Thursday, December 13, 2007

Another Meme or Soul Searching?

Niki has some big questions up at her place - brought to you by the angry mobs of people who came out of the woodwork with her scrutinizing, SEEKING, insights re: The Golden Compass.

I am going to attempt to may have to come in installments, but here goes nothing...
  1. What does it mean to be a follower of Christ? I believe it means someone who is seeking to reconcile their earthly lives with the purpose of the soul - to find Christ as the missing piece between you and the God of all things. Once having realized this, a follower strives to know Christ, to know His teachings and follow them through a life of devotion, study, service to others, and above all, radical acts of love.
  2. Does it mean that everyone who is has to have the same core beliefs? If so, what are they? I used to think this was yes. I used to think it was some kind of profession of faith, that we all had to agree on a common denominator - Jesus is/was the Son of God. What I'm finding is that appearances aren't everything - some people have fruits of the spirit in their lives without going through the "necessaries." What I think now, is sure, there probably are core beliefs that are irrefutable in God's eyes - but I need to quit looking for the harvest (i.e. that someone has come to the same conclusions that I have and is, thus, saved) and put more faith in the sowing of seeds (and allowing God to work the hearts of others).
  3. What does it mean when we can’t agree on what the core beliefs are? What does it mean? In a few words; Division, Confusion, War. What should it mean? That God has opportunity to work in diverse understandings.
  4. Can two believers be convicted by different things? Absolutely - and neither one is "wrong" per se.
  5. Can two believers be convicted by different things when the focus is on the same subject? Yes. And again, neither one necessarily has to be wrong - the Bible recognizes these as "disputable matters." Paul acknowledges that they are bound to come up, but that they should not become the point of our devotion, lest we totally miss the mark.
  6. How should I handle conflict when I disagree with another believer about a conviction? I believe that we can agree to disagree, but often don't. I first ask myself what my motivations are to discuss this difference of opinion are - do I wish to justify questionable behavior; do I wish to "win;" do I wish to gain approval? These are not good reasons, and if any are the underlying reason I am pressing for discussion - then I should just keep quiet. If I wish to understand, to seek perspective, then there is room for dialogue.
  7. Can we still be friends, or have I just made an enemy or lost my witness with them? Solely on the presence of disagreement? Or because of the things said about this disagreement? I think if only a difference of opinion is present, then by all means, nothing is lost! If harsh words, judgment, pride, etc. have at all entered in, then yes, it is possible that one person may feel attacked and the relationship could be damaged.
  8. Is it my responsibility to make someone choose Christ? Absolutely not. We cannot force choice on anyone...Is it my responsibility to represent Christ in all things spoken and unspoken in my life when with this person? Sure...thus the seeds are scattered.
  9. If someone hasn’t made that choice yet, what is my responsibility then? See above. If that person is not ready to even question, our responsibility is not to force the issue, but to aid in the ripening of the heart.
  10. What does it mean that it takes some longer than others to make that choice - if they ever do? Different circumstances, different experiences, personalities, etc....but in the end, God knows that and I do not. I have to trust that He's in control.
  11. How should I treat someone that hasn’t or doesn’t want to choose Christ? As good as you would treat yourself. Love your neighbor as yourself is not written, "Love your similar-believing neighbor as yourself." Thus we treat unbelievers the same as anyone else - with love, respect, compassion, patience, and all that other good stuff.
  12. How do I show compassion towards others? I don't think that there is a formula for compassion, and I know that different things "speak" to others - but I know that gratitude, reservation of judgment, and consideration for others are a few things that tend to carry a lot of weight.
  13. Can I choose to look for God and his message in all things? Of course. We often don't though. We as finite human beings place finite standards on an infinite God.
  14. What do I do if I find Him in something not meant to be about Him? Praise God -


More later....
What do I do if I can’t find Him in something not meant to be about Him?
What do I do if I can’t find Him in something meant to be about Him?
What is the difference between dialog and debate?
Is it my job to change people’s minds if they don’t agree with me?
What is the proper way to handle being told I’m not really a Christian?
Who is my enemy?
What is judgment and how often am I guilty of doing it to others?
What is the phrase, “causing your brother to stumble” really about?
What is the meaning behind the scripture about whether or not it’s o.k. to eat meat sacrificed to idols?
What is fantasy/fiction and is it o.k.? (Fantasy as in characters and situations that don’t exist in our world)
Is it o.k. to think about things through the lens of fantasy fiction that wouldn’t be o.k. in real life? (magic, ghosts, witches, etc)
What does it mean to explore life, human nature, spirituality, and how they are intertwined?
If I’m displeasing to another believer does that mean I’m displeasing to God?
Is it o.k. to have questions about and struggle with faith?
What kind of spirit did God give me and why?
Are my sins covered by Jesus’ blood or not?
Can they be uncovered once they’ve been covered ?
What does it mean to work out my salvation with fear and trembling?
What do I look like to other believers?
What do I look like to unbelievers?
Am I loving as Jesus loved?
Do I have the right or responsibility to rebuke the pharisees around me?
Is that a form of judgment?
Why is it important to me to dialog with other believers?
Am I surface or am I deep?
What am I doing to bring the kingdom of God to those around me?

1 comment:

  1. >>Can two believers be convicted by different things?
    >>Absolutely - and neither one is "wrong" per se.

    This made me think of Luke 7.33-35 - "John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, 'He has a demon.' The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and you say, 'Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.' But wisdom is proved right by all her children."

    Enjoying your thoughts!