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Post by m273p15c » Fri Apr 14, 2006 1:29 pm

Who am I?

Here is the requested information introducing myself, plus some additional info:
  • Where did you grow up? I grew up in the Southeast United States in a very conservative and traditional community. I have traveled overseas, and spent years in other cultures, but I am undeniably most influenced by my parents and the environment in which they chose to raise me. However, my travels have exposed me to other people with other ways of thought, which has certainly broadened by sympathies to people much different than myself.
  • How did you come to be interested in spiritual things? Admittedly, my parents were the first spiritual influence on my thinking, because they took me to church, taught me the Bible, lived godly lives, and encouraged me to do the same, since before I can remember. However, after many years of individual thought, trials, and tribulations, my convictions and faith have long ago become my own.
  • Do you have any affiliation to a particular church, person, document, etc.? Not as you might first think. My only allegiance is to the truth. Out of that decision has flowed my allegiance to Jesus, which establishes my faithfulness to the Bible and His church. I consider myself a non-denominational Christian, so I have no affiliation to a particular denomination, creed, convention, or synod outside of Jesus, His church, and the Bible. Moreover, I am opposed to these other inventions, only because I believe the Bible reflects Christ's opposition to them (I Corinthians 1:10-13).
  • What spiritual topics are the current focus of your thoughts and studies? Well, I personally study by purchasing a new Bible, transferring all my notes and references from my old copy to the new, and rereading the Bible in the process. It is a long process for me, because I am a little slow. The process generally takes 2-5 years, depending on interruptions by other good and important things, like pointed topical studies or studies with other people. Right now, I am working in Deuteronomy on a fairly new copy of the Bible.
  • For what are you looking on the forums? Why are you here? I visit the forums to obtain or to accomplish these things:
    1. The truth for my sake: As I mentioned earlier, I grew up in a very conservative, traditional environment. But, at some age, I began to wonder if it was the right way. I wondered if there even was a right way. I did a lot of studying, discussing, meditating, and praying in an effort to come to my own appreciation of the truth, whatever that might be. I wanted to do what was right, because it was right, not because my birth-parents believed it to be so.

      Many years have gone by, since I came to my own conclusions, and my faith has grown stronger, but I still recognize my own weaknesses and fallibility. I always allow for the possibility that I could be wrong; otherwise, I give up any claim to intellectual honesty. These forums give me an opportunity to tests my own beliefs. Wherever I am wrong, I am convinced that I will someday encounter a friend who will help me to see the truth. Therefore, I come here to learn the truth for my own sake, first and foremost.
    2. The truth for others' sake: I am persuaded that every person (who lives to maturity) passes through some similar search for truth. For some it ends before it really begins, while others become discouraged and quit before they reach the inevitable conclusions. Others have been a tremendous help to me on my personal search for truth. I owe debts that I cannot repay, namely to Jesus and the Lord if none other. Therefore, I try to help other people, just as others helped me. Unfortunately, I never know when I am helping, or when I am being helped, so I try to stay objective, honest, and open minded. Well, I try at least... :oops: If one person finds salvation here, and I am privileged to enjoy some small part, then that alone will be enough for me.
    3. The truth for unity's sake: I believe that one of the beliefs that I hold, which is uncommon to most who would call themselves a Christian, is my concern for unity. Most people I encounter believe denominations are unavoidable and acceptable. Divisions may be unavoidable, but they are certainly are not acceptable (I Corinthians 1:10-13). One of my clear and forward goals for participating on this web-site is the abolishment of denominations! I recognize that most Christians consider this extreme, but I believe the Bible teaches against them. So, I have concluded that they should be torn down, just like the idols of old, because they are in actuality idols, just more sophisticated and subtle.
  • Do you have personal goals you wish to accomplish on the forums? Do you have any topics that you consider important, which you wish to discuss with others? I wish more people from differing denominations would discuss their differences in a peaceful, patient manner. I despise arguing, but I think we have an obligation to the Lord and to the lost to seek unity among those who would wear His name, so I think and hope we can graciously work through our differences. I think the most important difference to discuss and resolves is, "Do you differences matter?" If this was resolved, and if we resolved to follow God's Word alone, I think the rest would be trivial. :-D
  • etc... I find it hard to decide how hard to push someone, when I disagree with them. This troubles me frequently. As long as they are being patient, asking questions, raising new points, I have no problem dealing patiently in like manner, regardless of the point of disagreement. If I am unsure of any conclusion, then certainly I would hope that I would exhibit patience and not arrogance.

    However, when someone dodges questions, asserts truths without real justification, and holds to points regardless of the evidence, what do you do? I know there is a time and a place for a spectrum of reactions (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8). Jesus demonstrated both patient and sharp countenances, even anger (Matthew 23); however, I am persuaded that it was always done in love, because that is what the recipient needed most (Matthew 23:33).

    The extremes are easy to recognize and handle. The difficulty is dealing with the people somewhere in between. People seem to eventually migrate to an extreme. So, how do you recognize somebody who has migrated to a stubborn extreme, but yet, they are still trying to maintain the appearance of openness? In all my studies, I have never learned a good way to close a study with someone who refuses to see the truth.

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