December 9, 2004 In the last article entitled “One of the Unique Elements of True Christianity”, I outlined the Biblical concept of relational/experiential knowing (yada’) as a foundation for one’s relationship with God and with each other. I pointed out how the Scripture teaches that God wants us to know him by our experiencing his character and that God wants to know us by him experiencing our character. I also pointed out how the same is the case in human/human Christian/Christian relationships. We cannot know one another unless we are open to share our whole lives with each other. Only in that way is there a true “yada’” between us.
In this article I wish to share about what happens if this “yada’” is not maintained in an intimate (personal) way between Christians. Throughout history societies have been influenced by movements which influence their social environment. Today one of the movements of history that has influenced our society is the Enlightenment of the 18th century. That period of history, according to Ralph C. Wood , among other things, highlighted the concept of the “independent, all- sovereign self”. This concept has permeated our society including the vast majority of churches in America. People are by-enlarge no longer in each other’s lives. They are independent of each other. There are very little close interpersonal relationships. Churches are filled with people who have a solitary faith. People say, “All I need is Jesus” and “I don’t need the church”. People who call themselves “Christians” today see no need to be involved with one another (or with God) in the Hebrew concept of “yada’”. As a result, people don’t really “know” each other, nor do they “know” God in many cases. People have decided that they don’t need to be in each other’s lives to help each other or to be right with God.
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