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Source: (consider it) Thread: When Salvation doesn't come to mind
GeorgeNZ
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For many years I have felt drawn/linked to God in a way that is hard to describe, probably because I don't understand it myself. In all that time my Salvation and hence eternal life has not been an issue for me and seldom crosses my mind. I accept who Jesus is, I don't understand how the cross 'worked' though I do accept the message of an obedience and level of sacrifice to the N'th degree. I have a longing for God that is confusing for me, but feel that if grace presented me with one moment of communion with God then that in itself would be eternity. However I don't feel drawn to Jesus, I wish I did (whatever that means) and wonder if it is because I have never felt a need to be saved so I could go to heaven for ever.

I know I am a sinner (have done things wrong), I know God loves me and a function of that love is that he forgives me when I admit my 'wrongness'. I guess I just want to be in a relationship with God in a real and tangible way, and if that were so and that this life was all there was then that would be enough for me (maybe that will change on my deathbed).

But this leaves me estranged to a degree from Jesus, and I am uncomfortable with that, and guess/sense that this is the impediment to me embracing and being embraced by the mystery of the One who is love.

Yes I don't know what I am really asking of you or what comments or comfort I seek in the sharing. However it seems to me there are many here on many different journeys and paths and so wonder if there are indeed insights into questions I should be asking myself rather than solutions proffered.

Thank you

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Gramps49
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First, God wants to connect with you whether or not you confess your sins.

Second, if you want to connect with God, do it through connection with your fellow human being. Do it with your connection to nature.

Salvation has more to with experiencing eternal life in the here and now. It is about doing justice now. That was what Jesus was all about.

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Martin60
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Superb GeorgeNZ. Real.

The only reason that you are able to have these thoughts and feelings is because of the Incarnation.

God clothed Himself in a human person, the ultimate dumbing down, the ultimate hybrid, fully integrated since the only hope: the Resurrection.

You love God therefore you love Jesus. Don't sweat it. He loves you.

And there's no need to get in to the whole mawkish, legalistic death cult. I find Him sufficiently impressive just in one incident: the woman taken in adultery.

[ 01. October 2016, 09:18: Message edited by: Martin60 ]

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Love wins

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Enoch
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I think quite a lot of people have a problem where Jesus fits into their perception of God. That was the case for me at one time. In some ways, it is easy to respond to an awe-striking sense of God, just to fell one know he is there, or even to hunger for the beatific vision.

However, 'the Word became flesh and dwelt among us', and 'He is the image of the invisible God'. You say
quote:
I know God loves me and a function of that love is that he forgives me when I admit my 'wrongness'.
ISTM you are already responding to Jesus. How else, other than in what you already know about him, do you think you are able to know that God loves you, or that he's even interested in you?

What do you feel like when you read the accounts of Jesus in the gospels? That's not the explanations, simply the narrative and the reports of his own teaching. When you say you feel "estranged to a degree from Jesus", it's just possible that what you actually feel estranged from isn't Jesus but other people's description of what they feel about their faith, the impression you're getting of what you ought to feel.

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simontoad
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Onya George. Keep wrestling with these problems, as long as they don't drag you down too much (I'm prone to that). They are the stuff of true faith. Have you tried using the New Testament as the base for prayerful meditation? They call the method lectio divina or some such thing. Seriously, I think that's right but I'm not sure. Quiet reflection on specific words, that's the ticket for me.

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Human

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Lamb Chopped
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George, don't worry. Lots of us feel somewhat distanced from one member of the Trinity, Lord knows why--in my case, it's the Father. We actually had a whole thread on the subject not so long ago. God puts up with us, thank God.

You can do what I'm doing, ask God to see to it. After all, he knows the difficulty, which we usually don't. It may have nothing to do with salvation etc. at all. I don't spend any time thinking about that subject (which is mostly over and done with for me), but I happen to have my strongest connection with Jesus--which suggests the two subjects are less connected than you think.

tl/dr version: I'd just ask the Lord to sort it out. And in the meantime, don't fuss as much as possible. God understands our infirmities, and will help us with them, though it may seem it's taking forever (certainly does to me).

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Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

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GeorgeNZ
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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
When you say you feel "estranged to a degree from Jesus", it's just possible that what you actually feel estranged from isn't Jesus but other people's description of what they feel about their faith, the impression you're getting of what you ought to feel.

Enoch this is something that I believe true for me. Which then sends be on a guilt bender for being judgemental about how other people feel/act. As Aslan says that is their story. In chorus singing churches I long for silence and solemnity because I tend to find God more in the quiet, and I cant sing what I don't feel . . . . The words feel a lie as if I am just singing to fit in. When I have attended High Anglo-catholic services I have felt more at home and yet I feel a sense of estrangement, a lack of intimacy a sense that a God held on high is a God held at arms length and that is not Loves intent. So I don't go to church or if I do I tend to leave part way through the service unable to continue if I don't feel that my involvement is genuine.

I appreciate all your sentiments and advice. Yes Martin the Incarnation is something I ponder often and for the life of me I think that if there is one thing that is revealed to me is that the Unknowable is known in part through our fellow man and woman. As far as God sometimes seems to me it is in the presence of another on the path that gives me comfort I am not alone.

At the end of the day there are may ways or and I hate to use the word 'techniques' that may help me, but I sense no will avail unless I find the means of surrender. Surrender some might say is just a letting go, but I am not so sure. To fall in into the arms of Love one must first step out, and I think for me that means I must be willing to be out of step not just with many in the world but many who share the faith.

Thanks again, much to ponder

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GeorgeNZ
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
.....

And there's no need to get in to the whole mawkish, legalistic death cult. I find Him sufficiently impressive just in one incident: the woman taken in adultery.

Martin I listened to a Podcast recently from Clive James who said while no longer a believer in the divinity of Jesus or even that God existed, that the story of Jesus confronting the crowd and authorities in the story of the woman caught in adultery was enough to convince him that Jesus was a man to be respected.

It gave me a refreshed view of how I might read the Gospels. Simontoad I have read of Lectio Divina but never embraced it. Sometimes I think if the NT ended with John's Gospel (my favourite it would be easier. Paul messes with my head.

Thanks

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rolyn
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If you've got the yearning then Jesus is listening and watching. When the moment of surrender comes He'll step into any heart.
90% of the bible doesn't rest easy with me, (maybe it isn't supposed to) and the history of the Church is, to my mind , largely a shameful disgrace. Christianity maybe has served some purpose in holding society together, but in many incidences it has been a tool for oppression.

Yet, given all of this, I still go to church on occasion and the Jesus encounter that hit me at the age of 40 is as undeniable as it ever was, although it is fair to say Love's transience has played it's part in allowing the tares to grow.

Good luck GeorgeNZ

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Change is the only certainty of existence

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quetzalcoatl
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Interesting posts, GeorgeNZ. I hesitate to talk about myself, as I'm not sure that it helps really. But I gradually abandoned organized religion over a number of years, but then I had been doing meditation for decades, and felt that love and God and openness were available without religion.

However, horses for courses. I certainly would not recommend my way. Utter nonsense really.

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I can't talk to you today; I talked to two people yesterday.

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Zappa
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quote:
Originally posted by GeorgeNZ:
Paul messes with my head.


That I can understand, having done a fair bit of work on Paul over the years. To crack it at all you have to get that he wasn't planning on you or me reading him, and that he was writing highly topical letters addressing particular contexts in a world very different to ours. Later, after getting that, it's fun to extrapolate and apply to our world, but later.

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shameless self promotion - because I think it's worth it
and mayhap this too: http://broken-moments.blogspot.co.nz/

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Humble Servant
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quote:
Originally posted by Zappa:
quote:
Originally posted by GeorgeNZ:
Paul messes with my head.


...he wasn't planning on you or me reading him, and that he was writing highly topical letters addressing particular contexts in a world very different to ours. Later, after getting that, it's fun to extrapolate and apply to our world, but later.
"Well if I'd known I was writing scripture, I'd have been a bit more careful what I wrote"
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A Feminine Force
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I don't know if this helps at all, but I'll try.

Salvation - IMO a pesky word that means many things to many people, despite its dictionary definition.

I like to refer to the root of the word - the Greek "soter" - which means to heal.

On the other side of "soter" is the Greek word for sin, "hamartia" which means "missing the mark" As in: aiming something negative at someone else, and hitting yourself instead, and so sin is a form of self-harm.

So if salvation and sin are framed as healing from self harm, then Christ as the Great Physician begins to make sense.

This is where I meet Him - not as some kind of rescue worker, or some kind of sacrifice to a god who can only be appeased by blood, but as the best kind of physician one could hope for: one who can feel all the ways I hurt myself and offer me a real and lasting cure for what ails me in heart and soul, and by extension, in body.

Surrender to Christ, and His intervention between me and myself for my spiritual and physical well being - these are real events in my life. It's hard not to feel the love when one has had a first hand experience of it.

The sad irony of it is, I had to be really broken in order to feel it.

Maybe you don't need to be broken, and if you don't then perhaps it's just as well. If you have faith in the love that you can't feel, then I think yours is the greater faith.

AFF

[ 07. October 2016, 11:03: Message edited by: A Feminine Force ]

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C2C - The Cure for What Ails Ya?

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Martin60
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You are a nice person AFF. I'm sure you're a total ratbag just like me, but not here. Unlike me. Which is just my way of softening you up for your, to me, original take on harmatia. Which I LIKE. But brutally regard as contrived from the simpler meaning of trying and failing.

In becoming my 86 year old mother's primary carer for the past 10 weeks I am all too aware of my inadequacy in dealing with hers.

Must fail better.

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Love wins

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quetzalcoatl
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Being broken and finding love, is certainly a very powerful experience. I have seen it happen to quite a few people, in different contexts. You can call it Christ, but there are quite a lot of names for it, and of course, sometimes no name.

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I can't talk to you today; I talked to two people yesterday.

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A Feminine Force
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It seems to me that everyone yearns on some level for a feeling of connection to the numinous.

The Christ in Jesus is one way to experience this. I didn't know until I apprehended Him that He was the one I had been screaming into the void for.

GeorgeNZ says he has no trouble feeling connection to the One in Whom we have our being.

This has been beyond my ability to perceive on a physical, material level. Though I have no trouble grasping it intellectually, it isn't a visceral truth for me. Not yet.

And so I think we all have the experience we are in the most dire need of.

I do feel that if GeorgeNZ needs to feel this connection with this particular fractal image of the One, then it will happen.

Not everyone needs to be broken in order for Christ to enter in, and I hope that if this intimate acquaintance with Christ is in GeorgeNZ's life script, that he meets Him on happier ground than I, and under the happiest of circumstances.

Like a reunion of long separated friends. Or some such.

AFF

[ 07. October 2016, 14:09: Message edited by: A Feminine Force ]

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C2C - The Cure for What Ails Ya?

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quetzalcoatl
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'Fractal image of the One' is very nice. In Zen - oh no, more boring stuff.

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I can't talk to you today; I talked to two people yesterday.

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no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
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“If what Jesus said was good, what can it matter whether he was God or not?”― Kurt Vonnegut

To which I say, it is perfectly reasonably and possibly the only reasonable thing for many people in many situations, to set aside all the magic bits and just try to live a decent life where you are kind to others, try to do the right things etc. Try not to pretend to know things you can't. People will say that this isn't "grace", and that "works" won't save you. To which I quote Vonnegut again:"so it goes". And think "so you say". Disregard those who say if you don't believe something they think you should that awful things will happen, like hell and other pain. Because that's God in their image I think, not God being God.

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Out of this nettle, danger, we pluck this flower, safety.
\_(ツ)_/

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GeorgeNZ
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Thank you so much for the wonderful thoughts, I think the best thing about a forum like this is the variety provides so many different facets that the picture formed is truely one in the eye of the beholder alone.

I often think of my 'relationship' with God as being similar to a watermark. Loves imprint on my life is subtle and often only visible when seen at certain angles at certain times but it is there, often clearest when held up to the light. The thing though is that 'at least for me' the watermark is so integral that it can never be removed, I know, I have tried at times, but have discovered that to do so is only possible by totally destroying the bearer of that image who is myself. I cannot lose God and remain.

Jesus as God. Jesus as a good man. I have known several of the 2nd and I feel to a degree an invisible call to seek the 1st. I don't necessarily believe that to do so is absolutely necessary and that indeed it is in the striving that growth occurs, but it has been very tiriing at times.

Martin60 I am well aware as you often intimate in comments about yourself that I am a less than 'ideal' person. I wonder if I can love Jesus while not being very fond of myself. Does accepting His forgiveness and love begin with forgiving and loving myself first . . . It is a question I ask myself often.

Surrender does indeed seem to be the hardest word, yet it sounds so simple. To give up and fall into the arms of love or to give up and walk away . . . . being stuck in the middle can be prettying crappy

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Martin60
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quote:
Originally posted by GeorgeNZ:
Thank you so much for the wonderful thoughts, I think the best thing about a forum like this is the variety provides so many different facets that the picture formed is truely one in the eye of the beholder alone.

I often think of my 'relationship' with God as being similar to a watermark. Loves imprint on my life is subtle and often only visible when seen at certain angles at certain times but it is there, often clearest when held up to the light. The thing though is that 'at least for me' the watermark is so integral that it can never be removed, I know, I have tried at times, but have discovered that to do so is only possible by totally destroying the bearer of that image who is myself. I cannot lose God and remain.

Jesus as God. Jesus as a good man. I have known several of the 2nd and I feel to a degree an invisible call to seek the 1st. I don't necessarily believe that to do so is absolutely necessary and that indeed it is in the striving that growth occurs, but it has been very tiriing at times.

Martin60 I am well aware as you often intimate in comments about yourself that I am a less than 'ideal' person. I wonder if I can love Jesus while not being very fond of myself. Does accepting His forgiveness and love begin with forgiving and loving myself first . . . It is a question I ask myself often.

Surrender does indeed seem to be the hardest word, yet it sounds so simple. To give up and fall into the arms of love or to give up and walk away . . . . being stuck in the middle can be prettying crappy

Very good. Very real. Very vulnerable. Brené Brown would break your back with a hug.

Forgiveness, especially God's, is the sound of one hand clapping for me. It doesn't undo the damage I've done to others and myself. It doesn't really help at all. Unconditional love of me at my shittiest does. And the certainty that He will fix EVERYTHING. Full rewind and replay for all of us, each on our own road to Emmaus. It could take decades of walking just with Him in paradise.

I'm pathologically afflicted with intrusive thinking to a sometimes comic degree. I laughed with my therapist about one particular loop I still ruminate over that I could share. But often I cannot get out of the loop of shame until I remember to say to God, "Come in Lord! I'm at my worst.".

I want Him as my friend. Yes I want Daddy, I want a big brother. I want a Lord. A master. Sarge. But I want a friend.

An ... equal. Someone who grants me that equality. Insists on it. An idealized version of myself.

With me, in the middle, in the crap.

I wish. I pray. The same for you.

[ 08. October 2016, 15:26: Message edited by: Martin60 ]

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Love wins

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Martin60
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quote:
Originally posted by GeorgeNZ:
Thank you so much for the wonderful thoughts, I think the best thing about a forum like this is the variety provides so many different facets that the picture formed is truely one in the eye of the beholder alone.

I often think of my 'relationship' with God as being similar to a watermark. Loves imprint on my life is subtle and often only visible when seen at certain angles at certain times but it is there, often clearest when held up to the light. The thing though is that 'at least for me' the watermark is so integral that it can never be removed, I know, I have tried at times, but have discovered that to do so is only possible by totally destroying the bearer of that image who is myself. I cannot lose God and remain.

Jesus as God. Jesus as a good man. I have known several of the 2nd and I feel to a degree an invisible call to seek the 1st. I don't necessarily believe that to do so is absolutely necessary and that indeed it is in the striving that growth occurs, but it has been very tiriing at times.

Martin60 I am well aware as you often intimate in comments about yourself that I am a less than 'ideal' person. I wonder if I can love Jesus while not being very fond of myself. Does accepting His forgiveness and love begin with forgiving and loving myself first . . . It is a question I ask myself often.

Surrender does indeed seem to be the hardest word, yet it sounds so simple. To give up and fall into the arms of love or to give up and walk away . . . . being stuck in the middle can be prettying crappy

Very good. Very real. Very vulnerable. Brené Brown would break your back with a hug.

Forgiveness, especially God's, is the sound of one hand clapping for me. It doesn't undo the damage I've done to others and myself. It doesn't really help at all. Unconditional love of me at my shittiest does. And the certainty that He will fix EVERYTHING. Full rewind and replay for all of us, each on our own road to Emmaus. It could take decades of walking just with Him in paradise.

I'm pathologically afflicted with intrusive thinking to a sometimes comic degree. I laughed with my therapist about one particular loop I still ruminate over that I could share. But often I cannot get out of the loop of shame until I remember to say to God, "Come in Lord! I'm at my worst.".

I want Him as my friend. Yes I want Daddy, I want a big brother. I want a Lord. A master. Sarge. Sar'nt in fact. But I want a friend.

An ... equal. Someone who grants me that equality. Insists on it. An idealized version of myself.

With me, in the middle, in the crap.

I wish. I pray. The same for you.

[ 08. October 2016, 15:28: Message edited by: Martin60 ]

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Love wins

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Boogie

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quote:
Originally posted by GeorgeNZ:

Surrender does indeed seem to be the hardest word, yet it sounds so simple. To give up and fall into the arms of love or to give up and walk away . . . . being stuck in the middle can be prettying crappy

Amen.

I tried the surrender thing, it didn't work - God was too elusive. I can't seem to walk away either. Like staying in a crappy marriage?

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Garden. Room. Walk

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A Feminine Force
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Martin, have I told you lately that I love you? I think I have. But it bears repeating.

LAFF

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C2C - The Cure for What Ails Ya?

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Doone
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GeorgeNZ and Martin60 thank you [Overused]
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GeorgeNZ
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quote:
Originally posted by Boogie:
quote:
Originally posted by GeorgeNZ:

Surrender does indeed seem to be the hardest word, yet it sounds so simple. To give up and fall into the arms of love or to give up and walk away . . . . being stuck in the middle can be prettying crappy

Amen.

I tried the surrender thing, it didn't work - God was too elusive. I can't seem to walk away either. Like staying in a crappy marriage?

Boogie I nearly walked away from what I thought was a crappy marriage but I stayed, that period caused a lot of pain for those I love and is something I wish I could undo but of course never can. Having said that love bloomed in a new way (I had destroyed the first flush), to be something deeper, stronger, and a hope I cling to even more enduring.

I think the analogy with what we are talking about here is similar. The promise of eternal salvation has no bearing for me, to move mountains or walk on water, for everything to be wonderful rosey and fuzzy are incidental . . . . as Martin said it is the intimacy that the heart desires. With someone you love by your side, with someone who loves you by your side, little else seems to matter, it doesn't diminish the trials but it does change them.

A relationship with God, with Love, with the Father Son and Spirit, is something I seek (I hate that word as it makes it sound like a 'thing') because I almost feel like I am less whole without it. I am not talking about a 'God shaped hole' but I sense that it is just something right. Presumptious as it sounds I think it would also delight God if we came into a deeper relationship and I would like to make Love happy.

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Martin60
Shipmate
# 368

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True AFF, but you weren't the first today. A guy propositioned me in the park. I really must get a dog. A BIG manly dog. A bull terrier, muzzled, with all his bits. I most graciously declined. It disturbed me for him. A middle-aged, working class Asian guy with hardly any English, a handful of words, he thought I was 'lovely', desperate for intimacy (HIM not me!), surrounded by a culture in which he could not exist.

He'll get his metamorphosing walk, poor guy.

Sting was just singing the perpetually appropriate song, 'How Fragile We Are'.

Looking forward to that walk.

--------------------
Love wins

Posts: 17586 | From: Never Dobunni after all. Corieltauvi after all. Just moved to the capital. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged


 
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