Tag Archives: Faith

Scattered

 

A Prophet Scorned

I once called upon a storm to cease
To demonstrate faith to believe
But their hearts were swayed
Never to enter the sanctuary
My example as of late
Tied to a certain fate
They scattered divided
Tore me apart
Oh what a start!

Unity, my people
Unite under one banner of Love
And I will send more Love in response
Despite to date none have ever reached out

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Is there faith enough to dare to speak about Jesus and his God?

A born-again believer and follower of Jesus asks “Where is your faith?” and looks at the Nazarene master teacher who, according to him, did not have fear (though in the four gospels you’ll notice there were moments that Jesus had a lot of fear and even came to call unto his heavenly Father asking why He had abandoned him.) But looking at the other moments of his life it is true we can find a person who has given himself totally in the hands of his heavenly Father. Even when he was so afraid he asked his God to make him strong enough to be able to do the Will of Him.

Jesus was not afraid to give himself in the hands of his God, the God of Israel. His fear for that God meant he respected the power that God had over him. As a sign of his respect, Jesus did everything to please his heavenly Father, Whom he recognised to be greater than him. He knew he could not do anything without this Great God Who has all the Power.

Charlotte Creamer on her blog writes:

As followers of Jesus, we also have the same capacity to live as fearlessly as Jesus did while on Earth. But what made Jesus so fearless? What enabled him to live his life without fear of anyone or anything?

The answer is rooted in Jesus’ complete faith and trust in God, and in his understanding of God’s Kingdom on Earth. As soon as Jesus came out as the Messiah – the king of the Jews – the Kingdom was established. Jesus knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that he was under the protection of God’s Holy Spirit and holy angels while he was in the Kingdom. This was the safe place promised by God to his people: No physical or spiritual harm can come to those who live in the spiritual Promised Land. The physical protection lasts until it’s time to go home (when it’s removed to enable physical death), but the spiritual protection remains as long as the person being protected is in right-standing with God. {Where is your faith?}

When people have enough faith in a certain matter, they are not afraid of it. The same for Jesus. He fully trusted the One who had sent him here on earth. He knew that he had to fulfil a task, but trusted his heavenly father for providing the means to succeed. By the authority of God Jesus spoke and acted in the midst of people who were curious to see that miracle worker, but who were also interested to hear what that man had to tell about the one many prophets had spoken. Even when they saw that there were several people not liking him, they were not afraid to be around him. (This at least until the moment he was imprisoned, because than the fear caught many who were close to Christ.)

 

What about today?

Have you become afraid to talk about Jesus and his God?

Do you dare to speak about Jesus and his heavenly Father, the Only One true God?

Charlotte Creamer writes:

Faith is the opposite of fear. If you have faith in God, then you know God’s Kingdom has been established on Earth, with Jesus as King. If you know the Kingdom has been established and that Jesus is your king, then you know you are protected both physically and spiritually. This should give you the same level of fearlessness that Jesus had while on Earth.

So, if you find yourself being afraid of anyone or anything in this Age of Fear, ask yourself “Where is your Faith?” Then do everything you can to deepen your faith and trust in God and get a better understanding of his Kingdom. {Where is your faith?}

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2020 a year of having more idols but also more personal problems

The Spring of 2020 brought something new to the world which made everyone and everything coming to a standstill but brought also many to having psychological problems. At first, it seemed incredible to hear certain churches calling for their members to come to church, even when the governments asked people to avoid contact with many. Some pastors dared to go so far as telling people that if they would become infected with Corona that would be because they had not enough faith. Such saying we can only call “criminal”. Several Christian groups, mainly in Holland wanted people to believe that as faithful people would come to the service they would not be harmed because they would do what God expected from them.

Lots of people got in problem with their mind, having become pulled away from their social contacts by the lockdown. Depression, bipolar episodes, and anxiety attacks were hindermost in the running.

Because depression isn’t often discussed in churches, a great deal of misunderstanding has popped up in this year when there were so many more people with a lot of psychological problems, who could not be helped by medical staff.

We want people to believe that the first step is realising what this disorder isn’t:

“It’s not a character defect, a spiritual disorder or an emotional dysfunction. And chief of all, it’s not a choice.”

Also we want Christians to be aware that it is not, like some Trinitarian preachers wanted their flock to believe

a penalty from God.

When you do not feel well in your skin it is not that God would be punishing you because you would have done something wrong or that you would not have enough faith in Him.

We also must be aware that just because someone seems “happy,” that doesn’t mean they’re healthy or that they really would be happy. Look at the very popular Flemish influencer. Social media seemed to take more people in its ban this year. The advertising flow is drying up, so professional users of social media tell more about their concerns and they seemed for many to provide some good information. After the death of that 21 year old boy more than ever, several influencers came to understand their role in the youthgroups and to realise that good mental health is important.

This way NokNok wants to teach young people that it is normal to not always feel perfect. Staff member Eline De Decker:

“Nobody walks on clouds every day. Sometimes you get up and immediately feel that it is going to be a terrible day. Sometimes you doubt yourself or feel insecure. Or are you stressed or disappointed with friends or family. That is normal.
And that’s all okay. ”

NokNok wants to convey that message clearly and shows young people between the ages of 12 and 16 what they can do to gain more self-confidence, have less stress and go through life as positivo.

Instagram has been around for ten years, and what the app has perhaps achieved best during that period is creating the illusion that users can “work independently” via the platform. Certainly influencers, people who live off sponsored photos on their Instagram profile, are an example of this bogus self-employment.
They live off Instagram, but much more for Instagram – they tweak their entire lives to create the best photos and videos. And once their Instagram goes down, they have nothing to fall back on.

With the rise of social media, the phenomenon of fanship has changed drastically. About ten or twenty years ago, an idol was someone you idolized by hanging posters on the wall, playing CDs, maybe watching movies or TV shows. The relationship fan-
Idol was pretty one-sided: the fan was occasionally thrown a treat – a new song, a TV appearance, a message about a wedding in a gossip magazine – and he or she had to settle for that.

But with digitization, the relationship between fans and idols has turned inside out,
British sociology professor Ellis Cashmore writes in his book Kardashian Kulture, in which he examines how celebrity culture has changed in the 21st century. No longer are fans from outside looking at the world in which their idol lives – they are right in the thick of it.

Certain churches used those idols also in church and wanted to attire people to their meetings by using a lot of music and disco settings. In 2020 we saw a continuation of the pulpits shrinking and even disappearing while bands and lighting have grown. But faith does not come from music, dynamic experiences, or supposed encounters with God. Faith is birthed through the proclamation of God’s Word (Rom 10:17).

Our assurance is threatened.
Whilst certain churches kept calling their flock to the church building, others tried to bring entertaining video presentations. All that attention or focussing on those idols and entertainement made many youngsters feeling even more alone, when there was no such church meeting any more. If we associate God’s presence with a particular experience or emotion, you can ask what happens when we no longer feel it.

We search for churches whose praise band, orchestra, or pipe organ produce in us the feelings we are chasing. But the reality of God in our lives depends on the mediation of Christ not on subjective experiences.

Musicians are given priestly status.
When music is seen as a means to encounter God, worship leaders and musicians are vested with a priestly role. They become the ones who bring us into the presence of God rather than Jesus Christ who alone has already fulfilled that role. Understandably, when a worship leader or band doesn’t help me experience God they have failed and must be replaced. On the other hand, when we believe that they have successfully moved us into God’s presence they will attain in our minds a status that is far too high for their own good.

Division is increased.
If we identify a feeling as an encounter with God, and only a particular kind of music produces that feeling, then we will insist that same music be played regularly in our church or gatherings. As long as everyone else shares our taste then there is no problem. But if others depend upon a different kind of music to produce the feeling that is important to them then division is cultivated. And because we routinely classify particular feelings as encounters with God our demands for what produce those feelings become very rigid. This is why so many churches succumb to offering multiple styles of worship services. By doing so, they unwittingly sanction division and self-centeredness among the people of God.

Scripture is full of exhortations to God’s people to sing and make music to Him. Our God has been gracious to give us this means to worship Him. But it is important to understand that music in our worship is for two specific purposes: to honour God and to edify our fellow believers. Unfortunately, many Christians tend to grant music a sacramental power which Scripture never bestows upon it.

Intense relationship
Those churches who by the years focused more on the show element of their services brought their members now in a situation where the lockdown is felt more as a restriction and limitation. Some even came to find that they could not serve God any more or did not give Him the full worship they had to offer Him. The fact they felt they could not serve their God any more made them feeling very bad. Instead of making them to understand they also could worship God in their own house in their own small bubble, some churches gave them even more a feeling of guilt by keeping to tell them they should not stop coming to the church building.

Against the lonely feeling they said what’s needed was the gathering and coming to feast again for God. But what is really needed is a loving community where people are encouraged to speak up and get help. And that speaking can be done by internet meetings and help can be giving by phone calls as well as by sending material by land mail.

People should know that when fear comes into their heart, they themselves can call to God. They not only should trust on the entertaining sessions of their church.

God Loves You

The fundamental message of the Gospel is that God loves you.
Do you understand?
God loves you. No matter who you are, no matter what you’ve done or where you’ve been, God will always love you. Dr. Kenneth Hutcherson describes it like this,

No matter what kind of situation you may find yourself facing, don’t be afraid, because God will always be with you and have your best interests in mind since He loves you.  Whenever feelings of fear creep into your life, turn to God for the help you need to overcome them and successfully navigate your circumstances.  Whenever you sense God calling you to do something that requires taking a risk, move forward without fear because God will empower you to do whatever He calls you to do.

It’s Alright to Feel Sad

No one likes to feel sad. We frequently try to avoid feelings of pain, or bury them under the weight of our daily routines. But sorrow cannot and should not be ignored. Accepting our sorrow doesn’t mean we’re weak, or a failure, it means we’re human. Just look what Ethan McCarthy of Christianity Today had to say,

Our faith is predicated on sadness. As we grow in Christ’s service, we begin to recognize ourselves in Christ’s sad gaze in the icons. The sadness of Jesus exemplifies the sadness of Christians everywhere, and through it the whole world is redeemed. For the sadness of Jesus is not an ultimate sadness: the Bible also promises the end of sadness, and the wiping away of all tears: ‘Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted’ (Matt. 5:4).

After bad times better times

2020 may not have been an ideal year, but we should know there have been lots more worse years in the past. When looking at those horrible years of illnesses, pains, horrible situations and wars, we should see that we did not have it as bad as some want us to believe.

Hope is a frail thing, but it’s hard to kill. If you’ve found yourself struggling in the valleys of life, please don’t give up. Surround yourself with friends who will comfort you and mourn with you. If you’re suffering from depression, have courage and make an appointment with a doctor. Above all, remember that God loves you, and that will never change.

2020 has been a year where a lot more people had psychological difficulties. The helplines got a lot more calls. Lots of people were struggling with depression.  More than 1 in 5 youngsters this year had difficulties with the isolation brought unto them. Christians should see signs and then should come to help.

Every suicide is a tragic end to a life that’s precious to God. If you’re willing, God can empower you to help save the lives of people he loves from ending their lives before they’ve completed the lifetimes he intends for them. Here’s how you can help prevent suicide by reaching out to struggling people you know:

Recognize warning signs.

The American Association of Suicidology says that people who are at risk of committing suicide often display warning signs such as: communicating a desire to kill themselves, looking for ways to kill themselves (like seeking access to guns or medications), expressing a lack of purpose or hope in life, demonstrating dramatic mood changes, behaving in significantly anxious or angry ways, sleeping too much or not sleeping enough, feeling trapped in a challenging situation, taking reckless risks, abusing alcohol or drugs, and withdrawing from relationships with family and friends.

Listen well and offer unconditional love, like God does.

Pay attention to the troubling thoughts and feelings that people share with you. Listen carefully to what they express, and ask them questions to clarify and seek more information. If suicidal people know that you’re genuinely interested in them and that they can trust you not to judge them, gossip about them, or avoid them when they tell you something disturbing, they’ll likely open up to you. Ask God to help you love suicidal people unconditionally – like He does – and that will give them hope they desperately need while struggling with embarrassment and shame.

Pray specifically.

Let people know that they can count on you to pray for them about every specific issue they’ve shared with you. Ask God to bring them the help and healing they need, and pray in Jesus’ name against any form of evil that may be attacking them spiritually.

Give people a fresh perspective on themselves and their problems.

Suicidal people often become so preoccupied with their own failures and the problems in their lives that they blow them out of proportion. When that happens, they feel overwhelmed and can’t see how they can ever find solutions to their problems or find relief from their suffering. Mistakenly thinking that there’s no hope for them to experience better lives, they then may choose to simply end their lives. If someone tells you that she hates herself or feels like a burden on others, you can encourage her by pointing out specific ways she has enriched your life. When someone you know is distraught about a problem that seems insurmountable, you can gently and respectfully point out other aspects of her life that are positive to help her gain a better perspective. Refrain from giving unsolicited advice, which can seem judgmental to someone who is struggling. But remind your friend that there’s plenty of good in her, and in her life, despite the bad aspects that trouble her. You can also point out that every problem – no matter how severe – is temporary, but suicide is permanent. Encourage suicidal people to give themselves time to see how their problems can resolve in unexpected ways, rather than prematurely ending their lives.

Strong churches don’t “fix” depression.

Even large churches may not have the framework currently in place to deal with mental disorders. So, what’s needed?

“Healing comes from a prayerful, loving community that seeks to truly understand major depressive disorder and related conditions, and one that develops a positive response.”

Depression can feel like a huge weight that keeps pulling a Christian down again and again. Breaking free from the clutches of this disorder may seem impossible, but Margaret Ashmore (of the Association of Biblical Counselors) says that one of the most important things a sufferer can do is “the next thing”:

“So ‘doing the next thing’ might mean getting right with someone you’ve wronged, making restitution on outstanding payments, putting away once for all that website or magazine which feeds a monstrous, lustful appetite, taking back a purchase of self indulgence whose only outcome was more debt – you will have your own list. I certainly have mine. But be assured, this principle alone can take you from a shrugging Atlas with the weight of the world on your shoulders to that of renewed vigor and reviving refreshment….”

“The choices we make to obey despite our feelings or to give in to the downward pull of a fallen world filled with fallen people – mean everything.”

If you suffer from anxiety of depression, you’re not alone.

The one true source of freedom: Jesus.

People who kill themselves are trying to break free from their pain. But suicide just makes people dead, not free, and it actually causes more pain by spreading grief around to deceased people’s loved ones. Tell struggling people you know that while suicide can’t make them free, Jesus Christ can. Jesus is the way to God. He is the mediator between God and man, and having been here on earth as a man of flesh and blood, he very well knows the pains man can have to face.

No matter how difficult, certain things may look for us, when we pray to God we may find solutions to get over those difficult situations.

 

(With parts of articles by a.o. Todd Pruitt, John UpChurch, Ryan Duncan, Whitney Hopler of Crosswalk.com)

 

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“In The Midst Of The Storm”

The Divine Creator has given the world His only begotten beloved son. That sent one from God was willing to put his own will aside to do the Will of his heavenly Father in Whom Jesus gave all his trust.

Like Jesus did, we too should give ourselves in the hands of the Only One True God and trust Him Who will bring us through these times of tribulation and for some even a time of ordeal.

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To remember

  • Jesus said he would never leave us nor forsake us, so why when the storms of life hit we seem to lose sight of his presence in our trouble?
  • We as humans go by what we see
  • to not visibly see something or someone how can we believe in the hope of their help =  where our faith (Trust) needs to be strengthened
  • God is a Spirit & our help then is of a spiritual nature = way God intervenes in life of the believer. (Romans 8:25-28).
  • Christ died + become our mediator to make intercession for us to God the Father.
  • no other anchor for our souls than the hope we find in him!!!!!

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Preceding

So many being afraid – reason enough to step in the boat with Christ

Precious Sheep Of Renown

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Jesus said he would never leave us nor forsake us, so why when the storms of life hit we seem to lose sight of his presence in our trouble? We as humans go by what we see and to not visibly see something or someone how can we believe in the hope of their help? This is where our faith (Trust) needs to be strengthened and believe that the word we read can be counted on no matter what! Hebrews 11:1,6.

We can have peace in the midst of the storms of our life as we learn when the sea was with great tempest, yet Jesus was sleeping. The disciples like many would ask where is God in all this and the answer once again is Faith. (Matthew 8:23-27). And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him.And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea…

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Christian Response to the Covid-19 Pandemic

Sometimes people have to be confronted by something terribly bad. At regular intervals, certain people come to struggle terribly and have to learn by a hard lesson, being pulled down by an accident or serious disease.

Several people at a certain moment in their life got struck. Suddenly they become confronted by a longer period that they can not do the things they normally do. During that time of not doing anything, they are given time to think about the past but also the future. Then they can take time to meditate and to really start to reevaluate the value of things.

Before they got sick or bounded to the bed by their sickness or paralysation, they can have the film of their life repeated over and over again for days. At that time they have hours and days to think about all those things that kept them busy. Then they also realize that they had and still have so many dreams that they’ve had over the years and projects that they wanted to do.

From people who previously had serious accidents and diseases, we do know several people came in confrontation with the matter of a godhead, and started examining the Scriptures, coming to one conclusion, that there is Only One True Divine God, the Elohim Hashem Jehovah, Who is a loving God and not a cruel Being that would have His children being tortured or being burned forever.
It is then for them the time to recognise how so many churches or denomination lied to their flock and used fear to master them.

The devil, being spoken of in the Bible, is any or every adversary who walks on this planet. For sure there are many adversaries of God too, who would love people not to believe in the Divine Creator or have them keeping to the many false teachings, human traditions and heathen festivals.

But it are the real lovers of God who in such difficult times should show how they know for sure Who is behind everything and Who can be the helping hand in times of problems but also be a Guide in times when everything seems alright.

These days when there is a virus making many victims, those real followers of the son of God, should show the world how God has given the world a saviour and mediator, who paid the ransom for all the faults we as human beings have done.

Now is the time that all real lovers of God can show the world Who That real God is and how we as united lovers of God are not afraid of what comes upon this world but are willing to unite in prayer to protect all those around us, believers and unbelievers.

IMG-20161127-WA0018In the article of Janisha Jacobs, affectionately known as “Keela“,, the greatest hope is expressed that during this crisis more people will be drawn closer to Christ, the son of God. We only can hope and pray that more people shall come to see that in this time of fear there will be no other choice but for our faith to increase and to join hands spiritually. That in this time of not knowing what tomorrow holds we will learn to let God worry about tomorrow and focus on getting through today, with the knowledge that there shall come even worse days and even a more severe battle, with the third World War or Armageddon. Therefore we can look at this pandemic as a rehearsal for what still has to come and to make us stronger to be prepared for what is still to come.
Let us, therefore, pray not to false gods, like some many have taken themselves false gods, but learn also others to pray to the God Jesus also prayed too, namely his heavenly Father (and not himself) the One and Only True God, the Elohim Hashem Jehovah.

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To remember

  • facing global Pandemic of Covid-19 virus #CoronaVirus.
  • enough news surrounding panic > All across the world right now persons are facing panic, trauma & a lot of uncertainty because of the effects of Covid-19.
  • Persons afraid, lost loved ones, +  wondering if they will be next.
  • China, Italy, America, UK, etc. > unimaginable crisis.
  • biggest question right now =  “when will it end?”
  • for the church = also the question of “how do we react?”
  • to get us to close down churches > building =/= church
  • people = church
  • via Zoom = enjoyable + more intimate than “pulpit and pew”
  • try + prevent spreading virus => stay home
  • response/reaction to world crisis & pandemic = faith, wisdom, compassion, forward thinking, leadership + most importantly prayer.

Keela's Chronicles

As most of you know, we have all been facing the global Pandemic of the Covid-19 virus #CoronaVirus. Initially I had no intentions of blogging about it, figuring that there is enough news surrounding the panic and I didn’t want to be one more person adding fuel on an already blazing fire. But, if you read my latest post you know by now that I decided to change my mind

All across the world right now persons are facing panic, trauma and a lot of uncertainty because of the effects of Covid-19. Persons are afraid, many have lost loved ones, some may not even know if their loved ones are still alive in places like Italy, some persons are sick and many others are wondering if they will be next. And all of these emotions and feelings are completely understandable but so very heartbreaking.


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Not always easy to have a conversion

In life it is up to us to make the right choice. It is up to decide either to follow human doctrines or Biblical doctrines and to come following the real Jesus Christ (Jeshua ben Joseph), the son of God and our saviour

 

 

There exists no conversion without a crisis…
no resurrection without death.
‘You who find your life will lose it,
and you who lose your life for My sake will find it.’
~Matthew 10:39

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When people have no faith in higher beings nor in gods, but come to hear about that special creature, about so many continue to speak and to debate, and want to know more about him, they shall start feeling counteraction. How closer they shall come to a point to consider about a conversion the thwarting shall become stronger.

Those who want to follow Christ shall come to feel that such a decision may bring opposition. Certainly when they decide they want to go for Jehovah as the Only One True God. Then hell breaks loose. Then the adversaries of Jehovah (the satans) shall jump high and do their utmost best to bring that person to other ideas.

Please do not worry when you start feeling such opposition when you talk about your will to follow Christ and to go for his heavenly Father Jehovah. It shall be a sign that you are on the right direction. Jesus is the way to God, but it does not mean it shall be an easy road. Jesus warns several times (in the parables) about the difficulty to go on the right track and to find the right and narrow gate to enter the Kingdom of God.

Do know at the end of the road it shall be worthwhile to have chosen for the right Jesus and for the right God.

Do know at the end the reward of God shall be great.

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Find also to read

  1. We may not be ignorant to get wisdom
  2. This was my reward
  3. Matthew 10:40-42 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Reception and Reward
  4. Matthew 19:13-15 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Kingdom Belongs to Child-lik
  5. Matthew 19:16-24 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Difficulty of Rich Entering the Kingdom
  6. Matthew 19:25-26 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Who Can be Saved
  7. Matthew 19:27-29 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: We Have Left Everything for You!

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Once the seed of faith takes root…..

Only when the seed of faith roots in the good soil it shall be able to grow stronger and bring forth multiple fruits.

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Dutch version / Nederlandse versie: Zodra het zaadje van het geloof wortel schiet …

Purplerays

Once the seed of faith takes root 
it cannot be blown away 
even by the strongest wind. 
Now that’s a blessing.

– Rumi

photo credit: True colors by A-Ho
Text & image source: The birds and the bees and the flowers and the trees https://www.facebook.com/allaboutthebirdsandthebeestheflowersandthetrees/

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God calls us His people, and we call Him our God

The Bible’s frequent refrain — ‘His people’ and ‘our God’ — repeatedly reminds us that we are a community — part of God’s family. Like a body, each part has a vital role to play. The Lord has formed us for a collective purpose. We are dedicated to adopting the values of God. We are committed to doing the works of faith we have seen in Jesus, and the very ones we hope to perform with His constant aid.

Faith can grow abundantly when we understand and fully embrace the fact that God has put us together on purpose.
Accordingly, the Christadelphian community is committed to a vision of Cultivating Faith Together.
After some hard thinking about how they can make the biggest difference, the WCF got structured to advance that vision as effectively as they can.

Like our Christadelphian ecclesia in Belgium the WCF is focused on faith because it is the bedrock of our relationship with God and His Son. It is what compels us to walk with them for good, for a lifetime. And our faith  is what is tested in the daily trials and decisions of life.
The WCF and our Belgian ecclesia is committed to cultivating more faith together.
We hope you will join us in this great cause. We seek those who want to give their hands, their hearts, their financial resources. We know that, together, we can truly grow more faith.

°°°
All financial help is welcome
BE37 9730 6618 2528
BIC ARSPBE22
“Preaching funds”

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The Rage Against God

To remember

  • burning the Bible = way of showing finally rejected all the things that I had been brought up to believe
  • current intellectual assault on God in Europe and North America=  specific attack on Christianity

God does not believe in atheists

Peter HitchensI thought this gesture [burning the Bible] was a way of showing that I had finally rejected all the things that I had been brought up to believe, and I went on to behave for the next 20 years of my life exactly as if I didn’t believe in him [God], and that’s how I discovered in the end that what I had rejected was right.

The current intellectual assault on God in Europe and North America is, in fact, a specific attack on Christianity – the faith that stubbornly persists in the morality, laws, and government of the major Western countries. . . .The God they fight is the Christian God. . . .God is the leftists’ chief rival. Christian belief, by subjecting all men to divine authority and by asserting in the words ‘My kingdom is not of this world’ that the ideal society does not exist in…

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The faith of the faithless

God does not believe in atheists

With most men, unbelief in one thing springs from blind belief in another.

— Georg Christoph Lichtenberg
(1742–1799)

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