Jump to content


Photo

God in our schools...


  • Please log in to reply
40 replies to this topic

#21 Jay Turner

Jay Turner

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 295 posts
  • Location:Sioux Falls, SD
  • Gender:Male
  • I am a Layperson

  • I attend a non-Alliance church

Posted 12 January 2013 - 01:33 PM

Charlie, I can see where you are going with the story and it seems you have pretty well hit the nail on the head. Every day I have to deal with these mentalities and it can be very frustrating. I am not going to say that I love my job, but while I am in it, I try to have an impact as best I can. As you pointed out, many of the problems are beyond change, at least at this time, but there are things that can be done.

One of the things that I do is to try to understand why people make the decisions that they make. The more we understand the whyís, the better we will be able to work with them to develop different avenues of change. How about a couple examples. One of the big concerns for school administration is their budget. Many of their decisions arenít so much about what is best for the students, but instead how they can take their limited budget and make it go as far as they can. Another thing to understand is that much of how we do education is based off of tradition. We do things a certain way, because that is what we know and how things have always been done. It is easier to go with what we know than to take the risk of failure by trying something new. Part of human nature is that we like to see that a new idea can and will work before we begin investing our time and energy into it.
  • Charles Miles likes this

#22 Candice

Candice

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 959 posts
  • Location:Big Horn, Wyoming
  • Interests:Bible study and deeper life in Christ, reading old and wise teachers of the bible.
  • Gender:Female
  • I am a Layperson

  • I attend a non-Alliance church

Posted 12 January 2013 - 07:36 PM

Jay,
Agree with Charlie that you are serving Christ in doing what you do and approaching people (unbelievers) cautiously. I believe that most of the time, we need to earn the right to share the Gospel with others. The veil they are behind seems to keep thickening and scales on their eyes is harder than ever. I have seen the easy salvation - soft Gospel message delivered in programmed, canned fashion, and it is scary to observe. So many are talked into Christianity or the opinions of others and are not converted to Christ. We're to make converts to Christ. If we are doing something else by pushing and determining whose name will be in the Lamb's Book of Life by deeming someone saved by our message to them and some response they provide, we are not minding the LORD's will. Been there - done that. Seen that too.

Ron, your analogy is great!

Blessings!

#23 Candice

Candice

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 959 posts
  • Location:Big Horn, Wyoming
  • Interests:Bible study and deeper life in Christ, reading old and wise teachers of the bible.
  • Gender:Female
  • I am a Layperson

  • I attend a non-Alliance church

Posted 12 January 2013 - 07:38 PM

Also, Jay, I see you're from South Dakota, not far from me. I know if some areas of SD, it is tough in those schools - I've heard the stories...transient families, lack of places for people to live. N. Dakota, from what I hear, is worst! Thank GOD you're in the school!

#24 Charles Miles

Charles Miles

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 535 posts
  • Location:West Point, MS
  • Interests:Medicine
    Fruits of the spirit
    Learning more about the Kingdom of God and how to live in it here on earth
  • Gender:Male
  • I am a Layperson

  • I attend a non-Alliance church
  • First Presbyterian Church EPC

Posted 13 January 2013 - 07:00 AM

Jay, I know about school systems and the miriad of regulations, laws, and political posturing that goes on. Both my parents were teachers and later school administrators in our public schools. If there is anyone who needs the "Whole armour of God" just to do what you do, it is you! Be careful but continue to stand firm in your faith. Certainly the frontal assault is probably not what is needed in your situation....I do agree with you there. But then, the frontal assault seldom seems to work when dealing with the workplace or even social situations. I think you are doing the correct thing by showing love, keeping a smile on your face, and doing a good job at your workplace. These traits will eventually be noticed and people will want to know where you get your joy. They will also wonder why they don`t have joy like you do and will one day ask. Jay, many, many people out there want what you have in your peace and joy, so be ready for the questions. Keep up your excellent work and your loving nature.

May God bless you brother,

Charlie

#25 Jay Turner

Jay Turner

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 295 posts
  • Location:Sioux Falls, SD
  • Gender:Male
  • I am a Layperson

  • I attend a non-Alliance church

Posted 13 January 2013 - 11:17 AM

Another thing that I try to do is to focus on education and communication. One thing that I realized, a while back, is that when you only have a few people bringing up all the issues and concerns, it is easy to blow them off. But the more people bringing up the issues, the harder it is to ignore that there is a problem. So what I do is look for open doors. As the Spirit leads I share thoughts and ideas with people, not only looking at the brokenness in the system, but also the possibilities.

When it comes to people in authority, much of the power that they have is based on public opinion. One tactic that I will use is to not just bring up concerns, but also give them different ideas of how to fix the problem. In the process I will look for ideas that are mutually beneficial, like things that will save money, which makes their job easier and make them look good as administrators, while helping them to see the value in making the changes. Tactics like this, not only emphasizes making good choices as leaders, but also gives them the added incentives to seriously look at the possibilities. Another tactic is to share the ideas in such a way where they think the idea was theirs in the first place.

Sometimes God will show me people that have hearts who want to see change happen. Most of the time, they are not in the position to make changes themselves, but sometimes they will have the ears of people who do. So I will take a little extra time talking with them and getting to know them. As God opens the doors, I will plant seeds, in the hopes that when the time is right, they will step up and become part of the process of bringing about the needed change.

I think the main thing is just working towards getting people involved and helping them to see the possibilities. We all have our gifts, talents and dreams, but sometimes we need a little help seeing how we can use what is in our hands to do anything of significance. Many times people have dreams that they had given up on because the pieces didnít seem to come together or they didnít have the support that they needed. It is not that their ideas were bad, but sometimes they need to be looked at in the right context or the timing just wasnít right.

In other posts, I used the term, ďflying under the radarĒ. Sometimes an idea or a needed change will not be accepted as is. But there are times where you can take that idea and start to slowly build it up, giving people something concrete that they can see and wrap their mind around. The more they can see the value in it and see how it can actually work, the more people will be willing to jump on board, giving it the momentum needed to continue moving forward.

Once again it comes back to the idea of not forcing issues, but instead changing hearts and attitude by building relationships, trust, communication and places of safety where these things can be fostered.

#26 chipped china

chipped china

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 574 posts
  • Location:Washington state
  • Interests:Knowing Jesus and our heritage. Showing Christ though me. Being a member of the Body. I enjoy nature and animals.
  • Gender:Female
  • I am a Layperson

  • I attend a non-Alliance church
  • Bible studies from New Life Assembly

Posted 13 January 2013 - 07:17 PM

Hi Jay,

I was wondering if you might give us an example of something you are trying to change. I find this very interesting because I worked for city government for 25 years and think I came up against the same rigid mentality. Mine had to do with public health in the water department. I ran the cross connection department that made sure contaminated water didn't reverse flow and go back into the drinking water. I was continually baffled at how many ways I could approach an issue and still be shot down, especially if it concerned changing code or cost customers money. Frankly, I finally got burnt out and retired early. I'm wondering what God has you trying to do to help the children spiritually, and I'd like to pray for it.

#27 Jay Turner

Jay Turner

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 295 posts
  • Location:Sioux Falls, SD
  • Gender:Male
  • I am a Layperson

  • I attend a non-Alliance church

Posted 14 January 2013 - 05:46 PM

Throughout my day, I have been thinking about how to answer your question of something I am trying to change. Thinking about all the various problems that need to be addressed, I found myself going places that I didnít like. Instead I would like to share a pet project that I have been working on, though it is still in the conceptualization stage.

When it comes to education, schools and school districts throughout the country, and throughout the world, are given standards like No School Left Behind, that they are expected to base how they do education around. They have these common standards that they are to work toward and achieve, yet there is no common medium through which they can share ideas and collaborate at the various levels.

The idea that I have been working with is to create a social networking site, like Facebook, Google+ or MySpace, but specifically designed around education. It would be a place where teachers, educators, parents, students and the public can come together to dialogue about education. I think it would be important to break the site down into a tree like structure, that way there could be communication at national, state, district, school and even class levels.

There are different concepts that I could go into, but one of the main ideas is to use this as a way to help level the playing field. There are some school districts that are very rich and have the money to invest in the latest technology, software, etc. Then there are other schools that are forced to make cuts everywhere and are struggling just to stay open.

Now when you look at the costs of things like textbooks, which can range from $45 on up, per textbook, per student, that can add up to be a lot of money being placed into the hands of the major publishing companies that create the textbooks. Teachers typically donít have the time or energy to invest in writing their own curriculum, but it is possible for a teacher to write a lesson here or there. Now, with the internetís ability to bring teachers together from all over the country, it would be possible for thousands of math teachers to come together, to compile their lessons into complete digital textbooks. With the money that they would save from not continually having to invest in textbooks, many of the poorer schools would be able to start investing into computers and towards other needs.

Many school districts buy software packages to keep track of student information, do scheduling, work with finances, etc. The problem is that most of the time these different applications were made by different development companies and were not meant to work together. Because of this, countless hours are spent entering, re-entering and updating the same data into each of the applications.

Think about facebook for a minute. When you setup your account, you enter your data once and update it as needed. Then you may find a game that you want to play. Instead of having to re-enter your information for that game, it just pulls your information from a central database.

Using the same idea, instead of having multiple applications that work independently, a school employee could log into the site, with a single username and password. Depending on their security level and position, it could give them access to the applications associated with their job, and each of the applications could function as part of a much larger whole. For example, an administrator could set up a algebra class, being taught by Mr. Smith. Then a student could go log in and register for that class, which in turn would automatically add him to the classes group and update his schedule. Then he could go to the class page, see his assignment for the day and ask a question on the class forum. Then one of the studentís parents could login, see the his current grade or send off a change of address to the school office.

Now to take this a step further, there could be different types of applications. The foundational applications, like forums, messaging and the likes, could be created as a standard package for everyone to use. Then there would be more specialized applications. A school district that has their own software engineers could develop them for themselves. Schools could hire companies to develop apps for them. Or there could be ways of going a more open source approach where individuals from numerous different districts could come together to work together on a common project.

The idea is to create an environment where there is a lot of flexibility and freedom, while leaving multiple options where special needs can be addressed. It would also be important to encourage collaboration and cooperation. This would help in developing more of a body and loving your neighbor as yourself mentality.

Though, by nature, the school system is a secular entity, there are ways of bringing Godly principles into its workings, without having to cross the lines that the government has put into place. I know it is not the same as having prayer in our schools, but sometimes it is more important to create an environment where Godís love can be seen and experienced.

I never went to school for education, so most of my observations are more from an outsiders perspective, even though I do work in the schools. Because of this, I deal a lot in theory and basic concepts, but the applicability behind it is always in question. If there are any teachers, educators or really anyone else with input, I am open to any that you may have.

#28 chipped china

chipped china

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 574 posts
  • Location:Washington state
  • Interests:Knowing Jesus and our heritage. Showing Christ though me. Being a member of the Body. I enjoy nature and animals.
  • Gender:Female
  • I am a Layperson

  • I attend a non-Alliance church
  • Bible studies from New Life Assembly

Posted 14 January 2013 - 09:25 PM

After reading all this I had to go back to Jay's original post. I don't know what the answers are for schools and our faith, but I do know Jay was right about letting each of us shine His Light as we live the paths God has set before us.

#29 Kevin Blankenship

Kevin Blankenship

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 528 posts
  • Location:Tennessee
  • Gender:Male
  • I am a Layperson

  • I attend a non-Alliance church

Posted 15 January 2013 - 06:24 AM

It i slikely CHRIST in the HOME that will have the largest influence on the children. How does litlly Johnny or little Janey see Christianity pertayed at home? Thanksgivin prayer before EVERY meal? A time of family devoting every day, (even of one of the parents works the graveyard shift, the partent can take up the slack) Am understanding discussion with the children when the came home and say: Teacher said that we used to be apes, Momma/ Daddy? The parent may as well train theirselve NOW to be a Bible teacher (and a convincing one) because the US Govt has already made the calim that the national religion is Humanism. So, I don't see Christian's in school gettin a fair shake. It will be in the home devotions. The children are closely watching the parents. Y'all older guys/gals (my age....49) remeber the commercial where Dad and son is about to go for a drive. Son is all excited to be going with dad. Dad shakes a smoke out of his pack pf Pall mall's (or other brand) and lays the cigerette pack down in the console. Little Johnny grabs it and tried to emulate dad. Now..THAT commercial wasn't necessarily standing up for Christian self discipline or anything of the sort. It's point being, "Children are watching the parents.....so don't do what you don't won't your children to do." Of course, the reverse, theoretically, should be true: Do (or be) what what you want your children to do (or be). So my take on the subject is this: We can all reasonably conclude that it will NEVER again be like it was before 1963 (when God was forced out of school, so to speak) but that doesn't lessen OUR responsibity to "Train up a child in the way he should go, and in the end, he will NOT depart from it." And Evoltion (as rank as it is) is not the only teaching that our children are being subjected to today in public schools!!!
(Here's a disclaimer: I, myself, have no children. But I tried to put myself in the shoes of a parent with children on teh school sysytem)

#30 Charles Miles

Charles Miles

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 535 posts
  • Location:West Point, MS
  • Interests:Medicine
    Fruits of the spirit
    Learning more about the Kingdom of God and how to live in it here on earth
  • Gender:Male
  • I am a Layperson

  • I attend a non-Alliance church
  • First Presbyterian Church EPC

Posted 15 January 2013 - 07:28 AM

Kevin, I have 2 sons(grown up now) and we spoke daily about what was taught at school about many subjects. Most of the time everything was fine, but once in a while....well, there was "stuff" that would creep into the subject matter. We talked it out as a family, and that may be one of the most heartbreaking facts about our society today....loss of the family unit as a basis for learning the fundamentals.
I`m interested in your Chuck Missler study of the old testiment and how it is going, if it has started yet. Chuck has several discussions about creation, evolution, and probability that will simply "blow your mind". After hearing the facts and scientific probability, I can`t see how any sane person can still hang on to the evolutionary theory of the onset of life. Especially when science can`t even define what "life" actually is, much less where it came from! Some people are so intent in getting any thought of God out of our minds that hey will go to rediculous ends to confuse any issue having to do with who we are, why we are here, how we got here, why the earth is still the only place where we have seen all the things(in one place) to support life, and that there just might be a God that did it all.
Keep us posted on your study and how you like it. I still study Missler`s expositional commentary on books in the bible and learn new ways to think about subjects that I always thought I had figured out.

Your Brother in Christ,

Charlie

#31 Jay Turner

Jay Turner

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 295 posts
  • Location:Sioux Falls, SD
  • Gender:Male
  • I am a Layperson

  • I attend a non-Alliance church

Posted 15 January 2013 - 05:01 PM

When it comes to God and things of faith, these are things that should be taught within the bounds of the family and within the church. Unless we are dealing with private schools, we should not expect the school system to even address these issues. At the same time, there is much truth and Godly practice that can and should be introduced into the school system.

The body of Christ, should be working side by side with the school system, though not hand in hand. Each one has a role that they should be playing, yet I donít see that relationship being yet realized. It is not surprising that the government and educators view Christians as they do. We have given them more reason to doubt us than to trust us. The thing is, the more we can build trust, the more they will be willing to listen. And though there will always be boundaries in place separating the two, it is possible that in time the two can begin to mingle and begin to work in cooperation.

Over the past, probably, ten years, I have tried to stay away from the evolution/creationism debate as much as possible. It is one of those topics that tends to bring more division than unity. I can no longer remember the arguments, but I know I have heard teachings on creationism that were downright scary. Now when you have people who have been hurt and rejected by the church, and others that have been indoctrinated against it, it does not surprise me that they would gravitate to the most scary and outlandish versions. Also, when it comes to creation science, many of the theories seem to be all across the board. For example, The Science of God by Gerald L. Schroeder, tries to line up the Big Bang theory with the biblical creation. I am not a scientist, but when I read it, it seemed that there was validity to what he was saying. Then I have heard theories of how dinosaurs never actually existed. God just planted the fossil's to give the world the appearance of age. That is one of those downright scary theories. It seems to me that if that were something that God had done, He was being untruthful and couldnít be trusted as God. Now if I were a secular scientist hearing some of these theories, I would probably do exactly what they have done. I would ignore creationism altogether.

I am sure that a lot of this is already being done, so excuse me if I state the obvious. If we want creationism to be taken seriously, then we need to play by the established rules of science. We would want to first establish ourselves as scientists, adhering to the scientific method and peer review:
  • Ask a Question
  • Do Background Research
  • Construct a Hypothesis
  • Test Your Hypothesis by Doing an Experiment
  • Analyze Your Data and Draw a Conclusion
  • Communicate Your Results (Peer Review)
Being known for having scientific integrity would be a must. The more integrity you have and the more established you are, the more likely the peers in your field of study will consider your theories and take them seriously. You would want to take things slowly and not make any leaps. You would need to build precept upon precept, taking one step at a time. Each step in the process would need to be documented with proof. If there are any holes, it just gives all the more reason for others to invalidate your work. Since evolution has already been established, the onus is on the creation proponents to prove that the science supports creationism more than it does evolution.

Once the science is there, has gone through peer review and has been accepted as viable theories, then at that point we could try to have it taught in the public school system. I doubt creationism would ever be taught exclusively in the public schools, this side of heaven, but with the right format, one day there could be a possibility of it being taught either side by side with evolution or along the lines of an elective.

I see the day coming where every student will have their own laptop or tablet computer. When that happens, there is the potential for some rather interesting developments to occur. There is a concept for a teaching resource that I have been playing around with for a while now. The basic idea is to take a subject and break it down into lessons that deal with a single ideas or concepts. These lessons would be stored in data form, in an online library, where teachers and educators could access them. From there, different things could happen. A teacher could take a single lesson to be used to supplement a lecture. The lessons could also be assembled into a tree like structure, where as a student finished one lesson, it would unlock other lessons, and those lessons would unlock others. Kahn Academy, a free online teaching resource, uses this type of strategy in their math curriculum. Then there is what I call the Interactive Textbook. The concept behind this is similar to the tree type structure that Kahn Academy uses, but it takes it a step further. Basically, each branch would start with a core lesson. This would be the bare-bones information that the student should get out of the lesson. From there the information could be broken down into a series of sub-lessons that supplement the core lesson. These sub-lessons could take on different forms.

They could be areas of interest related to the core lesson. e.g. If you were studying a person in history, the sub-lessons could be different inventions, accomplishments, family tree, etc. The sub-lessons could be application of the information as it applies to different vocations. This would be beneficial in a more vocational based learning system.

The significance behind the interactive textbook idea is that the student's education can take on a more self paced and interest oriented format. This allows a group of students to learn the same core information, while individually they can interact with that information in ways that are directed towards their own personal interests. I am not sure how it would look in real life, but in theory, as a science class was learning about how the universe came into being, a student could choose between a Creation Science or a BigBang/Evolution based track.

I know that as of right now, this is all theoretical, but I believe that with with some patience, creativity and a whole lot of prayer, there are ways where we may be able to find a meeting ground. Would it be easy? No, but I do believe that it is possible.

#32 Candice

Candice

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 959 posts
  • Location:Big Horn, Wyoming
  • Interests:Bible study and deeper life in Christ, reading old and wise teachers of the bible.
  • Gender:Female
  • I am a Layperson

  • I attend a non-Alliance church

Posted 15 January 2013 - 08:11 PM

WOW! I've never seen such response to a topic.

In the end, it is really the LORD who saves and sanctifies.

1. I've seen kids homeschooled by devoted Christian parents, who guided their children according to the LORD. I know many who've turned away, rebelled big time. Some are faithful Christians. I believe that some parents are fooled into thinking that if they do the steps (usually someone's opinion on child raising), their kids will be saved. No, they come to Christ as He draw them and believe and receive just like every one else.
I homeschooled our son for a few months after he was continually bullied. We went to a homeschool co-op. That day, in the PE class at the YMCA, one kid let off the "F-bomb"; another pushed a kid into the wall, wailing on him. So much for that. The parents really didn't support each other at all.

2. I see kids in public school. Same thing. They come from Christian homes, attend church and act out in school. I see this with a particular "sect" that is live around here. But, I'd say that these kids are seeing reality. They will all have to choose. Still, some parents think getting them "dunked" will take care of it.

3. I see kids in Christian schools whose parents claim to be Christians. In California, our son was in a Christian school because the public schools were so liberal; albeit Blue Ribbon Schools. The Christian school had many kids who were not from Christian homes. This was good, since there was exposure and reachingn out. Those kids were all problem kids with behavioral problems that the public school couldn't deal with. One couple had their son over to play at our house and said they didn't understand why the school talked so much about Jesus!! Didn't they even know that they had put their kid in a Christian school? Unbelievable. If I hadn't heard it...if my hubby hadn't heard it, I wouldn't believe it to be so.

4. In any case, parents must re-educate when there is error; be it evolution, sex ed, etc. Devotions in the home are good, prayer at meals, family meals together. We did and do all these in our home. However, our 15 year-old son still isn't sure if he believes. Heartbreaking for me, but leaning on the LORD for my son's salvation at this point. No more that I can do but support and guide.

I'd rather my son be honest than to simply go along to please his parents. Some kids say they are Christians "because I was born one". Parent-pleasing is so abundant out there. There's a book, Already Gone, about the plight of kids in churches leaving by the droves once they're out of the house.

No solutions - just the LORD JESUS CHRIST alone!

Candice

#33 Charles Miles

Charles Miles

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 535 posts
  • Location:West Point, MS
  • Interests:Medicine
    Fruits of the spirit
    Learning more about the Kingdom of God and how to live in it here on earth
  • Gender:Male
  • I am a Layperson

  • I attend a non-Alliance church
  • First Presbyterian Church EPC

Posted 16 January 2013 - 08:25 AM

Jay, Your suggestion about steps to take to prove or disprove theories is called "the scientific method", and has been used by serious researchers for years. The theory of evolution falls so flat on its face using that method it just is a joke. The bible discusses things about life, earth, and the cosmos, that are only recently being proven to be true and we hear little of it. Most evolutionists cannot believe in a God at all because that simply won`t work in their model. Yes, there are strange theories out there about a lot of things but God gives us the mind to sort them out. One problem that I have with not believing creation by God is that it says how this happened in the bible. If I choose to call that part of the scripture a lie, then where do I start to call scripture true? Jesus even said..if you don`t believe Moses then you won`t believe me either.
Our God is omnipotent, omniscient, eternal, forgiving, and always keeps His word. Now, if an all powerful, all knowing, eternal God says He created man, who am I to dispute His word? Do we think He isn`t able to do it? Here is a terrible thought ...if we are a random accident of evolution, without any devine input, without a maker who cares for us,then we have no hope and this life is all that there is. On the other hand, if God created us, loves us, and died for us so that we might have eternal life and live with and like Him....we have a chance to "have it made" and have something to look toward. My God is able.

Here`s an interesting fact...mathmaticians state that any chance of anything happening that is less than 10 to the -50 is called absurd(their definition, not mine). The chance of one strand of DNA for a hemaglobin molecule being randomly formed from amino-acids floating around is in the area of 10 to the -13000. That is just one simple DNA strand, and it takes two of them per cell, but that cell is absolutely needed for human life to function. See what happens when we plug that into the scientific method of proving theory.

In Christ,

Charlie

#34 chipped china

chipped china

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 574 posts
  • Location:Washington state
  • Interests:Knowing Jesus and our heritage. Showing Christ though me. Being a member of the Body. I enjoy nature and animals.
  • Gender:Female
  • I am a Layperson

  • I attend a non-Alliance church
  • Bible studies from New Life Assembly

Posted 16 January 2013 - 11:25 PM

And yes Charlie, that's why I'm still feel jibbed by the school system! It's sad I didn't get it at home either but then it goes to prove if you are called by the Lord He will still find you.

#35 Jay Turner

Jay Turner

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 295 posts
  • Location:Sioux Falls, SD
  • Gender:Male
  • I am a Layperson

  • I attend a non-Alliance church

Posted 17 January 2013 - 02:47 AM

And yes Charlie, that's why I'm still feel jibbed by the school system! It's sad I didn't get it at home either but then it goes to prove if you are called by the Lord He will still find you.

God doesn't always give us what we want, but He will give us what we need. Just think of the Israelites, after God had delivered them from the hands of the Egyptians. They were free, though they hadn't yet made it to the Promised Land. In a time where they should have been trusting God and seeing what He had been placing into their hands, they couldn't see past their circumstances. So their thoughts returned the onions and the life that they left behind, when they should have been looking at the destination that God had in store for them. The lack of water and the lack of food, out in the wilderness, were tests. He wanted the Israelites to trust Him, to seek His face and His guidance, knowing that He would provide for their needs and bring them to the destination that He had specifically designed for them.
  • chipped china likes this

#36 Jay Turner

Jay Turner

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 295 posts
  • Location:Sioux Falls, SD
  • Gender:Male
  • I am a Layperson

  • I attend a non-Alliance church

Posted 19 January 2013 - 12:13 PM

A couple days ago, I ran across a book, The Genesis Enigma by Andrew Parker. I have ordered it from Amazon.com, but havenít received it as of yet. From what I have read about it, Parker presents the idea of the creation in Genesis, from the perspective of the Big Band and Evolution theories.

Moving past the myriad of arguments over these theories, both for and against, the thing that strikes me as interesting is the fact that Parker comes from a secular scientific background, yet sees connections between evolution and the Biblical account of creation.

What occurs to me is that there are secular scientists out there that are searching for answers. They see the ďLaws of NatureĒ that God had put into place at the very inset of creation. They see the evidences left behind of the history of the universe from its very inception, spanning to the present. And they realize that if God is a true and loving god as depicted in scripture, a god of covenant and law, as well as grace and mercy, then the method of His creation would have to adhere to the natural laws that He Himself put into place to govern over that creation.

What we have here is a potentially awesome ministry opportunity where we have people searching for answers, but because Evolution and the Big Bang theory donít fit into our depiction of God, we refuse to enter into a relationship and find the middle ground where that ministry can happen.

This is just one example of how easily we can let the issues of our beliefs and our faith interfere with the things that God wants to do in and through our lives. We are the ones who hold ourselves back in our relationship with God and we are the ones who prevent the long sought after revivals from happening. It is not so much that we need to pray more, go to church or read the Bible more, but simply letting God have His way in our lives and how He chooses to reveal Himself to us. Our relationship with God and our relationships with our neighbors should be about the relationship, not about believing the right things or acting the right way.

#37 Charles Miles

Charles Miles

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 535 posts
  • Location:West Point, MS
  • Interests:Medicine
    Fruits of the spirit
    Learning more about the Kingdom of God and how to live in it here on earth
  • Gender:Male
  • I am a Layperson

  • I attend a non-Alliance church
  • First Presbyterian Church EPC

Posted 19 January 2013 - 06:05 PM

"It is not so much that we need to pray more, go to church or read the Bible more, but simply letting God have His way in our lives and how He chooses to reveal Himself to us". I think I understand what you are saying here, but it does seem to me that this could be a way to get "off center" in our relationship with the Father. I certainly could be wrong, but without reading the Word of God and praying more to gain better understanding of God`s plan for us, improving our relationship with Him would seem to me to be a difficult task. Some measure of faith is given to us all, but that does not mean we should not study His Word and pray for understanding to increase our faith and strengthen our relationship with Him. God has only asked us to do one thing, and that is to believe what He said, and what He said is recorded in the Bible. There are ways God can and does reveal Himself to us, but any revelation to us will never contradict anything He has already said in His word. We all know that there are things out there that can be "revealed to us" that are not of God, but certainly make claims to be. By careful study of God`s word and earnest prayer we may avoid pitfalls that He has already explained to us are wrong. We can see some of these problems arising in certain "cults" that seem to have much good associated with them but by simply "testing" them against His word, we can see that they are not Of God. Man is born and alone develops "sense knowledge" which is knowledge obtained from using our 5 senses and information obtained from them...this can be good, but unless we are able to develop Holy Spirit knowledge which we get from a firm and growing relationship with the Father, we can and most of the time will, get off track.

Please don`t get me wrong here Jay, I am a scientist that is trained in medicine, so I study science, work with it, and use it every day...there is nothing wrong with the study of how things work in our body, our world, and our universe. There are many things we can learn that are useful to us, but when a man says that just because he thinks he knows how something works or how it happened, and then concludes that God has nothing to do with it because he(the man) understands it.....well, he just told me that he knows more than God! Man didn`t invent laws of science(Boyle`s law, Krebs cycle, mitosis, Newton`s laws, etc, etc)...man just discovered some of the ways God does things and decrees how they will work. True scientists do not exclude anything as a possibility until and unless a thing has been proven NOT to be true, and many secular scientists automatically exclude God as having any part in physics, biology, or mathmatics simply because it is not PC to include Him as a possibility. I do not know anything about Mr Parker, but I will make it a point to look into his work and theory. I hope he is on the right track and honest with his searching....if so, may God be with him and guide his footsteps. This would be a refreshing turn of events in the secular scientific community.

In Christ`s Love,

Charlie

#38 Jay Turner

Jay Turner

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 295 posts
  • Location:Sioux Falls, SD
  • Gender:Male
  • I am a Layperson

  • I attend a non-Alliance church

Posted 20 January 2013 - 06:42 AM

The Old Testament times were the time of the law written in stone. This was a time of knowing the scripture and ordering oneís life to come in line with the law within its text. It was a time of judgment, for we were at odds with God because our sin separated us from Him. But with the death and resurrection of Christ came a whole new era and way of doing things.

When Christís body was broken, so was the law that governed over us. We are no longer at odds with God because of our sin. Jesus took that sin upon Himself and the sins of the world, so God no judges us based upon our sins, but instead our relationship with Him. The blood that was spilled was the Holy Spirit being released upon the world. The power of the Holy Spirit is the power in the fruit of tree of Life that we were separated from when Adam and Eve were thrown out of the garden of Eden. They are synonymous. When Christ died, the veil in the temple was rent, and the flaming sword at the entrance to the garden judged the sins of the world, once again giving us access to the fruit of life in the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is the blood that washes away our sins, that gives us life and makes us whole. The Holy Spirit is the one who was given to us to be our teacher, our guide and our friend. When we come into relationship, knowing the Spiritís voice and walking according to the promptings placed upon our hearts, we will be lead into all righteousness. Jesus said that His sheep will know His voice. That voice isnít the scripture, but the Holy Spirit speaking to our hearts. Our salvation and sanctification is all about coming into relationship with Christ through the Holy Spirit.

#39 Charles Miles

Charles Miles

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 535 posts
  • Location:West Point, MS
  • Interests:Medicine
    Fruits of the spirit
    Learning more about the Kingdom of God and how to live in it here on earth
  • Gender:Male
  • I am a Layperson

  • I attend a non-Alliance church
  • First Presbyterian Church EPC

Posted 20 January 2013 - 10:13 AM

I can speak only for myself here, but Holy Spirit speaks to me(most of the time) when I am reading Gord`s Word. Times have changed since the Garden Of Eden, men have changed, and our understanding of God`s plans for us have also changed. The one constant here that has not changed is GOD. He is the God of creation, God of the Garden, God of Moses, Abraham, Isaac, David, Paul, John, and He is also my heavenly Father. I have never heard the audible voice of God, although I desire to do so, but He often sends His comforter and teacher to help me to understand passages of the scripture that I thought I already understood. Stories that were at one time in my life, simply tales of a time long gone, now teach me lessions I never noticed before. I have friends who get "words from the Lord" on many occasions and share them with me...I enjoy hearing from one who just might have heard from the Lord on a certain subject and I listen carefully. I will then test this "word" with THE WORD and see if the two agree. You see, studying the scripture for me is learning what God has already said about certain subjects, so that I don`t violate an order already spoken by God. He will never say..."you know, I never thought about it that way, so maybe I`ll change that no adultery part of the Law". Once God says "NO", he means it. No new word from man will change it....ask Baalem. Yes, Jesus did say that His sheep will know His voice and follow Him. He also said that those who obey His commandments are His deciples. We best know what these commandments are, or we could be false deciples. We need not fear however, these commandments are written down in the scripture for all of us to see and understand.

I do think we should "Worship, Listen, and Wait", but a really good thing to be doing while listening and waiting is to study God`s word with the help of Holy Spirit. From Genesis through Revelation, there are practical lessons for all of us, and who knows, maybe in one of the chapters of say Isaiah, we might find some instructions that help us, or find an instance where God helped someone having similar problems to our own and that might give us peace. Wouldn`t that be a blast? We might be praying for peace and find that peace in Isaiah?

The Law is the Law, whether written on stone or in our hearts and minds. God`s law is God`s law...and is correct in all facets, men just could never live up to it, so they were condemed by it. Jesus said that He did not come to replace the law, but to fulfill it. Man`s sin was and is the problem....not the law. The law was how men would and should conduct themselves if it were not for their sin nature. A man will not go to hell for what he does, he will go to hell for what he is.........a man with no relationship with God because God can`t have a relationship with sin...in any form. The sin problem has been delt with once for all and all man has to do is accept that it was done for him and now he can have a relationship with the Father and exchange his sin nature for the nature of God, which is eternal life because he is the very righteousness of God through Christ Jesus. Now...how do I know this? I read it!! Holy Spirit sat down with me and helped me to understand a book written by Paul....Romans. Does the Lord speak through His Word? Well, He does to me, so I love spending time there and basking in His love that these words show me that He has for me. Will He sometime speak audibly to me with His voice? I hope so, and if He already speaks to you then you have a blessing that I don`t have at present...but until He does speak to me with an audible voice, I will abide in His written Word.

"Love one another even as I have loved you"

Charlie

PS We are not to aurgue among ourselves(according to God`s Word), so I certainly will not call this discussion with Jay anything but a discussion and done in love, with a brother whom I love also

#40 Jay Turner

Jay Turner

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 295 posts
  • Location:Sioux Falls, SD
  • Gender:Male
  • I am a Layperson

  • I attend a non-Alliance church

Posted 20 January 2013 - 03:25 PM

Like you, there are many times, where when I am reading scripture, God will reveal things to me through His Spirit. The Holy Spirit will also use other modes of transportation to communicate Godís will and His ways to me. Conversations with people, posters on a wall, a dialogue in a book or movie, a random thought, a piece of trivia, a dream or just about anything else can be the catalyst through which the Holy Spirit speaks. Whether God speaks to us through scripture or uses other means, the common denominator is the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is the representative through which God chooses to speak to us.

I am not saying that we shouldnít read the Bible. It is a valuable resource that God quite often uses, but it should always be viewed as a supplementary resource, through which the Holy Spirit can speak to us. It can also be a valuable tool through which we can learn to know the Spiritís voice. Learning anyone's voice takes time and patience. As we seek to hear from God, we can use the scriptures as a guide to help us differentiate what is and what is not of God, like what you mentioned. But we need to be careful to not become reliant upon using scripture in this manner. The point is to know the Holy Spiritís voice, so that as the Spirit guides us, we donít have to question the validity of the source, because we already know the source.

Now when it comes to sin and salvation, sin is no longer even a factor. The Spirit was released upon all flesh and all sin was forgiven millennia ago. Salvation is now all about our relationship with God. It is knowing the Holy Spiritís voice and walking by the Spirit, and it is being vessels through which God can move and work to fulfil His plans for His creation.

When the Holy Spirit speaks to a person and they have a heart to hear, if they humble themselves and walk in obedience to the Spiritís prompting, they are doing Godís will. As they continue on in this manner, the Spirit can draw them into a relationship of trust, dependence and freedom, even though they may not yet know the source of that freedom. The goal is that we not only enter into the relationship, but we also know Christ as the source, yet there are times where that is not always an option. There are many people with deeply embedded hurts that need to be healed or questions that need to be answered before they are ready to acknowledge Christ as their Lord and savior, yet they know the Spirit and live a life of obedience. This doesnít make their relationship with God any less real or them any less His children. It just means that their acceptance of Christ isnít yet one of the intellect, but instead one of willing obedience.

Now when it comes down to Andrew Parker and others like him, I donít know where he is in his relationship with God. Ultimately, that is between him and God. But looking at the subject matter of of his book I see a man that is very possibly seeking God with a heart to hear; one that may very well know the Spiritís voice and his research is probably the product of him walking the path that God has been leading him on. Assuming that this is the case, that doesnít necessarily mean that God worked through evolution and and the Big Bang during creation, though it could be a possibility.

When we allow things like evolution and the Big Bang theory to become an issue, preventing us from entering into relationships with others, we could actually be preventing Godís plan in bringing healing and the intellectual acceptance that would make their acceptance of God complete. The Holy Spirit is the one who draws, orchestrates and does the real work, but we are the instruments that God has chosen to work through in accomplishing those goals. Not only are we responsible for knowing the Spiritís voice and following the promptings that are placed upon our hearts, there also needs to be a willingness to allow God to lead us where and how He pleases, even when that contradicts our long held beliefs and our understanding of who God is and how He works.