Friday, August 25, 2006

The Christian Basics (at least my take)

Below are questions asked of me about my faith/religion/etc.


What does it mean to be a Christian? Does it entail certain actions, beliefs, practices, etc? If so, what?

A Christian is one who identifies Christ as his or her means of salvation, but a devout follower is who further acts upon that relationship, believing they are in need of pursuing God more.

What is "faith" in God? What does it mean to "put your trust in the Lord"?

Faith in God is the belief that God will take care of the worries and hardships in life and death, that there is no need to control or manage the safety/security/comfort of one’s life.


Is church important?

Church is important in the sense that we are the Body of Christ, and without exposure to it, and participation in it, we miss out on the design that God intended us to experience.

How connected are the practices of attending church and your relationship with God?

Connected in the sense that one can experience/participate in a corporate worshipping of God, receive support, and provide service to God.

Why go? Why not go? What do we get out of church/what are we supposed to get out of church? (That question could get very idealistic, but lets stick to our actual lives and experiences)

We go because it keeps us rooted in the faith, serving as a reminder of what we believe, who we follow, why we need to look/act differently.


How do you connect with God? Do you remember any times when God has transformed you? (Connected: does God transform us? Are we supposed to be transformed? From what, to what?)

Through prayer, worship, listening, serving, & obeying. I’ve felt differently due to events God has orchestrated, changing my behaviors. The Holy Spirit has stirred new thoughts or feelings within me, changing my outlook and actions. I think God’s intent is to transform us from Prodigals to Heirs, from the pig trough to the Dinner Table, from the rags to the royal robes, from isolation to the embrace of the Father.

Why do you spend time with God? Why don't you? Does it need to be a rigid practice? (like praying/reading the bible for an hour per day)

I spend time with God to eventually accept the truth of my identity in Christ. I don’t because I fear that intimacy and don’t want to become vulnerable, and abandoned. Pride is a comforting distraction, sin appears absolutely logical and productive for survival. It never was designed to be rigid; those things become rigid with improper motivation. Do you want to work for your salvation or better know your loving Father?

What keeps you from God?

The fear and pride and comfort of sin.

What does the Bible say about this stuff? Is it right? (That 2nd question can go in a lot of different ways, but I generally mean, does what the Bible say about being close/far from God resonate with you - so yes, it is a personally relativistic 'right' in this case)

I would like to believe my understanding is based in Scripture, though I can’t say particularly where for specific examples.


How do you prefer to worship God? (Singing, serving, etc. - be specific)

I prefer to worship, allowing the Holy Spirit be the music leader, directing its flow like a dance. Also, by thinking and speaking about the things of God with friends. Through writing, art, acts of kindness or becoming the servant.

Are there right and wrong ways to worship God?

It is not worship if it bolsters one’s ego and turns attention away from the Triune God.

Where is your worship life at right now? Aka, do you need to kick your own ass? (This presupposes a question: do we have to want to worship God in order to worship him? Do we have to have a right heart set? If so, how do we get to that place when we aren't there?)

To address the presumption, yes, one needs to desire to worship God to do so. One can end up at that heart’s place by two means: the Holy Spirit’s calling or intervention, or by intentionally seeking God’s heart, either through thought or action (but the Holy Spirit always plays a role in the enhanced richness of the worship experience – when communion with God is attained – despite what one believes he or she experiences).

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