Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Interpretations, interpretations

Okay, so there I am continually downloading mp3 and windows media sermons because well I'm trying to abide in the spiritual vine and keep my first and last thoughts on Jesus. Hey, I'll do all this to get my son's healing to manifest. Jesus bought son's healing 2000 years ago on the cross and yeah, I'm stubborn enough to get it...cause I'm pushy and bitchy like that.

So anyway...these sermons. Aside from the fact that one has to be really careful how one hears and that there are all these pastors out there telling you NOT to have faith for miracles because well God is unpredictable. (Okay...they say, Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever, but it might not be his will to heal you and free you from the oppression of the devil. Okay...they say, God created a world based on biological, physical, chemical, physical law -- but when it comes to spiritual laws they want us to believe that God is just whimsical or not gonna heal you for "your own good.")

So yeah, aside from those....there are also pastors whom I can only call folks who are totally rooted in the rational. St Paul would call them carnal because for Paul anyone who used only human reasoning was carnal and not spiritual. The interesting thing so far is how they interpret certain scriptures.

Example: the parable of the sower. A sower goes to sow. Some of the seed he sowed fell on the wayside and was trodden down. No results there. Some fell on hard land. These sprung up quickly but had no roots so died soon after springing up. Some fell amid thorns. Plants strangled. Some fell on good ground and brought forth good plants. And of those good plants some gave 30 times the fruits, 60 times the fruits, 100 times the fruits.

According to Jesus if you don't understand this parable, you will never understand any of the parables. This parable is THAT important.

In Matthew's gospel, Jesus said the seed is the kingdom. In Luke's or Marks' he says the seed is the word of God. Now, I have no problem with the difference between the interpretations and whether Jesus said the seed is the kingdom or the seed is the word of God. Because taken on a spiritual level the kingdom of God is within us. And Jesus said the word of God is alive and it IS the kingdom and it feeds the kingdom. So, yeah, I'm not gonna sweat the semantics because I get the spiritual idea that both words pretty much carry the same meaning.

But these sermons I download...I am telling you it is ALWAYS some guy who thinks he's an intellectual who berates others for not "seeing" the truth who comes up with Bible exegesis and sermons so lacking in spiritual insight that it really makes you think: Is this guy kidding?????

When I went on my www.dogpile.com audio search and searched for sermons about the parables to download, did I think I would encounter such diversity of opinion? One could expect that kind of stuff when one downloads miracles (are the age of miracles past or not?) or speaking in tongues (Are the gifts of the holy spirit still present today?) but the parables?????

My friends, the guy I listened to yesterday said the parable of the sower is only about God's future restoration of Israel because the parable is about the kingdom of God. He said the seed that landed on good ground was when Israel -- geographically and at the end of the age-- will be established as God's true kingdom. All the other examples, says he, of the seed's bad planting was about humans trying to establish their own kingdoms of God on the earth. Then he went on and on about how intellectual he was and how we should all use human reason to understand these things. Okay, I'm cool. I can accept his assertions that humans are always trying to create perfect kingdoms on earth. I'm all for Israel. I'm actually very pro-Israel. And I KNOW that many prophecies concern the establishing of Israel and God's kingdom. But I wanted to shout to this guy, "Buddy, your interpretation about the parable misses the spiritual point. It may be valid in the governmental sense but you are too rational to understand or hear the Spirit speaks about how the kingdom of God works."

Now, I'm pretty cool about strange sermons. My grandfather was a methodist minister. My grandaunt was a charismatic former Roman Catholic nun. My mother was episcopalian and I had a very virulent activist gay theologian priest for some time. I can listen to any sermon. But on the other hand, I do kinda roll my eyes when a minister goes so far off the deep end one begins wondering if he actually knows how to swim -- spiritually speaking. So I stand amazed that there are so many people teaching sermonizing prophecizing who simply are so totally earthbound. They always talk about what they learned in seminary as if God's word is etched in a kind of old lecture they heard from a professor. God's word is living and it's how it speaks to you in a given situation. And it ALWAYS speaks of spiritual things. Do they listen to God and hear the spirit? Sorry, very long post. Anyway...am back to listening to sermons. Am hoping I come upon a good one. Wasted my day yesterday listening to this arrogant jerk.


Anonymous said...

I am taking philosophy online at a college and it is there so that we may learn how to "reason" to folks who speak against Christ. Because for some reason there are folks who think we "take faith by faith" and leave our rationality and brains at the door. But that is so not true- i am still learning and we are taking quizzes next week(wish me luck). So, I really like this course because it doesn't exclude belief in God and the spiritual at all as the Professor is Christian himself. So, I totally get where you are coming from as well; we should all study and be diligent in the Word and also remember that we each interpret the scripture differently. No one is better or wrong for it.

Carole McDonnell said...

This minister is Christian but...aaargh!

My favorite christian philosophers are Pascal and Frankie Schaeffer. I don't think philosophy can bring anyone to a saving knowledge of jesus, though. Since belief has to come by revelation. And the philosophical world often doesn't know what to do with the concept of revelation. But philosophy can help the believer after they believe...if they aren't too bound by the rational...and if their spirits are open to the truth. Jesus didnt' call folks blind for no reason.

Margaret Somerville, A modern professor of ethics and author of The Ethical Imagination: Journeys of the Human Spirit, said that there are different kinds of knowing and knowing by reason is perhaps easier than the other kind of knowing. She further stated that those who are very reasonable and known to be reasonable are often proud of this but perhaps they have chosen the easier way.

There's a nice sermon called Christian philosophy on www.awmi.net but it's pretty evangelical and more on the spiritual level. Not really philsophy as defined by the world. If you go there, click on audio. Then click on christian philosophy. Then right click on the mp3s to download. Nice stuff.


Anonymous said...

I also agree that belief can come by revelation, but there are those whom we may have to speak to who are on another level...Hindus, Buddhists, humanists of all kinds- how should we approach them? By telling them to believe? Or to take their knowledge with a sieve and filter what we may have in common and find a common ground? All will not be saved, but now the person may have to think about what they believe in. Some of us believe because someone told us to- so what exactly are we believing? Do we know what we believe?

Thanks for the response.

Carole McDonnell said...

Re: believing something because someone told us

Jesus speaks in the parable of the sower about those who "have no root in themselves." We can't live on anyone else's doctrine. We have to have a personal relationship with God.

It's an odd balance because there are spiritual things I believe in because they have been "proven" by life to be true. I saw an angel so I believe in angels. I fought a mean attack of bronchitis because I did not speak about it and I spoke the word against it. So I believe that. I conquered a demonic attack by singing in the midst of the attack. So I believe that. Other stuff I will believe because St John in his gospel said, "We speak what we believe and saw with our own eyes."

When it comes to speaking with others, it's really a battle of doctrines. And so we'll point to our holy book and the other person will point to his holy book. A draw. So then, that is why God gave us the holy spirit so we can use the word of wisdom to say something that totally answers their challenge to us. And the word of knowledge so we can say something that makes them know that the living God has told us about them. And the gift of miracles so we can show that the living God is on the side of Christ and vouched for Christ in the past by raising him from the dead and is vouching for him in the present by the power of his name to heal the sick and do miracles.

I totally believe that is the only way to truly bring someone --even a nominal Christian-- to a deep saving knowledge and relationship with Jesus.

I'm not particularly prepared to serve in those respects though. Much of what I have done through the spirit has been hit and miss. Have been studying That you all my prophesy by Steve Thompson so am getting better at hearing God's voice. But I still have a ways to go. Hey, I haven't arrived but at least I've left.

Anonymous said...

I totally am in agreement with you. I love learning different things so I suppose that is my reaching those who "think" I don't realize their doctrines(I can poke holes in them).

I need to get that book by Steve Thompson. Also, I have finally began Windfoll0wer and so far I am in to it- beautiful in its language and culture you portray. Very nice.

Carole McDonnell said...

Wow, Anon!!!!

Thanks for reading my book. Remember the glossary in the back if you get stumped on any of my created words.

Yes, that Steve Thompson book is GREAT!!!!! Very practical if we want to grow in Christ. I kinda based my theory of Wind Follower on Eternity in their hearts by Don Richardson, which is also a great book. There's also a good book which I have never read but I love the writer: One Church, many tribes...by Native American pastor, Richard Twiss.

Have fun with Wind Follower. -C

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