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smurfette

true conversion?

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I was reading Max Lucado today. He talked about Paul's conversion. Before his conversion, Paul was a hero among Pharisees. Then he had the events on the road to Damascus. Saul had to come to terms with himself. He called himself chief among sinners.

"The message is gripping: Show a man his failures without Jesus, and the result will be found in the roadside gutter. Give a man religion without reminding him of his filth, and the result will be arrogance in a three piece suit. But get the two in the same heart--get sin to meet Savior and Savior to meet sin-and the result just might be another Pharisee turned preacher who sets the world on fire."

TWI showed us religion-arrogance in a three piece suit.

After TWI it's like we have to repent--change our ways and thinking--get forgiveness and move on somehow. We need to redefine our true purpose and goal in life.

My question: How did each of you do that? I am mostly asking those of you who would consider yourself still a Christian. Did you try extensive independent bible study? Did you start attending a Church? Did you go down for an altar call? Did you do nothing for a while?

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Gosh that sounds like a great book smurfette, really appicable to what we experienced.

I think it is very different for each person.

What worked for me, may not work for you, if there is one thing I HAVE learned since leaving it is...one size does not fit all....that God is very personal and caring with us on an individual basis.

My spouse read a lot of material from off shoots, I went to different churches....It seemed like God was always willing to work with me where I was, at in a manner I could accept......

I tried churches, fellowships, bible studies....but the real breakthrough for me personally, came when I realized that what I had been taught was NOT working, no matter how closely followed............

I finally told God that I didn`t even know if he was there any more because everything I had ever been taught about him had failed....

I cannot explain it other than to say that immediatly, in the midst of that emotional storm...(yeah I even gave God the finger and told him if he WAS there to leave me the hell alone cause I didn`t trust him any more) I became peacefull, and I knew...it was almost verbal....I had the thought...*well now that you don`t KNOW it all, we can start all over* it was time to build some real understanding ...

Its like it took me coming to grips with and finally admitting I just didn`t know anything....(I think of it as dumping my arrogance) before God could work through all of the preconcieved notions, the formulas and principles being zelously followed, the scriptural retemories I was constantly running through my mind......instead, I needed to just be quiet and *hear* him for a change..

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Maybe it was just dumping the arrogance part that God was after,(this is not finger pointing)..but so much of the truth taught in twi did tend to 'inflate' a lot of peoples egos.

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I like Max Lucado's books.

My answer for what to do now. I seek after God daily and then I find Him (sometimes it takes more than a day, but I find Him). Then I get up the next morning and I seek again and somehow I find Him again. God is full of surprises for each of us so it keeps the seeking interesting. Sometimes it's lonely if no one wants to seek Him with me. That part I miss about TWI. But so many days I have someone who is seeking too and then I am not lonely anymore (for awhile, that is). Sometimes I forget to seek Him and I find myself in a mud hole. I don't like that part. But all kidding aside I think reading good books by Christian writers has helped me alot. Having the freedom to read whatever I want was wonderful for me. I say keep reading and love your neighbor as yourself. I am open for any other suggestions. Jewel

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Smurfette, excellent quote, really wonderful. And great post, thank.

Yes, I do think that Way invlovement begs for repentance. And, if possible, to make amends.

I've had at least one post-way "conversion" experience. One was a crisis of faith I experienced when I doubted my salvation. I had a week or two of extreme difficulty grappling with this, spending time on my knees, actually crying, walking around with a huge pit in my tummy and feeling quite lost. In the end, I received an assurance I never had before. Before, my doctrine gave me assurance I was saved, cuz my doctrine said that if'n I talked in tongues I was saved. Now I knew on a deeper level. I'm wondering if I were just unsaved before. It's certainly possible. That event changed my life & I'm forever greatful.

But in WayThink, "doubting" is, like, negative.

It's the best thing that ever happened to me.

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quote:
After TWI it's like we have to repent--change our ways and thinking--get forgiveness and move on somehow. We need to redefine our true purpose and goal in life.
I think the question applies even to non-Chrsitians.

For me, leaving TWI and splitting with my ex-wife were virtually simultaneous.

I didn't look for forgiveness from God or Jesus, but from myself.

I had learned to be a less-than-stellar example of a husband, father, friend, co-worker, neighbor, in large part (not completely, I do take responsibility for my actions) due to what I had accepted from TWI teachings and practice.

First I had to recognize what part that I played in the disaster that my life had become. Only when I recognized my own responsibility could I do anything to change what I could change.

Second, I had to see that it wasn't all my fault. That there were some areas where I was deceived and f----d over. I had to refuse to blame myself for the actions of others.

Third, I decided to be open to other viewes and versions of spirituality, to start afresh, whether it ultimately led me to atheism, or back to literalist Christianity, or anything in between.

I don't know everything, or even very much, but my life and its fruit has been converted, if not in the manner that you mean.

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quote:
My question: How did each of you do that? I am mostly asking those of you who would consider yourself still a Christian. Did you try extensive independent bible study? Did you start attending a Church? Did you go down for an altar call? Did you do nothing for a while?

For me --- a little of *all of the above*.

The big thing I learned, can be seen on bumper stickers that say:

No Jesus ------- No Peace

Know Jesus --- Know Peace

(btw --- great quote you gave there. Arrogance in a 3-piece-suit. Seems to fit.) icon_smile.gif:)-->

David

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I relate most to my friend Oak's experience. I'm still trying to figure things out as it's only been about a year.

What I did was church hop till I found a church that I am really happy with. I went for a few months, but then started spending more time on me. I began reading books and looking into areas of Christianity and spirituality that would have been verbotten in TWI.

It's no secret that I'm in therapy and, so much of my reading and my time have been spent on why and how I made the choices I made and then which parts of my guilt, oppression and depression are my responsibility and which parts are not. Healing and forgiving and moving on....

I put "church" on hold while I work these things out, but I stay in close contact with my friend who attends the church. She puts no pressure on me whatsoever and doesn't even bring up church. We only talk about it if I start the conversation. She knows that I'm working on "me" and that I know church is there and that I'll be back when I'm ready. There's still too many things that trigger bad memories, bad feelings or anger. I'm working on getting past that because the church is absolutely nothing like TWI and I really do enjoy it when I go.

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quote:
After TWI it's like we have to repent--change our ways and thinking--. . .
When it comes to truth, I believe exactly the opposite. I believe one should apply the biblical precepts of "hold fast that which is good" and "retain with conviction the faithful word". Then the truth one once received will never be stolen. icon_smile.gif:)-->

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Actually oldies,

In reference to change our ways and thinking...that does not necessarily mean I am changing my beliefs. I have examined my motives for what I do. I have realized that my performance-based behavior (that was encouraged by twi)is wrong. Yes, I know we were taught to not be men-pleasers, only to try to please God. Many things were taught correctly but when it came to what happened in practice, it was a whole other ballgame. (Beliefs I am changing are some of the things taught by loyboy, not vpw)

smurfette out

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Smurfett,

You are in a wonderful place and yet the most terrify place too. You are moving forward and questioning everything. With that comes some subconscience baggage. Fear, self-doubt, shame and a bunch more emotions. Glad you started the journey.

In my quest for groundedness, in the beginning ,I wish I had made peace with uncertainty. I didn't know if I would make it through to the otherside of spiritual limbo and come out o.k. Smurff, Trust that God will show you what YOU need. Not what you think you need. The Creator is very individual. Be open to the univese. Another words don't limit the avenues for which God will enlighten you by. Since I have not limited the creator to just the Bible, boy has God gotten BIGGER, full of acceptance and most of all, a true source of Love. (What was I thinking) Anyway...be at peace cause you will find your way...HOME.

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