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Commentary


Sprague's Heresy Explained—"I used to dwell there"
by John Warrener


I think I know where Sprague is coming from. I used to dwell there.

When I believed like a child, I was at peace with the biblical stories of God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, Son of God, He is Risen, Salvation, Heaven, Hell and was enchanted. I trusted my Sunday School teachers.

As I went to school I trusted my teachers as well and they taught me that Sunday School religious views and scientific views were not the same. My school teachers told me the scientific view was the trustworthy one. I trusted my school teachers and doubted my Sunday School teachers.

I went to college and seminary and they told me that the anti-religious scientific view was the truth and the Sunday School teachings were a myth (lie). I trusted my seminary professors. I was no longer at peace with the "lie" of God. Life lost its enchantment.

I struggled to reconcile the Sunday School religion with the truth of anti-religious science and could not reconcile the lie with the "truth." I lost faith. I tried like Sprague and company to define the truth of science with the "metaphors" and re-imagined "stories" of Sunday School faith. It sounded just like the elitist-psyco-philisophical babble of the same. Sounded good, could be preached to the Sunday School crowd and the elitist-psyco-philisophical crowd without either knowing the difference.

Personally, it lacked the enchantment and transcendence of Sunday School religion. In the face of death or a life crises it had no power to sustain, heal or free. Like a pretty song, it soothed but could neither heal nor transform a broken soul. "Re-imagined biblical metaphors" lacked the power of a God Almighty. This imagined god of "love" was just a nice story. It was a pretty mother's day card extolling the virtues of a mother in meter and verse to a child raised without the experience of a mother of any kind. It looks good on the mantle, but cannot hold you in her arms when your heart is breaking in two.

Listening to the "story of Jesus" is not the same as meeting him "face to face."

Without the personal knowledge and experience of the true and living God in Christ through the power of his Holy Spirit, one must settle for belief in a "story-ology" that is just as much a lie as your trusted seminary professors said Sunday School religion was. But, just like an alcoholic in denial clings to the myth of his sobriety in order to maintain his alcoholic consumption, the lost liberal religionist clings to myth that "metaphor" is true divinity.

Oh, what a pitiful state of woe for these lost souls such as I was. We settle for "stories" as our gods, when the true God of heaven and earth is waiting to reveal his fullness to us just by heeding the knocking at the door of our souls by a living Christ waiting to fill us with a direct experience of his Holy Spirit.

All Sprague has to do is sincerely cry out to his "metaphor" and confess he does not know the person behind the "stories". All he has to cry is, "Jesus Christ, I neither knew you nor the power of your Holy Spirit. I have deceived myself into thinking I can create a god from my intellect and I have deceived your people by claiming a true knowledge of God when I have none. Forgive me in the name of Jesus Christ, come into my life in a real and divine way, and let me know you in your Spirit and your truth. I am nothing and you are everything. Come in, Lord Jesus, come in. Amen.

When I finally cried out those words, everything changed! I was truly born again in the Spirit and I could now relate, through direct personal experience, the testimony of the Bible and the very words and experiences of John Wesley and other saints of history. My mind was open to "Spirit-ual" truth as well as the lies of my seminary professors. My body was healed, my addictions broken, and my whole psyche changed. I have been privileged to experience or witness directly almost all the gifts of the Spirit and miracles described in the Bible. The "metaphors" were now real descriptions of real events and personal experiences. My Sunday School religion was in fact "Spirit and Truth" and I could reasonably base it, not only upon Scripture but, upon the testimony of Christian Tradition, and direct personal experience. Metaphors again became just figures of speech to describe reality and ceased to become the reality itself.

To hell with stories, I now have testimony to the truth. To hell with re-imagining a god, I experience the true God directly with power and truth every day I humbly listen for his knock on the door (metaphor) of my soul and open it to his real presence (fact). The Bible is truth and not myth. Either that, or like in the novel "Dune" by Frank Herbert, the myth started by the "Sisterhood" turned out to their surprise and dismay to exactly describe the actual events that were transpiring before them. I trust the former to be the truth.

That, I believe is what Sprague is desperately seeking in his "re-imagined metaphor" religion, but his pride and denial have hardened his heart to preventing him from brokenly and contritely seeking the true and living Savior, Jesus Christ. What a living "glory-less" hell it is to put your trust in the "stories" created as figments of your own imaginations. When the mind dies with the body, so do the "stories" it created. Then, to the surprise and grave dismay of many will come the truth of Christ's words, "I do not know you."

Lord Jesus, break all of our hardened hearts to contritely call upon your name for salvation. Then, your name will truly be glorified on earth as it is in heaven. Amen.

Love in Christ,

John, OSMA <><
Rev. John Warrener, MDiv. MBA
Holy Hands Christian Ministries
1637 Maryland Drive Albany, GA 31701

jwarrene@ucmpage.org
UCMPage http://ucmpage.org  <><

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