Tag Archives: Faith in Christ

No religion mentioned in the Torah for non-Jews

It is not because there is no religion mentioned in the Torah for goyim or non-Jews that they should not have a religion or should not have to come to the Elohim. It is also not so that when people call themselves Christian and would go regularly to mass or to a church service that they are serving God or being recognised as His children.

In Christendom we can find lots of people who have an other god than the one of Abraham, though the divine Creator is very clear Who He is and what He wants from His people. Also Abraham did very well know Who the Most High God was.

Looking at the many churches in Christendom we can see that several churches altered the Torah and that the main church is breaking one of the laws in the Torah itself. Several people who come to study the Bible become angry when they see how their churches fooled them. It is a pity that they than abandon the faith in God. Some of them are then trying to find their way in Judaism. A few do not lose their faith in Christ and find their way in Christianity, becoming a member of one of the several non-trinitarian groups or churches.

It is wrong to think that those in the main churches

only have what the church has given them, altered scriptures and mistranslations. {I Hope They Get It}

Every human being is able to hear the Word of God. Wherever he lives there is some way to hear God’s Word. Those living in the industrialised countries have no excuse at all. For them there are enough means to get in touch with the Word of God. They have the printed material, like Bible books, other books and brochures, but also electronic devices where they can find several applications presenting the Word of God.

Questioning what we really believe is the only way to ever know what we really believe and why. {I Hope They Get It}

and that is what each individual has to do: searching himself what is the truth of God.

It is totally wrong to think that there would not be churches telling the biblical Truth. Luckily we can find many churches all over the world which proclaim God’s Word. It is not because the main

church says a lot of things that don’t line up with His word. {I Hope They Get It}

that we should say

No, the New Testament is not His word. There is no place in it where it says that He is speaking. {I Hope They Get It}

In the Greek writings or Brit Chadashah we are told about the one who is sent by God and authorised to speak in His name. As such the Messianic writings are a continuation of the Hebrew writings, bringing hope for those who are not of the Judaic faith. Because also for the non-Jews the way to the restored relationship with God is opened. This thanks to the ransom offering of Jeshua, the sent one from God.

The writer may have become very frustrated by his old church, which makes it a pity he now concluded that the work delivered by Jesus and his apostles would not be from God. Pity also that he thinks

All through the Torah and the Prophets, it tells us that G-d is speaking and to whom He is speaking. No Christian writing can make this claim. {I Hope They Get It}

He seems to forget that the Torah and Prophets are part of the Christian writings too.

There is no need for a middleman. That is one of the lies of the church. {I Hope They Get It}

writes Mr. Bouker who with ‘Convert Corner’ is

attempting to provide more than just proof that the Christian religion is nothing more than smoke and mirrors. {About Convert Corner}

He is a former Christian

who is currently going through an Orthodox conversion to Judaism.  {About Convert Corner}

and spent years believing what he was told to believe by preachers and teachers instead of going to research the Bible for himself. Clinging to church doctrines no wonder he feels that he

had very little knowledge of the G-d of Israel. {About Convert Corner}

He seems to forget that the God of Israel wants a good relationship with all His creatures and by means of sending His only begotten beloved son made it possible that all can be saved from the curse of sin. But naturally each person has to decide himself or herself what way to go. The sent one from God, Jeshua, (Jesus Christ) shows the way to God. By him non-Jews also can come into the restored relationship with God. For goyim or gentiles there is also a way to have a religion which can be accepted by the God of Abraham.

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Filed under Knowledge & Wisdom, Religious affairs

Do those who want to follow Christ to be Jews

In these times when there are so many arguing about religion and about what faith would be the right faith or what would be the right way to worship God it is not bad to consider what the people at the time of the Jewish master teacher, Jeshua, thought.

Most of the time those seeing and hearing rebbe Jeshua belonged to the Jewish faith like the master himself. Though few belonged to Jeshua’s religious group because some considered the Essenes as a sect and several also came to see Jeshua his followers also as a sect. Being a child of Joseph and Miriam (Mary/Maria) from the tribe of David, Jeshua and his siblings where brought up in the very religious traditions of the Essenes, to which Miriam belonged. As such Jeshua received a strict thorough education in Torah knowledge and was very well aware what was written in all the different scrolls.

An other person very well educated in Jewish theology was Saul. As a devout worshipper of the God of Israel and connected to the synagogue and the priests in Jerusalem, he was convinced those teachings of that man where blasphemous and had to be stopped. He as a big fighter for Jehovah God went against those followers, until the day he was struck by lightening, feeling Jesus close to him and being blinded by the Power of God because he had become a satan or adversary of God, more than Peter who Jesus also had called a satan.

At first the majority of followers of Jeshua where Jews, but having many Romans around and travellers of other religions or not at all believing in a god or in God, some of them became attracted by the words of the rebbe and his talmidim. Several got in the ban of the doctrines of that man his group and wondered if they could join them. But having come at a certain age they did not like so much to undergo a circumcision. At the other hand lots of the Jews in the group where very concerned about the goyim entering their group and having them to allow in their synagogues. We can image the many discussions going on about the Jewish rules either to be followed by those who came into the group or having them to be free of those mitzvot. Doctor Luke tells about all the internal discussions and arguments in his book the Acts of the apostles.

In 330 CE “church father” Epiphanius of Salamis provided a detailed description of the new faith in Jeshua which started to spread over many regions, by the Netzerim in Panarion 29:

“We shall especially consider the heretics who call themselves Nazarenes; however they are simply complete Jews.
They use not only the New Testament but the Old Testament as well, as the Jews do…
They have no different ideas, but confess everything exactly as the Law proclaims it and in the Jewish fashion – except for their belief in Messiah, if you please! For they acknowledge both the resurrection of the dead and the divine creation of all things, and declare that God is one, and that his son is Yeshua the Messiah.

They are trained to a nicety in Hebrew; for they, like the Jews, read the whole law-Torah , then the Prophets. They differ from the Jews because they believe in Meshiach and from the Christians in that they are to this day bound to the Jews rites, such as circumcision, the Shabbat, and other ceremonies . Otherwise, this sect of the Nazarenes thrives most vigorously in the state of Berea, Coele-Syria, in Decapolis, around Pella, and in Bashan. After they departed from Jerusalem, they made their start from here, as all the disciples dwelt in Pella, having been warned by Meshiach to depart Yerushalayim and emigrate because of imminent danger”

Up to today the matter still bothers many, first of all because several are seriously concerned now about those who call themselves Christian but do not adhere to Jeshua his writings and even worship an other god than Jeshua, namely Jesus and his co-gods (god the father and god the holy spirit). For Jews wanting to accept Jeshua or Jesus as the Messiah this is a serious problem, because they would never want to be confused with polytheist Christians. Most of the Jews, even today, do not want to give up their Jewishness, certainly because they consider themsleves still to be part of the Chosen People of God, Israel Gods People. Thàt they do not want to give up. It would be stupid to give that up or to loose our identity with Gods People.

When we look at the history of Christianity we can see that, before the time it was transposed to Christendom and the dogmatic teachings of the trinity, already soon there came a major controversy in early Christianity concerning the role of Jewish law and traditions. As most of the first converts were Jews, some felt that the Mosaic Law and covenantal signs, such as circumcision, were still important. While others where convinced that their rebbe brought the message of God that from now on their religion had to be open to both Jews and Gentiles. Some contended that converts first had to become Jews in order to become Christians. Others considered the outward signs of Judaism to be unnecessary for Christian life.

It is known that at the beginning most of them, like Saul or Paul, how he further became known, that “Much in every way“ was the advantage of the Jew and the value of circumcision. (Romans 3:1). Several thought by allowing goyim to enter their community and not having them to subject to the same rules they where overthrowing the Law by that notion of faith? But for Paul that was by no means so. On the contrary, he felt that they upheld the Law” (Romans 3:31).

Everybody had to know that all those who just relied on works of the law were under a curse (Galatians 3:10), because we all should know that no one is justified before God by the law (Galatians 3:11).

The convert Paul went even so far to say that circumcision even did not count for anything, but that Jeshua had taken care of a new path and had opened the gates of a new creation which is everything. (Galatians 6:15). For him it had become clear that no human being will be justified in God’s sight by works of the law, since through the law comes knowledge of sin (Romans 3:20). But that does not mean that the Law would be sin. By no means (Romans 7:7).

All that want to become a follower of Jeshua, Paul argumented had to recognise that the Law is and shall stay holy, and that the mitzvah or commandment is holy and just and good for all of us (Romans 7:12). Though he also said that to the Israelites belongs the sonship, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the Law, the Temple, and the promises. To them belong the patriarchs and of their race, according to the flesh (Romans 9:4). Jewishness can not be taken away by man, because it is entitled by God, engraved in the hearts of those who descent from the tribes chosen by God and protected by God.

Today there are lots of people who think that God has rejected His own people but Paul already warned for such false thinking and said that the Elohim has not rejected His people (Romans 11:1) and told even that

“All Israel will be saved” (Romans 11:26).

As such Jews still can bear that precious hope. When they accept Jeshua as the Messiah they do not have to give up their Jewishness, but they also shall have to accept that the goyim or those who where at first atheist, heathen or people from an other faith, that they now too can come to God by the way of Jeshua, and can call the Elohim Hashem Jehovah also their Father or Abba.

Those Jews at the time of the first followers of Jeshua came to accept the non-Jews and did not impose their laws unto them – which was not always an easy thing to do for them. In our time, we too have to be open for the non-Jews who come to accept the Nazarene rebbe Jeshua as their Saviour. But we too have to accept that those goyim become part of the Body of Christ without having to undergo all the obligations a Jew has to undergo.

Nobody may come to think the Law would have become opposed to the promises of God. Certainly not! (Galatians 3:21).

Although Paul preached justification on the basis of faith in Christ, he was himself a Pharisee and addressed the role of Jewish traditions and the status of Israel in the new covenant.

In “Paul’s Contradictions: Can They Be Resolved?” Princeton Professor John Gager looks at how Paul seems to be at war with himself on the subject of Israel. Is there a way out of his contradictions?
Yes, the author argues, but only if we first get past misconceptions about Paul that date to the earliest stages of Christianity — even to Paul’s own times.

Though when reading the book by John Gager, one must know that Paul is not the father of Christian anti-Judaism, like the great German historian Adolf Harnack wants Christians to believe. He writes:

“It was Paul who delivered the Christian religion from Judaism … It was he who confidently regarded the Gospel as a new force abolishing the religion of the law.”

Since the time of the early church fathers until recent decades, all interpreters of Paul have read him from the perspective of the triumph of Christianity, after the decisive break between Christianity and Judaism. The reigning Christian view of Judaism during this entire period has been that the Jews have been superseded as the chosen people of God by the Christians (or Christianity), that the Jews are no longer the bearers of God’s promise of salvation and that their only hope for salvation lies in becoming Christian. In this hermeneutic, it follows that Paul, too, with his canonical status, must have held to this dominant Christian view of Judaism. And this is exactly how Paul has been read throughout Christian history. Not just 80 or 90 or even 99 percent of the time, but 100 percent of the time, without exception — that is, until recently, when a few maverick scholars began not only to question that image but to reject it altogether. {Paul: Jewish Law and Early Christianity}

Biblical scholar Ben Witherington III counters the contradiction in “Laying Down the Law: A response to John Gager.” He questions Gager’s idea that Paul preached the gospel of Jesus Christ for Christians alone by asking whether his message was intended for both Jews and Christians.

Today we can see that there is a growing amount of Jews who are proud to be Jew but also want to be proud to be a follower of the Jew Jeshua, whom they often consider to be one of their own, a child of Israel. In Christendom we find that the majority are trinitarians, but may not forget that there are loads of non-trintiarian denominations as well. There are certain groups which have a similar name but differ from their belief in the trinity or in One True God. As such we can find the Nazarenes, of which some are tinritarians and others still believe the same doctrines as their first counterparts. The Nazarene Friends up to a few years ago where very active non-trinitarian Christians, but by becoming older and dying lots of ecclesiae saw their numbers reduce.

The most well known non-trinitarian groups may be the Bible Students and Jehovah’s Wtinesses, with all their teardowns or torn groups. Lots of those groups not so much respecting by God given days to celebrate or to remember certain events. Though it must be said several bible student groups and Jehovah’s Witness knowing very well that according to Jeshua and his heavenly Father, according to the Scriptures all people of God shall have to remember 14-15 Nisan or Passover (Pesach).

Some Christians also have come to the conclusion that perhaps not so many laws are abandoned as so many Christians do believe. They came to understand that Jeshua was a Jew and held to the Jewish traditions. Certain Jewish elements they now also want to see incorporated in their way of life, as a sign of being under that Jewish master teacher.
Christians who do not want to be looked at, as the same lot of trinitarian Christians, or who want to feel and show more a Jewish connection can as Messianic Christians show their love for Jeshua and his teachings by calling themselves also a Jeshuaist.

Jeshuaist do not expect converts to the faith in Jeshua to be or to become a Jew or to follow all the Jewish laws, though they want them to recognise the Jewish position of Jeshua and the Judaic followers of Jeshua, which means that certain ways of worship, songs and prayers and making church or having meetings shall be as in the first century or in the tradition of the early Christians, forming a brotherhood with acceptance of differences, but considering all as one part united under Christ and not a human organisation which would control and regulate everything.

For Jews who accept Jeshua as their Messiah and for those who prefer to see a Messianic Judaism the Jeshuaists offer a solution. With the title or name Jeshua-ist one can give honour to Jeshua and show the connection with the Jewish rebbe as well can one avoid the confusion with trinitarian Messianics or trinitarian Christians, making it clear to be a Messianic non-trinitarian Jew.

 

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You may be interested in reading:

  1. Our life depending on faith
  2. As there is a lot of division in Christendom there is too in Judaism
  3. The Sabbatean Prophets
  4. Converso Involvement in the Sabbatai Zevi Movement
  5. Sabbatai Zevi (Jewish Convert To Islam)
  6. Forgotten History-The Jews from Geleen 1940-1944.
  7. Jewish and Christian traditions of elders
  8. Today’s thought “Ability to circumcise your heart” (May 13)
  9. Jeshuaists or Followers of Jeshua
  10. Who is a Jeshua-ist
  11. Who is or can be a Jeshuaist
  12. Why to become a Jeshuaist
  13. Availability of Jeshuaists on Facebook

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Read the above mentioned articles from the Biblical Archaeology Society and more in the FREE eBook Paul: Jewish Law and Early Christianity. Featuring articles taken from Bible Review and Biblical Archaeology Review, this eBook considers the relevant writings of Paul and brings to light some of the difficult theological issues for Jews and Christians that persist to this day.

Paul: Jewish Law and Early Christianity

 

Download the Free eBook

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Further reading

  1. Religions and Mainliners
  2. Israel must honor God or the Rule of Law is meaningless
  3. The Real Wall Problem: When Will Diaspora Jews Fight For Palestinians?
  4. “Qualitavely Jews are not a minority”
  5. Nazarene Jews Through Out History
  6. Who is Israel? And What Role, If Any, Does She Play in God’s Kingdom?
  7. The Temple Connection
  8. Where is the Church that Christ built?
  9. The Church & The Old Testament Law
  10. Christians Above the Law?
  11. Why The Bible Is Divine: Christology
  12. Jewish Halakha and the Rabbinic Authority in the Messianic World
  13. The Not Left, Not Right, but UP Movement
  14. From Rome to Corinth, and Back Again: Reclaiming What Was Taken from Us
  15. Eleven Steps to Live a Messianic Nazarene Jewish life
  16. The straight line connecting Donald Trump’s new tallit to “Christians for Islam,” and a best practices suggestion
  17. Something great is happening in Israel
  18. A sort of “sing along” songs with Messianic Jews in Israel
  19. Is It A “Sign”?
  20. Christ is risen! Kristus är uppstånden! Baruch HaBa Beshem Adonai!
  21. Books on examples of Jewish evangelism in Israel
  22. The great tree of Moreh
  23. Rabbinical court rules against Jewish marriage rites for Messianic Jews
  24. Sabbath as a Bride
  25. Shalom in Psalms
    End Times Series: Pastor Jimmy Evans
  26. Kiss the Son…
  27. On an Irish Cliff

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Filed under Announcement, History, Lifestyle, Religious affairs, Social affairs, Spiritual affairs

Fear in your own heart or outside of it

Sea of Fear

Sea of Fear (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When we grow up, looking at others somehow we are also caught by fear. Many times in our life we come into situations where we do not feel at ease, to say the least. More than once in a lifetime we shall become confronted with moments that fear comes over us. Be it a difficult moment in a travelling situation, an accident whilst working, or hearing something bad about our health.

We should not want to be unaware of our affliction and should know that not only we are facing difficulties or burdens. We also should know that they also can go beyond our strength, so that we can also become despaired of life.

In such circumstances let us think about the apostles who also had the sentence of death within themselves so that they would not trust in themselves, but in God who raises the dead (2 Corinthians 1:8-9).

Those apostles when they were with their master teacher also were caught by the fear. Though they should have known that this rabbi was a special sent one from God. But now he was sleeping and they were in such a big storm that their hearts were beating rapidly with fear.

Matthew 8:24-26 (RNKJV)
24 And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep. 25 And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, My master, save us: we perish. 26 And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.

Mark 4:39  (RNKJV)
And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.

Luke 8:24  (RNKJV)
And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish. Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm.

They did come up to Jesus and asked him for help, in the knowledge that he really could help them, because God was with him. When in those heavy waters, were they not of little faith, like on other occasions?

Matthew 16:8  (RNKJV)
Which when Yahushua perceived, he said unto them, O ye of little faith, why reason ye among yourselves, because ye have brought no bread?

Mark 4:40  (RNKJV)
And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?

We should have faith in Christ Jesus and believe what he has told, that his heavenly Father is always with those who love Him. When we believe in God and believe in the sent one from God, we should have less reasons to fear than those who do not believe in the Most High. Because God is with those who believe in Him.

Isaiah 41:10-14  (RNKJV)
10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy Elohim: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
11 Behold, all they that were incensed against thee shall be ashamed and confounded: they shall be as nothing; and they that strive with thee shall perish. 12 Thou shalt seek them, and shalt not find them, even them that contended with thee: they that war against thee shall be as nothing, and as a thing of nought. 13 For I יהוה thy Elohim will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.
14 Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel; I will help thee, saith יהוה, and thy redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.

Though it is normal to have fear and to be aware that we should be attentive and fearful.

A doctor delivering news of a life-threatening diagnosis or when we loose a job, we might have lots of worries and wonder what to happen next. More than once, in our life, we shall become confronted with unpleasant situations and feel like we are tested. Trials force us off of the proverbial fence. We do have to take a stand, make decisions, which can alter so much. Every time we shall have to make the right choices or the right decisions. and those decisions shall be heard and seen by others, who will make their conclusions. Our “I” shall be seen clear by others, and we shall have to feel if we are it our self or if we just go with the majority because that seems us the best choice not to be different. but than we betray not only ourselves, but also our Creator. When we do not doubt God’s promise, we should not have to be afraid to carry out.

Romans 4:20  (RNKJV)
He staggered not at the promise of יהוה through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to יהוה;

When we are not afraid to undergo these earthly sufferings by not feeling any shame to be a believer of God, than this fear shall become so small it will not hurt us, but shall make us to react in the right godly way. For we know in whom we have put our faith, and we are convinced that He is able to guard what we have entrusted to Him until ‘that day’ we know shall come.

2 Timothy 1:12  (RNKJV)
For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.

Having enough faith in God and His sent one the fear shall soon be outside us.

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Preceding articles

In your own heart or outside of it

How to Find the Meaning of Life and Reach a State of Peace

The Greatest Fear

Phantom Of Dreams

Home-stayers and their to do list

On the Edge of Believing

For those Christians who say they are the Victim

After darkness a moment of life renewal

There can only be hope when there is a will to be and say “I am”

You’ve got wings…

Christians remaining hidden not sharing the gospel

How To Get Started In Sharing Your Faith As a Christian

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Additional reading

  1. What is life?
  2. When discouraged facing opposition
  3. Fear knocked at the door
  4. 8 fears caused by the fear of Man
  5. Fear of failure, and fear of the unknown
  6. Facing disaster fatigue
  7. Does God stands behind all evil on earth
  8. Some one or something to fear #5 Not afraid
  9. A Living Faith #5 Perseverance
  10. Breathing and growing with no heir
  11. Not holding back and getting out of darkness
  12. Looking at three “I am” s
  13. Fear and protection
  14. People Seeking for God 7 The Lord and lords
  15. Look for your Refuge by God
  16. Back from gone #2 Aim of godly people
  17. Back from gone #4 Your inner feelings and actions
  18. Condemnation of the World and Illustration of Justification
  19. Standing within proximity of the glory of God
  20. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #8 Prayer #6 Communication and manifestation
  21. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #16 Benefits of praying
  22. The chosen ones to fear or not to fear
  23. Control and change
  24. Wondering
  25. Fearing the right person
  26. Lovers of God, seekers and lovers of truth
  27. Jehovah steep rock and fortress, source of insight
  28. Do not be afraid. Good news because a Saviour has been born
  29. Fear not tomorrow. God is already there
  30. Dealing with worries in our lives
  31. No fear in love
  32. Only the contrite self, sick of its pretensions, can find salvation
  33. A new year with hopes and challenges
  34. Christians remaining hidden not sharing the gospel
  35. To believe in the liberation of slavery and to repent
  36. Rejoice even though bound to grieve
  37. To know God by wonders
  38. No other god besides Jehovah who gives all explanation

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Further reading:

  1. My Reality
  2. Wall of Emotion
  3. this may – Step in
  4. Fear
  5. Fear II
  6. The Fears I can’t Shake
  7. On Summed Fears
  8. despite the anger and fear in my heart
  9. a list of things that you should fear
  10. Nightmares
  11. Flammable
  12. Depression
  13. Do not run
  14. A Woman In Waiting
  15. Why Pick A Title When I Won’t Be Able To Commit To It
  16. “Fear is Easy, Love is Hard”
  17. Fearstorm
  18. Come To The Edge
  19. Fear of going back to sleep
  20. Moments of Uncertainty
  21. Fear of the Caw
  22. Under oath
  23. Why are you afraid?
  24. Motivation
  25. Facing fears
  26. Fearing fear itself and the simple solution
  27. This Is How You Can Overcome Your Fear Of Failure
  28. The Fear of Making Mistakes: There is not Such a Thing as Failure
  29. How I Face My Fear Of Failure
  30. Do We Really Want Rest?
  31. You have to take action!
  32. Your Critics Don’t Count
  33. Don’t avoid life
  34. Stepping out on Faith
  35. Faith Walk
  36. What is the one gift God gives to all of us?
  37. Proverbs: Seek the LORD
  38. We’ll Understand It Better By and By

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Filed under Being and Feeling, Knowledge & Wisdom, Lifestyle, Religious affairs, Welfare matters

Christians remaining hidden not sharing the gospel

Witness well Net knows that we are not human beings who like to come in the open easily. It says

we have a tendency to remain hidden and not share the gospel. {How pre-judging others has a serious effect on evangelism}

Some of us want to be so much like God and cast judgement on a person’s receptivity toward the message of salvation that they forget the love message.

Placing a gag over our mouth that keeps us from proclaiming His name rather than allow His Words to overflow from our hearts can be a result of pre-judging the condition of a person’s soil. {How pre-judging others has a serious effect on evangelism}

Talking about a saving relationship with ChristDave Malnes from the website Witness well tells us that we should trust his promises that our righteousness is secure because of his faithfulness – not our own; his obedience and not our own; his trustworthiness and not our own. {How evangelism rests on trust and what you possess}

He writes that

Evangelism

Evangelism (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

World religions attempt to search within to find true meaning and purpose. The object of their faith is themselves. Biblical Christians trust squarely on Jesus promises as the object of their faith. Peace and joy is not something that is self-generated, but Spirit-filled. {How evangelism rests on trust and what you possess}

Jesus-army-bus

Jesus-army-bus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Though we do find still  too many Christians counting too much on worldly arrangements and governments. Also a lot of Christians do not know their Bible. Some of them know perhaps several phrases from the New Testament, but do not see the whole picture.

The same about one of the tasks Jesus has given and as such has to be one of the many works of faith we do have to do. We do have to become one in Christ, like Christ is one with his heavenly Father. In case we would think like trinitarians, that would mean they have to become like God and some of them consider themselves to be like Christ, to be God.

The Elohim, who has sent His only begotten son to this world, commissions believers in Christ to sow the seeds of the gospel and to become humble like Jesus humbled himself. By embracing this role, Christians find joy and peace in encouraging and equipping others with the faith in Christ and in Only One true God (the heavenly Father of Jesus).

When we call ourselves Christian we should show others that we are willing to become like Christ and like him have faithfully responded God’s call to sow the seeds of the gospel and trusting God His promise that the harvest may be plentiful.

English: 4 days of Evangelism Training in Sout...

4 days of Evangelism Training in Southern California provided by LivingWaters Ministry. Obeying the great commission of Jesus Christ. “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to everyone” Mark 16:15 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Full enjoyment and trust we should bear the Good News in our mind and be of full courage to share the message of encouragement and uplifted spirit of rejoicing being presented to us by the acts of the apostles. Their work must have been an amazing experience, but is not finished yet. We do have to continue the work of the apostles and those first Christians.

Followers of Christ should be giving themselves totally to Jesus, willing to become in Christ Jesus, a part of a bigger picture as partakers of the Body of Christ, being those who have been set apart as God’s children through God’s grace.

It is by grace, God’s undeserved love that makes us Christians. No wonder we can rejoice through any circumstance that comes our way when we can be assured of our status before God, not by what we have done or what we are doing, but what God has already done for us. {An appropriate benediction}

We should be so tankful for Jesus proving to us that man is able to put his own will aside for doing God’s Will, and giving himself for atonement, paying the ransom prize for the sins we did.

For this liberation we can have joy which comes from trusting God’s promises that we will receive liberation from the curse of the Fall and that Jesus restored the relationship between God and man and has received authority to be the mediator between God and man and the judge at the end times, where it is him who shall decide who shall be able to enter the Kingdom of God.

An evangelist fully trusts God’s promises associated with being His messenger. Sharing the message of the gospel is not about us, but proclaiming the power of the message. In Christ, we conquer fear, worry, and guilt. By remaining in Christ, we bear fruits of the Spirit that reflects the light of Christ and introduces His presence to the world. {How evangelism rests on trust and what you possess}

The Bible teaches that God “gave” to certain people the gift of evangelism to build up the church (Eph. 4:11). We marvel and rejoice at these gifts as one who has the gift of music. Most believers like myself do not have the gift of evangelism, but we are not excused from the work of evangelism (2 Tim. 4:5). God commissions all believers to go, teach, and baptize (Matthew 28:19-20). {Twelve Things Successful Evangelists Do}

Dave Malnes believes these are twelve things that successful evangelists do:

Love Successful evangelists speak the truth that is prompted by love and concern for the soul.

Joy Evangelists reflect the gospel light in their own lives that attracts unbelievers.

Peace   Evangelists find their identity in Christ that washes away guilt.

Patience Evangelists understands the fruit of patience ripens into persistence by keeping God’s timetable and not our own.

Kindness Evangelists sacrifice acts of kindness and generosity with no strings attached.

Self-control Evangelists resist the need to win the argument and focus on winning the soul.

Goodness Evangelists consistently extend grace to those who are least deserving.

Gentleness Evangelists express humility and give all credit and glory to God.

Pray continually Evangelists give thanks in all circumstances and reflects this pattern in an ongoing prayer life.

Perseverance Evangelists never, never, never give up.

Faithfulness Evangelists rely on God’s faithfulness to renew their own faithfulness by regularly reading, studying, and praying over God’s Word. {Twelve Things Successful Evangelists Do}

We have to set our mind on Christ Jesus and nurture our and others their need for a goal, a focus, instructions, and a hero. When we are afraid to tell others about our faith we do need to conquer our fear with our faith. We also should remember that “Everything God has made is an assignment”. In the knowledge that our future is the seed for the one we chose to honour we should be pleased, showing our joy in the Messiah. Our gratitude should be a seed for more. and we should not be afraid to sow seed wrapped with expectation and faith in the harvest.

When having become a Christian we have come into a covenant with Jesus that gives purpose and then we should follow his rules and given tasks, sowing our seed for a desired harvest.

Oxbow sunset #2

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Preceding

Witnessing because we love

Is being a humanitarian enough to convey the full love of Christ?

Preaching Christ Is Not Enough

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

Beautiful feet of those who announce the good news

An uncovering book to explore

Preaching by example

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Additional reading

  1. A question to be posed
  2. Creator and Blogger God 2 Image and likeness
  3. Written down in God’s Name for righteousness
  4. A way to look for Christ, the Bible, Word of God
  5. The Right One to follow and to worship
  6. The Almighty Lord God of gods King above all gods
  7. Glory of only One God Who gives His Word
  8. Necessary to be known all over the earth
  9. Appointed to be read
  10. Focussing on oneness with Jesus like Jesus is one with God
  11. Not able to make contact with God because to busy
  12. Salvation, trust and action in Jesus #3 as a Christian
  13. Atonement and the race been bought
  14. Atonement And Fellowship 1/8
  15. Atonement And Fellowship 2/8
  16. Atonement And Fellowship 3/8
  17. Atonement And Fellowship 4/8
  18. Atonement And Fellowship 5/8
  19. Atonement And Fellowship 6/8
  20. Atonement And Fellowship 7/8
  21. Atonement And Fellowship 8/8
  22. The manager and Word of God
  23. The Metaphorical language of the Bible
  24. Scripture alone Sola Scriptora
  25. Let us become nothing, and Christ everything
  26. Be an Encourager
  27. Foundation for a good relationship with God
  28. Apple of Gods eye
  29. A “seed” for the blessing of all mankind would come through the family of Abraham
  30. Our relationship with God, Jesus and eachother
  31. Sow and harvests in the garden of your heart
  32. Bearing fruit
  33. Rejoicing in the day
  34. She who sows thistles will reap prickles
  35. You cannot change anything in your life with intention alone
  36. Picking Stones
  37. The Big Conversation
  38. John 4 according to the Scriptures

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Further reading

  1. Simple John
  2. Seeds that you plant
  3. With the Patience of a Saint
  4. 7 Laws to Create Uncommon Success
  5. The Good Gardener
  6. Others before myself
  7. Leviticus 2:8-16: The First-Fruits Offering
  8. A Spiritual Harvest
  9. Sharpen Your Blade!
  10. The Secret to Successful Gardening
  11. Your Mind is the Garden
  12. No Soup For You!
  13. Who is Going to Tell Them?
  14. Dying Field
  15. IF: I listen, can I hear You?

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Letter to the Romans, chapter 3

 

 

“1  Then what advantage does the Jew have? Or what is the profit of circumcision? 2 Much in every way! Because first of all, they were entrusted with the oracles of God. 3 For what if some were without faith? Will their lack of faith nullify the faithfulness of God? 4 May it never be! Yes, let God be found true, but every man a liar. As it is written, “That you might be justified in your words, and might prevail when you come into judgment.” 5 But if our unrighteousness commends the righteousness of God, what will we say? Is God unrighteous who inflicts wrath? I speak like men do. 6 May it never be! For then how will God judge the world? 7 For if the truth of God through my lie abounded to his glory, why am I also still judged as a sinner? 8 Why not (as we are slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say), “Let us do evil, that good may come?” Those who say so are justly condemned. 9 What then? Are we better than they? No, in no way. For we previously warned both Jews and Greeks, that they are all under sin.
10 As it is written, “There is no one righteous; no, not one. 11 There is no one who understands. There is no one who seeks after God. 12 They have all turned aside. They have together become unprofitable. There is no one who does good, there is not even one.” 13 Their throat is an open tomb. With their tongues they have used deceit.” “The poison of vipers is under their lips”; 14 Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.” 15 Their feet are swift to shed blood. 16 Destruction and misery are in their ways.
17 The way of peace, they have not known.” 18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

19  Now we know that whatever things the law says, it speaks to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be closed, and all the world may be brought under the judgment of God. 20 Because by the works of the law, no flesh will be justified in his sight. For through the law comes the knowledge of sin. 21 But now apart from the law, a righteousness of God has been revealed, being testified by the Law and the Prophets; 22 even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ to all those who believe. For there is no distinction, 23 for all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God; 24 being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus; 25 whom God set forth to be an atoning sacrifice, through faith in his blood, for a demonstration of his righteousness, because in God’s forbearance he had passed over the sins previously committed; 26 to demonstrate his righteousness at this present time, so that he would be just, and the justifier of him who has faith in Jesus.

27 Where then is the boasting? It is excluded. By what manner of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faith. 28 For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from the works of the law. 29 Or is God the God of Jews only? Is not he the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, 30 since indeed there is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith, and the uncircumcised through faith. 31 Do we then nullify the law through faith? May it never be! No, we establish the law.” (Romans 3:1-31 NHEB)

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File:Abraham.jpg

Abraham Sacrificing Isaac – Laurent de La Hyre (1606–1656)

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Filed under Quotations from Holy Scriptures, Religious affairs

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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Reflections on the Great War #2

Today 11 November Remembrance day many grieve for those who were lost in war. It is a day we think of all the violence which still goes on in this world. Lots of men went through a horrific war, and when they came back in heir family they often were broken and could not find their way back in normal life. Many did not have any clue of what they had to endure. Today the madness still goes on at several places on this globe.

In this world there are people who want to divide and others who want to heal. All people should try to get others to see that it has no use to fight and that wars are the worst tragedy that can come over the world, war bringing many countries in agony, because of some man their love for power.

More people should come to understand that we can only improve the world by improving the Faith and that we should not put off for tomorrow what we can do today.

 

In the November issue of the Christadelphian is spoken about

  • 100 years ago
  • Studies in Matthew’s Gospel 11 – “That it might be fulfilled …” | John Benson
  • The ministry of reconciliation | Geoff Henstock
  • Archaeology in focus 11 – Horses & riders | James Andrews
  • Reflections on the Great War (2) | Les Shears
  • Bible Companion | John Hingley
  • Enhancing our worship Suggestions for November | John Botten
  • The purpose of the Ecclesia 09 – The Ecclesia as the flock part 2 | Peter Anderton & Paul Tovell
  • Electronic Hymn book
  •  “Until seventy times seven” | Stephen Whitehouse
  • Faith Alive! Seeing the invisible | Paul Dredge
  • Book Review Beginning at Jerusalem by John M. Hellawell | Stephen Whitehouse
  • Signs of the times Russia: strong enough to act? | Roger Long
  • Israel and their Land Parting the land | Roger Long
  • Epilogue  “Examine yourselves … test yourselves” | David Caudery
  • The brotherhood near and far

and can you find this 2° article on the Great War:

Reflections on the Great War

On August 4, 1914, the British government issued an ultimatum to Germany, demanding that their troops leave neutral Belgium. Germany had declared war on France the previous day and had begun the invasion of Belgium as a precursor to the planned encirclement of Paris. Following the rejection of the ultimatum, Britain declared war on Germany at 11 pm.

The war begins

The British, Belgian and American lines of att...

The British, Belgian and American lines of attack, during the Hundred Days Offensive (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Many greeted this action with enthusiasm, convinced that the war was a just cause and that it would soon be brought to a successful conclusion. However, as Brother John Botten pointed out in his introductory article (Reflections on the Great War #1 100 years on), while the Royal Navy was supposedly far superior to any other navy, the British army was far smaller than the vast armies of continental Europe and the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) which set off for Belgium numbered only around 120,000. If the British were to make more than a token contribution to the land war then the established principle of a volunteer army might have to be overturned. This was even more apparent by the end of August, following the battles of Mons and Le Cateau where the BEF had sustained heavy casualties and, along with the French army, been forced into a long retreat by vastly superior German forces. On September 5 (by which time the Germans had reached the River Marne and were threatening Paris), newly appointed Secretary of War, Lord Kitchener, called for 100,000 volunteers and over the next week some 175,000 enlisted. News of German atrocities committed against Belgian civilians was eagerly seized on by a jingoistic press and helped in this process. Although the German army was forced back from the Marne, much fighting lay ahead in 1914 before the front line was stabilized – roughly along a line running north from Noyon past Arras and around Ypres to the Belgian coast, and east and south to the Swiss frontier. By the end of the year the British, French and Belgians had suffered a combined total of over 1,000,000 killed, wounded or missing, the vast majority of them French. The BEF’s ability to function had been severely compromised; more and more men would be required. There was still no suggestion of any immediate need for conscription, but public opinion was becoming increasingly ‘hawkish’.

22 August 1914: "A" Company of the 4...

22 August 1914: “A” Company of the 4th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers, resting in the town square at Mons. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Things had not gone well at sea either and elements of the German fleet had bombarded towns along the east coast, notably Hartlepool, Scarborough and Whitby, causing over 700 casualties. One victim of those bombardments was Brother Ripley of Whitby, whose house was practically destroyed by a shell, although he escaped injury.

Objection to military service

How did the brotherhood respond to the outbreak of war and its progress over the first six months? It would be good to be able to report that there was unanimity, but alas, that was not the case. Indeed, there was not even agreement as to whether we should petition government to register our conscientious objection to military service. There are lessons here for us all.

William Ewart Gladstone Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in office 15 August 1892 – 2 March 1894

William Ewart Gladstone Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in office 15 August 1892 – 2 March 1894

The cabinet had first discussed the necessity of conscription for all males aged 18-40 back in 1875, prompting Brother Robert Roberts to suggest that “a petition to Parliament might not be without advantage”. [1] No lesser figure than William Gladstone agreed to present the petition, only for disagreements within the brotherhood about the timing of the petition to surface and it was abandoned. In 1903, perhaps prompted by the South African War, a petition signed by about forty ecclesias was prepared but not presented. Almost immediately after the declaration of war in 1914 the issue again raised its head within the community. [2] On August 13, 1914, a meeting attended by almost 1,000 persons was held at the Temperance Hall in Birmingham. The following resolutions were passed with “practical unanimity”:

“‘That this meeting records its unshaken conviction that the commandments of Christ forbid the bearing of arms and bloodshedding.’

‘That in the present state of the nation it is not desirable to present a petition praying exemption from the bearing of arms.’

‘That we agree to the form of petition that has been presented and place it on record for possible use hereafter.’”

At the same time it was noted that there was some objection to clause 7, “for reasons which need not now be stated”. [3]

The reasons for delay in registering our position with the government are difficult to fathom. There was obviously a concern that any petition should not appear to be prompted merely by any current conflict, but there does appear to have been a degree of complacency when there was no immediate threat.

Facing a time of trial

If there seemed to be agreement about our objection to military service, there was considerable disagreement about what brothers and sisters could or should do in the event of war. The original wording of clause 7 was:

“That the conscientious objection of your petitioners does not extend to strictly non-combatant branches of National Service, but only to those which involve the bearing of arms or resort to force.”

Apparently, the author of this clause intended it to mean that brothers would have no objection to work of national value in a civil capacity not involving an oath of allegiance, but it is easy to see how the wording could be misconstrued and lead to future problems. The clause was omitted from the petition that was finally presented. Nonetheless, this remained a difficult area. An article entitled, “Our Plain Duty” appeared in the September edition of The Christadelphian. The author was clear that “we may neither bear arms nor use violence”, but he went on to write:

“In free civil life brethren may be found employed about munitions of war, for in this century nearly everything can be, and is, put to military use; therefore to work in a non-combatant capacity under conscription cannot rightly be called an outrage on our faith and practice. There are already some of us who, from good Samaritan motives, are now volunteering medical, and nursing, and other kindred service …”

It may well be that almost anything could be used in the war effort, but it is concerning to read of one meeting welcoming a brother whose work “at Vickers’ gun factory” had brought him to the area. [4] How could such employment be considered appropriate?

It is easy to sit back and criticise those who were volunteering for medical work, as service in the Royal Army Medical Corps did involve taking the oath of allegiance and working under military direction. However, we should try take into account the atmosphere in which this was taking place. The government had been quick to claim that we were fighting in a just cause and pressures came on every side – the press, public opinion and even employers. We can get an idea of the sort of pressures that existed by looking at an extract from an article entitled, “Our Attitude Towards War” published in The Fraternal Visitor in October 1914:

“If ever any war were justifiable, this is one, which, from our point of view, is just … But even so, we, as Brethren in Christ, can take no hand even in this war. Not that we wish others to fight our battles; we do not. Many of us younger brethren feel so convinced of the soundness of our cause that, apart from religious scruples, we desire to take up arms on behalf of our country and in defence of all that we hold dear.” [5]

Even with a clear understanding of our duty towards God, it is evident that this was indeed a most difficult situation and not all were able to resist the instinct alluded to in the article. Thus, Sheffield (Suffolk Street) Ecclesia reported that a brother and two senior members of Sunday School had joined the RAMC, [6] while others went further and enlisted for the duration in fighting units. There are reports of this happening at Newport, Northampton, Kidderminster and York. [7] At York the brother was withdrawn from and this led to three further withdrawals, but, it appears that he had a change of heart and was able to extricate himself from the army and all were eventually restored to fellowship. [8] In other instances there was an expression of sadness and a wish that in the not too distant future they could be welcomed home again. It is difficult to be certain of the fate of all who joined up, but it seems that at least one of those brothers did not survive the conflict. [9]

The weapons of our warfare

English: French soldiers waiting assault behin...

French soldiers waiting assault behind a ditch (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It was appropriate that the Editorial section of The Christadelphian in November 1914 commenced with a short piece entitled, “The Weapons of our Warfare”. It began by citing 2 Corinthians 10:3-5:

 

“Though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds;) casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”

It concluded, “If we have faith in Christ we shall eschew carnal weapons and confine ourselves to ‘the sword of the Spirit’ and ‘the whole armour of God.’ If we have not faith we may ‘take the sword and perish with the sword’, as Christ has said”. [10]

Les Shears

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[1] The Christadelphian, 1878, page 85.

[2] As Brother John pointed out in his article, Lincoln Ecclesia had already had correspondence with some MPs on the subject.

[3] The Christadelphian, 1914, page 422.

[4] The Christadelphian, 1915, pages 85,86.

[5] The Fraternal Visitor, 1914, page 286. The article itself runs from pages 285-289.

[6] The Fraternal Visitor, 1914, page 346.

[7] The Fraternal Visitor, 1914, page 376; The Christadelphian, 1914, pages 525,565,566.

[8] The Christadelphian, 1915, page 189.

[9] It appears that he died of wounds at a field hospital in Merville, France on July 9, 1917.

[10] The Christadelphian, 1914, page 505.

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Preceding article: Reflections on the Great War #1

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  2. What are Brothers in Christ
  3. Two new encyclopaedic articles
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  5. Loving the Word
  6. Agape, a love to share with others from the Fruit of the Spirit
  7. Servant of his Father
  8. Disciple of Christ counting lives and friends dear to them
  9. Christadelphians or Messianic Christians or Messianic Jews

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Please find additional reading:

  1. All the war-propaganda, all the screaming and lies and hatred, comes invariably from people who are not fighting… George Orwell
  2. August 4, 1914 to be remembered
  3. 11 November, a day to remember #1 Until Industrialisation
  4. 11 November, a day to remember #2 From the Industrialisation
  5. 100° birthday of war and war tourism
  6. 1914 – 2014 preparations
  7. Liège 2014 remembering the Great War
  8. Mons 2014 remembering the Great War
  9. Friendship and Offer for the cause of democracy
  10. Juncker warns for possible new war
  11. Balfour Declaration of 1917 remembered
  12. Maker of most popular weapon asks for repentance
  13. Kingdom of God, a journey
  14. Which man is mentioned most often in the Bible? Jesus, Moses, Abraham or David?
  15. More Mexicans start questioning Catholic doctrine and the concept of the Trinity
  16. Improving the world by improving the Faith
  17. Don’t put off for tomorrow what you can do today
  18. The world Having to face a collective failure
  19. Anti-church movements and Humanism
  20. Are you religious, spiritual, or do you belong to a religion, having a faith or interfaith
  21. Do you believe in One god
  22. Looking for something or for the Truth and what it might be and self-awareness
  23. People Seeking for God 5 Bread of life
  24. How long to wait before bringing religiousness and spirituality in practice
  25. Looking for True Spirituality 8 Measuring Up
  26. Built on or Belonging to Jewish tradition #4 Mozaic and Noachide laws
  27. Tapping into God’s Strength by Waiting on Him
  28. Come ye yourselves apart … and rest awhile (Mark 6:31)
  29. Faith because of the questions
  30. A rebellious movement founded on a fake?
  31. Flowing out from a genuine spiritual “heart”
  32. Believing what Jesus says

 

 

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  • Armistice Day 2014: We remember them – 100 years on (dorsetecho.co.uk)
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  • The Road to Ypres (oup.com)

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