This is me, thinking, about theology, philosophy, and anything in general not related to my main blog about everything else..

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

andrew rants

i just want to say before you read this, that i was very 'emotional' when i wrote this and it comes off as a big rant, which it is. i still stand by everything i said, but if i wrote it again, i'd be a lot less emtotional and less of a rant

inspired by this blog and the war going on, i have been inspired to write about something.

can we just make stuff up and say it's true? i'm not talking about any old thing, but things to do with God/theology etc?

the more i look back at my past, the more i realise i've heard preachers tell me things, that have no bearing in reality. i have learnt that the bible is the only definate word of God we have. people talk about special revelation and what-not, but i've heard more than one 'revelation of heaven' and they were both different.

lets get a fact straight. the only theological thing we know for sure is the bible. who agrees with me? hopefully you all do.

second, we know that if something contradicts the bible then it is wrong, that too is not a grey area but black and white.

the issue comes from the third area. when someone preaches something that doesn't contradict the bible but doesn't come from it either, then what are we to do?

i heard a preacher at CNLC (guest) tell me that when you get to heaven, if you have gotten over something (like an addiction to drugs) that you'll get a crown.

his message was based on that, yet, there is no reference to that in the scripture?

sure it sounds nice, he may have even woke up from a dream with that in it! but does that mean we can just 'add' it to theology? of course not. often i hear people say things, that do sound correct, and may well be, but they're not from the bible, and therefore, ARE NOT DOCTRINE/TRUTH, and should always be stated with that in mind. something SHOULD NOT tell you something like getting a crown in heaven, without also adding that this information is speculative and not bible sourced

another one is people reading their experience into the bible. in the bible, start of acts, people spoke in tongues. in that instance, it was other known languages. nowadays people speak in tongues (i too used to do it lots), not in the same way as in the bible, but people say that what happened in the bible must be what is happening now. you know what they say about assumption.

and the greatest thing about all this is the pride people have. i am open to new opinion. i used to just accept things. i listened, and changed my mind. at least i gave it a chance. most people who i talk to won't listen. they are set in their way/thoughts and won't accept others. that is pride. to assume you are right? we CAN NOT know for sure if the 'tongues' people speak today are the same thing that was in the bible. never mind the fact that the bible clearly states to not speak in tongues unless there is an interpreter, it still happens in church often.

people will argue and tell me that tongues they speak today are the same as they were back in acts despite the fact that the situation is different and the results are different. i don't know why people are so proud they can't stop and think, maybe i'm just doing what everybody else is doing and not really stopping and studying the situation for myself, and then talking to people on both sides of the fence and really getting their own concept. a well rounded view.

i'm not trying to tell you if tongues are right or not. in my opinion, what i used to say wasn't the spirit, it was me making stuff up. i don't personally think that we have a need to speak in tongues, and that tongues was something for the people who first experienced the holy spirit. that was extraordinary circumstances, the holy spirit came down for the first time in history. they also had fire on them, but no-one has fire on them today??

context context context people. not just with learning, but why did those people have tongues and who else did and why? tongues is just an example here.

please people, study the bible, don't add to it. if it doesn't come from the bible then while it may be true, you can't state it as truth.

9 comments:

Rayd said...

I agree with your whole first half.

The tongues thing, i don't totally agree with you. Just because the way we speak in tongues isn't nessesarily the way they did in Acts doesn't mean what we do isn't right. Opawa is nota very Spirit motivated church when it comes to acting on Spiritual gifts, i've never heard tongues spoken there. But again that doesn't mean we should or shouldn't. The Bible does tell us about tongues and what we should and shouldn't do with it in services, etc. It is up to you whether to decide those rules still apply to the tongues we speak nowadays or not. The Bible doesn't mention that. Either way your action is not scriptural. Personally i speak tongues when i'm driving by myself in the car. Why? Because tongues is a means in which i pray to God when i don't know what to say. It's my Spirit communicating to the Holy Spirit. At least that is what i believe, and i do believe that. I believe that prophecy is for other people to hear and tongues for yourself. Tongues helps you, prophecy helps others. And i haven't had any complusions to speak out loud in a service so i do not need to worry about prophecy until that times comes, if it ever does come.

Why are the results different from Biblical times tongues to nowadays tongues?

You say people like myself are unopen to change Andrew. I am not unopen to change and i read what you say. Believe me, i enjoy our discussions because your arguements either make my beliefs firmer or they find their faults and cause me to change my opinion about particular things.

If it's not in the Bible it doesn't mean it isn't true. If it is in the Bible it means it is true, if it contradicts the scripture we know it isn't true.

It still fascinates me how you, even believing those three points, can believe in evolution as a process over millions of years. It seems contradictory to me.

andrew brown said...

It still fascinates me how you, even believing those three points, can believe in evolution as a process over millions of years. It seems contradictory to me.

i don't recall saying i do for certain believe in evolution, but to believe that the start of genesis is 100% literal is a stretch of my faith. i'm saying i believe in evolution either, but from a scientific point of view i understand it and don't think it's a flawed theory at all. i just don't know if it does contradict scripture, as i've tried to explain, i believe everything in the bible, but that doesn't mean everything in the bible is literal. it's all about context you see. the book of job is possibly the oldest book in the entire bible, and many historians believe it's actually a play or story, and not based on actual events, but it still plays a massive part of the bible.

If it's not in the Bible it doesn't mean it isn't true.

oh I don't disagree, and what I said "often i hear people say things, that do sound correct, and may well be, but they're not from the bible, and therefore, ARE NOT DOCTRINE/TRUTH, and should always be stated with that in mind." is my position on that. we cannot be sure of something if it's not in the bible, it's not our place to make a call on that. we can say something as our opinion, but please do not say something is true or doctrine unless it is in the bible.

Just because the way we speak in tongues isn't nessesarily the way they did in Acts doesn't mean what we do isn't right.

but it doesn't necessarily mean it is. and thats the problem. people experience and so something today, and then they look at the scripture and read about something similar happening there, and then say it's equal. i know you'll disagree, but i look back at the tongues i've spoken and don't believe them to be anything other than random words that came out of my mouth. you might say yours have some meaning. now who is correct? because neither of us did what they did in the bible, so we can't make a call. both of us can say what we believe, but unless the bible confirms it, we cannot say something is or is not right. and i don't mean to take away from your experience, but all the great feelings i've felt at church "from" God have been felt away from church and away from God. we cannot say that because we felt something or if something makes us feel good that it is God that created these feelings. we can believe it, and for all intents and purposes it may be 100% true for the individual, but i hope you can see where the problem is coming from.

we're taking our experiences and then applying bible like status to them, when they don't deserve that. people take their experiences and essentially put it in the bible, as far as they are concerned.

my point wasn't about tongues, that was just an example. and you can feel fine to disagree, that's the beautiful thing about humanity, free thought.

chemgirl said...

I'm sorry but I've been thinking about this post for a few days and I just have a couple of things I want to say. I don't want to get into an argument or make a long comment either:

1. I don't agree at all with your stance on speaking in tongues. I might write you an email about it sometime, don't want to get into reasons with you now, I just don't agree.

2. If genesis is not 100% literal then you are basically implying that there's room for heaps of other things in the bible to be not 100% literal. So maybe Mary wasn't a virgin etc etc. So either it's true or it's not - there's no black and white here. Being a scientist myself believing in creation is a hard viewpoint to maintain. I do believe that species have adapted to physical changes in their enviroment - but changing into completely different species - I don't think so.

Are you sure that just cos our time in church out in Belfast wasn't good hasn't just made you reject all their teachings (btw the church there has great pastors now)??? Sure some wasn't right but a lot of it was...

andrew brown said...

If genesis is not 100% literal then you are basically implying that there's room for heaps of other things in the bible to be not 100% literal. So maybe Mary wasn't a virgin etc etc. So either it's true or it's not - there's no black and white here. Being a scientist myself believing in creation is a hard viewpoint to maintain. I do believe that species have adapted to physical changes in their enviroment - but changing into completely different species - I don't think so.

i'm not saying i think they have changed. most christians i know believe in creation and think evolution is a load of crap. i believe in creation but DON'T think evolution is a load of crap. micro evolution is observed all the time, and i completely understand macro evolution and don't find it to be a flawed theory.

it wasn't until i actually did some courses in bible study (i've got a certificate from the sydney anglican diocese!) and learnt about how the bible was created, i learnt about context and the various books and how parts of the bible can and can't be read. for example, the book of acts is a historical book, it tells us what has happened, not what has happened. romans for example is an instructional book, it doesn't tell us (much) history but is primarily an instructional book. now genesis is a historical book, but i don't believe the very start of it is literal.

not every single thing in the bible is literal, no. job, for example, as i gave before is NOT a literal book. job never existed as a man. yes that book plays an important part in the bible. that is why it is important to learn about the bible and how it should be read and learnt and studied for the good of the reader and mankind. how many people over history have taken the bible out of context and don't something bad with the results?

Are you sure that just cos our time in church out in Belfast wasn't good hasn't just made you reject all their teachings (btw the church there has great pastors now)??? Sure some wasn't right but a lot of it was...

are you kidding, my time at belfast was great! great friends great times and if it wasn't for that church i wouldn't have still been a christian. i do question certain things that happened, and admit i didn't really "learn" much at all, and i learnt even less at CNLC.

a lot of what we did there was socialising and learning about christian living and how to be an effective witness at school and about how to not listen to non-christian music and about gossip and sex, but not that much about the bible or what God says in the bible. encouragement is great, but it's not everything, we need to just learn sometimes.

i questioned tongues there, because i was encouraged to do something and people pointed at scripture and said 'this is what you're doing' and then have learnt since, that the tongues i used to speak aren't what the bible calls tongues, the tongues i spoke didn't even occur in the bible. that was just an example.

Alice said...

I've been told in the past that in order to be saved I have to be "baptised in the Holy Spirit" and after that I will speak in tongues. Why are our churches full of this crap. Thats not biblical.

READ YOUR BIBLE. Andrew is right, the Bible is the only standard to judge anything on. It says in the Bible that the devil can appear as an angel of light. If this is true then you are at great risk of being decieved if you do not check EVERYTHING against the word.

Tongues in the bible occurs first in acts (which btw is a description of the times, not a prescription for today) when the Holy Spirit came and gave everyone the ability to understand each other. It was not babble. It was not a heavenly language. It was an earthly language being spoken by these people.
1 Corinthians 14:27-28 says that Ïf any man speak in an unknown tongue (LANGUAGE), let it be by two, or at the most three, and that by course, and let one interpret. But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church"
We see here that if other earthly languages are to be spoken in church that they must be made able to be understood.
Nowhere in the bible does it talk about tongues as a form of personal worsip. Its interesting to note that mormons, muslims and the occult also have this gibberish language that is heard spoken in some churches.
Its my opinion that there is no place for this "tongues" that is seen today.

Rayd said...

You've interpreted that verse in your own way. I interpret it differently. How can someone speak so well in another language, so fluently, when it's supposedly just gibberish? My tongues could, for all i know, be in ancient hebrew, or it could be in philipino. I don't know. Maybe it's in a language that has yet to be invented or a language that died out long ago. It's not important to me. I believe it is a language not gibberish.


Do you know for sure that the Book of Job was a play-script? I wasn't there so i don't know. Were you?

When i was baptised i didn't feel an incredible force come over me, i didn't feel a complusion to sing in tongues. I believe i'm saved. It just goes to show that different experiences happen to different people. Look at all the healing stories in the Bible. Jesus uses about every possible way to heal them, each person using a different tactic. Why? Because we're all different. We are different to the people in Acts but we're also different to the bloke sitting next to us on the pew Sunday morning. Every experience we have cannot be paralleled to someone else's life, but i think we need to take from the scripture what is relevant to us and let God speak to us through that. Praying in tongues is important for me because i often struggle with how to tell God how i'm feeling. I can't describe my emotions to Him and so i talk in tongues to take it to Him in prayer. That's important for me to be able to do that. In 10 years time it may not be the case.

Alice said...

Actually thats also how most theologians interpret this scripture also, based on more understanding about context than I do.
If you struggle to pray then Jesus has that covered. He teaches us how to pray. He even gives us a prayer to say when we dont have our own.
Its true that everyone has different experiences, but that doesnt mean the truth changes to accomodate. Jesus healed using different methods, but always the same way- through the power of God.
You say "i think we need to take from the scripture what is relevant to us and let God speak to us through that"
We cant pick and chose what we want to get from the scriptures. Its not a book to problem solve our lives, its a book to shape our lives. We should study all the scripture in relation to its context.

andrew brown said...

Do you know for sure that the Book of Job was a play-script? I wasn't there so i don't know. Were you?

yeah, who wasn't???

joking, no i wasn't and neither were you, and neither of us was there when whoever wrote it wrote it, and that is where the discrepancy comes in. a lot of theological historians claim it's a play, and they've spent a lot of time (often, most of their lives) researching and checking these things, and say so. are they correct? well, they've gone as far as they can researching it and have come to a conclusion, we can take it or leave it. the thing is, is that (i think sharyn pointed this out) is that the bible doesn't come with instruction, so to get instruction and find out what others have spent their lives doing is great! we can skip what they've spent years doing and find out right away!

When i was baptised i didn't feel an incredible force come over me, i didn't feel a complusion to sing in tongues. I believe i'm saved. It just goes to show that different experiences happen to different people.

The point Alice was trying to make is that she's heard that taught, I personally believe the concept of "baptised in the Holy Spirit" is wrong, because while it did happen in scripture, it happened in extremely specific circumstances which are not existant on earth anymore.

It's not important to me.

and while I don't want to argue too much, that's the breakdown. you don't care if what you're doing is correct biblically because as long as it works for you then everything is sweet. sorry, i don't mean correct biblically, but more "as it is in the bible"

here is an interesting wikipedia link on tongues. the great thing about the wikipedia is it's unbias nature. it describes what it is, and who agrees or disagrees with it, and all the angles. it is a very interesting read.

knowing what people think who don't share your viewpoint is a valuable resource that a lot of christians avoid, for fear of 'losing faith' or something, but if your faith is strong, then reading some contrary (to what you explicitly believe) will not diminish your faith, and will often give you a better understanding of how others see you, and understand you.

illegalbrain said...

I know this post is as old as hell, but a verse from Revelation jumped to mind when I read the stuff about crowns in heaven:

"Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life."

It also says "Hold fast to what you have, so no one may take your crown" and that those who overcome will rule on thrones, which probably involves a crown of some kind.

I didn't know you used to "speak in tongues" that is interesting.