Religion a Catalyst for Positive Change?

Jana Martin Says:
August 24, 2009 at 9:22 PM | Reply   edit

This is good stuff! I am delighted to read both of your thoughts on this matter. As always, I am wondering about other related things. The delayed reward of heaven, 72 virgins, or promises of a better position in the next reincarnated life, I’m sure, motivates millions of people to follow a set of rules. I think this idea applies to many Christians in the same way; those whose understanding is based on the belief that following the rules in the Bible earns them entrance into heaven. Yet Christianity is different from all the other religions, so Dr. Richard Malott’s theory can’t apply to all Christians. Entrance into heaven is NOT based on good works. Contemplate the meaning and ramifications of the following scripture.

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith, and this is not of yourselves, it is a free gift from God, not by works, so that no one can boast.” Eph 2:8,9

In Mark Virkler’s book, “Communion With God”, he describes Christianity as much more than a code of ethics; it is much more than a religion. It is a love relationship with the King of Kings; a direct encounter with Him through the indwelling works of His Holy Spirit. “I can study the Bible rationally, simply with the mind, and learn many facts about God. For instance, I can learn that God loves me. But since love is an inner heart experience, I cannot fully experience God’s love until He touches my heart with His love, heals my hurts, and breaks my hardness. When He fills me to overflowing, then through intuitive, spiritual experience, I have fully experienced the love I have read about.”

The Bible explains that God imparts love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, self-control, and faithfulness through His spirit.

It is these experiences that inspire and empower me to love others when they are unlovable, follow God’s ways when my way seems more desirable, and honor Him with my life. I am not motivated to follow Him to gain entrance into heaven. I am grateful that I was freely given it. I guess I don’t fit into Dr. Richard Malott’s theory.

Mark Virkler states that spiritual experience is not irrational, but superrational; an extension beyond rationalism, not considered by science, but none-the-less, real.

If it were real, would you consider a spiritual experience to be a catalyst for positive change? What ways could people experiencing God’s spirit affect those around them? What could this mean for a society?

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