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Is The Christian God A Personal God?


Kathlene

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Hey all. This is my very first thread as a christian, so play nice :)

 

I have been reading a lot on these forums and have read how a lot of people think and argue in here. There are so many opposing views in here. Some insist God is not real, you need evidence to believe in him, and all views of the spectrum. From Atheist to agnostic to whatever!

 

Anyway, I believe God is and can be a personal God to all believers. I want to share this short story that I just read from an old magazine that is 30yrs old. It is a simple story, but it comes with many questions about how God can be real. I know there are many in here that will deride it as silliness. Anyway, here it goes. Read it and give your opinion or thoughts.

 

My Strawberries Are Free!, by Renee Stanton, Christchurch, New Zealand.

 

I had been milling about in the supermaket, tryintg to stretch my budget to meet the rising prices. Suddenly, an aroma of fresh strawberries drifted my way. I looked at the price tag_$1.75 a box. Inwardly I moaned. "A DOLLAR SEVENTY-FIVE a box!" I guess I'll never eat strawberries again at that price. It just isn't fair. Some people can afford to eat strawberries in and out of season. Me, all I can do is look at them.

 

"Now then Renee, stop your griping. Think of all the good things I give you. There will be some lovely grapes on your vine this year. Anyway, My strawberries are FREE- they don't cost anything."

 

"Well, maybe, they dont cost YOU anything, LORD, but for me they will cost $1.75 a box if I want any".

 

It was Saturday. By Monday I had forgotten all about my little grumble and was rejoicing in the Lord when I arrived at the Square. For those readers who many not know me, I play the violin, sing a little and primarily speak to listeners about the Lord during the lunch hour in the Christchurch Square.

 

A lady approached me, and asked if I was the Bible Lady she had heard on the radio many times. After talking a few minutes she said. "Do you have a basket or bag you could put something into?" Automatically, I looked back at my trolly which I use to carry my violin, Bible, bag and other sundries to the Square.

 

"Why yes, I do have my trolly. Why?"

"Well," she said, "here is something for you."

She handed me a box in a paper bag. "These strawberries are for you".

 

"For me? They are somewhat pricey", I stammered, almost as though to reproach her for extravagance.

 

"Oh, I didn't buy them for myself. I just heard the Lord tell me to buy them to give to someone, only I just couldn't imagine who I was to give them to. Just while I was talking to you I felt the Lord say, Please give the strawberries to the Bible Lady, they are for her', so here they are".

 

To say I was stunned is putting it mildly, for Saturday morning's gripe came right back to mind. I turned to this lady and told her simply of my recent conversation with the Lord over the high price of strawberries, and how He had whispered to my heart, "My strawberries are free".

 

 

This was written by a woman in 1978. Now I know a lot of you will become indignant about the starving and homeless people in the world adn why doesnt God look out for them. To be honest I dont have all the answers to those problems. I think in this situation God was using this as an example to teach this lady about her heart and thinking in terms of lack all that time, and thinking God couldn't provide for her. I dont think this is an argument that God could feed all the starving people in the world if he wanted to. In fact I believe He could and does through the hands of serving and giving people.

 

Would love to hear your thoughts and opinions. I believe God is personal to me and definately speaks to me about the state of my heart in circumstances in my life. When to forgive someone and let go of anger and bitterness. When He brings words of comfort to me in trials, etc..

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Imaginary friends give children a sense of comfort too...as did Linus' blanket and the teddy bears of children.

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Hmm I suppose your ability to see things this way explains why you are able to remain a Christian. Perhaps you are part of the elect, I don't know. No offense to you personally but I always loathed the personal God theology so popular in the 20th century. As a Christian I could be perfectly comfortable with an intellectual concept of God, or as a real God with which I could commune albeit in a one way sense. After all these were the only concepts that could fit with my own experience. I was for some time in a very charismatically flavored Baptist church and school. They were always expounding upon the sort of real "Jesus in the seat next to you" sort of feeling that true devotion to God would bring, there were always people going on about how God either talked to them direct or how their days were full of indisputable signs and promptings from God. I never received such messages, never felt the Holy Spirit moving me, just my own thoughts rebounding back and my own emotions however much I tried to believe them to be something else. Which isn't to say that I dismissed them out of some nascent discontent or "rebellious doubts", I just couldn't not construe what I knew (probably in the same sense that you know it's God) as the promptings of deity, in fact I felt it would be arrogance and presumption to claim them as such. It became a source of much anguish, which I say with no melodrama intended it is simply the most apt term available. I could not reconcile what I was told my spiritual life should be against what my reality was no matter how much I tried. This more than anything began my exit from the church the rest could be viewed as intellectual trappings to a foregone conclusion.

 

Sigh.. Sorry I get morose whenever I think back too much. :grin:

 

I can't explain it Kathlene. If anything it's a point in Calvinism's favor, you the sinner brought back by irresistible grace and I the pious fraud predestined for perdition.

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This was written by a woman in 1978. Now I know a lot of you will become indignant about the starving and homeless people in the world adn why doesnt God look out for them. To be honest I dont have all the answers to those problems. I think in this situation God was using this as an example to teach this lady about her heart and thinking in terms of lack all that time, and thinking God couldn't provide for her. I dont think this is an argument that God could feed all the starving people in the world if he wanted to. In fact I believe He could and does through the hands of serving and giving people.

 

But while this lady got her strawberries others are starving to death elsewhere and no one in sight to help them. Is that our fault or is God ultimately in charge?

 

Yes, the Christian God is depicted as being personally interested in everyone, and loving everyone. He is also supposed to be all powerful. My observation of this world tells me that is a lie.

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My wife and I sometimes buy people's groceries for them, or pay for their meals.

 

You would probably say that the Lawd made me do it, but it just makes me feel good, and I can tell some people can't really afford what they are buying.

 

Sometimes they even buy strawberries. :shrug:

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Kathlene,

 

The Christian culture is chocked full of such stories about lessons from their god. Only, there is no shred of proof or verification that these stories actually happened. Or, if something like the events of such stories happened, there is no assurance that their contents have not been so embellished to enhance their didactic function and retain the attention of the reader.

 

The question is, why should this story have any meaning to me unless I am already predisposed to believe in a personal god who cares about the details of my life? It is , at best, a parable designed to keep people who want there to be a personal god believing in a personal god who cares.

 

Now I know a lot of you will become indignant about the starving and homeless people in the world adn why doesnt God look out for them. To be honest I don't have all the answers to those problems. I think in this situation God was using this as an example to teach this lady about her heart and thinking in terms of lack all that time, and thinking God couldn't provide for her. I don't think this is an argument that God could feed all the starving people in the world if he wanted to. In fact I believe He could and does through the hands of serving and giving people.

 

Kathlene, throughout all your postings on these forums over the last year or so you have always sounded like a kind and decent person. I am not challenging that reality.

 

But perhaps when thinking about a god teaching lessons about providing for believers, it should be a priority to think about why a god who is presumably "All loving" would leave so many people suffering from starvation, disease and injustice. Because it sounds like when so many starving and dying people can be dismissed so quickly as a kind of mystery, the motivation is to get all the love and attention from god for one's self.

 

But why would an all-powerful, all-benevolent and all-knowing God entrust relief of starvation and suffering to people who obviously cannot get the job done? It is not sufficient to say, "God has a plan, people just don't follow it." That does not relieve the Christian god of responsibility for causing suffering through neglect. Being all-knowing, he would know that entrusting relief work to believers would fail to overcome the starvation taking place in the world. So, is the Christian god less than all knowing? Being all-powerful, he would be able to come up with a plan that does not allow people to suffer from starvation. So, is the Christian god less than omnipotent? Maybe he just isn't as loving as empathetic atheists or compassionate Christians who actually do something to relieve starvation. Could it be that the Christian god is not loving or sympathetic?

 

The strawberry story is great for encouraging believers that the Christian god might just provide for the person reading the story. But wouldn't the empathetic human actually struggle with the question, "Why won't God provide for the starving children and adults who won't have any food?"

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In retrospect, does the fact that we all tell a slightly different salvation tale present itself as evidence for a personal God?

 

And two, I am always amazed when the replys are, "God should sovereignly intervene at this time, when it specifically states that the believers/church are the intervention for famine, etc.

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In retrospect, does the fact that we all tell a slightly different salvation tale present itself as evidence for a personal God?

 

And two, I am always amazed when the replys are, "God should sovereignly intervene at this time, when it specifically states that the believers/church are the intervention for famine, etc.

 

 

Really? "IT" specifically states that " believers/church are the intervention for famine?" Where do you find this information? Please be specific and comprehensive enough so I can study this. Thanks.

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Is The Christian God A Personal God?

 

A god is whatever you want it to be.

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In retrospect, does the fact that we all tell a slightly different salvation tale present itself as evidence for a personal God?

 

And two, I am always amazed when the replys are, "God should sovereignly intervene at this time, when it specifically states that the believers/church are the intervention for famine, etc.

 

 

Really? "IT" specifically states that " believers/church are the intervention for famine?" Where do you find this information? Please be specific and comprehensive enough so I can study this. Thanks.

 

I think you know what I meant. How do you conclude that it is God's role at this present time to intervene except through the body/church?

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In retrospect, does the fact that we all tell a slightly different salvation tale present itself as evidence for a personal God?

 

And two, I am always amazed when the replys are, "God should sovereignly intervene at this time, when it specifically states that the believers/church are the intervention for famine, etc.

 

 

Really? "IT" specifically states that " believers/church are the intervention for famine?" Where do you find this information? Please be specific and comprehensive enough so I can study this. Thanks.

 

I think you know what I meant. How do you conclude that it is God's role at this present time to intervene except through the body/chruch?

I wish I were at home so I could craft a better response, but then you know the bible. How many promises were made about God providing? Ask and receive. Anything in my name. Old and New testament. It is a major theme throughout the bible.

 

There is no provision for an ongoing church to be able to meet the needs of anyone other than christians. The provision to sell everything and give it to the poor is quite a different matter from creating a charitable organization.

 

Clearly the promises were sheer bullshit at the time, and they still are. "God provides"? Even you don't believe the promises of your own religion.

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In retrospect, does the fact that we all tell a slightly different salvation tale present itself as evidence for a personal God?

 

And two, I am always amazed when the replys are, "God should sovereignly intervene at this time, when it specifically states that the believers/church are the intervention for famine, etc.

 

 

Really? "IT" specifically states that " believers/church are the intervention for famine?" Where do you find this information? Please be specific and comprehensive enough so I can study this. Thanks.

 

I think you know what I meant. How do you conclude that it is God's role at this present time to intervene except through the body/chruch?

I wish I were at home so I could craft a better response, but then you know the bible. How many promises were made about God providing? Ask and receive. Anything in my name. Old and New testament. It is a major theme throughout the bible.

 

There is no provision for an ongoing church to be able to meet the needs of anyone other than christians. The provision to sell everything and give it to the poor is quite a different matter from creating a charitable organization.

 

Clearly the promises were sheer bullshit at the time, and they still are. "God provides"? Even you don't believe the promises of your own religion.

 

Inherent nature provides provision....it's their choice to accept Provision and act on that....pretty simple.

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I wish I were at home so I could craft a better response, but then you know the bible. How many promises were made about God providing? Ask and receive. Anything in my name. Old and New testament. It is a major theme throughout the bible.

 

There is no provision for an ongoing church to be able to meet the needs of anyone other than christians. The provision to sell everything and give it to the poor is quite a different matter from creating a charitable organization.

 

Clearly the promises were sheer bullshit at the time, and they still are. "God provides"? Even you don't believe the promises of your own religion.

 

Inherent nature provides provision....it's their choice to accept Provision and act on that....pretty simple.

What?

 

Nevermind.

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I could translate, but I fear we be going off topic. This ain't about whether God should provide or not, but about our thoughts on the personal God.

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I could translate, but I fear we be going off topic. This ain't about whether God should provide or not, but about our thoughts on the personal God.

A personal god that doesn't "provide" and doesn't communicate is much of a personal god, though.

 

If all we're talking about is some kind of good feeling, then I'd recommend masturbation over tithing.

 

What are we talking about anyway? The OT talks about protection from danger, long life, many children, and vengeance against enemies. The New testament seems to focus on something else, but aside from the unfulfilled promises, I see nothing of substance, and certainly nothing to suggest a real being.

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Is The Christian God A Personal God?

 

A god is whatever you want it to be.

 

Reminds me of Lisa Simpson and her tiger repelling rock.

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In retrospect, does the fact that we all tell a slightly different salvation tale present itself as evidence for a personal God?

 

And two, I am always amazed when the replys are, "God should sovereignly intervene at this time, when it specifically states that the believers/church are the intervention for famine, etc.

 

 

Really? "IT" specifically states that " believers/church are the intervention for famine?" Where do you find this information? Please be specific and comprehensive enough so I can study this. Thanks.

 

I think you know what I meant. How do you conclude that it is God's role at this present time to intervene except through the body/church?

 

So then god is a dick for putting people in charge who clearly don't have the capacity to make a dent.

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In retrospect, does the fact that we all tell a slightly different salvation tale present itself as evidence for a personal God?

 

And two, I am always amazed when the replys are, "God should sovereignly intervene at this time, when it specifically states that the believers/church are the intervention for famine, etc.

 

 

Really? "IT" specifically states that " believers/church are the intervention for famine?" Where do you find this information? Please be specific and comprehensive enough so I can study this. Thanks.

 

I think you know what I meant. How do you conclude that it is God's role at this present time to intervene except through the body/church?

 

 

End3,

 

This is another one of your teflon coating dodges. I conclude that God does not exist.

 

Your question , "How do you conclude that it is God's role at this present time to intervene except through the body/church?" is a classic dodge.

 

I asked you to provide information so that I can study your statement that" "believers/church" are the intervention for famine." You don't want to do that. Is it because you can't?

 

Please have the courtesy to answer questions that are posed to you and not play "artful dodger."

 

Sincerely,

 

OB '63

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In retrospect, does the fact that we all tell a slightly different salvation tale present itself as evidence for a personal God?

 

And two, I am always amazed when the replys are, "God should sovereignly intervene at this time, when it specifically states that the believers/church are the intervention for famine, etc.

 

 

Really? "IT" specifically states that " believers/church are the intervention for famine?" Where do you find this information? Please be specific and comprehensive enough so I can study this. Thanks.

 

I think you know what I meant. How do you conclude that it is God's role at this present time to intervene except through the body/church?

 

 

End3,

 

This is another one of your teflon coating dodges. I conclude that God does not exist.

 

Your question , "How do you conclude that it is God's role at this present time to intervene except through the body/church?" is a classic dodge.

 

I asked you to provide information so that I can study your statement that" "believers/church" are the intervention for famine." You don't want to do that. Is it because you can't?

 

Please have the courtesy to answer questions that are posed to you and not play "artful dodger."

 

Sincerely,

 

OB '63

 

Then answer the first sentence I posted....here: In retrospect, does the fact that we all tell a slightly different salvation tale present itself as evidence for a personal God?

 

 

......artful dodger indeed.

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A truly personal God would not be so picky on dealing with the issue of human suffering.

 

:HaHa:

 

Just let the animals kill themselves. Hey, tearing people to shreds by throwing them with a few lions was very humorous and popular in the time of Christ. But, you are right, God doesn't care about human suffering. :rolleyes:

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But while this lady got her strawberries others are starving to death elsewhere and no one in sight to help them. Is that our fault or is God ultimately in charge?

 

Yes, the Christian God is depicted as being personally interested in everyone, and loving everyone. He is also supposed to be all powerful. My observation of this world tells me that is a lie.

 

People are starving because of corruption. Should God send them manna down from heavens?

 

Why can this type of relationship not exist, because a few say it shouldn't? I would think this built strength for this woman in her relationship with God, since it seems she talks to him like he is right beside her or something. I know God does not answer some prayers, he doesn't give others those strawberries, but does that make this woman a liar?

 

Certainly not, it makes it confusing, frustrating, hurtful to someone that has been in tears asking God for help with way more important issue than some strawberries, right?

 

But, just remember, that still doesn't mean she is a liar, just means that for whatever reason, God decided to grant this person their complaint, and another was not granted their complainant.

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......artful dodger indeed.

 

End,

 

Did I misread what you said? Since you did not complete your quotations, I am not sure where they were supposed to go:

 

Here is what I thought you were saying,

 

And two, I am always amazed when the replys are, "God should sovereignly intervene at this time," when it specifically states that the believers/church are the intervention for famine, etc.

 

 

Here is what you might have been saying:

 

 

And two, I am always amazed when the replys are, "God should sovereignly intervene at this time, when it specifically states that the believers/church are the intervention for famine, etc."

 

 

The first rendering is what I thought you were saying. It read to me like you were saying that "it" (the Bible?) teaches that the church is the intervention for famine in the world. In other words, "Don't expect god to eliminate starving in the world because that is the church's job."

 

If this is what you were saying, then my question about where you get this belief from in the Bible still stands.

 

 

If you meant to express Rendering #2, then for some unclear reason you object to the position that the church is the answer to famine in the world.

 

 

And I must be forthright with you end, it seems like in this post, as well as in others, you tend to deflect and dodge questions that appear to be worthy of answering in a forum like this. And I do find that frustrating. I don't say this to be hurtful or insulting, that's simply my reaction when I see good questions going unanswered.

 

Concerning the answer lying in the first question, "In retrospect, does the fact that we all tell a slightly different salvation tale present itself as evidence for a personal God?" I would say, that depends on how you would answer the question.

 

If you answer "Yes. Each slightly different salvation tale presents itself as evidence for a personal God, I would say, "WRONG." It just means that people have internalized a similar cultural narrative and that no evidence for God is really presented.

 

If you answer 'NO. Each slightly different salvation tale DOES NOT present itself as evidence for a personal God, I would say, "Agreed."

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But why would an all-powerful, all-benevolent and all-knowing God entrust relief of starvation and suffering to people who obviously cannot get the job done? It is not sufficient to say, "God has a plan, people just don't follow it." That does not relieve the Christian god of responsibility for causing suffering through neglect.

 

Isn't one of the standards of a follower of Christ to feed the poor, have faith, spread the Gospel of Christ?

 

Your asking why God lets people starve, He doesn't. God sends people all over the world to many places to feed and care for the poor. Is that not good enough? Should he come down from his Holy castle and spread food himself to all the afflicted?

 

Wouldn't that deaf the whole purpose of Christ and God Biblically?

 

When in the Bible has God came down from the heavens and fed people?

 

Biblically, God has always worked through people on Earth to provide for others.

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In retrospect, does the fact that we all tell a slightly different salvation tale present itself as evidence for a personal God?

 

And two, I am always amazed when the replys are, "God should sovereignly intervene at this time, when it specifically states that the believers/church are the intervention for famine, etc.

 

 

Really? "IT" specifically states that " believers/church are the intervention for famine?" Where do you find this information? Please be specific and comprehensive enough so I can study this. Thanks.

 

 

In retrospect, does the fact that we all tell a slightly different salvation tale present itself as evidence for a personal God?

 

And two, I am always amazed when the replys are, "God should sovereignly intervene at this time, when it specifically states that the believers/church are the intervention for famine, etc.

 

 

Really? "IT" specifically states that " believers/church are the intervention for famine?" Where do you find this information? Please be specific and comprehensive enough so I can study this. Thanks.

 

I think you know what I meant. How do you conclude that it is God's role at this present time to intervene except through the body/chruch?

I wish I were at home so I could craft a better response, but then you know the bible. How many promises were made about God providing? Ask and receive. Anything in my name. Old and New testament. It is a major theme throughout the bible.

 

There is no provision for an ongoing church to be able to meet the needs of anyone other than christians. The provision to sell everything and give it to the poor is quite a different matter from creating a charitable organization.

 

Clearly the promises were sheer bullshit at the time, and they still are. "God provides"? Even you don't believe the promises of your own religion.

 

Read your people Shyone and Oddbird! :nono:

 

Parable about the Samaritan? Our neighbor is anyone that is in need that we pass by regardless of what we think of their heavenly, or earthly status. Helping people is summed up in that parable, with no secret decoder ring needed.

 

And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.

31 And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.

32 And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.

33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,

34 And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.

35 And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.

36 Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?

37 And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.

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