jump to navigation

From the desk of Novato….. June 10, 2005

Posted by roopster in Bible, Christianity, faith, God, Religion, spirituality, Theology.
trackback

In case you do not dig into the comment section of this blog (which is quite great), I’d like to highlight a comment by Novato.

Roop,

I did check out “Is The Bible the Word of God” and really enjoyed / agreed with much of it. You are so right about the idolatrous “Book Worship”. That’s as bad as the “Worship our Worship” cult I used to belong to. (We worshipped the Book too.) “The letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.”

However, I still believe that God has overseen / intervened in the preservation of the message of His Book. The OVERWHELMING weight of historical, archealogical, and common sense evidence (theological evidence too, but I know that won’t impress you) support the accuracy and veracity of the Bible. The supposed contradictions you choke on deal with superfluous information, incomplete information, or things you merely don’t understand; things perhaps no one understands. But those are not contradictions, and no reason to abandon logic or reason, and ignore the evidence.

Here’s my concluding thoughts in this discussion. I’ve had a very similar experience to yours. I’ve been rejected, burned out, myself a religious fundamentalist, WOFer, codependent, victim of abuse during a 30+ yr. experience with the church almost identical to yours. There is a major difference though.

My background was non religious. I was a hippy with no fundamentalist indoctrination or conditioning when some Jesus Freaks witnessed to me at a shopping center and prayed with me on a little grassy knoll (not the same herb I had in my pocket at the time). I needed/wanted help, but at the time I didn’t believe that the Bible was the Word of God, Adam & Eve ever existed, or that Jesus was God. I don’t think I believed anything in the Bible as a matter of fact; in my mind it was merely a collection of stories with moral messages. I wasn’t anti anything; I just didn’t believe.

But I did need help with my drug addiction problem and some other issues, and I’d called out to God a few days earlier. I didn’t know who He was for sure or if He was even there, and I prayed that way. Two weeks earlier I’d been witnessed to for the first time in my life by some Campus Crusade for Christ people in Ann Arbor, Mi, but I thought they were idiots.

However, when my hippie friend led me in a simple prayer asking Jesus for help, instantaneously God flooded my life with Himself. I can’t explain it, but I was dramatically and spontaneously changed. The addictions instantly disappeared. I was transformed in that moment. There was no process, no deliverance, no counseling, and no waiting. It was instant and it was a MIRACLE. He even removed my desire for cigarettes, which I’d been struggling to quit for months. No cold turkey; no temptation, no gritting my teeth. He took away the desire. It was as though I’d never used them. It never occurred to me whether my lifestyle was pleasing to God or not. I didn’t care. But I did know that it was taking me somewhere I didn’t want to go.

This was not the result of conditioning. It wasn’t the result of anything I believed or had been indoctrinated in since, as I said, I didn’t believe in the Bible, church, any particular religion, and I wasn’t even sure if God was there. But I was desperate and He (whoever he was) looked like my only hope. Those people told me he was Jesus, so I asked him for help.

Earlier you said that the same thing happens to converts to Islam and other religions. But, I wasn’t converting to a religion, belief system, or discipline. Listen, I’ve heard countless testimonies of Muslims, Budhists, Scientologists, Mormons, etc. What they talk about is not what happened to me. I met the one true living God. Like CS Lewis said, either Jesus is who the Bible (the eyewitnesses)says he is or else he is a lunatic or worse yet a liar. He can not be just a nice guy or great moral teacher and be a liar/deceiver too. He said, “before Moses was, I AM.” He called himself “I AM”, in other words God.

After that encounter in the shopping center I started going to church and got entangled in the matrix of spiritual Nintendo games, codependence, and the abuse that gets so much play on this blog. After investing almost 25 yrs of my life in that hell, my world came crashing down. You know the story since it’s like yours. It shook me to the very foundation of my faith and life, and this is where the difference is between my journey and yours I think (tell me if I’m wrong).

When I was stripped of everything I knew Christianity, God, and Jesus to be, even my own identity that was completely reliant on that system, I was brought to the point of even questioning God’s existence. Eventually all I had left was that day in 1971 when Jesus changed me forever. So I went back there and started over again. But, you didn’t have a “System Restore Point”, (to use XP terminology) like that to go back to.

Roop, the context of your life was such that you never got to make that kind of choice; have that kind of confrontation like I had in that shopping center. And to make matters worse the same people who were telling you that Jesus is God, and you can trust the Bible, were also the ones doing the abuse, manipulation, religion, and other bullshit we talk about on this blog. (Look, I’m saying “we” like I’m part of this or something.)

QUOTE: Morpheus explains “The Matrix” to Neo. From the movie, “The Matrix.” “The Matrix is a system Neo. That system is our enemy, but when you’re inside you look around. What do you see? Businessmen, teachers, lawyers, carpenters. The very minds of the people we are trying to save. But until we do, these people are still a part of that system and that makes them our enemy. You have to understand. Most of these people are not ready to be unplugged. And many of them are so inhered, so hopelessly dependent on the system that they will fight to protect it.”

You were like one of those people in the matrix Paul. You took the Red Pill and now you’re dealing with the consequences. I was born outside the Matrix, and that’s my salvation. Interestingly, your present state of mind is not that different from mine when I met Jesus. The good news is you are perfectly positioned for God to burst upon the scene and do some incontrovertible miracle in your life that’s totally unrelated to your “faith”, religous belief, etc. just like happened to me. Keep seeking my dear friend and you will find. I’m confident everything’s going to be alright.

Hasta Pronto,
Novato

Advertisements

Comments»

1. Denes de Sainte-Claire (Baron Del) - May 19, 2005

This really is quite interesting, I’m glad it has been highlighted.
I wait, with anticipation, for Roopster’s reply or thoughts on it.

Obviously it is nearly impossible to state that “I know exactly what/how you feel.” But, much of Novato’s statements, I have already felt and/or believed at one time. I read it, and can appreciate his words, try to have empathy for his point of view, but gain no new insight for myself. Nothing speaks to my heart, or compels to seek for his ‘God.’ I don’t state that as a rebuttle or rebuke of Novato, or his faith. It is merely, my reply, my feelings about the post. I have the highest regard for Novato’s opinion, and am honored to know his story of witness.

Also, I once new an Afghani man who was a happily, devoted Muslim. We worked together for a time, and exchanged many thoughts and opinions about life and religion (at the time I was a practicing Christian). He was the first, real Muslim I had ever befriended and talked. What I came to realize was that the faith and belief of this man was very real. He was a kind, gentle, and loving man. He spoke freely, and purely of the Koran, and Islam, and was respectful of my faith. This man knew what he believed, and believing something else was out-of-the-question. He couldn’t imagine anything else. (Just a gee-whiz story.)

2. epiphanist - June 10, 2007

Those moments when more comes into your life than you could ever have expected. An epiphanist celebrates them as epiphanies! Wait for the Lord! The message of Advent! Watching for and recognising these moments large and small brings us to know the spirit and whatever that means for us in the Kingdom of the heart. This sounds hardcore – I am passionate about it.

3. Heather - June 11, 2007

This is probably going to come across as nitpicky, but it has raised a few questions for me.

**. The OVERWHELMING weight of historical, archealogical, and common sense evidence** Do you know what evidence he’s referring to? Because the theory of evolution would discount Adam/Eve, I believe many geologists don’t hold with the global flood idea, and I believe that archeologists say that there’s not a lot of evidence for the mass exodus from Egypt or the affect all the plagues had the Egyptian culture.

**The supposed contradictions you choke on deal with superfluous information, incomplete information, or things you merely don’t understand; things perhaps no one understands. But those are not contradictions, and no reason to abandon logic or reason, and ignore the evidence.** What about the Resurrection challenge? That’s a little bit beyond ‘superfluous information.’ The other problem I have is that if there are things one can’t understand, then how can logic/reason apply? Plus, in looking at the early church, the only thing they all seemed to agree one was the divinity of the Logos — and then there’s the Trinity concept and the adoptionist concept. There are even different atonement theories.

**. But, I wasn’t converting to a religion, belief system, or discipline. Listen, I’ve heard countless testimonies of Muslims, Budhists, Scientologists, Mormons, etc. What they talk about is not what happened to me. ** The thing is, what Novato describes above is something I have heard Mormons and Muslims use to explain their religion, too, and their encounter with God.

** Like CS Lewis said, either Jesus is who the Bible (the eyewitnesses)says he is or else he is a lunatic or worse yet a liar. He can not be just a nice guy or great moral teacher and be a liar/deceiver too.** This is probably going to be *really* nitpicky, but this example doesn’t work. For one thing, “I am that I am” has been translated as “I will be who I will be” and other variations on the verb. It wasn’t a set-in-stone thing. This also only works if one is under the impression that Jesus believed he was God. There’s a reason why the idea of the Trinity took so long to develop/establish. And this also only works if one holds that all four Gospels actually hold to what Jesus actually said.

I’m not discounting Novato’s testimony, or the fact that he was healed from his addiction and desire for cigarettes. I do think it’s wonderful that he experienced that, and leaves a radically different and from what he’s said, better life. To copy what Baron Del said, I’m not rebuking (although I am pointing out different views). I am potentially rebutting, but I’m not rebutting his experience. I do believe he had that healing. It just does get frustrating when I see people speak of the overwhelming evidence, or speak as though the beliefs they hold completely mimic the beliefs of those who wrote the New Testament.

Anyway. My two cents.


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

%d bloggers like this: