Personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
It is often said by the faithful that Christianity is not a religion but a personal love relationship with Jesus Christ. Despite Christians trying to monopolise God for themselves, men of all ages and religions have wanted a personal relationship with God. Therefore this desire to know God is not unique to Christianity.
We read in Psalm 63 an example of David's yearning for God: "O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water." Psalm 42 gives a similar thought: "As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, oh God”.
Even though it is perfectly normal for Christians to speak as if they know God; it is still one of the weirdest things to experience, when a Christian friend or family member says things like; "God said to me...or the Lord told me ….”. Unfortunately or perhaps fortunately God has never spoken to me. But there are numerous people, including many commentators on News24, who think that they indeed can communicate with God.
This presents a problem for God because he would have to say the same thing all the time, to every body and never change his mind. Well we all know that is not the case and everybody who God talks to seems to get a different answer. There should be no confusion in what the Lord has to say- but there is.
Never the less serious Christians profess that they can talk with God the Father having been introduced to him, when they allowed Jesus Christ to come into their “hearts”. They are no longer enemies of God, but have been made acceptable by the atonement of Jesus, whereby they can enter boldly into the throne room, to talk to God, arm in arm with Jesus, the best friend anyone could have.
They who once were sinners and enemies of God have been transformed by the power of the blood spilt on Calvary, into sons/daughters, friends of God and joint heirs to every thing God owns.
No wonder there are two billion Christians, who does not want God at his side as one journeys through life? Imagine that. If God is for, with and in you, who, can be against you? Who can resist a gospel that gives great benefits like that?
When Evangelicals/Fundamentalists ask, “Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus?” they don’t mean “personal relationship” in any normal sense. We all know what a “personal relationship” means in normal conversation. If I pointed at someone across a room and said, “Do you have a personal relationship with that stranger?” You would say “No!” I don’t know that person.
In order to get to know some one you have to have conversations, where you share information with each other; you go out to dinner, you play sport; you spend time together and so on.
If that is the case how can anyone have a relationship with Jesus Christ? Jesus is totally imaginary. You can’t see him, you can’t hear him, you can’t smell him, and you can’t feel him. So, the only way he exists is in your imagination.
We never use the term “personal relationship” in normal conversation to mean that you focus your eyes at your nose, become squint, talk to yourself and imagine someone was listening — that is called “having an imaginary friend”.
There is no alternative to the imagination being the means by which a person can “know” God.
Okay, Christians might say they can hear Jesus but they are not using the word “hear” in the normal sense. What they mean by “hear” is that they talk to their imaginary friend and then wait for a nice warm fuzzy feeling (when the feel good dopamine drug fix kicks in) and then they call that “the voice of the Lord”.
Well sorry to burst your bubble brothers and sisters; it is impossible to know Jesus, because he is invisible and there is no verifiable evidence that such an individual is anything other than a figment of the imagination.
The Bible cannot be used for evidence based on many reasons, not the least being that it would be a fallacy of circular reasoning. Two thousand years of a non-appearance of an individual that was supposedly to physically come back again in the disciple’s generation proves that Jesus is dead and buried.
What difference is there between children with imaginary friends and adults that believe they have a friendship with Jesus? A relationship with Jesus can only take place in a believer’s imagination. If a spirit being actually existed there is no possible way to communicate with it.
Anyone can imagine a supernatural being, just as one can imagine gods, devils, ghosts, demons, werewolves, leprechauns, toclotche etc or any other known work of fiction or fantasy. Any one, who chooses to, can easily imagine a just and righteous God sitting on his great white throne judgement seat in heaven calling the shots over humanity and condemning unbelievers to eternity in hell etc. Even a child can imagine such things.
Christians just go one better; they imagine that they are in a personal relationship with God. Personifying an imaginary being, of course, is not difficult to do. All you need to do is imagine that the imaginary being is personal, that it is aware of what you say, do, think, feel, understand, etc., and presto: you have an imaginary friend!
By constructing such imaginations, and pretending to yourself that they are real, you have put yourself into a submissive position to be ruled by the said imaginative being. You know that your fantasy relationship cannot pass scrutiny, but you still believe that it is real - perhaps because you fear the alternative; loneliness, fear that if there is a God you are going to hell, and so on.
That is the purpose of divine judgment and eternal hell in Christianity: to compel the believer to take his fantasies of the Christian God seriously by means of supernatural threats to his well-being.
The impact of such fantasies on one’s emotional life is difficult to understand, but whatever it is, it can’t be right to live in a fantasy world. Christians willingly and knowingly allow ancient superstitious ideas about life to trump their better judgement just because they have to live in submission to Jesus Christ and obey his commandments.
1) Imaginary companions are a psychological and social phenomenon where a personal relationship takes place in the imagination rather than physical reality.
They are often made in childhood, sometimes in adolescence, and rarely in adulthood. Imaginary companions are an integral part of many children's lives.
They provide comfort in times of stress, companionship when they're lonely, someone to boss around when they feel powerless, and someone to blame for the broken lamp in the living room.
Most important, an imaginary companion is a tool young children use to help them make sense of the adult world. (Wiki)
2) Paediatrician Benjamin Spock believed that imaginary friends past age four indicated that something was "lacking" in the child or his environment.
Some child development professionals still believe that the presence of imaginary friends past early childhood signals a serious psychiatric disorder. (Wiki)