Divine Opinion

 
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Rick



Joined: 17 Dec 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 10:46 pm    Post subject: Divine Opinion  Reply with quote

Divine Opinion

We all have been in highly charged conversations where opinions differ and one of the combatants says, “I am entitled to my own opinion” and/or  “Let’s agree to disagree”.  What never follows is a kiss, a handshake, or a hug.  While these statements seem diplomatic they are actually diabolical.

If a kindred spirit is born from shared opinion, then every time we dismiss opinions as unimportant we are dismissing relationships as unimportant.

Consider a man in search of his kindred spirit who openly honored all opinions.  One day the man suddenly took his own life.  At his well-attended funeral all were perplexed, he had so many friends why would he do such a thing?  Later a note revealed that while many believed he shared their opinion, in fact, none shared his own.  In this post-modern drift, opinions have become as unimportant as belly buttons.  We have all been taught from an early age to honor all opinions, the trouble is, when we do this, the value of opinions diminish.    

Opinions are tested and determined over time, forged from experience, contemplation, discussions, meditation and prayer.  God wants us to share His opinion.  He does not want us to “agree to disagree” nor did He ever say we are even entitled to our own opinion.  Rather, He allowed independent opinion for the sake of a free oneness-relationship with Him.  

Kindred spirits share opinions.  Think of the value of discovering others who hold the same opinions you do.  Shared opinions equate to shared values, “we value the same things”, how powerful!  

The key to a strong personal relationship is shared opinions.  The key to a lasting relationship rests on how closely those shared opinions are to the truth.


Last edited by Rick on Wed Jul 28, 2010 11:36 am; edited 2 times in total
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Steve
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shared opinions build trust and affirm beliefs.  Humans, whether consciously or subconsciously, value shared opinions and beliefs.  I believe this is as unique to human nature as the desire to be successful, or the desire to make a difference in something we do, say, or the way we live.  Even Jesus was a man who looked to spread the truth and share beliefs with others who followed him.  His purpose would not have been served if he stood on his own and died without any shared opinions with anyone during his short time on Earth.  

Absolute truth plus shared divine opinions equals strong personal relationships in God and with God.  

It is important to not get caught up in the need to be heard, but in the choice to listen and communicate.  Jesus spoke, quite frequently, and he listened well.  There should be an open dialogue in the search for the divine opinions of others, and it requires building truth credibility and the willingness to listen.  Some people require further conversation before two can get to the heart of the matter, address their opinions, and seek absolute truth comprehension.  

God has a way of directing life to create that dialogue.  We all have suffered failure in our own ways, and how we address that failure through God's will and plan is a step toward developing the divine opinions that lead others to absolute truths.  One thing, for certain, is the message of the 18th chapter of Matthew in verses 19 & 20:  "Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven.  For where two or three come together in my name, there I am with them."

God is everywhere.  He is the great conversation starter that leads people to absolute truths.  In us, He expects our willingness to initiate that dialogue.  I pray that he gives us the courage to reach out to others the way He reaches out to us.
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Rick



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PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2009 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve,

Shared opinion is a relational pathway, the higher our shared opinion the greater the elevation of our shared journey.  When Christ said "where two or more gather in my name there also I am" we must remember that He also said "I am the way the truth and the life".  So when we gather in His name, we are on His eternal pathway.  How exciting when we find others that are willing to journey down those sacred paths.


Last edited by Rick on Thu Oct 08, 2009 2:21 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Steve
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2009 2:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The concept of "agree to disagree" or "each is entitled to his or her own opinion" is so ingrained in our minds because of our US Constitution.  Amendment One entitles each American to his or her own free speech and thus creating free speech of opinions.  One way to shape others opinions is the education of Jesus' life/death/resurrection, knowledge of God's Word, and the ability to stress the importance of divine opinion.  

Too many Christian Americans take the easy way out, concerned with not infringing on other's "entitlement to his or her opinion."  I have been guilty of this in the past.  My current method is to use other's opinions as a starting point to work from.  I won't turn my back on someone if we, initially, share differing opinions on life/spirituality/eternal truths.  Each person has a reason they were socialized a certain way, and I can't change the way their belief system was formed in their lives in the past.  

I can change the way it's formed in the future, though, and I plan on creating the dialogue to breach these difficult issues that have eternal implications.  This dialogue, with its eternal implications, is never to be taken lightly, never to be spoken arrogantly, and never be reduced to petty argument.  

The first step in facilitating this process shall be to reduce any ounce of hipocracy in my own life.  Hipocracy leads another party to disbelief, distrust, and an unwillingness to listen.  

Summary: If I am not acting the way I preach, then I am not credible to preach.  

The second step establishing the need for redemption and salvation.  Helping others understand there is more to this life than living, breathing, and dying is the beginning.  It's easy for people to coast along without any sense of direction (like a ship at sail into the vast expanse that is the ocean, but they are unaware of any course of travel--just moving forward in some random direction).  

Summary:  If there's not awareness of a problem or need, then there's no evident problem to solve or need to be met.

SIDENOTE:  Because this is an art and not a science, I'll leave the remaining steps up for discussion and collaboration from my trusted counterparts on this forum.  I would like to encourage interaction, and I at least want to initiate this conversation and my humble thoughts on said conversation.  

The third step in this process is.......
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Rick



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PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 1:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just starting a new book called Crucial Conversation.  It was written by a group of authors, unfortunately, I do not have the book with me right now or I would identify them by name.

If shared opinion is a relational pathway, then the steps by which we proceed down this path must be conversation and dialogue.

Perhaps when I am finished with the book I will be better equipped to converse further down the path in search of truth.

By the way, this was the book Russ identified at our last gathering in Springfield.  Perhaps it will rank up there with E-Myth, The Goal and The One Minute Manager.
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Rick



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 1:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Grant recently made a bold statement when he said, “I’m not sure we are entitled to have an opinion”.  After further review, he and I agree, we are not entitled to have an opinion, but rather, we were created to hold opinions.  Opinions reflect how we hold and handle Christ in our heart.  After all, Jesus identified Himself as “truth” and opinions are our personal concept of the truth.  The Bible says we are to “seek God in spirit and in truth”.  

Spiritually, our opinions make up the path of our personal journey in search of eternal truth.  While opinions are personal, they are not to be privately held.  God intends for us to journey alongside fellow seekers.  We validate one another!  

Picture yourself going for a walk with a friend; the path that you are traveling consists of shared opinions.  Now regarding your walk… is there any sense of discovery, or are you just exercising down familiar paths expecting to return home safe and secure?  Is there any sense of adventure?  Is there the remote possibility that you may discover a path that you or your friends have overlooked in past journeys?  You can imagine the discovery of a path that is old and overlooked, barely visible.  Would you explore, or would you fear that you were trespassing?

This, I believe, is where most of us are, so we don’t travel down these paths with others. We are often afraid that we might offend, or trample, someone’s sacred journey. In doing so, we validate private, personal paths of opinion. This appears to be respectful, but at the same time, it results in people walking alone, ever wondering if they are on the right path.                      

We live as though truth is to be personally spun, and then we guard personal opinions as if they are our very own children.  The trouble with this approach is it denies Christ as the Truth. You see, we don’t own Christ, nor have we made Him.  So, if as the Bible says that He is the “way the truth and the life”, then opinions must be subject to Him.        

When we vehemently defend opinions regarding God, are we actually defending the security that our view of God provides to us personally?  Spiritual maturity is painful; awakening by faith requires that we open the door of our heart to God.  Revelation knowledge can only exist when our heart is open to His possibilities.  Knowledge needs to be tested and validated through the Word of God and the Church.  

I am reminded of the story of the talents (Mathew 25:15-28), where varying volumes were given to three servants.  Two invested, and one buried, the talents that they were given.  The two that invested were praised, while the servant that buried his was reprimanded.  We invest His love when we share personal opinions of Him with others.  We gain more when we discover from others what they know about Him.  We are to be stewards of the truth, not hoarders.


Last edited by Rick on Wed Jul 07, 2010 11:39 am; edited 2 times in total
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Steve
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 02, 2010 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great words Rick.  You have a distinct way of communicating Truth that makes sense but also asks people who read it to think for themselves and look in the mirror.  

I think the Bible provides the ultimate examples of discipleship in which most cases lead to public reprimand or death.  Being a follower of Jesus isn't walking the high road, rather the rocky trail.  

The question I have is this - Why are some humans not interested in questioning the beginning and the end?  Is it because we're afraid to think of our own end?  

I'm not afraid of death - my soul will exist beyond my flesh....the only anxiety I face is that I didn't do enough to be a disciple and share the TRUTH.  

Spiritual conversations I have with Seth, Grant and you are the bread and fish I need to stay nourished.  But there are so many spiritually starved people out there.  That's why "Find your Purpose" books are popular because we're lazy as a human race and we are sheep that want to be told what to do.  Unfortunately, whoever or whatever actually engages us in TRUTH (via print media, TV, radio, etc.) as they or it sees it is usually who we follow (if we're need of following something).  

People need spiritual interaction like we need exercise.  If we go without for a long period of time, we get lazy and complacent.  

We don't even think about how much we're missing the spiritual interaction until it's been void for awhile.  That emptiness needs to be filled.

Thanks for sharing some spiritual breakfast with me, Rick.  I appreciate it and look forward to more conversations in person in the future.
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Geoff



Joined: 21 Jun 2010
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Location: Missouri

PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 12:28 am    Post subject: Good Points Reply with quote

Rick you and Steve make some very good points. I think Steve is right about people being lazy. They pay a preacher to think for them. They have made their christian life all about a prayer they said years ago. An eternal life fire insurance policy. Most seminaries teach their students to ignor fairly large parts of the New Testament.  I'm afraid alot of preachers are just guys who didn't want to work in a hot sweaty factory. No wonder people in churches don't seem to be interested in this stuff. Recently a church person told me I think about all this stuff too much. He said most preachers don't think about the stuff I think about. He's probably right about preachers. I find some preachers are the hardest people to have a conversation about faith with. It's like when they are not in the pulpit they are "off" and don't have to think about their job. Of course there are really good preachers who take all this very seriously. Anyway great points guys, keep of the good work.
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Rick



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Geoff,
Thank you for joining into this conversation!  I can certainly relate to your comment: "some preachers are the hardest people to have a conversation about faith with".  I have experienced this a number of times.

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