Friday, October 09, 2009

Part 4 (why I believe in Jesus)

The past three parts have all talked about my experiences, and this one will not be different. I might begin once again by saying that I do not look at these experiences as proof of anything, at least not to anyone but myself. However, I do believe they have put me into a mindset that makes me begin with the assumption that there is a God, that that God does relate to us in some way. This will be the last post that talks about things in a more subjective manner. After this post I will begin to talk about the logical reasons why I believe in God (to support my subjective reasons0 and why I believe in the person of Jesus as opposed to all of the other faith choices. That will take some time. And I will end with my defense against some of the critiques against theism, and Christianity in general.

So, in quick summation: I had a weak theistic upbringing, with a significant but not compelling experience during my youth. Then I had a very significant experience of community, and a sensual drawing towards a commitment to Jesus and God, to which I made a leap of faith, and was met with what felt like an agreeable internal reaction.

Then I began to do the stuff you are supposed to do as a Christian, (atleast the stuff I had imagined, or was being taught). I read the bible, I prayed, I went to church, and I preached to others. I stopped doing a lot of the "bad things" I did before, basically partying and sex, and other selfish acts, and tried to be a better person. As I did these things, I felt more and more peace in my mind. I felt a better awareness of who I was, and who I was meant to be. I experienced a deeper care for other people, and I began to feel like I was physically and mentally closer to what I had come to determine was the spiritual center (God) of my experience.

As I tried to do what the bible seemed to teach, it seemed true to me. As I began to look at the teachings, and actions of Jesus, it made more and more sense. I also began to read books that helped me look at the defenses of the faith, and the bible, but I will talk about those later. I felt like God had reached out to me, I felt like I had touched a part of the Spirit, and I knew my life was being altered, I subjectively assume that this was from outside influence, and not just church culture, as I can tell you, the further I go in this journey the less the church in general supports the direction I am going.

Which leads us to some other experiences. Again let me point out that I do not expect you to take these things as proof, they didn't happen to you, they are not repeatable, nor verifiable, but they are my experiences. As they are my experiences, I believe it would be intelectually dishonest to deny them.

I began to be a part of many things, that could be called miraculous, or supernatural. I do not talk about them often, and some I will only tell certain people. The proliferation of people like Benny Hinn, and Robert Tilton have made me more and more committed to allowing these things to stay quiet. I have seen first hand, significant healings, food multiplied, and words of knowledge (knowing things you have no way of knowing). I have experienced spiritual attack (yes demons). And the most significant is seeming to have wisdom that just "comes to me" when it is needed. I do not want to dwell on these things, and they are very sacred to me, so please lets keep any discussion respectful and not too prying.

In my life I feel like I have actually heard God's voice outloud a couple of times, but feel like I hear God's voice often in subtle whispers in my mind, through the pages of scripture, in dreams, and through loved ones. One particular story I will share with you, it isn't a really big deal, but it was a big deal to me:

A woman who was a devout Christian was at my school's wrestling meet to watch her son. He was on the Junior Varsity team, and of course she stayed to watch the varsity team as well, which I was on. When she saw me, she immediately felt like God spoke to her saying, "this one I have set aside for the ministry" After the meet she tried to get to me to tell me what she had heard. But for whatever reason, she was not able to reach me. She asked her son on the way home if I was a Christian, and he told her he didn't think so. The truth was if she would have told me, I would have thought she was a looney (as some of you probably do right now).

Probably three or four years later I was going to church, was in training to become a minister, but was having some doubts. I was wondering if I was not qualified, and was actually having a bit of a crisis of faith, not doubting God, but wondering about myself, my life, and my place in the church. I visited a big mega church that seated about 3,000 people, on a Sunday night. The woman just happend to go that Sunday night to take her daughter and a few of her friends (she usually didn't go, like myself) and wound up seated directly behind me. When the service was over she asked if I was Jensen (she didn't even know my first name) I said yes, and she told me what she had heard, all those years earlier. This was so moving and important to me, as I was praying hard for God to help me, and lead me. There are just too many co-incedences in that story for me to discount it, and as I heard someone else say, "when I stop praying, the co-incedences stop happening).

When people ask why I believe in God, and specifically Jesus, my first answer is, "because I have found God, and Jesus, interacting within my life. I cannot deny these experiences, so I start there, but..."

The but leads us into the next section, reasons why my experiences make sense to me, and why I believe they are the rational outworkings of what is truth.



Anonymous said...

The Organized Church Conspiracy
by Van Robison
part 1
There is no greater way to control people than through organizations and mind control. Human governments often control people through force and violence, but mind control is far more formidable in long term consequence. We find this very interesting observation in Genesis 11:4 "And they said, Go to, let us build us A CITY and A TOWER, whose top may reach unto heaven; and LET US MAKE A NAME, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth." Whether this "tower of Babel" was literal or symbolic, it is nevertheless food for thought about life on earth. Human beings have always built their "towers" to control others and to cause men to be awed by "tower power." The world is full of "towers" in terms of countless human governments throughout the world, and many are the kingdoms of men that rise and fall. Human symbolic towers come in many forms, both in the secular world and in the world of religions.

Physical towers constructed of rocks, stones, steel, wood, brick, blocks, iron, marble, granite, and so forth, can be and often are very impressive. Man's engineering abilities can awe the human mind and there are many stunning structures throughout the world. We are sometimes awed by religious temples, which in the physical realm are often great works of architectural magnificence. Many religious "towers" are great tourist attractions, as well as structures for religious worship. As in the beginning of time, men have always loved to MAKE A NAME for themselves.

There is a realm of the mind and spirit that also has towers. Man-made towers of the mind of man are towers of false gods, idolatry, and self worship. When Jesus Christ appeared on earth and brought grace and truth (John 1:17), He destroyed and abolished all man-made towers of the mind and spirit. In other words Jesus Christ brought real truth about life and living and vanquished the idols of the natural mind of man.

In the world of so called Christian churches, the world is full of men who have built their TOWER OF BABEL. Many are the church organizations, that have been founded by men who built a "LET US MAKE A NAME" and tracing the origin of these church organizations, they were all built on the foundation of self worship. Jesus Christ built only one building and that building is a spiritual Body, not made with bricks, mortar, wood, and material substance. The reality of the true Body of Christ is so prominent throughout the teachings of the New Testament, that it is remarkable how many can only see man-made towers as truth.

Anonymous said...

The Organized Church Conspiracy
by Van Robison
part 2
Jesus Christ is not the foundation of these man-made towers:
The Roman Catholic Church tower.
The Mormon Church tower.
The Jehovah Witnesses Church tower.
The Baptist Church tower.
The Methodist Church tower.
The Worldwide Church of God tower.
The Lutheran Church tower.
The Presbyterian Church tower.
The Mennonite Brethren Church tower.
The Seventh Day Adventist Church tower.
The Crystal Cathedral Church tower.
The Scientology Church tower.
The First Assembly Church of God tower.
The Holiness Church tower.
The Sacred Name Church tower.
Name your own brand name church tower.
All church towers are built by men who want to "LET US MAKE A NAME", and they are all--100% of them--man-made towers. Towers of the mind and spirit are controlling towers. They imprison the minds and hearts of those who enter in through their doors. Religious towers of the mind are subtle, often very appealing, often very attractive and at the same time, they are snares that entrap the unsuspecting. Oddly, even the leaders of these mind appealing towers are seduced, as well as the common tenants of these symbolic buildings.

Like it or not, you have been deluded and deceived if you believe these religious towers are founded by Jesus Christ. No self appointed spiritual leader is the Head of the Body of Christ, for only Jesus Christ is the Head, and there is no other. No one who reads the New Testament can escape learning that Jesus Christ is the ONE and ONLY Head of the Spiritual Body, which includes all who belong to Christ. If you thought the founder and or current leaders of your church tower are the "Head", then you have been spiritually seduced. If you thought that just because Jesus Christ appointed various people to certain functions, that He gave them power, control, authority, and a free pass for life to all your tithes and offerings, you have been spiritually seduced.

Has there been a "conspiracy" by various church leaders to control your mind, your heart, your life and your pocketbook? Well, whether you call it a conspiracy or not, many are the religious leaders who have built church towers. And what did God say about the original tower of Babel? Check it out at Genesis 11:5 "And the Lord came down TO SEE THE CITY and THE TOWER, which the children of men built. (6) And the Lord said, Behold, the people are one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have IMAGINED to do."

Towers of the mind, thinking and heart are controlled by the "gate keepers." The gate keepers are the priests, the pastors, the prophets and the scribes, who only allow in through the gates, those who yield and submit to their mind control. If your tower is the Mormon Church Tower, the gate keepers will only allow into their "temples" those whose minds have been conditioned by Mormonology. If your tower is the Jehovah Witnesses Church Tower, only those whose minds have been conditioned to the doctrines of Jehovah Witnesses-ism will be allowed to participate in their customs and traditions--which means you cannot believe that Jesus Christ was and is God Almighty.

Is it any wonder then, that God must come down to see what is taking place, and to scatter people away from these man-made towers? The symbolic Tower of Babel is a tower of confusion and that is the world in which multitudes of church goers live. There is power in towers and church leaders don't want their towers destroyed by truth. But guess what? Jesus Christ is the Head of the Body and you can be sure that the towers of false churches will all come crumbling down.

The Rev said...

not sure why you posted that here van, but I do believe in what you are talking about. Have you read the Meaning of the City by Jaquel Ellul? Delves deeply into the heart of all organized social structure