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Why I Question The "Personal Relationship" Paradigm

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  • Why I Question The "Personal Relationship" Paradigm

    Is our language conveying the wrong idea? https://deeperwaters.wordpress.com/2...ship-paradigm/

  • #2
    Originally posted by Apologiaphoenix View Post
    Is our language conveying the wrong idea? https://deeperwaters.wordpress.com/2...ship-paradigm/
    Good post AP. In regards to hearing the voice of God, you stated: "I know people who have had such experiences that I think were legitimate experiences." Would you mind providing a summary of one such experience that really stood out to you as authentic?

    Comment


    • #3
      Excellent treatment, Nick. My own response to the idea of a personal relationship is simply that we are in submission to him (at least we ought to be). We are save as individuals, but I have problems with the whole "Jesus is my homeboy" approach.
      Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

      Comment


      • #4
        I think a big reason why this language persists is how widely Revelation 3:20 is used way out of context. In Revelation 3:20, Jesus is knocking at the doors of a church wanting to be allowed in. I know it was used as a memory verse in my church when I was young, for instance.
        "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Scrawly View Post
          Good post AP. In regards to hearing the voice of God, you stated: "I know people who have had such experiences that I think were legitimate experiences." Would you mind providing a summary of one such experience that really stood out to you as authentic?
          Yes. My wife had one just before she became a Christian. She is sure to this day she heard God tell her that He knew she had gone through a hard time and He wanted to help her. All she had to do was just trust.

          Nothing like that has happened to her since. If she was claiming this was an everyday or regular occurrence, I would have a problem and concern. She doesn't.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post
            I think a big reason why this language persists is how widely Revelation 3:20 is used way out of context. In Revelation 3:20, Jesus is knocking at the doors of a church wanting to be allowed in. I know it was used as a memory verse in my church when I was young, for instance.
            Maybe not. Each letter of Revelation was addressed to the messenger of the respective churches first. That messenger was told to "repent." And the following wording to that messenger suggest an unsaved man. So with understanding Revelation 3:20 can and is understood to be a personal invite to receive Christ.
            . . . the Gospel of Christ, for it is [the] power of God to salvation to every [one] believing, . . . -- Romans 1:16.

            . . . that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: . . . -- 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4.

            Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: . . . -- 1 John 5:1.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Apologiaphoenix View Post
              Yes. My wife had one just before she became a Christian. She is sure to this day she heard God tell her that He knew she had gone through a hard time and He wanted to help her. All she had to do was just trust.

              Nothing like that has happened to her since. If she was claiming this was an everyday or regular occurrence, I would have a problem and concern. She doesn't.
              I am not given to "I heard from God" as though I have a special connection. I do remember, however, clearly hearing from God when my oldest brother was suffering from a very aggressive "all over" rare cancer. I was devastated - he was my fishing buddy, friend, mentor, role model. I was a young police officer at the time, and my younger sisters were looking to me for guidance. I wanted to pray for healing, but it just seemed so unlikely.

              About 2 AM one night, I drove down to the pier where we used to fish, and walked out to the end of the pier just to be alone. I prayed "God, do I ask for healing? Do I have enough faith to even ask that?"

              And I heard God say (not in any audible voice, but just as clearly) "I'm bringing him home".

              The next day, he passed from this life into the next, and somehow I was incredibly at peace. For Paul, no more suffering, pain, sorrow... he's with Jesus.
              "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

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              • #8
                Well, strictly speaking from a Pentecostal viewpoint the idea of God speaking to you directly is not common, but no one would look at you funny for it. God speaking through you and putting the words in your mouth is more common and practiced rather often at some churches, less so at others. And asking for healing is a normative action usually accompanied by laying on hands, every time I can think of where I've prayed for healing it's come in that moment.

                There was a pretty recent Unbelieveable the atheist guest was what sounded like a nominal Evangelical who lost faith because he didn't perceive a personal relationship (or Christian life change).
                Last edited by Pentecost; 12-20-2014, 02:14 PM.
                Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith? -Galatians 3:5

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                • #9
                  Well, I think there is no doubt that we have a personal relationship with God the Father and Christ Jesus. I think the problem is too many people don't understand what that relationship entails. God as our Heavenly Father, and Jesus as our Brother Or Husband, aren't our genie's or magical fairy godmother. We are the son, and younger brother or wife to them. We are the subservient half of the relationship. Not the head or dominant half. We are the client, He is the patron.
                  "What has the Church gained if it is popular, but there is no conviction, no repentance, no power?" - A.W. Tozer

                  "... there are two parties in Washington, the stupid party and the evil party, who occasionally get together and do something both stupid and evil, and this is called bipartisanship." - Everett Dirksen

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Pentecost View Post
                    Well, strictly speaking from a Pentecostal viewpoint the idea of God speaking to you directly is not common, but no one would look at you funny for it. God speaking through you and putting the words in your mouth is more common and practiced rather often at some churches, less so at others. And asking for healing is a normative action usually accompanied by laying on hands, every time I can think of where I've prayed for healing it's come in that moment.

                    There was a pretty recent Unbelieveable the atheist guest was what sounded like a nominal Evangelical who lost faith because he didn't perceive a personal relationship (or Christian life change).
                    The one with Mark Lanier?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Jesus in His prayer that night, ". . . And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." Knowing God "personally" is how one has eternal life. (John 17:3; 1 John 5:12, 20.)

                      Jesus stated this regarding coming to Him, ". . . It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me." (John 6:. . .45.)

                      John writes, ". . . If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: . . ." (1 John 5:9.) Now the writings we call "holy scripture" being the word of God is how we hear from God. And God cannot lie (Titus 1:2).

                      Now all genuine Christians either know God personally or they are no different than the Atheist. (Romans 3:11.)

                      Now there are no real former Christians. Here is why. One cannot deny truthfully that one has known someone. So professing Christians that leave the faith, never knew God to begin with. (Matthew 7:23.)

                      One should heed the Apostles advise (2 Corinthians 13:5; 1 John 5:12).
                      . . . the Gospel of Christ, for it is [the] power of God to salvation to every [one] believing, . . . -- Romans 1:16.

                      . . . that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: . . . -- 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4.

                      Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: . . . -- 1 John 5:1.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by 37818 View Post
                        Now there are no real former Christians. Here is why. One cannot deny truthfully that one has known someone. So professing Christians that leave the faith, never knew God to begin with. (Matthew 7:23.)
                        37818, I do not, nor do I see anyone deny that we must come to Christ individually and personally. That is in no way similar to the "Jesus is my buddy" personal relationship. The relationship I have with the Lord is very different than the relationship I have with my family or friends. My personal relationship with Christ is one of submission and faith.
                        Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Jedidiah View Post
                          37818, I do not, nor do I see anyone deny that we must come to Christ individually and personally. That is in no way similar to the "Jesus is my buddy" personal relationship. The relationship I have with the Lord is very different than the relationship I have with my family or friends. My personal relationship with Christ is one of submission and faith.
                          It really comes down to what does one mean by "personal relationship."

                          So I'm in agreement with you.
                          . . . the Gospel of Christ, for it is [the] power of God to salvation to every [one] believing, . . . -- Romans 1:16.

                          . . . that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: . . . -- 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4.

                          Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: . . . -- 1 John 5:1.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            The quickest way to end the fashionable verbal vanities in "personal relationship" is to pointedly and habitually refer to God as Father.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Jedidiah View Post
                              Excellent treatment, Nick. My own response to the idea of a personal relationship is simply that we are in submission to him (at least we ought to be). We are save as individuals, but I have problems with the whole "Jesus is my homeboy" approach.
                              Jesus may not be our "homeboy", but he is certainly our friend.

                              Source: John 15:14

                              You are My friends if you do what I command you. 15 No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.

                              © Copyright Original Source



                              The scriptures seem to indicate that, yes, while we are to acknowledge God's glory, and that we should fear and respect his majesty, at the same time, he does want us to come to know him. To love him. To come into a relationship with him that is something like a papa, and a brother, and a friend. Its said that Jesus' use of the word Abba to refer to God was one of intimacy (I'm not sure what the current scholarship is on that though), and the scriptures seem to encourage us to understand God in much the same way.

                              And not only that, but as New Testament saints, we are filled with the Holy Spirit, the comforter. The one who helps us pray when we don't know what to pray for. I can't imagine anyone closer to us than Him. That's something that the Old Testament saints rarely had access to.

                              I understand the backlash against the whole Personal Relationship paradigm, especially when Christianity is crowded next to post-modern, new agey spiritualism that wants to make everything nice and squishy for everyone, but maybe we should keep in mind why this paradigm came into being in the first place. It wasn't so long ago that when people thought of Christianity, they thought of screaming pastors spitting damnation and hellfire from a joyless church pulpit, or towering gray Cathedrals that made people feel tiny and insignificant, with robed men reciting a language you couldn't speak.

                              People were tired of all of that. It was dry, and cold, and dead. By the 60s young people were leaving the church to find a concept of the divine in other places (usually the East). The Jesusfreak movement came up at the tail end of the 60s to remind people, that HEY, Jesus was a man like us. He was tempted in all ways like us. Knowing our suffering, and the consequences of our sin nature, the son of God became a man, who ate, drank, slept, wept, laughed, yelled, hurt, and loved like us. God incarnate, sacrificed his glory for us, and then had that glory restored in his resurrection. The Christian God is about as personal as you can get. Now, this blew people away. This is something they could relate to. This is a God they wanted to come to know. And it changed how so many people actually perceived God and Christianity.

                              Of course, anytime humans swing one way, we tend to over do it. So yeah, Christ isn't the scary monster trying to send us to hell every moment of our lives, but neither is he the buddy Jesus who wants to toke a doobie with us. Like a lot of things, the truth is someplace in the middle.

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