Tag Archives: Agape love

It’s Time real lovers of God to Stand and Speak Out!

On one article we reblogged over here (and as such did not write it ourselves) and in which there were used popular words by youngsters, somebody felt offended. It looks like she could not feel any empathy with the generation we and the author of the original article were talking about and brought herself calling us stupid people, though missing the whole point of that article and the discussion around it.

Extended Coloured family from South Africa showing some spectrum of human skin colouration

In our world we see still too many people who want to differentiate between skin colour and race. They continue to demand that there would be called or named the differences between people who live at the same place, instead of accepting everybody who lives there for what he is and for how he looks like. They insist that people who live already for many generations in a certain country or area would still have a referral to that long ago place of origin as if that place of origin of so many generations ago brought a blemish on that person. It looks like many do want that lots of people keep running around with the stain of their past and long death ancestors.

Today we see again a movement going on to put on all people labels, like Moroco, Turkish,  Arabic, Berber, Afro-American, etc.. Though those people may already live here for the 3rd, 4th or even 5th generation. As we spoke about the trend the Dutch Press requesting not to use the word ‘blank’ (fair) but now to use ‘wit’ (white) opposite ‘zwart’ (black) instead of ‘kleurling (coloured). Whilst certain newspapers still shall continue words as ‘blank’ and ‘kleurling’ (coloured) not looking at the different skin colour as something negative. Clearly the colour of the skin has become again a point of discussion and we are back to the way of return and pre-Martin Luther King-times, or the time of racial segregation with Apartheid.

Darya safai-1480075466.jpg

Iranian-Belgian human rights activist Darya Safai playtoy of the rightwing political parties trying to limit the freedom of expression and freedom of religion

Several politicians are doing their best to come back to such a time and many migrants are helping them without them having a proper knowledge of what is happening. As such we may find the Iranian dentist Darya Safai who is used as a plaything by the Flemish Nationalists and/or right-wing political parties. The Iranian-Belgian human rights activist grew up in the Islamic Republic of Iran after the revolution of 1979. We can clearly see how she got traumatised with her experiences in Iran. There she experienced at first hand how it was to live as an oppressed woman in a religious dictatorship. But now she thinks this would also be so in Belgium or the countries around us. She insist that parents would have no say on the religious education they want to give at home and want to prohibit any person in our country to wear religious symbols or to have traditional attire.  She finds the schools must prohibit any religious dress-code. By doing so she wants the freedom of religion, the freedom of expression and the freedom of clothing restricted. By doing so see also endangers our democratic freedom.

After she was temporarily released on bail, she decided to flee Iran together with husband via Turkey to Belgium.  Instead of seeing that we want to be a free country where everybody should be able to live next to each other she now wants to create an other Iran where she shall be on the side of the dictators or decision makers. Though she says she wants to fight against discrimination she tries to bring in discriminating  measures, having children nor their parents the right to choose their own religion and how they want to be religious.

In December 2016, Darya Safai was awarded the title ‘Women Of Peace’ by the Belgian Secretary of State for Equal Opportunities at the Belgian Senate, for her fight for women’s rights, though at that time it was already clear she had a more unpleasant agenda.

Last week when  a state school was ordered to let 11 young girls (age 12) to wear their hijab to school inspite their ban on all religious symbols Safai went into heavy reaction again helping to have a growing stir in the debate

because when a judge rules that specific people can ignore a rule that counts for everyone, it will cause more division.

It is true that now other Muslim, Sikh, Jewish parents can go to court and achieve the same override for their kid. On the other hand by Safai her actions to forbid head-covering we now have Sikh kids in Sint-Truiden (Haspengouw Hesbaye), who cannot go any more to a state- or to a Catholic school because they are not allowed in with their head covering. For them and for those who want to wear a head-covering the only solution is to go to a private school. Safai forgets that this would cost the parents a lot more and that such private schools of a certain religion endangers our society more, because than there is no control by the school directorate and then the way to indoctrination is totally free and would be unnoticed. We also could see what happened already in one of the Antwerp Jewish schools a few weeks ago. We must be very careful with an overprotection and giving the opportunity to have youngsters drifting away.

Safai seems to think the same rules count over here as in her birthplace. She argues that the choice to wear a headscarf is not made by girls themselves. By this she underestimate the strong will of many Belgian girls. She says

“It’s not a free choice, when I see six-year-old girls wearing headscarves, I really wonder how they could decide that for themselves-it’s imposed on you and you live with them.”

For Safai the girls their head-covering is indeed a symbol of oppression.

“Men do not wear headscarves, that’s the best proof,”

Orthodox Christian pilgrim

said Safai, to which Vanhecke replied

“With Jews, only the men wear a yarmulke, and that is not seen as a symbol of oppression,”

Safai also forgets or probably does not know that in West Europe all kids from the 1940ies to 1960ies have had to cover their head as girls and we as boys had to cover (like the girls also) our limbs. No bare arms or are knees where to be seen and women at to sit on the left side of the church.  It is all still clear in our head also, how our parents and when we went swimming in the sea we had to cover most of our body. (Later, as hippies we went against those restrictions and ran even naked in nature.) And now a few years later what had to happen then suddenly should not be allowed any more. She also does it as if the head-covering is only a Muslim matter, forgetting that still today many religious Christian groups prescribe head-covering for their members.

Roman Catholic nuns

Roman Catholic nuns – Roman Catholic nuns singing in choir. – Smith2006

Throughout the centuries of Church history, women have worn head coverings during the meetings of the church – that is, when “praying or prophesying” take place. In Europe the wearing of fabric head coverings in worship was also universally the practice of Christian women until the twentieth century and in several Reformed churches, Baptists, Christadelphian, Brethren and various Mennonites it is still the custom for young and old. In the South of Europe we may find lots of nuns of the Roman Catholic churches with a covering of their heads, whilst many women in the South (like Spain and Italy) still often have the head covering by means of a headscarf. In Eastern Orthodox churches, all women still cover their heads. With the old believers this may only be a headscarf, with the other Eastern Orthodox it may also be a veil.

Vanhecke, with good reason, thinks girls are also oppressed if they are not allowed to wear the headscarf.

“A religion obliges the headscarf, a society forbids it, that is the same principle.”

“You interfere in a fundamental right of parents to make choices for their children,”

says Vanhecke.

That what Safai tries to avoid she helps to create. One should avoid that we get such private religious schools as only possibility for religious people to give their kids an education. When we would have such specific Jewish, Hindu and/or Islam schools we make it much easier to have them a specific religious education or indoctrination and creating a generation which would be less adapted in our culture than those who grow up together with all sorts of kids from different nationalities and different religions. Instead of integrating them in a multicultural society Safai shall help to create a divided society with lots of racism.

So needless to say this situation actually causes the very religious division that the ban on head-covering tries to avoid.

Mieke Vanhecke (CD & V), ex-top woman of Catholic education, pleaded in Terzake for the right to wear a headscarf at school. Darya Safai (N-VA) continues to see it as a symbol of oppression. Vanhecke argues that not only Muslims are victims of the headscarf debate.

“A ban on headgear not only affects Muslims,”

says Vanhecke.

“In Sint-Truiden there were never any problems, the Sikh boys came to school with a turban, because of the ban they no longer have access to our school.”

Safia is convinced that children and young women can not make up their own mind what to wear. For her children nor women who wear the hijab impossibly can do that of their own will and impossibly can be happy clothing themself that way. Many like her she see misogyny and are convinced that they must be under dictation of a male dictator or male bully. Often we hear voices like

Her husband must have forced her’

‘Poor girl, she may not dress like she wants’

Safia like many right wing people can only think of suppression, seeing men’s orders and their power over women. Others love to shout

Unveil yourself’,

‘Hide not yourself”

‘Let us see your beauty’

Why should they have such a need to see the beauty of that woman? Why can they not respect that woman like she wants to dress herself?

Those people thinking women or girls who like to wear a head scarf of hijab are pushed by their family, do forget that there are enough strong women in Belgium who can make up their mind themselves. They do not need their fathers or their male partner to dictate what they should wear but even less should they have others to dictate what they should wear or may not wear. That last bit is what Darya Safai and many Nationalists and Neo-Nazis love to do.

Lots of those who call themselves Christian but oppose the freedom of other lovers of God, do forget that by doing so they go in against the Law of God. Their strong actions against Muslims and Jews also clearly show that they do not bear Jesus his teachings of love in their heart. Lots of them also do not understand that wearing a covering on the head may represent an ordainment from God and a submitting to the Most High. There are enough places in Scriptures which talk about such covering and reasons why and when to do it.

Those who are an atheist or do not believe in the One True God should not try to put their law above the Laws of God nor should they urge all others to live like them and to dress like them.

Many also do forget the use of a head-covering can just mean those women liberated themselves from the world and its attitudes. For many believers in the One True God it can mean just empowerment, liberation and freedom. Too many underestimate the European female and think they would be like the women in the Middle East used as slaves by the male figures around them. But we can see strong women who have made up their own mind and by their own choice and by their own intentions they dare to show their faith to others and are not afraid to be mocked at or to be looked at as of ‘not of this world’. They do not want to be of this world but of the world of God. For them that is more important than being a slave of this world where every body assumes he or she is free when they can have sex with as many as they can or drink as much as they want to do all the funniest things one can think of.

Mrs. Safai does as if those girls, when they would wear a head dress, never would be able to integrate in our society or would never be able to get work. When they would not get work because they wear a head covering, does that not tell more about the party who does not want to give her work? And does that not show how certain people do not want others to integrate in our community?

By the way, lots of right wing people do as if those Muslim girls who want to cover their head are foreigners, but a lot are girls and ladies who were before ‘white Belgian citizens’ and even belonging to Catholic families.

That many people are so much afraid that there would be so many converts to Mohammedanism tells also a lot about the weakness of most members of that faith. Lots of Roman Catholics and Protestants even not knowing the Name of God and never having read the Bible. If they would be standing strong in the faith we see no reason why they and others should be so afraid. The other way, Christians should come out and proclaim their faith to those who are no Christian. They should show people that Jesus is the way and show that Jesus his teaching is one of love and of comprehension and compassion. But most Belgians, Dutch and French people just show the opposite, showing their hate against immigrants and people who are different than they or who think differently than they.

Lots of people seem to have forgotten how we and our parents had to cover our body a few decades ago. Lots of them also forget that just because their western values don’t fit with a woman covering her hair and beauty, it still could be a personal choice for that person covering herself. Many do forget that their Western values are way out from our Christian Western values and norms.

Today so many oppose people who have an other opinion. We also see the right wing people wanting so much that every body would dance to their will.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said,

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

These days we are going backwards because several people want to push their will unto others. They want an exclusive white state for themselves with only believers in that what they believe and in that what they call Christian values, but are not at all Christian values.

In Belgium we can find  more and more Muslim children in community education, especially with regard to other educational networks we may find a larger influx of students from other cultures in general in the state schools. When these children want to show their own faith in the form of clothing, they often do so out of their own convictions, but because these young people are not yet adults, they often take over the prevailing morality of their immediate environment and of society. If we compare this with the Flemish youths of indigenous origin, we notice a big difference, but according to us that is easy to explain. After all, with many Flemish young people there is a great ignorance of the church, while the Muslim children are more often socialized in their ideology.
The total banning of religious signs would thus be a violation of religious freedom. We should resist such a thing.
That a lot of inhabitants of Belgium, Holland and France do not want to stand open for other cultures we should try to avoid in the next generations by introducing the various cultures from the early years in childhood.

Dyab Abou Jahjah in 2008.

The Belgian-Lebanese Arab political activist and writer Dyab Abou Jahjah, claims that

‘hatred in Flanders is mainstream’

and

‘racism determines the agenda’.

When you follow certain reactions and talks it gives the impression not enough people want to react against that dangerous trend.

Christian people should let others know that all people have the same value because we are created by the same One True God. We all are being allowed to live on this globe and are given talents which can be used to help others. All people in a community have to complement each other.
Each person should know that racism devalues people. Non believers should come to see that Christ has broken down racial doors and overcomes divisive thinking by creating for himself a new nation through his death and resurrection. Every Christian should help to build a loving world by showing his love for others, be them of no believe or any other believe than Christianity.
When the politicians are not doing their job properly to build a multicultural peaceful state, the Christians needs to lead the way.
When you are a Christian do not wait until it is too late!

Let your voice be heard and speak up for the weaker ones in our society and for those who humiliated and shut out.

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Preceding articles

What is important?

Enough with the Clothes Shaming of Muslim Women

Anti-Semitic pressure driving Jews out of Europe

The Mountain: Radical Love

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Additional reading

  1. Vliegend spaghettimonster en Gelijke behandeling voor elke overtuiging
  2. Parenthood made more difficult
  3. Uncertainty, shame and no time for vacillation
  4. Migrants to the West #2
  5. On French beach French police forces woman to undress in public
  6. Pew Research: How People in Muslim Countries Believe Women Should Dress
  7. Allowing dress code according liberty of religion
  8. Coverings Worn by Muslim Women
  9. The Dress Code for Women in the Quran
  10. Meditating Muslimah on “hijab to be a religious obligation”
  11. French showing to the whole world their fear and weakness
  12. Christians, secularism, morals and values
  13. Trusting present youngsters who are not necessary evil
  14. Overprotection and making youngsters drifting away
  15. Today’s thought “And he counted it to him for righteousness” (January 12)
  16. Listening to the lessons of the Bible and looking for ways to please God

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Related

  1. Hijab 1
  2. Hijab 2
  3. The Meaning of Hijab
  4. I Tried Wearing a Hijab (sort of)
  5. The hijab of ignorance
  6. Cultural Bias
  7. An Imagined Offence
  8. The Irony of Hijabs!!
  9. Transition: My Hijab Story
  10. Hijab: Oppression or Freedom?
  11. Hijab in Islam and other religions
  12. Hijab | Zanzibar, Tanzania
  13. Women unite for World Hijab Day, which is Today
  14. Happy World Hijab Day 2018!
  15. Pearls and swines – loose priorities – the hijab-saga in perspective
  16. Hidden Pearl Hijab Review
  17. Hijab ‘Attack’ Condemned By Canada’s Prime Minister Was A Hoax
  18. My Hijab Story
  19. The Secret Hijabi
  20. What My Hijab Means To Me
  21. Perspective: Hijab is Oppression or Freedom?Newspeak and the politics of fear
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Preach

Too many people who call themselves Christian do forget who Jesus really was and which tasks he had given to his followers. Today true Christians still should follow the teachings of Jesus Christ and should proclaim the hopeful message of the coming Kingdom.

Real Christians should be heralds of the Gospel, eager to tell the people about the Good News, of salvation and about the hope for mankind given by the Grace of God.

As forerunner or herald Christians should be portent or indicators of something important or calamitous about to occur, perhaps an omen in the eyes of many, but for others an insurmountable event to look forward even when it might bring lots of suffering and an incredible violence. therefore we should warn the people of that last and third world war which is insuperable.

By sharing the agape love and bringing more people to see that Jesus is the way to God and the way to life, the Christian herald shall be able to make many stronger and secured against the coming disaster. Out of love for others we should tell others about the love of God, about what Jesus has done, but also about the return of Jesus and what to expect of that time of his return.

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To remember

  • Greek word most often translated as ‘preach’ is κηρύσσω – kérussó (Strong’s 2784) = Koine = ‘to be or act like a herald’ or ‘to proclaim’.
  • role of a herald or Old French heraut from Frankish via herewald, literally ‘war-ruler’, > martial or commander > 3 distinct contemporary meanings:
  1. A messenger
  2. A harbinger
  3. A steward (of heraldry -a rank/position at the College of Arms)
  •  ‘preacher’ of the Gospel, = entrusted (stewardship) with a message of coming of the Kingdom of God.
  • ‘to herald’ =  ‘sing the praises of’
  • idea that a Christian should ‘preach the Gospel’= frowned upon. >  conjures images of street corner evangelists ranting at passing ‘sinners’
  • Christian organisations involved in social action ministry > running night shelters, to discourage volunteers from speaking about Jesus – some even require a signed commitment to not proactively mention the Gospel.

What has gone wrong?  To paraphrase Peter (Acts 5:3), how has Satan so filled the hearts of Christians?  How is it that Christians feel confident enough to defy God and disobey the Great Commission?

Go into all the world and proclaim (kérussó) the gospel to the whole creation. (Mark 16:15)

‘preach’ is not:

  • convicting people of their sin and telling them they are bound for hell
  • talking down to people from a position of self-righteousness
  • a slick presentation, a hectoring declamation or a well-honed argument.

Preaching = heralding = speaking joyfully of Jesus, singing his praises; telling people of how people are transformed in Christ, and how they can be also, through faith.

best witnesses to Christ = demonstrate love +  speak of its origin, which is Jesus; perhaps the Great Commission was given as command because Jesus knew that it would be challenging.

If witness speaks from love about hope + declares that Jesus = source of hope => herald will have done his work faithfully.

 

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Additional reading

  1. Two new encyclopaedic articles
  2. Breathing to teach
  3. “I Die Daily”
  4. To create a great journey

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Related

 

  1. What is meant by awareness, or witnessing?
  2. Witnessing the Destruction of Nature around the Planet.
  3. Man I sure wish I would’ve had one of my witnessing cards just now to send with a man.
  4. A witnessing prayer
  5. Witnessing the Secret Creator
  6. ” Witnessing “
  7. As the clock strikes 12…
  8. Hope is an anchor
  9. Reject And Correct Christian propaganda
  10. Families embrace their community for the gospel
  11. Bold to Witness
  12. Being a One Talent Church
  13. Come and see…
  14. Hold Up The Light
  15. Are You An Ambassador For Christ?
  16. Are You Ready for the Harvest?
  17. First Things First
  18. Talking About Jesus
  19. You Are Ready To Go – By Laurence Torr
  20. Christianity’s Most Essential Verse

God Breathed Words

raffaello-sanzio-da-urbino-st-paul-preaching-at-athens-cartoon-for-the-sistine-chapel.jpg Raphael’s depiction of Paul preaching in Athens

Surely you remember, brothers and sisters, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you.  (1 Thessalonians 2:9)

The Greek word that is most often translated as ‘preach’ is κηρύσσω – kérussó (Strong’s 2784).  The word in the Koine

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A New Reformation

Lots of American churches have been caught by the American individuals aiming for capitalism and having their own self enjoying it as much as they can in as much wealth they can get.

The American people have forgotten where their ancestors came from and that they too are people which only can live in that wealth because their ancestors where finding themselves a place where they were not considered as unwanted immigrants.

Lots of Americans still do not see that their family has taken the ground of the indigenous people, the ones who lived on the pastures. Lots of Americans also have forgotten the main message of sharing agape love.They may be members of mega-churches, but those churches have nothing in common with the first ecclesiae or meeting places of the first followers of Jesus Christ.

The majority of Christians in the United States of America still do not understand how the devote Jew Saul (better known as Paul today) used also harsh language in denouncing the way the face of Christ was distorted by both false teaching and behaviour inconsistent with the Gospel. Today it is not better than in his time. Most people having taken Jesus as their god and also having made graven images of their gods. The majority has come to live like Roman Catholics not reading the bible any more and just hearing some verses often taken out of context.

All over the world we can see that the majority of people with their lifestyle are far off the teachings of the Holy Scriptures. Already for that reason it is high time we shall get some awakening again.

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To remember

American (Eastern Orthodox) theologian David Bentley Hart raises some thought-provoking questions about the American church that if raised by others would immediately be brushed aside as symptomatic of “anti-Americanism”.

open + troubling question whether American religiosity has resources to help sustain a culture as a culture >to create a meaningful future, or can only prepare for the end times.

can it cultivate kind of moral intelligence necessary to live in eternity and in historical time simultaneously, without contradiction?

 

American Christian Fundamentalism (ACF) made deep inroads into churches all over the world since the Second World War => influence magnified with rise of satellite TV + Internet.

decline of old-style European theological liberalism, ACF poses far bigger threat to global church than Islamist fundamentalism.

(1) ACF promotes religious hypocrisy > baptising consumerist “American dream” + right-wing political agendas

(2) ACF promotes mindlessness > demonizes whatever it doesn’t understand = Secularism, Evolution, Feminism, Islam + ancient Asian religions.

(3) ACF promotes divisiveness > preaching a private, individualistic “Gospel”, blinding its followers to scandal of Christian fragmentation, rivalry + separation. +  encourages “personality cults” disguised as “doctrinal distinctives.”

(4) ACF promotes Zionist views re the Middle East, reinforcing the apartheid practices of the Israeli state.

=> need a new Reformation among evangelical Protestants.

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Find also to read: Followers, protestors and reformers

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Vinoth Ramachandra

The American (Eastern Orthodox) theologian David Bentley Hart raises some thought-provoking questions about the American church that if raised by others would immediately be brushed aside as symptomatic of “anti-Americanism”. In an article (“The Angels of Sacré-Coeur”) first published in 2011, Hart writes:

“It is very much an open and troubling question whether American religiosity has the resources to help sustain a culture as a culture- whether, that is, it can create a meaningful future, or whether it can only prepare for the end times. Is the American religious temperament so apocalyptic as to be incapable of culture in any but the most local and ephemeral sense? Does it know of any city other than Babylon the Great or the New Jerusalem? For all the moral will it engenders in persons and communities, can it cultivate the kind of moral intelligence necessary to live in eternity and in historical time…

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Preaching as Public Speaking

Jesus has given his followers the task to go out into the word to preach the Good News of the coming Kingdom of God.

2020 years after the master teacher his birth the Church has gone fare away from his teachings. In many church-groups or denominations we can find that human doctrines have won and that the people in the congregation or church community prefer to keep to human tradition instead of holding to the biblical teachings and Godly holy days.

"I want to preach a sermon. . ." - N...

“I want to preach a sermon. . .” – NARA – 514567 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Disappointed by the many contradicting teachings, ideas and having seen so many pastors, ministers and priests not living according to the Law of God and the law of human decency, lots of people got enough of the hypocrisy of those churches. Today we can only see (nearly) empty churches all over West Europe.

For sure the Body of Christ needs some fresh blood and some good ‘Punch’. Anno 2017 it looks like the church is gone ‘pubering’ again and in need of some acné products, trying to get rid of the puperal pimples or the sickness of the capitalist world where man has increased his position to godly status, so many thinking they are god themselves and play for god.

This world need preachers or speakers who are not afraid to give those immature consumers a tick on their bum. some even can use some figurative slap in the face to wake them up.

Most important to come over as some one sincere and credible is that the one who wants to speak for God he or she, himself or herself beliefs in the Most High and in His only begotten son. In the preacher has to burn the light of faith before he can go to others for trying to convince them to see that light in the darkness.
First there has to be conviction and persuasion in the preacher’s heart, glowing very strongly, to have the fire in the eyes, with such a kind and sweet heart that people would become eager to taste that sweetness and listen to what that person has to tell.

With the hate and vile language we can find lots of Christians spreading today on the internet and in common speech on the streets, they shall not be able to attract others to love them or to love what they tell.

Today we also find lots of Christians who preach there has a war started by the Muslims against the Christians. They forget that lots of Christians are setting themselves against the Islam. They do not see they have fallen in the trap of the false Muslims who not only have done a lot of damage to Islam but also want to destabilise the whole world.

It is up to the preachers who call themselves Christian to show the love of Christ and to share that agape love with all people around them, atheists, other believers (be them Muslims or from an other faith).

Without the love of Christ and without the burning fire of faith in the own heart, the preacher his gained ‘technique’ shall be quickly uncovered by the truth, so let him first get to the core of the Bible and teach that biblical Truth instead of human doctrines, and let he or she be unbiased, open to all people and not to just a few of a certain race or group.

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To remember

  • preaching = divine task + form of public speaking
  • preaching involves spiritual dynamics + oratory skills = technical aspect of preaching < form of public speaking => skills revolving around use + proper utilization + creative use of voice, eye contact, facial expressions, gestures + movements.
  • no methodology holy
  • Only written words of God in Bible are holy

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Preceding articles

Several Christians fail to recognise the Chosen ones of God and are not taking on a Christian attitude

To proclaim the day of vengeance

What makes you following Christ and Facebook Groups

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Additional reading

  1. The business of this life
  2. The task given to us to love each other
  3. Parish, local church community – Parochie, plaatselijke kerkgemeenschap
  4. People who know how to pray to move God to take hold of our affairs in a mighty way
  5. Pulpit reserved for the pastor
  6. Notification and news feed for Facebook users
  7. Bring praise to the Creator
  8. The essence of church

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Further reading

  1. Why are Christians so nosey about other peoples affairs
  2. What, we agree? Compatible issues in a disagreeable world
  3. Is a Religious War in Europe Imminent?
  4. Bias, and Disagreeing with Something
  5. Can we not be civil and simply disagree?
  6. “Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give”
  7. Are you ready for this?
  8. On the Power of Hospitality…
  9. “When I Could Stand it No Longer….”
  10. Proclaim
  11. Politics and Preaching
  12. Good enough for ministry?
  13. What builds the Church?
  14. Back to Baby Steps
  15. Book Blurb: Biblical Preaching
  16. 3 Steps to Make the Message Stick
  17. 5 Lessons from the Mission Field
  18. Owen on Preaching, Sinclair on Children and Christ
  19. Finding My Voice
  20. The Foolishness of Preaching
  21. Jonah — Belief Contradicted by Behavior! (Part 3)
  22. Calvin: Ministers Ought Not to Steal
  23. Preaching to the Late Modern Mind: Five Cultural Narratives to Know
  24. Preparing to Preach
  25. Preaching and Faithfulness
  26. The Courage to Preach
  27. Pastoral Theology
  28. Reflections
  29. Charles Spurgeon on Spiritual Gleaning
  30. The Dispensation of Grace
  31. Stirring the Pot with Grace…
  32. Psalm 64:9 Pondering God’s Work
  33. How to Have a Successful Ministry

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Worship and the Christian Life

1

True, preaching is a divine task, yet basically it is also a form of public speaking. A true preacher will eventually realise that as much as preaching involves spiritual dynamics, it also certainly includes oratory skills. These oratory skills constitute the technical aspect of preaching.

Before I tell about this technical aspect of preaching, or the oratory skills, which make us realise that preaching is a form of public speaking, let me tell first some important points to consider.

The first point is that though the technical side of preaching is important, still the spiritual side is more important. Preaching is firstly divine, then secondly it is public speaking. Preaching achieves eternal spiritual fruits, something that ordinary public speaking can never produce.

The second point to consider is that no methodology is holy, no matter how helpful it is in preaching. The techniques of delivering a sermon are never holy…

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Seeds from the world creating division and separation from God

These days we can find more than one politician trying to sow division in his own country and in the world. The are very handy bullies who can keep their outlook unchanged like a good strong high quality wig. their periwig may be their trade mark, hiding what is underneath that peruke. Like postiches are fake people may not forget those words spoken by such politicians may also be fake.

We can hear those politicians, which claim to be Christians, picking on Jews, Muslims and immigrants, trying to hide the internal more important matters, and trying to please the people their tickling ears, who want to find a scapegoat for all the problems of their own country. The last few years our Jewish community already felt the pressure, having to face an increase of bullying, making that several Jews decided to leave Belgium and to go to Israel, where the violence seems to frighten them less than here in Belgium.

Shoebat asks why Christians, before they start ‘picking on Jewish, Muslim or immigrant dumpsters, are joining another dumpster instead of cleaning up the growing neopaganism in their own backyard?’

Fact is, so many, be they Catholic, Orthodox or Evangelical, are looking the other way, that for the sake of being anti-immigrant, they support the heathen. {The Greatest Abandonment Of Christianity In The West Is Happening And The Whole World Is Being Plunged Into Paganism As Biblical Prophecies Reveal}

He should know, like the whole world should know, that at this present day satan, the adversary of God, is throwing a lot of seeds on this globe which shall infect many other seeds wanting to grow up on this earth which is warming up for a less pleasant climate change and for bad times to come.

It are those seeds sown by the adversary of God, which are clearly no seeds of love, or seeds of peace, who by growing up, getting bigger than the slower growing seeds of godly people, that want to convince those who believe in the True God, that they are wrong and that they should believe in the god of the world, making that they shall have it much better than now as believing naive guys.

Those contemporary seeds want those who believe those very old books to come to see that the symbols they are carrying are the signs for better times. They are proud of their tattoos which should be a sign for the world that the world belongs to them. In a way, they are right. The world belongs to them. God has given the world in the hands of man. The adversary of God already for some time has the right to proof to the Divine Maker he can do it better than the Creator Himself.

In ancient times there where the idols of Egypt and it looks like we are gone back to them. We can see many carrying again those very well known symbols of the sun and pagan elements.

Europe and many of the slavs are veering away from Christ’s church returning back in masse to pre-Christian paganism, all with deities that honor “the sun” just as John predicted in Revelations. {The Greatest Abandonment Of Christianity In The West Is Happening And The Whole World Is Being Plunged Into Paganism As Biblical Prophecies Reveal}

At the closing times there will be division. People shall come to fight each other for many reasons, one of which religion shall taken as a point of discussion. The different religious groups fighting against each other, even Christians forgetting the agapé love of the preaching of Christ and his apostles, not willing to be open minded for people who have an other faith or come from other nations.

Isaiah 19 speaks of neopaganism spread from Egyptian mythology which will be the hallmark of the world prior to Christ’s coming. The ultra-nationalist movements from Europe all the way to slavic nations derive from Thor, the sun god in Norse mythology was also the Egyptian Osiris and Kneph, the Phœnician Bel or Baal, and it is accepted freely when slavic neopagans call upon the same God when they invoke Perun.

The American and European Alt-Right’s obsession with a mythical ancient Egyptian deity, Kek, is also Egyptian, while “the Hindus, Persians, Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, and Celts have all yielded striking comparisons [to each other], and the Norse Gods display significant resemblances to members of other pantheons” (A History of the Vikings, Oxford University Press, P.p, 319). {The Greatest Abandonment Of Christianity In The West Is Happening And The Whole World Is Being Plunged Into Paganism As Biblical Prophecies Reveal}

In the previous years we could feel how the right wing movements became more into the light, not hiding any more, but shouting loud, wanting to get rid of Jews and Muslims. Again Christian churches where silent, in the same way a mosques did not come out to tell people ISIS and other  Muslim fundamentalists where not real Muslims but bringers of hate, not acting like a Muslim should do.

All over Europe we can see the right wing parties getting stronger, making people afraid of the Muslims, Jews and of those who come to look for refuge. The refugees and immigrants are not welcome for them. There is no place in their heart to foster for those in need or fleeing from the war regions in the East or South.

1442206658849

The Lambda. The symbol of identitarians and many neo-Nazis

Shoebat writes

The devil will use antisemitism, stupid, where every evil is blamed on the Jews. And this is currently brewing like never before since WWII. While critiquing Jews is valid, the evil is this unbalanced view that is sweeping western nations like a storm accusing Jews to supersede gentiles in doing mischief. And its coming from claiming Christians who do not consider that antisemitism in Christianity is a heresy, condemned by the church as mortal sin since it stems from ultra-nationalists leading their nations to commit genocide. Today, there is a tremendous rise in antisemitism. It has become a silent reality getting us ever closer to fulfilling Zechariah 12. {A Horrific Storm Of Evil Is Rising Up And Is Sweeping The World, It Is Leading Europe Into The Hands Of The Antichrist}

According to him

Saddam Hussein appearing in a courtroom after his capture, Baghdad, Iraq.

Saddam Hussein, also spelled Ṣaddām Ḥusayn, in full Saddam Hussein al-Tikriti whose brutal rule was marked by costly and unsuccessful wars against neighbouring countries.

The first phase began around three decades ago when the West declared war hailing Saddam Hussein as the major threat to the world. And when the true prophets warned “this is a bad idea” the prophets were burned alive. Then it took a decade or two to recognize the prophets were right all along.

Then the next evil phase began when a new spring gushed forth out of the bottomless pit declaring that Middle East dictators are the major threat to the world. The false prophets declare it “an Arab Spring” and they blessed it. And when the true prophets said “this too is wickedness” more true prophets were burned alive. The west then went full-throttle on pumping this Arab Spring to gush forth the waters which became wormwood, and many people died from the water, because it had been made bitter.

The west, as it turns out, commenced an evil plan. Germany aided the Islamist evil dragon Turkey which spewed a flood of Muslim immigrants, locusts if you will, into the heartland of Europe. Now the European masters did not have to convince the masses to aid in the ultimate evil plan, the third phase. Instead the masses on their own declared and complained to their masters that aided and abetted this wormwood shouting that the Muslim immigration is the ultimate major threat to the world. {A Horrific Storm Of Evil Is Rising Up And Is Sweeping The World, It Is Leading Europe Into The Hands Of The Antichrist}

We can clearly see how anti-Semitism was growing in Europe and now has reached the United States of America as well. It is stemming not just from the typical anti-Israel liberals, but according to Shoebath from western conservatives who do not heed Zechariah’s warning.

Today the rise of neopaganism reveals a disturbing trend becoming the fastest growing religion globally and is also virulently antisemitic and contra-believers of God, be it Jews, real or non-trinitarian Christians or real Muslims. We should be alert that there are also groups who may see what is happening to the Jews but want to blame the followers of the prophet Mohammed, making people afraid of those believers of One God.

We must be careful, for those who are trying to frighten people for the worshippers of Allah. First of all those making others afraid of the worshippers of Allah, is that they forget ‘Allah’ is a title which denotes a god and the God. In Belgium and many other countries ‘Allah’ does not pose so many problems because it is a general title being used to denote a god or God, Who gets also other titles over here like ‘Ene’ or ‘Enige’ (‘One’ or ‘Only One’), Elohim, Dieu and Gott, el (not for the girl of female ‘el’) and El Shadai. I got the impression on the net (for the short time I’m presenting there my own ‘Immanuel site’ or blog) that English speaking people want all others to use the same word for God as they do and how many say the Jews killed Jesus and therefore should be punished and done with. (It would be the same as Jews now saying to a Caucasian “you killed my forefathers so I have to kill you’, though perhaps it could well be that this Caucasian’s father or grand parent really has Jewish blood on his hands, though Christ was long ago put to death not by Jews but by the Romans, which many Christians seem to forget.). Some even want that we all would speak English and use what is according to them the only valuable Bible ‘The King James Version’ as if God would only want to reach His people in English. The other-way round in some Muslim countries there are leaders wanting to forbid Catholics and protestants to use the general term for god or God ‘allah’ because they claim ‘Allah’ is only the God of Muslims. Both should know that Allah is the God of all. They also should know that Allah or God  has a name which is even Holy or set-apart, and which should be known all over the world. That Holy Name is Jehovah and is the Name given to the Most High Almighty God of gods, Who is a Spirit and not a human being or a being of flesh, blood and bones, like Jesus Christ was. He is also a singular God and Being One He wants all to worship Him alone and not having people bowing down in front of graven images or making any pictures or sculptures of Him or any other gods.

ps-copy

Today we can see that the pagan rituals are very much increasing again and that lots of people prefer to take part in those human rituals and pagan festivals, instead of holding to the festivals the Most High Elohim has given or demands His people to keep.

By having gone so far away from the mitzvah or commandments of God, man became ‘bewildered’ and has lost the North. Not having a good compass any more man has chosen for the wrong and more attractive paths.

Walid Shoebat seems not to believe that his American compatriots are also infested with the same pesticide as the European evangelicals. He writes

Most Americans think that Evangelicals are the same universality, believing that these are ‘Israel flag wavers’ just like them. The American evangelical being unique is the most ill-informed. When it comes to this issue, they do not realize that the bulk of what identifies itself as European Evangelicals are quite the different breed. Germany is exploding with Odin worship with a church in kahoot with it, while in the U.S. Evangelicals don’t say much fearing to appear as pro-immigrant. {The Greatest Abandonment Of Christianity In The West Is Happening And The Whole World Is Being Plunged Into Paganism As Biblical Prophecies Reveal}

and continues

While westerners are made to focus on “creeping Sharia,” they forget how Christians in Germany welcomed “creeping Nazism”. The rise of Nazism in 1933 upheld “Christian values”. Just as the Next News Network, Gary Franchi Jr, the Evangelical supporting the Soldiers of Odin for their good deeds, likewise, during Nazi Germany, Germans were persuaded by the statement on “positive Christianity”:

“We demand the freedom of all religious confessions in the state, insofar as they do not jeopardize the state’s existence or conflict with the manners and moral sentiments of the Germanic race. The Party as such upholds the point of view of a positive Christianity without tying itself confessionally to any one confession. It combats the Jewish-materialistic spirit at home and abroad and is convinced that a permanent recovery of our people can only be achieved from within on the basis of the common good before individual good.” (from Article 24, 1920 Nazi Party Platform)

And just as these deceived Europeans during Nazism, they are doing it again. Everything repeats, there is nothing new under the sun.

And just as it was in WWII, what they all have in common is “antisemitism” “ultra-nationalism,” and a “racialized” understanding of morality.

Kirchenratswahlen am 23. Juli 1933: Wahlpropaganda mit SA-Unterstützung vor der St.-Marien-Kirche am Neuen Markt in Berlin

And if one thinks it is the Catholic, or the Orthodox who were the main players, I remind, it was the Evangelicals in Germany who were the bulk of the masses deceiving while being deceived in the 1930s. These comprised of 28 regional churches or Landeskirchen, the bulk of German churches, that included the three major theological traditions that had emerged from the Reformation: Lutheran, Reformed, and United. Most, the bulk majority, of Germany’s 40 million Protestants, were members of this church, although there were smaller so-called “free” Protestant churches, such as Methodist and Baptist churches that withstood Nazism.

Flag of the Deutsche Christen or German Christians 1934

During the 1920s, a movement emerged within the German Evangelical Church called the Deutsche Christen, or “German Christians.” The “German Christians” embraced many of the nationalistic and racial aspects of Nazi ideology, which is exactly what we see rising today. Once the Nazis came to power, this group sought the creation of a national “Reich Church” and supported a “nazified” paganized version of Christianity.

{The Greatest Abandonment Of Christianity In The West Is Happening And The Whole World Is Being Plunged Into Paganism As Biblical Prophecies Reveal}

Wandlung der DC-Embleme 1932 – 1935 – 1937

It is very clear for us in West-Europe that we can see a very similar situation as in the 1920ies1930ies and that we similar dictatorial right wing figures rising up and misleading the citizens of their country. America being the first country in the series where the right wing weapon lobby has won and is going to do everything to get other coloured and other believers out of ‘their nation’. Soon we might see Wilders in the Netherlands and Marine Le Pen following in the footsteps of the new dictator Donald Trump, who shall take care that all those who do not agree with him shall disappear from the stage of his theatre.

Europe and other countries should be aware how they should be careful not to fall in the trap of those bad seed, the weeds being sown all over America and Europe, not to become infested with a dangerous virus, which not only shall kill many of the ones not like by many, but worst of all, killing lots of innocent people and bringing horror all over the world.

We should be warned and better know our real enemy.

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Preceding

Seeds to be planted soon

Seeds of promise

Seeds, weeds and kingdoms

Unbelief, faith and mustard seed

Engagement in an actual two-way conversation with your deities

Solstice, Saturnalia and Christmas-stress

 

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Additional reading

  1. Hamas the modern Philistines
  2. Religious Practices around the world
  3. Unprecedented violence against protesters and social protest
  4. Social media a destabilisation tool in the Middle East and Syrian conflict
  5. Protest against Tzahal concert in Antwerp
  6. Migrants to the West #6
  7. 2014 European elections
  8. 2015 In the Picture
  9. Israel the Oil and Gas Opportunity
  10. Foreign workers and immigrants
  11. Silence, devotion, Salafists, quietists, weaponry, bombings, books, writers and terrorists
  12. A world with or without religion
  13. Knife-trust in democratic sore back
  14. January 27 – 70 years ago Not an end yet to genocide
  15. Nigel Farage called Donald Trump’s victory ‘bigger than Brexit’
  16. 25 Orthodox rabbis issued a statement on Christianity
  17. The American clouds of Anti-Semitism
  18. French Muslims under attack
  19. Declaration of war against Islam and Christianity
  20. At the closing hours of 2016 #2 Low but also highlights
  21. Bible sayings about God
  22. Two states of existence before God
  23. Disobedient man and God’s promises
  24. How long to wait before bringing religiousness and spirituality in practice
  25. You cannot change anything in your life with intention alone
  26. Looking for answers on the question Is there a God #2 Pantheon of gods and celebrations
  27. Picking Stones
  28. Apple of Gods eye
  29. Have no other gods besides Me
  30. Sow and harvests in the garden of your heart
  31. Bearing fruit
  32. Agape, a love to share with others from the Fruit of the Spirit
  33. Improving the world by improving the Faith

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Further related articles

  1. An Another Way
  2. What Seeds Are You Planting? (365 Days of Daring Faith — DAY 293)
  3. Sowing the Wind
  4. We Do Not Save, Only Plant
  5. our words matter…
  6. Spread the Gospel
  7. ignite hope…
  8. The art of Love
  9. The Harvest
  10. The Apple Tree
  11. The Orchard of Your Life, Tom Moore
  12. Faith’s Checkbook: Pruning For Fruit-Bearing
  13. Matthew 21:18-22: Withering the Fig Tree
  14. Be A Fruitful Tree In Harsh Weather
  15. Planted to Bear Fruit
  16. You Shall Know Them By Their Fruits…But What is Fruit?
  17. Bearing Fruit
  18. Bearing Fruit for God – John 15:6-8
  19. The First Year of Marriage: Being Spiritual is Not in Tongues-Speaking
  20. The Thin Line Between Pride And Greed
  21. Psalms of the Salter: Some Thoughts on Really Living for the Lord (Psalm 92)
  22. Discernment and God – Philippians 1:9-11
  23. What! No Fruit?
  24. Cookie a day: Don’t Be A Tree That Gets Cut Down
  25. Sanctification by God – John 15:1-4
  26. Post-Truth Bears No Fruit
  27. 4 Keys To Pleasing God
  28. Through Christ – You Can Do All Things
  29. Our Fruit Is Found In Christ
  30. “Fruit Bearing”
  31. Unity: Wisdom is Justified by her Children
  32. Why Don’t You Feel Him With You?
  33. Abiding in the Lord
  34. Following the Leader
  35. rise up and resist…
  36. Restored faith in humanity
  37. Was It Worth It?
  38. What a “normal” day for God looks like
  39. Life Transformation~ Starts with the Seed, the Word of God
  40. Religious Pluralism and Common Sense on Trump’s Inauguration Day
  41. Hate Still Great as Trump Administration Begins
  42. Here’s What Dr. Seuss Thought About “America First”
  43. David Icke and the meaning of Jewish power
  44. To anyone who still supports Donald Trump
  45. Mario Silva: Persistence of anti-Semitism shows world has yet to learn lessons of the Holocaust
  46. What’s in a name? Identity in a reactionary age
  47. Defend The Jews: We Must Never Forget The Holocaust
  48. Tam Dalyell and anti-semitism
  49. London Mayor Sadiq Khan: We Must ‘Redouble Our Efforts’ to Stop Anti-Semitism
  50. Populism is breeding racism, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia: UN chief
  51. Never Forget… Unless You Are The Russian Usurper Donald Trump
  52. Rachel Rozsa *************************** In memory of my grandmother on Holocaust Memorial Day
  53. Remember the Shoah, Not Just the Holocaust
  54. ‘You Get a Gold Star!’: Alt-Righters Celebrate Holocaust Remembrance Day
  55. Alan Dershowitz’ Long Reach
  56. After Trump orders entry ban, airlines bar Iranians from US-bound flights | The Times of Israel
  57. Trump’s Holocaust Remembrance Speech Doesn’t Mention Jews!
  58. Lobby: Trump’s ‘America First’ slogan is antisemitic!
  59. The anti-Semite with the Jewish wife
  60. Anti-American & Un-Jewish (Jared Kushner)
  61. Speak Out In Times of Great Moral Crisis
  62. Redemption is sweet
  63. Watch “What’s Holding the Arab World Back?” ~ PragerU
  64. Hasbara is Desperate to stop David Icke (video)
  65. Deepa Kumar: hating Israel, loving Hamas
  66. Know Your Enemy
  67. Nationalists’ approaches to Jews, Israel and Zionism: Complex relationships
  68. United in Idiocy: Milo Yiannopolous vs the University of Berkeley Students
  69. Next Week in Jerusalem
  70. A former skinhead explains why it’s a mistake for the US to stop targeting right-wing extremists
  71. United States Donald Trump news update

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Filed under Activism and Peace Work, Crimes & Atrocities, Headlines - News, History, Political affairs, Religious affairs, Spiritual affairs, World affairs

Leaders in disguise

Aiming for leadership

Many people love to have the power over others and would do everything to get the leadership.

This world has developed plenty of so called helpers who would bring the best to the nation. Many promised lots of things to the people who fell in their trap, but afterwards were silenced and disillusioned, only had to live with many sorrows and lots of pain.

Donald Trump thinks he knows where Bernie Sanders’ campaign went wrongThe world has seen many who said they would deliver their people from all the misery. They wanted their followers to believe they were the saviour or messiah. In this way the world also got to see several imposter Jesuses that feed into the world’s selfish desires — Guru Jesus, Braveheart Jesus, Dr. Phil Jesus, Free-Range Jesus. The problem is, they don’t have the power to save us or transform us into new creations. But also the other imposters, the bullies or bugaboos, who tickle the ears of their listeners and get lots of misguided followers who all seem to believe the lies which seem to be true because it would be strange in case such crazy stories would not be true. How bigger the lies how more acceptable, it seems. As such the world could find a.o. Victor Lustig, who sold the Eiffel Tower, the false princess Mary Carleton, Perkin Warbeck, a pretender to the throne of England and many others. America stayed not without them and saw a.o. James Reavis, who claimed he owned Arizona.

No knowledge of Basic Guide for life

Most people — most Christians, even — don’t have a basic working knowledge of the Holy Scriptures, be it the Torah, Tanakh, Hebrew or Christian/Messianic Bible Kethuvim Bet or the Quran. Because of that, so many can tell lies about what is written in those scriptures and many do believe those lies. In such way there are many who can use that unknown element to have others believe that they are right. As such there are people who try to terrorise others with lies about a religion which in its fundamentals should bring salam or peace.

In this world of deceit, the ones with the biggest mouth, are able to get enough followers to irritate the rest of the world. We see that with religious groups like Daesh and Boko Haram, but also with certain politicians, like Donald Trump.

The Boxing ring

Trump just slammed Hillary, Bernie and Elizabeth Warren in three rapid-fire tweetsFor certain politicians it is a sport to blacken others and to spit on others. Many people area afraid if they do not walk with a bully they would be bullied as well and therefore go with him and do if they like him. They are afraid to show their dis-likeness in some case or do think they do have to show that they agree with everything he says, though they do not.

In this world we have lots of people who love to be a master in having the highest quality of being deceitful or having as much falseness as it can be without others noticing it.

Those who say they know the Scriptures should be careful who they want to support or who they want to follow. They should come to see the disguised misleader. They should warn others not to take in the wolf or the Trojan horse before it is to late.

Being Christian

Christians should demand from their leaders to have integrity and to show compassion with others. Christians (believing people in Christ) should take themselves the clothing of Christ and do everything to take on the right attitude, the attitude of Jesus Christ, who loved his enemies and all those who were not mainstream.

In this diversified world it might not be easy always to accept all people around you. There may be many who act in a way you not like. Many people may be around you of whom you disapprove.

As a Christian you should always keep an open mind and treat the others as if they are your brother and sister who you want to give all your love. Yes you should also love the ones who you do not like. What would be the difference between you, as a Christian, and the unbeliever who has an open mind and is generous to those around him or her?

As a Christian you should others to show the way to the Agapè love and to Christ his world, where peace shall reign for ever. When you know the stories of Scripture you should learn from them and they should not only help you know what you believe and why you believe it, but should also help others to come to believe.

You should help others to see who might be a justified leader in the time being and who may bring the nation some things good. But you also should show others the dangers of those who could bring badness to the nation by excluding some people or by wishing to expand their own power or being part of more serious and dangerous institutions who look for their own economical gain (like the weapon industry).

Always deliberate the good and the bad and try to go for the least bad one or the safest one for all, and therefore not always the most profitable for yourself.

Make an honest choice for the community, safeguarding all who have to find a good place to live in.

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Preceding articles

Children of Men

Hillary Clinton Says Religious Beliefs About Abortion Have to be Changed

Mountains of information, disinformation and breaking away

American Christians have to think twice before going to vote

Max Lucado: I Had a Dream That Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump Reached a Truce

Not making yourselves abominable

Not following the tradition of man

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Additional reading

  1. 150 Years after the 13th Amendment
  2. Refugee crisis, terrorist attacks and created fear
  3. Vatican against Opponents of immigration
  4. Peppered Speeches at Republican National Convention
  5. Bumpy road to success
  6. Bridge builder Obama
  7. Coming closer to the end of 2015 and the end for Donald Trump as presidential candidate
  8. 2015 In the Picture
  9. Summary for the year 2015 # 2 Strewn with corpses and refugees
  10. Wrong choices made to get rid of Assad
  11. Trump brand of migrant demonization #1
  12. Trump brand of migrant demonization #2
  13. Cowardly governors give ISIS a propaganda victory: Refusing refugees is a moral outrage & a strategic blunder
  14. Blinded crying blue murder having being made afraid by a bugaboo

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Further reading

  1. candid, candidate
  2. Punch
  3. The Worst Form of Government, Except for All the Rest: A Tender, Truncated Tirade
  4. Mass Media’s Deception Causing Division
  5. Quote [41] – The Dulling Social Expectation Of Poor Political Culture
  6. Wolf-watching
  7. The Perfect Veep
  8. 50 years of denial: How the American news media enabled the racism of Donald Trump and the Republican Party
  9. Rob Reiner: Trump “Believes He Is Above Everybody,” American Public Wants to Know What He’s Involved With
  10. Imagine Waking Up November 9th to President Trump
  11. Donald Trump vs. America: The GOP presidential nominee explicitly asks Russia to violate our national security
  12. Donald Trump encourages Russia to hack Hillary Clinton 1
  13. Donald Trump Encourages Russia to Hack Hillary Clinton 2
  14. Donald Trump Stunningly Cheers Russian Hackers: ‘I Hope You Find Hillary Clinton’s Missing Emails’
  15. To Russia with love: Trump wants an unlikely ally to end Hillary’s campaign
  16. For Trump and Brexit voters, echoes of the same frustrations
  17. Tim Kaine Was Not The Governor of New Jersey
  18. Trumpence
  19. Trump & Gnats
  20. Exclusive Account of Donald Trump’s Audition for The Voice
  21. Why This Gay Republican Isn’t Fazed By GOP’s Anti-Queer Platform
  22. Top 3: Why you should be glad Trump is to rally in Westfield, Ind.
  23. I Literally Can’t Even Today
  24. Trump meets with VP candidates as search for running mate nears end
  25. Obama on Trump Winning: ‘Anything’s Possible’
  26. July 13 – Candidate Clinton’s Visit
  27. Eight years after hope and change, voters are angry, anxious
  28. Democrat Enslavement
  29. Trump plays favorites with RNC delegate seating arrangement
  30. Dems’ division, emails roil party on Day 1 of convention
  31. Clinton’s traditional convention plans disrupted by DNC email scandal
  32. After day of discord, Dems open their convention
  33. Sanders talks unity, but will his followers listen?
  34. After turmoil, Sanders, Mrs. Obama, Warren thrill Democratic convention
  35. Sarah Silverman: Bernie-or-bust Dems ‘being ridiculous’
  36. Hillary Clinton Just Threw Donald Trump Into The Briar Patch
  37. Clinton Campaign: Trump “Recklessly Inviting” Hackers To Attack U.S. “Is A Bridge Too Far”
  38. Bill O’Reilly: Slaves that built White House were ‘well-fed’
  39. The Many Faces of Ted Cruz
  40. Think about the deceit and lies Satan uses to separate us from God’s love
  41. July 22, 2016 Question of the Day
  42. Deception
  43. Watch Out That the Light in You Is Not Darkness
  44. “A bit of detachment”
  45. Isaac Davis: “15 Common Sense Reasons to Free Yourself from Politics”

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Filed under Activism and Peace Work, Being and Feeling, Headlines - News, Lifestyle, Political affairs, Religious affairs, Social affairs, Welfare matters

Christianity like Judaism God’s call to human responsibility

The season of Pesach (Passover) is a time for reflection for many people.

Shimon Zachary Klein finds that the relevance of Pesach as a festival of freedom is lost for many reasons. He writes
It is a festival that conjures up obsessions for the “Kosher for Pesach” foods that result in the annual hair-splitting arguments between the secular and religious. The losers are inevitably the secular who have to kowtow to the whims of the religious who have the law on their side. What is free about that? Religious coercion reaches a climax during the Pesach week.Another aspect and one that very few people give a thought is the plight of the Palestinians under occupation. Their limited freedom is even further curtailed. Road-blocks, closures and checkpoints are stricter. The reason is always security. However, the difficulties that innocent Palestinians have to endure are further increased by this “Festival of Freedom”. The Israeli soldiers who are on duty in the occupied territories are even more abusive and insensitive to Palestinians to ensure that the “Festival of Freedom” is not “interrupted” by Palestinians.

It is difficult and even hypocritical to celebrate a festival of freedom while denying another people basic human rights. The settlers in the occupied territories show their presence during this “Festival of Freedom” when they trespass on Palestinian lands. At the same time the Israeli government is still expanding settlements on Palestinian land. Racist rabbis continue their anti-Arab diatribes and this does have much influence for the celebration of Pesach. {Pesach (Passover) – the Festival of “Freedom”}

Today, having a holy week and having listened to the stories how God liberated His people, we in these days of particular times, showing that we are coming closer to the end times, it should be a challenge to all of us as lovers of God to seek new meanings and learning new lessons as to how relevant Pesach remains today.

From the previous writings you could find that it is not enough to celebrate the liberation of the Israelites, who to all intents and purposes, are our ancestors. It is also not enough just to think about the Jewish rabbi who called his disciples together to speak about a new covenant.

English: Omer ceremony - Pesach 2007 , Jewish ...

English: Omer ceremony – Pesach 2007 , Jewish holidays עברית: חגיגת אנשי אילות לקראת סדר פסח בדשא חדר האכילה.ריקוד אמהות וילדים:שיבולת בשדה., Original Image Name:טקס העומר-פסח 2007, Location:אילות (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Many Jews still come together in a very traditional way and even may perform what others consider out dated rituals as to what is Kosher for Pesach and what is not. The religious hair-splitting explanation over what is “kitniot” –“legumes” that are forbidden to be eaten by religious Ashkenazim.

Rabbi John Rosove, J Street Rabbinic Cabinet, Co-Chair brought following message

“As the festival of Passover approaches, we are all challenged, this year even more than most years, to reflect and act on the universal message it conveys — especially in the light of very disturbing trends both in the United States and Israel.

A page from the Haggadah of Pesach printed in ...

A page from the Haggadah of Pesach printed in Prague, 1527 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The overriding message conveyed through the Haggadah is that it is our duty to experience the story of our liberation from Egypt as if it happened to us personally — and not just a story that happened to our ancestors countless generations ago. As former slaves, our tradition teaches us to be sensitive to the plight of the oppressed throughout history and in our own time. Accepting our role as active participants in that drama, we realize that we have a hand in forging our own destiny and cannot allow ourselves to become mere bystanders.

“We’re taught as Jews despite cruelty leveled against us not to become cruel and hard-hearted ourselves. That is the key lesson of Pesach, and we ignore it at our moral and spiritual peril.”

We are sensitive even to the pain of our enemies, taking a drop of wine out of our glasses for each of the ten plagues visited on the Egyptians, lessening our joy as we recall their suffering.

As our sages have noted, the one commandment in the Torah reiterated more than any other is to care for and love the stranger — for we ourselves were strangers in Egypt. It is repeated no fewer than 36 times.

Perhaps the repetition is necessary because this commandment tells us to do something that is both counterintuitive and very hard to do. It goes against something that is very deep and fundamental within us. We’re hardwired to be loyal to our own tribe and to be suspicious of and hostile to “the other.” When we’re hurting or in distress, some of us blame strangers and pour out our rage on them. It’s happening again, right now, in Syria, Iraq and in sectors of America.

He is not the only one who looks at what is going on at the 2016 presidential campaign in the United states of America where some of the leading candidates have built their campaigns by exploiting the fears and anxieties of fellow Americans. Also on several religious websites, mainly fundamentalist Christian or American right wing Evangelist sites everything is done to bring people against each other and to downgrade one or an other faith-group.

The rabbi rigthly remarks:

They have cynically fomented an anti-immigrant, xenophobic, nativist feeling against Muslims, Hispanics and others.

and sees the same problematic matter in Israel

we see the same phenomenon in the very disturbing recent polls showing that a sizeable proportion of the Jewish population would favor depriving Arab Israelis of their democratic rights or even expelling them from the country. And tragically, Israelis and Palestinians have become strangers to each other, meeting in fewer and fewer places and not currently engaged around the negotiating table.

Yes, Israelis have been subjected to heinous terrorist attacks, rockets, missiles and constant psychological pressure — and we must stand with them in upholding their right to defend themselves and our Jewish homeland — but returning hatred with hatred is not the response our tradition teaches. We’re taught as Jews despite cruelty leveled against us not to become cruel and hard-hearted ourselves. That is the key lesson of Pesach, and we ignore it at our moral and spiritual peril.

This is not who we are as Jews — nor who we can be and should be.

As individuals and collectively, working through organizations like J Street and its many American-Jewish, Israeli and Palestinian allies, we need to change this. We are called upon by tradition to pursue peace and justice and to love compassion. We must see that our neighbors are fellow humans with the same desires and aspirations as us — and we must never abandon our goal of reaching a two-state solution to end the conflict.

That is the great challenge of our time and it is deserving of particular reflection this festival season.

English: Sir Jonathan Sacks, Chief Rabbi of th...

Sir Jonathan Sacks, Chief Rabbi of the UK, at National Poverty Hearing 2006 at Westminster, London. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As the former Chief Rabbi of Britain, Jonathan Sacks, has noted,

“Judaism is God’s call to human responsibility. From this call you can’t hide, as Adam and Eve discovered when they tried, and you can’t escape, as Jonah learnt in the belly of a fish. The first humans lost paradise when they sought to hide from responsibility. We will only ever regain it if we accept responsibility and become a nation of leaders, each respecting and making space for those not like us.”

Also for those who want to call themselves Christian should ring the same bell. Jeshua asked his followers to be messengers of peace. We can not permit it that we again would loose the paradise. It is promised to us, but we can go along the wrong paths and miss that important entrance or small gate to the Kingdom of God.

Christians should take up their responsibility to preach the Good News and to show the right attitude of a lover of God, keeping to the golden Rule of the Agape love.

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Please do read also: Relevance of Observing Pesach Today

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Mishmash of a legal code but importance of mitzvah or commandments

Rabbi Sylvia Rothschild, working in England, writes

Interestingly while Judaism teaches that mitzvot are divinely ordained and therefore not to be questioned or even necessarily understood, it does at the same time try to explain them as a rational force, and many commentators suggest reasons for our doing them.

We are told: – “The essential reason for the commandments is to make the human heart upright” ( ibn Ezra on Deut 5:18); or “Each commandment adds holiness to the people of Israel.” (Issi ben Akavia,  Mechilta on Ex 22:30); or even that “The purpose of the mitzvot is…to promote compassion, loving kindness and peace in the world” (Maimonides, yad, Shabbat) {Parashat Mishpatim. What is the purpose of mitzvot?}

English: The Covenant Confirmed, by John Steep...

The Covenant Confirmed, by John Steeple Davis (1844-1917), as in Exodus 24 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Those who believe in the God of Abraham, should know that this God of gods has given the many commandments to help man find his way in this universe and to live in a proper peaceful relation with God’s creation.

The world has been given Mishpatim, which we may consider judgements by ‘laws’ or ‘rulings’ and they will govern the community who agree to accept them. But not all humans will accept them, that’s a fact. Also in the previous times people of God did not have it easy at all times with those Mishpatim, though just after Moses has finished relating all the various laws to the Children of Israel, we can see in the Old Testament how often those People of God went astray.

English: Moses Showing the Ten Commandments, b...

Moses Showing the Ten Commandments, by Gustave Doré (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Real lovers of God should agree “to do all the things that God has spoken” (Exodus 24:3). They should cling to the Word of God as the only Perfect Rule Giver and should go for keeping “miẓwah”, the divinely instituted rule of conduct. As such, the divine commandments are divided into (1) mandatory laws known as , and (2) those of a prohibitory character, the . This terminology rests on the theological construction that God’s will is the source of and authority for every moral and religious duty. Many of the old laws were given to and concerned only special classes of people, such as kings or priesthood, Levites or Nazarites, or are conditioned by local or temporary circumstances of the Jewish nation, as, for instance, the agricultural, sacrificial, and Levitical laws.

For us today some rules may be curious, and that is why at a certain moment in time some changes were allowed. It was not God Who changed, but the people who changed and God came closer to them by adapting His rulings. As such we may now face other food laws and about sanitation than at the early beginning, plus about how to relate to others, because certain concepts changed, like the position of slaves.

Torah scroll and silver pointer (yad) used in reading

Torah scroll and silver pointer (yad) used in reading

Of the more than fifty mitzvot to be found in the sidra, we have some that deal with the treatment of slaves, with the crimes of murder and kidnap, with personal injury and with civil damages through neglect or theft. There are rules about witchcraft and idolatry, about oppression and unfair business practise, about applying legal codes in a prejudiced fashion and not giving false testimony; laws about not mistreating widows and orphans, and about care for animals. {Parashat Mishpatim. What is the purpose of mitzvot?}

When we look at those laws and regulations we may not forget that many still keep going and should be fulfilled by a lover of God. It is not because we have Jesus as our Messiah who liberated us from the curse of Law that the Law has ended. No, not at all. The Law still counts. Even now we have received a New Covenant, should we keep to those law covered in that covenant.

Too many Christians commit a mistake by thinking they do not have to do any works any-more. We still have to keep the works of faith, keeping to God’s Commandments.

In parshat Mishpatim, the Israelites learn that accepting the commandments is a 24/7 job. {Parenting by the Parshah – Mishpatim}

We also must be fully aware of the most frequent mitzvah in Torah, given at least 37 different times in the text,which  is repeated in the Mishpatim too –

“you shall not wrong a stranger or oppress them, for you were strangers in the land of Israel.”

It is a mishmash of a legal code but what comes through loud and clear to the reader is the importance to the Jewish people of mitzvot, commandments.

From Torah we see that for the ancient people there were particular reasons for observing the mitzvot – firstly and most importantly because God tells us to. Secondly there was in the ancient understanding an idea that people who obeyed them would be rewarded, and people who disobeyed risked punishment. Then there were two different types of reason given in Torah – that the mitzvot were intrinsically imbued with divine wisdom, and that they would lead us to achieving holiness.  {Parashat Mishpatim. What is the purpose of mitzvot?}

Each person who wants to become a Child of God, or to belong to God’s People shall have to resign oneself to the Will of God. But none can belong to the children of God when they do not accept others to be their brethren and sisters, and loving them as their siblings. The agape love for the others is a indispensible necessary part of belonging to God’s family.

In Judaism as in Christianity too there might be a tension in their tradition

– do we do the commandments (mitzvot) simply because there is a Commander (metzaveh) who told us to do this and this should be enough, or do we search out a meaning behind each mitzvah? And if we do the latter, what happens if we cannot find a suitable reason and meaning? Do we abandon the mitzvah as unreasonable or pointless? Or do we continue to do it in the hope that meaning will emerge? After all, at Sinai the people famously answered “na’aseh ve’nishma, [first] we will do it and [subsequently] we will understand”. {Parashat Mishpatim. What is the purpose of mitzvot?}

The tension and balancing between holding a religious belief and a rationalist position was as great in the ancient world as it is today. {Parashat Mishpatim. What is the purpose of mitzvot?}

For those who love God ‘blind faith’ was never a prerequisite, neither of a Jewish life nor of a Christian life.

Judaism tends to the position of na’aseh ve’nishma – doing in order to understand, blending faith and reason and giving neither the upper hand, but instead knowing that if we behave “as if” we believe, if we follow the way of mitzvot, then further understanding may come. {Parashat Mishpatim. What is the purpose of mitzvot?}

From Scriptures we should come to understand there is no way of doing “as if” because God sees the heart and He does knows each of us. We can not hide anything from Him.

1 Samuel 16:7 The Scriptures 1998+  (7)  But יהוה {Jehovah} said to Shemu’ĕl, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have refused him, for not as man sees, for man looks at the eyes, but יהוה {Jehovah} looks at the heart.”

Jeremiah 17:10 The Scriptures 1998+  (10)  “I, יהוה {Jehovah}, search the heart, I try the kidneys, and give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.

Moses with the Two New Tables of Stone (illust...

Moses with the Two New Tables of Stone (illustration from the 1897 Bible Pictures and What They Teach Us by Charles Foster) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Our hearts may not be removed from God and by our way of living we should show to others how God is in our heart. Our heart, our feelings but also how we act should always be pure, full of love for God and His commandments. When we are willing to give ourselves into God’s Hands He will bring us where He wants us to be.

Proverbs 21:1-3 The Scriptures 1998+  (1)  The sovereign’s heart is as channels of water In the hand of יהוה {Jehovah}; He turns it wherever He wishes.  (2)  All a man’s ways are right in his own eyes, But יהוה {Jehovah} weighs the hearts.  (3)  To do righteousness and right-ruling Is more acceptable to יהוה {Jehovah} than a slaughtering.

Each day we have to work at ourself taking care we keep to the commandments of God.

Meanwhile we are impacting on ourselves and on our world in a positive way as we are directed to behaviour that may not be our first instinct – to support the poor and downtrodden, to value life, to respect the boundaries of others, to rein in our own power and desires so as not to trample over the lives of others. The list goes on. {Parashat Mishpatim. What is the purpose of mitzvot?}

As tradition says again and again in different words, the same message:  “the commandments were given only to refine God’s creatures…”(Midrash Tanchuma). They change us, they cause us to think about what we are doing and not to act out of immediate self interest, they shape our behaviour and ultimately they may help us to bring holiness into our world. {Parashat Mishpatim. What is the purpose of mitzvot?}

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Preceding

When believing in God’s existence and His son, possessing a divine legislation

A Royal Rule given to followers of Christ

First man’s task still counting today

Whoopi Goldberg commandments and abortion

He who knows himself, is kind to others

Luther’s misunderstanding

January 27, 417, Pope Innocent I condemning Pelagius about Faith and Works

Our life depending on faith

Romans 4 and the Sacraments

Is Justification a process?

Letter to the Romans, chapter 3

Letter to the Romans, chapter 4

Additional comments to the 3rd Letter to the Romans

Additional comments to the Letter to the Romans 4

Comments to James remarks, about Faith and works

Which is worse–works without faith, or faith without works?

Christians remaining hidden not sharing the gospel

Witnessing because we love

Leading people astray!

Crisis man needed in this world

Preaching Christ Is Not Enough

Beautiful feet of those who announce the good news

Preaching by example

A Christian has to have eyes and ears and a tongue to use in good ways

Daring to speak in multicultural environment

Perishable non theologians daring to go out to preach

What Should I Preach ?

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Additional reading

  1. Bible in the first place #1/3
  2. Creator and Blogger God 3 Lesson and solution
  3. Creator and Blogger God 4 Expounding voice
  4. Creator and Blogger God 6 For His people
  5. God-breathed prophetic words written torah and the mitzvot to teach us
  6. Words God speaks unto all and the Spirit that quickens
  7. The Bible is a today book
  8. Statutes given unto us
  9. Necessary to be known all over the earth
  10. God’s design in the creation of the world
  11. Time passing away
  12. Best intimate relation to look for
  13. Let us not forget it was God who chose us
  14. Daily Spiritual Food To prepare ourselves for the Kingdom of God
  15. Engaging the culture without losing the gospel
  16. A god who gave his people commandments and laws he knew they never could keep to it
  17. Knowing where to go to
  18. I Only hope we find GOD again before it is too late !
  19. The inspiring divine spark
  20. A good idea to halt all activity for one hour some day
  21. Eternity depends upon this short time on earth
  22. Act as if everything you think, say and do determines your entire life
  23. Truth never plays false roles of any kind, which is why people are so surprised when meeting it
  24. Foundation to go the distance
  25. Preferring to be a Christian
  26. Aim High: Examples of Godly Characters to follow
  27. Purify my heart
  28. United people under Christ
  29. Honesty beginning of holiness
  30. Holiness and expression of worship coming from inside
  31. How we think shows through in how we act
  32. Object of first woe
  33. Think hard before you act today

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Further reading

  1. The Kotel Decision: The Parties at the Table
  2. Mishpatim פרשת משפטים
  3. Mishpatim – Who’s Serving Whom?
  4. Shift and Consolidation: Thoughts on the Torah Portions Mishpatim and Terumah
  5. Commentary for Mishpatim
  6. Mishpatim – Its just a White Lie
  7. When the plumbers stop society’s moral leaks
  8. Parashat Mishpatim /
  9. Shabbat Parashat Mishpatim 5776–Shabbat Torah Study at Adat Shalom Synagogue–Don’t Make Him Tell on You
  10. Mishpatim – Wholly Love
  11. Parshat Hashavuah: Mishpatim by Alex Gage
  12. Scripture for 2.5.2016
  13. Stole My Heart – Parshat Mishpatim 5776
  14. Parsha Mishpatim
  15. Shabbat Shalom! – Mishpatim
  16. Dvar Torah Parshat Mishpatim 5776 2016
  17. Mishpatim 5774 – Visión y Detalles
  18. Double Cry – Mishpatim 5776
  19. Il monoteismo etico – Parashat Mishpatim
  20. Mishpatim: Where heaven and earth converge
  21. Parenting by the Parshah – Mishpatim
  22. Parashat Kedoshim – What is it doing here?

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A Royal Rule given to followers of Christ

In our series of faith and works we also want to remind the readers to Jesus sermon on the mount and on the many accounts he gave how we should behave against others.

This painting is on display at the Kunsthistor...

This painting is on display at the Kunsthistorisches Museum (Museum of Art History) in Vienna, Austria (site). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This week we will read in Mark 12 and must note Jesus’ comment about the second commandment

– “You shall love your neighbour as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these” (verse 31).

In this present society it happens in places that people even do not know their neighbours. Hopefully you do talk to your neighbours. In case you believe in god, do you dare to talk about your faith?

Today many people feel ashamed of what they believe or do have the excuse to think that others would not be interested in their faith. From the gospels we get to know that rabbi Jeshua was not at all afraid to talk about his faith in the Only One True God of Israel. He asked his disciples to overcome their shyness and even to put their daily work aside to follow him and to go out into the world to preach the Kingdom Gospel.

From Jesus teachings we also get to know an other important work we have to do. Witnessing is an important task, but it has to be done properly with full seal. Each follower of Christ should, like Christ did, not putting his own will on the first place, but the Will of God. Real Christians should set their mind on the things of God.

Let us try harder to set our minds on the things of God. In doing so, we will recall that even in the Law God gave through Moses; there is the command

 

“’You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the Lord.” (Leviticus 19:18 NAS)

We call it a Golden Rule or Royal Law
This has been a command for all ages. What a different world this would be if that command was carried out! And who can doubt but that it will be – by those who live in God’s kingdom.

Let us be in training for God’s kingdom now! What better way to show your love for your neighbour than by encouraging them to believe in the words of Jesus! We must try to speak to them in the spirit of love, a desire to share something precious; the pearl of great price!

This will be reflected in our attitude as well as in the words that we use, for we ‘communicate’ as much by what we do – as by what we say. The world has a word for it, “body language”. We must seek wisdom from above as we set ourselves to do this. Remember what James wrote,

“the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere” (3:17).

 

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Preceding

Letter to a Non-Christian Nation

The Mountain: Radical Love

The Mountain: Radical Obedience

Comments to James remarks, about Faith and works

He who knows himself, is kind to others

Our life depending on faith

 

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Please find also to read:

  1. When having found faith through the study of the Bible we do need to do works of faith
  2. יהוה , YHWH and Love: Four-letter words
  3. Inculcate God’s words and speak of them
  4. Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness
  5. Kindness
  6. Angry but not sinning
  7. God won’t ask
  8. God loving people justified
  9. Subcutaneous power for humanity 5 Loneliness, Virtual and real friends
  10. We Are The Children Of God
  11. Do not forget the important sign of belief
  12. Christianity is a love affair
  13. The Law of Christ: Law of Love
  14. To be chained by love for another one
  15. Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience
  16. A Living Faith #2 State of your faith
  17. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  18. A Living Faith #5 Perseverance
  19. Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness
  20. The first on the list of the concerns of the saint
  21. The task given to us to love each other
  22. The Greatest of These is Love
  23. If we love one another, God lives in us
  24. Agape, a love to share with others from the Fruit of the Spirit
  25. Love turns one person into two; and two into one
  26. Disciple of Christ counting lives and friends dear to them
  27. Incomplete without the mind of God
  28. Nurturing a close relationship with God
  29. Our relationship with God, Jesus and eachother
  30. Our way of life
  31. Golden rule for understanding in spiritual matters obedience
  32. Observing the commandments and becoming doers of the Word
  33. Sharing a common security and a common set of values
  34. Love and cultivate that which is pure
  35. Right to be in the surroundings
  36. Built on or Belonging to Jewish tradition #4 Mozaic and Noachide laws
  37. Reflection for today: hating your brother
  38. The one who has not had a taste of love
  39. If You want to start winning the war
  40. Engaging the enemy
  41. What Jesus did: First things first
  42. Love envieth not
  43. No fear in love
  44. Live …
  45. Luck
  46. Work with joy and pray with love
  47. Blessed are those who freely give
  48. When we love we do not need laws
  49. The Spirit of God imparts love,inspires hope, and gives liberty
  50. Self-preservation is the highest law of nature
  51. Growth in character
  52. Spread love everywhere you go
  53. Love is like playing the piano
  54. Love will cure more sins than condemnation
  55. Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair
  56. Those who make peace should plant peace like a seed
  57. God let my compassionate affection be tolerant and kind
  58. He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.
  59. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love
  60. God demonstrates his own love
  61. Unconditional love
  62. Unarmed truth and unconditional love
  63. A treasure which can give me everything I need
  64. Life and attitude of a Christian

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Comments to James remarks, about Faith and works

 

“1  My brothers, do not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ of glory with partiality. 2 For if a man with a gold ring, in fine clothing, comes into your synagogue, and a poor man in filthy clothing also comes in; 3 and you pay special attention to him who wears the fine clothing, and say, “Sit here in a good place”; but you tell the poor man, “Stand there,” or “Sit by my footstool”; 4 haven’t you shown partiality among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts?” (James 2:1-4 NHEB)

“But you have dishonored the poor man. Do not the rich oppress you, and personally drag you before the courts?” (James 2:6 NHEB)

“But if you show partiality, you commit sin, being convicted by the law as transgressors.” (James 2:9 NHEB)

“For judgment is without mercy to him who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.” (James 2:13 NHEB)

“What good is it, my brothers, if a man says he has faith, but has no works? Can faith save him?” (James 2:14 NHEB)

“17 Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead in itself. 18 Yes, a man will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without works, and I by my works will show you my faith.
19 You believe that God is one. You do well. The demons also believe, and shudder. 20 But do you want to know, foolish man, that faith apart from works is useless?

21 Wasn’t Abraham our father justified by works, in that he offered up Isaac his son on the altar? 22 You see that faith worked with his works, and by works faith was perfected; 23 and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him as righteousness”; and he was called the friend of God. 24 You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25 In like manner was not Rahab the prostitute also justified by works, in that she received the messengers, and sent them out another way? 26 For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, even so faith apart from works is dead.” (James 2:17-26 NHEB)

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The Works (Faith No More album)

The Works (Faith No More album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 Christadelphian Agora comments:

“You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did” (James 2:22).
“An old Scotsman operated a little rowboat for transporting passengers. One day a passenger noticed that the good old man had carved on one oar the word ‘Faith’, and on the other oar the word ‘Works’. Curiosity led him to ask the meaning of this. The old man, being a well-balanced believer in Christ, and glad of the opportunity for testimony, said, ‘I will show you.’ So saying, he dropped one oar and plied the other called Works, and they just went around in circles. Then he dropped that oar and began to use the oar called Faith, and the little boat just went around in circles again — this time the other way around, but still in a circle. After this demonstration the old man picked up Faith and Works and wielding both oars together, sped swiftly over the water, explaining to his inquiring passenger, ‘You see, that is the way it is in the believer’s life. Works without faith are useless, and faith without works is dead also, getting you nowhere. But faith and works pulling together make for safety, progress, and blessing’ ” (Maritta Terrell).

Peter Cresswell comments:

v.9 As a community (speaking generally) we are condemned by our inability to work out this maxim in our practical lives. There are those who genuinely are prepared to preach to anyone and accept anyone, but I think if we are honest, most of us are not happy with this teaching. A moment’s reflection on it today then will do no harm. Would we, for example, like Jesus in John 8:3-11, accept the repentance of the prostitute (which is seems this woman was) so readily? Lev.19:15

Peter Forbes  comments:

2:1-4 It is said that we form an impression about someone within a few minutes of seeing them. We have not had enough time to assess their character and yet we make decisions which may colour our view for the rest of our lives. It is really clear why God does not judge by outward appearance – 1Sam 16:7 – we should emulate His approach.

2:4 So we see that partiality which starts by looking on the outward appearance – see 2:2– is in reality judging the way others think.

2:4  Partiality is a consequence of being ‘double minded’ as mentioned in James 1:8

2:5 In speaking of ‘the poor of this world’ James echoes Paul’s comment about men of faith – Heb 11:37 . One cannot but wonder how we would have reacted to some of the men and women of faith if we had seen them in the street.

2:6 Continuing thoughts on our contribution for June 8th James asks his readers to think on the realities of their experience. The very ones that they would revere were the ones who were their persecutors!

2:6     ‘despised’ <818> is translated ‘shamefully’ Luke 20:11 and ‘dishonour’  John 8:49 showing that James is reproving the brethren for denigrating the ‘poor’.

2:9 That we should show ‘no respect of persons’ draws on the Law of Moses and is seen extensively in Scripture. Here are some occasions. Leviticus 19:15 Deuteronomy 1:17 16:19 2 Samuel 14:14 2 Chronicles 19:7 Proverbs 24:23 28:21 Romans 2:11 Ephesians 6:9 Colossians 3:25 1 Peter 1:17 No matter how one dresses up the prejudice against the poor and favour toward the well dressed it is a violation of the Divine law. Actually it manifests pride. We like to identify with the rich in this world rather than the poor.

2:11   James here clearly shows that there are no degrees of sin. Sin is sin. Agreed the consequences of some sins is greater than others insofar as our actions impact upon other men. However any sin violates God’s principles.

2:13 These words of James draw upon the teaching of Jesus in Matt 7:2

2:14-17  I suppose one could summarise what James is teaching here by saying “talk is cheap”.  It is ever so easy to talk about how we love and serve God. It is far harder to simply get on with doing that.

2:21-23  We notice that Abraham was “justified” in Gen 15:6. However it was many years later when he was willing to offer Isaac – Gen 22:9 – which demonstrated his faith. So, even though God saw Abraham’s faith no man could have seen the evidence of Abraham’s faith. But God knew in advance that Abraham had faith.

2:23    There are two earlier occasions when Abraham is called God’s friend – (#2Ch 20:7; Isa 41:8)

2:23 How would you like to be called ‘the friend of God’? Such is the description of faithful Abraham – he believed that God would keep His word and so acted upon that knowledge. So we know the way to friendship with God.

2:23 There were quite a number of years between the statement in Gen 15:6 that Abraham believed God and his offering of Isaac. Faith is not a ‘flash in the pan’ activity.

2:25 The inclusion of Rahab as one who was justified by faith is a powerful testimony to the truth that observance of the law of Moses is not a pre requisite for pleasing God. A powerful lesson for Jews.

Michael Parry comments:

James exhorts against favouritism in our assembly.  Brothers and sisters should be treated equally in love and respect.  Do we naturally gravitate towards some and find it difficult to deal with others?  Of course we do.  But let us remember the example of Jesus.  Although He was drawn affectionately to John (John 19:26; 21:20), He still treated His betrayer Judas with love (Matt 5:44).

A point about verse 19:  there exist no such supernatural entities as devils (or demons).  What are being alluded to here are people possessed with demons (mental disorders).
There were demoniac people who recognized God and the Lord Jesus  (Mark 5:1-13, 16:9, Luke 4:40,41, 8:2).

Having scriptural knowledge, understanding, and faith means nothing unless it is translated into Godly action.

V.8 James is the only one to use the phrase royal law.  Loving one’s neighbour is the second part of the greatest law (Matt 22:37-39).  The first part concerns the love for God who is King over all – hence James’s royal reference.

V.12 James also talks of the law of liberty. No longer is anyone judged under the Law of Moses.  But, the moral commandments under the Law are carried forward and form part of the Commandments of Jesus.  It is expected that believers follow these commandments willingly.  Believers will be judged on their adherence to these laws.

John Wilson comments:

V.18 James introduces a third person into his explanation of faith and how it works by love. The third person is able to give a practical demonstration of his faith. James’ humility would not permit him to set himself forth as an ideal representative of a living faith. “I will show thee my faith by my works”  A practical demonstration of a motivating force that is greater than the individual himself, by which “he overcame the world”  (1John 5:4).

2:25 With the example of Rahab; along with that of Abraham (V.21,23), we would suggest is used by James to show the universality of the principle of faith that he was writing of. Abraham was the Father of all the Jews; Rahab was a Gentile who was converted. She was weak and sinful, but triumphed by faith. Not unlike what Paul wrote Gal 3:28.

2:26 Faith without works is like a corpse; there is a body, the substance of which is undeniable, but it is a dead body, and unless the breath of life enters into that body, it remains inactive and ineffective. Unless faith issues forth in a practical demonstration of a way of life which is pleasing God, it is a corpse without life, and incapable of imparting it.

Roger Turner comments:

v 5 First Principles>Kingdom of God>Gospel concerns God’s Kingdom
The Gospel preached by Jesus and the Apostles concerns the Kingdom of God.
2. Invitation for men to participate
Matt 25:34, Luke 12:32, 1Thess 2:12, James 2:5, 2Tim 4:1,8, 2Pet 1:10,11, Rev 2:26,27
For more about the Gospel concerning God’s Kingdom go to Matt 4:23 

Valerie Mello comments:

James 2:17

“Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.”

The apostle Paul defines faith as, “… the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Heb 11:1). Faith may be further defined as having a confident belief, value, or trustworthiness of a person, which does not necessarily rest on logical proof or material evidence.

This kind of faith requires development, and if we are not prepared to spend time in developing it, we shall not obtain the kind of faith that pleases God. The more we consider God’s actions in the past, and see His prophecies vindicated in the present, the more we come to learn to value Him, trust Him, and put our faith in Him concerning events not yet fulfilled, but promised by God.

This is a true story about a captain commanding a passenger ship who was sailing from Liverpool, England to New York. His family was on board with him. One night when everyone was sound asleep, a squall unexpectedly swept over the waters and tossed the ship violently, awakening the passengers. They were all scared, and the captain’s frightened eight-year old daughter asked, “What’s the matter?” Her mother explained that a sudden storm struck the ship. “Is father on deck?”  “Yes, father is on deck,” answered the mother. On hearing this, the little girl snuggled back into bed, and in a few moments was sound asleep. The winds still blew and the waves still rolled, but her fears were calmed because her father was at the helm! Our Heavenly Father is always at the helm! It is this kind of faith the Father is looking for in His children, and despite outward appearances, without this kind of faith it is impossible to please Him (Heb 11:6).

Wes Booker comments:

James 2:12,13.

What are some practical lessons and exhortations that we should try and practice in our lives in connection with what James is stating here – especially the last part of v. 13 – “Mercy triumphs over judgment”?

In thinking about a practical application of what James is exhorting us here, it’s important to keep in mind that within the pages of the Bible there are a number of very positive references to the idea of judgment. Though we might tend to immediately think of Christ’s words – “Judge not that you be not judged” (Mat. 7:1), there are a number of times where the flip side of the concept is there in such words as “judge righteous judgment” (Jn. 7:24) and Paul’s words concerning the ongoing fornication in the Corinthian ecclesia – “What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. Expel the wicked man from among you” ((1 Cor. 5:12,13).

In the example that James uses following up his statement about mercy triumphing over judgment (v. 13) – in James 2:14-17 he gives the example of a brother or sister without clothes and daily food and what should be done by the ecclesia in that situation. What he doesn’t state is the reason for them to be in such a destitute situation. Was it due to things beyond their control? Or did they do certain things that brought this dire condition on themselves? Were they able-bodied and in a position to seek employment and get themselves out of this situation without having to come to the ecclesia for help? Whatever their situation was, James states categorically that the attitude that wishes them well without providing for their physical needs is an example of faith without works being dead. So the #1 priority of the ecclesia is to provide help when they have it within their power to do so. And, of course, the same should be true for individual believers in Christ.

The person or ecclesia who has it within its power to help and chooses to not do so really needs to have a really good Scriptural reason for not helping. And if there’s ever a question as to the rightness of a course of action, then the weight should fall on the side of mercy. And so with the seesaw effect, mercy comes up as judgment goes down. I remember reading years ago in one of bro. Islip Collyer’s books – I can’t remember which one it was – what he had to say on this subject. And it was so powerful that it really stuck with me. I’m paraphrasing here –

When a tough-to-decide situation comes up ecclesially where both sides – the severe and the lenient (merciful) – both have positive things that can be said for deciding in that particular way, I, for one, will always choose the side of mercy for this one simple reason. I know that on that great day of judgment, I will need all the mercy my Lord can muster on my behalf. So how can I go the other way? If I’m going to err, it is going to be on the side of mercy.

Robert Prins comments:

Illogical Really

When James spoke about people showing faith through the things that they did, he gave two examples. One of them was Abraham as he was about to sacrifice Isaac, and the other was Rahab, as she hid the spies and sent them off in a different direction.

Neither of these actions were really common-sense logical. After all, if you had been promised that your son was to be your heir, and the door to a multitude of descendants, it would seem stupid to kill him! And in the case of Rahab, when approached by people who were planning to flatten her city, it doesn’t seem right to hide and protect them.

But, both Abraham and Rahab had their eyes on something bigger and better when they acted in faith. Abraham was so sure God’s promises would be fulfilled, that he obeyed anyway. And Rahab was so sure of God’s strength, and that God was good to those who were good to Israel, that she put her own life in peril from the authorities in Jericho to put her trust in God.

What faith opportunities do we have in our lives? What about the opportunities to let God take vengeance rather than ourselves? What about forgiving others and trusting God for the rest? Or giving money or possessions away when asked? Or speaking out about our faith in God at an appropriate time?

Faith is seen in what we do. Let’s make sure God sees it in our lives.

Rob de Jongh comments

The bird resting on the patio

From v14 to v26 James explains how faith without works is dead. It’s a difficult concept to grasp, so perhaps an analogy may help.

Last summer we were on holiday in a cottage that had large glazed patio doors leading to a patio outside where the children watched birds hopping around. One day we came back from a trip out and our little boy said,

“Mummy. Why isn’t that bird moving?”.

We suspected the bird had flown into the glass and either stunned or killed itself, but we didn’t tell the child.

“Maybe it’s resting”,

we said, while earnestly hoping that the bird was going to get up at any moment and fly away.

Here was a small child who knew nothing about death, yet he recognised from the inaction of the bird that something was wrong. Later in the day when the children were elsewhere we took the bird and buried it beneath some overgrown bushes in the garden. As grown ups we knew that if it didn’t move for a half hour, it was probably dead. It was still a bird — recognisable even by a child, but what good was that? So it is with us. Any or all of us may be called a believer, confessing that God is one (v19), but if there is no action based on faith, it’s likely that faith isn’t alive in us:

“For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” James 2:26

But what can we do if we suspect this is so with us? The first step is to pray to God, confessing our lack of faith and asking for help. If we want to be alive, seek for it, and ask, we will have our faith revived, as promised in Luke 11:9-13.

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Preceding articles:

First man’s task still counting today

He who knows himself, is kind to others

Luther’s misunderstanding

January 27, 417, Pope Innocent I condemning Pelagius about Faith and Works

Our life depending on faith

Romans 4 and the Sacraments

Is Justification a process?

Letter to the Romans, chapter 3

Letter to the Romans, chapter 4

Additional comments to the 3rd Letter to the Romans

Additional comments to the Letter to the Romans 4

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Additional reading

  1. Forbidden Fruit in the Midst of the Garden 4
  2. The sin of partiality
  3. The Greatest of These is Love
  4. Faith Alone Does Not Save . . . No Matter How Many Times Protestants Say It Does
  5. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  6. A Living Faith #6 Sacrifice

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Further related articles

  1. (01/07/2016) Salvation Only Through Christ?
  2. Partiality In The Church
  3. Christian Prejudice: Finding Answers to a Shameful Problem
  4. Human Rights Are Not “Common Sense” – They Are Christianity
  5. Is Jesus Partial? Colossians 3 verse 11
  6. “What is Christianity about?” by Michael and Susanne
  7. Today’s life is full of fakeness..
  8. The James Series: Surprisingly Equal
  9. 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, cycle B
  10. Micah 2: Soap in studying the Bible
  11. Favoritism Forbidden
  12. Are We Partial?
  13. Friendship and partiality
  14. My Journey to Racial Reconciliation
  15. Can Faith Save You? Sermon by Keith, 6.14.15, Pentecost 3
  16. How To Beat The Competition?
  17. Facing Our Prejudices
  18. James: Favoritism
  19. The Book of James Chapter 2:1-9,12-13 (NKJV)
  20. 2:9 – But if you show partiality, you commit sin
  21. 2:13. For judgement is without mercy to the one who has shown mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgement.
  22. “Sunday Best”
  23. Partiality and The Law
  24. No Partiality
  25. What does the Bible say about partiality By…
  26. Mercy the missing piece
  27. Living Life Partially Impartial
  28. unjust justice
  29. How can you say God is not partial?
  30. Herrenhuter readings for Sunday, the 8th February 2015
  31. February 2 – Walking the Line
  32. Show No Favouritism. Show Mercy.
  33. Reflective Paragraphs Week 11 – James
  34. Losing Integrity Over Identity
  35. The imported and the favoured workers
  36. Playing Favourites in the Church. A Reflection on James 2:1-17
  37. Healing wilful deafness
  38. Daily Digest: Playing Favourites
  39. Disease favouritism
  40. Diminished
  41. Not Of This World
  42. How Important is Belief?
  43. Substance and Evidence
  44. Religious Literacy
  45. Bible-In-A-Year Day 33: Leviticus 16-18
  46. Death-Defying Faith.

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