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No conviction of sin

Discussion in 'Exploring Christianity' started by losthope, Jul 10, 2011.

  1. saralynn

    saralynn Newbie

    I hadn't been notified for some reason that this thread is still going on. I think it may be because my computer has been malfunctioning.

    Lost Hope. I'm not sure if this question has been asked before and I am too lazy to look it up, but does ANYTHING produce emotion in you?
  2. losthope

    losthope Regular Member

    You asked if anything produced emotion in me. In the conventional sense of what you normally mean by emotion, no. Emotions involve both thinking and feeling (the body sensations associated with emotion). I can think emotions, but I do not feel emotions, because the hormonal systems needed to produce the body sensations do not work in me. It means that in a sense you could say that I have emotions, because I can do the thinking part. But without the body sensations all that is left is just thoughts. My thoughts in an emotional situation are no more powerful and they affect me no more than in any other situation.

    I take some replacement hormone tablets, and this means that occasionally for a few seconds I can have the beginnings of an emotional reaction. Anger, usually. But in a few seconds all of the replacement hormones in my blood stream have been used up and my anger disappears. Yes, people do find it a little disconcerting that my anger can appear and then vanish almost in an instant.

    It would not matter what the situation was, or how emotional other people found it, my body would still not be able to produce the hormones that cause the bodily sensations of emotion.

    Having said that, I sometimes shed a few tears when I am watching a movie or something similar – seeing something joyful or sad.
  3. losthope

    losthope Regular Member

    To joey down under,

    You wrote this:
    Agreed. Typed words cannot communicate everything.

    I was not aware of thinking fear. As for feeling the Holy Spirit, it was not a feeling that I was interested in, but the work of the Holy Spirit in a person. If the Holy Spirit does not have an effect on a person, then I would have some concern about whether they were truly saved. I realise that the person themselves may not recognise the work of the Holy Spirit in them, but I think it is the reality, not the perception, that is important.

    My concern, when I was a believer, was not specifically that I had no awareness of the Holy Spirit working in me, but that I also had no other sign of God’s response – answered prayer, guidance, spiritual insight, and so on. Any one of them can be argued away. But taken together they show that God was not responding, perhaps because although I believed I was not truly saved.

    Yes, sometimes what appears to be strange behaviour is simply a natural response to unnatural pressures.

    Of course I am willing to be a child of God. But first I have to ask some questions. Is God willing to accept me as a child? Do I know how to become a child of God (for me personally, that is, given my history etc)? I am willing, but I am not yet ready, because I cannot see even the first step towards God. I have tried some things and they have been failures. It is no use repeating the mistakes of the past. This time it has to be right; I cannot just step out in faith and hope, because I know from experience that it will not work. It may have worked for many other people, but I also know that it has failed for many people, and I am one of them.

    In theory a spiritual being could influence me. However, my experience tells me that they cannot influence me through my emotions. That is all that I meant. My apologies if I misunderstood you, but I gained the impression that you were suggesting that the devil could influence me in ways that God could not influence me, and I was questioning this.

    I cannot remember the reference, but Jesus implies that angels are neither male nor female. They have no need to be male or female, because they do not make baby angels.

    Is that spiritual knowledge? I am amazed. I did not think that I was able to do anything spiritual. (And no, I do not have my tongue in my cheek.)

    I have written before that many Christians assume that whenever the expression “word of God” appears in the Bible, it inevitably is referring to scripture. Not so. In most cases it means, literally, what God says. The implication being that if God says something, it will definitely happen. It means that the weapon of the Christian is that if God has said something, it is going to happen. In other words, fight for what God wants to happen.

    Many years of speaking with Christians and reading the Bible and other Christian books, plus my two years as an active believer, mean that I have learned much about Christian ideas. Of course, there is much more to learn. And from a Christian point of view, what I really need is the help of the Holy Spirit to guide me what to study and what to say, so that the knowledge could be used for the glory of God.

    Yet many people do recognise a spiritual world. Perhaps through some sixth sense that I am lacking.

    You say that Christians have to trust what Jesus says. That was exactly what I did for two years. But the evidence of my experience (possibly correct, possibly misguided) is that the promises did not happen for me. I trusted and it did not happen. That is serious. It is something that I cannot forget, and it is still strongly influencing what I can do and what I cannot do with regard to becoming a believer once again. I trusted and it did not work out for me. Regaining trust, when lost, is a very long term task. However, if I can find out what went wrong, and discover that there is something that can be changed to remedy the situation, that would be great, because then I would be able to trust again.

    1. Mixing with no-one but genuine Christians is an impossibility. I mix with many people in many situations. However, if you mean me to talk about spiritual matters only with genuine Christians, then I understand. Even so, it is rare for me to talk about spiritual matters with anyone, genuine Christian or not.

    2. There are different kinds of spiritual experience. For some people spiritual experiences involve God. For other people there is no religious content as such, but more a feeling (or thinking) of the oneness of all creation. Others have a mystical experience. And some who belong to different faith communities have spiritual experiences of God that might be different from those of Christians. You could argue that some types of spiritual experience do not take a person towards Christianity. Whether or not they could take a person towards God or away from God is a matter for a whole different thread.

    3. I can only imagine what it is like to have spiritual awareness or a spiritual experience. I do know that I am missing out on an important aspect of human life by not having spiritual awareness of any kind. As I am not familiar with spiritual matters, I cannot say if it always involves “spiritual feelings”, or only sometimes.

    You then gave me a link to “Standing firm in the faith”. Unfortunately the link did not work and I was not able to access the book. Would you please give me some additional information to help me find it on the internet.

    With regard to the people in the other link, the people arriving at the door of heaven, I think I wrote in a previous posting that there is a little of me in several of the people portrayed, but no obvious candidate that I particularly related to.
  4. joey_downunder

    joey_downunder big sister

    Hi Losthope, there was a good song performed at my church's service. I know you would switch off because some emotions are in the lyrics. I have taken the time to give the verses that explain the thinking side. You'll be able to link the meanings no worries.

    He is near to the broken, Psalm 51:17
    He is close to the weary of heart. Isaiah 40:31
    In His Name is a refuge, Psalm 18:2
    Safety for the weak and discarded. Psalm 72:13

    There is help for the hopeless, Ezekiel 34:16/, psalm 33:18-22/ , Psalm 130:7/
    For the wounded in need. Isaiah 57:18-19
    In the presence of Jesus, 2 Corinthians 4:13-14
    There is power unleashed. Ephesians 1:19-21

    Call upon the name of the Lord, Psalm 148:13
    He’s our Defender, our Deliverer. Psalm 144:2
    A Shelter in the midst of the storm, Psalm 91:1/ , Psalm 107:29
    Jesus, our Savior, Psalm 17:7/
    He is King over all the earth. Psalm 47

    I will sing of my Redeemer, Job 19:25/
    Testify to the touch of His hand, Isaiah 41:10
    Lifted me from disaster, Isaiah 38:17
    Set my feet on a solid rock to stand. 7:24-25/, 1 corinthians 10:1-4/

    God is our Refuge, our Strength, and Salvation, Proverbs 14:26/, Psalm 28:8/, Romans 1:16/
    A Mighty Fortress is the Lord Almighty. Psalm 59:17
    There is no equal, no power beside him. Isaiah 44:6
    Forever our Champion is the Lord our God. Isaiah 41:2
    Our Savior, He is King over all - Our Savior, He is King over all the earth. Psalm 67:2

    Hope the link for today's sermon comes out ASAP. It was about all Christian's need to be born again i.e. raised from death to life spiritually ezekiel 37:1-14/ (which needs to happen to ALL believers whether feeling or non-feeling people). Faith, repentance, changing our mind 180 degrees, CHANGES in us that should result from faith, how faith needs to be more than just head knowledge... you name it, everything you have brought up was mentioned by that ex-South African cricket player!

    For that ebook "standing firm in the faith dot com", Book Title: "standing firm in the faith", Author: "James L. Morrison".

    I would like you to read that book before I do another entry.
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2011
  5. losthope

    losthope Regular Member

    To joey down under,

    I look forward to the link for your today’s sermon becoming available. Please let me know when I am able to hear it.

    Thank you for the additional information about the book by James L Morrisson. I have located it and downloaded the first four chapters. Just those four chapters runs to over 26,000 words, on 56 pages. The whole book has 23 chapters. It is going to take me a while to read the whole book. If I can read and think about a chapter a day, or most days, that would probably be quite good going. In other words, it is going to take me until perhaps the end of October to complete it.

    A few years ago I and a Christian Forums contact, a Christian from the USA, read a book at the same time, reading one chapter each day or so. We then emailed each other our comments, day by day.

    Given the length of time that it will take me to read the book, it might be better if I comment on the book chapter by chapter, rather than waiting until I have read all of it. If only because by the time I get to the end I will have forgotten some of the ideas in the earlier chapters.

    I have read chapter 1, which is only half the length of an average chapter. It is very much an introduction, a call to real commitment among Christians, a call to trust God and to move on to victory. A call to believe God and to know and believe the Bible, not just with the intellect but with the whole being (a concept that I do not really understand). When I began reading, it seemed aimed specifically at Christians in the USA, which is not where either of us lives. He looked back to the religion of some of the founding fathers of the USA. But reading on, it does have something to say to all Christians, not just those who live in the USA. Besides, I have every intention of visiting the USA next year, going to the original capital of those founding fathers.

    I could comment on specific ideas and sentences in the chapter if you wish. When you said that you wanted me to read the book before you posted again, I was not sure what you wanted me to do, if anything, in addition to reading the book.

    If we do have a detailed discussion of the book, chapter by chapter, we need to decide whether to do it here in Christian Forums, where others can read, join in and comment if they wish, or whether to do it by email. I will let you decide.

    Meanwhile I also have a 95 minute sermon to listen to, some time later today.
  6. joey_downunder

    joey_downunder big sister

    Hi Losthope, I will definitely keep an eye out for that sermon for you then.

    Re the book - yes it is a great idea for you to discuss what you think step-by-step if you think you would benefit from that process. You choose the topics that catch your attention in each particular chapter. Thankfully the chapters are fairly short.

    Some readers might want to understand your perspective. Perhaps you could start a new thread for that one particular book? I would love for other christians to chip in as well. Us "feeling personality" Christians sometimes have a completely different perspective to" thinking" type Christians.

    I hope you don't mind getting so many assignments BTW. :)
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2011
  7. losthope

    losthope Regular Member

    When I began this thread three months ago, I was hoping that Christians would give their opinions and learning about what really is meant by a conviction of sin. I know it is something that I have not experienced, at least not to the intensity that people have described to me, and that the Bible implies.

    Some have suggested that I may never experience a serious conviction of sin, because I am unable to feel emotions. I do not know if they are right, or not. Presumably not, because I would have expected that the Holy Spirit would have more than one method of convicting people of sin. If the emotions do not work, I would have expected there to be an alternative approach. The fact that nobody has suggested an alternative approach is worrying. It tends to confirm me in my thought that I am unable to access God, or that God is unable to reach me.

    I spent two years as an active believer but never had any discernable response from God. Many people seem to be happy with this, as Christians. I could not accept it as being a true Christian life. Not for me.

    I have recognised for some time that there are several possible reasons why this might have happened to me. What I have learned from this thread, and from the various on-line resources that I have sampled along the way, has confirmed all of them to some extent. This has left me still uncertain about my spiritual state, or even whether I believe that there is such a thing as a spiritual state.

    Certainly there has been nothing that has made me stop and think that Christianity must be true and right for me and that I really do need to be a part of it. I still cannot see what first step I could possibly take that would lead me closer to God. At the same time I have no idea what other step I could take to try to understand “life, the universe and everything”. My reasons for not being able to accept Christianity apply equally to most other faiths.

    I will continue to try to find the truth. It could be that one day I will find a way to God. Or that God will find a way to reach me. Or it could be that I will be totally convinced that faith would be wrong for me, and that I would need to investigate what really happens when a person prays or reads the Bible, and begin to explain to people what self-delusion it is that leads them to believe and that strengthens their faith.

    Thank you to all of those who have contributed to this thread since it began in July. Thank you also to those who have read but not contributed. Thank you to those who have prayed for me. There are many of you, I suspect, because this thread has been looked at more than 5000 times.

    I am not signing off as such. I am still seeking God, though I have little hope of finding God. If there is anyone who thinks that they could help me to find God – or maybe someone who could help to confirm that I will never find God – I would love to hear from you. You can continue to contribute through this thread, or with a private message within Christian Forums, or by email.
  8. joey_downunder

    joey_downunder big sister

    I hope you continue searching until God finds you hosthope. I will continue praying for you. :hug:
    Monergism :: Regeneration

    One last link. Library of books about being born again.
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2011