Tag Archives: Idolatry

Reciting the Aleinu as a warning against temptation of idolatry

From a review completed by a MA student at the University of Chicago Divinity School, with a focus on modern Jewish thought, Joel Swanson. Joel is interested in the intersections of phenomenology and Jewish theology, and in the unique insights that the rabbinic hermeneutic tradition can contribute to our understanding of postmodern philosophy.

Late in his life, Moses Mendelssohn found himself forced to defend the daily Jewish prayer Aleinu in a public contretemps with the Christian community of Königsberg. Two verses in the prayer, translated as

“For they worship vanity and emptiness, and pray to a god who cannot save,”

were widely viewed by Christians as an attack on Jesus, a reading based upon the testimony of a fourteenth century Christian convert from Judaism. As a result, in 1703 King Friedrich of Prussia signed an edict forbidding the recitation of these two verses of the Aleinu, and appointing Christian inspectors to enforce this ban. Seventy years later, David Kypke, an orientalist appointed as the inspector of the Königsberg Jewish community, filed a complaint alleging that the Jews purposely mumbled their recitations of the prayer, and therefore that he could not be sure they were not reciting the offending verses. The Jewish community of Königsberg prepared a response to these allegations, and naturally, it fell to Moses Mendelssohn to serve as the emissary to the Christian community and deliver this response.

According to Mendelssohn, Jews continue to recite the Aleinu not to attack other religions as idolatrous, but as a warning against the temptation of idolatry that lurks within all monotheists. Mendelssohn’s defense of Aleinu is a masterful use of emerging Protestant notions of pluralism and interiority to defend a particular Jewish tradition.

Freudenthal, did in fact see these two verses in the Aleinu as an attack on Christians, and no amount of creative rewriting of history on Mendelssohn’s part could change this. In order to defend Judaism before Christian authorities, Mendelssohn wound up redefining his own tradition.

Continue reading: “Moses Mendelssohn: Enlightenment, Religion, Politics, Nationalism” edited by M. Gottlieb

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Filed under History, Religious affairs

Mishmash of a legal code but importance of mitzvah or commandments

Rabbi Sylvia Rothschild, working in England, writes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Torah scroll and silver pointer (yad) used in reading

Torah scroll and silver pointer (yad) used in reading

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Preceding

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

A Royal Rule given to followers of Christ

First man’s task still counting today

Whoopi Goldberg commandments and abortion

He who knows himself, is kind to others

Luther’s misunderstanding

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

Our life depending on faith

Romans 4 and the Sacraments

Is Justification a process?

Letter to the Romans, chapter 3

Letter to the Romans, chapter 4

Additional comments to the 3rd Letter to the Romans

Additional comments to the Letter to the Romans 4

Comments to James remarks, about Faith and works

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

Christians remaining hidden not sharing the gospel

Witnessing because we love

Leading people astray!

Crisis man needed in this world

Preaching Christ Is Not Enough

Beautiful feet of those who announce the good news

Preaching by example

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

Daring to speak in multicultural environment

Perishable non theologians daring to go out to preach

What Should I Preach ?

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Additional reading

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

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Further reading

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

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Filed under Lifestyle, Religious affairs

The Proper Place of Excess

The Word of God given to us in the Bible or Holy Scriptures tells us to know Who we should worship and what we should not worship. Idolatry of money has crept into the soul of mankind and has poisoned their hearts.

The wisdom teacher of Ecclesiastes says, there is a time for all things under the sun, no to agree with the excess man loves so much, but as a warning how to behave and how and to what to focus.

For those who want to celebrate Christmas for whatever reason they want to give, Christians should remember that it is originally a pagan festival and should better abstain from it. But we do agree in Wintertime it is ideal to socialise at the dark hours and it may be lovely to exchange presents around the turn of the year.

When we provide presents for others they should be given with joy and when it brings such a stress like we hear many tell on television, than there is certainly something wrong.

In so called Christian countries, we also see lots of Christmas markets, but at those ‘great events’ there is not much to see about what they call would be the “reason of the season”. At most Christmas markets there are not many stall about the nativity of the Nazarene Jew nor about that man’s ransom offering. Jesus Christ his birth they often call the reason for the season, but we can not see him much in that season or in people’s homes. Also the attitude of those people gathering at those markets does not speak of such an attitude that master teacher asked from his followers. Most people strolling around at those markets are more concerned about the food and drink opportunities and in buying (ridiculous) gadgets and not to expensive presents.

So many feel obliged just to find an other gadget or an other extra surprise and do hope they themselves also will receive many presents.

In this society where excess has become a way of life, for many it might well be also a way of understanding the world, a way of being and interacting in the world, but for sure many chapters in the bible warn for such an attitude and ask us to focus on the more important immaterial things.

Those who call themselves Christian should wonder where they fall in the consumer trap of the capitalist society and why they do not keep to the festivals ordained by the Most High? the festival for the goddess of light and a celebration for a Santa Claus for sure are no part of those.

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To remember

Thanksgiving here + gone > too much to eat + drink = Excess = regular part of natural order

Excess > consequences = plays important role in survival process

Survival of the fittest + the fertilized

Northern Hemisphere winter = season of rest + recuperation

ancestral winter seasons > forebears rejoiced in gathered harvest, savored freshly slaughtered meat, + delighted in new beer + wine.

Northern Hemisphere ancestors celebrated = winter solstice = December 21 = marking the rebirth of the sun = traditionally been associated with feasts + festivals replete with excesses => secular Christmastime holiday = direct descendant of these revelries.

Roman Saturnalia + misrule, centered on feasting + gift-giving > societal role reversals where servants + peasants became lords + ladies for a day or short season => usually steady tables of fortune turned for a moment

misrule (common in European societies and colonial America) individuals of low socioeconomic status demanded wealthier neighbors + patrons treat them – the servants + peons of society – as if they were the wealthy + deserving

Puritans of Massachusetts infamously outlawing Christmas in late 1600s =/= legendary anniversary of the Savior’s birth > simultaneous misrule celebrations that exalted excesses, some acceptable + others decidedly distasteful.

1800s, misrule evolved > new type of social inversion > persisted to our own day => Christmas made for children

children = miniature adults = occupied bottom rung of social hierarchy along with peasants + servants

Modern secular Christmas – family celebration – created at this time with children becoming focus of charity + goodwill

starting with Black Friday Eve (used to be called Thanksgiving) + continuing through New Year’s Day celebrations = unmatched devotion to consumerism, materialism, consumption, waste, and over-indulgence.

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Preceding

The Culture of Excesses- Losing Humanity

Learning that stuff is just stuff

Material wealth, Submission and Heaven on earth

Looking for the consummation of presents

One can buy a lot in the supermarket, but not hope

 

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Additional reading

  1. A time for everything
  2. The truth is very plain to see and God can be clearly seen
  3. Irminsul, dies natalis solis invicti, birthday of light, Christmas and Saturnalia
  4. Holidays, holy days and traditions
  5. A new year with hopes and challenges
  6. Opportunity!
  7. A season of gifts
  8. How to Find the Meaning of Life and Reach a State of Peace
  9. Material wealth, Submission and Heaven on earth

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Further reading

  1. Presents, Presents, and more Presents.
  2. Christmas Stress
  3. Buying All the Gifts
  4. Christmas time!
  5. The spirit of Christmas
  6. Christmas is not as much about opening our presents as opening our hearts. ~J.L.W. Brooks
  7. It’s the Thought that Counts?
  8. 30 Ways to Have Yourself a Thrifty Little Christmas
  9. 17 Things Only Girls Who Hate Shopping Understand
  10. How The Garden Grinch Saved Your Christmas
  11. 2015 Holiday Gift Guide
  12. My Christmas Gift Guide 2015
  13. 15 ways to get into the Christmas Spirit
  14. A Special Package
  15. The Gift & the Giver
  16. Baby Jesus Brings the gifts
  17. Blogmas Day 14: Christmas Gift Guide 2015
  18. On the 14th day of Christmas…
  19. Dear Santa
  20. Secret Santa!
  21. Why we don’t do Santa
  22. Nativity?
  23. Christmas Blogging Challenge Day 2 – My Favourite Christmas Tradition
  24. The Gift That Keeps on Giving
  25. The Holiday Gifting Struggle
  26. Do you search? ✨BlogMas✨
  27. Finding God
  28. Why Not Do Something Different This Christmas

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Just a Little Bit More - Book Blog

Thanksgiving, once again, is here and gone. I know I had too much to eat and drink. How about you?

Excess is a regular part of the natural order. Our bodies turn excess calories into fat cells – technically, stored energy for later use. Most excess weight, however, is simply lugged around serving unwittingly as a contributing factor to health problems. Alcohol, on the other hand, is eliminated by the body. But a morning-after dehydration headache, caused by excessive drinking, lets you know you overdid it. Long-term excessive drinking, of course, will kill you.

Excess has its consequences.

Excess, nevertheless, plays an important role in the survival process. You and I are here thanks to an excessive amount of spermatozoa, from which emerged one little victor to join forces with an ovum. Survival of the fittest and the fertilized! And not only that, some of the plants which provide food, oxygen, and beauty upon the earth produce seeds for their own reproduction numbering in excess of hundreds…

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Filed under Being and Feeling, Economical affairs, Knowledge & Wisdom, Lifestyle, Re-Blogs and Great Blogs, Religious affairs, Social affairs

Looking for the consummation of presents

When the end of the year is coming
people are looking for the consummation of presents

the sexy santa assistants were there to take a...

the sexy santa assistants were there to take a photo of you in front of the xmas tree or you could just ask them to take a photo with you and pretend that your girlfriend is a sexy santa assistant See where this picture was taken. [?] (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We are coming closer to the Winter holidays and in the down side of this globe the Summer holidays. The holidays can be an unsettling time for atheists and the Christmas holidays may be an stressing times for trinitarian Christians. Those Christians also often want to know how atheists can cope with what those Christians call the Season of the Greatest Gift on earth.

Sarah, a dog-faced atheist currently living in North Carolina, writes

Once when talking to a family member who is aware of my atheism and verbal about it, she asked: “Does it bother you when you get Jesus stuff for the holidays?” The truth, yes and no. {Holiday Shopping For Your Token Atheist Friend}

She, like many other atheists and lots of Christians, does not seem to know that all this Christmas event has nothing to do with Christianity or the real Jesus born in Bethlehem. Christmas is a pagan feast of which real Christians should abstain. But many Christians love to think about the true real Greatest Gift on earth mankind received. That was indeed the saviour or the Kristos, Jesus Christ, who was really born in 4BCE, October 17. So, we could wonder why they like to celebrate his so called birthday on the birthday of the goddess of light and on the pagan holy day for that goddess.

Therefore it is strange that as self-proclaimed resident holiday gift adviser, this Sarah gives her guiding rules on how to shop for heathens as follows:

  1. Don’t give your atheist friend anything religious.

  2. Avoid gifts that use “Christmas” or “Xmas.”

  3. Coffee is good. Atheists like coffee. {Holiday Shopping For Your Token Atheist Friend}

When we look in the shop windows we also do not see much that reminds people of the Messiah and what he has given to mankind and why we can look at him as the best gift the world ever got.

Many may say that

“The Word became flesh.”

but do not really know what this means.

A certain Chandy who is also knowing that she is been given a gift, likes to share it, but considers it impossible. she also seems to see the reason.

No one’s bothered, which is fine. People have their own choices and finally, Jesus does love them. Others possibly communicate their theology but I can’t. And in some senses I wish I hadn’t learnt it. {Despairing Resonance}

This December she writes

Blood, bodily fluids, wordless crying are at the heart of Christmas story. It is icky, joyful and fills the senses. {Christmas fragment 1}

When we carefully look around everything turns around getting presents and just making lots of fun. Naturally nothing is wrong with making lots of fun and giving each other presents. Lovely. But to have stress about it?! And to say it is all for Jesus?!

Chandy at WordPress continues

It is icky, joyful and fills the senses.

This is why with so many objects criss crossing the planet it fulfils part of the spirit of Christmas. The handling of the card, the wrapping of the gift, the prising of the plastic, the eating of food, the drinking of wine affirms our bodily humanity; for God affirms bodily humanity in its messy state by taking on a breathing, weeing, gurgling body. {Christmas fragment 1}

Looking at mankind they all seem to look for their luck in stuff.

Everyone seeking love, joy, hope, peace, contentment and seeking to find it in stuff. Anyone who has an eternal perspective sees how silly this is – chasing after wealth and popularity and power. Still the pull of this world is strong. Smell that cheddar? Don’t worry about that spring loaded wire it’s sitting on. “People who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction.”  Wealth isn’t the issue.  Idolatry – love of money is.  (But sometimes wealth breeds the other.) {Contented Consumer?}

Even those Christians who say this is the season of peace are arguing that all those refugees better stayed in their country and would leave our developed society on its own, they not coming to take away some food and quality of life. They forget they themselves never brought anything themselves into this life at start, but got everything given to them, life, education, edible plants, sunshine, rain, the earth. Man is so selfish he thinks he has done it all by himself and that everything belongs to himself. To share it with others is difficult. For that reason such a gift season may not be so bad, because than people have to provide something for somebody else, and they have to spend something from their own money for it, which is not so easy for them. but many have fallen in the trap of the ” tyranny of expectations surrounding this so called Holy Day”.

Those who belong to the wealthy better should think about those who have less. This time of gifts should bring them to think about what gifts we all get in our life. Scripture is not against products that make life better for those who produce them.  It is also not against consuming products. but it warns us how we use our money and warns us about the attitude we can take or have to take with the things we can enjoy.

Scriptures does not say at all that luxury would not be allowed, but it gives us an indication that we should be willing to share with others. The Bible tells us the “Love of money” is wrong and corrupting.

Studies show that those with a lot of it are more narcissistic and less generous.  Our tendency is to think – that’s people who are richer than we are – They are self-absorbed and greedy. {Woes and Watch-out Warnings}

In the West we have become a “Consumer driven society”

Buy, buy, buy. Get, get, get. We’re all buyers; consumers of stuff. There are things we need and things we want. Separating our wants from our needs has become more difficult with the growing ideology of consumerism. The encouragement of acquiring more and more stuff at an increasing pace continues to change our society. The “one who dies with the most toys” philosophy has propelled the age of consumerism as our appetite to acquire things has skyrocketed. I wonder though if this is healthy for our society? {Top Risks for a Consumer-Driven Society}

The Spirit of Christmas (short film)

The Spirit of Christmas (short film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The way people want to consume is changing and shopping becomes for some less a social activity, but a lonesome internet action, not really interested were it comes form at what cost, as long as he can get it the cheapest.

Senior Vice President of Marketing and Sales for Distinguished Programs Joseph DeRosa warns

So as we enter the Holiday season – whatever Holiday you celebrate – think about your own gift giving habits. If it’s cheaper online, I get it. That’s simply being fiscally responsible. But if it’s not, I’d challenge you to go to the store, walk the aisles, smile at others and say hello. Let’s not slip so far into our rabbit holes that we forget that the difference between living and being alive is the amount of interaction and experience we have with one another. Would any of us really want to be walking around this planet alone? Would that be alive? Not me. Make the choice to live alive. Connect with someone. Today.

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Preceding

Family happiness and little things we do

Halloween is Satanist Christmas

He who beams never walks in the dark

The Evolution Of Passover–Past To Present

Welcome to Easter 2014

Next: One can buy a lot in the supermarket, but not hope

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Additional reading

  1. A season of gifts
  2. Holidays, holy days and traditions
  3. Focus on outward appearances
  4. Irminsul, dies natalis solis invicti, birthday of light, Christmas and Saturnalia
  5. Christmas, Saturnalia and the birth of Jesus
  6. Jesus begotten Son of God #1 Christmas and Christians
  7. Jesus begotten Son of God #2 Christmas and pagan rites
  8. Objects around the birth and death of Jesus
  9. Christmas in Ancient Rome (AKA Saturnalia)
  10. Wishing lanterns and Christmas
  11. The imaginational war against Christmas
  12. Hanukkahgiving or Thanksgivvukah
  13. Thanksgivukkah and Advent
  14. Holiday tolerance
  15. Exodus 9: Liar Liar
  16. Autumn traditions for 2014 – 1: Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet
  17. Traditionalists Vow to Fight Charges of Racism in Netherlands
  18. Geert Wilders wants mandatory blackface at Dutch festival
  19. Being Religious and Spiritual 8 Spiritual, Mystic and not or well religious
  20. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  21. Christian values, traditions, real or false stories, pure and upright belief
  22. I believe in you…
  23. Ember and light the ransomed of Jehovah
  24. Why we do not keep to a Sabbath or a Sunday or Lord’s Day #3 Days to be kept holy or set apart
  25. Not bounded by labels but liberated in Christ
  26. Nativity scene of the birth of the Bill of Rights
  27. Brits believe Santa present at Jesus’ birth, new poll reveals
  28. Sancta Claus is not God
  29. What Jesus sang
  30. Merry Christmas with the King of Kings
  31. Weekly World Watch 12th – 18th Sept 2010‏
  32. Christmas trees
  33. I Only hope we find GOD again before it is too late !
  34. God’s Special Gift
  35. What do you want for Christmas
  36. Speedy Christmas!
  37. Don’t Envy the World

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Further related postings on the net

  1. Christmas Twinkle and Festive Helsinki City Lights
  2. You Lived Your Best Life If You Had These ’90s Toys When You Were A Kid
  3. 27 of the best 90s toys that prove Christmas used to be way better
  4. Five holiday light displays you can’t miss this holiday season
  5. The North Poles’ Secret by Zoey Hart #CinnamonTreats
  6. Bending History
  7. Advent No.12: Gifting guide for friends…
  8. 🎶 Seventh day of Christmas 🎶
  9. Joy to the World
  10. Advent Day 12
  11. 12 Days Of Christmas… ‘This Time Of Year’ by Only Girl
  12. The Twelve Days of Christmas: Preparing Families for Emergencies
  13. BoyChild Chooses: The 12 Reviews of Christmas, Day 12–McDuff’s Christmas
  14. Bear With Me While I Wait For Santa
  15. Christmas Gift Guide
  16. It’s beginning to look a lot like…
  17. How to find the Christmas gifts for your friends and family?
  18. Transcending the Financial Border
  19. Prepare ye the way of the Lord
  20. He Loves to Hear You Pray
  21. Christmas prayers for children
  22. Christmas 31 Day Scripture Writing Plan: Day 12 – Malachi 3:1-3
  23. Advent 2015 – Day 14 – Perfect Peace
  24. Holidays for Earth Part II
  25. New Bond Street – Xmas 2015
  26. The Culture of Excesses- Losing Humanity
  27. The foolish man

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9 Comments

Filed under Economical affairs, Lifestyle, Religious affairs, Social affairs, Welfare matters

Of old and new ideas to sustain power and to feel good by loving to be connected and worship something

Of old, people have been looking for reasons of their existence and how everything came into being. Because there were and are so many things people could not understand they created themselves super beings, called gods, overlooking to go beyond a manifold of gods finding the Most High Supreme Being.

English: religion - composition old bible book...

Religion – composition old bible books from Hungary (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Creating mysterious stories could sooth many minds. Many creation myths can be found and other gods than creating ones were also thought of by man. Around the worshipping of those gods came into existence that what we call religion. For many those religions gave some answers, although somewhat inaccurately and told people how to live and work, and they provided for many a nice and easy way for getting control over people by the stories they fabricated. As such we also find in Christendom leaders who love to control their God-fearing population.

Throughout history we can see that the worship system was used to control people and to create reasons to go against other people. Though to say

“religion has been the leading cause of war and death throughout human history.” {What has religion done for us?}

would be taking it to far. (Much more than one bridge too far.)

In this time several people also get a wrong idea about certain old books. There are even people who think the bible is only 2000 years old, like ‘counter creationist‘ gives the impression in his article “Why? just why?”. The biggest part of the book he is referring to (The Bible) is much older then the two millennia. He also seems to be very confused about the Nazarene man spoken in those books. He considers that man to be a god-man according to those books, which is contrary to everything what is written in that Book of books and Best-seller of all times, about that person, though he is called son of man and son of God. But “son of God” is totally something different than “god son“. We do agree many made that man into their god and made statues of him, where in front of them, they bow before and in certain countries is even food and clothes given to him and to his mother-statues in little chapels along the road.

In certain countries it even has become very dangerously around those religions; In that Old Book of books this is even prophesied. In it we can find it as one of the signs that the third and last World War will be coming. There is written that earthquakes and tsunamis would be more frequent and after children would rise against their parents, religions would come up against each other. Clearly we can see many religions fighting against other religions and in each religious group we can find many subdivisions which go against each other and even are prepared to kill for it.

1 September 2010. During Middle East negotiati...

1 September 2010. During Middle East negotiations, Mubarak and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel look at their watches to see if it is officially sunset; during Ramadan, Muslims fast until sunset. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

To say it is religion that causes the killing is totally wrong and goes beyond reality. To give one example, just for one country because we know those official cyphers, in Belgium in 2013 there were about 756 terrorist attacks. Of them there were only three by religious people. Of those religious people there was only one attack made on religious grounds, by a fundamentalist (by coincidence a Muslim fundamentalist). This means the majority was made on non-religious grounds by non-religious or atheist people. To generalise that all atheist would be terrorists would be the most stupid fault. Though we see such a thing happening in several countries, like in the United States where everybody shouts that all Muslims are terrorist and bad people.  In the same state we can see that certain people go very strongly, aggressively against people of an other faith or who do not believe the same than they. Several openly agree that they are willing to kill the other if he does not convert. The same aggression and oppression of threat for converting we see in the Middle East, but than for the Muslims.

This growing attitude

“when people disagree you have to either convert or kill them”

is an aggressive approach what led to many their wars, but when we look more closely we see that the main reason of such wars we more to have the power over people, to gain more wealth for oneself, to have a much bigger area or to create a bigger state. We can see that by the present fundamentalist groups like ISIS who do not mind burning symbols which by most Muslims are considered holy, like the Quran or mosques. Though they may not be burned ISIS does not hesitate to put fire on them.

Very few religions say: “you can believe what you want, but I think this is true”. No, they say: “believe what I do or burn for eternity.” This approach allowed rulers to keep control over their population, using the fear of punishment and the assertion that they are right and no-one else is. {What has religion done for us?}

Too many people forget that often religion is just an excuse to bring problems to others or to press ones own power unto others.

The times when people are shunned from families and relationships for having different beliefs. {What has religion done for us?}

is not what cause the majority of problems in relationships with family members or friends. Most problems of bringing cuts in family relations have nothing to do with religion. Just have a look at the many divorces. Where would you think you can find most divorces? In religious families or in families where there is no interest in God or in ethical laws? In what sort of schools can you find most problematic asocial behaviour? In religious or in non-religious state schools?

We can agree that the same as by atheist many may have found delusion, oppression and false hope in that what they believed. And please do not forget that atheists also believe a lot of things. And also by atheists there is much discussion and fighting going on about what they believe. Just have  a look at how atheists professors and scientist often go in heavy debates. In Belgium we can see that very much in the ones who believe in alternative medicine and those who say that is just bullshit and rubbish. Last week we could also see two medical groups in a television documentary about the illness of Lyme going against each other and calling each other names (really not worthy for decent educated people). Very often we can find ignorance by lots of people and mostly by persons who do not want to believe in a Higher Supreme Being. Today we also must say most people are not at all interested in the Most High God of gods and have their other gods from the sports world (mainly football and soccer) and from the moving pictures and television screen. But most of all the new god has become that more tiny screen which brings a majority of youngsters on their own created island of isolation. When you look around on the streets, you can see them walking by thousands, with their heads down and fingers (mostly dumb) going crazily fast from one side to the other of that little electronic tool.

Stephen Shaw captured it so nicely in one of his photographs and his article Format 15 were he writes:

Life is a constant war we are doomed to lose . Thus we worship  science and technology and strive towards new ways of enjoying and prolonging our life ( Cryogenics ,  vitamins , health and fitness , resurrection and downloading our souls ). The mobile phone is like the new Deity people staring into its virtual light on a daily basis like they are memorised by a newfound idol. all reality and dullness of their real life is forgotten as they live their ideal fantasy life through this ever satisfying god who grants their every wish , albeit it be only in their minds. {Format 15}

As usual we can find people looking for ways to escape the earth-life reality and to create for themselves a better life than they really have; As such you may find many presenting themselves very differently on Facebook than they really are in really life. though many want to find more friends at the social media they also seem to get the same illusion like the other religions and finding themselves even more isolated and lonely than those believers in The God and who have their church community.

Many today are also calling out

The Era of the Gods is Over. Face the Truth. Not even the Gods are without Flaws.

Throughout history people have looked for finding reasons of life, ways of life, ways how to behave, ways to construct a better world. Many seem to forget that in those systems there were many irreligious people presenting their system as the best one and forcing it on others; For those who did have to seem to have forgotten the Marxist and Leninist systems, we shall ask them to look into the history books. Lots of people did not survive communist camps, but today there are still enough people form the communist countries alive, so please do talk with them and question about the non-religous solution which was offered as the solution.

Funny thing is that most strong voices against religion come from the United States of America who have a horrible fear of everything that may smell even a little bit of socialism or communism, though those system do not have to be as based as they believe. You see there too we come at the word belief and faith. Those American atheist have also their faith in certain systems. they too seem to forget that they “believe” in other things than gods or the God.

The Three Creators with “The big Struggle of Creation!” thinks:

Greeks (k)*new, where our leaders meet and find solutions. They also found good names we all admire. (* k added by us)

What they did not figure out, is why these individuals became gods. It’s because, they are people with a strong will, fighting for the Good Side. They hate fighting, but have to do it, because there is no other way to stop evil. They are willing to learn from good and evil and keep on learning and fighting, until they find solutions, until they find better ways. They are not perfect, they do not even try to be perfect. They simply know what’s good. {The Era of the Gods is Over. Face the Truth. Not even the Gods are without Flaws.}

If we look at the many gods of today, like George ClooneyTom Hanks, Johnny Depp, Sean Penn, Tom Cruise, Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, just to name only of the most internationally known American actors, we can see that the media plays a very important role in creating idols and would be alike and figures were people want to dream of and have envy of. they are not any more good ones and they not have a good attitude. The opposite can be said of the stars of today. They have not what we would call an exemplary attitude, but do not mind to have an abundant life without borders and without scruples.

People of today prefer the free inhibited lifestyle were sex and fun comes in the first place and have nothing to do any more with real love. Lots of youngsters brag about the many girls they could get into their bed. Women just have become a trophy for many, but idem dito men for women, who have liberated themselves and even got solutions to have kids without the intervention of a male being, which many do not need any more.

People want to play for god themselves instead of having them be guided by something, somewhat or Some One Who they do not understand. Problem is that most people do not want to invest time to come to understand the Most High Being, Maker of haven and earth. they are fast to blame Him for everything what goes wrong in life, but to see all the good things around them and to accept God made them possible is too much asked.

Non-physical relationships can be a real pain to figure out. There aren’t any self-help books on them, and trying to get a communication style that works well can be challenging to say the least. {Gods: More Like People Than You Think}

writes Devo on Twisted Rope whose experiences have shown him that the gods man make themselves are a lot more like humans than we typically want to admit that they are. But that is just because man wants the gods to be like him and have to face the same difficulties like him.

Yeah, they may have more power in some ways than we do. But at the end of the day, they seem to have a lot of the same basic attributes that we do, and I feel like we should be taking a closer look at that. {Gods: More Like People Than You Think}

Lots of people do not feel happy because in the big world of many gods, idols, atheists, non-conformists, egoists, they feel lost and can not find any connection with their inner being nor with some outer-being. This makes them floating in the welter.

All created in the image of God have the possibility to hear the inner voice and to hear the calling of the Most High. We only have to open our ear.

And those atheists who think it are the religious who would make most war should reconsider who are the real religious people and what people would like to do when they have certain ethics and rules for a way of living. Be it Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, Christians, Jews or religious of an other faith, when they are serious faithful we shall see they mostly will have a more peaceful character than those who do not want to keep to certain ethics. Luckilly by the atheists we may find also a lot of humanists and people who do find it very important to have human ethical rules and to keep to those ethic laws. They too shall try to avoid warmaking and propagate peace.

English: Copied from http://en.wikipedia.org/w...

Worldreligions (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Please do find additional reading:

  1. Newsweek asks: How ignorant are you?
  2. Atheists, deists, and sleepers
  3. Being Religious and Spiritual 2 Religiosity and spiritual life
  4. Being Religious and Spiritual 6 Romantici, utopists and transcendentalists
  5. Epicurus’ Problem of Evil
  6. Economics and Degradation
  7. Evil Never Ceases
  8. Caricaturing and disapproving sceptics, religious critics and figured out ethics
  9. Subcutaneous power for humanity 5 Loneliness, Virtual and real friends
  10. A world with or without religion
  11. , Being Charlie 2, Being Charlie 3, Being Charlie 4, Being Charlie 5, Being Charlie 6,Being Charlie 7, Being Charlie 8, Being Charlie 9, Being Charlie 10, Being Charlie 11
  12. It’s beautiful to watch the spread of #JeSuisCharlie across the world,Where do we stand in the backdrop of Charlie Hebdo Massacre ?, Charlie Hebdo, offensive satire and why ‘Freedom of Speech’ needs more discussion
  13. Faith because of the questions
  14. Religion, fundamentalism and murder
  15. Religion…..why the competition?
  16. Shariah and child abuse – Is there a connection?
  17. Why is it that Christians don’t understand Muslims and Muslims do not understand Christians?
  18. Apartheid or Apartness #1 Suppression and Apartness
  19. Leaving the Old World to find better pastures
  20. Built on or Belonging to Jewish tradition #2 Roots of Jewishness
  21. Built on or Belonging to Jewish tradition #3 Of the earth or of God
  22. Collision course of socialist and capitalist worlds
  23. Robertson: God says U.S. will accept socialism
  24. Christian fundamentalism as dangerous as Muslim fundamentalism
  25. The imaginational war against Christmas
  26. Autumn traditions for 2014 – 4 Blasphemy and ridiculing faith in God
  27. Still Hope though Power generating long train of abuses
  28. Europe and much-vaunted bastions of multiculturalism becoming No God Zones
  29. 112314 – A Peculiar People
  30. Maker of most popular weapon asks for repentance
  31. Science, belief, denial and visibility 2
  32. Science, 2013 word of the year, and Scepticism
  33. 2013 Lifestyle, religiously and spiritualy
  34. 2014 Religion
  35. Not many coming out with their community name
  36. Truth, doubt or blindness
  37. A Church without Faith!
  38. Inequality, Injustice, Sustainability and the Free World Charter
  39. Re-Creating Community
  40. Daniel Guérin: Three Problems of the Revolution (1958)
  41. The trigger of Aurora shooting
  42. Intellectual servility a curse of mankind

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  • Denial (todayssigns.wordpress.com)
    If you wonder about the importance of evidence to secular people, think about this: A whole world full of people waits out there, lurking to pull all kinds of shenanigans to get you converted to strange beliefs and practices they uphold, or to part with your money, without any kind of demonstrable evidence. The best they have is stories some unknown talebearer told that another unknown person wrote down. You get to choose from actual thousands of those doctrines in all their variations, but most people settle for the one chosen by their family in ages past.
    +
    Once a person attaches dissatisfaction with faith-based beliefs to failure of their messengers to be convincing, and then sees how that failure stems from absence of any kind of real evidence, the importance of evidence becomes clear and the search for evidence-based beliefs begins.
  • An imaginary interview with a Christian… (nytimes.com)
    Honestly, since so many of my friends aren’t religious or conservative, I’ve always taken for granted that being part of their lives meant accompanying them through life choices that belong to a different worldview than my own. (And I’m very grateful that they’ve accompanied and tolerated me.) My family has its share of divorces and second marriages; my friends’ romantic paths are varied; my closest friend from high school just exchanged vows with his longtime boyfriend. I’m going to a party celebrating them next month. If they asked me, I’d bring a cake.
  • Acts of Terrorism Very Rare Among US Muslims, Study Finds (voanews.com)
    After the September 11, 2001, attacks and more recent efforts by militant groups in Muslim countries to radicalize and recruit Muslims living in the West, there have been fears among U.S. authorities and the public of large-scale terrorist strikes on home soil.Such fears, however, have been largely unfounded, because Muslims in the United States have overwhelmingly ignored the calls to militancy, said Charles Kurzman, a researcher with the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security in North Carolina.

    “We have not seen mass radicalization of Muslims in the United States,” he said. “That’s worth taking note of.”
    +

    Although comparisons are tricky, other studies suggest that right-wing violence claimed more lives in the U.S. than terrorism committed in the name of Islam.

    There have been serious attacks, of course.  The 2009 shooting at the Fort Hood military base in Texas and the 2013 bombing of the Boston Marathon were carried out by Muslim U.S. citizens who claimed to be avenging American military actions overseas.

    And there were also failed attempts that came close to causing massive loss of life, but the study shows that these attempts were “rare and unsophisticated.”  In 2010, an SUV with propane and gasoline canisters and fireworks, parked in New York’s Times Square, detonated but did not explode. The driver of the car, Faisal Shahzad, had received bombmaking training in Pakistan’s Waziristan region.

    Authorities say large-scale attacks have been prevented because of the extensive security apparatus that was set up nationwide in response to the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in 2001.

  • Boston Marathon bomber wanted to terrorize US (rep-am.com)
    As he planted a backpack containing a bomb near a group of children, Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev made a coldblooded decision aimed at punishing America for its wars in Muslim countries, a federal prosecutor told the jury during closing arguments Monday at Tsarnaev’s death penalty trial.
  • Muslim Coalition Denounces ISIS for Steven Sotloff’s Murder (pr.com)
    The US Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO), a coalition of several national and local organizations, today condemns a terrorist and anti-Islam group for a video purporting to show the gruesome beheading of American journalist Steven Sotloff.The murder of innocent civilians is immoral, illegal, barbaric, and in direct contravention of the major tenets of Islam and Islamic law. No cause or purpose is served by this heinous act other than a clear manifestation of this group’s cruel and un-Islamic nature.

    “We are outraged that we once again find ourselves in the position to condemn this organization that calls itself the ‘Islamic State’, also known by the acronym ISIS, for killing Mr. Sotloff, especially so soon after its members murdered journalist James Foley,” said Oussama Jammal, USCMO secretary general.

  • DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson remarks on the Quran’s ‘quintessentially American values’ (freenorthcarolina.blogspot.com)
    Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson was honored by the Muslim Public Affairs Council last week for “for his dedication to and personal investment in engagement with Muslim American communities across the United States” and this happened during his post-award remarks:
  • Is an independent Kurdistan still possible? (blogs.timesofisrael.com)
    We in the west might have missed a golden opportunity  to back and help establish a new democratic state in the Middle East with strong ties to America and European democracies. It could be a Muslim state set up along the same lines as Israel. Both peoples have had similar experiences with the larger Sunni and Shia populations that inhabit the Muslim world.
  • Construction disputes taking longer to resolve (resene.com.au)
    Internationally, construction disputes are taking longer to resolve, according to UK-based consultancy company EC Harris.The company released the results from a study at the end of last month (May 24), which compared the trend across different regions around the world including the United Kingdom, Europe, the United States, the Middle East and Asia.

    Titled ‘Global construction disputes: A Longer Resolution’, the report was the third of its kind undertaken by the London consultancy with research help from ARCADIS Construction Claims Consulting.

    One of the main findings showed that construction disputes in 2012 averaged more than a year in length, which is 20 per cent longer than those in 2011.

    The average length of a dispute was 12.8 months, which was up from 10.6 months in 2011, and 9.1 months in 2010.

  • The Wider Ramifications of the Ukraine Crisis (payvand.com)
    The Ukraine crisis, as well as the broader deterioration in relations between Russia on the one hand and America and Europe on the other, is not taking place in a void. Many momentous events are happening simultaneously, including growing conflict in the Middle East and elsewhere in the Muslim World, increased tension between China and several of its neighbors, and the rise of India and certain other non-Western nations. The reaction of the world outside the West and the former Soviet Union to the crisis in Ukraine has been remarkably evasive. Although Syria and Venezuela have expressed their support for Russia, many other non-Western states have adopted a more neutral stance. Several Middle Eastern governments actually seem impatient with the Ukrainian crisis for diverting Western attention from the severe crises of their region. This issue just is not as significant for them as it is for countries closer to the conflict zone. Nor do they have any desire to get dragged into it.

    Nevertheless, the Ukraine crisis may have wider ramifications. In mid-2014, Russia reacted to European moves to reduce petroleum imports from Russia by signing a deal to redirect petroleum exports to China-reportedly at a very low price. The longer the crisis between Russia and the West continues, the more likely are European-Russian economic ties likely to fray and Russia to become increasingly dependent economically-and perhaps politically-on China.

  • Recognizing and promoting religious bigots against Islam and Muslims (angryarab.blogspot.com)
    It is just amazing how much Zionist US media love to promote anyone who harbors hatred for Islam and Muslims, qua Muslims.  If this woman says about Jews what she says about Muslims, she would be shunned and people would picket all her speaking engagements.  But she speaks against Islam (as a religion) and against Muslims, and that does not in any way cause people to condemn her bigotry.
  • Christophobia, a gift to the Church?
    I believe many pockets of Christianity throughout America today still suffers from this illusion. But there is hope today in the very movement that many take as a grave attack on the faith. The modern day power grab for control over the culture has come dressed in the garb of Christophobia, i.e., that irrational and pervasive fear that if Christians have a voice in the public square the Constitution will burst into flames, civil liberties vanish, women made slaves, gays imprisoned, sea levels will rise, and 7-day young earth creationism will reign in every science classroom.
    +
    The Christophobia of our age is an invitation—no, a demand!—that all who would claim the name ‘Christian’ be truly conformed to the image of Christ. Those who follow Christ in this world were given the daunting promise by Christ Himself that they would suffer persecution in this world. It was a badge of honor for those apostles, prophets, martyrs and saints who came before and who faced down the challenge of their oppressors and won their own souls.

17 Comments

Filed under Lifestyle, Religious affairs

God’s wisdom for the believer brings peace

On the 22nd of April the Christadelphians in Belgium met in their tiny congregation. They do not have a mega-church. They do not have their own special church building. They would love to see more people in their congregation, but they know that we are living in a time where not many are interested in God.

In the darkness and the void of the world

CIMG2092Today we may find many people who would love to Get out of the dark corners of this world, and who would love to find solutions to live easier. Many do not come to see that solutions where already provided long ago. They should not stay with their depression, pain and suffering. Already long ago there was a man who was willing to take all the trouble of the world onto him. He was willing to bear all the pain of mankind and to face the death and take it with him to destroy it for ever. It looks impossible and many centuries people who could see the Works of the Divine Creator even doubted about the possibilities put in front of them. They had put lambs-blood on the doorposts, had seen that their children were saved, saw high walls of water and a road where they could pass but the soldiers of the Pharaoh were swallowed by the water, and still they doubted many times. How about us who have no such wonders in our days of our life?

Having to see what should be the centre of life

Moses with the tablets of the Ten Commandments...

Moses with the tablets of the Ten Commandments, painting by Rembrandt (1659) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The previous days we have looked how God assembled Him a people and how He took care of them in difficult times. God does not change, so also today He shall be there with those who are interested in Him. He shall guide them and help them when necessary.

As we meet with the people of God assembled to hear Moses as they prepare to move into the land we see simply and clearly what should have been the centre of their lives.

Forty years before this time, the previous generation had been given the law at Mount Sinai, Moses reminded them that they had actually heard the voice of God and were filled with such fear that they required Moses to act between them and God. At this time they were reminded that it was by the power of God that they had escaped from Egypt, and that He had given them a law and commandments that were quite different from those of the Egyptians. It was a law that would set them apart from all the nations surrounding them, it was a law that would give them peace in the land that they had been promised and which they would shortly enter, it was a law based on ten short commandments.

Commandments of the Maker of the Universe

Moses with the Ten Commandments

Moses with the Ten Commandments (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But even these commandments could be powerfully summarised, as Jesus did when questioned, into two commandments. When we behave ourselves good loving all those around us with all are heart we would be good on our way, because all people who walk around on this earth are allowed to be here by the Divine Creator. Without His allowance they would not be here living. So we should respect them as creatures of the Most High and we should respect his choice and love Him for all the things He provides for them and us.

Matthew 22:36-39 The Scriptures 1998+  (36)  “Teacher, which is the great command in the Torah?”  (37)  And יהושע {Jeshua} said to him, “ ‘You shall love יהוה {Jehovah} your Elohim with all your heart, and with all your being, and with all your mind.’  (38)  “This is the first and great command.  (39)  “And the second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’

Getting out of bondage

In the reading of last Tuesday service we listened to the Words of God as presented in the Holy Scriptures in the Book of Deuteronomy, chapter 5.

Moses with the Ten Commandments

Moses with the Ten Commandments

In that chapter we could read how Moses called to all Israel to hear the statutes and the ordinances which God had given him. They were given so that they might learn them, and observe to do them.  It was in Horeb that YHWH יהוה {Jehovah} our Elohim and Highest of all made a covenant with those Israelites.  It was Moses who stood between God and them at that time, to show them the words of Jehovah, for they were afraid because of the fire.

Deuteronomy 5:5-6 The Scriptures 1998+  (5)  “I stood between יהוה {Jehovah} and you at that time, to declare to you the Word of יהוה {Jehovah} – for you were afraid because of the fire, and you did not go up the mountain – saying:(6) ‘I am יהוה {Jehovah} your Elohim who brought you out of the land of Mitsrayim, out of the house of bondage.

Serving only One

From the Holy One Who brought them out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage they got to know that He that brought salvation to them wanted them to have no other gods before Him.  They were asked not to make any engraved image for themselves, or any likeness of what is in heaven above, or what is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth, to bow down to them, nor to serve them; for He , YHWH, the Creator of heaven and earth should be their God.

Deuteronomy 5:8-11 The Scriptures 1998+  (8)  ‘You do not make for yourself a carved image, any likeness of which is in the heavens above, or which is in the earth beneath, or which is in the waters under the earth,  (9)  you do not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, יהוה {Jehovah} your Elohim, am a jealous Ěl, visiting the crookedness of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me,  (10)  but showing kindness to thousands, to those who love Me and guard My commands.  (11)  ‘You do not bring{1} the Name of יהוה {Jehovah} your Elohim to naught, for יהוה {Jehovah} does not leave him unpunished who brings His Name to naught. {Footnote: 1Or lift up, or take.}

Not to make an engraved image for yourself, nor any likeness of anything that is in heaven above

c. 1435

Carved images in front people bow. – c. 1435 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Through the ages many, also those who called themselves Christian, have forgotten that rule, not to make any pictures of any god to worship in front. In many churches today we can see pictures and statues and even priests walking around in procession with shrines and books, to which people bow down and make crosses. What do they think the jealous God of the Old Testament would feel like, seeing those things which are an abomination in His eyes? God assured His people that He would look down to the earth and see how people love or hate Him. According their position against the Most High He would treat them. He would visit the iniquity of the fathers on the children, to the third and on the fourth generation of those who hate Him and would show loving kindness to thousands of those who love Him and keep His commandments.We should not take the name of YHWH יהוה {Jehovah} in vain, for He will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain. Therefore also those who do not believe in God, should not find any reason to use God His Name. We too have to remember that god His people were a servant in the land of Egypt, and יהוה {Jehovah} our God brought them out of there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm. They had as an assembly on the mountain heard out of the midst of the fire, of the cloud, and of the thick darkness, with a great voice. We to can hear that Voice of God when we are willing to find God. Like He let His Voice come out of the the midst of the darkness, we to shall be able to hear Him is ourselves when we open our heart to Him.From the Old Book of books we should come to know all the wonders God has done for those who want to follow Him. In lots of the mega churches we can find around the world not much time is spent in the Unread bestseller where the Words of God are presented to all those who want to read. But many may prefer to Look to the East and the West for Truth and try to find answers in books written by people like them. They overlook the glory and the greatness which God has shown unto the world. Not many today want to hear the Voice of God. God made the promise that in case people would fear Him and would keep His commandments always, it might be well with them, and with their children forever!

Deuteronomy 5:28-33 The Scriptures 1998+  (28)  “And יהוה {Jehovah} heard the voice of your words when you spoke to me, and יהוה {Jehovah} said to me, ‘I have heard the voice of the words of this people which they have spoken to you. They have done well in all that they have spoken.  (29)  ‘Oh, that they had such a heart in them, to fear Me and to guard all My commands always, so that it might be well with them and with their children forever!  (30)  ‘Go, say to them, “Return to your tents.”  (31)  ‘But you, stand here by Me, and let Me speak to you all the commands, and the laws, and the right-rulings which you are to teach them. And they shall do them in the land which I am giving them to possess.’  (32)  “And you shall guard to do as יהוה {Jehovah} your Elohim has commanded you – do not turn aside, to the right or to the left.  (33)  “Walk in all the way which יהוה {Jehovah} your Elohim has commanded you, so that you live and it be well with you. And you shall prolong your days in the land which you possess.

Churchgoers and priests or ministers

Bible as a compass for life

Bible as a compass for life

A few in this world may go to church-buildings, and in some countries may go to mega churches, but are they doing the Will of God? How much do they like to have an Inerrant Word of God something to say in their life? Several people may Challenge saying ” Whose word and go into discussions about the (non) value of the Holy Scriptures, or what we would call The Inspired Word, in our society. Most of the people do not believe in the Eternal Word that tells everything. The priests of those mega churches should go tell the people to return to their houses and to go into their small room to meet the Most High. They should tell about the commandment, and the statutes, and the ordinances, which God has given to the world. They should keep them and should teach them, that they may do them in the land which God has provided for them to reside until the second coming of the Messiah.

Those priests and men in charge of houses of worship should give the good example. But we hear many bad things about their behaviour. Though they should have to know that the men of God shall observe to do therefore as Jehovah their God has commanded them, not turning aside to the right hand or to the left.  When we shall walk in all the way which the Elohim Hashem Jehovah our God has commanded us, that we may live, and that it may be well with us, and that we may prolong our days in the land which we shall be given, we should not worry to much.

Not to worry to prolong your days

As recorded for us in Deuteronomy

יהוה {Jehovah} our Elohim has shown us His esteem and His greatness, and we have heard His voice from the midst of the fire. Today we have seen that Elohim speaks with man – and he lives! (Deuteronomy 5:24 The Scriptures 1998+ )

Also to us the glory of the Most High God is shown to us. We too can hear His Voice and having such wonderful experience, like the faithful ones dedicated themselves to follow the words written for us in (v33)

Deuteronomy 5:33 The Scriptures 1998+  (33)  “Walk in all the way which יהוה {Jehovah} your Elohim has commanded you, so that you live and it be well with you. And you shall prolong your days in the land which you possess.

Do you hear God telling us “that you may live, and that it may be well with you”?

Following these commands given by their God, should have given them long life, peace and prosperity, in the land that was just over the River Jordan, the land that should have been a very special land, with God as their King. These words form the foundation of our lives of faith today.

Ecclesiastes

As the writer of this book Ecclesiastes looks around the lives of the people among whom he lives he sees the same challenge. He looks at the cycle of life and the wisdom of the world; he dedicates himself to search out the best of the world’s knowledge and comes to the conclusion

“in much wisdom is much grief, and increase in knowledge, simply increases sorrow” (Ecclesiastes 1v18).

This would all be very depressing if it were not for the conclusion of the book, which emphasises our theme,

“fear God and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man” (Ecclesiastes 12v13).

The wisdom of God brings peace to the faithful. Today many may laugh at those who say they love God. Not many people dare to say that in public. We may find a little more people who want to let others know they follow Jesus. Though it is not always sure which Jesus they are really following.  Lots of people do not want to accept what Jesus really has done. They say it is impossible for any man to do what Jesus has done. Therefore they made Jesus in their god, forgetting that there is only One True God Who is One. They also made images of him, exalting him and bowing down before the pictures and statues of the person, they claim to be God. But how then do they follow the first commandment of that One True Creator God. Christ Jesus asked his followers

Gospel of  John 17 and 18

The final verse of John 16 makes clear to us that the peace that we can enjoy in the life we have chosen to follow is “in Christ”. Jesus in his short time on earth and a very short time for his public life, has said many important words and had done many wonders or miracles. But also his words we should take at heart. From them we can learn a lot and when we shall follow them up we can already receive a lot of peace in this world.

John 16:33 The Scriptures 1998+  (33)  “These words I have spoken to you, that in Me you might have peace. In the world you have pressure, but take courage, I have overcome the world.”

The world has always gone against Jehovah God; Nothing has changed yet. The satan or adversary of God is still at work.

All those things Jesus spoke some two thousand years ago, should be useful for us to follow, and should be able to bring us peace. It is true it shall not bring straight ahead peace in our environment. In the world we too shall have tribulation, but we may be of good cheer; Jesus has overcome the world. It may not be without troubles or difficulties but we know clearly Jesus brought the Words of God to this world and explained the those words of wisdom from God, and therefore this is the way we aim to live.

Followers of Master Jesus, Being one

The amazing prayer of Jesus in John chapter 17 speaks directly to us 2000 years later, for this includes all who are his followers, not just there with him on that dreadful night, but all those down the centuries who read these words and want to be “one as we are” (v11) and “as one” in Jesus, and God his Father (v21). This is almost too wonderful for us to understand, we who are so ordinary, being included with the disciples and faithful ones between the time of the prayer and now. Jesus our Master is making it very clear in the words that he had spoken to them, and that have been written for us, that they are the words of eternal life and we have been called to that special treasure.

When we realise that the Master was within a few hours of his arrest, that mockery of trial and his dreadful death, it makes us feel very inadequate in the weakness of the lives that we live. Do not let us be discouraged however, for our God is merciful and forgiving to those of His children who come to Him in prayer truly sorry for the wrong that we do and feeling that wonderful forgiveness that only God can give through His Son.

Jesus the High Priest

And so Jesus and the eleven left the city, crossed over the brook Cedron, and went to that familiar place, the garden which Judas would know was a likely place for him to be with his disciples. So he and the guard came and after a little resistance from Peter, Jesus was arrested and his followers fled, probably to Bethany, with the exception of Peter and the other disciple “known to the high priest”; a brave move to put themselves into the centre of the opposition to the ministry of Jesus. As the trial went on we know that Peter was tested as he denied that he knew Jesus or was one of his followers, and following that we know that he wept, truly sorry for the weakness he had shown. But again we take comfort that he was forgiven and spent the rest of his life dedicated to the service of Jesus who he loved, and who loved him.

The trial went on with the Roman governor Pilate, who had no understanding at all of the accusations of the Jewish leaders, nor of the attitude of Jesus himself who made no attempt to defend himself. He was accused of being a king; treason against Rome, but he made it quite clear in the response that he did make; a teaching that we fully understand, that his kingdom was not of this world. The wisdom of God has declared that there will be a kingdom, but not at that time. In the mercy of God the time has been delayed and many more of us have come to know, understand, and believe that the kingdom of God will come to the Earth with Jesus at its head in the time God chooses.

Through the life and sacrifice of the Son of God better servants

With all these thoughts in our minds, as we began with a God given law in Sinai: the command to love God and our neighbour: the search by the wise man for wisdom, and only finding it in the wisdom of God: and the wonderful example of Jesus our Master, even in the last hours of his ministry when faced with the knowledge of his awful trial and death. In that lovely prayer he concerned himself with his followers who were with him and those throughout the ages that have followed.

Our hearts are full of thanks for all that has been made possible for us through the life and sacrifice of the Son of God. As he commanded let us remember in the bread and the wine, the love of God and His Son, that we might be better servants in the days that remain.

Times of the 21st century

File:Ifk goteborg osk.jpg

Film, television and sport-figures bring the contemporary idols and new gods. – IFK Göteborg, a swedish footballteam, celebrating a goal in a match against swedish team Örebro SK

We are living in a world in denial, where we can see lots of things happening like in the Roman times, bread and games. As in Roman times there is no fear of God before the eyes of many people living in this capitalist world. As in the Roman times the focus was on personal gain and entertainment, today people have more love for their money than they have for a partner or any other living person, let it be for some spirit they can not see nor hear. Lots having forgotten the promises which were brought by many prophets, like Abraham, Isaiah and Jesus are blinded by the wealth of this world and give much more attention to television celebrities and film-gods.

The spiritual does not say much to most people. They do not notice any more the beauty of the world. Nature does not interest them much. But they should be more aware of nature, because they are part of it, and what they do to it shall be of influence to themselves. So how they treat their environment shall be of very importance to the next generations.

Nature and its creatures

CIMG2037When those human beings in this capitalist world would give more interest to other creatures in this world (insects, plants, mammals, men and women) they would find that they could live more in unison with the plants and animals, and would have more rapport with other human beings. Submitting themselves one to another, in the fear of God, for many sounds as something ridiculous, something very absurd, but we should know that by respecting the other in this world, we shall be able to find a better place for each of them.

Faith, love and fear

Today many find it much more interesting to get more power by making others afraid of other people. The problem there is that so many have forgotten that God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind, to use to help each other, even when it would be our enemy. (2 Corinthians 7:1 ; Ephesians 5:21; 2 Timothy 1:7)

Those who love the Most High should remember the faith of Noah who, being warned by God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith. (Hebrews 11:7 )

Living in this world and Reading the Bible

It is not to late to change our attitude. It is not to late to take better notice how we can safeguard nature. It is also never too late to start reading the Bible, the infallible word of God. It is never too late to come to see what is written in it and what for treasures may be hidden in it. It is also never too late to get to see the power this Book of books may have to bring change.

In the Garden of Eden, the Creator of heaven and earth has given man the right to rule the world and to make the best of it as they can. Today we know they did not make much of it. We also do know we have to continue living in this world-system as long as Jesus Christ well come back. As long as he did not return we shall need to live in this world, which does not mean we shall have to be off this world.

We are selves do have to make choices. We do have to make up our mind what we do want to believe and whom we would like to follow. Those who made already the choice and choose to follow Jesus and his God, do know the importance of deciding “Whether it’s right in God’s eyes”. As for us Christians, there’s no question — we can’t keep quiet about what we’ve seen and heard, and should let others know what we do think. (Acts 4:19; Acts 4:20)

Not following the majority of this world

When we watch the world going its own way, we should be careful not to follow the majority of this world. It is so easy to enjoy the worldly traditions, and to say such feasts do not harm. But is it really so, that by searching for eggs in the garden and connecting them with the resurrection of Christ, we do give the right honour and to Jesus and to his heavenly Father God?

We should take our everyday, ordinary life — our sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life — and place it before God as an offering. Not blaming others for what is gone wrong in our own life, but trying to adjust our life in the ways of God. Not preferring to be popular and loving their way of living, but embracing what God wants for us and what He does for us, knowing that that is the only best thing we can do for Him, but also for ourselves and our beloved ones. (Romans 12:1)

When we face the world we should know that we do have our own responsibilities. It are we ourselves who are responsible for how our own children act or behave, as well for how those we brought up, our pupils, behave or act in the world we placed them. Or do we not realize that we had to learn from the Holy Scriptures and had to behave accordingly, giving a good example to those around us. We should have been working at our body and soul to make it such that our body could be as a sacred place, the place of the Holy Spirit. Don’t you see that you can’t live however you please, squandering what God paid such a high price for? The physical part of you is not some piece of property belonging to the spiritual part of you. (1 Corinthians 6:19)

Looking at the beacon Christ

It is not because our world may be going the wrong way that we should go wit it and land up in the darkness. We when pushed by others in the dark should see the light Christ Jesus brought in this world; We should go to that beacon and be not afraid to fall in the hands of the smugglers. We may be shipwrecked sailors, but Jesus stilled the waves and God blew the wind in the right direction. The world may consider us failures, but you do not have to feel a castaway. It is more important what you look like in the eyes of God than in the eyes or minds of people.

Because many of us have not kept to the human instincts of normal behaviour many in this world behave like it should not. Having not allowed Gods Word to come over others by our way of living, acting and teaching, we excluded the Creator of all things in the works we wanted to do. God owns the whole works, but to let God shine in our works we do have to allow Him to enter us. So we do have to take care that people can see God in and through our body.  Our firm decision should be to work from this focused centre:

“One man died for everyone. That puts everyone in the same boat”.

Christians and atheists

Us not loving those who are around us, because they do not believe the same things as we do, is not having Christ Jesus his love. He loved believers, non-believers and sinners. Christ’s love has to move us to such extremes, that we should be better doing than all those atheists and other believers doing good in this world. Thinking that a non-believer can not do any good work is wrong-thinking. We should know historical facts and also see that ages before Christ was born, also in places were there was not spoken of God, there were people who tried to do good for each other. Therefore we better put our arrogance at the doorstep and look at Christ, who was open for everybody. His love should have the first and last word in everything we do. He included everyone in his death so that everyone could also be included in his life, a resurrection life, a far better life than people ever lived on their own. (1 Corinthians 6:20;2 Corinthians 5:14 ; 2 Corinthians 5:15)

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Please do find concerned readings:

  1. Getting out of the dark corners of this world
  2. Breathing to teach
  3. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #2 Calling upon the Name of God
  4. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #1 Creator and His Prophets
  5. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #2 Instructions and Laws
  6. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #3 A voice to be taken Seriously
  7. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #4 Words in Scripture
  8. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #5 To meditate and Transform
  9. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #6 Words to feed and communicate
  10. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #4 Transitoriness #3 Rejoicing in the insistence
  11. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #2 Witnessing
  12. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #7 Prayer #5 Listening Ear
  13. God’s Blog recorded in a Book
  14. Creator and Blogger God 1 Emptiness and mouvement
  15. Creator and Blogger God 2 Image and likeness
  16. Creator and Blogger God 3 Lesson and solution
  17. Creator and Blogger God 4 Expounding voice
  18. Creator and Blogger God 5 Things to tell
  19. Creator and Blogger God 8 A Blog of a Book 2 Holy One making Scriptures Holy
  20. Bric-a-brac of the Bible
  21. Statutes given unto us
  22. God’s word…is a comfort to the one who yields to God’s will
  23. Commit your self to the trustworthy creator
  24. Man’s plans prevailed by God’s purpose
  25. Thoughts on Passover
  26. Commemorating the escape from slavery
  27. Deliverance and establishement of a theocracy
  28. Moving around looking for a homeland
  29. Passover and Liberation Theology
  30. The Evolution Of Passover–Past To Present
  31. Israel God’s people
  32. On the first day for matzah
  33. Around the feast of Unleavened Bread
  34. Shabbat Pesach service reading 2/2
  35. A new exodus and offering of a Lamb
  36. Written to recognise the Promised One
  37. The redemption of man by Christ Jesus
  38. Festival of Freedom and persecutions
  39. 14-15 Nisan and Easter
  40. Servant of his Father
  41. Servant for the truth of God
  42. Let us become nothing, and Christ everything
  43. Blinkered minds
  44. Satan the evil within
  45. This is an amazing thing
  46. Depression, Anxiety, Pressure and megachurches
  47. When discouraged facing opposition
  48. Fragments from the Book of Job #3: chapters 21-26
  49. Fragments from the Book of Job #5: chapters 32-37
  50. Words to push and pull
  51. Certainty in a troubled world
  52. Fear and protection
  53. Fear of God reason to return to Holy Scriptures
  54. A world in denial
  55. Trust God
  56. Songs of Moses and the servants of God
  57. True riches
  58. Observing the commandments and becoming doers of the Word

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  • Why I Don’t Celebrate Easter (and still love God… and still believe in the death, burial, and resurrection of Messiah) (christinachronicles.com)
    Once upon a time, Easter was adamantly NOT observed by Believers.
    In fact, Easter was observed looooong before Messiah even came to Earth…
    and it wasn’t by Believers.
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    We have been lovingly instructed by our Creator to observe the Appointed Times of the Scriptures that He put forth– which are filled with rich, beautiful meaning and foreshadows… and they are celebrations and observances that set His people apart from the rest of the world… that we may be a Light to the nations.
    These remembrances and rehearsals were instituted and blessed by YHVH (the LORD) Himself and are for ALL of Israel (Israel = His set-apart people that Believe and are in Covenant with Him).
    Speak to the children of Yisra’ĕl, and say to them, ‘The appointed times of יהוה (YHVH), which you are to proclaim as set-apart gatherings, My appointed times, are these:” – Leviticus 23:2
    (See also: Lev. 23; Ex. 12:14,17,24; 13:6; Deut. 16; etc…)
  • The Law of God vs. The Law of Moses (faithgracetorah.net)
    it is very clear here that it was YHWH who gave us the Law of Moses.
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    Moses was the chosen vessel for Yah to bring forth his instructions; this is truly a beautiful Remez of Messiah’s role as the right arm of Yah!
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    As the prophet like Moses, Y’shua came to fully teach the law of YHWH. We see the pattern of Moses repeated in Y’shua! Y’shua was anointed to come and as the right arm of Yah fully taught and practiced the Law perfectly!
  • His name… (mylife4yah.wordpress.com)
    I went through life comfortable calling Yahweh the titles that replace His name in the Bible. I found out that His name is Yahweh through the dictionary in the back of my Bible. Once I knew His name I decided to use it and I have been blessed ever since. The choice is yours but I feel closer to Him when I use His name. Here are some scriptures that prove His name is
    important:
  • Week 15: Friday – The Great I am (bolmdevotional.wordpress.com)
    In Shakespeare’s Hamlet he asked, “What’s in a name?” as if a person’s given name is wholly unimportant. A name can be significant in knowing about someone’s history and identity. Have you ever asked your parents how they came up with your name? Did you ever search your name on the Web and see what it means?

    Even the names that we see in the scripture were not given by accident rather it had meaning and purpose. When God gives a name to a person it usually signifies character, ability or mission. For instance, John Piper notes, “Adam names his wife Eve, because she is mother of all the living (Genesis 3:20). God changes Abram’s name to Abraham to show that he had made him the father of many nations (Genesis 17:5). God changed Sarai’s name to Sarah (Genesis 17:15). He changed Jacob’s name to Israel (Genesis 32:28).
    And when the Son of God came into the world, his name was not left to chance: “You shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”

  • God about His name “יהוה” (christadelphians.wordpress.com)
    In the Holy Scriptures we are able to find what God says about His Name: And Elohim spoke to Mosheh and said to him, “I am יהוה. “And I appeared to Aḇraham, to Yitsḥaq, and to Yaʽaqoḇ, as Ěl Shaddai. And by My Name, יהוה, was I not known to them?
  • Repost: Yom Kippur Studies (littleguyintheeye.wordpress.com)
    For those keeping Yom Kippur/Day of Atonement here are some studies on the subject for those interested
  • Water from the Rock (faithgracetorah.net)
    As believers in Messiah Y’shua we understand there there are no idle words in scripture, which is why it is so fundamentally important to grasp the deeper levels of understanding that we can see utilizing the PaRDeS method of study.
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    We know that everything in the Scriptures were written with a plan. More specifically we know that this plan was the plan of Salvation and Redemption through the Messiah.
  • Why I Keep the Seventh Day Sabbath (christinachronicles.com)
    I keep the seventh day Sabbath.
    It has nothing to do with denomination –
    it has everything to do with Who I worship and what He desires.
    +
    Our Father, our Creator, set the pattern, the example, the principle for us.
    A time to cease from work, a time to review, acknowledge, celebrate the beauty of the creation that He pronounced “good”. It belongs to Him from the very beginning.
  • Megachurch pastor Ulf Ekman: ‘We need what the Lord has given to the Catholic Church to live fully as Christians’ (catholicherald.co.uk)
    On Sunday March 9, Ulf Ekman stood nervously before the congregation of the Word of Life church in Uppsala. Dressed in a suit and pale blue tie, the Swedish pastor looked out at the faces of those whose delights and hardships he had shared since he founded the megachurch in 1983.

    “This is one of those days when I have something special to say,” he began. Several minutes into the address, which has been watched more than 8,000 times on YouTube, he got to the crux: “[My wife] Birgitta and I have in recent days sensed the Lord’s leading, urging us to join the Catholic Church. This may seem a very radical step. But we have great peace and great joy in this decision.

  • Megachurches Use Elaborate Sets and Easy Parking to Amplify God’s Voice (feeds.wired.com)
    Photographer Joe Johnson’s series Megachurches takes us down the aisles, inside the sanctuaries, and behind the scenes of jumbo-sized places of worship. Taken while the churches are not in daily use, Johnson’s photographs focus on both the mammoth interior space and the churches’ details — stage design, audio-visual systems, lighting, and convention hall seating — that make the facilities tick.

    It is estimated the number of megachurches in North America has risen from only 50 in 1980 to over 1,800 today. Johnson’s interest in them began when he visited his mother in North Carolina and accompanied her to a mega service. He wanted to experience contemporary evangelical life.

    “It was an admittedly voyeuristic impulse to watch what happens live,” says Johnson. “I was stunned by how sensorial the spectacle had been. There was a highly produced aural and visual sophistication being brought to the act of worship.”

    Megachurches have recently been in the news. Last month, in Southern California, the congregation of the Crystal Cathedral Ministries celebrated its final service within the Crystal Cathedral, the infamous Philip Johnson-designed megachurch. Crystal Cathedral Ministries, which pioneered the megachurch phenomenon, was forced to move out of its super-modern home after financial woe, some scandal, and a 2011 bankruptcy filing. The purchase of the Cathedral by the Catholic diocese of Orange for $57 million means worship will continue in the glass-facade superstructure. Different denomination, same God.

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