I admit I am a “feely”type. I don’t know if that is a woman thing or just my own psychosis… But I am coming to a conclusion I have tried to resist for years…
I fell in love with Jesus Christ without reading a Bible or hearing a preacher or a friend trying to “save me.” I was worried sick about my dire financial situation (lost job ) and my world just seemed to be falling apart. Maybe the Jesus I heard about in the 5th grade was in my subconscious, but I swear He made me KNOW He was with me in the room. I fell on my knees and thanked Him for being my Saviour. And I was the happiest I’d EVER been in my entire life!! Bliss, actually. I looked at everything & everyone differently, like a light of love had turned on in my heart & eyes. I felt Him with me all the time and I knew I would be okay no matter what happened, because HE was with me. “IT” was ALL about HIM.
Then a few weeks later I spoke to my very fundamentalist sister (did not grow up that way). She advised me on what I needed to do now that I was saved. Especially to watch out for Satan, since I was so happy, that’s when he would want to attack. That took me down a notch. Satan? oh, no. I rushed out & bought a Bible & other Christian literature which I could hardly wait to read ‘cause it was about THE love of my life. My heart sank. I went from a woman in love to a woman repulsed!! This was not about the Jesus Christ that I loved & filled me with joy. It was about vengeance, fear, hate and judging. And I really didn’t love a God that ordered mass slaughter of women and children, stoning, etc. That He would play games with the devil to torture Job to see how far they could push him (sick). In fact, I STILL don’t like most of what I read in the Bible.
The conclusion I have come to is: I may have deluded myself into believing I am a Christian. I fell madly in love with Jesus Christ, the one I SWEAR made himself known to me & I would be lying if I said it did not happen. But now I wonder, is this One I love the same Jesus in the Bible, or could all it have just been some “new age experience”? I was not taking drugs, drinking, never did,etc.
(I know it is not supposed to be a feeling but I did feel Him with me until I started reading the Bible & listening to preachers & sis. He seemed to fade the more I added to “just” Him. And I would give ANYTHING to be that ignorant just- Jesus lover again because loving was just such a natural thing, forgiving was easy)
I have tried for YEARs to reconcile this but I am ready to throw in the towel, along with my bra, and give up reading the Bible and anything else labeled “christianity”! I am sorry if this offends you all. You are all so great and loving. But I can’t “see” what you see in the bible. It is making me nuts!
It sounds to me as if you are way overdue for a total abandon of ALL Bible reading!! I think you oughta put the doggone thing in a lock-box and then not worry about what anybody else thinks about what you think about it!! That’s what I think. Truthfully, I think a lot of people would be much better off without it, especially in view of the crock of BS being promoted under the guise of Biblical “authority”!
There is a really huge misconception about the whole “not a feeling” message declared by many preachers. Now, there is no doubt that our receiving of the spirit of Christ is a reality as opposed a feeling, but this does not negate the millions of possible reactions we may have found ourselves impacted by because of the miraculous reality!
Do you realize that those who “ministered” law to you did it partly from envy? Envious of what, you might be wondering? Your unbridled thrill of life, that’s what!! I have sat in on “leaders’ meetings” and have witnessed first hand the heavy “spiritual concern” toward getting the “new believers”–how would you say it–initiated.
In growing religious groups, one of the biggest concerns has to do with “discipling” those who come among them (especially those “saved through the ministry”) who have this raw enthusiasm that is now missing in most of the more “mature” believers. I mean, just this contrast should signal that the whole process might be causing the problem. After all, what the hell did we suspect could be sucking all the enthusiasm out of all the “new believers”?
Why else do religious groups resort to what are no more than glorified pep rallies? Maybe they are desperately trying to counteract all the suppression and condemnation caused by the process they call “discipleship”!!
That’s what was being done to you … just as it has been pulled on most of us. You were made to question the reality of Christ’s life in you because it did not fit someone else’s designs. After all, who were we to suppose we had anything “spiritual” unless someone in authority put their stamp of approval on us or upon what we thought? It’s called intimidation, and it’s done to control.
Barbi, I have no doubt that you were viewed as a threat to the shallowness your sister and preacher held onto as the validation of their empty lives. The harsh reality that most “Bible scholars” face is that all their Biblical understanding simply cannot bring them what they envy in those who are deemed less worthy than themselves! You are the Cinderella despised by her jealous sisters because for all their more important status in the family they feel no other choice than to put you down in hopes of taking from you what they claim to despise!!
Stand firm in the freedom by which Christ truly made you free, for your freedom was not made by intellect, nor can it be made better by intellect. Don’t let another’s envy and despite cause you to question the reality of the life of God within you!