Rules VS. Relationship

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by David McMillian, Mar 24, 2005.

  1. David McMillian

    David McMillian
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    Hello out there. I just want to share what the Lord had done in my life lately and see what you have to say about a very important topic. I've been in church for about 24 years (I started when I was 13) I was saved on November 10th 1999. In those 24 years of being in church, I've noticed a rather disterbing issue. I now live in South Carolina, the buckle of the bible belt and I've been to about 7 different churches in the area. The one thread that runs through almost all of these churches is the issue of what I like to call preformance based spirituality. In a nut shell It goes like this: If you wear the right clothes and have your hair just the right lenght and you don't go to the movies or listen to the wrong kind of music (which is basically everything except their style of music), you are considered spiritual and holy. Its as if these things are all the christian life is made up of, do this list and you are a good christian. The motivation for the doing and not doing seems to be out of fear of judgment, not true love for the savior. I recently found a church that teaches that the christian life is about having and maintaining a intimate long lasting relationship with the Creator of the Universe. Out of the abundance of that relationship springs forth a desire to do those things that bring Him pleasure, and a desire not to do the things that you know don't bring pleasure to Him. You fall in love with Jesus and you won't have to worry about rule keeping. I would love to hear what you might have to say on this topic. you feed back is welcome. I'm not wanting to argue, but am just wondering if anyone else feel as I do on this.


    Because of Him
    [​IMG]
     
  2. CYBERDOVE

    CYBERDOVE
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    Hi David, I know what you mean. When I first accepted CHRIST I was a pack a day smoker, went to all types of dicos,clubs and drank many types of alcohol,did some cursing too. :eek: [​IMG] However every since I've found our LORD back in the 90's I no longer care for that kind of stuff,it was no longer fun!! Once you start learning, studying, prayiny and realizing what our MASTER has done for us, you will want to spend more time with HIM!! Most of the activies I had thought were fun are not worth the time to do anymore, [​IMG] I rather walk with JESUS!!- [​IMG] [​IMG] -----p.s. this was not an overnight thing, it was a gradual process for me. in HIS service [​IMG]
     
  3. williemakeit

    williemakeit
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    Some churches adopt a more seperatist viewpoint than others. This seperatist viewpoint often results in what some perceive to be rules; however, we as Christians are free to fellowship with whomever we believe to have the same idea of the standards of Christian living or behavior. We are fortunate to live in a country where one's religious belief or practices are not dictated to us. Every Christian should be happy in the church they attend, and, of course, happiness will only come when the Christian is where God has placed them. I have personally attended churches from one extreme to the other. In every one of them, I have met some very happy Christians, and I have met some very unhappy Christians. As for their spirituality, I believe the same observation can be made. If one takes very good care of the relationship part (bible study and prayer), I believe that God will take care of the 'standards' part, regardless of where one feels led to fellowship with other Christians.
     
  4. dh1948

    dh1948
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    It would seem logical that God is more interested in what we are than in what we do. What we are determines what we do.

    Too many Christians are more concerned about doing rather than being.
     
  5. williemakeit

    williemakeit
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    Agree with the first part; however, regarding the second part of your quote, I have found that too many Christians have a big problem doing, too. [​IMG]
     
  6. superdave

    superdave
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    The issue is why you are doing.

    Many Churches' idea of discipleship (and child rearing) is teaching the proper behavior and get "obedience" above all else. No effort is made to determine where someone actually is at. Just make them feel unwelcome, or preach personal preferences until they dress, talk, and act "Christian" The Pharisees of old would fit in well in many churches, even being a brood of unregenerate snakes (Jesus words, not mine)

    I want my kids to obey me, and to do good works because they have a heart for God, and because they are desiring to glorify him, not because I have coerced them into it, or simply because of positive peer pressure. It has to go beyond that. The attitudes you described in the opening post create many 18 and done kids in churches. When they can leave they do, because its not real for them, and they see right through many adults who do things for the wrong reasons.

    Your actions do not determine or contribute to your heart condition, but it does work the other way round. As a man thinks in his heart, so he is. And also, Out of the abundance of the Heart the mouth speaks. Eventually the real you comes out, but "washing the pig" doesn't make it anything other than a pig. You have to strive for real change of being, rather than change of mask.
     
  7. David McMillian

    David McMillian
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    Thank you superdave, just what I was trying to say, you even said it better than I did. If the heart is right then the actions will be right. One of the many results of legalism is that it gives you a wrong perspective of who God is. Before finding this church, because of wrong teaching, I had the idea that God was some kind of big bully up in heaven, kinda distant because we are so sinful, couldn't really get that close to him. One day the Lord showed me that in order to change behavior you have to change your view of God. Your belief system will determine your behavior, so in order to change behavior you must change you view of God. Now that I understand that God wants to be my best friend and longs passonitally for me to know Him, it makes it easy to get close to Him. I am closer now to my Lord than I have ever been in my entire christian life, and things are really starting to change in my life. I'm starting to learn (as stated previosly) that he desires above all else for me to have a relationship with him, one that is stronger and closer than any earthly bond ever will be. As my relationship with Jesus grows ever stronger, I will become more like Him in every way. Oh it is wonderful to be a Christian!!!!
     
  8. StraightAndNarrow

    StraightAndNarrow
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    I believe that being a Christian means having an intimate relationship with the Lord Jesus. I'll never be convinced that so-called carnal Christians are Christians at all. You can't have a born again experience that doesn't change your life (lasting change).
     

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