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Posts Tagged ‘Holy Spirit’

but not Necessarily Religious

by Jim Gordon

There actually is a difference between being spiritual and being religious, although many people think of the two as being the same thing.

Being religious is basically following the rules and doctrines of a specific organization or denomination, or what we usually call church.

Being spiritual can bring to mind all kinds of strange thoughts and ideas. Yet, when I say spiritual, I am talking about a daily life following Christ and allowing His love to flow through us, apart from the doctrines and teachings of any specific religious organization.

My wife and I are no longer religious. We left the weekly meeting at a local building and no longer follow any particular doctrine. Yet being outside the walls of religion, we are more aware of the spiritual, day-to-day life of following the example of Jesus.

We realize that God is not a being up in heaven, coming down to visit us only when the conditions are right, or when we are in a certain building, or when we have been extremely good over the past week.

God is spirit and He is with us constantly. As a quote by Michael Beckwith states “God is a presence that’s never in absence. This presence is everywhere, so, you would never pray for God to come here, because the presence of God is infinite.”

Or as it reads in 1 Corinthians 6:19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?

I am not sure why it is we have always been taught that God is way up there somewhere. Jesus says that we are one with God in John 17:21 ‘that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me’. God is not somewhere off in Heaven waiting on us. He lives within us and will never leave us.

We seem to think that the Kingdom of God is a place we go one of these days when this life on earth is over. I think this is also a big misconception. God says His Kingdom is within us. That means right now, not some future date. That is what Jesus spent so much time teaching about, the Kingdom of God.

If we could only get these truths in our head and in our spirit, I think we could live a life that would really make a difference. Rather than see religious people who fight and argue over their differences in doctrine and interpretation, they could see spiritual people living a life of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness and faithfulness, all in the power of the Spirit.

Unfortunately, we have been taught by religion to rely on trying to work hard, follow the rules and just survive until we get to heaven. We go from Sunday to Sunday, living life without the power of the Kingdom of God. We argue amongst ourselves over doctrine and belief, and by doing so, people see we really do not have anything to offer them that is meaningful and different.

Jesus was the perfect example of God living in man. Jesus came to show us what God may really be like.

We can be Jesus to the world today. We can show love, compassion, and acceptance to the world around us each day. We are not God, but we are one with God. The Spirit is within us and he will teach us, guide us and give us power to love all people.

Listen for the voice of the Spirit in every situation. Realize God is within you and allow His love to touch those around you every day.

Jim Gordon and his wife left the institutional church after spending over fifty years within the system. Jim wanted a way to express his thoughts and concerns about the religious system and why he and his wife decided to leave the institution but not their faith in God. Jim can be contacted by email at: jimgordon731@gmail.com

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The Spirit Made Me Do It

by Jim Gordon

Many of us in the Christian world have had questions as to how the Holy Spirit works in our lives. Does the Spirit control us, speak to us, guide us or teach us? If so, how? These are certainly good questions and not always easy to answer.

We read in the bible, that after Jesus ascended into heaven, he said he would send us another Comforter. The Holy Spirit came to live within us, and we became the new temple of God. God’s Spirit now lives within us, his people, and not in a building made by hands.

The purpose of the Spirit is to be our comforter and to remind us of who we are in Christ. For those who are followers of Christ, the Spirit no longer convicts us of sin. Jesus destroyed the sin nature and we are forgiven by his grace. The Spirit is in our lives to teach, guide, encourage and remind us of our righteousness in Christ. The Spirit ultimately leads us to become more like Jesus.

The Spirit can speak to us through many sources. Most people think of the bible first, but we cannot limit the Spirit to only a book. The Spirit can speak through people, dreams, intuitions and common sense. God gave us a mind. The bible says we have the mind of Christ. Do not limit the Spirit to only one way of communication.

We have to be careful to discern what is Spirit and what is natural. Since we still live in an earthen body, we will have thoughts that are natural and some that are spiritual. For me, I have noticed that sometimes a thought will come to me, seemingly out of nowhere, and I have a feeling of peace or a sense of knowing this is not from me.

I also believe there are many instances when we give more credit to spiritual things than we should. How often have we heard someone say the devil made me do it? Or we hear someone tell us that God told them to do this or that, or to tell us something supposedly direct from God?

I do not believe we should say the devil made me do it, no more than we should say the Holy Spirit made me do it. God gave us free will. Free will is an act of love, and God is love. The Holy Spirit guides and teaches us, but does not control us.

If the Spirit controlled us to the point we had no choice, what kind of love would that be? True love of God is done from free will. We choose to love God and we decide to follow him. We are not forced or controlled by some spiritual force within us.

As an example, there are many people who do not even believe in God who are more loving and kinder than some who call themselves Christian. I believe this is due to our upbringing and circumstances that mold us into the kind of person we become. Obviously, the Holy Spirit changes us and guides us, but as mentioned before, we do have free will. What we were taught by our parents, our circumstances and environment while growing up, will still have an effect on the kind of people we are in general. The Holy Spirit is certainly with us, teaching, encouraging, uplifting us in our walk with God. He is our comforter and our guide, yet God has given us free will to do as we please.

Truly loving God is wanting to do what is pleasing to him because we love him, not because we are controlled to do so. Listen for the still, small voice within you as you seek to be guided daily by the Spirit.

Jim Gordon and his wife left the institutional church after spending over fifty years within the system. Jim wanted a way to express his thoughts and concerns about the religious system and why he and his wife decided to leave the institution but not their faith in God. Jim can be contacted by email at: jimgordon731@gmail.com

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by Jim Gordon

In our world today there seems to be a lot of talk in the Christian world of standing up for our beliefs, our doctrines and our rights. It seems we feel this is the best way to show our devotion to God and be a witness for Him.

I am not so sure we are going about this in the best way. As Christians we are getting to be known more for what we are against and being unloving and unaccepting rather than showing the love of God to others.

A lot of us go to a church building on Sunday and sing and smile and listen to a sermon and think we have fulfilled our duties for the week. All day we are feeling good and close to God and think everything is good.

Then Monday hits and we go grudgingly off to work with a frown on our face and feeling down. We may be in a bad mood and snap at our fellow employees and try to make them feel as bad as we do.

It seems we forget that Christianity is not a religious, one day a week life. As followers of Christ, we are to let Christ live through us in the strength of the Holy Spirit. We are to let his love flow out of us to touch those we come in contact with throughout each day.

Rather than try to win people over to our way of thinking by pointing out their mistakes and shortcomings, rather than condemning them and making them feel like outsiders we should be allowing the love of Christ to touch them. We should be accepting, and we should treat all people like we want to be treated.

While Jesus lived here on earth, he constantly spent time with those the religious crowd would not even think of being around. He spent time doing things that the religious leaders thought were wrong and against their religious laws. They could not even accept him as the messiah because he was so different from them and what they thought was a godly way of living.

Jesus loved people for who they were, just the way they were. He did not show judgment and condemnation toward them. He loved them and wanted the best for them. As followers of Christ, we are to do the same. It is not our job to be the judge of others and treat them like second class people. The Holy Spirit will convict the world of sin where conviction is needed. We are here to be Jesus to all people, loving, accepting and treating everyone with respect no matter who they are or what they believe.

In our world today, with all the discrimination and unloving ways of the world and even of the church, we need to allow the Holy Spirit to love through us to touch others and let them know they are accepted and cared for. In God’s eyes they are loved beyond measure. Love is the way of God because God is love.

Stop the unloving and condemning attitudes and let those you come in contact with each day know they are loved and accepted just for being themselves.

Jim Gordon and his wife left the institutional church after spending over fifty years within the system. Jim wanted a way to express his thoughts and concerns about the religious system and why he and his wife decided to leave the institution but not their faith in God. Jim can be contacted by email at: jimgordon731@gmail.com

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By Mike Edwards

I have never been a great prayer. But early in my relationship with God at least I would sometimes get on my knees or get in a quiet place to avoid distractions. I knew people that kept a list of people and things to pray more. I guess to check them off when answered. I even had a list but over time I found another way.

Prayer is talking to God and not always requesting stuff 

We can replace the word “praying” in the Bible with “talking.” God won’t punish you for not shutting your eyes. Silent or out loud conversations can include asking to be more like God, for self-examination, for sharing concerns. We tell our children associating with the right people leads to making wiser choices. God’s influence is a powerful positive encouragement. It may be easier to not be distracted if have a private place to go, but I prefer talking to God on my walks, sometimes while driving, sometimes when lying in bed. Humans are the ones with hang-ups not God.

Prayer isn’t rubbing a genie lamp

More prayers are unanswered than answered. God can’t wave a magic wand without accounting for freedom. It’s not that we didn’t pray enough with the right words and behaviors so God will answer. God can’t make one’s partner willing to stop drinking. A lot of prayers ask for healing. I doubt God is stingy. Conditions in our body may not always be right. Various biological and environmental factors are involved such as cells, organs, etc. If God respects human freedom, it may not be a stretch to say God has to account for natural freedom as well. God surely intervenes by all means when circumstances will allow. 

Prayer is more acting than talking 

Relax! God is an omnipresent Spirit. God already knows needs before spoken. Prayer shouldn’t be a substitute for acting. It is easier sometimes to pray for someone than take cooperative actions with God. This is the most common way that God answers prayers – with others. Rather than praying your friend’s partner stop drinking, which is harming their family, see if your friend would rather you say something to their partner. When you know two friends are in conflict, speak to the one wrongly denying any wrongdoing. God longs to help us help others.

What does the Bible say?

You won’t find some ritual in the Bible God demands you follow. Mathew 7:7 is used to support the false prosperity gospel: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” Isn’t this passage in context simply saying that if we parents give good gifts despite our imperfections, will not God as our perfect Parent always want to give good gifts. First-century readers didn’t assume this was a blank check for requests. The Apostle Paul expected persecution for beliefs (2 Tim. 3:12). 

Rethinking Prayer 

It isn’t that God had the power to do something about it but chose not to. Divine love limits divine power. True love, thus God’s love, is uncontrolling. God is already doing all they can in a free world. It isn’t that you didn’t beg enough or behave enough. God is tireless in working through individual lives to change the world. Pray for wisdom, pray for healing and the ability to accept whatever happens, pray for the courage to cooperate with God for positive change.

Can I Be Close To God If I Suck At Praying?

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Mike Edwards has been writing for Done with Religion for some time and has been a great addition to the site. Mike also has his own site where he writes that can be found at What God May Really Be Like  He can be contacted by email at: medwar2@gmail.com

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by Jim Gordon

I remember when I was young, I was in a church service just about any time the doors were open. My whole spiritual life depended on whether I was at church or not. If I did not go, I felt guilty and made sure I was there the next time.

I was always active and participated in many church activities. I felt it was my duty and responsibility to do all I could for the church. I felt that was the only way I could serve God and do what pleased Him.

After many years of being in the organized church system, my wife and I became disillusioned with the religious organization and became a part of ‘The Dones’. We no longer attend a traditional or organized church, and no longer put any hope or trust in religion.

Does this mean we no longer think it is right to be part of a church? Not at all, yet for us, we are satisfied no longer being part of it and we are happy with the decision we made to leave. Yet, that does not mean we expect everyone else to think the same way. We have several friends who are satisfied with the church system and want to continue to attend services.

In our case, after leaving the organized church we have noticed a feeling of separation between church goers and non-church goers. After all the years we spent in the organization and all the friends we made, once we left, we noticed the struggle many people have to overcome a feeling of us and them. Obviously, we are all brothers and sisters in Christ and there should be love and acceptance between us no matter if we attend church or not.

If you still feel drawn to the weekly organized meeting, I do not see anything wrong with it. Although we do not believe the church system is designed as God intended, there were many good things that came out of our time being involved. If you are going to be a part of a local church, keep in mind some important facts.

When going to church, you are not going to God’s house. God does not live in buildings made by human hands, but He builds His Church from living stones, which is us.

The Bible is not to be held in the same regard as the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The written word is inspired by God but written by men. All the translating men have done over the years, and men deciding which books are inspired and which are not, make it pretty clear that the bible is going to be flawed.  It is clearly stated that Jesus is the living, inerrant Word of God. The written word is a guide to lead us to Christ, but as Jesus told the Pharisees in John 5:39, You search the scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me. They put the scriptures (written word) above the Living Word (Jesus).

The pastor is not God’s mouthpiece. He or she is only a brother or sister in Christ who is to walk alongside us to encourage and build one another up. We have the Holy Spirit within us who is our teacher and guide. We need no one else. It is good to hear other opinions and ideas, yet it is the Spirit that is to be our teacher and guide.

Bringing the tithe into the storehouse is not giving money to the church, and is no longer a requirement. We give from love as we determine in our heart to give. If you give at the church you attend, you are not giving to God but to support the organization and pay the bills.

Sunday is not the “Lord’s Day”. Every day is the day the Lord has made, and no particular day is more important than another.

When we are told not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together, it is not talking about an organized church meeting. It is talking about loving and accepting one another, and depending on one another. It is supporting and encouraging one another on our daily walk with God and one another. We do this in many different ways each and every day, not just on one particular day.

When you go to church, do not fall for someone telling you God is going to show up and the Spirit is going to fall on this place. God is everywhere and the Spirit fell upon mankind 2000 years ago. The Spirit of God is within us and with us all the time. He is not sitting on a throne up in heaven waiting for us. He goes with us each and every day, everywhere we go.

Realize that worship is not singing a few songs, raising your hands when the worship leader tells you to and reading a few scripture verses together. Worship is daily praising God, trusting God and letting Him be Lord of your life. To worship God in spirit and truth involves loving Him with all your heart, soul, strength and mind.

And do not give way to a prideful spirit, thinking you are more spiritual or a “better” Christian because you went to church. Going to a service is a choice, not a requirement and you are no better if you go, and no worse off if you do not go.

Remember, each of us are living stones and equal parts of the body. We are the Church and Jesus is the head of his body. As his Church, we are to show God’s love every day to everyone we meet. If you want to attend a local group of believers there is nothing wrong with that. Enjoy meeting with other believers, enjoy the atmosphere but remember you are the Church, you have the mind of Christ and the Spirit of God lives within you. We are to go about our daily lives under the leading of the Spirit, loving God and loving others.

So, do not look down upon those who have left the organization as backsliders or who have walked away from God. Do not look at those who still attend church as stuck in a man-made institution and following doctrines and interpretations of man. Remember that we are brothers and sisters in Christ and each of us are loving God and doing what we feel is right and best at this point. We should be loving and accepting of one another and let the world see the love we have for one another. As it reads in John 13:35 by this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.

Jim Gordon and his wife left the institutional church after spending over fifty years within the system. Jim wanted a way to express his thoughts and concerns about the religious system and why he and his wife decided to leave the institution but not their faith in God. Jim can be contacted by email at: jimgordon731@gmail.com

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by Jim Gordon

As I move through life outside the walls of religion, I have found myself being more comfortable with questions about God. Do you do that too?

Growing up in the church, I remember the feeling of having questions but was afraid to ask. I knew people would question my faith or tell me I was back-sliding so I kept my mouth shut. The issue was that as time went on, the questions kept popping up and I finally began to realize that questioning was not wrong.

As Christians, we have been taught that we need to have the answers. Study to show thyself approved meant you must have an answer for everything people come up with so you can prove your beliefs are right.

I truly believe God accepts us, questions and all. I am hoping that one day I will have more answers, mostly for my own sake and not necessarily to defend my beliefs.

I think the modern-day church and religion in general do not like questions, at least not hard questions. Especially questions that make us wonder about the basic beliefs they teach. They like to have all the answers, and answers that fit into their particular belief and doctrine.

In his book ‘Dying to Religion and Empire: Giving up Our Religious Rites and Legal Rights’, Jeremy Myers makes a statement that is oh so true: “And as is the nature with questions, asking hard questions rarely leads to answers, but only to more questions”

I think God is much bigger than what the church makes of him sometimes. They try to fit everything into a box and do not like people asking questions that require out-of-the-box thinking.

It seems to me the spirit within, the spirit of truth, brings up questions that the religious system taught us and we always just accepted. Now, rather than suppressing these questions, I have allowed them to surface and truly seek God for guidance.

A few years back, Mick Mooney posted an article on Facebook, part of which says: “But who has the faith to ask questions with the intention of seeking the answers to them? Who can let their foundation be not a doctrine or dogma that must be defended, but Christ himself who needs no defense? For it is those who have their foundation solely upon Christ, who can walk in their faith without fear of questions, but rather they walk in their faith knowing that God is lighting their path with questions, and it is these very questions that are paving the path that the Spirit of God is guiding them upon”.

If you have been feeling guilty for having questions, I have found it best to put that feeling aside and keep asking the questions. That is the best way to continue growing and learning in our walk with God. Even when we do not get the answers right away, or if ever, we should continue to be asking and seeking the truth from the Spirit who lives within us. There is nothing too difficult for God; there are no questions or doubts that will turn him away from us or keep him from loving us.

Jim Gordon and his wife left the institutional church after spending over fifty years within the system. Jim wanted a way to express his thoughts and concerns about the religious system and why he and his wife decided to leave the institution but not their faith in God. Jim can be contacted by email at: jimgordon731@gmail.com

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By Mike Edwards

The Good News couldn’t be about escaping a fiery, torturous God if such a hell isn’t biblical. What do the Gospels claim the Good News about God is?

What Really Is The Good News About God According To The Bible?

Well-meaning people passionate about God say things like “it’s all part of God’s plan” or “everything happens for a reason.” Is evil and suffering really some grand scheme by God?

Can We Stop Saying “Everything Happens For A Reason”!

We can’t prove God inspired the Bible or God didn’t. Are there good reasons to error on the side that God didn’t inspire all of the Bible?

Why We Must Argue The Bible Is Not Inspired By God!

Many are rightly disheartened about God when more prayers are unanswered than answered. How does prayer work and why bother?

Why Bother To Pray If It Doesn’t Work!

A loving God wouldn’t only let Christians into heaven when the majority of people born into this world died without knowledge of Jesus the Christ. One’s religion or rebellion against a certain religion is often based on the family born into whether it is Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, etc. Is God really a God of chance?

What Does God Think Of Non-Christian Religions?

A loving God couldn’t possibly condemn gays when they can no more choose who they are attracted to than straights can? Who chooses to be gay when one has to hide their sexuality because of bigotry and hostility?

What Does God Believe About Gays?

Jesus-followers in the first century had a radical impact in their world and centuries to come. Why aren’t such followers having more of an impact today?

What Reforms Are Necessary In Christianity?

A threatening God, or threatening parents, hardly helps break away from bad habits or behaviors we long to change. What kind of God is more likely to encourage positive change?

It Matters If Your God Is Nurturing Or Authoritative!

My Top Posts Of 2021

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Mike Edwards has been writing for Done with Religion for some time and has been a great addition to the site. Mike also has his own site where he writes that can be found at What God May Really Be Like  He can be contacted by email at: medwar2@gmail.com

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By Mike Edwards

Reliable God followers speak of God guiding us. I am not talking about “God guarantees you prosperity” types who are living off your funds. The Bible does say that we are guided by God’s Spirit (Jn 14:16-17; 16:13) rather than by a Book or Scriptures. Many suggest God’s voice obviously isn’t audible but like a silent whisper, clear mental impression, or “we just know.”  Color me a skeptic. I don’t just know! How do we go about discerning God’s guidance?

God can’t make future decisions for you

It is natural to think an all-knowing, powerful God has special insights into future outcomes. But to say God knows the future suggests a predetermined future which makes freedom nonsensical. God’s plan can’t be a detailed blueprint but a general one to set us free to love. God can’t tell you if your partner won’t end up betraying you or your new job won’t end up being phased out. God joins us in an unknown future. God surely desires we choose the wisest path known at the time based on past experiences, current circumstances, and future aspirations.

God doesn’t really have to speak to us about moral decisions 

It is only intuitive that a Creator loves the ways their creations ought to love one another. What rational being doesn’t know we ought to love others like we want to be loved? Many decisions are obvious – murder, stealing, adultery, etc. is wrong. Even if God was with us in person, God doesn’t have to speak if a decision is clearly moral. Many decisions though aren’t clearly moral.  God joins us in an unknown future in taking risks to change the world.

Uncertainty can be a good thing

We all want God to communicate in certain terms. God supposedly came in person but Jesus’ miracles didn’t obtain the results some may suggest if God would stop hiding. God’s awing or overpowering presence may only lead to fearful obligations to obey. Isn’t our love in human relationships greater when we have to trust than know for certain what the future holds together? The road traveled of learning, reflecting, and not being coerced may best lead to lasting convictions and more meaningful relationships. God may not speak to us demonstratively out of love. 

Personally speaking – how do I know it is God’s voice?

I don’t know if it’s God’s voice! Am I a spiritual loser? I don’t meet my own expectations morally much less God’s, but God is still working on me. But I hang more with God than most. Writing is the same for me as conversing with God. For the past 40 years I often write up to four hours a day. I attended church at least weekly for over forty years. I talk to God a ton while exercising walking almost daily. I have learned I don’t need to be certain what God is telling me. God has given me freedom to make decisions, and I understand the consequences of immoral decisions.

Doesn’t God guide us through unspoken influence?

Influences in our life don’t have to be audible or certain. My parents aren’t alive, but I am still influenced by them in my decisions. God can’t tell us that our decisions will work out. God deals with a free world also. God is hoping with us that our decisions will make for a better world. Don’t we sense God’s influence when we have thoughts to be the perfect partner, parent, or friend we desire to be deep down. I sense God’s encouragement to continually strive to make the best decisions I know at the time. Our pursuit of a godly life is never in vain!

How Can We Know It Is God Guiding Us?

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Mike Edwards has been writing for Done with Religion for some time and has been a great addition to the site. Mike also has his own site where he writes that can be found at What God May Really Be Like  He can be contacted by email at: medwar2@gmail.com

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by Jim Gordon

Those of us who were brought up in church were taught from an early age that God is up there in heaven somewhere, looking down on us who live here on earth.

When we would have a special meeting or a revival service, I can remember the pastor telling us that God was going to show up and the spirit would fall.

Why is it we are told that God is up there and we are down here? Why are we told God may show up now and then when the conditions are right? Why would God only show up at certain buildings and certain times?

The Bible states that God sent his Spirit to live within us all the time. The Kingdom of God is within us. Jesus prayed in John 17 that we would be one as he and the father are one. God now lives within us since we are the temple of the Holy Spirit. We are merged together with Him. We are one with God as Jesus is one with God.

When two people marry, God says they become one. It is the same with God and us. When we put our faith in him and accept his free gift of grace, we become one. We are no longer separate, but we are one with God. That does not mean we are God, but we are merged together as one. We are the temple or house of God. The Spirit lives within us.

We have to get the religious thinking out of us and begin living the truth. God is not up there somewhere, separated from us. We are the temple of the Holy Spirit. God is within us. There is no separation, no waiting on God to come down. We do not have to follow Christ, we walk with him because he is within us.

We do not have to wait until Sunday to go to a building for God to show up, that is not his house. We are the body of Christ, each of us are equally important parts. We are his dwelling place, each and every day. We are one with God.

Jim Gordon and his wife left the institutional church after spending over fifty years within the system. Jim wanted a way to express his thoughts and concerns about the religious system and why he and his wife decided to leave the institution but not their faith in God. Jim can be contacted by email at: jimgordon731@gmail.com

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But Do We Force It On Others

by Jim Gordon

As followers of Jesus, we have a hope within us that is positive. We have a hope of living in fellowship with God, living within the Kingdom of God now and in the future. Because we have this hope, we are often times told we have to share this with others. Have you ever felt guilty because you did not say something to someone about Christ? Do you feel obligated to speak your mind about sin and forgiveness? Do you feel it is your duty as a Christian to force every opportunity into a chance to tell someone about salvation?

Quite frankly, I disagree that we are required to force any conversation or any friendship into a time of evangelism. I agree that some people have the gift of evangelism and should be using that gift to the fullest, all under the guidance of the Spirit. I also feel that not all of us need to be forcing the issue with those we come in contact each day.

As Christians, we are told to love God with all our heart, soul, strength and mind, and to love others as ourselves. When we live our lives each day under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the love of God, the way we act will be a witness to God’s love, much more than any words we can speak out.

Anyone can speak words…words of condemnation, words of how we should live for God, words against particular sins, but words themselves have no strength. It is the daily life we live allowing the love of God to show through that makes a difference. When we consistently live what we believe, it has more impact than thousands of words.

We need to remember that it is the Holy Spirit that convicts and draws people to God. It is not our job to be condemning people and trying to prove to them that they are sinning against God.

It is written in the Bible that we should live a quiet life, work with our hands and be ready to give an account of the hope that is within us.

1 Thessalonians 4:11, 12 – Do all you can to live a peaceful life. Take care of your own business, and do your own work as we have already told you. If you do, then people who are not believers will respect you, and you will not have to depend on others for what you need. (New Century Version).

1 Peter 3:15 – Through thick and thin, keep your hearts at attention, in adoration before Christ, your Master. Be ready to speak up and tell anyone who asks why you are living the way you are, and always with the utmost courtesy (The Message).

Notice we are told to be ready to speak up when asked. Go about your daily routine, minding your business, living a peaceful life, but be ready at all times to give an answer about salvation and God’s love when someone asks. Only when the Holy Spirit is leading the opportunity and the words will it make an impact on people.

By living in this way, and not forcing our views on others, the words we say will have more meaning to those who are curious enough to ask what the hope is that we have within us.

Jim Gordon and his wife left the institutional church after spending over fifty years within the system. Jim wanted a way to express his thoughts and concerns about the religious system and why he and his wife decided to leave the institution but not their faith in God. Jim can be contacted by email at: jimgordon731@gmail.com

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Sophia's Essays

This is where I post my essays, primarily about LGBTQ+ issues, politics, and Christian theology.

My Journey

Welcome. My blog is a place where readers will find writings of personal experiences, thoughts, and the peace God provides throughout my walk. I intend to bring inspiration and insight, as well as providing a very personal and transparent view into my life, in order to help others see their own lives in a different perspective. I strongly believe that we all need a different view at times, in order for our personal growth to take place.

Hazy Divinity

Welcome To The Party

Candice Czubernat

A leading voice in the LGBTQ and Christian dialogue

Our Journeys Matter! - Posts

Done with Religion ... Not Done with God

Ally's Notebook

Thoughts To Share

Life of a Prodigal

Searching for Truth outside the church walls

What God May Really Be Like - Misbeliefs About God

To those done with religion but not God and my kids (Click FOLLOW for future Posts; See ABOUT/USING THIS SITE tab to navigate Site)

Christy Lynne Wood

Looking for the Real God

Confessions of a Recovering Churchboy

What I bought before, I just can't sell

Intermission

Reflections in the midst of life.

She Seeks Nonfiction

A skeptic's quest for books, science, & humanism

The Wild Frontier

The search for infinite Truth and the invincible Love of an incredible God.

A Wilderness Voice

"The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, says the LORD of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, says the LORD of hosts." (Hag 2:9)

What does the word God mean to you now?

It's been a long journey - so far!

Entering the Promised Land

by walking in the Spirit

Beyond Church Walls

Done with Religion ... Not Done with God

Escape to Reality

Explore the wide spaces of God's amazing grace

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