Too much chatter

JESUS was big on experience. His life on this planet was a sermon without many words. Usually he used just a few vivid phrases to proclaim a message and to prompt people to think. He was not long-winded.

Yet churches are full of chatter. Carl Jung suggested once that “one of the main functions of formalised religion was to protect people against a direct experience of God.”

French philosopher Jacques Ellul said praying was not about saying words. Prayer is not a discourse, he said. It is a form of life, the life with God. That is why it is not confined to the moment of verbal statement.

Paul the Apostle said the Holy Spirit himself “intercedes with sighs too deep for words’’ when we pray deeply.

Perhaps we are needlessly talkative and needlessly try to find words to express the indescribable

Advertisements

27 thoughts on “Too much chatter

  1. I could never deny the fact, or pretend I do not notice, that even if I disappear off the face of the earth and no one ever hears from me again, we surely are connected in Spirit…..and love.

    We took our atheist Dutch backpacker guest to church a few weeks back, to one of the largest Pentecostal, if not the largest church in my city. We did so because she expressed an interest as her parents never talked about God and faith and she found our Christian faith to be worth investigating. After the service she told us that she had received news that night that a good friend had suddenly died of a brain aneurism leaving behind two young children and a beloved husband. She said that something happened to her in the service that she could not explain but that had comforted her. In fact, she was stunned and obviously trying to work out what had just happened to her. All we could do was praise God for the right timing and for His profound love for our guest.

    Meanwhile, it had been years since I last stepped into a church, and I was feeling nervious. To tell you the truth, I was disappointed. The worship was brief and unremarkable and the pastor preached on Pentecostal doctrine, all of which I had heard a million times before and I felt like I was back at school again. I couldn’t wait to get out of there.

    So I’ve been disquieted these last few weeks and yesterday I was thinking about it all and feeling that I must not be a true Christian if I can’t even stand to go to church anymore. Then suddenly my spirit bust into spontaneous prayer. I don’t know what the Holy Spirit was empowering me to pray but whatever it was I felt as though my heart was broken and I cried.

    It was then that I got the revelation. I don’t want religion. I want God’s presence. And it seems that His presence isn’t to be found in a lot of church services.

    The Church needs a revolution. It needs men and women of God who are carriers of His presence to be brave enough to go where the Holy Spirit would lead them to go, often in places/churches they are not wanted, just like the apostles did, and turn the religious system upside down. It’s time to seek God’s face, His presence, and carry Him everywhere we go; yes, even to church. Religion is such a poor substitute, a counterfeit, in fact, to the real deal—God in our midst!

    We’re on the same wavelength beloved Bro. And I guess God wanted you to know.

    Love you.

    Like

    • Well Mon,
      Welcome back, even if just for one posting. Dont leave it too long before the next occasion.
      Very interesting about your experience with the church service. And that sermon! How well I recall reading the advice offered by a long time Evangelical preacher who advised new preachers to design and deliver their sermons as if to 15 year old congregation members. Heaven help us if that is the mental age of the regular church attendants.

      Great to catch you with us again. Love
      Rian.

      Like

    • It says somewhere in the bible we must leave the church and preach the gospel to the world (unbelievers, infidels in Muslim religion). So my guess is you are prompted by your soul to do so. Don’t resist it. It is the way to go. Religion has agenda to keep itself between god and you. That will not change. God can only be experienced privately, in your own body, mind and soul. Welcome to real spirituality Monica.

      Like

      • Hi fossall,

        It also says in Hebrews 10:24-25 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

        I am not against church (The Body of Christ). I will never believe that it is or will ever become irrelevant because put simply, we need to feed each other (spiritually speaking), but a lot of us have only ever been fed religion and aren’t even aware that the God we claim to love and worship longs to have One-to-one fellowship with each and every one of His children who go by the name Christian, and that His presence in church is supposed to be tangible at times when the leaders are truly following the leading of the Holy Spirit (in other words, sensing) and do not allow their religiosity to quench Him.

        I met God 23 years ago fossall, through the Christian faith, so therefore my God is a Personal God; my true Daddy who loves me more than my real daddy ever could, even though I know my real daddy loved me dearly. I know about real spirituality but I also know that it cannot be divorced from my Christianity and God’s Word.

        I met God when I was suicidal and believe me; I really was going to kill myself. The only thing that stopped me was my love for my little babies. I couldn’t abandon them like that and leave them with a stigma they would never get over for the rest of their lives. But it so happened that through all the heartache and turmoil in our lives, my husband also found God… through a Catholic priest! And my husband was unchurched and an Anglican, in name only! During the time I had left him and fled with our babies back to my mother and family on the other side of the country, he was desperate enough to take himself off to church and to start praying. He said that listening to the parish priest was like listening to God speaking directly to him. That was the beginning of a changed life for both him and me. So therefore I say that you can find God in church and religion, find Him anywhere in fact, as in any situation, if you have eyes to see, ears to hear and a heart that is broken and thus by its brokenness, open. So through my husband, and a friend, I eventually met God too.

        My Catholic friend told me that God cared about me and that He was waiting for me to come to Him; to meet with Him via a personal relationship. I exclaimed What!!! It was the most absurd thing I had ever heard of—and I was brought up a Catholic—but in the days of sadistic Irish nuns, corporal punishment in schools and at home, and sermons on hellfire and damnation. The image I had of God was not of a Loving, Personal God who dearly cared about my welfare and whether or not I was happy, that’s for sure! Quite the contrary, in fact. But she insisted that if I truly wanted to meet God, then I should pursue Him with all my might, and you know, I actually believed her. And so I did.

        For three months, day and night, I beseeched God to reveal Himself to me. But there was nothing. Then one day I had reached the end. I could no longer go on like this, seemingly talking to a brick wall! I allowed frustration and unbelief to get the better of me and I simply gave up. But, as I stood up and turned my back on God to walk away forever, I heard a voice speak to me, not audibly, but telepathically. The voice said, “Before the day is through, she will be dead”. I happened to be praying for the wife of a disabled man I helped out through the Catholic Church. He was an atheist and demanding, and I had never met his wife before. All I knew was that she was in hospital for a routine procedure and I had asked the Lord to tell me how I should pray for her. This happened at about 2.00 pm and I was really frightened. First I thought I was hearing things and then I was terrified that I was hearing a demon pretending to be God, so an hour had passed till I stopped shaking and was reasonably calm enough to ring the hospital to check on the woman. They had informed me that she had just passed away.

        I still had doubts though. Amazing isn’t it considering that I had been in constant prayer, day and night for three months pleading with God to reveal Himself to me. But the doubts soon disappeared when I heard God questioning me on why I wanted to kill myself. In fact, the more He questioned me the more He got upset and started to cry, and not just crying, but actually grief-stricken that I hated myself enough to want to commit suicide. I heard great sobs! I could not believe what I was hearing, and bear in mind that at the time I hadn’t cried in about ten years because I was so wounded, such a tortured soul that I felt numb. Even God sobbing over me did not move me! I guess I just could not comprehend that God loved me so much and that He actually was revealing a side to Him that I never knew existed. But that’s when I believed it was God speaking to me and not the devil or my own subconscious thoughts. I actually shared that at a prayer meeting many years afterwards, and they laughed at me, and no doubt the laughter still goes on to this day, but hey, at least I know firsthand, how much God truly loves us!

        The rest is history. He still speaks to me. And He will also, to those who will humble themselves and seek God’s face.

        Like

      • Touching story Monica. We all meet with god in different way. When we ready. I agree, church can help people to find god, but that is all it can do. It is its purpose I guess. The rest is usually less glorious. I was in Pentecostal church, until I left. There is time Monica to go out into the world and preach the gospel not in words but deeds. I left when i read in Hebrews that the scripture was written on my mind and heart. I knew I am ready to go. My comment was indicating that perhaps the message for you is to do the same. Not to leave god, but the organized religion. As I said, religion has agenda to keep you in fear. If you truly listen to god, you find there is no Hell, eternal damnation. That is the fear based manipulation of believers. There is no real sin either. We were created in the image of god, how can we be sinners? Someone created in the image of god, who is all powerful. all knowing and all present have any faults? Are you telling me god creates inferior products? Hardly. As a son of god I am perfect creation. My imperfections are based on lack of remembrance who I really am. Church tried to tell me that I am only adopted so. Well, I just laughed. They were contradicting what was in the bible itself.
        Another remark Monica, if god is your father, who is the mother? Why you think god is male? Shouldn’t we stay away from creating an image? Someone who is all present can not be framed into a specific sex. In my view god is all things, not limited by our imagination, present in everything, always. One needs to ask what would be the purpose to send anyone to hell for eternal frying? Would you do it to your own children? There are many unanswered questions for the churches Monica. Why they excluded at least half of the writings that were originally included in the bible? On who’s authority? When did the politics crept in? I say again, I spent lifetime studying every information about god, reading every conceivable information I could find. I learned to read in Hebrew to better understand the Torah, or as it is in the bible The Old Testament. I studied the Jewish culture in great detail. I have many friends who are Jews, including Rabbi from Sydney. I had access to the Jewish commentary on old testament (Torah), volumes of writings. As a result i concluded that the Jews themselves have changed the Torah to make themselves look better. The English translation is inaccurate as well. There is a difference to translate literally and in the spirit of the words. The scholars translated without the spirit. I suppose how could they do otherwise? I am in process writing my own commentary mainly on the old testament. But that is another story here. I converse with god every day.God speaks if we listen. constantly. It is us who ban it to the corner and tell it to shut. On the other hand we are in the physical world here and the cause and effect applies mercilessly. That is the first law of the physical realm. We have co-created it this way. And we create ourselves every moment of our journey trough the world. Individually and collectively. The soul is leading us if we willing but will never force. The mind and body has complete free will. Including the consequences. No use blaming.
        I leave it by this, I am sure you find it hard enough to swallow and will possibly reject most of I said. That is OK, because we have to arrive at our revelations ourselves. I am saying what I am saying just to stir the mind into thinking. I do not require anybody to believe me.
        Peace and love to all Paul

        Like

      • I could never relate to an ‘it’ fossall.

        Of course God does not have genitalia. He is neither male nor female because He is Spirit. But He does have both male and female qualities. I love that Jesus himself, told us to pray “Our Father who art in Heaven.” I can relate to a personal Loving Daddy, not so to a personal Loving Mummy though or to an impersonal God or force. Neither could I talk to rocks or trees or inanimate objects thinking that God is also in them because I do not believe that He is.

        I love what Rick Warren says here:

        Get to Know God As Father

        “This, then, is how you should pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.” (Matthew 6:9 NIV)

        In the thousands of years covered in the Old Testament, God is called “Father” only seven times. People just didn’t think of God as Father. They thought of him as other kinds of things — creator, almighty one, etc. But they didn’t think of God as Father. Then Jesus came along and said this is how you’re to pray: Call him Father. Jesus uses the expression more than 150 times to refer to God.

        What he’s doing is exploding all the stereotypes. God is not the angry tyrant. God is not the cosmic cop. He is not the universal killjoy. He is not the impersonal force. God is a person, not a power. God is a personal God. He has the ability to have a relationship with us, and he created you with the ability to have a relationship with him.

        There’s only one problem. For many people, the word “father” is a negative term. The word “father” may bring up all kinds of bad memories. A lot of people say, “Our Father, who art in heaven? If God’s like my father, then no thanks, God.”

        The truth is, human fathers can make home a hell on Earth. Human fathers can be fickle, moody, abusive, controlling, and violent. So the words “our Father in heaven” carry a lot baggage for some people.

        The reason why many people never connect with God is because they unconsciously think God is like their earthly father, who may have been unreasonable, so they think God is unreasonable. Or, maybe their father was unreliable, so they think God is unreliable. We impose all those mixed up hurts and emotions onto God, and it’s no wonder we have a hard time connecting with him.

        Many kids today have very little connection to their father. So why would they be expected to have a connection with their heavenly Father? It’s no wonder we don’t understand God!

        We need to let go of the misconceptions and myths we have about God so we can understand the truth of what God the Father is really like. Because the truth will set you free! Misconceptions keep you disconnected from God. But when you really know him, you’re going to love him.

        Like

    • A wonderful Presbyterian minister I knew used to preach that God’s plan seemed to be to make churches irrelevant, that He would write His law in our hearts. People would still gather together in worship, but would not need doctrines and priests.

      Good to hear from you, Mon. 🙂

      Like

      • …… but we would need to listen.
        Every other living thing knows that; they hear the Voice.
        …..only homosaps have a compulsion for shoehorning its echoes into our preconceptions.

        If we had leaves we’d never shed them; we’d horde them to demonstrate our ‘wealth’ and importance.

        Like

      • Thanks Strewth.

        I met God through the Catholic Charismatic Renewal. I well remember that we were castigated by the ‘faithful’ for not wanting the Sacraments of the Church to be included in our time of worship, that was held on another day and not on Sundays. Oh, we went to Mass on Sundays; did the whole liturgical thing but no, some insisted, including the parish priest, that we bring religion into our seeking God’s face, prayer and worship time. We wouldn’t co-operate though and suffered through much conflict because of it. But it was worth the fight!

        There will always be a place for church though.

        Like

      • That same preacher also pointed out a concept of God we don’t normally think of. He talked of not only Love, but of Light – that can show us our faults and sometimes be painfully bright. But hhe also asked us to see God as our-relationship-to-others. This aspect of God was not to be found in solitude, or watching a t.v. church service, but by gathering together.

        Like

  2. My Aboriginal friend (an elder) agrees too many words can confuse the issue. When I asked him about ‘white settlement’ he replied ….

    “When the missionaries came, we had the land and they had the Bible. They taught us to pray with our eyes closed. When we opened them … they had the land and we had the Bible….”

    A summation of colonialism ?

    Like

    • Jimbo, the result is so true. Yet there were good intentions too, I’m sure. Well, some roads are paved with good intentions, aren’t they.

      Like

      • Of course. But sometimes sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity take their toll. Suffice to say… educate yourself. That is… if you wish. Go out and find a racist. They’re not that far away. Just mention Aborigines… and off they go. It’s a real education. But… you yourself have to have an understanding first, in order to educate THEM. That’s the struggle…

        Then greed enters into it. No-one said it was easy…..

        What IS easy … is listening to morons in our MSM that perpetuate lies as myths and spread them around with total dis-regard for any truth, morals, or ethics.

        I picked up the paper one day and read that 1/4 of my life was just a myth.

        And this in my opinion, goes beyond stupidity… it’s a lie and it’s dangerous.

        And for those who don’t agree are just as stupid.

        It’s dangerous because when you try and do something about it… you get bricks thrown thru your window and hate mail.

        Now honestly… how many white folks do you know that would be prepared to stick up for Aboriginal people for that?

        And the juicy part is … as a white man many Aboriginals understandably dis-trust you in the first place.

        Ain’t we got fun?

        Like

  3. Also fossall,

    Can a loving God send people to Hell? Actually, I truly believe that God doesn’t send anybody to Hell. We do that ourselves. Our eternal destiny lies in our own hands because of our free choice.

    According to the Bible, God’s nature is both perfect justice and perfect love. Both of these are equally powerful, and neither can be compromised. This is consistent with the God I know. My God is certainly a God of love, but also of justice and truth, right and wrong. But of course that’s not all there is to Him. So therefore God’s justice exposes man’s inadequacy.

    “The Bible says that every person has failed to live up to God’s moral law and so finds himself guilty before God. (Rom. 3.10,12,23). We thus find ourselves under the law of divine justice: You reap what you sow. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction. The one who sows to please God’s Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life” (Gal. 6.7-8). The prophet Ezekiel declared, “The soul that sins shall die” (Ez. 18.4), and the apostle Paul echoes, “The wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6.23). You reap what you sow. This is justice in its purest form. The only problem is, nobody measures up! So, if we rely on the justice of God, we’re sunk! There is nobody here who deserves to go to heaven. Therefore, we must cast ourselves on God’s mercy.

    In the New Testament it says, “The Lord is not willing that any should perish but that all should reach repentance” (2Pet. 3.9). “He desires all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth” (1Tim. 2.4).

    Thus God finds himself in a kind of dilemma. On the one hand are His justice and holiness, which demand punishment for sin, rightly deserved. On the other hand are God’s love and mercy, which demand reconciliation and forgiveness. Both are essential to His nature; neither can be compromised. What is God to do in this dilemma? The answer is Jesus Christ. He is the fulfillment of God’s justice and love. They meet at the cross: the love and the wrath of God. At the cross we see God’s love for people and His wrath upon sin.

    In order to receive forgiveness, we need to place our trust in Christ as our Savior and the Lord of our lives. But if we reject Christ, then we reject God’s mercy and fall back on His justice. And you know where you stand there. If we reject Jesus’ offer of forgiveness, then there simply is no one else to pay the penalty for your sin–except yourself.

    Thus, in a sense, God doesn’t send anybody to hell. His desire is that everyone be saved, and He pleads with people to come to Him. But if we reject Christ’s sacrifice for our sin, then God has no choice but to give us what we deserve. God will not send us to hell–but we will send ourselves. Our eternal destiny thus lies in our own hands. It is a matter of our free choice where we shall spend eternity.

    The only obstacle to universal salvation is therefore human free will. It’s logically impossible to make someone freely do something. God being all-powerful doesn’t mean that He can do the logically impossible. Thus, even though He is all-powerful, God cannot make everyone freely be saved. Given human freedom and human stubbornness, some people may go to hell despite God’s desire and efforts to save them”…….William Lane Craig at ‘Reasonable Faith.

    There was a time in my life where I was struggling with a besetting sin. I would ask God for forgiveness and try to overcome it and I would stay clean for a while, but eventually I’d succumb again and I found myself in a never-ending cycle of wretchedness. In the end I just gave up trying to overcome it. I was resigned to the fact that no matter how much I tried to resist, I never could. Actually, I even convinced myself in the end that I wasn’t really sinning and that I was just imagining that God wanted me to clean myself up. But God had other ideas and confronted me one day.

    My response was to defiantly tell Him that I had no intention of repenting. With that, in an instant, God cast my spirit into Hell! I cannot even begin to describe the torture my spirit endured at the hands of two demons, suffice to say that my spirit was back into my body at the moment I thought I was having a heart attack and about to die with the shock of it all. The torture that was inflicted upon my spirit was of the same nature as the sin I refused to repent of.

    Believe me, there are none who are holy, perfect and sinless. Only God can lay claim to that. Therefore, we are not God/s.

    Like

    • “Can a loving God send people to Hell? Actually, I truly believe that God doesn’t send anybody to Hell. We do that ourselves. Our eternal destiny lies in our own hands because of our free choice.”

      Right, Mon. In this life we can see evil rewarded and good unrewarded, but that is too short a time, less than a day in God’s sight. We do reap what we sow, in good deeds or bad, even though it may not come around in our lifetime.

      Like

  4. Just realised it’s SUNDAY!
    …and in recognition thereof:

    (cough-cough; la-la-la,dum-de-dum-dum…)

    When the roll is called up yonder-r,
    When the roll is called up yonder-r
    When the roll is called up yon-n-der-r-r
    The Taxman will be up there taking notes!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s