Wednesday, January 23, 2008

God in a Box

A year ago I wrote what is below, on my other blog. I still feel much the same but today something took place to make it easier for me NOT to feel the need to conform, but rather to run from conformity. I saw proof positive that money does indeed corrupt and make people think more about the amount of profit, than peoples lives. Sad, sad thing.
I was thinking too, about how parents raise their children, not one child is raised the exact same as a sibling, sometimes the rules even change for different children within the same family as we know each child's strengths and weaknesses. I think God is that way with us.

Very few days go by without me trying to define and refine my "religious" beliefs. I just want it to be tidy and organized and have a name, a connection to some group as if that is what really mattered. In my 52 years I have studied and examined so many religious concepts and played over and over in my head the arguments for and against each one.First off, the years of programmed fear dictates much of my thought pattern. The fear of hell haunts a soul for many years. What a shameful way to drum up believers. If it were not for the fear of hell the only thing that would bind us to God would be faith and belief and that is the hard part for most folks. Much like how people obey the traffic laws so they will not be pulled over by the police, rather than do it out of concern for others on the road. For me, God cannot be put in a book of "doctrines of the church" He is so much bigger than that. So much more individualized, not standardized. I have learned much about compassion from Buddhism that will stay with me all my life, it has been transforming, enlightening...yes. And what is most important, there was never any fear attached to the teachings, only personal responsibility. My actions, are mine.
Not the force of some evil devil or the push from some angel. Mine and mine alone. With all this in mind, I still feel some overwhelming desire, no, more like a need, to conform. To make myself think and believe in some boxed up concept of God. I wonder how I will ever escape this self imposed cage around my spiritual side.


Michelle-ozark crafter said...

I will certainly pray for you my dear. I do so hope you can come to a peaceful place in your spiritual quest. I am fortunate that I am very content in my beliefs and my walk with God and I want you to have the same thing.

Patty said...

its not that I feel discontent so much as I feel uncertain of what is required. There is a major difference in the feelings.

Marianna said...


You must read the book I posted about on my blog..."If God Is Love". The authors say exactly the same thing as you have just said.

Thank you for visiting and commenting at my site, by the way.

Blessings to you.

Mrs G said...

Patty, I was just thinking along these same lines this very morning. I became disillusioned, if you will, with the conventional church a few years back...things happened that required me to rethink a few things. Anyhow, just wanted to let you know, I completely and wholeheartedly understand this.

Kimmie said...

I have a piece of God to share over at my blog...come over and see when you get a minute.
He is so good.

blessings to you
mama to 6
one homemade and 5 adopted

Irene said...

Dear Patty, I do understand what you are longing for. You are longing for The true and living God. I was caught up in religion for many years, not even knowing that, BUT GOD in HIS great mercy has reached for me, and now I know Him. I know Who is my God and my Lord, His name is Jesus Christ. Salvation only is in Christ.
I pray that the mercies and grace of Jesus Christ be upon You.
Here is great links for hearing the Gospel & The Word of God.

Lost In Adam - Saved In Christ


Love Irene

Patty said...

Thanks Irene,
I feel I know the living God, its just coming from the plain life where there are so many requirements, so many things God requires, I am filled with questions about what does God require of us in regard to being obedient to each thing written in the NT. Its very difficult to understand for someone not coming from my background perhaps.

Irene said...

Patty, did you listen the sermons of Pastor Mahan, I sent you. He answers many questions you are asking.
We are waking by faith not by sight/filings. Ether we know true and living God or we follow god of our imagination.

Never Knew You
By Henry Mahan
Bible Text: Matthew 7:21-23
Henry T. Mahan Tape Library
Zebulon Baptist Church
6088 Zebulon Highway Pikeville, KY 41501
Online Sermons:
Now, let’s read our text again, if you will, from Matthew seven.
Now, remembering, while I read this that this is not some radical, narrow-minded, sectarian preacher talking. This is the Lord of glory. This is the one who knows men’s hearts and their professions. This is our Lord and Savior. This is the one of the whom the Father said, “This is my beloved Son, hear him, hear him.”
In Matthew 7:21 the master said, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord.” He is saying that not everyone that professes to be a Christian, not everyone that professes to be saved, “shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.”
What is the will of God? “This is the will of God that you believe on him whom God hath sent.”
They said to Christ one day, “What shall we do to work the works of God?”
He said, “These are the works of God that you believe on him whom God has sent.”
And he said in verse 22: “Many.” And there is the word that sends cold chills up and down my spine. “Many, many.” A moment ago he had just said, “The way of life is narrow and straight and few there be that find it.” Again, he said, “Many are called, but few are chosen.” And here he uses the word “many,” a vast number. “Many will say to me in that day, in that great day, in the day of judgment many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not preached, prophesied, taught in thy name? And in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful religious works?’ And then will I profess unto them, then will I...” The final voice, the only voice, the Judge of all the universe. “For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment to the Son.” “Then will I profess unto them, ‘I never knew you. I never knew you. Depart from me, you that work iniquity.’”
Now, this passage of Scripture is, to me, one of the most solemn, sobering, frightening Scriptures in all the Word of God. I see here the picture that our Lord has drawn. It is in that last day. It is the day of judgment. The sea has given up the dead which were in it. Death and hell hath delivered up the dead in them. All men, small and great, rich and
poor, nations stand before God. And these people make one last appeal, one last stand and they begin to talk about all that they did on earth in the name of Christ, all that they gave and all that they did and all that they served. And then at the end of that plea our Lord just looks upon the many and says to them, “I never knew you.”
And we’re not talking, here, about rabble and profane and harlots and drunkards and the people of the gutter. This is not the people he is talking about here. The people assembled here are not the war mongers and the greedy. The people he is talking about here are preachers and elders and deacons and church members and choir members and soul winners and missionaries and community leaders. That’s exactly what he said. These are people who profess to know Christ. These are people who professed salvation.
They said, “Lord, we preached in your name. We did many wonderful works in your name and we cast out devils in your name.”
These are so-called good, moral, Bible readers who hear the Lord of glory say to them, “I never knew you. I never knew you. The Church knew you. The Church knew you and recognized you and put your name on their books. And the world knew you and recognized you and called you reverend or doctor or rabbi or bishop or missionary. The people of the neighborhood knew you and all proclaimed your name. But I never knew you. I never knew you.”
He didn’t say, “I once knew you, but I don’t own you now.” He said, “I never knew you. I never knew you. That is yonder in the council halls of eternity when I chose my people.”
And the Scripture says, “God hat from the beginning chosen you to salvation.”
Paul, writing to the Church at Thessalonica, he said, “Brethren, beloved of the Lord, I thank God for you because God set his love upon you from eternity. God hath, from the beginning, chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth.”
And Christ said, “Back here when I made up my jewels, when I made up my flock, when I made up my sheep and my people I never knew you. I never knew you. And when I walked on this earth incarnate in human flesh, when I came down here as the representative of my people...In Adam all died. In Christ we’re made alive. By one man sin and death entered this world and judgment. By one man’s disobedience we were made sinners. By one man’s obedience we were made righteous. When I walked this earth in the flesh and was tried and tempted in all points yet without sin working out a perfect righteousness, fulfilling all righteousness, imputing to my people a holiness so that they might stand before the Father in me. I never knew you. I never knew you. And when I went to Gethsemane’s garden and prayed that high priestly prayer: ‘Father I pray for them. I pray for them. Keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given to me that they may be one even as we are one. I have given them thy Word and they have received thy Word, those that thou gavest me. I pray not for the world. I pray for them
which thou hast given me.’ When I uttered that prayer, that high priestly prayer in the garden of Gethsemane I never knew you. And when I went to the cross of Calvary and there was wounded for somebody’s transgressions and was bruised for somebody’s iniquities and the chastisement of somebody’s peace was laid upon me and through my stripes they shall be healed, I never knew you. And when I ascended to glory and took the precious blood and put it on the mercy seat of glory, that glorious atonement, and I bore in my breastplate and on my hands the names of my people, I never knew you. I never knew you. And when I sat down on the right hand of God as the forerunner, entering into glory and possessing it for his own and interceded for my own and was an advocate and a mediator for my own, I never knew you.”
That’s what he said. He’s not saying, “I once knew you. We once had some fellowship. We once had a relationship.” He is saying to these religious people, these preachers and missionaries and deacons and choir leaders and singers and all these folk, “I never...I never knew you. I never knew you. Depart from me. Depart.”
Oh, how final are these words.
“But, Lord, we preached and, Lord, we did many wonderful works. And, Lord, we were numbered among the people. And, Lord, we cast out devils. And, Lord, we tithed. And, Lord, we attended services and we made professions of faith.”
“I never knew you. Never. Depart from me. Depart from me.” What a terrible sentence: “Depart from me.” What a terrible separation: “Depart from me.” The only light, “Depart into everlasting darkness.” The only source of love into everlasting hate, “Depart from me.” The only way into eternal glory, “Depart from me.” The only physician, “Depart from me into the eternal pain.” The only join, “Depart from me, from my friendship, from my grace, from my fellowship, from my paradise, from my presence, from my heaven. Depart from me.”
I’ll tell you, if the thought of that is so terrible—and I sat and looked at that Scripture. I’ve been looking at it for days asking God to give me a message—if the thought of it is so terrible, if just the thought of it.... “I never knew you. I never knew you.” In that day, the last day, the day of judgment, “I never knew you. I never knew you. Depart from me.” If the thought of it is so terrible, my friend, what will it be like to experience it? What will it be like to pastor a church and come into the pulpit every Sunday and open the Bible and lead the singing and then to die and the people say all those nice things about you and they put flowers all over your casket and give you a good send off, you know, and then to stand there at the great day of judgment and hear the master say, “The world knew you and the Church knew you and the advertisement page in the Daily Independent knew you and people around the world knew you, but I never knew you? I never knew you.”
What would it be like to play these instruments every Sunday or to stand here, Mike, and lead the singing or to sing these specials as a quartet and a trio or back there, Cecil, teach a class and you’re so highly esteemed and well thought of and held in the utmost, highest
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character and reputation and people say, “Oh, I like to hear him teach, I like to hear him read the Bible, I like to hear him sing.” And then you die and everybody says good things about you and puts your name on the pew and your name in the bulletin and all these things, send telegrams from everywhere and then come and stand before Christ say, “Lord, I taught Sunday school class and I sang and preached.”
“I never knew you. I never knew you.”
“Lord, I gave offerings. You know, I tithed and I helped support the church. I helped support the preaching, kept him out...”
“I never knew you.”
That’s what we’re talking about here. “Depart from me forever, forever. You won’t sing anymore. You won’t teach anymore. You won’t read any more Scripture. You won’t argue doctrine anymore. You won’t sing any more songs, no more sermons, no more services, no more opportunities. Just leave here. Leave here. Leave here. I never knew you. I never knew you."

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