Today's Mental Image:
PREPARATION FOR SESSION 5b
Integrity is like a river. Clear, free and wild when pure. Muddy, cloudy and choked when not.
Manufactured Religious Experience
With the great intellectual push within Christianity, and the great push to have "spiritual" experiences in modern Christianity, much of the work of God in American Christians' lives has been manufactured, "made up." Whole churches, as well as many other individual lives, are based on either mental assent or spiritual experiences declared to be of God when they are not.
On the mental side we have preached that assent and affirmation equal belief. We have founded our spiritual security on these merely created human abilities. The result ... our mental faculties are used to make up stuff to shore up these human mental exercises. And you can't talk us out of it.
As for "spiritual experiences," our lack of knowledge of the spiritual facets of creation has left us joyfully experiencing the same "spiritual works" as non-Christians. In fact, sometimes they experience these created human spiritual responses more intensely than do we.
The antidote to each is the same: a strong understanding of both what scripture declares to be belief and the fruits of belief that scripture points to as "now" outcomes of belief. When we do not have these, or we are picking only one kind of fruit, we can rest assured that our "spiritual experiences", our spiritual lives, are based on created human works. They are not springing from God working in us and through us.
Did you get that? Much of the "work of God" in American Christians' lives has nothing to do with God, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit. It has been manufactured using our created mental and spiritual powers and abilities without God in it. We declare it from God, but that is a lie. God is not in it! Check the fruit!
by Wayne M. Anson, web master
"What I didn't want ... was to make up stuff
I didn't want to manufacture something
about Jesus' work in my life
so that I would feel more whole.
I felt strongly that if I did,
I would never recognize him
when he did show up in my life."
How People Grow,
by Dr. Henry Cloud
and Dr. John Townsend