Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Feelings....Nothing More Than...Feelings.

Two weeks ago I finished up my study in the Precept Upon Precept of Revelation Book 2. It was to say the least, the worst Precept International Bible Study I have ever done. So I needed a break for a little bit between books. I prayed for guidance and like always the Lord provides. Either a yes, no, or wait. This time, the Lord provided a "yes". Last week I had two Mormon Missionaries come to the door and wanted me to allow them to do a bible study with me. They gave me a pamphlet called, The Restoration, and I agreed to read it and looked forward to our meeting next week. I've been praying for wisdom because I didn't want to scare these guys away like the others, and really wanted time to ease them into the truth and hope they hear what the Lord wanted to say.

Well that meeting was tonight. They talked about what the Book of Mormon was, and how it was the most correct book on earth, the prophet Joseph Smith, and the story of how the Book of Mormon came to be. And I asked them one simple question, "How do you know it's true?" Seems simple enough of a question right? Well it opened up a huge can of worms called, "feelings". From that point on, they talked about their, "feelings" and how they prayed, asked god to confirm the Book of Mormon was true, and god gave them good "feelings". Both boys then proceeded to tell me how they feel god speaks to them and how they think he talks to them in a way that makes them feel good. And, if they "feel" good that is a good sign they are in the right direction, and if they "feel" bad, they are in the wrong direction. This went on for the remainder of the night.

But as Morris Albert's song, Feelings suggests...they are nothing more but - feelings. Assurance is based on the authority of God's word. When you meet God's conditions, as revealed in His word, you can be assured that you are a child of God. The Christian lives by faith (trust) in the trustworthiness of God Himself and His word. 
This train diagram illustrates the relationship between fact (God and His Word), Faith (our trust in God's Word), and feelings (the results of our experiences to God's Word). Fact is the engine that pulls everything else. God's word does not change, it's powered by itself. It runs by itself without the aid of the other cars or caboose. God's word is sustained all by itself and doesn't need anyone else to keep it going. Faith, is pulled by God's word. Though a person's faith may change, God's word does not. Our faith is pulled by the self-sustaining objective truth revealed in God's Word...Christ Jesus.  Feelings are the result of our faith based on fact. It is the fruit of what is produced. But feelings change, and are not objective truth, nor would I even consider them subjective truth. Feelings change and are different from person to person. Sometimes I feel like reading God's word. Sometimes I don't. Sometimes I feel like I'm a good Christian, and sometimes I feel like a complete pagan. The fact is...I am a Christian based on how God describes a Christian in the Bible.

You may be thinking though, "How do you know the Bible is true?" or "How do you know the Book of Mormon is true...or not true?" There are several tests we can give the engine of the train to see if it really is fact. Unfortunately we have to do that in the next blog post. Stay tuned for my next blog post on testing objective truth. 

Thursday, June 2, 2016

My Top 10 Books of All Time

Here is a short list of my top 10 Christian books so far. There is no rhyme or reason as to the order. They are all #1 in my book.

  1. An Infinite Journey: Growing Towards Christlikeness by Andrew M. Davis
  2. Spiritual Disciplines of the Christian Life: by Donald Whitney. 
  3. Finally Free: Fighting For Purity With the Power of Grace, by Heath Lambert
  4. Getting To No: How to Break a Stubborn Habit, by Erwin Lutzer
  5. Tactics: A Game Plan for Discussing Your Christian Convictions, by Gregory Koukl
  6. The Exemplary Husband: A Biblical Perspective. by Stuart Scott
  7. Anger: Handling a Powerful Emotion in a Healthy Way, by Gary Chapman
  8. 10 Dumb Things Smart Christians Believe. by Larry Osborne
  9. A Strong Delusion: Confronting the "Gay Christian" Movement. by Joe Dallas\
  10. The Gospel According to Jesus: What Does Jesus Mean When He Says "Follow Me"? by John MacArthur.