I understand. At some point, people need to develop their own relationship with the Godhead and trust them to work things out. I think a lot of people will be surprised about a lot of things when we get to heaven. And some will be surprised to not be there.
Alice, how do people “develop” a relationship with the Godhead?
I’m no expert, but I think it takes time and experience and a willingness to listen and learn, mostly from the Bible. I’ve had experiences that meant I had to decide to think of God the Father as a loving, caring, non-abusive Person; even picturing myself sitting safely on His lap. Jesus as Brother/God is portrayed almost excessively, to the point that some people never think of any member of the Godhead except Him. Not all bad, and certainly, as our Savior, He’s a central figure. For me, a relationship with the Holy Spirit developed partly when counseling with students (as faculty, not as a therapist). Sometimes there are no easy answers for their pain, and the most I could wish for was words that didn’t increase the distress. Those were times when I asked the Holy Spirit what to say and, seemingly, was able to help.
I’ll be the first to admit that my journey has had many ups and downs, including times of doubt, and at my retired perspective, I’ve learned some things I couldn’t imagine knowing or even experiencing at several younger ages. I don’t listen to many sermons anymore for various reasons; I don’t need to be entertained by a speaker or to find myself editing and disagreeing with style or theology. I relish congregational singing as an important corporate worship experience, which we don’t do enough of, so I listen to music that uplifts me. I do think everyone’s journey is at least slightly different and that God uses a variety of ways to communicate with people, sometimes whether or not they want to listen. I try very hard not to be impatient with other people’s stages of development, although I’m pretty sure God will hold some people responsible for leading others astray.
No easy answers, just trying to find my own way, and hopefully, help a few others along the way.
Thank-you for sharing some of your experiences, Alice. A relationship to God (Triune) is most definitely an individual one and starts the day we are born and ends when we die.
It is important, as you mention, to be supportive of others as they struggle to find themselves and God. Most of us learn what “God” is like by our relationships with our parents/caregivers and with others as we grow older. If we haven’t had the best role models in them, it can be difficult and have to find other ways to experience a loving and caring God.
Not being judgmental of others on their spiritual pathways in important, too, so that we don’t impede another’s growth.
No…no easy answers. We can only develop our own spirituality by prayer, meditation, scripture reading, serving others…and listening to the Holy Spirit. It takes a lifetime of practice.
Simply put, a personal relationship with Jesus is akin to what we’ve with a best friend.
I would suggest that this is not a productive judgment or statement to make, and that there is not necessarily a parallel between what any of us experience or believe we would experience and anyone else’s state of communion with the church corporate.
In fact it is my belief that that one is doing their fellow travelers a great disservice by making such a statement. What might be more productive is to actually sit with those who’ve left, allowing them to tell us their story then to believe them, or to sit with them and talk about the weather and next years intended vegetable crop in our backyard garden rather than to make such a statement.
Perhaps they did have a relationship, but the SDA church was not the place for them. There are thousands of churches where faith and fellowship flourish.
I have had several friends who were baby in faith. Not even “Christian” yet. I did not
introduce them to my SDA church. I took them to a Sunday church were the Bible
was being taught, the Bible was the focus.
Actually, I took one to one church. When I met the other one later, I matched him up
with a different church that would fit his personality and needs.
My particular SDA church would NOT have fed them the Word like they needed.
Perhaps the REASON why persons “move” is to attend a group that is into the Word.
Where they can REALLY meet Jesus for the 1st time. And BE TAUGHT HOW to have
a relationship with God through “study”, “asking meaningful questions”, “meditating”,
“prayer”. and Learning How to pray. Many Sunday churches, if one looks around, will
assist a person to be introduced to these Spiritual gifts.
MY particular SDA church group DO NOT HAVE A FOCUS on these things. And
consequently DO NOT teach these.
There are some that believe that the only pathway to spirituality must be through the SDA churches- but it doesn’t always work this way for all. People need to go where they are spiritually fed and can grow.
When supporting a certain idea one cannot even define properly/fully the main idea in itself,… “Houston, we have a problem!” …
I can’t see how. With my best friend I can sit down and talk, can call on the phone and talk, can engage in several activities together, etc. It’s a person that we can see and hear.
Quite different from what we can do in a relationship with Jesus, especially it if is meant to be, “personal.”
Where do we see in the NT the apostles preaching a “personal relationship” with Jesus? While the idea of covenant implies a relationship, and while we see Jesus saying to his disciples, “…I call you friends,” this type of language sounds more like modern, popular evangelical/protestant teaching than the post resurrection preaching of Jesus is Lord.
If relationship was preached in the way we talk about it, it seemed more focused on the quality of the relationships in the church, relationships to be characterized by encouragement, mutual care, mutual submission, healthy accountability, assembled worship, and generous kindness, forgiveness, and love for one another. While I feel that times of prayer, meditation, and devotion are necessary elements of the spiritual life, I feel that Jesus is to be experienced just as much, if not more in this type of community that the NT describes, than in our individual spiritual exercises in devotion and trying to “experience him.”
To me, the former seems more in line with the NT, the latter with our Western bent towards individualism and private spirituality.
So why do the Jews say God gave their forefathers bread from heaven?
“Our fathers ate THE MANNA in the desert; as it is written, He gave them BREAD from heaven to eat.” John 6:31
It is obvious that they considered the manna to be bread. In fact, even Jesus Christ said so. Are you going to disagree with Him?
George, you beat me to it.
i think bread is sometimes used as a metaphor for food…when jesus said “man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of god”, i don’t think he meant just bread…i think he meant food…sometimes meat is also used as a metaphor for food (“is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment”)…
hebrew was obviously a highly descriptive language…it used a lot of allusion, comparison and contrast to conveigh meaning…so when it’s translated into a highly specific language, like english, this descriptive quality needs to be kept in mind…Numbers 11:7 says manna looked like white coriander seed, which is spherical little balls, and bdellium, which is a semi-translucent stone crystal…apparently when raw, it tasted like wafers and honey…whatever it was, it obviously wasn’t bread…
Manna [“what is it?”] was apparently somewhat versatile in its use.
Made into “flour”. Perhaps as a flat bread when liquid added. Cooked quickly
over a fire or on a hot metal surface.
Perhaps made into a ‘cooked cereal’ type substance.
Spoken like a westerner. Perhaps it was soy beans!
Ask a starving man to describe “bread”. His perspective might be instructive in our desire for exact definitions of old words.
(just don’t ask a dem what is a “wall” lol)
i think manna must have been something like quinoa, which has a complete spectrum of protein…but it must have had a complete spectrum of other nutrients, too, like vitamins, minerals, carbs, healthy fats, anti-oxidants, etc…israel ate manna for yrs, to the exclusion of virtually everything else…so it must have been the world’s most astounding superfood…
Too hard to pronounce, unless one were a pentecostal.
Is it mentioned in the penteteuch?
Because then and when the KJV was translated, the term “bread” also meant food in general.