Exterior/Interior Life

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Inquiring Mind, Oct 25, 2006.

  1. Inquiring Mind

    Inquiring Mind
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2006
    Messages:
    425
    Likes Received:
    0
    John has had a great time reading so many things on the material/immaterial world and on the exterior/interior life of the Church. Then recently John began reading up on the exterior expression of the Church--which belongs, John thinks, to the material world. John read that people like him, who came out of fundamentalism, bring a rich interior life. Yes, it is VERY true that John does have a richer interior life than most people I know who come from the exterior expressions of "Church." On the negative side, some who place great emphasis on belonging to the exterior, "correct" form of Church might say John is like a monkey with no soul, because there is no exterior to his walk.

    So recently, John began investigating churches that seem to have a rich exterior. But when he consider that in the eyes of some he has virtually no soul, I wonder why is it that without understanding rules and regulations of the exterior Church, he can depend on the Lord to guide him apart from my understanding and He does it? There is an unfolding of the next right thing from "beyond"--as the Israelites followed the cloud by day and the fire by night, not knowing where they were going. John sees "God" in this and others see "delusion". Meanwhile, John knows so many from the exterior churches who are so confused. They have no compass and no sense of God's leading.

    This must get into faith. Our faith belongs to Jesus, not to ourselves and not to our exterior Church.

    A friend wrote John and said:

    "Every group has reasons they are distinguished as the only one. They have text evidence to support it. They believe it with all their heart. If they are seeking God - they are His. If they are seeking to be right - I think they have their reward."

    John thinks his friend hit it on the head. "If they are seeking God--they are His." Many seek to be right. Many seek after the perfect church. How many seek after God? And if John is right and the important thing is to seek after God, then how does that affect our role within the exterior Church? Are we walking the path just because we observe the exterior? Or can it be a way to bury our heads in the sand?

    Let us say we have two people: Alice and Jack. Alice is in the correct Church. She brags that her church is the best, the original, the most righteous. Jack also believes this about his church. But one day Jack experiences a dramatic conversion and sees that the Alice's church is correct, objectively speaking. So Jack converts. Jack really "sees" in his interior all the truths of this Church. Meanwhile, Alice--a cradle member of the same church is smugly self-satisfied that she is in the correct church. However, Alice is no more enlightened about being in the right Church than Jack was when he believed he was in the correct Church before he saw the light and converted. So let's say that Jack now serves God in an exterior church because of an interior light. But Alice, who believes she is in the correct church, actually has no interior light because she just believes what she has always been taught. So let's say she really is in the right place, but she has experienced no transformation for all that, having received no inner light on it. John should think that Jack has the greater light and renders God the greater service for it.

    John phrase things in this way as he realize his own imbalance in having a rich interior to the near exclusion of an exterior. As he has considered the possibility of which exterior expression to choose, the question of "What things should John consider in making a choice?" came up. And in considering, John realized that an exterior, while very good, would be no match for anything without the strong interior world John brings to the faith. In fact, John would rather think that a strong exterior without an interior would be no true faith at all.

    John just wonders if others struggle with this very mental application of choice. John actually feels a lot of peace with his interior. It's his exterior that has him worried, as he realizes how much he has neglected the material world--John thinks it's a heresy, but for him it came unconsciously as a rejection of material pain in the world.

    What are your thoughts?
     
  2. dispen4ever

    dispen4ever
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2006
    Messages:
    264
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm sure glad I have my Bible as the only sure reference.
     
  3. Inquiring Mind

    Inquiring Mind
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2006
    Messages:
    425
    Likes Received:
    0
    A good answer, I suppose my question really had more to do with the integration of the inner and outer life insofar as faith goes. I am reminded that Jesus was brought up in a time of apostate Judaism, yet he went along with the motions. But he also warned:

    Mat 23:2 .. The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat:
    Mat 23:3 All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.
    Mat 23:4 For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. ...

    Surely there is more to the exterior than just acting religious like. Is the exterior behaviour of "going to church" supposed to be some sign of our interior faithfulness? Is it a witness to others? What about when that which once had life is starting to look like dead religion? Do you still do the exterior things, even after "Ichabod" has been written on the door post? Do you desert and go elsewhere...or do you become more interior as a living sacrifice?

    When Paul was first converted, he didn't do the exterior thing. He went up to Arabia and never met with any other Apostles until years later. Maybe there is a right time and a wrong time to be exterior.
     
  4. genesis 12-15

    genesis 12-15
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2006
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    0
    "Acting religious-like" is the very antithesis of the experiences of the born-again Christian.

    I think you could draw a crowd if you'd change your terminology. This "exterior" and "interior" substitution doesn't leave me shouting hallelujah. Why resort to such terms?
     

Share This Page

Loading...