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Whatever is Not From Faith is Sin

Discussion in 'Requests for Christian Advice' started by npw11, Jan 13, 2021 at 1:04 PM.

  1. npw11

    npw11 New Member

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    Romans 14:23 (NKJV) says, "But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin."

    I have diagnosed Religious Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (Religious OCD), or more commonly known as scrupulosity. Before answering, I plead you to read about the condition. This is a brief description of OCD, adapted from OCD and Christianity by Ian Osborn MD:

    OCD is a tormenting disorder. Unwanted thoughts, called clinical obsessions, charge into the mind and won’t go away. They drive a person to perform repetitive acts, clinical compulsions, to get rid of them. We say that OCD is present when a person suffers from clinical obsessions and compulsions, and they cause significant distress or disability. The difficulty arises in recognizing these two symptoms. The term obsession is often employed for what is more accurately termed a preoccupation, such as coach’s “obsession” with winning. That’s not a clinical obsession.

    Clinical compulsions, the other half of the equation, are purely secondary phenomena, acts performed solely to put right a tormenting thought. They may be physical behaviors, such as checking, washing, or asking for reassurance; or they may be purely mental acts, such as conjuring up a pleasant image or repeating a phrase over and over in one’s mind. An obsession strikes, anxiety mounts, and a repetitive act provides a temporary way out. Compulsions are repetitive acts that are clearly excessive, performed solely in order to lessen the anxiety caused by an obsession.
    Now, with that being said, we'll move on to the question I have. I only recently paid careful attention to this verse in Romans. My OCD mind excessively brings up things that are morally in the "gray area." I really mean the word "excessively" here. Let me illustrate for you the situation.

    I was studying the book The Grace Awakening by Swindoll at around 11 PM using Kindle on my iPad. And questions started popping in my head. Is it wrong for me to reproduce parts of this book's text into another app for my own personal study? Is it considered fair use? What about me reproducing a textbook content by revamping it for educational purposes in my nonprofit? Is this considered fair use? If so, what if the amount of content reproduced from the textbook is significant?

    As I searched the internet for answers, an answer from Reddit popped up. Reddit is blocked by my government. Is it wrong or sinful for me to read the preview of the answer on my Google search page since my government does not want me to use Reddit? It is now 12 AM. Is it wrong for me to continue studying the book this late? Is it wrong for me to continue searching for answers to these doubts to relieve the anxiety and distress? Is it wrong that I open Christian Forums and ask for others to help me since it is already late?
    I think you get it. I know you can get the answers to these questions if you take the time to investigate, but that is not my point. New ones keep popping up. These excessive questions in the "gray area" of morality produce a lot of uncertainty, anxiety and distress in me. And combining this with Romans 14:23, I would need to think deeply of whether my next course of action would be morally justified, so that I do not have doubt and thus, do not sin. As you can imagine, this is really mentally exhausting. What biblical advice would you have for me? Thanks! :)

    Note: I don't think I can rely on the quiet, subtle ways which the Holy Spirit uses to guide other Christians since they are likely to be affected by my condition - they tend to lean towards fearful, catastrophic biases.
     
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  2. Pavel Mosko

    Pavel Mosko Arch-Dude of the Apostolic Supporter

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    To do this or not to do this kind of questions are kind of missing the point. The fact that you cannot experience peace in your soul as a believer is the real issue. That is the thing that you should possess, irregardless of how strict you live your life as a Christian.

    A few years back I was reading some books on Biblical Aramaic since that is a lot topic in some areas of Christianity. I remember reading what the real meaning of the term, Beelzebub was. The term Lord of the Fly, was not really a reference to dung, where some people translate it as Lord of the fly, god of the dung hill etc. but to the restlessness nature of Satan who needs to rove around the Earth. because flies are largely restless creatures that cannot remain in any one place to long etc. And in the Bible their are similar kinds of passages that mention "no rest for the wicked" etc.
     
  3. Job3315

    Job3315 Well-Known Member

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    This is so interesting! Thank you for sharing and explaining it.
    I know what you mean, my conscience is also very extreme and when i came to the Lord, I wanted to do things perfectly. I forgot that God loved me because I was imperfect and He wanted to show me how to develop His identity in me, not religion. You see, people can go through their whole lives trying to BE good, but you get to a point when you realize that you ARE good and you are in a process of discovering that yourself. My rule is, If is not in God's heart and mind, I don't want it in mine, so that's what I go with. I am always asking Him what should I do and seeking His will. The idea is to learn the ways of the Master. Eventually you wont have to ask Him so many questions because His instructions are already one with you; the Bible even says we have the mind of Christ. The Bible also says we are His ambassadors, and if we are, then that means we learn the Kingdom ways and implement those ways in our lives, not as a rule, although at first it might feel like rules and regulations, but as a lifestyle; I tell my nephews we do good because they are good. It's all about identity. Eventually your mind will relax because you it wont be hard to decide to do the right thing and you will be able to identify it.
     
  4. Hazelelponi

    Hazelelponi Well-Known Member Supporter

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    A couple of things... first, because of your illness once you understand Salvation, you need to understand you can't lose it regardless of what others say to try to deceive you.. so take comfort in that - I posted in your other thread, and I'm happy to go through those Scriptures with you privately so others aren't trying to get inside your head. It is God who saves, not us, and not even the best of us could even if we were required to - so thank God for our Salvation through Christ.

    That said, no... you can't deal with Christianity the same as others who aren't ill. You might try using an informal devotional that has uplifting Scripture through the month. I subscribe to one myself (from in touch ministries) as they are nice. (Added benefit is they will send it to you free) and you can use that in lieu of reading Scripture on your own if you need... (Charles Stanley is one of the first pastors I ever heard preach).

    Also, you can find support for your disorder which may also help you navigate faith issues. This website here has a few articles:

    Coping Statements For Christians With OCD and Scrupulosity – ACCFS

    I pray you do well, and that God richly blesses you.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2021 at 2:26 PM
  5. npw11

    npw11 New Member

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    Hello! Thanks for your kind reply - again! :) I wanted to PM you when you posted on my other thread, but I couldn’t due to the restriction for new members.

    I only recently (a few weeks ago) understood that I cannot lose my salvation. However, I now occassionally wonder whether or not I was genuinely saved in the first place! But for now, I am pretty much convinced that if I am indeed saved in the first place, no one can snatch my salvation from me - not even myself. Nevertheless, I would love to privately talk to you on some of the issues that I still face - if you don’t mind, of course.

    As for the devotionals, I do not live in a country where they can send printed devotionals to. However, I have downloaded their app which contains daily devotionals as well (though I’m not sure whether both are the same). And it does really help me as it is uplifting, as you mentioned (today’s devotional is on eternal life ^_^, what a coincidence).

    For the Coping Statements article, I have come across it in the past but now I kind of overlook it. So thank you for reminding me to look back there. However, don’t you think that the statement, “Faith is not the absence of feeling uncertain. Faith is going forward through the uncertainty” contradicts the use of faith as used in Romans 14:23? Or is this what you mean by “you can't deal with Christianity the same as others who aren't ill”? If so, how do I reason with myself that I am sort of an exception?

    I sincerely thank God for your help thus far. You have really helped me in my treatment for OCD because of your posts in my other thread. So thank you, and may God richly bless you too! :)
     
  6. Hazelelponi

    Hazelelponi Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I'll send you a PM later, likely in the morning because it's about time to check out and have an evening with family...

    Your welcome for anything I've helped you with, but all praise belongs to God..always.

    So okay, as to your concern.. every single new Christian comes to Christ as a fallen, broken, sinner... and the Bible shows us the perfect expression of faith, giants like Jesus and the Apostles who had a special anointing upon them for God's purpose...

    But much of the Gospel message went out via word of mouth, someone comes home and tells their wife or father what powerful thing they heard... just ordinary people, not unlike you and I...

    And on day 2 or 3, or even year 2... we don't have this perfect expression of faith that we see in the Bible... God works in us, and with us, taking us from where we are, and making us into the image of Christ.. that's a lifetime process.. not whoops, I'm just magically the perfect Christian.

    The Bible has verses that urge us on to become better, to do better, and it has verses that say hey.. calm down, Christ has this one.

    Most people need that mixture. Everyone has a tendency to go to this one extreme (I'm following in Christs shoes!) To the other (I get to take a break and do nothing) as new Christians, and finding that perfect balance where your doing both, calmly, happily, resting in Christ while working in His Kingdom... that takes some time to get right - for anyone..

    I've been saved 6 years now, and I'm just now getting better at the balance... and it was likely only this quick with me because I'm a little older, and didn't have some wild kind of life to begin with... staying up to 10 pm is a late night for me..

    The point of all this rambling being, we are all going to feel a little uncertain for a while at times until we get our "sea legs" so to speak, even without illness involved. There are many times I asked, am I really saved? Am I on the right track here? And the like..

    Even Paul, after a personal experience with Jesus, a special anointing to preach as an Apostle of God and 12 years of preaching and bringing people to Christ STILL backed up, and went in front of the Disciples of Jesus to make certain that what he was preaching was the same as what they were... to make sure he was not doing this in vain (or wrongly)

    We all check ourselves from time to time .. for someone with OCD, it's simply better if you do a lot more resting in Christ, and trust that Christ will lead you in the right way... for you, it's better for you to hear from those who care enough about inspecting their faith and faithfulness, than to become your own inspector..

    That's what the article writer was trying to share..

    Does that make sense? anyway, I'll send you a PM..
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2021 at 3:51 PM
  7. Tolworth John

    Tolworth John Well-Known Member Supporter

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    As has been said intrusive thoughts that crowd you need only to be acknowledged and only then ignored.

    That said I want to talk about Romans 14:23, this verse does Not deal with doubts about one's faith.
    Read the whole chapter, it is about the eating of meat sacrificed to demons and the lack of faith and doubts about whether they should eat such meat.

    Christianity is a reasonable belief, so it is O K to have doubts or questions about things one is not sure about.

    If your conscience worries you about using on line articles etc, then only use one device, don't transfer it from device to device, only study at reasonable hours, have a set bed time, meal times and getting up time etc as irregular sleeping and eating habits are not good for you.
     
  8. True Counterphobia

    True Counterphobia Slave to Christ

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    It's good to ponder morality.

    I deal with a severe and fairly rare mental illness called Schizoaffective Disorder. It isn't fun as I have a lot of paranoid delusions and morbid images/thoughts going through my head. I have been clinically diagnosed and did not diagnose myself. Don't diagnose yourself, you will get it wrong. It's hard enough for a trained professional to give an accurate diagnosis, let alone a self diagnosis.

    Next, don't look to the internet for the answer to all your problems. It will often lead you astray. Search engines work on algorithms so the internet is biased.

    Read the Word instead. It's better to spend 10 minutes reading the Bible then hours of research online.
     
  9. npw11

    npw11 New Member

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    Hi! Thanks for your kind reply! Just to let you know, I have been diagnosed of OCD by a psychiatrist. And I somewhat agree with you on your last point: I need to spend more time on my Bible. So thanks for reminding me! May God bless you! I'm praying for you. :)
     
  10. True Counterphobia

    True Counterphobia Slave to Christ

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    Thanks for your prayers. Sorry if I came across like you didn't know what you were talking about. A lot of people do the whole self diagnosis thing and it ends up being just plain silly. I realize that you must struggle with this. My heart and prayers go out to you.
     
  11. npw11

    npw11 New Member

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    No worries, thank you for praying for me too! God bless! :)
     
  12. garee

    garee Newbie

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    Yes we must be careful how we hear or say we hear if we desire to eat by a faith that has power ..We have the treasure of his power in us but it is of God and not of our own selves.( 2 Corihtinans 4:7)

    Thanks good point about Beelzebub Who or what I would call the "lord of doubt"

    I would agree the restless creatures that cannot remain in any one place to long etc. tossed to and fro by what some call COD, or by-polar which is the the wage of sin sufferings in a bodies of death. It can be treated with med to reduce the sufferings .

    Romans 14:23 (NKJV) says, "But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin."

    That eating above is the meat the disciples knew not of. . empowering to do the will of the Father. Therefore they could not eat and be strengthened to do the will of our unseen Holy Father . .

    It becomes ...Whose faith is it that works in us providing us the power not to doubt?

    "Doubting faith" is the same as "no faith" Again Christ's faith as it is written. . doubting provides no clue .

    A faith founded on the word of God alone and therefore some do not coming to the end of a matter but rather doubt . . tossed to and fro, up and down. round and around where it stops no one knows .

    Doubting provides wondering or marveling. But again no end to the matter, the salvation of our soul called the end of faith (1 Peter:1: 9).

    As Christians we receive the end of that matter from the very beginning our our first love the experience of hearing his voice, being empowered to believe Him not seen .

    1 Peter:1: 9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.

    When Jesus was with Nicodenmus a member of the Pharisees sect a sect that normally sought after signs and wonders .Jesus called them a evil faithless generation (natural unredeemed mankind) . rather than born again generation of the Spirit of faith, as it is written.

    Faith as it is written takes away wondering and marveling that can only cause doubt . So we can believe as we marvel in Him not seen.

    How could we not marvel having received the greatest miracle of all born again given a new spirit that will never die. Rejoice, believing. Return us to our first love spoken of in Revelation 2 . He who has ears to hear the understanding of God let him hear what the Spirit says to each one individually.

    John 3:7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
     
  13. SANTOSO

    SANTOSO Well-Known Member

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    Dear brother,
    Are you concerned about what is said in Roman 14:23 for whatever is not from faith is sin?

    Brother, consider where faith comes from? This is what we have heard:
    So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. -Romans 10:17

    So whatever is not from faith is sin is just simply what doesn’t accord with Christ.

    If you want to be relieved from your distress, just return to the Lord.

    For this is what we have heard:

    For thus said the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel, "In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength." -Isaiah 30:15
     
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  14. npw11

    npw11 New Member

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    Wow, that is relieving! Thank you, my fellow Indonesian brother! :) Can you refer me to some other Scriptures or articles which supports the connection of both of these verses, if any?
     
  15. True Counterphobia

    True Counterphobia Slave to Christ

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    Just quoting this here to say I agree.
     
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  16. SANTOSO

    SANTOSO Well-Known Member

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    Dear brother,
    When we were distressed ! Why the Lord calls us to return to Him ? It is because He loves us. How has He loved us ? Hasn’t His Son died for us? Yes, our Lord has died for us. If He has died for us, perhaps, you may say,
    why are we tormented ?

    This is what we have heard:
    33 So who will bring a charge against God’s chosen people? Certainly not God — He is the one who causes them to be considered righteous! 34 Who punishes them? Certainly not the Messiah Yeshua, who died and — more than that — has been raised, is at the right hand of God and is actually pleading on our behalf!-Roman 8:33-34 CJB

    So when God asks us to return to Him; it is so that we are made right with Him through Christ Jesus and come to be under His grace.
    Isn’t this what we heard :

    "Because he holds fast to Me in love, I will deliver him;
    I will protect him, because he knows My name. -Psalms 91:14

    So brother, return to the Lord and hold fast to God in love, surely He will deliver you.
    Call His name in love, surely He will protect you.

    You may ask how do I return to the Lord after what I have done ? This is what we have heard :
    "Seek the LORD while he may be found; call upon him while He is near; -Isaiah 55:6
    let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts;
    let him return to the LORD, that He may have compassion on him,
    and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon. -Isaiah 55:7

    You see, the purpose that the Lord asks us to return to Him so that He may have compassion on us.

    What God’s compassion mean ? Does He look on us to show us mercy ? He does. Does He not look with love to alleviate our afflictions and sufferings ? Yes, He does. So why don’t we return to Him ?

    What should we do then ? Pray earnestly. Seek Him wholeheartedly.

    Just tell Him :
    Lord Jesus, I seek You.
    I call on Your name.
    Grant me strength, Lord to abandon my wicked ways.
    Grant me strength, Lord to forsake my unrighteous thoughts.
    I return to You, Lord that You may have compassion on me.
    For You are my God, and I am your people.
    I come to You. For I believe that you abundantly pardon me.
    Now I release forgiveness to those who wronged me. I believe I have met your condition to be forgiven.
    Thank Lord for Your steadfast love and compassion. Great is Your faithfulness.
    To You be all glory and praise. Amen

    Meditate Psalm 25:15-22 ; Psalm 143:8-12 ; Psalm 130 ; Psalm 119:49-56; 1 Peter 2:1-3

    Trust the Lord, ... brother
    In His righteousness, He can bring you out distress.

    So come to Him, so that you are counted among the righteous and He hears your prayers.
     
  17. npw11

    npw11 New Member

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    I meant both of these verses, Romans 14:23 and Romans 10:17. Can you refer me to some other Scriptures or articles which supports the connection of both of these verses, if any? Anyway, thanks for writing all of that! May God bless you!
     
  18. True Counterphobia

    True Counterphobia Slave to Christ

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    The connection is that we are God's mouthpiece.
     
  19. SANTOSO

    SANTOSO Well-Known Member

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    Dear brother,
    I understand your concern for Roman 14:23 and Roman 10:17. Let us not look for intellectual justification; that cannot provide the rest you are looking for.

    Consider this :
    The fear of the LORD leads to life, and whoever has it rests satisfied; he will not be visited by harm. -Proverbs 19:23

    Are you not harmed by OCD ? So, consider this wisdom that we heard, that is, to find the fear of the Lord.

    Why? If you find it, you are rested and satisfied.

    How do we understand the fear of God ?
    Just like faith comes from hearing, hearing the words of Christ. Since Christ do the will of the Father, let us hear what our Heavenly Father have said :

    My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, -Proverbs 2:1
    making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; -Proverbs 2:2
    yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, -Proverbs 2:3
    then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God. -Proverbs 2:5

    therefore, dear brother, the fear of God is not telling ourselves to be afraid of God all the times. But we are called to understand the fear of God by treasuring His words in our hearts as He have instructed us in Proverb 2:1-5

    When you have understood the fear of the Lord ! Then you also have the promise that our Lord have said in Proverb 19:23

    So having in faith in God or in Christ is hearing what God have said.

    How do we know that we hear if we don’t treasure His words and do what He have said ?

    So, dear brother, treasure more and more His words in your hearts and His words will set you free from your OCD.
     
  20. npw11

    npw11 New Member

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    Alright, I'll try, thanks brother! May God richly bless you!
     
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