While it may sometimes be a distraction or even a bit unsettling, I think we should not be too impatient with people who have an agenda. We all have an agenda. Let's not kid ourselves. I have an agenda, or a vision, depending on how you see it. I want to get something when I come to the group and I want to give something as well. The key is to nurture the right agenda. Paul
I think this is an issue that you don't agree with yourself on, and it has been a source of confusion for you. It is no different than talking about whose opinion or doctrine or belief system or reality or perception is the right one. To determine the right agenda so that it can be nurtured is a bogus concept.
When you say that we all have an agenda, you are being too kind. :) The fact is that all of us have too many agendas. The fallacy is our assumption that the life of Christ is numbered among those agendas. It establishes that as long as I am offering Christ to others that I am offering the true or correct agenda that needs to be nurtured. Hence the doctrinal approach we just witnessed recently. But we don't agree with that approach ... but we do ... but we don't ... but we do ... but we don't - ad infinitum. hahahaha!
I know this about you that you desire with all your heart for others to enjoy and rest in the incredible life of Christ. And that in this desire you do everything possible to establish rapport with others so that they might stick around long enough to hear it for themselves. I love that about you! But you are afraid to call a lot of things for what they are because you think that it might turn people off before they catch on to this message.
More than that I really let my heart get out there with Linda. I wanted her to stay and go for it. It was pretty disappointing to me. But I think that I address the right issues at the right time and gave her the opportunity to make a choice. Paul
It is this fear that gave Linda a platform to berate others supposedly "in the name of the Lord" for way too long. Too many comments were made that she had the truth but was just too harsh with it. This creates a bogus concept. Her harshness was part and parcel with her belief system. Her belief system was right only in the perception of the religious mind. In actuality, she spewed out too much BS that sounded right in a doctrinal way. When does doctrine become false? When the life of Christ is removed from the very words that are spoken ... and the wording changes (or is reinterpreted) so that it can be supported from the Holy Writ.
Your thinking that you addressed the right issues at the right time in order to give her this opportunity to make the right choice is the cause of your disappointment. I would think that your disappointment has more to do with yourself than with her.
Before you begin to think differently, let me also make sure to say here that I think that many good things came out of the interaction as well. Of course they would ... for that is the miraculous work of our Father who doesn't work according to our plans or failures. And it did create a platform by which the reality of Christ could be distinguished. No problem with that, okay? :)
Agendas ... I've got too many of them. Are we really to sort through to find the right agenda and nurture it? Or are we to look those agendas right in the face and let them all fall by the wayside so that we REALLY have something to offer? Nobody needs any of my agendas!! I don't need any of my agendas. It is why I often stop and ask myself, Jim, what are you trying to offer here ... and what do you really have to offer here? It is the apostle Paul's conclusion that I continually come to,
For I determined to know nothing among you except Christ and him crucified. 1 Corinthians 2:2
I have no problem that people come in with agendas, for all who come in have many of them. For those who come in to get a rest from those agendas (though they are not aware of how many they still hold to) and to hear of Christ instead, is what this group has been about - as set up that way by you :).
Those who come in with a DETERMINED agenda to undermine this is where I have the problem. And yes, I know that they THINK that they are doing God's will. I have a problem that we are afraid to call this for what it is. We are afraid to recognize that there are false brothers who sneak in to spy out our liberty in Christ and to bring us into bondage. I often hear the claim that we are mature enough to handle such a thing, but the fact is that this is exactly where we establish those little corners in our room where Christ has no effect ... those places where we are left in confusion. It is right here that we will conclude that Christ is an agenda, howbeit, the correct one. And it establishes another one of those fallacies in our thinking that if and when we finally understand this issue we will be free of it ... instead of resting in the reality that we are already free of it.
We are afraid that someone's potential of being overtaken by the reality of Christ might be snipped in the bud at such effrontery. I don't suggest the confrontation of doctrine ... and I hope you know that of me. I am referring to the fact that we have been given the mind of Christ and we are brought into the realm where we can judge all things. It is the simple stuff that we KNOW when somebody's words say one thing and it is so obvious that they merely use words to get their agenda in.
I still don't know what Bill was about. Paul
Sure you do. Bill came in stating very clearly, I have an agenda for which I'm taking a survey and I expect everybody's attention and cooperation in filling out this form and no asking questions about it until I'm ready to unveil my agenda. And when the members of the group didn't stop their individual, already-established, discussions to fill out the questionnaire, he threw a temper tantrum. He didn't like it that some wanted to know what he was really up to, some asked for clarification or for something more specific, some totally ignored it, some came back with their own religious crap and agendas, etc. His tirade was worded in the format of an old testament prophet rebuking this evil generation. He came preaching himself and not Christ. In the aftermath he attempted to salvage his agenda by saying, My main interest now, is addressing the spiritual abuse and pain that people have experienced as believers. He even pretended that he would let it go in deference to your wishes. His real agenda had not changed, as he attempted a different approach: "Don't run away, have some curiosity, I don't bite! Ask me questions about it, ask me what you'd like! I'm not afraid of tough questions. But remember, be open and be prepared for my answer". It's amazing that a guy who is only interested in addressing the spiritual abuse and pain in believers would take off so fast after making such a claim, unless it wasn't sincere. He came preaching himself and didn't get enough validation and so he left. You did hear that, didn't you?
But we did not yield in subjection to them for even an hour, so that the truth of Christ might remain with you Galatians 2:5
How many hours do we have to wait before we call attention to a person's preaching of himself? Why are we afraid of it? Is it because we're afraid that many will think we are being ungracious as many did of Jesus and of Paul? Are we afraid that it will stifle and curtail others in their quest for truth? It may be said that since he left that no damage was done. But are we sure of that? Even though we regrouped and licked our wounds and had some more excellent fellowship, damage was done. Yes, it can and will still be addressed, but we will find many of the same old issues popping up each time the group encounters another self-preacher. And we may wonder why certain people are unable to deal with it and are shaken so easily. The heart of the problems will always be a diminishing of Christ in our perceptions. But it will sound like, Your truth is just as valid as my truth. or It is presumptuous to think we can KNOW. or How do we know that we're right and they are wrong?, etc, etc.
The best thing for Linda is when she was challenged that her belief-system approach left Christ out of her relationships and her ministering on the group ... and was still loved in the process. The best thing for those who witnessed this whole confrontation was to see how easily all of us are prone to lean on our own belief systems. To see all through the new life of Christ raised from the dead. ahhhhh! :)
The worst thing in connection with Bill is to have his preaching of himself be raised to the level of HIS agenda vs the agenda of CHRIST or that YOUR agenda and MY agenda is the one that needs to be nurtured. No, no, no! Bill's agenda is no better than my agenda or yours because agendas are of the flesh - fleshly - while Christ is seated above in the heavenlies where we are hidden in God.
I know you really believe that. :) Don't let the fear that you might come across as if you believe your opinions are better than someone else's opinions put the life of Christ into the realm of opinion. Just because someone insists that the message of Christ is your opinion or your agenda don't listen to that and then find that you have to adjust the message of Christ as-you-preach-it to be merely the one that is more scriptural, or the one that works, etc.