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Thread: Are we supposed to go by our feelings or by what the Bible says?

  1. #1

    Are we supposed to go by our feelings or by what the Bible says?

    I'm very confused because someone is telling me that I have to go by what the Bible says and not by my feelings. I kept telling him I knew the truth in my heart but he said that's a feeling, not a knowledge, and that I only thought that it was me knowing something, but it was really me feeling like I knew something. What I get confuddled about is that when I try to do what the Bible says my feelings automatically get involved. I.e. forgiving particular people who have wronged me is what the Bible says to do in Mark 11, but when I do it my feelings are activated and I feel like I know the truth when I forgive them. Or do I actually know the truth? But someone said that we don't get truth from an emotional experience, we get it from reading the Bible.

    So if I assume that we get truth from reading the Bible only, then we must not go beyond what is written (1 Cor 4:6). This means a strict interpretation rather than a loose one of the Bible, so I can only do what the Bible says I can, and cannot do what the Bible does not say that I can't do.

    As soon as I started going by the words in the Bible as how I lived rather than my feelings, all my beliefs collapsed because I no longer understood anything. That was how I interpreted and went through life, and now I'm very confused.

    This came into play with institutional churches. With me it was an issue of conscience too. Whether it is right or not. 2 Cor 9:13:
    By their approval of this service, they will glorify God because of your submission that comes from your confession of the gospel of Christ, and the generosity of your contribution for them and for all others.


    "For all others"-- does this mean a church can give to unbelievers? But all other examples and maybe this one included, are of churches supporting churches. It makes sense to me that a church should not become a business.



    And then I get more confused because the Bible does not say I can play video games. Not that I do, but does that mean I need to tell a brother not to play video games? It does not say I can listen to secular music (does it?). Does that mean I can't listen to secular music? Does it say I can play the piano for my own recreation? Can I write poetry for fun? Can I watch TV? Can I keep up with politics and news? Everything I used to do that I either felt like or knew was okay in my heart-- which one? -- is now in doubt because I have to go by what the Bible says, and I'm confused.

    And I always went by whether I was saved or not by a voice in my heart/emotions that believed/knew/felt like (which one is it?) that I was saved or condemned, but now it has to be based in scripture. Mark 16:16 says he who believes and is baptized will be saved, so I think I'm okay, but I'm more confused because if my conscience says it is wrong, it is wrong for me, and then this has, in the past, restricted me so I can do nothing at all, because everything is against my conscience.


    "The eyes of the LORD are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good."
    Prov 15:3

  2. #2

    Re: Are we supposed to go by our feelings or by what the Bible says?

    Quote Originally Posted by Joshua1 View Post
    I'm very confused because someone is telling me that I have to go by what the Bible says and not by my feelings. I kept telling him I knew the truth in my heart but he said that's a feeling, not a knowledge, and that I only thought that it was me knowing something, but it was really me feeling like I knew something. What I get confuddled about is that when I try to do what the Bible says my feelings automatically get involved. I.e. forgiving particular people who have wronged me is what the Bible says to do in Mark 11, but when I do it my feelings are activated and I feel like I know the truth when I forgive them. Or do I actually know the truth? But someone said that we don't get truth from an emotional experience, we get it from reading the Bible.

    So if I assume that we get truth from reading the Bible only, then we must not go beyond what is written (1 Cor 4:6). This means a strict interpretation rather than a loose one of the Bible, so I can only do what the Bible says I can, and cannot do what the Bible does not say that I can't do.

    As soon as I started going by the words in the Bible as how I lived rather than my feelings, all my beliefs collapsed because I no longer understood anything. That was how I interpreted and went through life, and now I'm very confused.

    This came into play with institutional churches. With me it was an issue of conscience too. Whether it is right or not. 2 Cor 9:13:
    By their approval of this service, they will glorify God because of your submission that comes from your confession of the gospel of Christ, and the generosity of your contribution for them and for all others.


    "For all others"-- does this mean a church can give to unbelievers? But all other examples and maybe this one included, are of churches supporting churches. It makes sense to me that a church should not become a business.



    And then I get more confused because the Bible does not say I can play video games. Not that I do, but does that mean I need to tell a brother not to play video games? It does not say I can listen to secular music (does it?). Does that mean I can't listen to secular music? Does it say I can play the piano for my own recreation? Can I write poetry for fun? Can I watch TV? Can I keep up with politics and news? Everything I used to do that I either felt like or knew was okay in my heart-- which one? -- is now in doubt because I have to go by what the Bible says, and I'm confused.

    And I always went by whether I was saved or not by a voice in my heart/emotions that believed/knew/felt like (which one is it?) that I was saved or condemned, but now it has to be based in scripture. Mark 16:16 says he who believes and is baptized will be saved, so I think I'm okay, but I'm more confused because if my conscience says it is wrong, it is wrong for me, and then this has, in the past, restricted me so I can do nothing at all, because everything is against my conscience.
    Let your conscience be guided by Jesus and all your feelings will be right.

  3. #3
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    Re: Are we supposed to go by our feelings or by what the Bible says?

    Quote Originally Posted by Joshua1 View Post
    ...and that I only thought that it was me knowing something, but it was really me feeling like I knew something.
    Can you explain what you say you know in a way that makes sense to other people? If yes, you know it; if not, you don't.

    You're a person, and person's have feelings. There's no dichotomy necessarily between our feelings and understanding Scripture, but there is a balance, and that balance means knowing what you feel, as much as it means feeling what you know.

  4. #4
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    Re: Are we supposed to go by our feelings or by what the Bible says?

    Quote Originally Posted by Joshua1 View Post
    I'm very confused because someone is telling me that I have to go by what the Bible says and not by my feelings. I kept telling him I knew the truth in my heart but he said that's a feeling, not a knowledge, and that I only thought that it was me knowing something, but it was really me feeling like I knew something. What I get confuddled about is that when I try to do what the Bible says my feelings automatically get involved. I.e. forgiving particular people who have wronged me is what the Bible says to do in Mark 11, but when I do it my feelings are activated and I feel like I know the truth when I forgive them. Or do I actually know the truth? But someone said that we don't get truth from an emotional experience, we get it from reading the Bible.

    So if I assume that we get truth from reading the Bible only, then we must not go beyond what is written (1 Cor 4:6). This means a strict interpretation rather than a loose one of the Bible, so I can only do what the Bible says I can, and cannot do what the Bible does not say that I can't do.

    As soon as I started going by the words in the Bible as how I lived rather than my feelings, all my beliefs collapsed because I no longer understood anything. That was how I interpreted and went through life, and now I'm very confused.

    This came into play with institutional churches. With me it was an issue of conscience too. Whether it is right or not. 2 Cor 9:13:
    By their approval of this service, they will glorify God because of your submission that comes from your confession of the gospel of Christ, and the generosity of your contribution for them and for all others.


    "For all others"-- does this mean a church can give to unbelievers? But all other examples and maybe this one included, are of churches supporting churches. It makes sense to me that a church should not become a business.



    And then I get more confused because the Bible does not say I can play video games. Not that I do, but does that mean I need to tell a brother not to play video games? It does not say I can listen to secular music (does it?). Does that mean I can't listen to secular music? Does it say I can play the piano for my own recreation? Can I write poetry for fun? Can I watch TV? Can I keep up with politics and news? Everything I used to do that I either felt like or knew was okay in my heart-- which one? -- is now in doubt because I have to go by what the Bible says, and I'm confused.

    And I always went by whether I was saved or not by a voice in my heart/emotions that believed/knew/felt like (which one is it?) that I was saved or condemned, but now it has to be based in scripture. Mark 16:16 says he who believes and is baptized will be saved, so I think I'm okay, but I'm more confused because if my conscience says it is wrong, it is wrong for me, and then this has, in the past, restricted me so I can do nothing at all, because everything is against my conscience.


    It looks like some of your post is pasted in? I wasn't able to follow the flow of it at the end.

    I will say this. There is a sort of "right wing" righteousness that preaches our salvation is in our thought process. While correct thinking is very important it is not the end-all-be-all. Emotional and spiritual properties in our life is actually the evidence we know and think correctly, and when either our thoughts or our emotions are out of balance, one can help correct the other.

    If the denominational group you are in believes that the "Word of God" is entirely within the pages of the Bible they are going to miss out on a lot. The Word of God is the man Jesus Christ. He is actually fellowshiping with you (within you) through the Spirit He sent. If you go very long without an emotional experience you will get lost in your own head. Christianity becomes a written exam.....

    While the Bible is irrefutable truth, it does not contain "all truth"

    John 16
    …12I still have much to tell you, but you cannot yet bear to hear it. 13However, when the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth. For He will not speak on His own, but He will speak what He hears, and He will declare to you what is to come. 14He will glorify Me by taking from what is Mine and disclosing it to you.…


    I believe that is still true today, the Spirit of God guides us in FRESH truth every day. The Bible is a foundation of truth, a bedrock, upon the bedrock of truth (the Gospel of Christ) we build our spiritual "house". (Matt 7:24)
    As the "thief" in the night, Christ is going to suddenly appear on the throne of Israel - not the antichrist.

  5. #5
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    Re: Are we supposed to go by our feelings or by what the Bible says?

    I can't tell you the last time I had "an emotional experience," and I wouldn't trust it to be objective truth if I did.

  6. #6

    Re: Are we supposed to go by our feelings or by what the Bible says?

    Quote Originally Posted by Joshua1 View Post
    I'm very confused because someone is telling me that I have to go by what the Bible says and not by my feelings. I kept telling him I knew the truth in my heart but he said that's a feeling, not a knowledge, and that I only thought that it was me knowing something, but it was really me feeling like I knew something. What I get confuddled about is that when I try to do what the Bible says my feelings automatically get involved. I.e. forgiving particular people who have wronged me is what the Bible says to do in Mark 11, but when I do it my feelings are activated and I feel like I know the truth when I forgive them. Or do I actually know the truth? But someone said that we don't get truth from an emotional experience, we get it from reading the Bible.

    So if I assume that we get truth from reading the Bible only, then we must not go beyond what is written (1 Cor 4:6). This means a strict interpretation rather than a loose one of the Bible, so I can only do what the Bible says I can, and cannot do what the Bible does not say that I can't do.

    As soon as I started going by the words in the Bible as how I lived rather than my feelings, all my beliefs collapsed because I no longer understood anything. That was how I interpreted and went through life, and now I'm very confused.

    This came into play with institutional churches. With me it was an issue of conscience too. Whether it is right or not. 2 Cor 9:13:
    By their approval of this service, they will glorify God because of your submission that comes from your confession of the gospel of Christ, and the generosity of your contribution for them and for all others.


    "For all others"-- does this mean a church can give to unbelievers? But all other examples and maybe this one included, are of churches supporting churches. It makes sense to me that a church should not become a business.



    And then I get more confused because the Bible does not say I can play video games. Not that I do, but does that mean I need to tell a brother not to play video games? It does not say I can listen to secular music (does it?). Does that mean I can't listen to secular music? Does it say I can play the piano for my own recreation? Can I write poetry for fun? Can I watch TV? Can I keep up with politics and news? Everything I used to do that I either felt like or knew was okay in my heart-- which one? -- is now in doubt because I have to go by what the Bible says, and I'm confused.

    And I always went by whether I was saved or not by a voice in my heart/emotions that believed/knew/felt like (which one is it?) that I was saved or condemned, but now it has to be based in scripture. Mark 16:16 says he who believes and is baptized will be saved, so I think I'm okay, but I'm more confused because if my conscience says it is wrong, it is wrong for me, and then this has, in the past, restricted me so I can do nothing at all, because everything is against my conscience.


    You're confusing a lot of issues here.

    The Bible isn't a definitive list of all the things you are allowed to do. The Bible gives some rules and some guidelines for how to live. God tells us not to steal so we don't steal. God tells us not to commit adultery so we don't commit adultery. God tells us to worship him so we worship him. If something isn't covered in Scripture you can decide whether to do it. The Bible doesn't say whether you're allowed to put sliced banana in a peanut butter sandwich so you can decide for yourself. Some things are covered in principle - the Bible doesn't say anything about watching porn online but we can deduce from commandments against adultery that we shouldn't be doing that.

    As to the question of texts or feelings. Feelings are unreliable so they make a really bad master. That's not to say that feelings are wrong but that following your feelings can lead you astray. I knew a woman in my teenage years who was constantly led by her feelings. She'd talk of how things resonated with her spirit and on the back of that alone she'd follow them. She ended up with such a weird set of beliefs that contradicted each other because each individual one felt right, but put together they were absurd.

    Scripture contains some clearly defined requirements to do something or not do something. Beyond that there's a lot that leaves you free to do things how you think is best. Love God, love your neighbor, and strive to be more like Christ. Along the way you may feel a personal conviction to do something or not do something. As long as it doesn't contradict Scripture it's fine, but remember it's a personal thing. If you feel a conviction to sleep with your neighbor's wife you don't have to look far in Scripture to find that you're not allowed to do that, so you can be sure the feeling is wrong. If you feel a conviction to stop drinking beer then by all means stop drinking beer, either for a time or permanently. Just don't expect that personal conviction to apply to other people. The Bible doesn't say we are not to drink beer and neither does it say we have to drink beer, so whether or not you drink beer is your decision. If you feel that for some reason you should stop drinking beer then have at it because Scripture doesn't prohibit the course of action you are thinking about taking.

  7. #7
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    Re: Are we supposed to go by our feelings or by what the Bible says?

    God gave us emotions. If it weren't for emotions then we would be cold toward God. It's working to remove bad emotions with bad intentions and bad motives from the heart and to replace them with planting God's Word in our hearts to grow in godly emotions. A book that is highly recommended is called, Feelings and Faith: Cultivating Godly Emotions in the Christian Life by Brian Borgman. I just ordered a copy and waiting for it in the mail.
    Last edited by Mr King; Nov 17th 2018 at 02:08 AM.

  8. #8
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    Re: Are we supposed to go by our feelings or by what the Bible says?

    Doing a search both with the ESV and KJV, the word 'feelings' has a grand total of ZERO as far as occurence.

    Whereas the phrase 'the Word of the Lord', alone occurs 255 times in the KJV.

    I'll let you draw your own conclusion.
    ♪ Each day may Christ become clearer, His Cross dearer, Our Hope nearer. ♫

  9. #9
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    Re: Are we supposed to go by our feelings or by what the Bible says?

    You can end the confusion by not letting people tell you what the bible says. If they try, you demand chapter and verse and then you read it yourself. Many people will make up stuff because they don't know what it says, and many will make up stuff because they wish it would not say what it says. You just have to read it for yourself.

    Read a chapter of Proverbs every day. Proverbs has 31 chapters so you can keep your place by just looking at a calendar. There is no religion or nothing in Proverbs and you don't have to believe anything. Just read to find wisdom. When you are comfortable with that, then read the bible from Romans to 2 Thessalonians over and over until you start to remember what it says. That is the part that applies to Christians.

    Here is a book to help you to understand the bible. It's a free download and you can get a hard copy at any bible book store.
    https://www.philologos.org/__eb-htetb/ "How To Enjoy The Bible"

  10. #10

    Re: Are we supposed to go by our feelings or by what the Bible says?

    What would humans be like if we never became emotional, if we were capable of controlling emotions at all times? Perhaps we would be like Mr. Spock on Star Trek, as his responses to all situations seem to be purely logical, never emotional. But God created us in His image, and God’s emotions are revealed in the Scriptures; therefore, God created us emotional beings. We feel love, joy, happiness, guilt, anger, disappointment, fear, etc. Sometimes our emotions are pleasant to experience and sometimes not. Sometimes our emotions are grounded in truth, and sometimes they are “false” in that they are based upon false premises. For example, if we falsely believe that God is not in control of the circumstances of our lives, we may experience the emotions of fear or despair or anger based on that false belief. Regardless, emotions are powerful and real to the one feeling them. And emotions can be helpful indicators of what is going on in our hearts.

    https://www.gotquestions.org/managing-emotions.html

    You guys check this article out, it is really good.

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