"..Yet in My Flesh I Will See GOD" [Job. 19.26]

Sunday, July 29, 2018

When Truth Does Not Agree with Experience

Image above from Inside Higher ED.
Paul said guard your life and doctrine closely. And this is understood as doctrines found in the bible, nothing more, since there were no denominational doctrines in Paul's time. All churches believed one and the same set of bible doctrines, which was consistent with Jesus' prayer in John 17.23---complete unity of all believers.

But then one day, actual experience in life began contradicting bible truths. Things said in the bible didn't happen to them. Real life contradicted what the bible said. And as more church people experienced this, they concluded that truth should be adjusted to their experience. That should solve the conflict. But the problem was, different folks had different experiences. This becomes the problem when you adjust truth to your experience rather than adjust experience to God's truth.



So they adjusted Scriptures to their own experiences. One group found it hard to experience real holiness, so they thought holiness shouldn't be taken so seriously. You cannot be really holy in this life. So what God really means is to try to be holy when you can, and whatever measure of holiness you manage is good enough. God understands.

When truth and experience meet. Click here.

Others say as long as we're in the flesh we'll have to get used to unwanted sinning. We're not to enjoy sin, but we also cannot escape slipping now and then and sin unintentionally. That's why we thank God for his grace---because grace makes up for our shortcomings so that we're still counted worthy. We know what ought to be done but we fail because that's our nature---wretched. But grace is there to kind of disguise our sinful nature, covering it up with sweet icing that appeals to God. Isn't that what Romans 7 and 8 are about?

When they find that something in their nature does not agree with truth (or keeps contradicting it), they do the above. They adjust things here and there to fit in everything, especially their experience. This is what they call theology. They study this for years and earn degrees. So now, they require you to interpret the bible in ways that agree with their theology and doctrine. In short, their experience.

On the other hand, some smart guys from the other extreme experience holiness and thought it should be rigidly enforced in church---to the point that God withdraws his grace and mercy so that you lose salvation if you mess with holiness. Frankly, when I watch closely how some of them react in their unguarded moments, it tempts me to think they've lost their salvation as well.

Then there's the spiritual gifts issue. Because they don't (and can't) experience speaking in tongues, they water it down as something less than supernatural. Those who can't operate in miraculous healing and signs and wonders do the same. They either water down the truth or trash it out completely, saying anything supernatural is "dangerous" because the devil can do the same---as if watering down the truth is not also demonic in itself.

I've heard absurd explanations to debunk the gifts---like how the apostles really studied the languages of the different races before Pentecost hit them. Or, that all tongues are known languages in the world. When declaring this, they have to trash anything supernatural, too, about the gift of interpretation (why else should God give us a gift for interpreting when we can always hire a schooled interpreter?) because known languages can be interpreted without help from the supernatural. They'll also trash anything about (or disqualify) what Paul said on keeping tongues to yourself and to God if no one can interpret it, because then your spirit is praying, not your mind (although you can ask God for its interpretation).

And how God is not anymore as interested in miraculous healing as he did before since medical science is so advanced today. They intellectualize everything and put logic so they can kick out anything that reeks of the supernatural. Just because they do not (and cannot) experience them, they treat them as irrelevant---or worse, they say it's of the devil. I can't help remembering how Americans told Filipinos it was evil to kick out American bases from the Philippines.

Then there are also those who, just because they enjoy the experience, overemphasize the gifts, saying you're not really sanctified (some even say you're not saved) without the gift of tongues. Or how the gifts of healing and miracles are signs that God's favor is on you and the lack of it means God's rejection. Denominational doctrines are largely based on man's religious experience and ideas, adjusting truth accordingly.

Experience is good and helps us a lot. But it should not dictate how truth is to be seen. Just open your heart and let the Holy Spirit interpret truth. Let it change you. Trash all presuppositions and assumptions. Trash all structures and templates of synthetic interpretation. Let God put everything into your heart and mind. Just receive.

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