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Groping in the darkness

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  • Roy Wayne Tobias
    From http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Way-of-the-Sojourners ... darker it becomes sometimes before you see the light.
    Message 1 of 5 , Jul 25, 2005
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      From

      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Way-of-the-Sojourners

      >>I'll tell you something folks. The closer you get to Jesus the
      darker it becomes sometimes before you see the light.<<


      Cathy: What a relief! In that case, I must be getting closer.

      Tobiah: LOL!!

      I know the feeling sometimes Cathy.

      There is a reason Paul said we walk by faith, and not by sight.
      Perhaps this puts that into a little different perspective for you?
      Any real religion is an attempt to get to God(though some are about
      getting to Godhood). The whole point is to be able to approach God
      in an intimate way. Most people don't want to be intimate with God
      in reality, or else they want to be God.

      But just as the people at mount Sinai couldn't stand to hear the
      Voice, and asked for a mediator and God complied, so too does God
      cover himself in darkness so we might come nearer to what we cannot
      bear to see or hear or touch, because we fear at some level and for
      some reason. And the boogeymen hiding in the darkness are there to
      show you the fear that separates you from being able to approach God.

      Those who want to BE God are left stumbling around in the darkness,
      because all they see is their own reflection there and that is not
      God.

      So stumbling around in the darkness can be good, if one does so by
      faith alone in God's mercy so that we may be freed to approach God.
      In the process, we grow nearer to God than we even know, and God
      desires we draw near. That was the central purpose of the cross. And
      it applies to the ignorant or the wise equally.



      Blessings Cathy,
      Roy.
    • Lenny Esposito
      ... Roy Wayne Tobias wrote: But just as the people at mount Sinai couldn t stand to hear the Voice, and asked for a mediator and God complied, so too does God
      Message 2 of 5 , Jul 25, 2005
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        -----Original Message-----
         Roy Wayne Tobias wrote:

        But just as the people at mount Sinai couldn't stand to hear the
        Voice, and asked for a mediator and God complied, so too does God
        cover himself in darkness so we might come nearer to what we cannot
        bear to see or hear or touch, because we fear at some level and for
        some reason. And the boogeymen hiding in the darkness are there to
        show you the fear that separates you from being able to approach God.

        Those who want to BE God are left stumbling around in the darkness,
        because all they see is their own reflection there and that is not
        God.

        So stumbling around in the darkness can be good, if one does so by
        faith alone in God's mercy so that we may be freed to approach God.
        In the process, we grow nearer to God than we even know, and God
        desires we draw near. That was the central purpose of the cross. And
        it applies to the ignorant or the wise equally.

        --- End ---

        WHAT?!  Where did you get this?  God does not ‘cover Himself in darkness”.  That’s not Biblical. God is the father of lights (ref James 1:17).  How does “stumbling around in the darkness make us grow nearer to God?  In the early 19th century, all the stumbling in the darkness in the Burned-Over district led to the formation of most of our modern cults.  I know of no passage in the Bible that teaches or supports such a view.

        Finally, the central purpose of the cross was to redeem fallen man, not to stumble and feel our way around to inspire growth.  I think we need to be more careful in how we describe our relationship with God.  Some of these ideas may sound intriguing, but unless they can be well supported by scripture, they can lead to false ideas of who God is and how we relate to Him.

         

        Lenny

        Lenny Esposito, President

         

        Come Reason Ministries

        P.O. Box 20527

        Riverside, CA 92516

         

        p. 866.957.3276

        f.  801.720.9860

        http://www.comereason.org/  

        Lenny@...

         

         

         

         

      • Roy Wayne Tobias
        Hi Lenny, You wrote: WHAT?! Where did you get this? God does not `cover Himself in darkness . That s not Biblical. Tobiah: Fair enough, and this does come
        Message 3 of 5 , Jul 26, 2005
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          Hi Lenny,

          You wrote: WHAT?! Where did you get this? God does not `cover
          Himself in darkness". That's not Biblical.

          Tobiah: Fair enough, and this does come from scripture.

          Psalm 97:2 Cloud and darkness surround the Lord; justice and right
          are the foundation of his throne.

          I'm going to post here the original message that proceeded this
          response of mine to a response from one of our members on the
          Sojourners group to my original message. Perhaps you can put the two
          together and see where it is coming from.

          As far as the cross, the cross was to make peace, and so that we
          might boldly approach the throne of grace, through a clear
          conscience by knowledge of the forgiveness and mercy of God. Fear of
          our own shortcoming and nature before God causes fear that separates
          us from Him.

          Paul said in Acts that He is not far from any one of us. It's
          darkness-our own ignorance-that keeps us from seeing that. God would
          have us come near, and scripture says that no one can see Him and
          live.

          Tobiah.

          From

          http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Way-of-the-Sojourners

          Post name: Namby-pamby Jesus

          Quote:

          >This modern peacenik Jesus is a pagan myth and based upon ignorance
          of the Bible itself.<

          Hmmmm....Jesus did say that he had come not to bring peace, but a
          sword, and division. But then again, he also said that his peace he
          left with us-though not as the world gives.

          When I hear or read people say that Jesus was a man's man, so firece
          in chasing the money changers out of the temple, forcefully standing
          up to the scribes, Pharisees, Saducees, and scholars of the Law
          (scriture)in his day, rebuking them openly before the crowds, even
          defying Rome by telling Pilate he only had the authority God had
          granted to Pilate to do anything to him and refusing to answer when
          Pilate asked him the Big question-what is truth?.

          But then, we also have the Jesus who fed multitudes who merely came
          to satisfy their earthly needs(feeding the multitudes with a few
          fishes and loaves), who healed one of the ear of one of the men who
          came to arrest him when Peter came to his defense and cut it off
          with a sword, who took pitty on the adulterous woman when she was
          about to recieve the punishment for her as commanded in scripture
          and came to her defense, silencing the angry crowd by silently
          drawing in the dirt instead of donning riot gear and knocking heads.

          I think not enough people look at who Jesus was harsh and fierce
          with, look around out the world, and and try to imagine who it would
          be that Jesus would be fierce and harsh with if he were to suddenly
          appear today.

          I don't have a hard time envisioning who he would be harsh with
          (religious leaders, the translators and the copyists, and
          the 'doctors' of the bible-the lawyers and theologians or scholars),
          but that's just me.

          I'll tell you something folks. The closer you get to Jesus the darker
          it becomes sometimes before you see the light.

          It is written

          Psalm 97:2 Cloud and darkness surround the Lord; justice and right
          are the foundation of his throne.

          Psalm 112:4 Unto the upright there arises light in the darkness: he
          is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous.

          Isaiah 5:20 Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil, who
          change darkness into light, and light into darkness, who change
          bitter into sweet, and sweet into bitter!

          Isaiah 42:13 The LORD goes forth like a hero, like a warrior he stirs
          up his ardor; He shouts out his battle cry, against his enemies he
          shows his might:
          14 I have looked away, and kept silence, I have said nothing, holding
          myself in; But now, I cry out as a woman in labor, gasping and
          panting.
          15 I will lay waste mountains and hills, all their herbage I will dry
          up; I will turn the rivers into marshes, and the marshes I will dry
          up.
          16 I will lead the blind on their journey; by paths unknown I will
          guide them. I will turn darkness into light before them, and make
          crooked ways straight. These things I do for them, and I will not
          forsake them.
          17 They shall be turned back in utter shame who trust in idols; Who
          say to molten images, "You are our gods."
          18 You who are deaf, listen, you who are blind, look and see!
          19 Who is blind but my servant, or deaf like the messenger I send?
          20 You see many things without taking note; your ears are open, but
          without hearing.

          Isaiah 45:5 I am the LORD and there is no other, there is no God
          besides me. It is I who arm you, though you know me not,
          6 so that toward the rising and the setting of the sun men may know
          that there is none besides me. I am the LORD, there is no other;
          7 I form the light, and create the darkness, I make well-being and
          create woe; I, the LORD, do all these things.

          If you want to assert who and what Jesus is or was or will be, then
          you best be certain you have passed through the darkness that is near
          the Lord, and not shrunken back from it, and that you are now not
          looking at that darkness-because you seem so close to the truth you
          feel it-and calling it light. Men prefer the darkness, because their
          own works are evil.

          Yeah, the Lord is a warrior all right.

          Romans 1:18
          12 The wrath of God is indeed being revealed from heaven against
          every impiety and wickedness of those who suppress the truth by their
          wickedness.

          Against the scribes, Pharisees, Saduccees, and the scholars of
          scripture. And anyone who thinks he's fighting for God had better
          realize that.

          Because Jesus didn't spend a lot of time being harsh on the
          nonbelievers and sinners and the poor.

          Peace be your path and love the lamp at your feet,
          Tobiah.








          --- In biblicalapologetics@yahoogroups.com, "Lenny Esposito"
          <lenny@c...> wrote:
          > -----Original Message-----
          > Roy Wayne Tobias wrote:
          > But just as the people at mount Sinai couldn't stand to hear the
          > Voice, and asked for a mediator and God complied, so too does God
          > cover himself in darkness so we might come nearer to what we cannot
          > bear to see or hear or touch, because we fear at some level and for
          > some reason. And the boogeymen hiding in the darkness are there to
          > show you the fear that separates you from being able to approach
          God.
          >
          > Those who want to BE God are left stumbling around in the darkness,
          > because all they see is their own reflection there and that is not
          > God.
          >
          > So stumbling around in the darkness can be good, if one does so by
          > faith alone in God's mercy so that we may be freed to approach God.
          > In the process, we grow nearer to God than we even know, and God
          > desires we draw near. That was the central purpose of the cross.
          And
          > it applies to the ignorant or the wise equally.
          > --- End ---
          > WHAT?! Where did you get this? God does not `cover Himself in
          darkness".
          > That's not Biblical. God is the father of lights (ref James
          1:17). How does
          > "stumbling around in the darkness make us grow nearer to God? In
          the early
          > 19th century, all the stumbling in the darkness in the Burned-Over
          district
          > led to the formation of most of our modern cults. I know of no
          passage in
          > the Bible that teaches or supports such a view.
          > Finally, the central purpose of the cross was to redeem fallen
          man, not to
          > stumble and feel our way around to inspire growth. I think we
          need to be
          > more careful in how we describe our relationship with God. Some
          of these
          > ideas may sound intriguing, but unless they can be well supported
          by
          > scripture, they can lead to false ideas of who God is and how we
          relate to
          > Him.
          >
          > Lenny
          > Lenny Esposito, President
          >
          > Come Reason Ministries
          > P.O. Box 20527
          > Riverside, CA 92516
          >
          > p. 866.957.3276
          > f. 801.720.9860
          > http://www.comereason.org/
          > Lenny@c... <mailto:Lenny@c...>
        • Lenny Esposito
          OK –Mea Culpa time. Hi Tobias. Thanks for the context – it does help some. As I read your post last night, I thought you were promoting a kind of fideism
          Message 4 of 5 , Jul 26, 2005
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            OK –Mea Culpa time.

             

            Hi Tobias.  Thanks for the context – it does help some.  As I read your post last night, I thought you were promoting a kind of fideism to discover God; that somehow God makes Himself dark so all we can do is stumble around until we somehow happen to bump into Him.  Those kinds of ideas I’ve run into before and they kind of irk me.

             

            It looks like you’re saying that we are sometimes not given a clear picture of God or what he is doing, so the man of faith may lean on his faith to rely on God in the dark times.  It’s not that God is trying to hide His nature or attributes from us.  Is this closer?

             

            I guess this is a good lesson in being careful when communicating with another to make sure the idea aren’t lost in the verbiage.  It’s a rule I normally try to follow, but –ah –sometimes fools rush in.

             

             

             

            Lenny

            Lenny Esposito, President

             

            Come Reason Ministries

            P.O. Box 20527

            Riverside, CA 92516

             

            p. 866.957.3276

            f.  801.720.9860

            http://www.comereason.org/  

            Lenny@...

             

            -----Original Message-----
             Hi Lenny,

            You wrote: WHAT?! Where did you get this? God does not `cover
            Himself in darkness". That's not Biblical.

            Tobiah: Fair enough, and this does come from scripture.

            Psalm 97:2 Cloud and darkness surround the Lord; justice and right
            are the foundation of his throne.

            I'm going to post here the original message that proceeded this
            response of mine to a response from one of our members on the
            Sojourners group to my original message. Perhaps you can put the two
            together and see where it is coming from.

            As far as the cross, the cross was to make peace, and so that we
            might boldly approach the throne of grace, through a clear
            conscience by knowledge of the forgiveness and mercy of God. Fear of
            our own shortcoming and nature before God causes fear that separates
            us from Him.

            Paul said in Acts that He is not far from any one of us. It's
            darkness-our own ignorance-that keeps us from seeing that. God would
            have us come near, and scripture says that no one can see Him and
            live.

            Tobiah.

             

             

          • Roy Wayne Tobias
            Hi Lenny, Sorry it took me a couple of days to return and respond. I ll try to say this a little more plainly; God has made it so we must rely on Him in all
            Message 5 of 5 , Jul 29, 2005
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              Hi Lenny,

              Sorry it took me a couple of days to return and respond. I'll try to
              say this a little more plainly; God has made it so we must rely on
              Him in all things, even in the discovery of His person and
              attributes. Sometimes, the closer we get, the harder it gets
              to 'see', because being so close it is hard to understand or
              perceive what assumptions we are carrying with us that are leading
              us astray. Also, no one approaches God except that they are purified
              (blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God)in love. And
              it is God who does the purifying, eh? And this reveals the purpose
              in God having created-or allowed, if you prefer-darkness. In the
              darkness our fears are shown to us by God, Who uses all things for
              and towards His purposes. He alone is soveriegn, and nothing is
              beyond that. At least in my view.

              Like you said, it's not that God is necessarily 'hiding'(though
              there are scriptures to back up that thought too), but instead uses
              the darkness to reveal Himself to us. Who among us can say, really,
              they have ever seen or know who or what God is? Yet even in our
              darkness of mind, He makes His presense known to us, and proves His
              faithfulness and love towards us-and teaches us about faith, without
              which we can do nothing or know nothing.

              So while darkness can be seen as an enemy, it also can be seen as a
              teacher of sorts-or rather, a tool in God's hand for teaching and
              correcting and reproof.

              Blessings Lenny,
              Roy.

              > OK –Mea Culpa time.
              >
              > Hi Tobias. Thanks for the context – it does help some. As I read
              your post
              > last night, I thought you were promoting a kind of fideism to
              discover God;
              > that somehow God makes Himself dark so all we can do is stumble
              around until
              > we somehow happen to bump into Him. Those kinds of ideas I've run
              into
              > before and they kind of irk me.
              >
              > It looks like you're saying that we are sometimes not given a
              clear picture
              > of God or what he is doing, so the man of faith may lean on his
              faith to
              > rely on God in the dark times. It's not that God is trying to
              hide His
              > nature or attributes from us. Is this closer?
              >
              > I guess this is a good lesson in being careful when communicating
              with
              > another to make sure the idea aren't lost in the verbiage. It's a
              rule I
              > normally try to follow, but –ah –sometimes fools rush in.
              >
              >
              >
              > Lenny
              > Lenny Esposito, President
              >
              > Come Reason Ministries
              > P.O. Box 20527
              > Riverside, CA 92516
              >
              > p. 866.957.3276
              > f. 801.720.9860
              > http://www.comereason.org/
              > Lenny@c... <mailto:Lenny@c...>
              >
              > -----Original Message-----
              > Hi Lenny,
              >
              > You wrote: WHAT?! Where did you get this? God does not `cover
              > Himself in darkness". That's not Biblical.
              >
              > Tobiah: Fair enough, and this does come from scripture.
              >
              > Psalm 97:2 Cloud and darkness surround the Lord; justice and right
              > are the foundation of his throne.
              >
              > I'm going to post here the original message that proceeded this
              > response of mine to a response from one of our members on the
              > Sojourners group to my original message. Perhaps you can put the
              two
              > together and see where it is coming from.
              >
              > As far as the cross, the cross was to make peace, and so that we
              > might boldly approach the throne of grace, through a clear
              > conscience by knowledge of the forgiveness and mercy of God. Fear
              of
              > our own shortcoming and nature before God causes fear that
              separates
              > us from Him.
              >
              > Paul said in Acts that He is not far from any one of us. It's
              > darkness-our own ignorance-that keeps us from seeing that. God
              would
              > have us come near, and scripture says that no one can see Him and
              > live.
              >
              > Tobiah.
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