a reply to: OpinionatedB
Hi, it's me, over here from over there. Yes, I see that we do have to a large degree, fundamental differences in the way we approach life. I enjoyed
reading your testimony. It rings true to me, what you feel, what you experience in Christ. Your dream was fairly clear in the manner in which one
might interpret it. Accepting Gods messages to us is important I think.
However, I do not know that God speaks to us all in the same manner, in the same language, in the same symbolism.
If I may. I was raise Protestant. Though basically my initial immersion in the faith was through one denomination, as I entered adolescence and began
expanding my parameters, it was still for the most part oriented towards Jesus, but through different denominations. Though professing belief in the
same Savior, there were different ways that were followed in expressing and following these different faiths. This to the adolescent that I was was
very confusing. Why was not eating meat on Friday a damning offense to some and not to others. Why was resting on one day right to some and another
day to others. And why were they so adamantly set apart from one another.
I finally took some of these adolescent questions to the finest man I knew. In every way he was a man I wanted to emulate. He was, that it mattered,
Methodist. He was my YMCA directer, a man who worked 24/7 with and for the youth of his community. After considering my plight as we sat in his office
he made an attempt to explain things as he saw them to me.
He said that some people believe in God as exclusive while others believe in God as inclusive. The exclusive are willing to believe that they are
forgiven, saved and accepted by God while others who do not match up to the standards of belief and faith as set down by their particular
interpretation are doomed. The inclusive believe that God is not so ridged and accepts all who call upon Him, from what ever denomination, angle or
position they can muster. I knew which type I wanted to be. I then asked him about Jesus. Just how did Jesus play into all of this.
His answer again was simple. He asked me what was Jesus called in the Bible. The Son of God. He then pointed out that he was also called the Son of
Man, and that both of these titles represented two different, though to God, acceptable ways of accepting Jesus.
Jesus as the Son of God represents, he said, God, reaching down to us through the person of Jesus, the Son of God. Those who find God in this way can
be saved. Also, though, Jesus, as the Son of Man, represents mans reaching UP to God and those who accept Jesus in THIS way are also saved. In this
light, the very confusing manner in which the Son of God had been presented to me, in which manner He was manifest, the trinity the body and all the
rest were just, to far from my experiences. The Son of Man however was not. This was a simple uncomplicated approach.
Making a much longer story short, choosing this second look at Jesus, unlike the first approach which sought to lay out exactly how when and where to
find God, the second seemed to leave all of those particulars unanswered, leaving them up to me to discover for myself should I choose to follow Jesus
as the older Brother, as the One who had gone and done what we all might do should we follow his example. This left me in the dark with Jesus as the
light, the the beacon, but it still left me in many ways groping in the darkness for the rest of my truth.. After several weeks of prayer and anguish
on whether or not to continue with this decision, a number of those threads in our lives that come together from what we might consider to be out of
nowhere(of course we know they do not come from nowhere), all bounced into one another in one of those moments, call those moments what we will. As I
opened my heart for an answer, not the first nor the last time, I read a piece of paper that I had read numerous times before which had had no
special import until that moment. At the bottom of the paper I read the words. "I said to the man at the gate of the year. Give me a light that I may
tread safely into the unknown. And he said to me, go out into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God and it shall be better than a light
and safer than a known way."
Unfortunately for my future relationship most Christians, in sharing with very strong "Jesus Freak" Bible thumping Christians, this story, and other
stories of my encounters with God were met with a the simple observation, "ah yes, and this is where the Devil took possession of your soul. Denounce
your experiences and join us. Sadly enough Opin, this is true.
Until recently I have been estranged from in depth discussion with devout Christians for most seem to me to be of the ONEWAYONLY variety of
Christian. Only recently have I managed to accept that, in my own pursuit of inclusiveness, that these people too have their place in our Kingdom.
Even those who reject,,,me. are accepted by God. Hence my bold declarations in that OP of mine. They, those ONEWAYERS no longer threaten me, I have
grown past their threats of damnation.
So If you see me now as one of a fundamentally different approach to life then it is now ok with me, you have your love of God to warm you and what
more really might I ask. If you can see in an inclusive manner that we are both in the same Kingdom then let's go out and dance some evening when we
find ourselves in some future Ballroom of God.
Ok, now I have to get back outside and finish my yard work before this evenings rains come.