Responding to "Inner Light"

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Afterthought

Puritan Board Senior
Any thoughts on responding to those who claim the following?

1) They are spiritual but not religious.
2) Everyone has a connection to the Divine. There is one truth and one reality, but we all have different perspectives on truth and that connection works itself out differently for people, but everyone is connected to the Divine.
3) Their connection with the Divine is inward. They only need to look inward for the voice of Divine authority and that has proven to be sufficient for their happiness and guidance. They are happy as they are. Hence, they do not need external revelation and do not need Christ for them to have a happy life or for guidance.
4) They know that the inner voice of the Divine is the Divine because they know what truth feels like, and this has the feel of truth.
5) Christianity was founded in order to manipulate people, especially women.
6) They could never submit themselves to external revelation; not only is it unnecessary, but it is a binding of them from the outside.
7) One can never claim that one is objectively and absolutely living a better life than others. Different things work for different people to make them happy, i.e., each one's "best life" depends on the person. Hence, one cannot claim that Christianity offers a better life or better happiness to all people or that sin brings misery to all people. This is backed by their personal experience that they are happy and are happy in doing things that Christian's label as "sin," instead of feeling sin to be miserable (as Christians claim).


One could proceed by pointing out the inconsistiencies or factual errors, but if the person (a) sees no need of Christ or external revelation from God, (b) believes himself/herself to be happy and fulfilled, and (c) can (theoretically) contradict any claim a Christian makes by appealing to the "inner light" of Divine authority (which Divine authority cannot be determined to be Divine via rational methods, e.g., the Bible can be known to be the word of God by its marks), it is difficult to see the best way to proceed. Even trying to appeal to their conscience (i.e., making use of the law of God or showing that they don't keep their own moral standards) seems difficult, since their conscience has been hardened enough to make their sin happiness instead of guilt and misery.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
How would they know if their inner light came from God or not? Who decides that, as Mormons claim to havethe inner burning witness convinced them of the Mormon truth.

And how would they account for the ptoblem of needing to account for own sins?
 

KGP

Puritan Board Freshman
I think you're best bet is to have them read a verse or two from scripture for themselves. Bring a Bible; open it up and point to the passage. Perhaps one of the verses in John contrasting those who believe / do not believe or those who have to son / do not have the son. There are several you could go to.

This person is beyond convincing; so they need a direct encounter with the eternal Word. I think of this method as punching seed down into hard soil. If they read or hear the Word directly, it will be in their mind. The Spirit may bring it to fruition at a later time through the conviction of sin, righteousness, judgment. It may even be years, decades later.

But get them to a direct encounter with the Word is what I would say, without trying to convince them.


Another thing I sometimes think of saying to those who seem settled against the faith: 'You may plan to reject God all the way to the grave; to run your own life and do what you please, but if God intends to save you; nothing you can do will stop him. Though you care nothing for him today; he may convert you so thoroughly that by this time tomorrow you will be desperate to forsake everything you now hold dear to follow him. It has happened to worse sinners than you; and it will happen again yet before he returns to judge the world in righteousness, so don't imagine yourself free; for if your eyes are opened even a sliver to the glory of Jesus, you will embrace with joy and trembling the faith which you today deem so foolish.'




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Warren

Puritan Board Freshman
Inner light? If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
Good point, as a sinneronly has darkness within them, until the Ho;y Spirit shines the light of Christ to them!
 

Peairtach

Puritan Board Doctor
They worship their own inner light i.e. part of the creation, rather than look to the Light of the World and the Word of God, Who is God, and the revelation that He has brought and is. Moreover, since the Fall, Man's heart is full of darkness because of sin. If the converted can't rely on an "inner light" because of remaining sin and darkness, and because they know only finitely, fallible and analogically. but must look to Christ speaking through His Word and by His Spirit, why would the unconverted look successfully to their "inner darkness" Regarding false prophets of the godless or deluded Pentecostal kind, see what Jeremiah 23: 16-32 says. Those who speak a vision of their own hearts i.e. the "inner light", rather than a vision given to them by God, i.e. the Scriptures in our day, prophesy lies in God's name.

The New Age and Eastern religions are idolaters of creation and have rejected the true God that they know from the creation and special revelation (Romans 1 and 2).

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Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Professor
"He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool:
but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered." Prov 28:26

"There is a way which seemeth right unto a man,
but the end thereof are the ways of death." Prov 14:12

"My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish,
neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand." John 10:27, 28

"To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word,
it is because there is no light in them." Isaiah 8:20
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
Good points, as those like Mormons and New Agers will look to having personal experiences and feelings trump any objective truth claims, as do many Charasmatics have same problem!
 
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