I am getting emails that show people are posting comments, but blogger is having a spaz attack, and I can't get to the comments section, so....
I want to clarify something:
>>>1) I think the church group that I was referring to doesn't talk so much about "faith" as about correct knowledge. Sometime I should ask, "Are you saved by your knowledge or by God's actions?">>>
What I meant here is that I need to ask the people who constantly come to my door with their religious brochures if they think that they are saved by all the work they do and by their "correct" knowledge, or if thy are saved by God's actions. Why do I let them in? Because they are a mission field that comes right to my door step. The same woman has been coming here since about 1977. I have found that her statements and questions have challenged me to find out more about the doctrines that I grew up with.
I know that God saved me. I was saved about 2000 years ago, not at a specific time when the light bulb went on over my head.
I think that I can see that I need to be very clear as to when I am asking a seeking question and when I am asking a rhetorical question. But it is really gratifying to get feed back on my thoughts and opinions and statements of faith.
Regarding experiences: My personal expressions of faith is based on a mixture of what I have been told, what I have read and heard, what I have been given through the gift of faith, and personal experience. I have had times when a thought comes to me that urges me to do something good that is totally out of character, so I have interpreted that as God somehow speaking to me. Yet recently, when I expressed this on another Lutheran blog, I was told that (don't remember exact words) God only comes to us, at least reliably, through the scriptures and through the sacraments. Then this blogger went on to explain that these personal experiences were some sort of heresy, which he named, and maybe of Satan.
Yet we have God's word: Be still and know that I am God. Are we not to listen? And Psalm 50: 3 Our God comes and does not keep silence.
Granted, we need to check these "news flashes" against the Bible. But in the same vein, my good friend used to tell me, "don't necessarily accept anything a pastor says. You have the right to check it against the Bible."