Posts tagged Jesus Christ
Episode 16: Spiritual Development II: Faith + How It Grows

Looking deeper at M. Scott Peck's Stages of Faith
M. Scott Peck, Stages of Faith
Stage I:  Chaotic, Antisocial
-Antisocial (not caring about community or others, but only own self-interests).
Stage II: Formal, Institutional, Fundamental
-Faith is part of the person’s life. 
-Can imagine this person giving a testimony in church.  
-Not only is belief the TRUTH, but the TRUTH is simple.  

Stage III:  Skeptic, Individual, Questioner
-Life is more gray than previously acknowledged
-There’s struggle here-- questioning what you thought was TRUTH, or why it was truth. 

Stage IV:  Mystic, Communal
Community/relationship focused
(see Jesus: Love God & your neighbor)  

Mark 12:30-31
And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’  The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  No other commandment is greater than these.”

John 17:3
And this is the way to have eternal life—to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth.


Brandon's interpretation: 
I Chaos  (Antisocial/Chaotic)
II Boundaries  (Institutional/Formal)
III Tension  (Skepticism/Questioning)
IV Union  (Mystic, Communal)

We talk divorce, sex and love addiction, and how to engage in boundaries in the midst of life events that we can't control. 

Christian worldview is about union with God in the midst of suffering. 

2 Corinthians 1: 4-6
He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. 5 For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ. 6 Even when we are weighed down with troubles, it is for your comfort and salvation! For when we ourselves are comforted, we will certainly comfort you. Then you can patiently endure the same things we suffer. 

We talk about Rumspringa, an Amish + Mennonite rite of passage for adolescents.  

Check out a new favorite podcast: "Stuff Jews Should Know," 

Psalm 91
If you make the Lord your refuge,
    if you make the Most High your shelter,
no evil will conquer you;
    no plague will come near your home.
For he will order his angels
    to protect you wherever you go.
They will hold you up with their hands
    so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.
You will trample upon lions and cobras;
    you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet!
 

Episode 14: Experiencing Intimacy with God

Intimacy with God is the process of Salvation -- we connect to Him more deeply through the process of Salvation.  Salvation is more of a process than an "event" where our sins are forgiven.  
See Hosea, Song of Solomon, Eph 5 to see examples of intimacy with God.  He's created a world where we can find Him and going deeper with Him. 
Paul's epistles:  What God has done, who we are as a result (adopted, His children), therefore you live it out this way.  
This is a big difference from "works theology" something that we've been trained to live in fear of as Protestants.  

We contrast between two verses that people use to defend that "certificate" of salvation vs. walking out our salvation. 

Eph 1:4-5 (NLT)
Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.

James 1:26-27 (NLT)
If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless. Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.

How does "participating" in salvation change how we live?
We talk about our anxieties about Works Theology, and how to engage in love for others in the way that Jesus prompts us in the gospels, and the way James 1 does.

Salvation is a relationship -- not something that we possess, but as a relationship that's transforming us. 

12 Steps of Recovery are a process of sanctification or "working through salvation"... our behaviors towards others and in our life change as we lean in and accept that God is our "higher power".

Bianary perspective on Salvation-- how do we see Salvation as All or Nothing Thinking?

Review All-or-Nothing Thinking & Trauma responses to fight-or-flight experiences that train our brain (amygdala) to respond quickly, or fearfully.  

More information on M. Scott Peck's Stages of Faith: 
http://www.whale.to/b/peck1.html

Depersonalization: when we're afraid, we turn our loved ones into "things" or thing-ify them as a threat, instead of someone who we love, or who has good and bad as part of their nature.

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CELEBRATE RECOVERY 12 STEPS AND BIBLICAL COMPARISONS
 
1. We admitted we were powerless over our addictions and compulsive behaviors, that our lives had become unmanageable. 

I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.
For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. Romans 7:18 NIV


2. We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. Philippians 2:13 NIV


3. We made a decision to turn our lives and our wills over to the care of God.

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - this is your  spiritual act of worship. Romans 12:1 NIV


4. We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord. Lamentations 3:40 NIV


5. We admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. James 5:16a NIV


6 We were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. James 4:10 NIV


7 We humbly asked Him to remove all our shortcomings.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9 NIV


8 We made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.

Do to others as you would have them do to you. Luke 6:31 NIV


9 We made direct amends to such people whenever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift. Matthew 5:23-24 NIV


10 We continue to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.

So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall! 1 Corinthians 10:12

11 We sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, praying only for knowledge of His will for us, and power to carry that out.

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly. Colossians 3:16a NIV


12 Having had a spiritual experience as the result of these steps, we try to carry this message to others and practice these principles in all our affairs.

Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore them gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. Galatians 6:1 NIV