Hello from Southeast Wisconsin

Hello from Southeast Wisconsin.
Looking forward to thoughtful conversations.

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Hello, @yimotto, and welcome to Connect! It’s great to have you join us, and I look forward fo learning more from you. What led you to join Connect?

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Welcome Tim! @timotto
So glad you’ve joined us :relaxed:
I hope you enjoy looking around. The “3 line button” at the top right has lots of categories to explore-
Feel free to dive in as you feel led!

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The “thing” that actually led me to connect was the little pop up window suggesting I do so.

But that’s probably not the answer you’re looking for :slight_smile:

Ravi Zacharias has done a bit of work to reconcile the bible message and truth and its relevance with the discussion of the many other messages (christian and non) of our day.
I benefit most from his work in terms of maturing personally and laying hold of the ability to respond to contrary people who think to persuade me otherwise.

Holding consilient answers to account for why I think what I think, say what I say, and do what I do is a serious key to navigating life’s uncertainties and to growing as an individual, and responding to contrary people. This “skill set” (if it can be called that) is all too often replaced by boxed up christian idologies handed down from various places, and expected to be “believed” (if you can call it that) without real and genuine consideration. From my perspective, most folks in church hold what they supposedly believe in a way that is very crude, unprocessed, and unconvinced… undeveloped, and not really open to un-boxing what they’ve interpreted. So maybe I’m just looking to connect with something alive.

Or maybe I’m here to talk about that kind of stuff a bit. It could be that I’m here to be an encouragement… maybe to be encouraged.

I’m not sure… I’ll see how it works out…

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These are very deep points, and I can tell you’ve thought about it a good bit. You might enjoy this conversation thread here on leading a church or christian community in studying apologetics. It sounds like you have a neat perspective to share.

In many ways, I could relate myself to the critiques you give. I didn’t think there were answers to my questions, so I didn’t look for them (a self-fulfilling prophesy). You could be an encouragement to others like me who are struggling silently in their faith.

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nearly everything not tried through suffering might be fake or fragile. faith must be tested. boxed up ideologies etc … i like that phrase.
i spend all my time around non beleivers mostly at the hospital and rarely church circles.
i was soo very on fire for God a while ago and it wasn’t until i went through dark times of not feeling any love, or joy and realized that true faith trust and love for God is when I seek the entire realization of God by desiring to be like Him, admire all of His attributes, and worship Him just because who He is as opposed to the benefits or blessings.
I experience joy when being delivered from sin, prayer often focuses on my wants, but true worship is pure admiration of who God is. that isnt’ about me, my needs,or wants. but who God is.
you said “crude, unpreocessed, unocnvinced, undeveloped”… faith becomes real when I hit rock bottom, lost everything and finally hit the point of believing and declaring and chasing after the truth and experience of having zero want, preference, desire, agenda above desiring to be right with God He must be my ultimate over everything. that was when true development started. now I’m cycling back to deep repentance again.

What you say is beneficial, but it’s completely different than what I was pointing out.

Right now I happen to be in time period of “rock bottom” - “zero want” or desire to go about my own way without God. I think my faith was real prior to the horrible trials I’ve been living for the past 4 years. In fact if it wasn’t real I may not have patiently endured this far.

I have a certain amount of agreement with what you’re saying. But I don’t think the point I was making was the same one you were making. And I hope to try to point out that what I was saying was valid too.

I understand what could be called “God’s personal development program” laid out pretty explicitly in the book of James (I don’t mean that sarcastic. It just kinda is God’s “program” for us to endure hard things and “let patience have its perfect work that we may be perfect and entire lacking nothing”).
I think what you might be trying to get at is that faith is not just an intellectual-philosophical-doctrinal-reconciling or an acute ability to articulate truth, but it is actually developed and grown through trials which build and develop it.

That’s very true. James goes on along those lines to say “faith without works is dead.”

I think the point I was trying to convey when I spoke of unprocessed, unconvinced, and undeveloped faith/ beliefs… thoughts… (common among many) holds the assumption that the works of faith involve thoughts that grow and develop and actively involve one’s heart and mind. My point was, that those thoughts (in one’s heart and mind) are akin to faith.

For clarity, consider David for example: The same David who slew Goliath played the harp, sang songs and watched over his father’s flock for years beforehand. The thoughts and experience represented in those songs, and his mindful meditations out in the field, were actively developed in his heart and mind and foreshadowed the faith that would one day charge forward to slay the giant and to speak to him in no uncertain terms.
What I was trying to say, was that often times, church folks have a fairly non-active heart and mind in connection with the things of God and scripture.
I don’t think it necessarily takes a tragedy in life or hitting rock bottom to wake someone like that up… Albeit, that would certainly stir up their heart and mind (assuming their not brain dead) giving them the opportunity to “count it all joy…” James 1:2.

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Wow. I love your thoughts. That’s fantastic. So great to hear another intellectually profound thought. Its makes me wonder how much peoples faith counts for that hasnt been tested or was done with gods blessings as their motive. True God knows i cant endure too long of a period without experiencing His joy peace Nd life but because i am confident He will revive my emotions again enables me to endure dark times and focus my motive on gratitude duty and reverence for all that God is and represents to be my 3 pure motives instead of selfish immature blessing focused motive behind my obedience and devotion. I want to be like Jesus. I want the full fellowship and realization of Christ which includes suffering and purifying my motives. We need to KNOW God can meet all our needs so that we dont loose faith when tried and to be as Jesus was

Welcome and may you come to a deeper relationship with God.

You’ve put your finger on several key motives. (gratitude, duty, and reverence)
James discusses improper motives as well saying: “you have not because you ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.”
None of this however, makes desiring God’s blessing an immature motive. .
A farmer sows the seed praying God will bless it and hopping it will yield an increase. That’s a good motive. But with equal certainty the farmer can’t last long without being virtuous, knowledgeable, patient… etc.
The maturity and growth that distinguishes a farmer from a child who plants a seed is explicitly laid out in 1 Peter 1. Although gratitude, duty and reverence are probably among the best motives to strive for, many of us who are immature in our faith, never make it past the mode of striving.
1 Peter chapter 1 discusses this in detail and lays out a fairly explicit architecture of true christian maturity.
Putting this all together: What I’m trying to say by this, is that the incremental development of virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience; godliness; brotherly kindness; and charity (laid out in 1 Pet.) calls forth the motives of gratitude, duty, and reverence in uniquely relevant and personal ways to challenge a believer to grow.

The thing to watch out for is that: If zeal drives us to try to align with God by merely focusing to engage proper emotions and motives like gratitude, duty and reverence without truly being on board with where we’re actually at with God, we are left with a great potential to be self-divided… split, and double minded. A classic example of this might be like a christian wife who psychs herself up to be her perception of “a good christian wife” and prayerfully calibrates her emotions and motives along those lines, and then she snaps uncontrollably when life unravels the sticky implications of what she committed herself to.

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