, I thank you for putting it so well into words, okay?  Most of what I'm writing is that which has been stimulated in ME by having read your post, and less about your post itself.  hahaha!  I'm commenting on this because I think it is something we have all considered.  I know I have.

Now, there is no doubt that our Father is working with each one of us in His own unique way, but I have to question our expectations and/or our fitting in of these "places" along the way.  While I was reading your comments I found myself quoting out loud a portion of the verse below.

"And as these were leaving Him, Peter said to Jesus, 'Master, it is good for us to be here; let us make three tabernacles: one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah' not realizing what he was saying." Luke 9:33

Peter wanted to "capture" the experience of the miraculous event of "the transfiguration" by making places for Moses (the Law), Elijah (the prophets) and Jesus (the promise).  I think we have all tried to find that "right" place, or "right" person who "has it all together" - whatever the heck that means, huh?    And then, once we "found" it, we tried hard to "contain" it.  And as we "moved on" we learned to chalk it up as one of the "steps" along the way.  Oh yeah, I know the routine very well.  It's funny how I would always see myself as having found the "pinnacle" or the next rung up the ladder each time I found a "new" place.

I think WE are the ones who are defining the "places" in our lives, not God.  Once again, I have no doubt that God is the one working in us as we are going through what we consider "phases".

What I began to notice in discussing these "phases" was the same old stinking judgments of the "place" we came out of ... but that now we were at the "right" place, as if we always moved from lower to higher.  What a joke.

I've watched so many move on to another "place" as far as the reality of Christ goes.  Somehow, God gave them "insight" or "enlightenment" to get into "serious Christianity".  Yeah, it's easy to think that you've achieved some higher "grace" plane (I'm referring to me).  It's all bogus, it's all BS.  We are in HIM, we only think we are climbing some kind of  "ladder".

What Ashton wrote here is incredibly encouraging ... and is the only reality that can break any of us loose from the crappy illusion of our supposed "20/20 hindsight" (which is a load of you know what).


 "I don't think the Lord ever intended for us to get answers from anyone but him personally."


 Bingo.  If anyone here thinks that "the Shovel" or "Shovel Shack" is any kind of "pinnacle of understanding" it is only found in their own perceptions and imaginations.  Don't you see it ... the disciples did the same thing to Jesus!!  They tried to hold on to Christ "after the flesh"!!

"Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer.  Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come." 2 Cor 5:16&17

Wherever we are or whatever we do, we are the Lord's!!  We are not defined by our "connections", but by our connection in Christ.  The reality of Christ is found "in the least of these my brethren".    If we have opportunity along the way to share in this freedom with others who also recognize that it is not found in the bondage of religion, tradition, intellect, degrees, institutions, etc, then we are blessed in the opportunity.

Please hear this: If anybody thinks that by finding my web site they have found the "truth" they are sorely mistaken.  But if someone finds and reads what I've written and in reading comes to see him or herself as being united with the risen Christ then they have found the truth.  Because our union with Christ  is the truth.

Oh well, enough written on this ... I was supposed to be continuing my thoughts on the other post.  hehehe!

Ashton, thanks for your thoughts, and the stimulus it was to me. 

Love, Jim

Back to Top
 
the shovel
Shackmeister
Shackmeister


Joined: Oct-01-01
Location: United States
Posts: 4187
Posted: Jan-28-02 at 5:41pm | IP Logged  

Quote: Originally posted by Alan on 1/28/02

Quote: Originally posted by Ashton on 1/28/02


but in retrospect the stuff that sticks is usually directly from him

I wish I were there.  I've always had trouble hearing Him directly...too much static in my spirit, I guess.


You know what I find rather ironic is how easily someone else can witness something so obvious in someone who thinks it's not happening in them  Alan, you are only confused as to where your "hearing" is coming from!!!   There is no doubt that you do indeed hear Him yourself.

Jim

Back to Top
 
JustLiving
Digger
Digger


Joined: Dec-07-01
Location: United States
Posts: 26
Posted: Jan-28-02 at 7:26pm | IP Logged  

Another questions I have is HOW CAN WE EVEN DO GOOD?  We talk so much about the "bad" things we do, but what about the other question of "Good" 
Back to Top
 
the shovel
Shackmeister
Shackmeister


Joined: Oct-01-01
Location: United States
Posts: 4187
Posted: Jan-28-02 at 9:20pm | IP Logged  

<<< Yes!  Don't stop now!!!  >>>

<<<  Waiting for the more.   : )  >>>

Unfortunately, it will have to wait until tomorrow afternoon.  I'm way past my pitiful bedtime of 8 pm.  Pathetic, huh?  

Love,  Jim

Back to Top
 
Ashton
Digger
Digger


Joined: Dec-06-01
Posts: 56
Posted: Jan-28-02 at 11:37pm | IP Logged  

Hmm! lots to think about ---- just a couple of quick thoughts --- I don't see myself or others climbing a ladder or going from lower to higher - how can we get any higher than being seated with Christ at the right hand of God.   I do see there is a constant moving out of something into a new thing -this is a perfect example of words failing me - don't know how to word it without sounding like I am saying we leave something behind - which we do but not because we are more spiritual or better or whatever - it just is - kind of an awakening into who we are - we see ourselves more and more and who we are is Christ. How many here were very active in a traditional church setting but can no longer participate/function/live in that setting.  It was right and perfect for us when we were there - it is right and perfect for all those who are still there - but not right or perfect for us now.  Does this make us better, or higher - no - I don't know what it means all I know is that there is a moving and shaking and repeatedly I find myself in a different place asking different questions and eventually I bump into people asking and struggling with the same things.  Take these questions and struggles to people where I was before and I am treated as if I have two heads or have lost the one I have - what is this?  As I said before - I see it on this board - there are so many that appear to be in the same place as me - have come from the same places as me and we find ourselves all here asking each other the same questions.   But that's where I was before - somewhere else asking the same questions as other's - but the questions I am asking today are not the questions of yesterday - either they have been answered or they don't matter any more.  This is not like church hopping or looking for the big cheese or thinking I'm part of an elite in crowd.  This is about me and you growing up into Him.  Am I making sense to anyone?
Back to Top
 
Alan
Extreme Digger
Extreme Digger


Joined: Nov-30-01
Location: United States
Posts: 146
Posted: Jan-28-02 at 11:37pm | IP Logged  

OK guys.  It's time for me to just come out and say it.  It has occurred to me that I am in Christ; hence, all that He is and has accomplished is mine.  It's so comprehensive that it's not just applied to me, it IS me. 

Therefore, I am in such a state of Grace - in Christ - that nothing I could ever do - NOTHING EVER - can be viewed, charged, accounted or reckoned as sin (I John 5:18 - We know that no one who is born of God sins; but He who was born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him).

Since this is true, no rebuke or warning, in the Bible is directed at true Believers.  I personally believe this truth scared the Apostle Paul so badly that he personally struggled with Jesus about it after he received it through direct revelation.  You can pick it up in his writings...it's as though he makes a statement of grace and then his logic kicks in and he says, "Wait a minute - God forbid!!" then moves on in grace. 

This truth of Amazing Grace drove Paul nuts and enraged Peter and I believe this is why Peter and Paul had a knock down/drag out in Galatians 2.  It wasn't just the bigotry Peter felt towards the Gentiles, at the heart of it was this "New Gospel of Grace" that he caught wind of that sent him over the edge.   Remember when Jesus told the Disciples that He had many more things to say to them but they "couldn't bear them now "?  I think it was this Gospel of Grace.

Let me say it again.  In Christ there is no sin for the believer - just perfect righteousness.  You say, well what if I'm in bed with my neighbor's wife...what if I murder somebody?  Nope.  No sin.  Now, you may suffer the societal and human relational consequences of sewing to the flesh - yes even to the destruction of your flesh.  But you are positionally, practically, totally and completely righteous in Jesus - no matter how "good" (ha.) or "bad" (ha.) you are acting at any given moment.  See why this drove Paul so crazy?  God forbid!!!  Frankly, this is what makes plain old Grace - AMAZING GRACE!!  You're right Sherry, it transcends our ability to comprehend or explain.  It is true freedom.

No, I'm not Schizophrenic, I must confess this is what I've been fishing for throughout this post forum.  Actually, Jim and Ashton, no one told me or taught me what this means; the Holy Spirit laid it on me out of the blue about 5 months ago.  He does speak and I do hear Him.

You want to experience a Religion Rodeo?  Share this with a Pharisee and hang on for 8 seconds!   

Alan

Back to Top
 

Page of 2 Next >>
 



the shovel home page