Tag Archives: Catholic Church

Justification – salvation is by grace through faith – JI Packer

Today there is still lots of commotion about works and faith. Still too many Christians do think they do not need any works.
The Catholic church, we must say, has from the beginning seen that certain works were necessary. One can not become a Christian without putting the previous life of sin away by having regret, asking for forgiveness of sins and taking steps to show regret (an act to be taken), opening oneself for remission by going for a baptism (a work).

Not only Rome sees baptism as a channel of sanctifying grace, as the primary instrumental cause of justification, and the sacrament of penance, whereby congruous merit is achieved through works of satisfaction, as the supplementary restorative cause whenever the grace of God’s initial acceptance is lost through mortal sin.

Not only for the Roman Catholics believers save themselves with the help of the grace that flows from Christ through the church’s sacramental system. Several other denominations request that people change their life once baptised (which sometimes demands lots of works). Other protestants groups do forget that it is impossible that a Christian would keep living the same sinful life as before his or her baptism. It is an illusion to believe that we are saved by the blood of Christ and would not have to do any works any more because we would go to heaven or always will be allowed to enter God’s Kingdom.

First of all the Kingdom will be here on earth for most of us. And Jesus showed us with his parables the danger of loosing the entrance through the small gate of life in eternity.

Justification may be given free, like people can win a lottery, but if they do not do anything with the price, they will be nothing with it.

For example if I would give you a limousine you are nothing with it if you do not use the key and turn the motor on (a work). Before you can go into the traffic you have to learn the road code and have to learn to drive. Then you will have to drive (doing a job) and shall have to be careful in traffic (taking attention), going to some place (trafficking).

Also with faith we do need to come into the faith (a work), trafficking, having to keep our faith (demands work), read the Word of God regularly and study it (demands work) we have to be careful to keep the code of God, His regulations and ordinances (keeping to the commandments requires work). Jesus also gave the order to go out in the world to proclaim the Gospel of the coming Kingdom (which demands a work) and to come together regularly, i.e. meeting with each other, which demands also some work.

For those who think they do not have to have self-control (which demands work) we must disappoint them. If they keep lying, bullying, stealing, fornicating, murdering, they shall miss the entrance of the coming Kingdom.
If they think it will be so easy in this system of things, we also must disappoint them, because also when baptised there shall be temptations, suffering and so on, which demand stamina to continue (work) in the faith.

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To remember

Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because, “The righteous will live by faith.” Galatians 3:11

=> =  we do have to be righteous to be able to live by faith

The author tells us:

  • doctrine of justification, storm center of Reformation = major concern of apostle Paul = heart of gospel (Rom. 1:17; 3:21-5:21; Gal. 2:15-5:1) shaping both his message (Acts 13:38-39) + his devotion + spiritual life (2 Cor. 5:13-21; Phil. 3:4-14).
  • > other New Testament writers affirm same doctrine in substance => terms in which Protestants have affirmed + defended it for almost five centuries are drawn primarily from Paul.
  • Justification = judicial act of God pardoning sinners (wicked and ungodly persons, Rom. 4:5; 3:9-24) > accepting them as just => putting permanently right their previously estranged relationship with himself.  > => justifying sentence = God’s gift of righteousness (Rom. 5:15-17) = his bestowal of a status of acceptance for Jesus’ sake (2 Cor. 5:21).
  • God’s justifying decision = judgment of the Last Day, declaring where we shall spend eternity
  • necessary means, or instrumental cause, of justification is personal faith in Jesus Christ as crucified Savior and risen Lord (Rom. 4:23-25; 10:8-13).
  • As we give ourselves in faith to Jesus, Jesus gives us his gift of righteousness, so that in the very act of “closing with Christ,” as older Reformed teachers put it, we receive divine pardon and acceptance which we could not otherwise have (Gal. 2:15-16; 3:24).

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Preceding articles

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

Restitution

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Additional reading

  1. The business of this life
  2. A god who gave his people commandments and laws he knew they never could keep to it
  3. Believing in the send one and understanding that one does not live by bread alone
  4. Faith Alone Does Not Save . . . No Matter How Many Times Protestants Say It Does
  5. Not about personal salvation but about a bigger Plan
  6. People Seeking for God 3 Laws and directions
  7. People Seeking for God 5 Bread of life
  8. Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness
  9. Christ’s ethical teaching
  10. Being Justified by faith
  11. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  12. Faith and works
  13. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #8 Prayer #6 Communication and manifestation
  14. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #16 Benefits of praying
  15. Observing the commandments and becoming doers of the Word
  16. The first on the list of the concerns of the saint
  17. Running away from the past
  18. Malefactors becoming your master
  19. Be holy
  20. She who sows thistles will reap prickles
  21. Love for each other attracting others

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Further related articles

  1. No Regrets
  2. Day 19: Things to regret
  3. Access: Denied
  4. Giving our regret to God
  5. Reminisce
  6. Life is like a river
  7. Questions & Answers About Lent
  8. Godly Sorrow Leads Us on to a Glorious Celebration of the Gospel
  9. A Threefold Malice
  10. Reconciliation
  11. Penance – Chapter One
  12. Wednesday of Septuagesima week: O, Merciful God! Have Mercy On Me The Fallen One!
  13. CFP: Discipline and Excess (Cambridge Friday, April 15, 2016)
  14. That kind of Franciscan
  15. The Savior of the World
  16. (01/07/2016) Salvation Only Through Christ?
  17. My Take on the Gay Marriage Bill.
  18. Missing the Mark
  19. Leading people astray!
  20. Tips for Gracious Living: Bad Driving
  21. Unfaithful fornicating adulterating Christians will perish
  22. We don’t meet God 1/2 way.
  23. The Salesman
  24. Actions are the Megaphone of Words
  25. The Justification of Abraham
  26. (01/13/2016) How To Treat Unbelievers?
  27. Tuesday Devotional: Revelation 2
  28. Fashion advice?
  29. (12/31/2015) By Faith, Not By Interpretation?
  30. Faithfulness
  31. Seeing Christ
  32. Faith in Action

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Verlore seun

Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because, “The righteous will live by faith.” GALATIANS 3:11

The doctrine of justification, the storm center of the Reformation, was a major concern of the apostle Paul. For him it was the heart of the gospel (Rom. 1:17; 3:21-5:21; Gal. 2:15-5:1) shaping both his message (Acts 13:38-39) and his devotion and spiritual life (2 Cor. 5:13-21; Phil. 3:4-14). Though other New Testament writers affirm the same doctrine in substance, the terms in which Protestants have affirmed and defended it for almost five centuries are drawn primarily from Paul.

Justification is a judicial act of God pardoning sinners (wicked and ungodly persons, Rom. 4:5; 3:9-24), accepting them as just, and so putting permanently right their previously estranged relationship with himself. This justifying sentence is God’s gift of righteousness (Rom. 5:15-17), his bestowal of a status of acceptance for Jesus’ sake (2…

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Romans 4 and the Sacraments

In our series looking at “Faith and works” yesterday (January 28) we looked at the letter from Paul to the Romans, chapters 3 and  4. the 4th chapter often being referred to to support the doctrine of justification by faith alone.

Luther’s work

In our previous posting we saw how the German theologian and religious reformer who was the catalyst of the 16th-century Protestant Reformation Martin Luther gave enough food for the Antitrinitarians. He is one of the most to go against their idea we still have to do works to be able to enter the Kingdom of God.

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It is thanks to his marvellous work of translating of the Bible into the vernacular (instead of Latin) that so many more people could read and find out what was really written in the Holy Scriptures, which had a tremendous impact on the church and West European culture.

From 1510 to 1520, Luther lectured on the Psalms, the books of Hebrews, Romans, and Galatians. As he studied these portions of the Bible, he came to view the use of terms such as penance and righteousness by the Catholic Church in new ways. He became convinced that the church was corrupt in its ways and had lost sight of what he saw as several of the central truths of Christianity.

The most important for Luther was the doctrine of justification – God’s act of declaring a sinner righteous – by faith alone through God’s grace. He taught that salvation or redemption is a gift of God’s grace, attainable only through faith in Jesus as the Messiah.

Looking at Paul’s teachings

The blog “Washed, sanctified and justified” also looks at Paul’s teachings in the knowledge that lots of protestants refer to Romans 3:26-28 as their conclusion that a man is justified by faith. Some will say

Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from works. {Analysis of St. Paul’s Teachings on Justification and Faith}

Many Christians forget to notice “of the law” which indicates something more and something different than just the “Blood of Christ” or “the Blood of the Lamb“.  The Jewish scholar knew very much the importance of “The Law” or the “Torah” in God’s Plan. And these words are very important to the idea that the apostle Paul is expressing. In the previous articles we have seen that the apostle is speaking of works of the law because that is what he was speaking of in the last chapter.

He didn’t suddenly change subjects. However, he has omitted the words of the law at this point. {Analysis of St. Paul’s Teachings on Justification and Faith}

Some Catholics may say the Jews did not have ‘Sacraments’, but they had a Covenant and arrangements (or sarcaments in the wider interpretation), also having their own religious signs or symbols and practices as forms of worship.

Paul was very well aware how men of God were justified in the past. Abram (Abraham), born way before God made the covenant with the Israelites, had come in the faith. When he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed, and he went out, not knowing whither he went. Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. (Genesis 12:1-4; Hebrews 11:8; Romans 4:3) He also had not forgotten, like today many Christians do, that Abraham became the father of many, justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar. (James 2:20-22)

Covenants given to man

The Abrahamic Covnenant may have been interchanged with the Messianic or New Covenant this did not make done with The Law. Too many people forget the terms of the New Covenant.

De Maria in “Romans 4 and the Sacraments” looks further at the misunderstanding of Faith without works.

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We remember from it:

Romans 4 = a dissertation on justification by the Sacraments.

  1. Abraham = our father, according to the flesh
  2. if Abraham > justified by works = he hath whereof to glory > not before God.
  3. if Abraham justified himself = more power to him => it is not of God.
  4. Abraham believed God => counted unto him for righteousness.

=>  that means.

  1. him that works = reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt > obey God’s voice + keep His covenant => a peculiar treasure unto God above all people
  2. to him that works not, but believes on him that justifies the ungodly > faith is counted for righteousness.
  3. Abraham was => did not work for debt
  4. Abraham did work for faith

He also looks at David, one of the circumcised =>  covenant of reconciliation

  • No one can deny David did many works <= all he did was believe in God’s mercy

reconciliation not only offered to Israelites (Abraham not an Israelite + not even circumcised yet) ===> God saw his faith at work => reckoned in uncircumcision to receive sign of circumcision=  seal of the righteousness of the faith

=> = prophecy which showed that even gentiles would be justified by faith.

=> We, like Abraham, believe and are imputed righteousness, in the Sacraments of Jesus Christ.

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St. Paul contrasting Old Testament with New Testament.

  • Old Testament = the Law.
  • New Testament = the Faith.

no ministry of reconciliation in Old Testament. ~~~ David’s reconciliation exception = foreshadowing of the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

=> Just as it is imputed to the Catholic, who believing the promises of God, approaches the font of grace and submits to the Sacraments, calling on His name.

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Preceding articles

Luther’s misunderstanding

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

Our life depending on faith

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CatholicBibleTalk

 Romans 4 is frequently used to support the doctrine of justification by faith alone. But it is actually a dissertation on justification by the Sacraments.  Let’s go through it.

King James Version (KJV)
1 What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found?Abraham is our father, according to the flesh. The Apostle asks, “what has he found”?

2 For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.

Now, he asks, “did Abraham justify himself?” If he did, then more power to him, but it is not of God.

3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.

Now, he quotes Gen 15:6Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.

and he begins to explain what that means.

4 Now to him that…

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

In the past there have been many discussion about the possibility man being good. When we look at the world today it seems not much has changed. Along all sides we can see people who do not want to share the luck they have with others. This has come to a high point with the refugee crisis. It is understandable that people want to protect their own goods and culture, but often they are too much afraid that their way of living would be in danger by others from far away coming to live in their regions.

Several people are convinced that people who are fleeing from war-zones can not be good and trustworthy people. According to several Christians it is even impossible for a human being to be good from himself and as such no one can be reliable.

A17th century Calvinist print depicting Pelagi...

A17th century Calvinist print depicting Pelagius. The caption says “Accurst Pelagius, with what false pretence Durst thou excuse man’s foul concupiscence, Or cry down Sin Originall, or that The love of God did man predestinate.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The controversial British monk Pelagius in the fifth century had taught that man’s nature was essentially good. This was not to the liking of the Catholic Church leaders who found that because of Adam’s sin all men were born with a strong tendency to sin. It is even for that reason that lots of Christians do say it is impossible for Jesus to be a man. Because he was without sin he should be God, according to them. This naturally is not at all true and makes of God a horrible Creator, having created human beings who can not decide for themselves to do good or bad. Worse it would also mean that God gave man commandments He knew they would never be able to follow.

Pelagius rightly said that an individual had the power to do right by choosing to do right and by beating the body into submission through ascetic practices. Traditional Christianity said that men could defeat their tendencies to sin only by the working of God’s grace in their heart. According to the churchleaders Pelagius‘s ideas meant that Christ‘s death on the cross served more as a moral example than as an atonement able to transform the soul from within by divine force, which meant against going their doctrine of sola fide.

Those who think that Old and New Testaments alike teach us that we cannot change ourselves have not very well read the Holy Book of books. In the many books which form the bible we do have many examples of people who have gone from bad to good but also from good to bad and sometimes returning to good.

Augustinus 1.jpg

Saint Augustine from a 19th-century engraving

The Christian philosopher and theologian St. Augustine or Augustine of Hippo (354-430), best known for “The Confessions” and “The City of God” was responsible for the excommunication of Pelagius.

While in Rome, Pelagius first heard of Augustine through his reading of a prayer from Augustine’s Confessions: “Give what Thou commandest and command that Thou wilt.” To Pelagius, the philosophy expressed in this prayer sounded like the total abandonment of human responsibility and a denial of the ethical dimensions of the Christian faith. If all moral action, thought Pelagius, depends solely on God — both the commanding as well as the ability to obey — God is either an arbitrary tyrant or else man is a creature deprived of free will. Pelagius conducted his teaching along these lines while he was in Rome, and it was to this teaching that an able lawyer, Caelestius, responded, leaving his profession of advocacy and becoming Pelagius’s disciple, companion, and the popularizer of his views.

Caelestius’s Pelagian views continued to spread, and soon Augustine was preaching and writing with intense fervour against this what he called a new heresy, arguing that the whole lump of humanity is infected with sin and that only the grace administered in baptism can wash away the guilty stain.

In spite of these admonitions from the Doctor of Grace, the controversy continued, and it was not long before the articulate bishop of Eclanum, Julian, stepped in to argue the Pelagian cause, forcing Augustine, by the clarity of his logic, into positions regarding the doctrines of grace and predestination that have been burdensome to Western Christendom ever since. {Encyclopedia of World Biography | 2004}

Today we still find many who do not want to see that man has a lot in his own hands. Today there are still lots of Christians who think it is impossible for man to live according to God’s Wishes and that he does not have to do any good works to enter the Kingdom of God because it is just impossible for him to do such good works.

According to Augustine it is not possible to lead a sinless life, with (for whatever reason, probably she had to carry the god son according to the Catholic Church) the exception of the Virgin Mary. For Augustine divine grace must precede every virtuous act and today many Christians are also still convinced we are all saved whatever what we have done and whatever we do in our life.

For such Christians who try to put sand in the eyes of searching people, the saying that we need works to enter the Kingdom of God is heresy. For them it is not only possible for man not to sin, they are not able to bring any change in the salvation of themselves.

The caricature of Pelagianism found in many orthodox textbooks and devotional manuals is hardly one that Pelagius would recognize. He never, for instance, denied the need for grace or for infant baptism; he never accepted the position that man can, by his own moral efforts, achieve his salvation. On basic doctrinal issues, Pelagius was certainly orthodox; and on matters of Christian morality his chief concern was to foster among Christian people a right regard for the ethical responsibilities he saw as inherent in the Gospel message. {Encyclopedia of World Biography | 2004}

The Christian attitude is a very important issue which was been tackled by rabbi Jeshua (master teacher Jesus Christ) with a lot of delicacy. The Nazarene Jew, who was not afraid to bring others to see they had no right to judge others, told his listeners many parables in which he tried to get them to understand that we must be very careful not to loose the right to enter the Kingdom of God.

Lots of Christians are mistaken to think they do not have to do any good works to enter Gods Kingdom. It is true that they are saved and have nothing to do to get under the Grace of salvation. But what they forget is that, though they received salvation for nothing, they can loose it when they do not work at themselves. The leaders of the Protestant Reformation, 1,500 years after the last books of the Bible were written wanted their flock to believe that Jesus paid the full prize or penalty for our sins, so that nothing had to be done or paid any more. They added their human doctrine, which is nowhere written in the Bible, saying that

Jesus paid the punishment for our sins, he having fully atoned for our sins and by saying “it is finished” he did what no human could do, make up for their sins and made an end to everything what had to be done.

But it was not finished by having to come to God (a work) or to follow God’s commandments (again demanding works).

It is totally wrong to think once new born and/or being baptised, we are cleared and have a free way to enter into God’s Kingdom, or what some are thinking to go to heaven. In case a person has fund Christ and has come to God several works are needed. First of all before finding Christ work has to be done to come to know him and his God. Once a person believes in Jesus Christ, the son of God, that person has to convert to Christianity which again is a work to be done. But once baptised it is not finished. Than the person has to work at his or her character and try to stay on the right track, following God’s commandments, which shall require again some, not to say ‘lots’ of works.

Every Christian must work to control themselves. Once having become a Christian that person should try not to lie, to steal, to betray, to fornicate, to murder and many other things he or she should avoid doing (which demands work). If none of these works are needed for salvation the person could have sex with as many persons or animals as he or she wanted no matter the gender. If no works have to be done a person could also continue to do fraudulent actions, without having to worry.

It is for the reason having so many Christian preachers trying to convince others they do not need to do any works, and because of the reaction by Grow Pastor, Minister to Men, Ken Miller to us, at his article That’s the Spirit!, that we think it opportune to warn people of the lack of understanding of the given grace.

Christ Jesus died for all people, sinners or not. By the works of faith he has done, we received the Grace of Salvation, but when we ignore his calling or his heavenly Father’s calling than we shall not be allowed to enter the Kingdom of god when we did bad things and did not repent about them. It is not by works of justice that we had done, but, in accord with the mercy of God, Him willing to accept the ransom offering of His son. Through Jesus Christ our Saviour we are been justified by his grace and are we allowed to become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. (Titus 3:5-7)

When Saul had become a follower of the Messiah he looked at the work of the master teacher and at the sacraments which were given to those who followed Jesus. The apostle wrote

Romans 3:27-31 The Scriptures 1998+  (27)  Where, then, is the boasting? It is shut out. By what Torah? Of works? No, but by the Torah of belief.  (28)  For we reckon that a man is declared right by belief without works of Torah.  (29)  Or is He the Elohim of the Yehuḏim only, and not also of the gentiles? Yea, of the gentiles also,  (30)  since it is one Elohim who shall declare right the circumcised by belief and the uncircumcised through belief.  (31)  Do we then nullify the Torah through the belief? Let it not be! On the contrary, we establish the Torah.1 Footnote: 1See 7:12.

and gave the Romans to know that they thought or hold that a man is brought into right standing with God by faith and that observance of the law has no connection with it.

Saying that he did not confirm that

“by faith apart from deeds of the law” as meaning, “by faith alone”

but him affirming that we then not through faith make null and void the law; instead, we confirm it. It is by our faith that we shall do certain works according to the faith. Pelagius considered that sacraments are elements believers should keep taking throughout their life. For him it was like it is for us, that faith should be expressed and perfected in works. Submitting to Jehovah His works in the proper disposition, which is that of faith, is an action or a work to be done.

Too many Christians forget the importance of the feeling we should have about what we have done. If we do not feel bad by the wrong things we have done and do not repent for them, for sure the Bible shows us, we shall not receive an entrance in God’s Kingdom. Repentance and teshuvah demands a work. Staying a good person also demands work. All those that say we do not have to do any work of faith, are either forgetting what the Bible tells about it and are insinuating we can do whatever we want and shall still be saved.

On the other hand it is very strange that it are just such preachers who talk so ferociously about salvation and no works needed for salvation, who also preach about damnation in a hell, a place of eternal fire.

Luckily the Bible speaks about the end of our life by death, and that we once we die shall not be able to feel anything any more. No frustrations, no pain, no sorrow any more when we die. Then it shall all be finished, but then it shall also be too late if we did not choose for God and did not work at our own self.

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Please do find also to read:

  1. Salvation and Righteousness
  2. Elul Observances
  3. God’s wrath and sanctification
  4. A god who gave his people commandments and laws he knew they never could keep to it
  5. Outflow of foundational relationship based on acceptance of Jesus
  6. Back from gone #4 Your inner feelings and actions
  7. Being Religious and Spiritual 8 Spiritual, Mystic and not or well religious
  8. Cognizance at the doorstep or at the internet socket
  9. Good and bad things in this world
  10. Establish your hearts blameless in holiness
  11. Myth 12: The Hyper-Grace Gospel Makes People Lazy
  12. Faith Alone Does Not Save . . . No Matter How Many Times Protestants Say It Does
  13. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  14. A Living Faith #6 Sacrifice
  15. Humbleness
  16. A race not to swift, nor a battle to the strong
  17. The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong
  18. Being of good courage running the race
  19. Bearing fruit
  20. To Soar In The Spirit You Have To Be Hard Core
  21. Our stance against certain religions and immigrating people
  22. Religion, fundamentalism and murder
  23. Daring to speak in multicultural environment
  24. As Christ’s slaves doing the Will of God in gratitude
  25. 2014 Religion
  26. Disobedient man and God’s promises
  27. From pain to purpose
  28. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #17 Sorts of prayers
  29. God’s forgotten Word 5 Lost Lawbook 4 The ‘Catholic’ church
  30. Daily Spiritual Food To prepare ourselves for the Kingdom of God
  31. Evangelisation, local preaching opposite overseas evangelism
  32. When not seeing or not finding a biblically sound church

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Further reading

  1. No one is saved by the law. Salvation is by faith through Grace.
  2. The Justification of Abraham
  3. St. Paul Didn’t Say Faith Alone
  4. The Law of Diminishing Returns
  5. A Call to Dare God
  6. The Tangible Presence of God
  7. Devotion for Monday After the Second Sunday in Lent, Year C (ELCA Daily Lectionary)
  8. Grace is a soft gospel for soft Christians & The Hyper-Grace Gospel Makes People Lazy
  9. Did God really say “Prevenient” Grace
  10. Can someone who genuinely loves the God of Israel, prays to Him and trusts him go to hell? The New Testament says…
  11. I was wrong – but I am right – Calvinists preach a false gospel.
  12. The pain of radical grace
  13. The power of grace
  14. Seeing Christ
  15. (12/04/2015) By More Than Believing
  16. Faith Child – Forget the poor!
  17. (01/13/2016) How To Treat Unbelievers?
  18. Repent so that you can understand
  19. Faithfulness
  20. Faith Without Works (Pastor Joe Taylor)
  21. Faith without Works ??? (1 Way to live)
  22. Spiritual Insights for Everyday Life: Faith Alone Does Not Save
  23. The Works
  24. Faith in Action
  25. Put Your Faith Into Action
  26. Fashion advice?
  27. Intentional God
  28. The Sower of Seeds: A Parable of Jesus
  29. Matthew 23:23 [Coming Soon]
  30. Studies in Mark (Pt. 8)
  31. Galatians 5:4 [Unfinished]
  32. Galatians 6:7-9 [Unfinished]
  33. Ephesians 2:8-9
  34. Titus 3:5-7
  35. NT Reading – October 5
  36. James 1:14-20 — Faith that Works!
  37. James, Part 2
  38. The Book that Almost Wasn’t: Faith, Lists, and Works ~ James 2
  39. Tuesday Devotional: Revelation 2
  40. Faith Without Works Is Dead
  41. Putting Legs to Their Faith
  42. Are You a doer???
  43. Are You Willing to do more???
  44. Mincing no Words
  45. Epistle for September 6, 2015
  46. Tell it Tuesday w/ B.Parker|How To Pray When Life Isn’t Going Your Way
  47. Tell it Tuesday w/ B. Parker| It’s 2am and No One is Answering…Who To Call?
  48. Childish Thinking
  49. Are You A Weed?
  50. Sneaky Subjectivism
  51. What Future?
  52. Intentional Avoidance, Disconnected Ignorance, or Disinterested Forgetfulness?
  53. We Are All Damaged Goods…
  54. Just Sitting There
  55. The Subnormal Christian Life
  56. 14 How to Work Your Way to Hell
  57. Faith Life Congruence
  58. We pray and plead with you…”Do You Job!”
  59. Gospel Doctrine 2015 – Lesson 42 – “Pure Religion”

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The Catholic synod on the family and abortion

In the United States Catholic bishops hire public-relations firms to discourage abortion and the last few months also evangelical groups join hands with conservative Catholics and Muslims.

In certain countries there have been lots of teenage mothers. For them certain groups advised them to consider abortion. But this is not an option for those who want to turn to pleasing God, as the Bible makes it clear that abortion is against God’s law. (Exodus 20:13; 21:22, 23; Psalm 139:14-16) In God’s eyes the life of any embryo — including one conceived out of wedlock — is precious.

Those situations were also subject of the talks at the Vatican, were in continuation of the previous meetings the Synod on marriage and family spend only a little bit of time for the women in need of advice and pregnancy support.

Last year there were already surprised looks at the request of Pope Francis I to absolve from the censure that is incurred by the crime (not just sin) of successfully procuring an abortion, as part of the Year of Mercy.

On Saturday evening the Synod of Bishops on the Family came to a close when Synod Fathers voted paragraph by paragraph on the final text. At the end of the vote the text was presented to the Holy Father. All 94 points received the required two-thirds majority vote. For the pope the Synod was not about settling issues but attempting to see them in the light of the Gospel and the Church’s tradition and two thousand year history. The Pope said it was about interpreting reality through God’s eyes.

The Holy Father said it was about making clear that the Church is a Church of the poor in spirit and of sinners seeking forgiveness.

Than we may ask what the Catholic Church is going to do about the sex offenders in their clergy and how they are going to treat the young girls who were molested by priests and got pregnant. At the same time we want to question the Catholic Church fathers how they are going to treat those girls who decided to have an abortion.

Quoting Benedict XVI, Pope Francis said

Mercy is indeed the central nucleus of the Gospel message“.

The Holy Father said that many of the delegates felt the working of the Holy Spirit who is

“the real protagonist and guide of the Synod.”

To conclude the Synod, he said, is to

“return to our true ‘journeying together’ in bringing to every part of the world, every diocese, to every community and every situation, the light of the Gospel, the embrace of the Church and the support of God’s mercy!

But when we look at the results we can not see that there is much progress made in handling the gender issues and in coping with matrimonial and out of marriage family formation.

Did those bishops really listened to and made heard

“the voices of the families and the Church’s pastors, who came to Rome bearing on their shoulders the burdens and the hopes, the riches and the challenges of families throughout the world.” ?

There was a “disparity in the voting” on the subjects of pastoral care for divorced and remarried persons. While preserving the Church’s teaching and current pastoral practice on dealing with divorced and remarried couples, the synod urged the bishops to treat these couples as baptised persons who must be

“more integrated into the Christian community

while

“avoiding every occasion of scandal.”

For sure the Catholic Church itself had to endure enough scandals the last ten years and strangely enough those homosexual priests did not want to have an ear to be more lenient to the homosexual and transgender civilians. Now they had an opportunity to show their comprehension for people with such feelings, but they mist that chance.

The bishops called the homosexual ideological colonisation

“unacceptable in every case.”

They also rejected the pressure exerted on local churches by those who are pushing for the acceptance of gay “marriage.”

Perhaps those pushing the Church to adopt a more welcoming and tolerant stance towards the LGBT community might ask themselves what stern opposition to that position was all about during the synods of 2014 and 2015.

They might realize, for instance, that for many African Catholics, such demands come off as another chapter in what Pope Francis has described as “ideological colonization,” meaning efforts by the West to force its values on the rest of the world. (The final document acknowledges the legitimacy of those concerns.) {After the synod, can Catholics put Humpty Dumpty together again?}

DignityUSA is deeply disappointed in the final report out of the Synod on the family.

“The respectful language of the midterm report is gone,”

said Marianne Duddy-Burke, DignityUSA’s Executive Director.

“A return to what we’ve heard for decades will dishearten LGBT people, same-sex couples, and our families.”

“What we saw through the Synod process is that there are deep divisions in what the Catholics bishops think about LGBT people, even at the highest levels of leadership. Unfortunately, today, doctrine won out over pastoral need. It is disappointing that those who recognized the need for a more inclusive Church were defeated,” {LGBT Catholics Disappointed by Final Synod Report}

Duddy-Burke continued.

We may not underestimate the importance of what the Vatican decrees and sends into the world. those words are not only used by the 1.2 billion Catholics of which more than 40% live in Latin America (483 million Catholics) – but Africa has seen the biggest growth in Catholic congregations in recent years. Since 1970, Catholicism has seen a global shift southwards – the proportion of Catholics living in Europe has declined, while Africa has seen a growth in the number of Catholics – from 45 million in 1970 to 176 million in 2012. Asia has also seen a growth in Catholicism and now represents almost 12% of the total Catholic population in the world, or 137 million people.

The people in Europe do not mind to have their own Catholicism for their own region and perhaps this is going to show up even more after this missed change for this church which according to some bishops prefers to stay in the world of 2000 years ago.

Catholics in the world - shows percentage catholics by continent: L America 41.3%, Europe 23.7, Africa 15.2, Asia 11.7, N America 7.3, Oceania 0.8%

 

In a final speech to the synod, Francis took some clear swipes at the conservatives who hold up church doctrine above all else, saying the church’s primary duty isn’t to condemn or judge but to proclaim God’s mercy and save souls.

That condemnation we can see a lot in the Catholic denominations and in several evangelical and Pentecostal churches. On that part we can find certain organisations which are doing more damage to the unity of people and formation of Bible readers and followers.

The bishops were willing to take Francis I his direction, finding “positive elements” in couples who live together even though they are not married. Rather than condemning these couples for living in sin, the document says pastors should look at their commitment constructively and encourage them to transform their union in a sacramental marriage.

The Pope already gave several examples how to show respect and love for others and asks his pastors also to show respect for those who are not like the majority. He even demands that particular pastoral care shall be given to families with gay members. though the Church can not accept such a declination. Gay marriage and “gender theory” are strongly rejected by the document which omits references to church teaching that homosexual acts are “intrinsically disordered.”

The final synod document also supported Church teachings on life issues such as abortion and contraception.

It reiterated that all human life

“is sacred because, since its beginning, it involves the creative action of God.”

The document rejected the “biotechnical revolution in the field of human procreation” which

“has introduced the ability to manipulate the generative act, rendering it independent of the sexual relationship between a man and woman.”

The document gives notice that only God

“is the Lord of life from its beginning to its end,”

and that no one, under any circumstance, can claim for themselves the right to directly destroy an innocent human being. But they did not go deeper into different conditions or certain necessities.

The document focused on the beauty of marriage and the family, emphasising the indissolubility of marriage from beginning to end.

It quoted Pope Francis’ Oct. 4 homily during the opening of the synod where he said, “God didn’t create the human being to live in sadness or to be alone, but for happiness, to share his path with another person that is complimentary.”

The document said, “God united the hearts of man and woman who love each other and unites them in unity and indissolubility. This means that the goal of married life is not only to live together forever, but to love each other forever!”

Gregorio III Laham, Patriarch of Antioch said
“In a way, we experienced the Pentecost here. We held a Synod here in the Vatican hall, under closed doors, just as the apostles did in Jerusalem. Now it’s time to reach out to the world, through our local dioceses with the message of the Synod.”

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Preceding articles:

  1. Fruitage of the womb
  2. Abortion: The expulsion of an embryo or foetus before it can live on its own
  3. The Risk Factors Associated with Abortions
  4. Should I Have An Abortion
  5. My Choice (by Jezabel Jonson)
  6. The Real ‘Choice’
  7. “They Told Me What I Wanted To Hear” – Real Abortion Stories
  8. The Things We Carry, by Penny
  9. Not an easy decision to make
  10. Whoopi Goldberg commandments and abortion
  11. Stop Burning Rape Survivors at the Stake
  12. How to heal after childhood sexual abuse
  13. “Til It Happens To You” by Lady Gaga
  14. Abortion — Not a Trouble-Free Solution
  15. About a human being or not and life

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Additional reading:

  1. Two synods and life in the church community
  2. A synod not leading to doctrinal changes because it is about pastoral attention
  3. Youngsters, parents and the search to root in life
  4. Conclusion of the synod of bishops for seeing the family in the light of the Gospel and church tradition
  5. What’s church for, anyway?
  6. Human relations 2013
  7. About lions and babies
  8. Westboro Baptist Church and Catholic Truth against Nelson Mandela
  9. Always a choice
  10. A philosophical error which rejects the body as part of the human person
  11. Need to Embrace People Where They Are
  12. Tony Campolo Calls for Full Inclusion of LGBT Into the Church
  13. Same sex realtionships and Open attitude mirroring Jesus
  14. Belonging to or being judged by
  15. 2014 Religion
  16. Different assessment criteria and a new language to be found for communicating the faith
  17. History of Christianity
Pope Francis leaves a session of the synod in the Vatican

Pope Francis had pointed words for conservative bishops after the meeting

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 Further reading:

  1. How many Roman Catholics are there in the world?
  2. Catholic bishops end divisive synod on family
  3. Final report to be a general guide, not hard answers, says cardinal
  4. Ask Father: Why were non-bishops voting at Synod of Bishops?
  5. Catholic bishops at synod call for a more welcoming church
  6. Explaining the Year of Mercy “abortion forgiveness faculty”
  7. Deafening Silence on Abortion at Synod
  8. What’s Behind the UN Attack on the Church? | Crisis Magazine
  9. 50 million babies a year? What’s that got to do with anything?
  10. Bishop Mark Davies: Assisted Suicide Bill Will Put Lives of Many Vulnerable People at Risk
  11. Ed Peters on the ‘sin’ of abortion, the ‘crime’ of abortion, and excommunication
  12. Clergy defending Big Business Abortion
  13. Nancy “The Theologian” Pelosi tears the throat out of a reporter asking about big-business abortion
  14. Damien Hirst’s latest work praised by pro-life workers
  15. Her heart spoke volumes
  16. 9 Months
  17. It May Be A Legal Right, But it Seems Wrong, Doesn’t it?
  18. Katie Revisits Pain and Purpose–or, She’s Back in Black
  19. Forget Your Perfect Offering – 10/23/15
  20. The empty cradle in her heart. My story and tribute.
  21. A Flower for a Friend
  22. A little bundle of God’s Awesomeness
  23. The next, and likely even more aggressive, wave of persecution
  24. Bishop Swain speaks out after Catholic insurance co. adds contraceptive coverage
  25. Is NCAN a “front group” for LCWR?
  26. The Child Who Never Was
  27. Why There Should Be No Issue With Jenner Being Woman of the Year
  28. Court Sides With Transgender Widow In Fight Over Texas Estate
  29. Share Your Story : Nat
  30. Glamour’s First Man of the Year
  31. Living Outside Society’s Shit
  32. Reason 46: Because Having Your Children Retreat Is Good When The War Is Lost
  33. Semi-Closeted TGirl Problems 2
  34. Day Zero
  35. Falling Leaves and Family Love.
  36. Entitlement and Free Speech….
  37. Germaine Greer: Transgender women are ‘not women’
  38. In defence of Germaine
  39. Germaine Greer Slams Caitlyn Jenner: ‘Our… – Stephanie Soteriou
  40. Germaine Greer – The Feminist Who Won’t Back Down (Nor Should She)
  41. Violence against trans women increase following the decision by the Federal Court
  42. Gender.
  43. The power of words
  44. Incomplete Transaction
  45. A Difficult Decision
  46. The Subject Of Debate
  47. To My Trans-national Friends!
  48. The real transparent experience
  49. New York Legally Safer for the Transgendered
  50. Trangender University student interview [ part one]
  51. Transgender University student interview [part two]
  52. Transgender university student interview [ part 3 ]
  53. Transgender University student interview [part 4]
  54. It feels just like I’m falling for the first time.
  55. Stephanie Rose declared her hate for God
  56. US: NY Gov Cuomo Extends Protection To Transgender New Yorkers
  57. Who Is a ‘Transphobe’?
  58. Spotlight of the month – Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family by Amy Ellis Nutt
  59. How bad is the epidemic of violence against transgender women? It’s hard to know. – Vox
  60. The strangest thing about being transgender….A.K.A My passive aggressive post about being transgender
  61. The Irony of my GID diagnosis..
  62. Falling Into Place
  63. All together boys and girls…. Part 1
  64. Planned Parenthood: Profiting from Infanticide
  65. The miracle of life: art in service of truth
  66. “No success can compensate for failure in the home“
  67. Guest post on March for Life UK’s blog
  68. Erroneous thinking
  69. Every Unborn Child Has the Face of the Lord: Pope Francis addresses medical professionals.
  70. Of Kings, and Popes, and Abortions, and the Environment
  71. Recreation?
  72. Reformed Church Statements on abortion
  73. Christian Reformed Church its official stand on abortion
  74. Abortion from the Religious and Moral Perspective: An Annotated Bibliography

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2 Comments

Filed under Crimes & Atrocities, Headlines - News, Health affairs, Juridical matters, Lifestyle, Religious affairs, Social affairs, Welfare matters

Scepticals of the Bible

Most people do seem to forget that man does not live on bread alone. Material gain is for most the highest priority in their life. Though all that money and all those interesting gadgets do not seem to make them very happy. Contrary we can see much more unhappiness by those who should be lucky  and happy that they have so much.

In several countries where there is not much good food and not much good drinkable water, people not having good housing, they do find a way to enjoy life and not to worry to much. And there where there are fights going on, rebels making life very awkward, there are many who still manage in those bad conditions to find the straw for life. Mostly it is because they know where they can find the best treasure. Often they are convinced that they can find the best food for them by every word that proceeds out of the Mouth of God. In the industrialised world many have forgotten that they need daily spiritual nourishment from God’s Word in order to withstand the challenges and temptations that bombard us on a daily basis.

According to the fourth annual State of the Bible survey by the Barna Group there are just as many Americans sceptical of the Bible (19 percent) as there are engaged with the Bible. the 2014 research reveals six trends in Bible engagement: from the Bible’s continued role as a cultural icon, to increased digital Bible reading, to a rise in scepticism toward Scripture, particularly among Millennials.

The number of those who are sceptical or agnostic toward the Bible — who believe that the Bible is

“just another book of teachings written by men that contains stories and advice” —

has nearly doubled from 10% to 19% in just three years. This is now equal to the number of people who are Bible engaged — who read the Bible at least four times a week and believe it is the actual or inspired Word of God.

sign at front gate

sign at front gate (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The trend of scepticism is even more pronounced among the Millennial generation (who range in age from 18-29), two-thirds are 48 or younger (28% Millennials, 36% Gen-Xers) 68% male opposite 32% female. According to the State of the Bible report, Millennials are

  • Less likely to view the Bible as sacred literature (64 percent in comparison to 79 percent of adults),
  • Less likely to believe the Bible contains everything a person needs to know to lead a meaningful life (35 percent in comparison to 50 percent of adults), and
  • More likely to never read the Bible (39 percent compared in comparison to 26 percent of adults).

What we in Europe might find surprising is that those Bible sceptics are more likely to identify as Catholic than any other single denomination or affiliation (30%) and are the most-likely segment not to have attended church (87%) or prayed (63%) during the previous week. They are also most likely not to have made a commitment to Jesus that is important in their life today (76%).

From the surveys been taken last year we must not that lots of those trinitarians ( 71% of Americans) did not read the Bible and those who went to Sunday service or mass only heard those verses or quotes from Scripture given by the pastor or priest.  In many countries nearly a quart of those interested in religion watches religious programs on television,  (23% of U.S. adults said to have watched a religious TV program in the past week, 20% listened to religious talk radio).

In the United States 35 Protestant denominations may try to attract those interested in religion. Though with the Roman Catholic Church they may represent 45% of the U.S. population in 1968 and 35% in 2012, they are not able to get a 62% of non-Christian Millennials to read  the Bible.

The Americans seem to be not such passive Christians as the Europeans. From the Millennials there where  81% of practising Christians who posted Scripture online in the past year.

As can be found in the rest of industrialised countries almost 1 in 5 people under 40 in the U.S. now describe themselves as
spiritual but not religious.

Barna, like different Christian denominations are seeing how there is more need of teachers or preachers proclaiming the good News.

David Kinnaman of Barna contends Christians should be challenged to reach out to those who are searching. Those people, he says, are looking for a church that “makes a difference” in the community, including taking care of the poor.

“And a lot of churches are doing that,”

says Kinnaman.

“So part of that is getting outside the walls of the church and doing the things the gospel compels us to do.”

The study also reveals that a vast majority of churchless Americans have attended church but don’t embrace what it means to live out the Christian faith. the American Christians should be aware that they still need to make work to have some of the 10 percent who have never attended a church-service to have them come to look at such a service.

Kinnaman says the challenge is for people to make church more than a “weekly ritual” by making attending church an opportunity to participate in what God is doing in the community.

The churchless are primarily men and in America tend to be less educated, white and unmarried. Churchless confirms that the world has, indeed, altered in significant ways during the last few decades. It’s not just your imagination. Real data confirm how drastically the moral, social and spiritual lives of Americans have changed and are changing. Europe has the idea that most Americans are ‘over-religious’, but about 156 million U.S. adults and children are churchless which mean that churchless Americans = Bigger Than Canada, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, South Africa & New Zealand . . . Combined. Only China, India, Indonesia, Brazil, Pakistan, Bangladesh and the churchgoing half of the United States are larger.

When we look around us and see the youngsters their actions it is not surprising to hear that the younger the generation, the more post-Christian it is. Nearly half of the Millennials qualify as post-Christian (48%), compared to two-fifths of Busters or Gen-Xers (40%), one-third of Boomers (35%) and one-quarter of Elders (28%). Tracking data allows us to trace the increase of anti-church attitudes and behaviours over the past 50 years.

Those most aware of the necessity to do missionary work in the industrialised countries are the non-trinitarians like the Jehovah Witnesses and Christadelphians, though lots of the latter group become so disappointed by the reaction of trinitarians and non-believers that they give it up. After having disappeared from the scene for some time in Europe the Mormons are the other group which still does missionary work in the capitalist countries.

2015 findings of 2014 Barna Group study. About 156 million U.S. adults and children are churchless in 2015.

2015 findings of 2014 Barna Group study.
About 156 million U.S. adults and children are churchless in 2015.

The Bible has been making its way onto box office screens and home TV screens over the year 2014: from Noah to Son of God, people have been watching the Bible, but the 2014 research reveals six trends in Bible engagement: from the Bible's continued role as a cultural icon, to increased digital Bible reading, to a rise in skepticism toward Scripture, particularly among Millennials.

The Bible has been making its way onto box office screens and home TV screens over the year 2014: from Noah to Son of God, people have been watching the Bible, but the 2014 research reveals six trends in Bible engagement: from the Bible’s continued role as a cultural icon, to increased digital Bible reading, to a rise in skepticism toward Scripture, particularly among Millennials.

 

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Additional reading:

  1. When you don’t know what to do and hate yourself
  2. A time for everything
  3. Faith and trial
  4. Faith is knowing there is an ocean because you have seen a brook.
  5. Everything that is done in the world is done by hope
  6. Tapping into God’s Strength by Waiting on Him
  7. Suffering redemptive because Jesus redeemed us from sin
  8. Determine the drive
  9. Let me keep to “first importance” things
  10. A Living Faith #5 Perseverance
  11. God should be your hope
  12. Hope is faith holding out its hand in the dark
  13. A new year with hopes and challenges
  14. Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness
  15. Be like a tree planted by streams of water
  16. Better loaves when the heart is joyous
  17. The thought of losing rekindles the joy of having
  18. Joy: Foundation for a Positive Life
  19. Joy is not in things, it is in us
  20. Give your tears to God
  21. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #4 Words in Scripture
  22. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #6 Words to feed and communicate
  23. Appointed to be read
  24. Scripture alone Sola Scriptora
  25. Building up the spirit of the soul
  26. Daily portion of heavenly food
  27. Bric-a-brac of the Bible
  28. Accuracy, Word-for-Word Translation Preferred by most Bible Readers
  29. The Metaphorical language of the Bible
  30. Youth has difficulty Bible Reading
  31. Do Christians need to read the Old Testament
  32. Feed Your Faith Daily
  33. We should use the Bible every day
  34. The manager and Word of God
  35. Evangelisation, local preaching opposite overseas evangelism
  36. Be an Encourager
  37. An ecclesia in your neighbourhood

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Please do find to read:

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  • Excuse My Scepticism (pastorcharleschipere.wordpress.com)
    In our Christian Faith, we are taught to believe rather than to be a doubting Thomas. We are taught to trust rather than mistrust. We are taught to give a person the benefit of the doubt before we dismiss them. But my journey of faith has had some encounters with reality leading me to embrace some sceptical attitude towards some things I have observed in the land of the living.
  • Cultural Fast Facts (garyrohrmayer.typepad.com)
    • 82% of U.S. adults have at least one credit card, including 40% who have 3 or
    more. Just 16% have none.• 50 million Americans have trouble putting food on the table, according to
    Feeding America, a food bank network.• Millennial moms are far more likely than moms of any other generation to be
    raising their kids near or even in the same house as their extended family.

    • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports 1 in 5 pregnancies in
    the U.S. ends with abortion.

    • There are now 3.9 billion urbanites in the world.

    • 80% of U.S. adults believe it is more common for grown children to live with
    their parents now than 20 years ago.

    • 30% of the U.S. population are auditory learners vs. approximately two-thirds
    who are visual learners.

    • 12- to 17-year-olds in the U.S. send or receive an average of 60 texts per
    day.

    19% Bible Lovers/19% Bible Skeptics.

  • The State of the Bible (reflectionsintheword.org)
    This year’s research reveals that skepticism toward the Bible continues to rise. For the first time since tracking began, Bible skepticism is tied with Bible engagement. The number of those who are skeptical or agnostic toward the Bible – who believe that the Bible is “just another book of teachings
  • Skeptical about skepticism (louisproyect.org)
    On Salon.com you can find an article titled “Bill Maher is right about religion: The Orwellian ridiculousness of Jesus, and the truth about moral progress” by Michael Shermer that is an excerpt from his book “The Moral Arc”. He draws a contrast between what some have called “the sky religions”, namely Judaism, Christianity and Islam that are tribal in nature rather than universal, and all those great conquests of Modern Civilization such as goodness, justice and truth.
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    Oddly enough, for an outfit so devoted to science and reason, there is little engagement with the science of genetic modification itself. This is not surprising since this intellectual current seems either totally innocent of ecological science, or determined to sweep it under the rug. The moniker Prometheus that Kurtz has given to his publishing outlet suggests an unreconstructed vision of 19th century Progress. Needless to say, this dovetails neatly with the kind of philosophical pragmatism he embraces, which appears totally at home with the agenda of US imperialism.The other big mover and shaker in the world of skepticism is Michael Shermer, who is much younger than Paul Kurtz and is the publisher of Skeptic Magazine. While targeting all the usual suspects (UFO’s, Bigfoot, ESP, etc.), Shermer has also investigated bogus history. He is the author of a book focusing on the libel case against David Irving, a holocaust denier.Just as with Kurtz, Shermer casts a wide net in his crusade against the forces of anti-scientific darkness. Such forces include those who believe that there is a Gulf War Syndrome and that silicone breast implants might be harmful.
  • Millennials: Escape the Credit/Debt Matrix (consciouslifenews.com)
    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, December, 2014, 1 in 5 of the Millennial generation (birth years from early 1980s to early 2000) live in poverty and have lower rates of employment compared to their Baby Boomer parents of a similar age in the 1980s, one of the most prosperous eras of American history.Obviously, the Millennials need a place to live (besides with their parents), clothes on their back, food to eat and resources to care for their children. Not to mention time and money for travel, and doing fun things, as well. Oh and then there is saving and investing for the future.
  • Good News, Millennials: You Don’t Have to Save the Church (christianitytoday.com)
    We find ourselves facing into “millennial anxiety” as well as concern about the “rise of the nones” (those who do not identify with any religious tradition, a cohort that is apparently growing in the West). Like some reverse Paul Revere, many ride through the fiber optics of the Internet and into church basements shouting, “The millennials are leaving! Watch out for the rise of the nones!” Simply put, millennial anxiety—a concern shared by both mainline and evangelical churches—is the fear that those between ages 18 and 25 have little interest in the church, and that the church has failed to convince them to stay.
  • Millennial Men: Risk Takers or Dupes? (talentzoo.com)
    Well, according to a study by Creditcards.com, Millennial men are “more easily swayed” by advertising than Millennial women. Yes, men of this generation are much more likely than the general American population to trust advertising.Now does that make them idiots or trusting?We (though obviously biased) would like to consider our generation as the latter.
  • Did you hear? Millennials will overtake Baby Boomers in Population this Year (theposhboomer.com)
    Millennials are defined as being between ages 18 to 34 in 2015. Boomers are now ages 51 to 69.Census data says that there are a projected 75.3 million Millennial’s this year. This year Millenial’s are surpassing the 74.9 million Gen Xer’s (ages 35 to 50). Millenial’s are projected to outnumber us Boomers by 2028.
  • Fully Satisfied (culturalatheist.wordpress.com)
    It began about the time this age cohort reached adulthood, with the 1999 publication of Saving the Millennial Generation: New Ways to Reach the Kids You Care About in These Uncertain Times. It accelerated when some polls in the mid-2000s began to suggest millennials’ waning interest in church. Enter “millennials and church” into a search engine, and soon enough you are pointed to sites that proclaim, “Ten reasons churches are not reaching millennials,” or, “Why millennials are leaving church.” The latter article quickly garnered some 100,000 page views not long ago.This past October, the 2014 Alignment Conference featured Barna’s David Kinnaman and pastor and church planter Dave Ferguson talking about millennials, who present a “game changing moment” for the church. Gen2 Leadership Conference is meeting this month with the theme, “Fighting for the Heart of the Millennial Generation.”We find ourselves facing into “millennial anxiety” as well as concern about the “rise of the nones” (those who do not identify with any religious tradition, a cohort that is apparently growing in the West). Like some reverse Paul Revere, many ride through the fiber optics of the Internet and into church basements shouting, “The millennials are leaving! Watch out for the rise of the nones!” Simply put, millennial anxiety—a concern shared by both mainline and evangelical churches—is the fear that those between ages 18 and 25 have little interest in the church, and that the church has failed to convince them to stay.
  • The Millennials Are All Right (blackchristiannews.com)
    Millennials are both high tech and high touch. They have less faith in religious and political institutions.  It extends to the private sector, too: 71 percent of Millennials would rather go to the dentist than step into a bank branch. As many one-third of millennials are willing to switch banks in the next 90 days. What would encourage them to join your organization or become a customer?

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Filed under Religious affairs

Getting out of the dark corners of this world

Because of certain unpleasant things that happened to individuals who belonged by their family tradition to a church, they left that church as soon as they left the parents house.

After some experiences they tried to keep quiet for years the last few years their wounds were opened again. Perhaps matters can gain momentum. The development presented by the pontiff of the Catholic Church  may ease some pain many had to endure for many years.

 

Gods Own County

Gods Own County (Photo credit: tricky (rick harrison))

The events which sometimes took them by surprise, and for some became a chain for many years,brought them in the darkness. But not always bad experiences had to bring people in the dark corners of this world. Many experiences in our childhood or in our adulthood may have disappointed us and given a bad picture of the world we are living in.

 

Maybe some of the readers coming along here are facing some darkness in their life or are currently going through a desert period with God. The might feeling abandoned by people but worse, by the One Who they thought would resolve all their problems, or the One which they heard talking about from early childhood onwards.

We shall not be saying that you can not have happiness without That One Who has been spoken off in your childhood or about Whom you heard so many talking. To those who believe in god or gods we shall also not say they shall have only happiness and shall have no pain. Be sure, also a believer in God shall have his or her share of unhappiness, fear, frustration and pain. It is not because you would believe in the God of gods that you shall have no suffering.

Some (or perhaps many)  may feel abandoned by “Him”. Even His most beloved only begotten son cried at one moment

“Father why have you abandoned me?”.

Nonetheless, this son of Him had all the time been faithful to his Father and had only done His Will. So why and how could this man of 33 been calling on his Dad when he was put on a wooden stake, to find his death?

Did this son think his Father had broken His promises to him and to His people? When you look at the history of that Nazarene man you might find that he could do many unbelievable things, just because his Father was with him. the son also recognised that and told others he could do nothing without that Father in heaven who was much mightier than he.

Joh 14:27-31 NHEBYSE  Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.  (28)  You heard how I told you, ‘I go away, and I come to you.’ If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father; for the Father is greater than I.  (29)  Now I have told you before it happens so that, when it happens, you may believe.  (30)  I will no more speak much with you, for the prince of the world comes, and he has nothing in me.  (31)  But that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father commanded me, even so I do. Arise, let us go from here.

Giotto's depiction of Jesus before Caiaphas in...

Giotto’s depiction of Jesus before Caiaphas in the morning based on Luke 22 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lots of Christians as soon as they started to be pointed out what was written in their Scriptures came to see how much their church institution had ‘lied’ to them or told them many things which they could not find in the Book of books. They became so disillusioned by their church and its teaching they left it, without wondering if there were no alternatives. Many laughed at that man who had to be at the same time God, but hearing them say things that contradicted their own saying.  The idea of God in human form made Daniel 7:9–13 crucially important. In this famous vision scene, the Ancient of Days (God) sees “a human one” (“son of man”) coming to him with the clouds. It is to this figure that God may give everlasting dominion, but that does not mean that God gives Himself into the being of that man. Worldly fathers also can try to do everything they can to give to their son. Many shall even hope that their son will become like them. But they all know that their son shall never become the same person as they are. Though many in Christendom would like to believe that. They want to see that the unity between father and son means that father and son become one and the same person. They misunderstood the oneness like Caiaphas hears the passage Jesus quotes from Daniel, when the high priest demands to know who he is. Many claim Caiaphas’ reaction tells us immediately that he knew Jesus was claiming to be the God of Israel in human form — the second power. But that is not the case. It is not because many people may accuse somebody to be saying that he is god, like Pharaoh, or even Moses or some angels, that he or they are really the God of gods. That Caiaphas tears his clothes and charges Jesus with blasphemy also does not proof that Jesus is The God (Matthew 26:63–68).

God can not die, but from historical writings and also from the Bible itself we do know that Jesus died. The Nazarene Jew found an end to his life at the age of 33. Christians are even remembering his death these coming days. Did many forgot the words of this man saying it was not him doing those miracles? Jesus answered them that it was not him but his Father Who worked until now. And it was that calling onto the heavenly Father that people got bothered and angry. That calling onto the Elohim was it that made the Jews their blood boil. Therefore they sought the more to kill this troublesome Jewish rabbi, who got more followers than they. People got glued to his lips and that the Pharisees did not like. Because Jeshua (Jesus Christ) not only had broken the Sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, they thought he was making himself equal with God. In the Bible it does not say that he was God, but that the people were weary with him claiming equality. Jesus answered very clearly he was not doing the things out of himself. He told them that he was just a son of God and that he as son could do nothing by himself, but what he saw the Father doing. For whatever things The Father does, these also does the son likewise.  Clearly all the time Jesus speaks about two different persons. First there is the Father Who loves the Son. Several people could hear that Father saying that from heaven, when they were standing at the River Jordan, by the baptism of Jeshua.

Mat 3:16-17 RHB (1.5)  And Jesus, when He was baptized, went up immediately out of the water: and lo, the Heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon Him:  (17)  And lo, a voice from Heaven, saying, This is My beloved Son, in whom I AM well pleased.

The few years Jesus walked from one place to the other preaching the Good News of the Gospel of the coming Kingdom of God, he made the name of his Father known and asked people not to praise him but his Father, the Only True God, Whose holy Name should be known by the whole world as Jehovah.

Jesus let the people also know that what he did was nothing compared with what his Father did. In the past the People of God had already seen incredible things and had felt how the Hand of the Maker of the universe guided them away from slavery, through the dessert, giving them daily manna? But the wonders would not end because Jehovah, the Only One God was going to do greater works than these Jesus could do, so that all people may marvel. Jesus knew he was going to die. He was prepared to give his body for the sins of many. But he believed also that he could trust his Father,like many other prophets had trusted Him. For as the Father raises the dead, and vivifies them; even so the son vivifies whom he will, could he add and create hope for all those who would come to believe in what and whom he, Jeshua rally was. We should come to understanding that Jeshua was that long awaited Messiah. He is the Christ.  The son honoured his Father in heaven, who had sent him. He taught others to come to his heavenly Father and to come into the footsteps of the send one. Many did not want to hear his words, and later many twisted his words. He always spoke about the love we should get for others, because all were created in the image of his Father, Who should also be our heavenly Father, and to Whom we also should pray “Our Father“. Instead of sitting in the dark corners and not believing that there can be hope for everybody, we would do better to listen to that Nazarene man his words. Not only because he himself told us that those who would hear his words, and would believe on Him that sent him, would have everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but has passed from death to life.

When we look at what is happening in the world we should see signs of which the send one from God, Jesus Christ, the Messiah has spoken. We then should see that the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the son of God: and they that hear shall live.
Even when we had a bad life, we can look up at the son who on 14 Nisan remembered how his Father brought His people out of slavery. He there in the upper-room also installed the New Covenant as sign of a restored relationship of God with his son Jeshua (Jesus Christ) and with us, as children of God. Many took offence in the time Jesus was living that he said that for as the Father has life in Himself that he himself also had received the power from God to have life in himself;  and that God would have given him authority to execute judgement also, because he is the “Son of Man“.  These coming days we shall remember what that “son of Adam“, “son of Abraham” and “son of God” has done and why he can take in the place of the first Adam, to become the second Adam.

Joh 5:17-26 NHEBYSE  But Jesus answered them, “My Father is still working, so I am working, too.”  (18)  For this cause therefore the Jewish leaders sought all the more to kill him, because he not only broke the Sabbath, but also called God his own Father, making himself equal with God.  (19)  Jesus therefore answered them, “Truly, truly, I tell you, the Son can do nothing of himself, but what he sees the Father doing. For whatever things he does, these the Son also does likewise.  (20)  For the Father has affection for the Son, and shows him all things that he himself does. He will show him greater works than these, that you may marvel.  (21)  For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom he desires.  (22)  For the Father judges no one, but he has given all judgment to the Son,  (23)  that all may honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him.  (24)  “Truly, truly, I tell you, he who hears my word, and believes him who sent me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.  (25)  Truly, truly, I tell you, the hour comes, and now is, when the dead will hear the Son of God’s voice; and those who hear will live.  (26)  For as the Father has life in himself, even so he gave to the Son also to have life in himself.

English: Bytča (Nagybiccse) - mosaic in the ca...

Bytča (Nagybiccse) – mosaic in the catholic church Slovenčina (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Those who do not belief in a God are also blessed by the Grace of God. They also are allowed to live here on this earth. All people, but first of all those who believe in God, should respect all others who live on this world. In respect for the Creator His creation, they should respect everything what God allows to be in the universe. But those who are in the dark corners we should show the light which can come over them. Because God has taken care that light can come over all those who want. All who want to hear and believe can be partakers of the blessings, which came onto this earth by that son of God. He made an end to death and therefore we should not fear any more for the death. It shall not be able to do much, and we know that all shall have to die one day, so we better make the best of our life, as long as we live, because from Scriptures we know we can not take anything into our death and shall be nothing with the treasures gathered in this life.

It is Now we have to make it. It is Now we have to create a nice place to live. It is Now that we have to work for Peace.

For those who feel left alone or left in a dark corner, please come with us and join us on the road to better pastures. Do you think God left you, come to see otherwise. Do you think the god of your previous life is not a good one, try to find the Right God, and let us help you to find Him. Is He refusing to talk to you?  Do you get depressed every time you read the Bible?  Are other Christians getting on your nerves?  Are you burned out by church?   Use this and some of our other sites to come to see it is not so. You might even come to see that why cussing Him out and hating Him doesn’t mean you’re a spiritual failure.  Learn how you can tell that He absolutely will not leave you here forever.

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Additional reading:

  1. Darkness, light, burning fire, Truth and people in it
  2. Accommodation of the Void
  3. Blackness, nothingness, something, void
  4. Wondering
  5. Heroes and saints
  6. Two states of existence before God
  7. When we love we do not need laws
  8. Let us move on
  9. Disappointed expectations
  10. Thirst for happiness and meaning
  11. Happiness an inner state
  12. Happiness is like manna
  13. Wishing to do the will of God
  14. God’s promises
  15. God’s promises to us in suffering
  16. Only one God
  17. God of gods
  18. Attributes to God
  19. Challenging claim 1 Whose word
  20. Creator and Blogger God 8 A Blog of a Book 2 Holy One making Scriptures Holy
  21. Creator and Blogger God 9 A Blog of a Book 3 Blog about Prophecy
  22. God the son
  23. Jesus was not God, Reasons that
  24. The trinity – the truth
  25. Is God comprised of three persons, or is He just one person?
  26. How did the Trinity Doctrine Develop
  27. History of the acceptance of a three-in-one God
  28. The History of the Development of the Trinity Doctrine
  29. Trinity in the Bible
  30. Altered to fit a Trinity
  31. The Trinity: paganism or Christianity?
  32. Trinity And Pagan Influence
  33. Questions for those who believe in the Trinity
  34. How do trinitarians equate divine nature
  35. The Word being a quality or aspect of God Himself
  36. The Great Trinity debate
  37. Newton not believing in the Holy Trinity
  38. Trinitarian philosophy
  39. About a man who changed history of humankind
  40. For the Will of Him who is greater than Jesus
  41. Word – John 1:1
  42. The Word being a quality or aspect of God Himself
  43. Servant of his Father
  44. One mediator
  45. The true vine
  46. On the Nature of Christ
  47. Jesus Christ being dispatched as the Figurehead of a Religion
  48. The Christ, the anointed of God
  49. Jesus begotten Son of God #4 Promised Prophet and Saviour
  50. Jesus begotten Son of God #6 Anointed Son of God, Adam and Abraham
  51. Jesus begotten Son of God #8 Found Divinely Created not Incarnated: The Anointed begotten Son of God
  52. Jesus begotten Son of God #10 Coming down spirit or flesh seed of Eve
  53. Jesus begotten Son of God #14 Beloved Preminent Son and Mediator originating in Mary
  54. Jesus begotten Son of God #15 Son of God Originating in Mary
  55. Jesus begotten Son of God #16 Prophet to be heard
  56. Jesus begotten Son of God #18 Believing in inhuman or human person
  57. Rabboni, Knowing —
  58. Being Religious and Spiritual 7 Transcendence to become one
  59. Being one in Jesus, Jesus in us and God in Jesus
  60. If the Father is the “only true God” (John 17:3) , does that mean that Jesus is a false god?
  61. Self inflicted misery #5 A prophet without a hedge around him
  62. Our relationship with God, Jesus and each other
  63. He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.
  64. Jesus begotten Son of God #6 Anointed Son of God, Adam and Abraham
  65. In the death of Christ, the son of God, is glorification
  66. Patriarch Abraham, Muslims, Christians and the son of God
  67. Blinkered minds
  68. Old language to confirm the promises
  69. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #4 Words in Scripture
  70. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #5 To meditate and Transform
  71. Prophets making excuses
  72. Written to recognise the Promised One
  73. No prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation

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  • Who is Forsaken? (stlukeumc.wordpress.com)
    World War II was one of the most destructive times in all of human history, in terms of both human lives and property. And many historians believe that one of the most destructive battles of that terrible war was the battle for Stalingrad, between the forces of Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, which took place between July 17, 1942 and February 2, 1943.
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    the fourth word that Jesus spoke from the Cross. The word is: Forsaken. And I believe it is the hardest word of all.
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    No, my father, there is no God, for if there is, where in the world is he? And may I be so bold as to say that there are times in life when each one of us finds ourselves, if only for a moment, at that place in life. That place of aloneness and isolation. That place of hopelessness. That place where we are totally cut off from everything we have known and there is seemingly no way out.   When we wonder why we have been abandoned by God and everyone else?
  • Burnt (shughar.wordpress.com)
    I fear that I will perish in this, my lost pride

    I’m filled with hate for myself

    If this is fate, I curse mine

    If this is love, then I’m confused

    I’m nothing more than a broken vessel

    One that can never be patched

    Like spilled water that can never be gathered

  • The One Who Would Die, that Others Will Live (justifiedandsinner.com)
    When during our time of confession and absolution earlier, I mentioned that God daily and richly forgives our sins and grants us new life, those are not just mere words.  They are what we believe, what we count upon each day.

    But we realize as well, and take great joy in the knowledge that this has been God’s plan from the beginning, that Jesus, the one, would die that all the children of God would never fear the power of sin, that is, that death would somehow be the end.

  • Jesus, A Forever Friend! (carolynpriesterjones.org)
    It does seem that running in the same circles draws us together.  As we share the same experiences or know the same people, it seems easier to view the world together.  But once the events, times and places change, some friendships seem to fall away.
  • Love Wins, Week 5: Rocks (revjillhoward.wordpress.com)
    How and when have you encountered God in your life?  Or are you not sure if you have at all?  Anne Lamott, in her book, Traveling Mercies, shares her story of how she came to faith through a series of intense life experiences.  After years of dependency on drugs and alcohol to escape the difficulties of life, she found herself in the depths of her own hell, drunk, on drugs, and alone on one particular night.  Shaky, scared, sick, and finally sobering up, she crawled into bed and after a while, felt a presence in the room with her, hunkered down in the corner.  She explains that the feeling was so real that she actually turned on a light for a moment to make sure that no one was there.  But after awhile, in the dark again, she knew beyond a doubt that the presence was Jesus.  And she was appalled.  Why?  Because she couldn’t imagine what her friends would think if she became a Christian, or how she would handle it herself based on the Christians that she knew.  She simply could not allow for that to happen.  She screamed out in the darkness to the wall, “I would rather die!”  But yet she felt Jesus there on his haunches in the corner, watching with patience and love.
  • Maybe Tonight (The Pedophile) by Nicole Eva Fraser (secondwindpub.wordpress.com)
    In daylight my room was a haven. Safe behind the closed door, I could read, write letters to my pen pals, and commune with the tall lilac bush just outside the second-floor window by my bed. But in the dark of night, my room was a chamber of panic.

    It is no exaggeration that in all my conscious memories of childhood, I never fell asleep without terror. I knew I wasn’t safe from people in my family or from the evil presence lurking in our house that would one night snuff me out. I would lie in bed, my mind and body throbbing with spiraling panic, seemingly for hours—then the next thing I knew, I’d be opening my eyes to another morning.
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    I didn’t expect comfort from my mother, and she didn’t provide any, nor did she mention the incident that night or the next day. I figured she had forgotten about it. And I told no one else what had happened to me; it was too terrifying, and somehow my fault, and I was afraid my friends wouldn’t want to be my friends if they knew.
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    I felt like the world was going dark, like I was going to vomit, like I was sinking into the darkness and never coming back. “No,” I said, “I don’t want to,” but I didn’t cry because I knew that wouldn’t change her mind.

  • The Fire Changes EVERYTHING! [Part one] (nnyphishnet.net)
    It really was ‘one of those days’ that left me feeling stunned, numb, burned beyond recognition, invisible, and abandoned.  Like a building had collapsed on me, and there I was- seemingly left for dead [at least somebody was] or just left to go it alone…
  • Before the Council – April 6, 2014 – Matthew 26: 47 – 58 (prissiesissie.wordpress.com)
    Since Caiaphas didn’t have enough testimony for a conviction, he turned to Jesus looking for a confession, but Jesus was silent. Jesus had done nothing wrong. He had nothing to confess and the Sanhedrin couldn’t find enough witnesses to claim He had. They couldn’t even find enough false witnesses to agree on what He had done.

    Jesus could have defended Himself and His ministry, but He chose to remain silent. He had resigned Himself to their plot. He knew His death was inevitable and He could say nothing to dissuade them from their plans. He simply refused to participate in the drama. The Sanhedrin were relying on “plots and schemes and false accusations” but Jesus had placed His trust in God. He would have the courage to be endure the plan that was unfolding.

  • Easter without Hindsight Wk2: The High Priest Caiaphas’ worst fears….? (bloodofinnocents.wordpress.com)
    Caiaphas’ probably felt his worst fears were confirmed when Jeshua arrived in Jerusalem on Sunday, the first working day of the week that Passover started. Hebrew tradition said that messiah would arrive in Jerusalem through the Golden Gate riding on a donkey. As Jeshua did precisely that, thousands of Passover pilgrims, camped on hillsides around the city, flocked around him. Cheering him on they covered the road to the gate with cloaks and palm branches. Jeshua knew exactly how the Hebrews would interpret his arrival.
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    Jeshua was not particularly attacking the traders. The modern church often interpret these verses as an attack on commerce but that isn’t Jeshua’s point. Monopoly suppliers protected by an institution often line their pockets unfairly but that was a minor issue. Jeshua’s real target was the institution itself.
  • Palm Sunday 2014 , April 13, 2014 in the World (liveloveandpray.wordpress.com)
    My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
    Indeed, many dogs surround me,
    a pack of evildoers closes in upon me;
    They have pierced my hands and my feet;
    I can count all my bones.
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    The centurion and the men with him who were keeping watch over Jesus
    feared greatly when they saw the earthquake
    and all that was happening, and they said,
    “Truly, this was the Son of God!”
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Filed under Announcement, Being and Feeling, Religious affairs, Spiritual affairs

Responsibility for children who were molested by clergy

No pope has ever taken personal responsibility for the tens of thousands of children who were molested by priests over decades, as bishops moved them from parish to parish rather than reporting them to police

English: Pope Benedict XVI

Pope Benedict XVI (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Since being elected last year it is the first time the head of the Catholic Church has made an apology for the thousands of cases of abuse by priests and bishops which had to come to public light before the church was going to do something against it. The church has came to embarrassment with several stories in many countries of the “evil” of priests and bishops who raped and molested children. Already some years the church leaders were noticed by people and by their own clergy, but did not do much. It took a lot of media attention before something came off the ground. Many times the leaders said they did not know about such cases, but when others came with proof they should have known they tried an other whistle. Pope Benedict XVI was not the brightest example in trying to escape the accusations.

At a conference to combat human trafficking and child exploitation, called ‘Church and Law Enforcement in Partnership’, survivors of sex-trafficking from Hungary, Chile and the Czech Republic, were also greeted by the Pope.

Hosted by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and organized by organized by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales the Vatican event brought sex-trafficking global police watch-dogs INTERPOL together with other police forces around the world. It also brought discussion between active members of the Catholic church, with members of foreign governments who are working today to slow the rising tide of crime in the worldwide human sex-trafficking industry.

“It is a crime against humanity,”

said Pope Francis on Thursday on the last day of the event that ran for two days on April 2 and 10.

“Our meeting today includes law enforcement authorities, who are primarily responsible for combating this tragic reality by a vigorous application of the law.  It also includes humanitarian and social workers, whose task it is to provide victims with welcome, human warmth and the possibility of building a new life,”

continued the Pope.

“These are two different approaches, but they can and must go together.  To dialogue and exchange views on the basis of these two complementary approaches is quite important.  Conferences such as this are extremely helpful, and, I would say, much needed,”

Pope Francis added.

General Audience with Pope Francis

General Audience with Pope Francis (Photo credit: Catholic Church (England and Wales))

Today we may find a total different pope than the previous ones, who takes this matter very serious. By giving attention to what happened to all those youngsters in the past, he is giving forgiveness and forgetfulness a chance. On Friday he was asking forgiveness from victims and saying the church must be even bolder in its efforts to protect the young. It was the first time a pope has taken personal responsibility for the sex crimes of his priests and begged forgiveness.

The Catholic Church has faced numerous allegations of child sex abuse by priests around the world and criticism over inadequate responses by bishops. Earlier this year Pope Francis strengthened Vatican laws on child abuse, broadening the definition of crimes against minors to include sexual abuse of children.

While in office, predecessor Pope Benedict XVI apologised to victims of child sex abuse, saying he was “truly sorry” for the “sinful and criminal actions” committed by priests.

Francis’ off-the-cuff remarks were the latest sign that he has become sensitized to the gravity of the abuse scandal after coming under criticism from victims’ advocacy groups for a perceived lack of attention to, and understanding of, the toll it has taken on the church and its members.

The main U.S. victim’s group, SNAP, said it was waiting for more.

“We beg the world’s Catholics: Be impressed by deeds, not words,”

said SNAP’s outreach director Barbara Dorris in a statement.

“Until the pope takes decisive action that protects kids, be skeptical and vigilant.”

Vatican Radio, and Vatican Television gave screening material wich we also could watch on the Belgian Newschannels. We could see the Argentine-born pontiff talking very very slowly, saying he had formed a high-level group on the scandal including an abuse victim to probe the allegations and come clean on this matter which is haunting the Vatican for quite some time.

“I feel compelled to personally take on all the evil that some priests – quite a few in number, (although) obviously not compared to the number of all priests – to personally ask for forgiveness for the damage they have done for having sexually abused children,”

he told members of the International Catholic Child Bureau.

Many adults who remember their childhood, where they got slapped in their face when they told their parents what had happened in the parsonage or presbytery, shall perhaps find some peace now. For many it is unbelievable that the abuse could go on for so many years. And that even after the Dutroux rage still nothing was done again what had happened and still happened in many Catholic presbyteries. they are convinced that the ‘church’ should have been aware of what was happening. Many might have lost their faith in church and religion and can not understand how such an institute which preaches love and peace, and say we all do have to be honest could itself be constructed so much on loads of lies.

Those damaged people can only hope the Catholic Church shall try to soothe this personal, moral damage carried out by men of the church. Lots of men and women (because they also may not be forgotten) shall be looking at the  Catholic Church under its new leader to see if it will not take one step backward with regards to how they will deal with this abuse problem. Many people are also curious about the sanctions which shall be taken.

Are we going to see serious sanctions that must be imposed? the pope himself promisses:

On the contrary, we have to be even stronger. Because you cannot interfere with children.”

Pope Francis

“It is personal, moral damage carried out by men of the church and we will not take one step backward with regards to how we will deal with this problem and the sanctions that must be imposed” the Pope Francis I called for zero tolerance. – Copyright © 2014 Fairfax Media

In a response, the Center for Constitutional Rights, which represents the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests or SNAP, issued a statement calling on the Pontiff to take decisive action against abusive clergy.

These steps include defrocking all known child abusers; handing enforcement over to secular authorities; punishing officials who failed to report instances of abuse; and ensuring the protection of whistleblowers.

“Actions speak louder than words,”

the statement reads in part.

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  • Deceptive evil Jesuit anti-Pope Francis I asks for Forgiveness for paedophilia by clergy (theunhivedmind.com)
    Last month, Pope Francis strongly defended the Roman Catholic Church’s record on tackling sexual abuse by priests, following UN criticism.

    The Pope set up a committee last year to organise help for victims of clerical sexual abuse but has been accused by some Catholics of dragging his feet in acknowledging the extent of the moral and mental damage caused by paedophile priests, the BBC’s David Willey reports from Rome.

  • Pope asks forgiveness for child sex abuses (vanguardngr.com)
    “I feel compelled… to personally ask for forgiveness for the damage they have done for having sexually abused children,” the pope said at a meeting with members of a children’s charity, Vatican Radio reported.

    The apology was a first for Francis since he was elected last year and he was quoted as saying there were “quite a few” guilty priests, although “obviously not compared to the number of all the priests”.

  • Pope Francis Apologizes For Sexual Abuse: Asks For ‘Forgiveness’ For Damage Done By Priests (medicaldaily.com)
    Perhaps most importantly, though, Francis has taken responsibility for the priests who have sexually abused thousands of children over the course of decades — at least partially. Barbara Dorris of the U.S.-based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) isn’t impressed by his speech. “But that is all it is: talk,” she said. “We beg the world’s Catholics: Be impressed by deeds, not words. Until [Francis] takes decisive action that protects kids, be skeptical and vigilant.”
  • Pope Francis Asks Forgiveness For Catholic Clergy Child Abuse (thewire.com)
    Pope Francis gave some unusually direct comments on the Catholic Church’s decades-long clergy abuse epidemic on Friday. Francis “personally ask[ed] for forgiveness for the damage they have done for having sexually abused children” in a short speech on Friday to a Catholic children’s NGO. The remarks, according to the Vatican Radio write-up, were at least partially off script.

    Although he has taken some steps to address the scandal, and the calls for church reform that it created, Francis has faced criticism from victim advocates for failing to fully address the child abuse epidemic in his first year as pope. Today’s remarks could be, in part, an attempt to convince advocates that he takes the spiritual aspect of the abuse scandal seriously.

  • Pope begs forgiveness for ‘evil’ of clerical molesters (triblive.com)

    Children were molested by priests over decades as bishops moved them from parish to parish rather than reporting them to police. Pope John Paul II denounced the abusers, saying there was no place for them in the priesthood. Pope Benedict XVI expressed sorrow and regret to victims, met with them and even wept with them.

    The main American victim’s group, SNAP, said it was waiting for more.

    “We beg the world’s Catholics: Be impressed by deeds, not words,” said SNAP’s outreach director Barbara Dorris in a statement. “Until the pope takes decisive action that protects kids, be skeptical and vigilant.”

  • Pope Assumes Responsibility For Priest Sex Abuse (mintpressnews.com)
    The evolution began last month when he named four women and an abuse survivor to a sex abuse advisory panel that the Vatican has suggested will address the critical issue of sanctioning bishops who cover up for pedophiles.

    Francis delivered the comments to members of the International Catholic Child Bureau, a French Catholic network of organizations that protects children’s rights. Sitting with them in his library Friday, Francis spoke slowly, deliberately and softly in his native Spanish, deviating from his text.

    “I feel compelled to take personal responsibility for all the evil that some priests, many — many in number, (although) not in comparison with the totality — to assume personal responsibility and to ask forgiveness for the damage caused by the sexual abuse of the children,” he said.

  • Pope Francis pledges to tighten action to stop all forms of child exploitation (womennewsnetwork.net)
    “We beg the world’s Catholics: be impressed by deeds, not words. Until the Pope takes decisive action that protects kids be skeptical and vigilant,” says SNAP Outreach Director Barbara Dorris.

    “This may be the first time a Pope has talked of sanctions against complicit bishops. But that is all it is: talk. (and if this ever happens, many, many tangible steps to safeguard children in the church must be taken),” Dorris continued.

    In February 2014 a United States Catholic Archdiocese in Los Angeles, California closed what has been described as a decade of priest molestations lawsuit cases under what advocates called “wrenching” courtroom litigation. The combined court cases cost the Catholic Church more than $740 million.

  • Pope asks forgiveness for pedophile clergy (news.smh.com.au)
  • Pope asks forgiveness for clergy abuse (skynews.com.au)
  • Pope asks forgiveness for child sex abuses (ndtv.com)
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Religions and Mainliners

In this world we have many sorts of religions and in each religion many subdivisions may be found. In Christendom there are groups which for good reason would prefer to speak of Christendom and Christianity and would prefer to say the world we are living in has also a Mainline Christendom instead of a Mainline Christianity.

Map of the distribution of Christians of the world

Map of the distribution of Christians of the world (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Christendom is full of “Tradition” and has embraced the world whilst Christianity would prefer to stay disconnected from traditional worldly matters and though living in this world would not like to be “of this world”. In Christianity you also may find different groups or churches, which all want to honour God the Divine Creator. They would consider the main churches like the Catholic Church (Roman Catholics, Orthodox Catholics, Charismatic Catholics, Latin Catholic Church, etc.) Anglican Church, Church of England, Reformed Church, Calvinist Church, Lutheran ChurchBaptist Church, Episcopalian Church,  and Methodist Church, with the various Presbyterian groups.

English: Major branches within Protestantism (...

English: Major branches within Protestantism (excludes Restoration movements): Diagram of Protestant denominations and movements; see also Image:ChristianityBranches.svg (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Some might have been in a certain time of history bigger groups or not been considered out of mainstream, like the smaller denominations, such as the Amish, Mennonites, Quakers. Others like the Mormons, Seventh-day Adventists, Christian Scientists, and Pentecostals may have been at first very small groups, but have gained a firm place in certain countries and have even become the main church in a country.

The Charismatic protestant churches and certain Evangelical churches could be seen as separated from Mainline. Some people, like Joel L. Watts who is building up a (sorta) response to Thom Rainer’s 20 Influential Evangelicals list. Unsettled Christianity company wants to  include mainline Christians, but in asking the question on Facebook, the administrator was equally struck by the conversation about who and what is a mainliner.

Calvinist church

Calvinist church (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Conspicuous is that many many consider ‘Mainline Protestants’ having a different perspective. By many they are considered to have a more modernist theology. So, for instance, they would read the Bible, not as the inerrant word of God, according to Joel L. Watts, but as a historical document, which has God’s word in it and a lot of very important truths, but that needs to be interpreted in every age by individuals of that time and that place.

We would consider “mainstream religions” those which adheres to the orthodox standard teachings of the five major religions of the world. Those being the groups in Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism and Hinduism which follow their biggest groups their core teachings. In those groups can be groups which do not want to belong or to take their mainstream teachings. In Christianity we can find the groups who stayed in the line of the Jewish thinking Jeshua, better known today as Jesus Christ. They believe like most Jews that there is only One God of gods Who is the Divine Creator of everything. Though the difference with the Jews, except with the Messianic (non-trinitarian) Jews is that they accept the Master Teacher Jeshua to be the son of God who has brought not only the Good News of the coming Kingdom of God, but who also by the Grace of God brought Salvation for all humankind. In those groups or churches who want to distantiate themselves from mainstream church are the non-trinitarian Baptist which became nearly extinct by the strong hold of the Baptist Unions who pressured the trinitarian teaching on their members. In the 1980-90ies most non-trinitarian Baptist went over to other non-trinitarian churches, like the Bible Students, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Church of God, The Church of Abrahamic Faith, Assemblies of God, the Nazarene Friends, the Restoration Church or to the Christadelphians.

Those non-trinitarian believers worship the God of the Hebrews, Whom they consider to be an Eternal Spirit Who is universal and indivisible. This God Who can not be seen by man, or they would die, also ordered not to make any image of Him. Like Jews and Muslims they would never create image of God because it is in His Law and because the infinite cannot be expressed in a mere image. They, like the Jehovah’s Witnesses, all exhibit practices and/or teachings that are not among the more “traditional” practices and teachings of the mainstream churches.

The majority of mainstream Jews do believe a Messiah will one day come. In the contemporary movement we can find Jews who do believe that Jeshua is the send one of God who is going to bring salvation and going to break all human ruling. By those messianic Jews to groups can be found; the ones who believe Jesus is the son of God and an ordinary person, not a divinity like the Christian trinitarian Jesus; and a group who strangely enough take Jesus also to be God, and do not consider it braking with the rules and regulations nor in contradiction with all the words said to the prophets, like Abraham, Isaac and Isaiah.
Those non-stream Jews and Christians, like the Muslims have a similar belief concerning the unity and infinity of God. They do believe in Jesus, and even believe he will return in the end times, but once again he is considered a mere mortal, just like any other prophet, brought back entirely through the Will of God, not through any power wielded by Jesus himself.

Lots of Christians take offence of those who do not believe in a trinitarian god. Several of them are as fundamental as we can find fundamentalists by the Muslims, who hate those who do not think and follow the rules they are following.

It is this hate between believers in a god or in the God, that made non-believers in a divine creature or Supreme Being, make to consider religion the base of all the violence in this world. But we do think in case God would not have been there as Divine Creator and several people following him, people anyhow would have created religions, because all those things they could not understand or explain were transposed unto gods, like the god of light, the god of thunder etc..

The thinking of man, philosophies, system of ethics, cultural norms, etc.would have in any case created the syncretism or the formation of new religious ideas from multiple distinct sources, often-contradictory sources.

Some neopagan religions are also strongly syncretic. Look for example at Wicca which consciously draws from a variety of different pagan religious sources as well as Western ceremonial magic and occult thought, which is traditionally very Judeo-Christian in context. However, neopagan reconstructionists such as Asatruar are not particularly syncretic, as they attempt to understand the recreate Norse beliefs and practices to the best of their ability.

Many mainstream religions created smaller groups of which some became quite big. From Islam came the Baha’i faith which recognizes Krishna and Zoroaster as prophets, though it really doesn’t teach much of Hinduism or Zoroastrianism as being Baha’i beliefs.

English: A colour-coded world map showing the ...

English: A colour-coded world map showing the state religions of applicable nations. Buddhism Islam Shi’a Islam Sunni Islam Orthodox Christianity Protestantism (in England: Anglicanism) Catholicism (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Believers and non-believers should come to see that in a way all religions possess some degree of syncretism. It’s how humans work. Even if you believe God (or gods) delivered a particular idea, if that idea was completely alien to the listeners, they would not accept it. Moreover, once they receive said idea, that belief can be expressed in a variety of ways, and that expression will be coloured by other prevailing cultural ideas of the time.

Those who stand strong in their shoes, should not have to fear of others and should be able to go to others to give them their hand offering them peace. It are those who are afraid of their own believes that they or others around them could loose it that bring fear to themselves and others. They create a fertile ground for problems and more than once also of hate and negative attitude to others.

Non-believers may accuse the God or the gods as responsible for all trouble in this world. Because many Christians advocate their God is behind all that is good in the world, they think God should also be responsible for all the badness there is in the world. What they do not seem to understand that when God allows human beings to be free and to make their own choices, people themselves can make good or bad choices which will have their consequences for others in their environment as well.

It is not because in the Bible God gives His Word and tells us that He creates light but also creates darkness and that He makes peace, and creates evil, that it is God Who makes that badness or war in the world. It means that God allows it to be there because man has chosen to go his own way (in the Garden of Eden).  The God and the bad are in this world, created by God, but what can be bad for some one or something can be good for someone or something else. Certain plants are poisons for certain animals and people but for others they are necessary to survive. God claims not responsibility for wars, diseases, smallpox, bacteria, etc.; but He claims to be the One Who allows it to exist, and that is a big difference.

Those who want to call themselves “Children of God” do have to follow God His rules. He has given humankind His Laws which would make the best of the world and which would bring peace all over the world. In case much more people would follow the Laws of the Divine Creator there would be much more peace in the world.

Christianity Today

Christianity Today (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Those who call themselves Christian should have the Spirit of God in them which imparts love,inspires hope, and gives liberty. All Christians should in a way have the same aim to bring others to the narrow gate of the Kingdom of God and to show others the peace we all can have because Jesus nailed the agony, pains and troubles on the wooden stake (‘the cross‘). They all should Love and cultivate that which is pure. they should not be afraid to show Tenderness and kindness because they are not signs of weakness and despair. They should try to Work together with joy and pray with love, and Guard well within themselves that treasure, kindness.

First on the agenda of a Christian should be Observing the commandments and becoming doers of the Word. They all should consider themselves as part of the Body of Christ, all being as part of the same family of God. United people under Christ. We all, believers and non-believers or different believers, should try to Sow and harvests in the garden of our heart.

Some years ago you could find everywhere running on the streets people “speaking”, “running”, and coming up for Christ? Perhaps it is high time we could see again such runners or Bloggers for Christ and Bloggers for Peace.

Trying to bring peace, there has to be peace at first in the own heart. Also the person has to have respect for others their beliefs. No matter what they might believe they should be fully recognised as worthy humans deserving full attention and love. Every human being should come to the understanding that it has to respect any other human being, animal and plant. We should treat others as we would like to be treated ourselves. In case a person wants to have a religion to feel himself good or to be at ease, he should be able to do so, whatever religion that person may choose. We never may impose our beliefs on others. We should leave everybody the freedom to choose which way they want to go, what to believe, and how to build up their own life. Any religious matter should be an option for private belief, without any pressure from others, be it by reason, science or rational argument. But it would not have to mean we may not discuss it. Any argument should be made in a peaceful manner and with respect for the other person his way of thinking.

Be it adherents of main religions, smaller religious groups or no religion at all, all people should come to strive for the same peace, being able to live one next to the other, in peace and tranquillity.

+

Please do find additional reading:

  1. The business of this life
  2. Did the Inspirator exist
  3. “Who is The Most High” ? Who is thee Eternal? Who is Yehovah? Who is God?
  4. Only one God
  5. God is One
  6. God of gods
  7. A god between many gods
  8. Sayings around God
  9. Attributes of God
  10. God is Spirit
  11. The Divine name of the Creator
  12. God about His name “יהוה“
  13. Jehovah Yahweh Gods Name
  14. One God the Father, a compendium of essays
  15. The Trinity: paganism or Christianity?
  16. Christianity without the Trinity
  17. People Seeking for God 1 Looking for answers
  18. People Seeking for God 2 Human interpretations
  19. People Seeking for God 3 Laws and directions
  20. People Seeking for God 7 The Lord and lords
  21. Finding God amid all the religious externals
  22. Seeing or not seeing and willingness to find God
  23. יהוה , YHWH and Love: Four-letter words
  24. The radiance of God’s glory and the counsellor
  25. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love
  26. Experiencing God
  27. Cosmos creator and human destiny
  28. Of the many books Only the Bible can transform
  29. Faith
  30. Do not forget the important sign of belief
  31. Christian values and voting not just a game
  32. Lord or Yahuwah, Yeshua or Yahushua
  33. Yahushua, Yehoshua, Yeshua, Jehoshua of Jeshua
  34. God’s Salvation
  35. A fact of History or just a fancy Story
  36. He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.
  37. Jesus begotten Son of God #12 Son of God
  38. Christ begotten through the power of the Holy Spirit
  39. Who was Jesus?
  40. Jesus spitting image of his father
  41. Jesus and his God
  42. Is Jesus God?Jesus and His God
  43. Reasons that Jesus was not God
  44. Jesus is the Son of God but Not God the Son
  45. How much was Jesus man, and how much was he God?
  46. On the Nature of Christ
  47. Yeshua a man with a special personality
  48. Jesus Messiah
  49. A man with an outstanding personality
  50. One Mediator between God and man
  51. One mediator
  52. Salvation, trust and action in Jesus #3 as a Christian
  53. The wrong hero
  54. The Immeasurable Grace bestowed on humanity
  55. Patriarch Abraham, Muslims, Christians and the son of God
  56. The Law of Christ: Law of Love
  57. Christ’s ethical teaching
  58. Christianity is a love affair
  59. The Law of Christ: Law of Love
  60. The task given to us to love each other
  61. Agape, a love to share with others from the Fruit of the Spirit
  62. Church sent into the world
  63. Proclaiming shalom, bringing good news of good things, announcing salvation
  64. Our relationship with God, Jesus and each other
  65. Are Christians prepared to Rejoice in the Lord
  66. American atheists most religiously literate Americans
  67. Men of faith
  68. Built on or Belonging to Jewish tradition #1 Christian Reform
  69. Built on or Belonging to Jewish tradition #2 Roots of Jewishness
  70. Built on or Belonging to Jewish tradition #3 Of the earth or of God
  71. Built on or Belonging to Jewish tradition #4 Mozaic and Noachide laws
  72. The builder of the Kingdom
  73. Kingdom of God what will it be like
  74. The hands of God’s wrath
  75. Science, belief, denial and visibility 1
  76. Science, belief, denial and visibility 2
  77. Faith related boycotts
  78. Right to be in the surroundings
  79. Many churches
  80. Breathing and growing with no heir
  81. A Society pleading poverty
  82. Casual Christians
  83. Quakertime
  84. Anti-Semitic incidents in Australia in 2012 highest ever on record
  85. Manifests for believers #3 Catholic versus Protestant
  86. Roman Catholic Church at war
  87. Christian clergyman defiling book which did not belong to him
  88. Consequences of Breivik’s mass murder
  89. Representatives of the “Slave Class” or the Real “faithful and discreet slave”
  90. Mormons again gaining some attention
  91. Mormons, just an other faith
  92. Myanmar imposing population control on Muslim minority
  93. How long to wait before bringing religiousness and spirituality in practice
  94. Follower of Jesus part of a cult or a Christian
  95. Looking for True Spirituality 1 Intro
  96. Looking for True Spirituality 2 Not restricted to an elite
  97. Looking for True Spirituality 3 Mind of Christ
  98. Looking for True Spirituality 4 Getting to Know the Mind of Christ
  99. Looking for True Spirituality 5 Fruitage of the Spirit
  100. Looking for True Spirituality 6 Spirituality and Prayer
  101. Looking for True Spirituality 7 Preaching of the Good News
  102. Looking for True Spirituality 8 Measuring Up
  103. Being Religious and Spiritual 1 Immateriality and Spiritual experience
  104. Fruits of the spirit will prevent you from being either inactive or unfruitful
  105. Those who make peace should plant peace like a seed
  106. Let me saw beliefseeds
  107. Bringing Good News into the world
  108. The Involvement of true discipleship
  109. Testify of the things heard
  110. Proclaiming shalom, bringing good news of good things, announcing salvation
  111. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #2 Witnessing
  112. Obstacles to effective evangelism
  113. A Voice to be heard
  114. Creator and Blogger God 4 Expounding voice
  115. Blogging for Jesus…
  116. Preaching to an unbelieving world
  117. Words to push and pull
  118. Good or bad preacher
  119. Learn how to go out into the world and proclaim the Good News of the coming Kingdom
  120. How should we preach?
  121. Breathing to teach
  122. Bringing Good News into the world
  123. Jehovah’s Witnesses not only group that preach the good news
  124. Holland Week of billing
  125. Trying to get the youth inspired
  126. When discouraged facing opposition
  127. Messengers of Jesus will be hated to the end of time
  128. Who are you going to reach out to today
  129. Praise the God with His Name
  130. Agape, a love to share with others from the Fruit of the Spirit
  131. The Spirit of God brings love, hope and freedom
  132. Holiness and expression of worship coming from inside
  133. Belonging to or being judged by
  134. Not all will inherit the Kingdom
  135. Preparedness to change
  136. Knowing where to go to
  137. United people under Christ
  138. Fellowship
  139. Discipleship way of life on the narrow way to everlasting life
  140. Pastorpreneur Warren
  141. Catholicism, Anabaptism and Crisis of Christianity
  142. Anti-Semitism ‘on the rise’ in Europe
  143. Which Christians Actually Evangelize
  144. Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience
  145. We have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace
  146. Choose you this day whom ye will serveIt is a free will choice
  147. The Spirit of God imparts love,inspires hope, and gives liberty
  148. Philosophy hand in hand with spirituality

++

Further reading:

  1. What Evidence is There That God Exists?
  2. What is faith and is it the only thing required
  3. We Have the Best Home
  4. Understanding faith for our salvation
  5. Atheist Purpose and Meaning :: Book Review of Julian Baggini’s book Atheism: A Very Short Introduction
  6. Against Religion? :: Book Review of Julian Baggini’s book Atheism: A Very Short Introduction
  7. Can A Theist Appreciate Baggini’s Atheism? :: Book Review of Julian Baggini’s book Atheism: A Very Short Introduction
  8. Can Genuine Christians Be Trinitarian or Non-Trinitarian?
  9. Trinity Doctrine vs Oneness Pentecostalism Doctrine – Berean Perspective Podcast
  10. The Trinity: A Fundamental of the Faith or a Fable?
  11. The Unitarian Universalist Church: A Personal Encounter
  12. Unitarianism and the Bible of the Holy Trinity
  13. The Doctrine Of The Trinity
  14. The Unholy Trinity
  15. God, the Trinity
  16. Trinity And Pagan Influence
  17. Trinity: A False Doctrine of a False Church
  18. The Trinity – A Doctrine Overdue for Extinction
  19. Jesus Christ and God – Some Basic Considerations
  20. Defining Christianity (reneland.wordpress.com)
    Simply put a Christian is someone who believes in Jesus Christ.
  21. Cult or True Religion
  22. The Whore of Babylon? (inpursuitofhappiness.wordpress.com)
    Baal-vs-The “Catholic” God
  23. The Top Ten Most Important Church Councils
  24. Cult or True Religion (wordsonsergebenhayon.wordpress.com)
    “…if you believe in it, it is a religion or perhaps ‘the’ religion; and if you do not care one way or another about it, it is a sect; but if you fear and hate it, it is a cult.” Leo Pfeffer.
    +The Roman Catholic Church for example has been around ever since Constantine. He was a Roman emperor who used Christianity, which was a small cult at the time, as a means to impose his belief systems on the bishops; so he promulgated the council of Nicaea and thereby gained control of the populus. Now, over 1500 years later, people in Catholic churches today still recite the creed set down by Constantine.
    Many people question the Catholic Church and other religions, seeing them as some of the biggest cults in the World today: they are viewed by many as man-made constructs which have the potential to lead millions of people astray. Religion in its current form has become divisive due to it’s many man-made and dualistic doctrines which continue to divide, separate and cause wars.
  25. Billy Graham: Mormonism No Cult
  26. Mormons off Graham’s ‘cult’ list
  27. Is the Mormon “god” of Mitt Romney and Glenn Beck, the True God or a False “god”? Is Jesus the brother of Lucifer?
  28. Can A Cult Member Be President Without Cult Influence?
  29. Billy Graham Offers To Help Mormon Mitt Romney And Then Removes Section From Website Calling Mormonism A Cult! (soulrefuge.org)
    The scriptures make it very clear that true believers in Jesus Christ should not be “yoked” together with unbelievers. Why would any true Christian want to help and support a Mormon who teaches that Jesus Christ is the spirit brother of Lucifer?
  30. Billy Graham’s group removes Mormon cult reference from website after Romney meeting (religion.blogs.cnn.com)
    Shortly after Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney enjoyed cookies and soft drinks with the Rev.  Billy Graham and his son Franklin Graham on Thursday at the elder Graham’s mountaintop retreat, a reference to Mormonism as a cult was scrubbed from the website of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

    Billy Graham site removes Mormon 'cult' reference after Romney meeting

    Billy Graham site removes Mormon ‘cult’ reference after Romney meeting

    +
    The removal of the post from the Graham group’s website was first noted by the New Civil Rights Movement website and then later by the Asheville Citizen-Times, which reported that the information on cults was accessed as recently as Thursday afternoon.
    +
    When asked about Graham’s beliefs about Mormonism, Graham spokesman A. Larry Ross said in a statement that “Through an inclusive evangelistic ministry spanning more than 60 years, Mr. Graham was called to preach the transformative message of the Gospel to the whole world, regardless of one’s religious background, affiliation or none. As such, he never proselytized, targeted or labeled specific people, groups, faiths or denominations.

  31. Billy Graham’s Truce with Mormonism; Scrubs Cult Reference (crooksandliars.com)
    The Christian right has cried uncle and issued a truce on Mormons to try and help elect Mitt Romney.
    +
    During the Values Voter Summit in October, sponsored in part by the influential Family Research Council and the American Family Association, it caused quite a stir when Pastor Robert Jeffress, after introducing Rick Perry as a genuine Christian, called Mormonism a cult.
    +
    Christian political operatives are willing to throw away any trace of their contempt for Mormonism during the election cycle. This shows how much hatred they have for the left. They’d rather help elect a ‘cultist’ to the highest office in the land rather than stick to their alleged principles. Typically sickening.
    +
    To distinguish between a cult and a religion is to distinguish between influence and impotence. Both are, in fact, spawns of a smarmy fakery.
  32. ‘Mormonism’ Taken off Site’s Cult List (abcnews.go.com)
    The prominent Christian evangelist Billy Graham has taken public steps to embrace Mitt Romney for president this week, removing Romney’s Mormon religion from a list of cults on his website and taking out an advertisement that appears to urge people to vote for Romney.
  33. Jehovah’s Witnesses (calltoprayerministries.wordpress.com) {the writer of this article does not seem to see what it really means to be a ‘Christian’ and wants to take hold only on a sort-sighted vision.}
    Jehovah’s Witnesses come up in conversation more times than one might think. I guess that it’s because there are many people who know JW’s and there don’t seem to be many obvious differences between their faith and ours. Many JW’s are nice people, talk about Jesus, share their faith, and care about their families… just like Christians. So what are the differences? Are they just a different kind of Christian?

+++

  • Who is God? (richlewis3.wordpress.com)
    El Shaddai means God Almighty, God of the mountains.
  • “The God of Of Salvation, The Lord Of Death” (settledinheaven.wordpress.com)
    The God that we can call our own, is “the God of salvation” or, in other words, He is “the Mighty One that controls the deliverance of His people.”  Here, once again we can see a physical and spiritual aspect to this text…
  • Bush Era to Blame for Renewed Interest in Mainline? (religiondispatches.org)
    Jennifer Schuessler, who covers the academic beat for the New York Times, discusses the resurgence of scholarship on people long since thought to have been dead and passed from the scene: dead, (mostly) white, mainstream/liberal/mainline/ecumenical Protestants.In assessing the roots of a surge of work on 20th-century liberal Protestantism, including works such as Matt Hedstrom’s The Rise of Liberal Religion, Jill Gill’s Embattled Ecumenism, David Burns’ The Life and Death of the Radical Historical Jesus, and Elesha Coffman’s The Christian Century and the Rise of the Mainline, the article notes:The surge of interest in liberal religion, many say, reflects the renewed vitality of religious history more generally, which has spread beyond its traditional redoubts in divinity schools to become one of the most popular specializations among academic historians, according to the American Historical Association.Some scholars say that frustration with the perceived cultural and political dominance of evangelicals in the Bush era gave the subject extra urgency.
  • How America’s Endless Civil War Between Protestant Sects Is at the Heart of American Identity (alternet.org)
    Jennifer Schuessler, who covers the academic beat for the New York Times, discusses the resurgence of scholarship on people long since thought to have been dead and passed from the scene: dead, (mostly) white, mainstream/liberal/mainline/ecumenical Protestants.In assessing the roots of a surge of work on 20th-century liberal Protestantism, including works such as Matt Hedstrom’s The Rise of Liberal Religion, Jill Gill’s Embattled Ecumenism, David Burns’ The Life and Death of the Radical Historical Jesus, and Elesha Coffman’s The Christian Century and the Rise of the Mainline, the article notes:The surge of interest in liberal religion, many say, reflects the renewed vitality of religious history more generally, which has spread beyond its traditional redoubts in divinity schools to become one of the most popular specializations among academic historians, according to the American Historical Association.Some scholars say that frustration with the perceived cultural and political dominance of evangelicals in the Bush era gave the subject extra urgency.
    +

    Jennifer Schuessler, who covers the academic beat for the New York Times, discusses the resurgence of scholarship on people long since thought to have been dead and passed from the scene: dead, (mostly) white, mainstream/liberal/mainline/ecumenical Protestants.

    In assessing the roots of a surge of work on 20th-century liberal Protestantism, including works such as Matt Hedstrom’s The Rise of Liberal Religion, Jill Gill’s Embattled Ecumenism, David Burns’ The Life and Death of the Radical Historical Jesus, and Elesha Coffman’s The Christian Century and the Rise of the Mainline, the article notes:

    The surge of interest in liberal religion, many say, reflects the renewed vitality of religious history more generally, which has spread beyond its traditional redoubts in divinity schools to become one of the most popular specializations among academic historians, according to the American Historical Association.

    Some scholars say that frustration with the perceived cultural and political dominance of evangelicals in the Bush era gave the subject extra urgency.
    +

    Jennifer Schuessler, who covers the academic beat for the New York Times, discusses the resurgence of scholarship on people long since thought to have been dead and passed from the scene: dead, (mostly) white, mainstream/liberal/mainline/ecumenical Protestants.

    In assessing the roots of a surge of work on 20th-century liberal Protestantism, including works such as Matt Hedstrom’s The Rise of Liberal Religion, Jill Gill’s Embattled Ecumenism, David Burns’ The Life and Death of the Radical Historical Jesus, and Elesha Coffman’s The Christian Century and the Rise of the Mainline, the article notes:

    The surge of interest in liberal religion, many say, reflects the renewed vitality of religious history more generally, which has spread beyond its traditional redoubts in divinity schools to become one of the most popular specializations among academic historians, according to the American Historical Association.

    Some scholars say that frustration with the perceived cultural and political dominance of evangelicals in the Bush era gave the subject extra urgency.

  • Make your pick: Do Mainline Protestants need a new name? (religionnews.com)
    Mainline Protestants  made up 18 percent of U.S. adults in 2008. Fifty years ago, its members were the church of the Establishment.
    +
    Forget labels: Everyone and his brother, left or right, calls himself an evangelical. No one will admit to being a fundamentalist since its original religious meaning was overtaken by crazies like David Koresh. It takes Pew Research experts 20 minutes to delineate who is a Jew and they still offer a definition matrix. So let the branding go.
  • Are there dividing lines between Mainline and Evangelical? (unsettledchristianity.com)
    There is a great move towards social justice in many Evangelical (sub)groups and for that, I thank God. Do you think the view on Scripture and Tradition (Scripture is infallible in all things, Tradition is near to worthless) is a good start for a line?
    +
    But the dividing line between Mainline (which seems not to be something negative) and Evangelical (some people use this correctly, others not) is not so easy to grasp. I’m guessing because “Mainline” means, for a lot of people, a dying breed of Christianity. Evangelical means… well, it seems for Mainliners it means those who go and witness/serve for the Gospel. For Evangelicals, this term helps to codify something different.
  • MainlineDecline, Decline-Talk, and Decline-ism — Sightings (Martin Marty) (bobcornwall.com)
    You have heard it many times Mainline Protestant churches are in decline, but then so are most other forms of religion.  Attendance has not kept up with growth in population, etc.
    +
    Why point out decline among the religions when Sightings’ role is to spot and explore religion in outstanding events? What goes on here with “decline?” A fad? Maybe “decline” is not occurring. This claim is hard to support. Maybe headline writers are concentrating on the wrong aspects of religion. Maybe they are exhibiting the old “be-the-first-kid-on-your-block” syndrome, seeking to be a jump ahead, to get a scoop. Maybe enemies of religious institutions of all sorts are enjoying mass Schadenfreude, enjoying the misfortunes of others. Whatever else is going on, noticing this phenomenon should be liberating: we are henceforth allowed to yawn when one more headline-writer tries to play catch-up.
  • When the Christian Global South Heads West (juicyecumenism.com)
    Between 1910 and 2010, the global center of Christianity shifted from Spain to Timbuktu. As far back as 1980, there have been more Christians living in the Global South than in the first world. On any given Sunday, there are more Christians attending church in China than in the United States or Europe.
    +
    Hanciles also noted, with some disappointment with how the financial and political power in US mainline denominations remains in West, even when Africans outnumber them. “We might have to challenge the term “Anglican”, which of course means English,” he said. Hanciles spoke approvingly of African churches in the United States, which he claimed were very little-e evangelistic in their outlook.
    +
    Professor Virginia Garrard-Burnett of the University of Texas-Austin spoke at length about the religious tendencies of Latino migrants, including the often overlooked Protestant Latinos. Roughly 1/4 of Latino immigrants are Protestant, most of which are Pentecostal. Catholic Churches in the US that cater to these immigrants often take on charismatic forms of worship, she noted, often causing friction with existing native Americans. Latin-American Protestant churches take part in almost “reverse missionary” work, where churches in the Global South send people to minister to those in America. She cited the example of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God, the third-largest denomination in Brazil, whose presence in the US is mostly mission work to Latin-American migrants.
  • Inoculated Against Christianity? (thelittleredblog.typepad.com)
    “The post-Christian world has been inoculated against Christianity because, over 1500 years, we never managed to give it true Christianity. ‘Found difficult and left untried,’ indeed. And this is to our demerit. There are also many, many things over these 1500 years to be proud about, and Christendom, for all its flaws, was probably better than the alternatives. But now we’re reaping what we’re sowing. We created this generation of post-Christians whom we vaccinated against Christianity. Thankfully, viruses mutate and occasionally beat vaccines.  In the meantime, if our aim is a fantasy of Christendom rather than Christ and His Cross, we are being idolaters.”I’m not sure that “probably better than the alternatives” is much of an endorsement.  Mr. Gobry’s point, however, is to distinguish between Christendom, Christianity, and following Jesus: a dilemma yet to be resolved for some 2000 years.  I await Gobry’s further insights with genuine interest.
  • The Coming Schism (wmbriggs.com)
    Maybe it’s not a schism but apostasy which I mean. Doesn’t matter. Continuing in our Curmudgeon Series, here are my guesses of the course of Christianity in the West over the next twenty years. Each point below deserves its own essay: these are rough points.
    +
    Since elites of secular institutions only truly care about elites at other institutions, the leadership of these churches won’t want to fall behind the CofE. They’ll issue cheerful press releases boasting love and then arm wrestle for who gets to perform the first homosexual ceremony. Most denominations already allow homosexual clergy.Theologically, since going to a service at a mainline Protestant church will increasingly be no different than reading the New York Times or Guardian op-ed section, which is more convenient and saves on gas, those willing to make the trek will dwindle and die off. If you’re in the market for an old church (aren’t they quaint?), look to the Methodists and Presbyterians. Besides, members are tired of being called stupid and irrational by the culture.
  • Stuart Murray on Christendom (abnormalanabaptist.wordpress.com)
    Anabaptists identify the “Christendom shift” in the 4th century as the time when Jesus began to be marginalized.
    +
    Anabaptist are convinced that, whatever its undoubtful benefits, the Christendom system seriously distorted Christian faith: the price the church paid for coming in from the margins was allowing Jesus to be pushed out from the center to the margins – Stuart MurrayThe Naked Anabaptist, Herald Press, 2010, p 52
  • Unitarianism and the Bible of the Holy Trinity (afkimel.wordpress.com)
    I do not know if it’s happening throughout worldwide evangelicalism or is restricted to the more intellectually inclined; but I have noticed a curious phenomenon on the internet—a movement amongst evangelicals from trinitarian to unitarian faith. This movement does not necessarily entail the rejection of the teaching of Jesus nor even rejection of the confession of Jesus as Lord and Savior. It is a unitarianism that can accommodate the kind of subordinationism characteristic of some of the second and third century Church Fathers: Jesus and the Spirit are “divine” (in some sense), but only the Father is the one God. Consider, for example, a recent blog article by Kermit Zarley: “Can Genuine Christians Be Trinitarian or Non-Trinitarian?
  • Why converting Muslims is taboo in the Catholic Church (catholicherald.co.uk)
    What are they talking about at the Synod for Evangelisation? This article by Sandro Magister tells us that the Bishops have broached the taboo subject of conversions from Islam to Christianity. It makes interesting reading, despite the rather ponderous translation, (read the original here ) and I was particularly struck by this section of it, which I beg readers to consider carefully:“The Muslims do not see the difference between Christians and Westerners, because they do not distinguish, themselves, between what is religious and what is political and social. What precedes the Westerners is perceived by the Muslims as preceding the Christians. Now, Western behaviour, especially on the cultural and political level and in a general way, harms the religious and national sensitivity of the Muslims, their values, their ethics and their culture. Consequentially, this forms an obstacle to their openness to Christianity and to their possible evangelisation.”
  • Billy Graham: Mormonism No Cult (orthodoxyandheterodoxy.org)
    Sociologists of religion use cult to refer to a religious group that does not regard itself as exclusively true yet has negative relations with the surrounding society. Those two factors—exclusivity and societal relations—form the basis for sociological definition of religions into four kinds of groups: church (exclusive with good relations), denomination (inclusive with good relations), sect (exclusive with bad relations) and cult (inclusive with bad relations). Yet almost no one uses these terms in the way sociologists of religion use them.
    +I think what is really meant by cult in most modern Evangelical parlance is “bad/weird religious group.” And of course perhaps such a definition is right in its own way.
  • Grahams tighten Romney ties (newsobserver.com)
    The election-year embrace of Mitt Romney by some evangelical Christians now borders on a bear hug, given a series of moves by Billy Graham and his family that appear to say it’s OK to vote for a Mormon.
  • Billy Graham website admits scrubbing ‘Mormons’ from ‘cult’ list after endorsing Romney (rawstory.com)
    The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association confirmed on Tuesday that it had removed all references to Mormonism as a “cult” from its website after their founder announced his support of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
  • Why I Am a Christian. (crawfordgarrett.wordpress.com)
    I have to admit that it’s not always the most simple and straightforward answer to give, because there are many reasons that have led to my faith in Christ.  However, I guess the first place to start is with my parents.  I am a Christian because of my parents.  There may be nothing remarkable about that, and often times I, or many other Christians, would not like to admit that truth.  I am a Christian because my parents are Christians, and that’s what they raised me to believe, just like Jesus was a Jew because His parents were Jews.
  • Christ didn’t come to help us, He came to Include us (melwild.wordpress.com)
    a surprising few resonate so much to the more important fact that the Father’s plan was to substitute Christ for us and place us in Him. I think this is unfortunate.
  • Jesus Christ was an Anarchist (blacksupremacylovenunity.wordpress.com) > Jesus Christ was an Anarchist
    Jesus came along to lead his followers out of this ungodly Roman system, preaching an alternative form of government. He spoke of a jurisdiction outside of the Roman state, based on the perfect law of freedom, outside the tyranny of men who would rule over their brothers and neighbors. He unified the early Christian church in a system of charity, hope and respect for the rights of each other, requiring that each person love thy neighbor as thy self in a system of mutual, not governmental support.
    +
    Jesus was showing a way to untangle people from the captivity of the social contracts they had made with the state of Rome and Judea, and the tribute and obligations they had become snared by. He proclaimed to call no man “Father”, as they called their Roman benefactors, but stated that “thou Father art in heaven.” The perfect law of freedom indicated that man’s unalienable rights stemmed from God and nature, and not governments of men. This was a system of anarchy, by strict definition, without the complex system of tribute that led to the decadence and decline of society, and the corruptible force of the state to back it up.The early Christian church was not persecuted for their belief in a different God or a Kingdom in Heaven, but for their opting out of the mutual taxation system and seeking to live apart from the kings and overlords, the gods many, who demanded their tribute.
    +Today, most of us find ourselves under slothful tribute to an emperor and a system that is not for our benefit. We have coveted our neighbor’s goods in a vain pursuit of “free” health care, education, welfare, unemployment benefits, social security and government protection. We have traded our inalienable God-given rights through social contracts both implied and explicit. Our churches are not ordained by God, but are 501(c)(3) corporations granted status by the state.As we head into what is certainly going to be a volatile 2014, we are going to need to dig down deep and find that anarchist in all of us, with a little more loving thy neighbor as thy self to boot.
  • Fanatic hindu who hated christians is an evidence of Jesus (pciniraj.wordpress.com)
    I never liked Christian missionaries. I used to speak against Christianity and was organising people near the temples against the evangelism activites.“But Lord Jesus mightly fighting for His children, if anybody persecuting Christians, for which I am a clear evidence”, now I am witnessing this every corner to corner by holding the Holy Bible in one hand and showing my terrific stomach to the public. “I was an enemy of Christians, but Jesus Christ loved me, made me alive and saved me from sin and death. Now I am His servant”. This is my testimony.
  • Pouring Into Others (comeawake.org)
    If you are a Christian, you are a disciple of Christ. You know Him, but what have you done to make Him known to others? And I’m not just talking about evangelism. I’m talking about how you can use your time, your energy and most importantly, your knowledge about who Christ is to help out a fellow brother or sister.The purpose of our lives is simply this: To know Christ, and to make Him known.
  • A Bad Reason for Thinking that Atheism is not a Religion (maverickphilosopher.typepad.com)
    a mere lack of belief in something cannot be a religion.  But atheism is not a mere lack of belief in something.  If atheism is just the lack of god-belief, then tables and chairs are atheists.  For they lack god-belief. Am I being uncharitable?  Suppose someone defines atheism more carefully as lack of god-belief in beings capable of having  beliefs.  That is still unacceptable.  Consider a child who lacks both god-belief and god-disbelief.  If lacking god-belief makes him an atheist, then lacking god-disbelief makes him a theist.  So he is both, which is absurd.Obviously,  atheism is is not a mere lack of belief, but a definite belief, namely, the belief that the world is godless.  Atheism is a claim about the way things are: there is no such thing as the God of Judaism, or the God of Christianity, or the God of Islam, or the gods of the Greek pantheon, or . . . etc.  The atheist has a definite belief about the ontological inventory: it does not include God or gods or any reasonable facsimile thereof such as the Plotinian One, etc.  Note also that if you deny that any god exists, then you are denying that the universe is created by God: you are saying something quite positive about the ontological status of the universe, namely, that it does not depend for its existence on a being transcendent of it.  And if it does not so depend, then that implies that it exists on its own as a brute fact or that it necessarily exists or that it causes itself to exist.  Without getting into all the details here, the point is that if you deny that God exists, this is not just a denial  of the existence of a certain being, but implies a positive claim about the ontological status of the universe.  What’s more, if  there is no creator God, then the apparent order of the universe, its apparent designedness, is merely apparent.  This is a positive thesis about the nature of the physical universe.Atheism, then, is not a mere lack of god-belief.  For it implies definite positive beliefs about reality as a whole and  about the nature and mode of existence of the physical universe.
  • Atheism Was the First to Show Me Compassion (jessedooley.wordpress.com)
    what is the issue with the idea of God that pushes most atheists to reject religion and to see it as the supreme evil?
    +
    When the tribal deity is the supreme king, and that deity is interpreted from a fundamentalist, all-or-nothing approach, then nothing can penetrate or alter that worldview, regardless of the reasonableness of the argument.
  • Are Liberals Too “Special” to Go to Church? (religiondispatches.org)
    New research from psychologists from the New York University suggests that the desire to feel unique can undermine consensus, cohesion, and mobilization—at least in political contexts.
    +
    Stern, et al found that “liberals underestimated their similarity to other liberals, whereas moderates and conservatives overestimated their similarity to other moderates and conservatives.”Further, the researchers found that liberals “possess a greater dispositional desire to be unique,” which, they suggest, “likely undermines their ability to capitalize on the consensus that actually exists within their ranks and hinders successful group mobilization.” The “desire to conform” among moderates and, to a greater extent, conservatives, likewise, “allows them to perceive consensus that does not actually exist and, in turn, rally their base.”Liberals, that is, emphasize in their beliefs, actions, and self-understanding uniqueness, creativity, and non-conformity even in the face of sameness. Moderates and conservatives, by contrast, focus on similarity and commonality even when little may in fact exist.
  • Are Esoteric Teachings Missing from Christianity? (jesusweddingthebook.wordpress.com)
    In my opinion, Christianity is the only tradition that openly celebrates both spiritual paths. I can agree that there is no secret teaching, because both spiritual paths are out in the open for everyone to see. However, by definition, the esoteric teaching is the second leg of the spiritual journey. The esoteric teaching does not have to be “secret” in order to maintain its mystery. The mystery of the esoteric path can only be revealed when the exoteric path or first leg of the spiritual journey is fully completed.
  • Discovering the Truth (cosmicmacduff.wordpress.com)
    for me it has been and is the walking that is important, not any place that I might arrive at or achievement I might accomplish.  I think that I have discovered  a lot since I started, but do not consider myself “enlightened”,  just aware of who  I am.  For me this primary truth, a recognition that there was/is something  more to me (my soul)  than my physical body, is what allowed me and still allows me, to find meaning and purpose in life.
  • Am I A Religious Person? (elephantjournal.com) + But is it my religion?
    I’ve heard it said that religion is having someone else’s spiritual experience and spirituality is having your own. It’s certainly true that some Buddhists venerate the Buddha or other teachers to such a high degree that they are just having the Buddha’s experience and not their own. I don’t do that. The Buddha warned us against doing that. He said, “Don’t worship me,” and right after his death, people started doing it.
  • Religion and Young People: The Lost Generation? (collectionofclancy.wordpress.com)
    I know of many relatives, friends and people I’ve met in general who are either agnostic or atheist and I don’t judge them for it. However what kills me is that their status gives me the feeling that they are the smarter and more enlightened people. But on the other side, the church gives me the feeling that because I have more liberal beliefs means I cannot truly be as good as the devout. A rock/hard place moment.
  • Does Religion Shape a Person? (meesh14102.wordpress.com)
    Atheism is my own personal belief and I understand and respect everyone else’s religious beliefs. I simply want to talk about the idea of religion shaping a person.
    +
    I don’t need a God to influence a good and honest behavior. My mom told me to never speak of my new belief (or lack  there of) ever again and to Never tell my father. I respected these wishes and continue to keep my thoughts about God and religion to myself. I believe a persons’ inner self shapes their character. I do not believe religion is what influences a good or bad character.Everyone is entitled to their own beliefs and should live so accordingly!
  • Haunting the chapel: my thoughts on heavy metal and religion. (seanmunger.com)
    Is heavy metal inherently anti-religious? Having been virtually a lifelong metalhead, I can say from experience that many people, both within and without the scene, believe that it is, or should be. Critique of organized religion or aspects of it has been a common lyrical and thematic element in metal for decades.
  • Ask an Atheist: The Usual Questions (csgroome.wordpress.com)
    Atheism differs from religion, because we are not certain and would change our views if given evidence, but we are convinced by the lack of evidence and by all rational argument, that appealing to myths from intellectually dark parts of human history can not even begin to give us answers to any questions, even moral or epistemological ones.
    +
    Religion lies outside science and evidence, so you can’t prove it wrong. Why can’t you just accept this and that people want to live with a belief in a greater being?
    +
    I could believe whatever I want if it made me happy. But in all other ways, except for a religious conviction, the believer of a claim unprovable by science immediately pays a social price.
    +
    The absence of a belief is never a motivation, and while Communism may be a secular ideology, this does not mean that all atheists or secularists are communists and it certainly does not mean that we would wish to kill or destroy religious people or religious infrastructure.
  • All BEings are Divine (amuseinharmony.wordpress.com)
    all beings, including human beings are divine manifestations of Creator Source on the physical earth plane materialized in various forms for the purpose of expansion. the earth is mother to us all. we are organisms formed from her womb. as she ascends, so shall we. the mother loves her humans as she does all creatures or our existence would no longer be. our love and unity with her and all her inhabitants is our duty as earth walkers.
  • Dalai Lama speaks on harmony to religious followers at Tokyo temple (japandailypress.com)
    The famous leader went on to explain that most of the problems humans encounter are of their own making, and thinking that they are all different from one another. This kind of thinking has a tendency to separate people instead of uniting them. His speech centered on the essential “oneness” of all people and emphasized on the divisiveness that comes with focusing on the “them” and “us,” rather than on the “we”, as a whole. Religious harmony is one thing that His Holiness has committed himself to, and hopes that it is something that Japan can contribute to as well.
  • what is the happiest person in the world saying? (hunt4truth.wordpress.com)
    A friend wants to know if I’m still Christian. Yes, I am. Everything that I’m referring to from science and new age and Buddhist teachers is complimentary with Jesus’s teachings. I posted a couple of the most important Christian practices–in my opinion, 1 John (NIV) and the Our Father prayer are essential in Christian belief.
  • How to Argue for the Existence of God (omigassplus.wordpress.com)
    Anyone who feels God, can see and feel God inside them. They live inside God. God lives inside them. They see God as an energy that penetrates them and fills them up inside. They feel God as an energy around them and within them. They feel God touch them in their special places. They realize that God is a higher faith, a greater presence. They crave Him. They want to feel his love fill them up inside. Without God, they feel empty, unloved, lonely. Only with God inside them can they feel whole again.
  • Nineteenth Century Protestant Doctrines of the Trinity (redeemingthetext.wordpress.com)
    The discussion in chapter nineteen of The Oxford Handbook of the Trinity is, in brief form, one of how Enlightenment philosopher-theologians developed innovative ways to discuss the Trinity and their effectiveness leading into the twentieth century.
  • Hans Kung on Trinity Part 2 (presenttruthmn.org)
    This is continued from the previous post on the Trinity. It is taken directly from Hans Kung’s book ‘Christianity: Essence, History and Future’
  • A Theology Big Enough for the Gospel: Reviewing Mike Bird’s Evangelical Theology (marccortez.com)
    despite the fact that Bird mentions the image of God throughout, clearly viewing it as an important topic that has bearing on a range of other issues, he devotes only five pages to it, one of which is just a recitation of the relevant biblical verses. His excursus on infra- vs. supralapsarianism is almost as long! And union with Christ hardly gets any attention at all. In a systematic theology, pages are like currency; what you invest in shows what you value. And I was surprised at a few of the investments.
    +
    Bird affirms a social trinitarian approach, defining the divine persons as “self-aware” beings who are “capable of consciousness” (p. 615), and he even refers to separate consciousnesses in the Trinity (p. 118). Regardless of whether you think social trinitarianism is viable, Bird’s discussion simply fails to deal with the historical and theological objections that can (and have!) been raised. And unfortunately, these aren’t isolated incidents.
  • What’s Old is New Again: The Return of “Biblical Unitarianism” (southernreformation.wordpress.com)
    While I’m used to defending the deity of Christ against the Jehovah’s Witnesses, or fending off Mormon misunderstandings of the doctrine of the Trinity, I never thought I would see professing “conservative evangelicals” who were willing to jettison the central dogma that makes Christianity…Christianity.But it’s happening.
  • “Should You Believe in the Trinity?” (1peter58.wordpress.com)
    “The Bible says…” The real issue here is that these individuals, and also those that belong to very young churches/institutes, claim for themselves the authority to teach new doctrine, claim for themselves the authority to reject unchanged ancient doctrine. How do you decide when to trust that a doctrine is truly of God? How do you decide what is a false doctrine not of God?
  • Because the Bible Tells Me So (mackerelsnapperblog.wordpress.com)
    Whenever a Catholic debates the Faith with a non-Catholic — Christian or atheist — the very first argument that often gets brought up is that Catholic teaching contradicts the Scriptures.
  • Sola Scriptura? (preacheroftruth.com) + > Sola Scriptura?
    Pythagoras is said to have been the earliest outside of Scripture (Isa. 40:22) to contend that the earth is round. He did not make the earth round with his assertions, but identified what already was.  Sir Isaac Newton certainly did not create gravity, but he is credited for our modern understanding of it.  Likewise, the term “sola scriptura” is not found in scripture (similar to terms like “trinity” and “omniscience”), but it was coined during the “Reformation Movement” as part of Martin Luther’s protests against perceived corruptions of the Catholic Church.  It was a “Latin phrase (literally ‘by Scripture alone’) describing the Protestant theological principle that Scripture is the final norm in all judgments of faith and practice.
  • (1) The Two Pillars of the Reformation (altruistico.wordpress.com)
    The Protestant Reformation saw the advancement of the Gospel and an understanding of right doctrine that hadn’t been seen since the time of Christ and the Apostles. It drew Christianity out of the dark ages of the faith; a time when the Scripture was forbidden to be read in the language of the people, when superstition reigned, where abominations within the church leadership was a norm, and when a knowledge of the Truth was virtually unknown.

 

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