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 What does it mean to be "saved"?

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SSG Jake

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PostSubject: What does it mean to be "saved"?   Wed Jul 14, 2010 2:05 am

Hey, all! New guy here. I know this sound slike a stupid question, but it's one I've been fighting with for a while. I don't have a pastor around here I trust, so I figured maybe yall can help. A quick explanation:
I was raised in a Christian house. I went to church all my life, so all I've ever known was being a Christian. There was no doubt, no questioning wether God exsists, Jesus is His son, it just is. But lately, I've been thinking about it. When people ask me, "What religion are you?" I say Christian. If they then ask, "So you belive Jesus was the Son of God?" I say yes. I mean, ok. I've worked it out in my head that there IS a God. To me, it's the only thing that makes logical sense. There HAD to be a creation at SOME point, something BEFORE the big Bang. So, in a weird way, I KNOW there is a God, and I chose to believe in the Christian version, and that Jesus is His son. SO, my faith is everpresent, it just is. But I hear people, including on this board, talk about how they feel, "God's touch, His presence in my life, His blessings in every day." They say, "When I was saved, I felt Him, He came down to me." I never felt any of that. Thinking about it, I don't know that I've ver "felt" Him. What does that mean? How do you know it's Him? I mean, I'm not a Emo kid, I feel happy all the time, I love my family, my country, my metal(lol) but I've never got that fuzzy feeling in Church. I've gone to many over the last 6 years. At a new Army post every 3 years, new Chaplains, new approaches to God. Nothing. I've volunteered for church outings, thinking I'd get that feeling. Nothing Never felt like, "Oh, that sermon was meant for ME!" I don't know, am I doing somthing wrong? I want to feel something like that, I've prayed for it, but I don't know. Does this make any sense? Or am I just turning into a troll here? I'm no good at this "stream of conciousness" writing. I have faith in God, and I know that's enough for Him, but sometimes I feel like it's not enough for me.
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FireProphet

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PostSubject: Re: What does it mean to be "saved"?   Wed Jul 14, 2010 4:56 am

As I'm sure you know, it's not about the feelings, but it does make sense for you to ask this question. Having never had an 'experience' where you felt something when it's a big part of mainstream evangelical Christianity. I don't think you're wrong or doing something wrong. I've been in the place spiritually where I "felt" a lot, and it was good times. I'm not there now, and honestly I'm not sure I miss it. It can turn into a very self serving personal quest for God that results in Christians isolating themselves in a bubble of spirituality and being of little worldly good when it comes to taking care of the poor, orphaned, and widowed. I've also noticed that since I've moved away from those experiences, I'm seeing God more objectively, outside of myself, and He's honestly more amazing and personal to me now than He was when I was experiencing all sorts of rad feelings, and I believe I understand His will for my life better. I say that to say, I don't believe you ought to feel bad about lacking on the experiences of spiritual feeling, or think you're doing something wrong.

What has it meant for me when I've "felt" Him? On the spiritual-esque physical feelings side of it, I've felt odd warmth on my body during worship and one time it felt like I had energy going through me, like electricity. Those were rare instances.
More commonly it was emotional; overwhelmed with joy or moved to tears during worship for God only knows what reason.

How did I know it was Him? The context of the feelings and that their impact wasn't negative. I put faith in the fact that if I feel something weird or am moved to tears at a prayer meeting, in my personal prayer time, or in singing with passion praise to God... it's probably Him.

I'd think a man of confident faith as yourself is mature and blessed to be so. It's understandable to want an 'experience' with God. I wouldn't blame you for that. Again, I don't blame you that you haven't. I also don't think it'd be bad for you to pursue, either.

Thinking about pursuing it, I guess the one thing I'd say is that you don't have to feel God for your faith to be personal... if that makes sense. I say that cause amidst your quotes of what people say they feel is "His blessings in every day." That's not so much an emotional perspective as it is a mental one. Maybe you could stand to benefit by thinking deeper about God in your life.
I'm saying you're committed, and wanting to feel more of a connection, but maybe it's not best for who you are to pursue connection with God through extravagant feeling, but through some contemplation about Him and who He is to you. Chyoukno, act like you're from Oregon, the son of a hippie, and love to chill in coffee shops.
You know what, read some Donald Miller books (Blue Like Jazz). He's from Oregon and very hippie-ish. I've been reading his books lately and they're totally for where I'm at right now. God is very personal to him, but not in a overt touchy-feely, CCM, kind of way. When Miller writes about God it's real. Huge impact on me. I do recommend you read his stuff.


Last edited by FireProphet on Wed Jul 14, 2010 4:34 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Death over Life

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PostSubject: Re: What does it mean to be "saved"?   Wed Jul 14, 2010 1:43 pm

As it was spoken, faith isn't real or false via emotions. You will know of the faith by the fruits.

And to help you out, I've been a Christian for a long time, and I'll straight up tell you my faith by far has been far more atheistic/deistic than most, but that doesn't mean that it is an invalid faith.
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The Last Firstborn

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PostSubject: Re: What does it mean to be "saved"?   Wed Jul 14, 2010 5:16 pm

This thread brings to mind something I've been thinking about lately. Sorry if it derails your thread, if it does I'll take my questions elsewhere. With that said, here goes... Is Christianity about the afterlife or is it about finding truths and becoming in tune with God on earth? Did Jesus die so that we could go to heaven, or did he die to bridge the gap between us and the truths of the supreme being? Again, if this derails your thread I'll start a different thread, but those questions have been on my mind lately and I think it'd be interesting to hear whatever insight y'all have to offer.
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Death over Life

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PostSubject: Re: What does it mean to be "saved"?   Wed Jul 14, 2010 6:03 pm

LastFirstborn wrote:
This thread brings to mind something I've been thinking about lately. Sorry if it derails your thread, if it does I'll take my questions elsewhere. With that said, here goes... Is Christianity about the afterlife or is it about finding truths and becoming in tune with God on earth? Did Jesus die so that we could go to heaven, or did he die to bridge the gap between us and the truths of the supreme being? Again, if this derails your thread I'll start a different thread, but those questions have been on my mind lately and I think it'd be interesting to hear whatever insight y'all have to offer.

From what I've seen, I'd say the answer is both. In addition, it was all about the image of God for Christianity.

We see it written so many times, that the Will of God was that nobody perishes but instead comes to repentance, which would imply Jesus dying so we could go to Heaven.

At the same time though, the death and resurrection of Christ goes well beyond what is up above. It was all so we could become as Gods, just like what Adam and Eve tried to do in the Garden of Eden with the Fruit. That Fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil was necessary if we were to learn the Truths of the Supreme Being.

From close observation and research, I have a completely different view on how Christianity is when concerning questions like this and the thread.

Yes it is True that Christ did die so we can have an eternal relationship with God and Eternal Life, but He also died so we could complete the Image of God, and He died so that way we can be as Gods, just like how some of what the Satanists say and all that. The only problem is, the Satanists don't realize you need God to become as God. Without Him, you perish, being your' own god.

Very great questions from the both of you though!
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SSG Jake

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PostSubject: Re: What does it mean to be "saved"?   Wed Jul 14, 2010 6:32 pm

LastFirstborn wrote:
This thread brings to mind something I've been thinking about lately. Sorry if it derails your thread, if it does I'll take my questions elsewhere. With that said, here goes... Is Christianity about the afterlife or is it about finding truths and becoming in tune with God on earth? Did Jesus die so that we could go to heaven, or did he die to bridge the gap between us and the truths of the supreme being? Again, if this derails your thread I'll start a different thread, but those questions have been on my mind lately and I think it'd be interesting to hear whatever insight y'all have to offer.

ZOMFG!!11!!THREAD-JACKER!!!111!!ONE!!
Razz
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LastElf



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PostSubject: Re: What does it mean to be "saved"?   Fri Jul 16, 2010 11:45 am

I'm not around BB as much... I'm a Firestreamer true and true (RIP), so I might not see a reply to this for another 2 weeks Razz

But, I know exactly what you mean. I was you two years ago, trying to find something I can call my own after having grown up in the church. Well, I never found that wow feeling.

And yet, I'm still here, and more focused on God than I was back then. It's one of those things that we see others with, and so we want it, but once we have it we don't see what all the hype was about. I found more God in the theology forum of FS 2.0 than I did at my youth, and from there it grew.

Don't get me wrong, knowledge is never a substitute to being in communion with God. It does help us understand who he is though, and from there we can respond more fully.

I'm going to give you a couple of things to think about, and then see how you can apply them. I don't want answers. These are how you look at yourself and you need to think about how they fit in your own life. I would recommend talking to someone you trust about them, but I'm not asking these to hear anything.

1. To know what it means to be saved, you first need to know what saved means. Is it a past tense event where you gave your life? Is salvation a process that you keep working at and responding to God over and over again for your entire life? Is it a state that you are because you prayed something and have head knowledge about? It's a word that's thrown around a lot, especially in Evangelical circles, but you have to look at what it means before you can ask any other question relating to that.

2. Do you pray? How often? Are you humble or just want to get your bucket list off your chest? Do you listen? There's a verse in Psalms that says "Be still and know that I am God." How often can you just sit down and be in awe of God simply for who he is? I'm not meaning in an emotional sense either. Just being able to sit quietly for the sake of dedicating time to him. No words have to be spoken or thought. If you think about time you spend with your gf or wife, how much of it is spent talking? Prayer is just communing, it isn't speech.

3. This is more of a challenge than a question, but go read Psalms. The whole thing, just start reading a chapter a night or something. It's easily one of the best books and shows us much of God's character and how we're to respond to the ruler of time and space itself. Psalm 19 is my personal favourite, and it's somewhat relevent to the topic. It shows humilty, God's power, our healing/salvation/judgement/purple monkeys (Whatever you want to focus on Razz) and overall just shows that everything reflects its creator, which in itself is awe-inspiring. Because of the first 2 verses of that psalm I could look at the stars every night and smile. That was my moment of being still and knowing he is God.

All that said, find someone you can talk with about this stuff. Chaplains can be good, but you're not going to get very far if you don't feel comfortable. Make sure they're knowledgeable too, because you don't want to be following a blind fool off a cliff. It takes a lot of searching, and honestly, mistakes, but there are people out there.

And don't stop searching for God either. I've heard of our relationship with him refered to as a dance. He leads and we follow, he leads, we follow and so forth. Just the very fact that you're posting this shows that you want to follow, so just try and see where he's leading (Not in a job/experiential sense, but in learning more about him, becoming closer, etc. Like you would before getting married).

Allah ma'ak.
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Kamerad Ash

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PostSubject: Re: What does it mean to be "saved"?   Sat Jul 17, 2010 2:19 am

Some have to live with more Faith than others.

Honestly , I need very little, because God has come upon me in such power.. doubting or denying Him would like denying that lungs exist while I am breathing.. only more ridiculous.

For some, it seems God stays more hidden..

But although He has revealed Himself to me in Power , I have more than enough spiritual challenges and problems of my own, regardless.

Once one spiritual challenge or struggle is met... another will come to meet you. But such is the seed slowly becoming a tree.
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Gorlim (OMW)

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PostSubject: Re: What does it mean to be "saved"?   Sat Jul 17, 2010 3:41 am

FireProphet wrote:
As I'm sure you know, it's not about the feelings, but it does make sense for you to ask this question. Having never had an 'experience' where you felt something when it's a big part of mainstream evangelical Christianity. I don't think you're wrong or doing something wrong. I've been in the place spiritually where I "felt" a lot, and it was good times. I'm not there now, and honestly I'm not sure I miss it. It can turn into a very self serving personal quest for God that results in Christians isolating themselves in a bubble of spirituality and being of little worldly good when it comes to taking care of the poor, orphaned, and widowed. I've also noticed that since I've moved away from those experiences, I'm seeing God more objectively, outside of myself, and He's honestly more amazing and personal to me now than He was when I was experiencing all sorts of rad feelings, and I believe I understand His will for my life better. I say that to say, I don't believe you ought to feel bad about lacking on the experiences of spiritual feeling, or think you're doing something wrong.

What has it meant for me when I've "felt" Him? On the spiritual-esque physical feelings side of it, I've felt odd warmth on my body during worship and one time it felt like I had energy going through me, like electricity. Those were rare instances.
More commonly it was emotional; overwhelmed with joy or moved to tears during worship for God only knows what reason.

How did I know it was Him? The context of the feelings and that their impact wasn't negative. I put faith in the fact that if I feel something weird or am moved to tears at a prayer meeting, in my personal prayer time, or in singing with passion praise to God... it's probably Him.

I'd think a man of confident faith as yourself is mature and blessed to be so. It's understandable to want an 'experience' with God. I wouldn't blame you for that. Again, I don't blame you that you haven't. I also don't think it'd be bad for you to pursue, either.

Thinking about pursuing it, I guess the one thing I'd say is that you don't have to feel God for your faith to be personal... if that makes sense. I say that cause amidst your quotes of what people say they feel is "His blessings in every day." That's not so much an emotional perspective as it is a mental one. Maybe you could stand to benefit by thinking deeper about God in your life.
I'm saying you're committed, and wanting to feel more of a connection, but maybe it's not best for who you are to pursue connection with God through extravagant feeling, but through some contemplation about Him and who He is to you. Chyoukno, act like you're from Oregon, the son of a hippie, and love to chill in coffee shops.
You know what, read some Donald Miller books (Blue Like Jazz). He's from Oregon and very hippie-ish. I've been reading his books lately and they're totally for where I'm at right now. God is very personal to him, but not in a overt touchy-feely, CCM, kind of way. When Miller writes about God it's real. Huge impact on me. I do recommend you read his stuff.


This is altogether just a fantastic post. Completely in agreement with what I believe and how I view things.

And I second his recommendation of Donald Miller. Great stuff.
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