Monday, September 08, 2008

Getting to Know You

Rather than posting this as a reply to Pete on the blog entry, I thought once again I would post it here (my reply).

Pete`s comments.

Hey Pete,

Let me give you some back ground on what I said here; “Pete, in my opinion, NONE of US has ANYTHING to offer anyone apart from Christ in us as us, period!!

I remember a few years ago now, a friend and Pastor, (Pentecostal Pastor) met me for coffee and a chin wag, (fellowship). He wanted to do his best to get me back, plugged into the machine of the institution, as he said, “Rich you have so much to offer the body of Christ,” what he meant in saying that was, the ‘institution,’ not the Church which IS His body!
I said, Charley, if I am not wanted and accepted for me alone then you don’t need me, you only need what you see God doing through me.
I went on to say, I have nothing to offer you or anyone except who’s I am period.

I was already seeing and growing in the true knowledge of not only Who’s I was, but who I am in Him.
There is NO ministry apart from Christ IN US AS US. I knew he was not on the same spiritual wave length, not because I was some kind of smart ass, but only because of revelation, and because of that He was in the process of fully forming the Life of His Son in me as me.
ALL ministry apart from Him in us as us is a front, shame, bogus illusion, did I leave out any words???

I have come to love what my wife lovingly and truthfully says to me often, “Richard, you have nothing to offer in and off your self, you are a blessed man.” I Agree.

We have ALL being so badly male formed, still born, much like an empty shell that once was the home of a living creature.
None of us has escaped being born into a world of conditional love, whereby we get in direct proportion to our performance.

Pete all I know is that even tough re-born, and that event being as dramatic as Saul’s conversion becoming Paul, I was so alienated from knowing my heavenly Papa and his total unconditional love for me.
Ergo, I became a MIA (missing in action) husband, father etc. Religion was my opiate that kept me sedated and I thrived on its sensual rush.
I was speaking of this very thing (chapter) in my life with my daughter before going to work today.

Pete I hope this fleshes things out a bit better. I would love to further connect with you. Do you ever use any live voice chat tools like Skype or Yahoo Messenger, they have become such wonderful tools to facilitate connecting with different ones around the world.

Thank you for giving me the right wording on that quote, I Love it very much, it speaks volumes to me.



Old Pete said...

Hi Rich

First let me say that there is a reason why I don’t use live voice chat tools yet – which may become obvious later. I had rather misunderstood what you were saying so let me share a few thoughts.

I have been glancing at a few of your posts and one in particular made me feel completely at home – “Blending in”. My article “Christendom” just fits so well! Then I read about the need to be perfect (Matt 5.48) – I’d never specifically recognised the relationship between this verse and Gal 2.20 (but I’m not a scholar anyway).

“There is no ministry apart from Christ in us as us”. I have no problem accepting that for myself because I had often wondered why I had been a ‘Christian’ for over 40 years but never had a faith that I could really share with others. With hindsight I was being shown something of what was wrong with ‘Christendom’ over a very long period of time. Over the last few years, apart from recognising the enormous difference between head knowledge and heart awareness, I have become aware of many of the reasons why people believe what they believe.

Reading “The Shack” had an enormous impact. I had never been able to accept the teaching of the ‘trinity’. Here at last, after 57 years was a picture of the God Family that made sense – something that I could share with others (even if I was doubtful about some of the theology). Like you I have been reading and listening to Wayne for a long time (I had previously spent a weekend with him in the UK). I knew the story behind the publication and got my copy from Wayne when he came over again last summer. The story had a big impact, but that was only part of it. Because I am retired I had the time to read many of the reviews as they appeared – and listen to many of the interviews with Paul – including the three with the Worldwide Church of God (that I have been associated with for well over 30 years). Interestingly the one that had the greatest impact was the very critical one by Tim Challies, and the responses that he got over a long period of time. It just highlighted the total difference between those who recognise the loving Father and those who worship and are afraid of the ‘grandpa in the sky’. It just confirmed for me what I had recognised in 1998 after the traumatic changes that had occurred in WCG – freedom and liberation from the slavery of legalism! But it took another 7 or 8 years before it really sank in.

What I find so fascinating is the way in which I learned so much after experiencing that freedom. I started to develop a web site (the format hasn’t changed very much) in 2000 with the support of one of our regional pastors. The purpose changed I believe, five times in four years, but never really seemed to achieve anything, although I was getting some interesting feedback. With hindsight it became obvious that this was the tool that Father was using to teach me something of what He wanted me to understand. I had never been one to toe the party line and I found myself more and more out on a limb. I had been giving the occasional sermon in which I had been asking for feedback. I never got any and came to the conclusion that just as I had been, they didn’t have a faith to share and were somewhat frightened of revealing their thoughts. I suggested to the pastor that I would like to try an ‘interactive’ sermon, rather than a monologue. This didn’t go down well – and I haven’t given a sermon since!

I guess from this that you can see why - “There is no ministry apart from Christ in us as us” – makes so much sense for me.

Am I right in thinking that you are describing your former ministry as a front, shame or bogus illusion? For me this raises an interesting question. If your answer is ‘yes’ how would anyone become aware of the knowledge that is needed as the foundation of faith? I recognise that a few people tell of how they were called by God ‘completely out of the blue’ (and then indoctrinated by church leaders). In an ideal world we might inherit the knowledge within our own families – but ‘children’ need to be taught as and when they are able to understand more deeply. What I suppose I’m saying is that most people need to be taught something of the foundations of the Christian FAITH (as opposed to the Christian RELIGION). But where does this knowledge come from but from those who have a very incomplete (or misguided) understanding?

I hope this is making some sense. It was less than two years ago that I read something that stopped me in my tracks – “If I have to teach a person how to respond to such a revelation, that person obviously did not have a revelation of Christ. It is dead religious traditions that need to teach its followers how to respond. An introduction to the living person of Christ needs no artificial protocols” This became a significant factor in my subsequent exploring of the whole question of head knowledge or heart awareness.

It was only last month that I made a fresh start with the blog and web site. I have no idea who might benefit from the questions I have asked, the mind maps that I have produced, and the comments I have made. This is simply a reflection of my own journey, and pointers to some of the thoughts and ideas that I have considered over many years (in a very blinkered way). In “Food for Thought” I have tried to share the basis of my foundational view. I have been around long enough to know that others have differing views (sometimes very different views) – but I’m convinced that in some cases at least we are simply seeing differing aspects of the wider picture. In “What is Theology and how much do we need?” I will admit that I have watered down my real feelings. I used to suggest that the majority of theology was the work of the devil – but that just doesn’t go down well at all!!!

I hope you don’t mind the way I have rambled. I don’t have anything to hide. As my friend said several years ago, “Peter, you have the knack of asking the awkward questions to which there are no easy answers”. If the questions help others on their individual journeys all credit goes to Father!



Hi guys. Good to see you, Pete. I've been enjoying reading your exchange here. It is a good thing to work thing through.

Pete, I love this quote you shared: “If I have to teach a person how to respond to such a revelation, that person obviously did not have a revelation of Christ. It is dead religious traditions that need to teach its followers how to respond. An introduction to the living person of Christ needs no artificial protocols”

Blessings to my Brothers.


Old Pete said...

It's a quote that actually raises several questions.
What place head knowledge or heart awareness?
A few people respond to a revelation 'out of the blue' - and I've known a few who then started attending 'church'. One attended for 15 years and has since spent some 15 years coming out again!
I've spent so many years in dead traditions but then came freedom and liberation from the slavery of legalism - but that was ten years ago. Why has it taken so long?

Rich said...

Hi Pete,

I have been so wonderfully provked of the spirit through your responses, questions etc, that I decided to reply once again in a separate post on my blog tomorrow.

I value you, and your wonderings, questions, as Father continues to stimulate me in inquiring of Him, and in so doing, such wonders continue to lite upon my growing appreaciation of His heart for us all.