The eviler your scheme for punishing your husband, the guiltier you feel when he apologizes first.
My last post (prior to the pictures) was about seeking knowledge and truth from the Bible and not relying on feelings or emotions.
Today I'm gonna talk about the other side of the argument, since me, my husband, and a number of our readers fall too far into the knowledge bit and forget the heart bit. This is going to be hard for me to write about, because I struggle with it so much.
Given that what we believe must, simply must, be derived solely from God's Word, there is more to Christianity than just arguments. See, that's whats so amazing about Jesus Christ. He came not for the great and the wise, but the poor and humble. The Pharisees were incredibly intelligent; they could quote Scripture, they knew all the prophesies, they knew the Law by heart, but they had no relationship with God and they rejected Jesus as the Son of God. For this, they were condemned. It was the fishermen and the children and the adulteresses and the tax collectors that Jesus revealed himself to. It wasn't to the wise, but the small. What the unintelligent and poor and the lepers had that the Pharisees didn't was heart. They believed in Jesus and had faith in their hearts. They couldn't wrap their minds around it, but neither did they try. They just believed, like children. The disciples were incredibly naive and, well, let's be honest, a bit dim-witted at times, but it was the disciples to whom Jesus revealed himself. He told the crowds that unless we come with faith like little children, we cannot be saved.
Often times, I find myself wanting to prove God. More often than that, I find myself wanting to talk theology and get down to the bits and pieces of Christianity when talking to people. But this is not where faith comes from. Faith does not come from figuring God out, or beating people over the head with the Calvinist stick. People don't need a religion made of nuances and semantics and Covenant Theologies. What people need is a Saviour. They need help. They need to be lifted out of their sin and out of their despair and out of the path to eternal damnation. They need grace. They don't need to be bogged down with whether or not grace is irrestistable, they just need grace. Why do I always scoff at basic Christianity, when it is basic Christianity that the unsaved need?
I for one am very skeptical of feelings. I am very skeptical when someone says they "felt" God saying something to them. I'm very skeptical of my own feelings. I do not trust them. In church, when I begin to feel something rising up in me, I immediately question it and think, "Is this God or am I just getting psyched up emotionally? I mean, the worship is getting hyped. Is it just the way the music just welled-up and the drums came in with a loud crash? Am I simply being tricked into an emotional state due to the modern conveniences of a sound board?" And suddenly it's over. I don't feel anything anymore, and I feel a lot more intelligent for it. "CGR would be proud," I think.
What's with that?! Didn't David dance around like a crazy person because he was so caught up in the joy of the Lord? Didn't the Holy Spirit move him so deeply that he wrote hundreds of psalms? Feeling is a part of the Christian experience. We mustn't underestimate it. Especially in evangelism. While we shouldn't allow young Christians to be blown around with the wind because they believe every thing they hear and rely on every feeling they get, we aren't meant to quench what the Holy Spirit is doing in them. For me personally, I accepted Jesus as my Saviour because of the feeling of joy and happiness he gave me. (Though, actually it was because of the divine and sovereign mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ and God's unconditional election.*wink) I'd lived 18 years believing that Christianity was all about laws and predestination and theology. I never knew that there actually was a joy involved. But when I asked God to give me a feeling that was better than drugs, he gave it to me, and I was turned upside down. I've never been the same! So why do I trivialize others when they have similar experiences? Why do I immediately beseech them to question everything and prove it with Scripture? If I know Scripture so well, then I should know they don't have to prove it. What did the lame and the blind and the adulteress and the theif on the cross do when Jesus healed them and forgave them for their sins? They rejoiced!! They felt something real!
That is my point. Jesus is alive and real. Christianity is Truth. Jesus is the only way man can be saved. This isn't Plato or Nietche, but a real live working salvation that leads to real eternal life. We must allow ourselves to be moved by the Holy Spirit. Jesus lives in our hearts, so we say. I know for myself, I've got to remember to keep him in my heart even as I fill my head with the knowledge he has so graciously left for us.