Date: November 14, 2002 11:13AM
Hi Joe, Terry, Brent, and Others:
Joe, please stay and make your contribution. I don't know if you have checked out the new website under testimonials, but several of your posts have made it onto the site. I shared the business about Al as an encouragement to you and others that even the abuser can change and make his way out of the Assembly. (of course you may have been joking about joining the lurkers). Al would not be reading this site.
Terry, I think we are close in our thinking re. how God communicates with us. I agree that just having a good understanding of doctrine is not getting the full message from God or the most out of our life with God. I also hope others understand (especially those instructed by GG) the difference between how George views God's communication with us vs an orthodox view. Doctrine is vital because it says that there is truth and that this truth is absolute. Doctrine also tells us there is error. Truth leads to everlasting life and error to everlasting death. Having said that, how that truth or error works out in the life is an amazing and rather complicated reality; God does work his revelation of truth in truly mysterious ways.
I think the reason God has given "the truth of the gospel" as the authority for our faith is to protect us from those who, like GG, would usurp that authority by claiming a direct connection with God via special revelation. The Word of God actually protects the individual Christian's privlege to communion from the would be Judeaizers and etc. of our day (those who would spy out our liberty in Christ and attempt to take it away). I find in my own life that the fact of my security before God leads me into blessed experiences of hope, peace, and joy--- these are all subjective experiences and are fruits of the Holy Spirit, but to not know the truth of the gospel first would be to miss out on the experience of communion. There is nothing worse than just hearing some "expert" tell you what the Christian life is by a simple three point message (3 points-sound familiar;).
God has placed eternity in our hearts and there is a true depth to spirituality, but it is only a safe experience when traversed on the clear teaching of scripture re. who God is and his salvation. I know you know all this, but this is for the benefit of those who do not understand our conversation on this matter.
Brent, I would certainly use the bulletin board on the new site and would urge the others here to give a look and please give their input. God Bless, Mark