That's what I'm talking about too.
I'm talking about the fruits of the Spirit.
Being quietly conformed, day by day, into the image of Christ by the indwelling Spirit is something much different from saying I have a personal thing with Jesus where I talk to Him and he talks back. You said earlier in this thread you don't know any Christians that believe that, and I'm saying from my vantage point in the southernmost tip of the continental United States, that is pretty much all I see and hear in Evangelicalism. People want a God that's going to "speak into their life" like an indwelling Dr. Phil. And what if He doesn't? That's the troubling part. My impression is that if people can't have a God like that, then they don't want him at all.
A God who is silent. A God who often seems very distant. A God who disappoints and doesn't come through. A God who seemingly ignores the large degree of human suffering. No one wants this God. But despite my questions and issues with His performance on planet earth, I believe He is the real God. Somehow.
Take the blog entry from a conservative, southern baptist relative of mine who says that while she was on a morning jog recently, the Lord spoke to her about the pink flowers blooming in a neighbors yard.. She said to herself "I love pink" and the Lord said to her (in her spirit, of course... not audibly) "I made the color pink just for you" (Insert mind-blowing meditation on God's love and how God created a color just for her) Now, I know this sounds extreme to some of the more cultured, critical-thinkers at A&F, but this isn't whacked out Pentecostalism at play here,... this is First Baptist Morning Devotional stuff nowadays. It isn't fringe Christianity. Let me add that the individual in this story has a degree from a reputable college and is a former educator-- by no means a nutcase. I share this personal anecdote to emphasize, people actually think like this. Lots and lots of them. And this is precisely what has taken over Christianity in America and what I think Bergler addresses-- at least in part-- in his article. And it's precisely what I reject in this whole Personal Relationship with God theology. It is to religion, what Rebecca Black's "Friday" is to music.
I do not question for a second your sincerity. But I question the "prompting" thing in general, because it always sounds to me to be very human. Does God really care whether you got a red ass over Bergler's article? And was such an emotion boxing God out of your life?? You know,... "fellowship-wise"?
That's when the Holy Spirit stepped in. The Holy Spirit asked, "So, is there anyone you have not forgiven?" I thought about it. "Yes," I thought. "Thomas E. Bergler. I can't stand that guy." Well, that was a problem, the Holy Spirit said, more or less, and suggested that I should repent of such a view. So I did.
At the risk of sounding like a pompous ass (and I hope you won't get mad at me, because I love you Andy) I rather doubt it. I know God has hair-counts and sparrow breakfast menus down pat, but this seems a little nitpicky, in a very human, self-critical sort of way.
Edited by Greg P, 14 June 2012 - 07:55 AM.