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pursuing the upward call with fear and trembling

just a 44 year old man seeking to share my meanderings with the world at large or the blogosphere at small

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Choice and Force revisited

We are forced to live, we are forced to die. 2 of the most basic events any of us ever experience, being born into this world, and exiting it, are entirely without our consent, well normally so anyhow. Once we begin our life we are awash in all kinds of situations which either involve force or choice. We are forced to eat and drink if we choose to live. We are forced to relate to our family and also other people if we choose to be sociable and interactional. We are forced to choose to believe and acknowledge God or to ignore and avoid Him. Whatever we choose, we are forced to face the consequnces of our choices. My head spins thinking of all the ways these 2 categories are intertwined and yet they represent by definition polar opposites, freedom and coercion.

Barbara made a very intersting post today about a post she came across from another blogger (kudos gary dude) talking about how Jesus does not force Himself upon anyone. This led me to reflect on how alot of times evangelism can be done out of fear instead of love or compassion. We are afraid someone wont hear and will be lost, we are afraid we have not done as we should and are being bad stewards. I remember as a very young christian when i was 16, i attended calvary chapel, a very charismatic church in southern california in the 70's, it still exists today as well. The preacher always spoke of how Jesus could return any minute and the Rapture would happen, so we better be ready and preach to all we can so they wont go to hell. I felt i HAD to preach and get my mom and sister saved, (they both read here and are solid believers now so they will chuckle at this remembrance) I tried to force them to accept jesus as i had and even tried scare tactic lie saying fine just go to hell then or something like that , wanting to shock them into faith. Scary to think about that now. Funny how the Holy Spirit was able to reach them both apart from my *forced evangelism* efforts.

I am in a process of rethinking and understanding everything about God, Jesus the Bible truth faith and how it all fits together. Blogging has sure aided in this process, seeing so many who also are on journeys of rediscovery and reevaluation. it is very tough to come to conclusions that beliefs you have hed for years and that are very core to life itself might be in error. I want to write more about preterism or past fulfillment also known as covenant theology, a totally different understanding of eschatology than is held by *Left Behind* as well as the mainstream evangelical church. Fear seems to pop its ugly head around all over the place. Fear is one of the biggest deterrents to accomplishing ANYTHING i think its also a prejudice our culture holds in a very stronmg way. Much better and more acceptable to be outspoken bold and even arrogant rathe than to be fearful shy and withdrawn. Even though there may be many valid reasons for struggling with fear and its repercussions, showing it or letting it be seen openly is looked down upon and seen as a worse sin than almost any other.

i need to think through alot of these thoughts, so many meshing together. Choice.... Force.... God is in control He is Love..... nothing any of us do can make Him love us any more or any less...... He is mystery He is life He is always present He wants relationship


At 12:08 PM, Anonymous BarBarA said...

Well said, Robert! Wow, really good post. Yes, the fear factor really does apply to evangelism...it's like okay, if we don't tell people who is going to? But on the other hand we have to trust God in everything and not force Him on people.

You do a good job of expressing His gentle spirit and compassion. I guess we all have different aspects of Him in us if we walk with Him closely - maybe that's how he wants to reach the masses of people...

At 4:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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