Yes God made vulnerable, God pushed out onto the margins, God who loves the afflicted, God who share our sorrows and comforts us is the God revealed in Christ our Victor and our Hen. For this reason I rest merry and in good comfort Cole You do too old mucker.
Well, while we are to trust in Christ we are to trust in the Father also. I imitate Christ in that He had faith in Father. Christ said to the Father, “not my will but yours be done”. It was by the joy set before Him that Jesus endured the cross. So, faith is future oriented but it is experienced in the NOW. When my future is in the hands of an all holy - all powerful - infinitely wise God who promises to work all my circumstances together for good - anxiety is broken and I have hope/joy. Faith - Hope - Love. This is the joy of faith.
It’s clear from what you have said here that you don’t have faith. You don’t trust the Father or Christ. As Richard Beck has shown, the Eastern Orthodox believe that sin springs from the fear of death. I would agree. I would just add that it’s not just the fear of death but the fear of the future. As we learned in A.A., the corroding thread of the seven deadly sins is fear. And fear is always future based. When I daily repent and confess my sins to God and another and trust Christ my future is secure - His promises become mine. The past is gone the future is secure and therefore I’m free to live in the NOW. I have hope. Fear is uprooted and the major defects of character lose their power.
If you trusted Christ you would trust the Father because He tells us to trust the Father. We die to the old self when we come into a faith union with Christ. We become partakers of the promises. The future promises push the desires that lead to sin out of the heart. But they also bring strong desires to the heart. When all guilt, fear, and frustration are removed by faith you have a new appetite to experience more grace. You are then thrown into the current of love. I agree that faith is stronger at times and weaker at other times. There’s been times when I’ve had no faith at all. But the Bible says that faith comes by hearing the word. Now, I think God can speak through general revelation as well as special revelation. It doesn’t necessarily have to be the Bible. The Christian mystics are good as well as other things. But I’m going to stick with the Bible for now.
I am not sure if fear can be completely removed in this life. Maybe it can, but it seems to me that fear doesn’t mean a lack of an overall faith, just a temporary trial to overcome. I fear many times a day, both of the future, both being fearful of my sin nature (not the consequences of my sin nature, but my sin nature) and every time that fear creeps up, I have another opportunity to give it to God. Sometimes this is easy and sometimes this is hard… This is not unlike our other trials.
I am convinced (thought some may disagree with me) that Jesus was fearful over going to the cross. Some say he was scared of the wrath of God, not the physical pain, but I doubt that very much. In fact, It saddens me to think that Jesus wouldn’t be scared of extreme pain, as that would indicate he wasn’t really a human. We all to often want to take the human out of Jesus. But I consider his humanity so important, as that makes Him my brother! He understands fear, pain and temptation. Yet, he prevailed and can show me the way to victory.
I’m referring to the unhealthy fear like anxiety. While I don’t think we are completely free all the time there are times when I have no fear. Like now. I’m not worried or anxious about anything. And if anybody can relate to fear and anxiety, believe me, I can. Remember also, that it was by the joy set before Him that Christ endured the cross and that love casts out fear. But it’s not always perfect. But I’m a whole lot better today and I no longer take medication for being bipolar. They misdiagnosed me or something.
I remember hearing a minister friend of mine (Calvinist, none the less) enlightening me when it comes to faith. While we tend to think in terms of how much faith someone has, it, in my opinion, is not about the amount of faith, but the object of the faith. He gave me a great example. There are two passengers on a plane and one of them is fretting fearfully and the other passenger had so much faith that he took a nap. He knew the plane would be fine. Well, the plane landed safely. Did the amount of faith change the result? Nope… That is why I believe Jesus said ‘mustard size faith can move mountains’ I think it illustrates that it is the object of the faith that has power, not the person possessing the faith. Though, I must admit the person possessing the faith is ‘at peace with God and himself’ through the trial, while the one with little or no faith is miserable. But, even faith is a gift from God. We cannot ‘will it’, but I think we can exercise it.
Yes, I have major anxiety and fear. I can identify with you. As I am typing on this forum, I also, have no anxiety and fear and am at complete peace with myself and God. However, when I go to work or am put into a situation not familiar to me, I get some hyper tension and anxiety at times. But I still maintain that we cannot ‘will it’ away. At some point God gives us the grace to overcome. This is a tricky subject, because I know much harm has been done to people when you tell them 'You just need more faith to overcome this" and that is difficult, because, as we know, Faith is a gift from God. So we ask God, and receive not immediately and then begin to despair… I know all about this. I admire what you say that Faith heals this, the issue I have is that this faith must be given. We can ask (as Jesus compels us to continually ask the Father for things) but for whatever reason (God knows) we are either not a position to receive the gift, or we have some more perseverance to develop…
I’d agree there. And I’d agree that we never enter fully into a state of fearless faith in this life. We should not be downhearted if and when ‘faith’ seems weak And faith is important as a guide part of the way - but love is far more important.
Jason let me ponder your reply to me above for a bit. It’s gracious to the heterodox - there are bits I agree with you on; other bits I disagree on. Let’s have a proper chat about it soon on site. I’ll use your post as my entre.
Gabe, it’s been a long time since you
posted the following, but I now want to address it.
I think possibly you don’t understand it fully. As far as I have read, he nowhere said that non-resistance was tantamount to inaction. I don’t think he said that you should not interfere, but that you should not kill, maim, or otherwise injure anyone in doing so. I think Adin Ballou would have considered verbal persuasion to be compatible with non-resistance.
However, I do not fully agree with him concerning the non-use of physical prevention of injury to one’s family. I think that a Christian should avoid killing the aggressor, but that it is okay to use physical techniques such as the martial arts, or if necessary maiming the aggressor with a weapon.