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Personal IC experiences
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Subject Topic: understanding?
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Connie
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Posted: May-05-08 at 10:51am | IP Logged  

Hey everyone!

I've had this question in my mind for quite some time, and I know I probably won't get a definitive answer, but I'd like to have some other insights from anyone here if they're so inclined to share them.

I was raised in a catholic church as a child.  Came to know Christ in a Baptist church and was baptized there.  Felt a need to "go on" and ended up in a pentecostal church where I was "filled with the Holy Spirit".  From there I ended up, for the most part of my past walk in a non-denominational, charismatic type church where I became a leader of sorts and a worship leader.  In that capacity I came to feel that being in that category of church was marked by a sense of "His Presence" and I still sense it when I'm in a church of that type.  In fact, I've been attending that type of church with my daughter for the last month or so and I can feel that sense of intimacy and closeness of the Spirit when I'm there.  It affects me, but I have questions about it. These same questions are ones that I've had since I left regular church attendance about 8 years ago.

It amazes me and I wonder if it's based in truth?  This presence that I sense as the preacher stands on the podium praying with a condemnation of right/wrong attitudes that put people in categories and deny the sufficiency of Christ.  How can that be?  His grace is sufficient for all, from the least to the greatest, and I feel His love, but, then, wham: Condemnation and self righteousness are promoted and Christ is lost in the right/wrong mumbo jumbo. 

Is what I'm sensing and feeling of His love and presence actually real???  I have asked myself this again and again and I never come up with any answer that seems to gel with what I am walking in with Him during this time of my life. It seems to me that the sense of His closeness and presence actually would end up making all of that stuff coming from the pulpit seem validated and true and gospel. 

I used to have the same thoughts when I was a regular attender.  This presence is almost deceiving because if you feel it, then you think that everything else that is done in the service is right on.

Thoughts or insights anyone?



      

Connie
"Wow!It's so bright in here!"
II Cor.4:5-6

    
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gregoryfl
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Posted: May-05-08 at 10:58am | IP Logged  

Based on a similar journey as yours, I find myself thinking that "God's Presence" is not something you experience through your senses. That it isn't a feeling or sense that you get. I could be wrong, but that is the conclusion I have come to at this time. For me, thinking that he is close when I "sense" or "feel" something leads me to a false insecurity when I don't experience that.

I was taught in the word of faith movement how to manipulate feelings by setting the mood, by voice inflection, etc. I'm not saying that feelings are necessarily wrong, but I just find that using those senses or feelings as a barometer for God's presence or closeness to us is a faulty one. They are too subjective.


Edited by gregoryfl on May-05-08 at 11:06am


      

What do you see when you look at me? Not the visible me that your eyes can see. For in Christ I am dead, yet alive and free. Free to be it all, as he lives in me.
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Connie
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Posted: May-05-08 at 11:09am | IP Logged  

gregoryfl wrote:
Based on a similar journey as yours, I find myself thinking that "God's Presence" is not something you experience through your senses. That it isn't a feeling or sense that you get. I could be wrong, but that is the conclusion I have come to at this time. For me, thinking that he is close when I "sense" or "feel" something leads me to a false insecurity when I don't experience that.

I'm not saying that those feelings are necessarily wrong, but I just find that using those senses or feelings as a barometer for God's presence or closeness to us is a faulty one.

Hey Ron,

thanks for answering back!  I'm in agreement with what you said because I know He's not left me and that I don't need or have to have that sense of his presence that I get in a church service of the type I described.  I guess that's why it confuses me.  

so, what is it?  Just a phenomenon of sorts? I used to think it was soooo important to experience it, but I know it's had nothing to do with my walk for these past few years. 



      

Connie
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II Cor.4:5-6

    
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gregoryfl
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Posted: May-05-08 at 11:10am | IP Logged  

One more quick observation. In my opinion, when religious groups speak about the presence of God today, they draw from the Old Covenant, where God's presence came and went. I see that changed in the New Covenant, where he is joined to us in such a way that His presence is our presence. They cannot be separated, despite the illusion our thinking and feelings try to put on us.

Yes Connie, I think it is just people living in the old way of relating to God, instead of the new, real way. We tend to trust our feelings and thoughts, more than something by faith, that which we cannot grasp by the senses.


Edited by gregoryfl on May-05-08 at 11:12am


      

What do you see when you look at me? Not the visible me that your eyes can see. For in Christ I am dead, yet alive and free. Free to be it all, as he lives in me.
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ShannonC
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Posted: May-05-08 at 11:28am | IP Logged  

I wholeheartedly agree that you don't have to have a certain "feeling" to know that His presence is in YOU always.  CHRIST IN YOU at the grocery store, yelling at your husband (ha!! I threw that in for myself - just kidding!!!!), folding clothes, doing dishes or laundry if you are Rick, etc.

But I do think too we can experience certain feelings when we are with the body of Christ - a sense of life from them simply having CHRIST.  But then they open their mouths and condemnation comes out because that is where they are.  I mean I have no place in  my life for condemnation these days, but then, I had Christ in me years ago when I walked around condemning others and myself. You know?

And another thought - I do see alot of emotional manipulation that goes on in the IC these days, although back when my emotions were being manipulated, I did not see it as that.  I don't (who knows if I am right or not) know that those doing the manipulating know it is that.  I think they are selling what was sold to them.  It can be a scary thing to lay down what you've learned and walk in this unknown LIBERTY - oh but it is GREAT!!



Edited by ShannonC on May-05-08 at 11:32am


      

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Connie
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Posted: May-05-08 at 11:29am | IP Logged  

gregoryfl wrote:
One more quick observation. In my opinion, when religious groups speak about the presence of God today, they draw from the Old Covenant, where God's presence came and went. I see that changed in the New Covenant, where he is joined to us in such a way that His presence is our presence. They cannot be separated, despite the illusion our thinking and feelings try to put on us.

Yes Connie, I think it is just people living in the old way of relating to God, instead of the new, real way. We tend to trust our feelings and thoughts, more than something by faith, that which we cannot grasp by the senses.

that is a very relevant thing to point out about the new covenant relating vs. the old covenant relating.  I'm going to let that brew for awhile.



      

Connie
"Wow!It's so bright in here!"
II Cor.4:5-6

    
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gregoryfl
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Posted: May-05-08 at 1:20pm | IP Logged  

ShannonC wrote:

But I do think too we can experience certain feelings when we are with the body of Christ - a sense of life from them simply having CHRIST.



Oh yes, Shannon. There are times when we do have a "sense" or "feeling" of closeness in certain situations. Isn't it wonderful to know that those feelings do not determine the reality of "God's presence" with us? We can enjoy them, as you mentioned, when they occur naturally and we experience them, but we can also in faith rest in the reality of our closeness with Him, even when our feelings or sense tell us otherwise. How comforting to know that while we may feel closer to him at times than others, that he is always as close to us as he can be.




Edited by gregoryfl on May-05-08 at 1:22pm


      

What do you see when you look at me? Not the visible me that your eyes can see. For in Christ I am dead, yet alive and free. Free to be it all, as he lives in me.
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dlinn94
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Posted: May-05-08 at 1:27pm | IP Logged  

ShannonC wrote:

I think they are selling what was sold to them.  It can be a scary thing to lay down what you've learned and walk in this unknown LIBERTY - oh but it is GREAT!!

Yes, a friend of mine, who is an IC pastor, was selling the Mal 3 thing and all the other bag of tricks during a sermon that I heard online due to the annual "Partnership Fund drive"  (it can be called anything and most IC have "it").  I thought to myself, I cannot believe he too is saying the same things that used to drive me nuts will attending the IC thing.  But yes Shannon, you are so right, "... they are selling what was sold to them."   They must toe the company line--because their whole identity and salary is tied to it



Edited by dlinn94 on May-05-08 at 1:28pm


      

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Tim P
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Posted: May-05-08 at 2:06pm | IP Logged  

Just a thought, Connie, but enjoy the feelings while they last but keep your eyes and ears open all the time so as not to swallow everything you hear or see and bear in mind that the love of Christ poured out in your heart will always be there when the feelings fade. 
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Connie
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Posted: May-05-08 at 2:07pm | IP Logged  

ShannonC wrote:

I wholeheartedly agree that you don't have to have a certain "feeling" to know that His presence is in YOU always.  CHRIST IN YOU at the grocery store, yelling at your husband (ha!! I threw that in for myself - just kidding!!!!), folding clothes, doing dishes or laundry if you are Rick, etc.

But I do think too we can experience certain feelings when we are with the body of Christ - a sense of life from them simply having CHRIST.  But then they open their mouths and condemnation comes out because that is where they are.  I mean I have no place in  my life for condemnation these days, but then, I had Christ in me years ago when I walked around condemning others and myself. You know?

And another thought - I do see alot of emotional manipulation that goes on in the IC these days, although back when my emotions were being manipulated, I did not see it as that.  I don't (who knows if I am right or not) know that those doing the manipulating know it is that.  I think they are selling what was sold to them.  It can be a scary thing to lay down what you've learned and walk in this unknown LIBERTY - oh but it is GREAT!!

i agree with this, particularly the highlighted part, Shannon



      

Connie
"Wow!It's so bright in here!"
II Cor.4:5-6

    
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Dignz
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Posted: May-05-08 at 3:58pm | IP Logged  

feelings ... emotions ... it just seems that some tend to be more attracted to that which stirs up emotion than some others.  i do not mean that in a negative or bad way, so please bare with me.  emotion is not a bad or evil thing, i do not believe.  emotion is simply expression.  expression of what is going on within and/or without.  whether it be stirred by that which comes from the heart, or that which comes from the mind.  that which comes from the heart can affect the mind, and that which comes from the mind can affect the heart.  and i will include the brain here, as well because there are very real physical causes that also affect emotion and feelings.

i don't know if you are talking about group/mass emotional states or your own individual personal emotional state while in a group, connie?  I think really you are speaking more of your own personal feelings, right?) 

i do believe that both (group mentality and/or a singular mentality) can affect the other.  i think that atmosphere can definitely charge emotions more in some than others.  what may really affect you in a most pleasurable sense, could really turn another person 'off' considerably.  so thank god, the truth of his presence is not dependant upon EITHER 'state' or any particular emotion or its presentation/revelation. 

i do not want to judge another person based on their emotions or feelings, any more than i want to be judged by my seeming lack of them, or indeed my real lack of them when another person wants to have control over them by manipulating me in whatever way they may be trying to do so, if you know what i mean?


Edited by Dignz on May-05-08 at 4:01pm


      

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Connie
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Posted: May-05-08 at 6:55pm | IP Logged  

Tim P wrote:
Just a thought, Connie, but enjoy the feelings while they last but keep your eyes and ears open all the time so as not to swallow everything you hear or see and bear in mind that the love of Christ poured out in your heart will always be there when the feelings fade. 

Thanks for this, Tim!  That's what I decided to do when I go there.  Enjoy the peace and fellowship and just write off the stuff that condemns.  



      

Connie
"Wow!It's so bright in here!"
II Cor.4:5-6

    
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realrestisbest
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Posted: May-05-08 at 8:37pm | IP Logged  

It' s nice to see that smilin Connie Avatar!!! I've missed you!!
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Connie
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Posted: May-05-08 at 10:11pm | IP Logged  

Hey Real, where ya been, girl??  We've missed you too!  Hope you're back to stay! 

Hey, maybe you could post a pic of yourself?  That'd be cool



      

Connie
"Wow!It's so bright in here!"
II Cor.4:5-6

    
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realrestisbest
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Posted: May-05-08 at 11:28pm | IP Logged  

My little one has been keeping me on my toes.  I think I would like to add a pic, but I'm not sure how to upload one.  
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frmhnyb2bttrfly
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Posted: May-05-08 at 11:34pm | IP Logged  

a couple comments: 

"... wham: Condemnation and self-righteousness are promoted, and Christ is lost in the right/wrong mumbo jumbo."

yup, wrong tree again!

..."folding clothes, doing dishes..."

All work is worship.


mag


      

"for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. "
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rickh
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Posted: May-06-08 at 1:18pm | IP Logged  

i was never raised in the ic, just that God and Jesus exist. so i really cant relate with "coming out of the ic". what i have found miraculous is the few times i attended a "church", was that the lifeless b.s. was very transparent to me. and not being all that familiar with doctrine, thought that because even little ole me could see right through it was pretty determining that one doesnt have to attend church to have the life of Christ in them. and that i was never attracted to it definately told me something good.  

mag, if all work is worship, then my lazy ass must be an atheist.



      

rick
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ShannonC
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Posted: May-06-08 at 2:18pm | IP Logged  

rickh wrote:

mag, if all work is worship, then my lazy ass must be an atheist.

!! I think I'm an agnostic at best.....



      

ShannonC
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the shovel
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Posted: May-06-08 at 2:50pm | IP Logged  

realrestisbest wrote:
My little one has been keeping me on my toes.  I think I would like to add a pic, but I'm not sure how to upload one.  


RealRest ... you can email a pic to me - [email protected] - and I'll fix it up for you, if you want.

Jim :)


      

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realrestisbest
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Posted: May-08-08 at 11:45pm | IP Logged  

[QUOTE=Connie]  Hope you're back to stay! 


I would love to stay!!! 

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realrestisbest
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Posted: May-08-08 at 11:47pm | IP Logged  

the shovel wrote:
[QUOTE=realrestisbest]My little one has been keeping me on my toes.  I think I would like to add a pic, but I'm not sure how to upload one.  


RealRest ... you can email a pic to me - [email protected] - and I'll fix it up for you, if you want.

Jim :)


Awesome Jim!!  I'm not to computer savvy but I'll ask my husband to help me send one over!! Thanks a bunch!!
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gregoryfl
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Posted: May-10-08 at 6:51am | IP Logged  

Realrest, yes, I got you confused with joy. Woopsie on me. Erm....actually I was just using a description pronoun, as I am sure you are full of joy, yes, that's it!

Ron, full of poopies! (one of my favorite words) something SO cute about it dontcha agree?


      

What do you see when you look at me? Not the visible me that your eyes can see. For in Christ I am dead, yet alive and free. Free to be it all, as he lives in me.
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realrestisbest
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Posted: May-11-08 at 1:14pm | IP Logged  

gregoryfl wrote:
Realrest, yes, I got you confused with joy. Woopsie on me. Erm....actually I was just using a description pronoun, as I am sure you are full of joy, yes, that's it!

Ron, full of poopies! (one of my favorite words) something SO cute about it dontcha agree?


No problem! 
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