Tag Archives: Non-believers

Careful not to have God’s wrath poured out upon us taking on the right attitude

Today Saturday August the 20th in our afternoon meeting and worship service we’ll look a the anger in the world and the attitude we do have to take in these times of difficulties.

File:A frightened and an angry face, left and right respectively. Wellcome V0009326.jpg

We’ll look at the real challenge which comes over all the lovers of God in these times where there are people who try to give a bad idea of that God (Allah, God the Elohim Hashem Jehovah) and try to bring division and war between those who have a religion for worship in name of the Divine Creator. Today’s and tomorrow’s readings brings us the words of the people of Judah in Jeremiah 42:6, which says,

Jeremiah 42:6 The Scriptures 1998+  (6)  “Whether good or evil, let us obey the voice of יהוה  {Jehovah} our Elohim to whom we send you, in order that it might be well with us when we obey the voice of יהוה  {Jehovah} our Elohim.”

Can we say these words with true meaning and purpose of heart, that whether Jehovah’s commandments are what we want to hear, or if they are not what we want to hear, we will obey them regardless? Are we willing to follow the Words of the Holy Scriptures and keep to the tasks given to us, are shall we be too afraid to be doing those tasks Jesus asked us to do? Or shall we hide to others Who we want to worship and consider our Lord Most High? Are we prepared to keep all commandments given by God or do only partly those which comes alright for us?
Judah could not say the above mentioned words with their full heart. And even as they spoke those seemingly pious words, God knew the emptiness of them. God who searches the heart of man, tells them in verse 20 that

Jeremiah 42:20 The Scriptures 1998+  (20)  “For you deceived yourselves when you sent me to יהוה  {Jehovah} your Elohim, saying, ‘Pray for us to יהוה  {Jehovah} our Elohim, and according to all that יהוה  {Jehovah} your Elohim says, so declare to us and we shall do it.’

Jehovah of armies, God of Israel, had His anger poured out, and His wrath was upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem. We today should be careful not to have God‘s wrath poured out upon us in our going in this world which is coming closer to the end times. We should be careful not to err in our souls, not taking on the wrong attitude to others around us. Even when they do not believe we do have to treat them well and show the better way of life, our life in Christ which should bring us and others around us closer to Jehovah our God.

At all times we should not be hold up to give our hand to those who are cross with us and to those who show their anger in this world. At the same time we should not stop pray for them to Jehovah our God.

When we look at the word “dissembled” meaning to err, to go astray, and to wander away, we should wonder if we are not wandering away in these times. Are we keeping our attitude in line with the Wishes of God? do we keep ourselves in control?

We should be careful not to become like people in the ancient times who draw near God with their mouth, and with their lips to honour their god or God, but have removed their heart far from the God of Israel.

Without drawing near to God with our hearts as well as our mouths, we will not be able to complete the challenge of obeying the Voice of God, whether it be good or evil. Throughout the book of Jeremiah we have references that show the people did not obey God’s voice, because their hearts were evil. (Jeremiah 7:23-24, Jeremiah 11:7-8, Jeremiah 18:10-12).

The true test of whether we have drawn near to God with our hearts is if we obey His commandments, even when they are not what we want to hear. As 1 John 5:3 says,

1 John 5:3 The Scriptures 1998+  (3)  For this is the love for Elohim, that we guard His commands,1 and His commands are not heavy, Footnote: 1See 5:2, 2 John v. 6, John 14:15.

When we do really have love for God and the love of God in us we shall do our utmost best to keep ourselves in control and take can to to be taken by anger so that it could happen we would do something against God His commandments which are not grievous. Judah would gladly obey God’s voice when the things they heard pleased them. However, they refused to obey God’s voice when it caused them to give up those things that they loved. Their worship of God actually became idolatry, as it was really the worship of self.

In our life we should be a copy cat of our master teacher rabbi Jeshua.

Jesus told Pilate that he had no power to order the death of Jesus unless it was God’s will.

This leads us to one of the most profound truths, contained in the best-known verse in the Bible. Jesus said:

John 3:16-17 The Scriptures 1998+  (16)  “For Elohim so loved the world that He gave His only brought-forth Son, so that everyone who believes in Him should not perish but possess everlasting life.  (17)  “For Elohim did not send His Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

When we do know that Jesus managed to put his will aside, which he would not have done in case he was God, to prepare the way for all to come closer to God and that the world through him might be saved, we should fulfil the task to show others to show the great and unchangeable purpose of God for everyone who believes to have everlasting life in Christ Jesus.

Like Jesus was not of this world we too should not be of this world, not be afraid of man, like Jesus was not afraid of man.

Separated from the world, and denying ourselves all ungodliness and fleshly lusts, we are nevertheless not in prison, nor restricted within narrow bounds and should not be afraid to go to others who have an other belief than us.

When others try to bring others into chains of fear, we should show others the liberator of those chains. When others try to have our mouth shut we should walk at liberty, talking about our hope.

Real believers in Christ have nothing to fear because they have hope because God “gave” His Son. It was planned from the beginning of time and the first mention is in the promise to Eve. Although she had failed, God was showing that there could be hope. Those simple words:

“whosoever believeth in him”

are the condition. Though today there are still not many who really believe what God and Jesus have said about each other. There are still those who want to make Jesus into their god, instead of believing Jesus his own words that God is greater than him.

John 10:29 The Scriptures 1998+  (29)  “My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all. And no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.

John 14:28 The Scriptures 1998+  (28)  “You heard that I said to you, ‘I am going away and I am coming to you.’ If you did love Me, you would have rejoiced that I said, ‘I am going to the Father,’ for My Father is greater than I.

The verse that people have to believe in Christ Jesus has been translated into most, if not all, the languages of the world. It is well-known yet perhaps only partly understood.

More people should come to that believe in Christ and should recognise that he is the Way to God (and not to him as God himself) and that in Him we should unite becoming all brothers and sisters of each other.

In remembrance of him, who was known by his heavenly Father long before, having “given” his body we should try to become like him. That knowledge that God planned it so that you and I might be saved, is precious to us and the way of life is opened up in front of us. It is for us to seize every opportunity to show that we believe.

We have been called unto the fellowship of God his Son, Jesus Christ our master.

1 Corinthians 1:9 The Scriptures 1998+  (9)  Elohim is trustworthy, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, יהושע  {Jeshua} Messiah our Master.

By the name of our lord Jesus Christ we are exhorted, in order that we all may be of the same voice, going for the same truth and saying the same thing. Together showing to the world that there are no divisions among us; but that we are perfected in the same mind and in the same opinion by the teachings of the set-apart Book of books.

Notice how that sentence of the apostle Paul to the Corinthians begins:

“God is faithful, by whom ye were called…”.

We are special because He has seen something in us that pleases Him. We have work to do, as Peter reminds us:

1 Peter 1:15 The Scriptures 1998+  (15)  instead, as the One who called you is set-apart, so you also should become set-apart in all behaviour,

It is God Who calls man. Those who are called should show that in their behaviour. Even when their might be enough reasons to show anger they still should master their anger , have themselves under control and show the peace of God to all around them.

In all manner of conversation” they should show others how they have given themselves in the hands of God and trust Him.

Peter’s tongue gave him away in a bad sense when Jesus was being tried. Our tongues can give us away in a good sense because people notice how we speak and what we speak about. The light which has shined into our hearts shows itself in the things we are interested in and the way we conduct ourselves. We should be set-apart or are holy, we belong to God, and our thoughts and words should show that.

This is hard to do all the time and that is why we have words of exhortation to encourage us and help us to let God’s will be done in us. Peter continues:

1 Peter 2:9 The Scriptures 1998+  (9)  But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a set-apart nation, a people for a possession, that you should proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvellous light,

Let us show to others that because of our faith we have something different or that we are different than those who are atheist or an other faith. In our actions and reactions others should be able to see the difference between a Christian and somebody else.

In 1 John 4:11, we are told “we ought also to love one another”. In fact, this is a command to be obeyed. Why should we obey such a command? How do we get such love in order to show it to one another? Well, the verse before tells us.

1 John 4:10-11-12 The Scriptures 1998+  (10)  In this is love, not that we loved Elohim, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be an atoning offering for our sins.  (11)  Beloved ones, if Elohim so loved us, we also ought to love one another.  (12)  No one has seen Elohim at any time. If we love one another, Elohim does stay in us, and His love has been perfected in us.

The greatest motivating force in our lives, is that which we remember week by week in the emblems of bread and wine. We remember that great love of God towards us, shown through the sending of His Son. This love should affect our hearts. It should motivate our lives and in thankfulness for what He has done for us, we should obey Him.

If we keep on believing, we are showing that we love God:

Romans 8:28 The Scriptures 1998+  (28)  And we know that all matters work together for good to those who love Elohim, to those who are called according to His purpose.

Being Christian we have to keep his precepts.

Come, reader, this evening walk with God in his statutes. As friend met friend upon the city wall, so meet thou thy God in the way of holy prayer and meditation. The bulwarks of salvation thou hast a right to traverse, for thou art a freeman of the royal burgh, a citizen of the metropolis of the universe.

File:Two male faces expressing anger mingled with fear. Etching b Wellcome V0009400.jpg

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Preceding article

Careful not to fuel the anger in this world

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Find also to read

  1. Does God stands behind all evil on earth
  2. Objects of God’s final wrath
  3. He who smiles rather than rages is always the stronger
  4. From Despair to Victory
  5. Exodus 9: Liar Liar
  6. Understanding God’s Wrath
  7. Not everyone in the churches of Christ are “ungodly”
  8. Reflect on how much idolizing happens
  9. 8 fears caused by the fear of Man

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Further reading

  1. Tina on – Anger
  2. Would God
  3. On Not Forgiving
  4. Time: Down and Dead
  5. have been so angry……..
  6. When it’s time to stop fighting and ask for help
  7. Is Sin a Burden
  8. Of Faith and Unbelief
  9. Out of Focus
  10. Are You Walking In Darkness?
  11. Overlooked
  12. Running The Race

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Our life depending on faith

Looking at the Bible reading for January 28

When we look at our bible readings of the day, we do find Genesis 46-47, Psalm 50 and Paul’s letter to the Romans chapter 3-4.

English: Apostle Paul in the apse

Apostle Paul in the apse (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Apostle Paul when he was called Saul had been full of zeal for keeping the law and saw the followers of Christ as appearing to have no respect for keeping the law so he persecuted them – until he was dramatically converted. After his conversion and the maturity gained by the experiences that followed, he wrote his remarkable letter to the Romans, a letter primarily to the Gentiles.

The apostle asks a valid question, which should bring us to wonder what the good might be us of difference between a non believer and a believer doing good works.

People trained in God’s ways

Throughout history we have seen that there have been many people who were so called trained in God’s ways and even got titles of universities, declaring them to be theologians. Lots of people look up at them and think they are the person who best know how everything is about God, gods, religion, man, life and death. Lots of people got frustrated with what they got to know from those scholars  who often said we just had to belief this or that, because it is incomprehensible for a human being to understand. As such lots of human doctrines were introduced in Christendom.

People also got annoyed with certain behaviour of those so called religious men. Some had relationships not only with different wives, but there have also been clerics who had intercourse with children.
On the other hand the world sees lots of unbelievers who are doing very good works and are always ready to help others, plus giving very good examples how we make the best of our life in a good relationship with others.

God not abandoning people

It is true that lots of non-religious people are also good people, but the apostle Paul tells us as it turns out, it makes a lot of difference who is a follower of Christ and a believer in the Only One True God.

In history there have been many people who tried to bring the Word of God to others and make it alive for the future. We had the Jewish scribes who were being put in charge of writing down and caring for God’s revelation, what we call the Holy Scriptures or the Bible. In the course of doing that, when some of those Jews abandoned their post, we can see that God didn’t abandon them.

Throughout the Book of books we can see how God always stayed with His People, even when they did bad things or had moments that they forgot Him. Even the most important of these men of God had one moment of doubt, that he questioned God why He (Jehovah God) had abandoned him (Jesus).

Jesus at one moment also cried to his heavenly Father saying

 Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? (Matthew 27:46)

being a call unto God questioning Him why he had forsaken or had deserted the son of man Jeshua (Jesus Christ), who was willing to do God’s Will instead of his own will. (In case Jesus is God he naturally would always have done his own will and could never have left himself.)

Not cancelling out Jehovah his faithfulness

Do you think Jesus and other men of God their faithlessness cancels out Jehovah the Almighty God His faithfulness?

We are told that God keeps his Word even when the whole world is lying through its teeth. Scripture says the same

“God forbid! Yea, let God be true, though every man a liar. As it is written: “That Thou mightest be justified in Thy sayings, and mightest overcome when Thou art judged.”” (Romans 3:4 KJ21)

We are given God’s Word which stand fast and true and is not given to confuse us or to.  We are given commandments in that book of books and are questioned if we make the law of none effect through faith.

The unbelievers can do good and bad like we too can do a lot of bad. But if our wrongdoing only underlines and confirms God’s right-doing, “shouldn’t we be commended for helping out?” remarks Paul. When having come into the faith we should be willing to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ (a work to be done) and should do our uttermost best to comply not only with his teachings but also with the ordnance of God.

Sayings we are saved and have to do no works

The people who do want us to believe we can do whatever we want because salvation is on us by the blood of Christ, must know that it is not by our bad deeds that God would come out better.  It’s simply perverse to say,

“If my lies serve to show off God’s truth all the more gloriously, why blame me? I’m doing God a favour.”

or to say

“The more evil we do, the more good God does, so let’s just do it!”

That’s pure slander. (Romans 3:7-8)

Same start for every one

It is not because we are Jews, Christians or Muslims that we would be we more excellent than the others and are getting a better break than the others. (Romans 3:9) Basically, all of us, whether insiders or outsiders, start out in identical conditions, which is to say that we all start out as sinners. Scripture leaves no doubt about it that there’s nobody living right, not even one, nobody who knows the score, nobody alert for God. They’ve all taken the wrong turn; they’ve all wandered down blind alleys.

It may sound harsh, but there is “No one’s living right”.

“9 What then? Are we better than they? No, in no wise! For we have before proved that both Jews and Gentiles are all under sin. 10 As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one; 11 there is none that understandeth; there is none that seeketh after God. 12 They have all gone from the way; they have together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”” (Romans 3:9-12 KJ21)

Therefore every day we do have to be careful not to have our throats to be gaping graves,our tongues slick as mud slides. (Romans 3:13) With no tongues to deceit we should try to get others to know Jeshua, Jesus Christ, the son of man and the son of God. In him we did receive salvation, but in him we do have to grow (a work) so that we can run a good race, not for the honour of sinner-of-the-year, or for the one who made the most money on the back of others.

Afraid for those coming in

In our land littered with heartbreak and ruin, many of us do not want to know living with others. They are so afraid of the refugees coming into our nation. Are they afraid of them being able to get others to believe what they believe and to come to the same religion as theirs. Should they than not wonder how it comes that those immigrants not come to be surprised by the faith we are having and that they would become interested in the faith that lives in Europe? We think the greatest problem is that there is not so much faith in God living around in our regions. Most people never give God the time of day. This makes it clear, doesn’t it, that whatever is written in these Scriptures is not what God says about others but to us to whom these Scriptures were addressed in the first place! And it’s clear enough, isn’t it, that we’re sinners, every one of us, in the same sinking boat with everybody else?

For sure it is not our involvement with God’s revelation that will  put us right with God. There are also many unbelievers who write about our God and about religion. There are also people who are against God who try to bring others in doubt by throwing lots of discussions at them.

Should we not more question why there would be a danger of Muslims converting people from here unto the Islamic faith? In case there would be enough people standing strong in their faith we should not worry.

Did Jesus also not give the task to his followers to go out and preach? When Christians would do what Jesus Christ ordered them to do we should have enough preachers witnessing about the works of god and about the real faith we should follow.

Man incapable to govern

Throughout history man has proven to be incapable to come to good governments, or to be able to rule this universe. By the Word of God we are forced to face our complicity in our sins. By all our stupidities we do have to come to see we can only have a good government under the jurisdiction of Christ Jesus.

Because by the works of the Law shall no flesh be justified in God His sight (Romans3:20) we should know that for by the Law comes the knowledge of sin and are we given the ways to handle sin. Now we also do not have any excuse because in our time something new has been added. What Moses and the prophets witnessed to all those years has happened. The God-setting-things-right that we read about in our Scriptures, has become Jesus-setting-things-right for us. And not only for us, but for everyone who believes in him. For there is no difference between us and them in this.

“20 Therefore by the deeds of the law, no flesh shall be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin. 21 But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the righteousness of God, which is by faith in Jesus Christ, unto all and upon all those who believe. For there is no difference, 23 for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God,” (Romans 3:20-23 KJ21)

“30  What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, who followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith; 31 but Israel, who followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness.” (Romans 9:30-31 KJ21)

Since we’ve compiled this long and sorry record as sinners (both us and them) and proved that we are utterly incapable of living the glorious lives God wills for us, God sent us His only begotten son and accepted this man’s ransom offering to pay for our sins. did it for us. The action of God, out of sheer generosity, was taken for the recognizance of the humbleness of  the Nazarene Jew who was willing to put his own will aside for complying totally to God’s Will.

A Freebox in Berlin, Germany 2005, serving as a distribution centre for free donated materials, and where the gratis is really for free.

With Jeshua (Jesus Christ) the world has received a pure gift. With God it is not, like we can see so many times today, that there are offers to people where they say it is gratis, but then they still have to pay so much money. By God Gratis does really means for free. We do not have to pay anything for the Gift of Grace. Salvation is given to everybody in the world. But it is given at one point and then we have to continue from there onwards. And that is what a lot of people seem to forget.

The mess we are in & Setting the world in the clear

God by the action taken, or by the work done by His son, got us out of the mess we’re in and restored us to where God always wanted us to be. In His plan fits a righteous people. Jehovah, the God of gods, did it by means of Jesus Christ. It was God who sacrificed Jesus on the altar of the world to clear that world of sin. Having faith in him sets us in the clear.

God decided on this course of action in full view of the public — to set the world in the clear with himself through the sacrifice of Jesus, finally taking care of the sins he had so patiently endured. For many that does not seem to be clear, but it’s now — this is current history! God sets things right. He also makes it possible for us to live in his rightness.

Working at a relationship

When we come to know that Jesus is the Way to God, we do have to respond (an action to be taken or a work to be done). Our response to what God does for us should create our willingness to do the right works to come to a very good relationship with Him. to come to such a good relationship our lives have to get in step with God.

Jehovah God is the God of outsider non-Jews as well as insider Jews and this God of Abraham should be the Allah, Adonai, Elohim or God of Israel and God of all Jews, Christians, Muslims but also of all those who wander in this world without knowing yet what the purpose and the goal of their life is.

The apostle Paul warns the world to know that there is only one God Who has set right all who welcome His action and enter into it, both those who follow the apostle’s religious system and those who have never heard of his and our religion.

“I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me. And the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20 KJ21)

“in whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of Him.” (Ephesians 3:12 KJ21)

“knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.” (Galatians 2:16 KJ21)

“And His name, through faith in His name, hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know. Yea, the faith which is by Him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.” (Acts 3:16 KJ21)

“But the Scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.” (Galatians 3:22 KJ21)

“23 for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, 24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 3:23-24 KJ21)

“30 seeing it is one God who shall justify the Circumcision by faith, and Uncircumcision through faith.” (Romans 3:30 KJ21)

Having stressed “the faithfulness of God” (verse 3) and having told that God reacts to what he sees – seeing “faith” and also faithlessness – we should be fully aware that it is important how we act. Our behaviour is an important factor to our faith-life.

Several people are cross with God and left faith because they did not see any difference between them and the unbelievers. Many do say it is not right God also “inflicts” trouble, pain and sorrow to those who believe in Him.
We must not say,
“God is unrighteous to inflict wrath” (verse 5) on the disobedience he sees in his creation.
What God looks to see, Paul says as he higlights the example of Abraham in the fourth chapter, is – faith, genuine belief and trust in God for “faith was counted to Abraham as righteousness” (verse 9) and it will be “counted” to us also.

“Cometh this blessedness then upon the Circumcision only, or upon the Uncircumcision also? For we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness.” (Romans 4:9 KJ21)

English: Statue of Saint Paul at Bab Kisan, Da...

Statue of Saint Paul at Bab Kisan, Damascus, Syria Français : Statue de Saint-Paul à Bab Kissan, Damas, Syrie (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Paul stresses this was “the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. The purpose was to make him the father of all who believe … so that righteousness would be counted to them as well” (verse 11).

We read in Genesis earlier this month all the things Abraham did – through faith. Paul is stressing that

“For the promise that he should be the heir of the world came not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.” (Romans 4:13 KJ21)

Acting faithfully toward God in our lives is what matters most of all and Abraham is the key example for us to follow. In the past the Jews had a contract or covenant with God. With Christ there was made a new covenant. In the knowledge that a contract drawn up by a hard-nosed lawyer and with plenty of fine print only makes sure that you will never be able to collect, we have been offered a much better contract. Yes, we as human beings do need some contract or written rules. As  such those who follow Christ, believing in him, can live with the promise that God made to our forefathers. God’s promise, though, can not be broken. This is why the fulfilment of God’s promise depends entirely on trusting God and His way, and then simply embracing Him and what He does. God’s promise arrives as pure gift. That’s the only way everyone can be sure to get in on it, those who keep the religious traditions and those who have never heard of them. For Abraham is father of us all. He is not our racial father — that’s reading the story backwards. He is our faith father. Therefore Paul realized that “the law brings wrath” and

“15 because the law worketh wrath; for where there is no law, there is no transgression. 16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be given by grace to the end that the promise might be made sure to all the seed, not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all” (Romans 4:15-16 KJ21)

It depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace.

We should recall God’s promise to Abraham in Genesis 17:4,5 and his life of faith beginning from when he left Ur. We must each reflect on our own acts of faith, for it is not just something we talk about! What things have we done, and are doing – that show our faith?

Our eternal future “depends on faith”.

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

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Please do find also to read:

  1. Epicurus’ Problem of Evil
  2. Condemnation of the World and Illustration of Justification
  3. Elul Observances
  4. God’s wrath and sanctification
  5. A god who gave his people commandments and laws he knew they never could keep to it
  6. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  7. Outflow of foundational relationship based on acceptance of Jesus
  8. Back from gone #4 Your inner feelings and actions
  9. Being Religious and Spiritual 5 Gnostic influences
  10. Being Religious and Spiritual 8 Spiritual, Mystic and not or well religious
  11. Being of good courage running the race
  12. A race not to swift, nor a battle to the strong
  13. The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong
  14. To Soar In The Spirit You Have To Be Hard Core
  15. Being religious has benefits even in this life
  16. Cognizance at the doorstep or at the internet socket
  17. Good and bad things in this world
  18. Salvation and Righteousness
  19. Establish your hearts blameless in holiness
  20. Myth 12: The Hyper-Grace Gospel Makes People Lazy
  21. Faith Alone Does Not Save . . . No Matter How Many Times Protestants Say It Does
  22. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  23. A Living Faith #6 Sacrifice
  24. A Living Faith #10: Our manner of Life #2
  25. Faith and works
  26. Not making yourselves abominable
  27. The attraction of doing something
  28. Re–forming ourselves
  29. Humbleness
  30. Wired to Connect?
  31. Bearing fruit
  32. Our stance against certain religions and immigrating people
  33. Religion, fundamentalism and murder
  34. Whoopi Goldberg commandments and abortion
  35. Daring to speak in multicultural environment
  36. As Christ’s slaves doing the Will of God in gratitude
  37. 2014 Religion
  38. Disobedient man and God’s promises
  39. Crisis man needed in this world
  40. From pain to purpose
  41. Unconditional love
  42. Relying on the Love of God
  43. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #17 Sorts of prayers
  44. God’s forgotten Word 5 Lost Lawbook 4 The ‘Catholic’ church
  45. Daily Spiritual Food To prepare ourselves for the Kingdom of God
  46. Evangelisation, local preaching opposite overseas evangelism
  47. When not seeing or not finding a biblically sound church

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Further reading

  1. Faith (Heartfixxer)
  2. Embracing the Path
  3. To Soar In The Spirit You Have To Be Hard Core (the Inscribed heart)
  4. See Other with God’s Eyes
  5. Faith is the Key
  6. Wear Your Faith on Your Sleeve
  7. We Need to Water Our Faith
  8. A Date With God
  9. Where is the Church that Christ built?
  10. Actions are the Megaphone of Words
  11. We are justified by faith and works, in a manner of speaking.
  12. Luther’s misunderstanding
  13. Faith-Rooted Practice – Rev. Dr. King and Prophetic Evangelicalism
  14. Declaring what is not as though it is
  15. What is Right?
  16. Thankful Thursday: God’s Faithfulness
  17. Great Faithfulness
  18. Grace Makes All The Difference

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Filed under Being and Feeling, Lifestyle, Religious affairs

Crisis man needed in this world

On Saturday the 10th of October Christadelphians come together at Dudley College in the United Kingdom to talk about the diminishing congregations in the United Kingdom. But it is not only there ecclesiae are struggling to make the ends meet and to have enough believers in Christ and in God in their meeting.

Many denominations in Christendom are victim of these times of ungodliness. It is also mainly that ungodliness that shows up in the families and in the behaviour of man. the difficulties people have in conversations and the wrong going communications have provided our world with many difficulties and lots of broken families and divorcees.

Lots of people who call themselves Christian are afraid to show others who they love and what they are standing for. Lots of Christians are afraid to let others know they are Christian. Less people are even willing to proclaim the Word of God and preach the Gospel of the Good News.

Our world urgently need men of God who are willing to go out in the world and preach that Gospel of peace and of hope in the future.

This world in crisis needs many “crisis man”. In this world where many want to be famous we need people who want to be more than a very well know figure and more than just a milepost-a marker on the road to destruction. A real follower of Christ should love it that people would be able to see Jesus in them.

Real followers of Christ should not be afraid to face the confrontation with non-believers or haters of God. They want them to be confronted with the decision to accept or reject the furious love of God.

meandyvettecraterlakeA missionary to Ethiopia, Ramon Mayo, pastor of a multiethnic Vineyard church, has now become a writer/editor in the South Suburbs of Chicago and probably sees a lot of problems in the poorer communities over there. Being rooted in blackness, following Jesus and embracing the world he is very well aware that everyone in the world is not like him and that the Church may be a bunch of people who are not like him worshipping the same God.

Like him we should know that everywhere may be different cultures and that around us we may find people who are not like us, act and behave differently than us. But somehow we should come to see that we all part of this world and that we all come from the same origin, the Base and the same divine creation.

In this world we may live and come to do things. We also have feelings for those around us and even for the place where we live in. But we should not forget where we want to place our loyalty.

Is it towards your country of origin or towards the new citizenship you have in God’s kingdom? {Are you an American or a Christian?}

Too many people have lost track of the main or the right road. It would be best if we could see some more people who are willing to help others to get back on track. Guides are needed to show people the Way again.

When the rubber hits the road and the values and priorities of America (or whatever country. You fill in the blank.) clash with the values of Jesus who wins out.

For me my loyalties lie with Jesus. The hard part is sorting out which values are his and which ones are part of the current government and culture I live in.

It’s hard to be in the world but not of it. {Are you an American or a Christian?}

We have looked hard for interested people who would like to join this platform writing about the way of life and preaching about the future hope, the Kingdom of God. But no other preachers showed up, who did not want to get paid like the other writers presented from the start. Most people want to receive a reward now and want to get paid for their writings. But preaching demands the love of giving to others without willing to receive something for it. Preaching is a free gift, for the free gift of grace we all have received. It is a way of showing thankfulness and appreciation for what Christ Jesus has done for us. Preachers should know and continue the task Jesus has given his followers.

In this ungodly world it is high tie we get more preachers on their feet and that those who call themselves Christian really show to the world what it means to be a follower of Christ.

if I believe Jesus is the way,the truth, and the life and without Him our lives are condemned and we are doomed then easy or hard the choice is simple. {Make me a crisis man}

We wonder who wants to come up for Christ and show others the Way. How many want to answer the call of Jesus Christ? how many want to be an encourager?

Do you want to just be a milepost or a fork in the road? {Make me a crisis man}

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Continue reading: The Big Conversation

Preceding: 72 Synod Fathers on the topic “The vocation and mission of the family in the Church and the contemporary world”

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Additional reading:

  1. World Agenda for Sustainability
  2. Not many coming out with their community name
  3. Atonement And Fellowship 3/8
  4. Challenging claim 2 Inspired by God 1 Simple words
  5. God who knows the heart
  6. An anarchistic reading of the Bible—(1) Approaching the Bible
  7. Why we do not have our worship-services in a church building
  8. I remember you in my prayers
  9. Meet the atheist … who believes in God
  10. Called Christian
  11. Be an Encourager
  12. A Synod to speak freely and to listen without reservations
  13. Let us make sure we are not stiff-necked
  14. Many forgot how Christ should be our anchor and our focus
  15. Preachers should know and continue the task Jesus has given his followers
  16. Commitment to Christian unity
  17. Fellowship
  18. The Ecclesia
  19. The Ecclesia in the churchsystem
  20. The ecclesia or Christadelphian church
  21. Who are the Christadelphians
  22. Keeping an ecclesia in modern times
  23. Christadelphian people
  24. Christadelphians
  25. Christadelphians or Messianic Christians or Messianic Jews
  26. My faith
  27. A Living Faith #8 Change
  28. Priority to form a loving brotherhood
  29. Small churches of the few Christadelphians
  30. What Christadelphians teach
  31. About the Belgian Free Christadelphians
  32. 19° Century London Christadelphians
  33. Faith and works
  34. Breathing to teach
  35. Breathing and growing with no heir
  36. Perishable non theologians daring to go out to preach
  37. Belonging to or being judged by
  38. Good or bad preacher
  39. Jehovah’s Witnesses not only group that preach the good news

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Filed under Activism and Peace Work, Announcement, Lifestyle, Religious affairs, World affairs

Beautiful feet of those who announce the good news

Rom 10:13-15 MKJV  For everyone, “whoever shall call on the name of the Lord will be saved.”  (14)  How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without preaching?  (15)  And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace and bring glad tidings of good things!”

For they who do not believe should come to hear and should receive an opportunity to get to know the grace given to all people. People can only call on the Name of God when they do believe. Only then when we call onto God’s Name, Jehovah, shall we be saved. This is a condition to become saved which too many do forget. Also they who do not believe the Gospel as the record which God has given of his Son are missing a lot, and those who do believe are responsible for that, when they do not make the effort of preaching. But those who go out into the world to tell the Good News are recognised as people doing beautiful work, because how can others hear without preaching? Naturally there can only be preached rightly by those who believe and by those who are sent, showing others their faith and gladly willing to share the Good News they themselves heard and got convinced of.

The apostle turns from the responsibility of the seeker after salvation to emphasize the role that believers are intended to have in God’s plan for preaching the gospel. Calling on the Lord is meaningless apart from some assurance that He is worthy of confidence and trust, that He has something to offer that guilty sinners need. Calling on Him and trust in Him are two sides of the same coin. The verse suggests that calling on the Lord continues to be a mark of the believer, not simply the first step in the direction of establishing relationship to him.

1Co 1:2 MKJV  to the church of God which is in Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called out with all those in every place who call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours.

One must hear the gospel before a person can be expected either to receive it or reject it. Without people preaching there can be no hearing. Without witnessing there can be no thought or consideration about what could be true or not, or people would not get to know. Certain King James Versions have “without a preacher” – which may be misleading, in that it implies (or it may be inferred there-from) that there is a special office of preacher. This is of course not the case at all: all God’s children are (or should be) preachers!

People do need to hear about Jesus, the son of God. They should come to know what that Nazarene man has done and who his heavenly Father is and for what that eternal Spirit is so important for mankind. Those who do believe should know the importance of their knowledge and out of love for the others they should want others to know that truth as well. When a person believes unto righteousness with the heart he shall be glad to be able to confess with with the mouth unto salvation not being put to shame knowing that when he calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Saint Peter preaching the Gospel in the Catacombs

Saint Peter preaching the Gospel in the Catacombs (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The apostle Paul rightly observes that it all goes back to the preaching of the gospel, and preachers, those who profess the Word of God, must be sent – both by God and the Christian community at large. It does not have to be special university people, but men and women willing to share the Gospel in Jesus’ name. God’s “normal” way of bringing people to Jesus Christ is through the preaching of the gospel, which has to happen through faithful people who follow the example of Christ Jesus and do what he had demanded his disciples.

God’s cursing or blessing is upon us, also according to our faithfulness in preaching the Word. God has committed unto us, in our ministry, the word of His reconciliation.

2Co 5:17-21 KJV  Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.  (18)  And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;  (19)  To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.  (20)  Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.  (21)  For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

When we choose to become baptised in the name of Jesus we wanted to become in Messiah reborn, becoming a new creation. From then onwards our shyness in the world should be gone having the old things having passed away. Shyness refers to passivity, emotional arousal, and excessive self-focus in the presence of other people ( Jones, Cheek, and Briggs 1986). It also frequently involves negative self-evaluations, social avoidance, and withdrawal. (International Encyclopedia of Marriage and Family, 2003). Being reborn we have received a new soul (being) not focusing as such on the self, but on the totality of union in Christ. Arousal and heightened self-consciousness in response to social threat can be put aside when one is confirmed about the truth and its value. The experiences of shyness are often sufficiently unpleasant to lead to withdrawal from or avoidance of many social situations, but they also compound the distress of shyness by distracting from skilled and self-confident social interactions. When a person his faith sits deep in him it will give him enough assurance to conquer that shyness to witness for Christ Jesus and for his heavenly Father, the only One God.

Facing all those new things which are from God we want to share with others that in Jesus Christ the Messiah Jehovah God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them; and He has entrusted the message of reconciliation to us.  We are by the baptism in spirit taken away from the doubt and fear from man and therefore should want to be ambassadors for Messiah, as though God were making His appeal through us.

The apostles and members of the first communities begged the community members on behalf of Messiah, to be reconciled to God and to share the Good News with others.  Though it was not easy, because many had seen what had happened to Christ Jesus, and knew that there were fierce opponents of the teachings of this master teacher. It was the Most High Almighty Elohim Who made the Sent One who knew no sin to become a sin offering on our behalf, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. By his offering we are bought and are now facing freedom, if we want. It is not by deeds of righteousness which we had done ourselves, but because of God His mercy. It is by the blessing of Jesus his offering that we can become saved through the mikveh of rebirth and renewing of the Ruach ha-Kodesh,  whom Jehovah abundantly poured out on us through Messiah Jeshua our Saviour, so that being set right by his grace, we might become heirs with the confident hope of eternal life!

Tit 3:5-7 MKJV  not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,  (6)  whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior,  (7)  that being justified by His grace, we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

The Messiah or Christ was a man who did not want to do his own will but preferred to do only the will of his heavenly Father. He love God’s ecclesia and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word. (Ephesians 5:25-26). Like Jesus took care that the dirt of the earth was washed away by the Word of God we also should where we come try to wash away the dirt of this contemporary world.

At baptism the believer becomes a part of Christ’s new “creation” (Ephesians 2:10;  4:23-24; Collosians 3:10). That new creation is so incredible and presents such a magic future we do not want to keep it for ourselves alone. Real believers in Christ do want to become like Christ sharers of the Good News. Being washed… sanctified, we are prepared to do the work for God. It is the will to get to know the Word of God better which should bring us to read it more and to share it with others. It is not be going to a special college reading lots of human writings and philosophies that we shall get more knowledge to bring people to God. God has given everything we need in His Word. All is there in that Book of books, the Bible, God His infallible Word which says all.

Without the faith in Jesus we shall not be able to succeed. We need to have faith in Jesus so that we can call on Jesus. And we need to call on Jesus because calling on Jesus, searching for Jesus, crying out for Jesus is what brings us salvation. Through calling on Jesus, we are saved.
So why do we preach?
So that we may be saved.

We need to be saved from our own captivity. We all need to be set free from something that may keep us away from our loving heavenly Father, the Divine Creator.

The world has to know what God provided. they should come to know that there is a possibility of real peace. But they also should get to know that it will be God Who rules.

Isa 52:7-10 MKJV  How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of him who brings good tidings, making peace heard; who brings good news, making salvation heard; who says to Zion, Your God reigns!  (8)  The voice of Your watchmen shall lift up! They lift up the voice together; they sing aloud. For they shall see eye to eye, when Jehovah shall bring again Zion.  (9)  Break out, sing together, waste places of Jerusalem; for Jehovah has comforted His people; He has redeemed Jerusalem.  (10)  Jehovah has bared His holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.

As in the time before Christ Jesus it was nice to see the messengers of God bringing good tidings. Now it is our time to bring such good tidings. We have hear them and we should be convinced of the importance of them.

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

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

The Good Tidings publishes peace and brings confirmation about the sent one from God, who is the Messiah and fulfilled his duties here on earth. God reigns and has given Jeshua the authority to prepare His Kingdom and to reign on earth. We are looking for that Kingdom of God and belief that it is a reality which can be there for much more people than it is at the moment. Therefore we should be willing to show the way to Jerusalem, the physical but even more the spiritual Jerusalem. More and more we can see how the Plan of God gets shape and how we come closer to the execution of that Plan.

The freedom that awaits us has to be spoken off. But first we need to liberate us from our own weaknesses, bad things we are burdened with. We must see that we can make ourselves free from the bad things of this world first. There  may be things which are holding us captive. There  may be many things holding onto us.

Andy Burns, who believes the goal of life is to get so close to that light that we are breathing in the light and exhaling it out into the world, writes:

Maybe you’re dealing with a very real kind of captivity like addiction. Maybe you have an addiction to a physical substance-alcohol, drugs, those kinds of things-or maybe you’re addicted to something more abstract-your work, money, maybe you’re addicted to other people’s approval of you. And this addiction controls when you wake up, when you go to sleep, when you eat, where you work, where you go after work, how hard you work. You’re not free.

Or maybe you deal with an intensely personal problem like low self-esteem or self-doubt or depression. And maybe this controls you in ways that surprise you-you want a certain job but you don’t believe you can do it. You want to speak up but you don’t believe in yourself in enough to find the words. You want to get to know someone, but you don’t believe they could ever like you. You’re not free.

Or maybe you deal with some pain in your past. Maybe you’ve been seriously hurt-either physically or emotionally by their words or both. Maybe it was a parent, a friend, a spouse, a child. And maybe this old would is holding you captive, keeping you from enjoying life, making you avoid certain situations and people. You’re not free.

See, I think all need to be freed from something. We all need freedom and transformation in our lives. And according to Paul in our passage, this is the message that preachers are entrusted with. This is the reason we preach here. Preachers preach so that people can hear about Jesus. People need to hear about Jesus so that we may have faith in Jesus. People need to have faith in Jesus so that they can call on Jesus. And people need to call on Jesus so that we may be set free by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This is the message that we proclaim every week. This is what we all need to hear and what we all need to be reminded of, week in and week out. You can be free in Jesus Christ. {Stuff My Church Does I: Preaching}

People do have to hear about Jesus and each believer in Christ should take care of that. We do have to go out into the world and tell about the marvellous gift we received. We do have to invite others to share with us the grace which has been given to us.

What would it look like if we invited others here to hear the freedom of God proclaimed in the Word of God? What would it look like if we all brought this Word out into our community and saw it as our job to proclaim this freedom that everyone needs to those around us? Just think of the transformation that would happen. I think it would look pretty amazing. {Stuff My Church Does I: Preaching}

Let us all joining and be workers for the Lord, going into all the world and preaching the Gospel to everyone. (Mark 16:15 )

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Preceding articles:

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

Your position about materialistic desires having conquered the world

Looking for a shepherd for the sheep and goats

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

Not making yourselves abominable

Where are the female writers

Perishable non theologians daring to go out to preach

Daring to speak in multicultural environment

Preaching by example

What Should I Preach ?

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Additional reading:

  1. Where is the edge
  2. Remember the day
  3. Gospel = Good tidings, good news, a good message
  4. Counterfeit Gospels
  5. Seeing or not seeing and willingness to find God
  6. Not bounded by labels but liberated in Christ
  7. How long to wait before bringing religiousness and spirituality in practice
  8. Jehovah steep rock and fortress, source of insight
  9. Hearing words to accept
  10. Atonement And Fellowship 2/8
  11. Missional hermeneutics 4/5
  12. Missional hermeneutics 5/5
  13. The Right One to follow and to worship
  14. Many forgot how Christ should be our anchor and our focus
  15. Hope by faith and free gift
  16. Showing by the scriptures that …
  17. Salvation, trust and action in Jesus #3 as a Christian
  18. Proclaiming shalom, bringing good news of good things, announcing salvation
  19. Establish your hearts blameless in holiness
  20. Looking for True Spirituality 7 Preaching of the Good News
  21. Looking for True Spirituality 8 Measuring Up
  22. Breathing to teach
  23. 2013 Lifestyle, religiously and spiritually
  24. Belgian Christadelphians 2013 & 2014 in review
  25. Stepping Toes 2014 in review
  26. Looking on what is going on and not being of it
  27. A prophet to restore
  28. Imitate prophets and Paul
  29. Oratory Style
  30. Counting sands and stars
  31. Which Christians Actually Evangelize
  32. Learn how to go out into the world and proclaim the Good News of the coming Kingdom
  33. Bringing Good News into the world
  34. Intentions of an Ecclesia
  35. Holland Week of billing
  36. Faith and trial
  37. Faith a commitment to the promises of Christ and to to the demands of Christ
  38. How should we preach?
  39. The Rapture Wars
  40. Not many coming out with their community name
  41. Writers needed to preach to non-believers
  42. Jehovah can make him stand
  43. Our openness to being approachable
  44. Different approach in organisation of services #3
  45. Glory of God appearing in our character
  46. A Society pleading poverty
  47. Good or bad preacher
  48. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #9 Prayer #7 Reason to pray
  49. How is it that Christ pleased God so perfectly?
  50. Rebirth and belonging to a church
  51. Of the many books Only the Bible can transform
  52. Character transformed by the influence of our fellowships

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Also of interest

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Filed under Activism and Peace Work, Religious affairs, Spiritual affairs

Preaching Christ Is Not Enough

Too often Christian preachers do forget that they also have to reach those who have no faith at all. So many preachers fail to appeal to the secular mind. So much so that most secular people write off the church because they think the Bible is an ancient relic that “speaks” only to the unenlightened or easily manipulated.

In the church-world we also do find lots of doom-preachers who frighten people so much they do not bother any more. Instead of showing the people the love of God and the love of Christ Jesus the saviour.

Also too many are seeing preaching as a one way one-directional, verbal proclamation of their words how they look at it all, instead of putting God’s Word in the forefront and focussing much more on the good things, instead of pointing out all the time to the bad things.

Too many do not see that the intent behind ‘preach the word’ be fulfilled in other ways than one person talking at other people for an extended time. To preach we not only have to think about a person standing there at the pulpit, everybody listening nicely or doing as if they are listening and following.

The preaching Jesus spoke about is the going out into the world without shame or fear and telling to others in a nice way about the works of the Most High Supreme Being. Showing others why it is important to follow Christ and to come to his heavenly Father as children of God.

The world may be still against those who love God. Nothing much is changed yet. The world belongs to the adversary of God (Satan). We do have the choice to belong to those who are against God or we can try to bring them over to God and to see why it is best to accept God as their Divine Supreme High Being.

The the prophetic voices may perhaps be stilled, but the endtimes nearing the work of the master teacher shall continue and progress, having more and more people bringing the Good News. They also live by that hope that when the time comes nearer all over the world shall be witnessed in the Name of the One True God, Jehovah.

It are not just 144 000 but millions or trillions who shall go out daring to speak and tell others their love for Christ Jesus and his heavenly Father, the only One God.

Merely preaching salvation by Christ is not enough: we must vigorously contend for the original faith; the faith of God’s people, Israel, who did worship the God of Abraham and not a three-headed god. There is really no other option, all should come to know there is only One Way and One God.

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Preceding articles:

Your position about materialistic desires having conquered the world

Looking for a shepherd for the sheep and goats

Not making yourselves abominable

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

Where are the female writers

Perishable non theologians daring to go out to preach

Daring to speak in multicultural environment

How To Get Started In Sharing Your Faith As a Christian

What Should I Preach ?

 

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Additional reading:

  1. Pulpit reserved for the pastor
  2. Determined To Stick With Truth
  3. Necessity of a revelation of creation 9 Searching the Scriptures
  4. Necessity of a revelation of creation 14 Searching the scriptures
  5. How to Choose a Bible for Preaching
  6. Bringing good News in the world

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Further reading:

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onechristblog

The book of Revelation speaks of a time when preaching Christ will not suffice. Early in its pages it sees the possibility of the total change in esteem true believers would hold towards church groups (with which they may have been previously associated) that doggedly persist in a different path from the original Way (Acts 9:2). We can detect this thought on a closer reading of Revelation 2:4,5, which says to the Ephesian church or congregation, ‘Nevertheless I have [somewhat] against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy [lampstand] out of its place, except thou repent.’

In the same vein, Revelation 9 suggests that men and their counterfeit contrivances would seek to hold true believers firmly within their ranks (like in a bottomless…

View original post 898 more words

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Filed under Activism and Peace Work, Re-Blogs and Great Blogs, 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.
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    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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When feeling sad, not sure of there being a Divine Creator

Even when we are feeling sad, feel the darkness in us, we should come to see the light in our heart.

English: Tibetan endless knot Nederlands: Tibe...

The endless knot of existence and who or what is behind it (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Being created in the image of God, every one of us has the ability to feel that Love of God. Everybody has a sort of instinct we either can use or ignore. By ignoring it we shall  not find the solutions to heal ourselves or to make the best out of our life. We may find lots of people who claim that there does not exist a god let it be to exist a Creator God. Though strangely enough they do spend a lot of time to try to convince those who believe in the Divine Creator God, that that Spirit does not exist. Why do they bother so much? Why do the not let those ‘naive’ believers alone and let them have peace with their feeling?

Is it because they are so worried that they can not find that peace those people can find. Are they jealous that those believers in God may find fulfilment in their life and they not? What is the matter that they are so anxious to get the other to reject their God?

Is it because they have come to see that God lives in them? Is there something what irritates them, because they can see people who are lucky and do not worry so much as they have to do? Or is it because they have come to see that through the Holy Spirit the other person has been changed and has come out of reach of ordinary man?

For those who are not sure what to believe and which site to choose, the believers or unbelievers, we would advice to be spend some more time in community with the people God has placed in their life. They would be surprised to notice how a community of God loving people can change them. Each member of the community shall get to know God more as He has the potential to interact with you through their words and love.

It may go strange in a person his life. God has purposefully placed each of us in the lives of others for them to know Him better through our words and love. Whether you’re aware of it or not, God lives in you to be known through you.

When we encourage, serve, and love people, God is worshipped as he interacts with the people around us, through us. We should be glad we can be instruments in the Hands of God.

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Read also:

  1. Be an encourager
  2. Duty of encouragement
  3. Does God exist?
  • The Benefits of Worry (talkkindnesstome.com)
    The benefits of worry are as valuable and motivating as this empty box.  No inspiration; only empty defeat.If you’re worried about what you hear on the news, see battled on TV, and debated on social media, please remember that worry and fear are worthless emotions. They do nothing to change whatever situation is causing them. Romans 12:9 says “Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.”  Worry and fear drag you to the depths and weigh you down so heavily, you can’t rise above the burden and live life inspired.
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    Lord God, show me clearly what my role is in the battle for your purpose to be served and exalted.  I love you Lord. Your children love you. Give us grace. Give us peace. We ask and believe you for it. Amen
  • The Fruit of God’s Spirit (inchristus.wordpress.com)
    Perhaps the most important observation about the Spirit’s fruit is that, well, it is the Spirit’s fruit, not ours. Galatians 5:22-23 lists evidences of God’s Spirit in us, not the result of natural human effort. Sure we are involved — how could we not be with ‘self-control’ making the list? — but these qualities come from God and are expressed in and through us. As such, Spirited fruit is not synthetically fabricated but organically grown as a result of our yielding to God’s movement within us.
  • Reasons Why Some Are Not Healed by God (yandyleyva.wordpress.com)
    Many are the accounts of miraculous healing. They have filled innumerable pages of books encouraging others to seek after God for their own healing. Books like Craig Keener’s two volume work Miracles contain healings of every human ailment; mental and physical. From simple headaches, Downs-Syndrome, and to the very resurrection of the dead, God’s power to heal knows no boundaries. However, it seems that as many who are healed many more are not. Believers are sometimes perplexed and confused when they recognize that God has the power to heal, and yet many go without receiving a miraculous healing. In the face of such seemingly contradicting realities, the church has divided itself into two camps.
  • The Voice Divine (jasonklanier.com)
    The human voice is such a beautiful piece of engineering…intentionally designed and curiously placed between mind and heart…how can it Not be used to glorify the Creator that made it for His pleasure?
  • A to Z Challenge – The Names of God – C is for Consuming Fire | by Linda Brendle (lifeaftercaregiving.wordpress.com)
    God was a jealous God and was not pleased when His people worshipped anyone but Him. Moses further warned that God was a consuming fire and that they didn’t want to anger Him. As Moses continued his discourse, he offered some encouragement to the Israelites.
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    God is a consuming fire, but He is also a God of love. Paul told us in Romans that, through His love, God has provided a way for us to put on the Lord Jesus Christ. Through Him, we can stand before a Holy God.
  • The God who is Spirit is everywhere. The God who is Spirit is here. (nigeltuffnell.wordpress.com)
    ‘God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth’, that is one of the most famous verses in the Bible, it feels mysterious and powerful, but what does it mean? I would love to have a nice simple answer, but I don’t. I have known that verse for many years now and I’m still puzzling away. I can’t give neat answers but I can invite you to join me in my puzzle.I know that the God who is Spirit, is everywhere, in everything and above all things. This God is ‘he’ and ‘she’ because he made all things including male and female. I call God ‘he’ simply because as a man I can relate to God better that way. Anyway, the point is I think that God is more than any special place. Holy places are only holy if the God who is Spirit can be encountered there more easily than in other places. Old churches can therefore be special places but only when they are places where the God who is Spirit can be felt. That said this Spirit God can be worshipped anywhere not just in a temple or church.

    God is in the trees, and streams, hills and level fields. God is in the city streets too. God is in all places if only we look hard enough. But as I said above, he is easier to recognise in some places. The understanding of God who is Spirit, seems to me to be more about experiencing God rather than about learning facts about him. A spirit can’t be touched or fixed in one place. God is Spirit and will blow where he wills.
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    Sometimes the God who is Spirit is felt so strongly it is overwhelming. They can be times of healing and prophecy where the love and wisdom of God breaks through into this physical world in power. Healing and prophecy happen. We call them miracles but they are just the natural consequence of the overwhelming presence of the Spirit.

    So God is Spirit and those who worship must worship in Spirit and in truth. And so I am sharing something of the Truth that I am puzzling over. I am trying to be honest as I share… as I try to be truthful and honest in my worship.

  • ‘You can’t keep God Down’: Church Twitter campaign asks what #EasterMeans (christiantoday.com)
    The Church of England’s Twitter campaign kicks off today, Maundy Thursday, inviting people to share their thoughts on what Easter means to them.Between now and Easter Day, the Church is asking people to finish the sentence #EasterMeans… with pictures, stories and messages.
  • witness to the ways of the old soul (makebelieveboutique.com)
    Am I willing to give up what I have in order to be what I am not yet? Am I willing to let my ideas of myself, of man be changed? Am I able to follow the spirit of love into the desert? To empty myself even of my concept of emptiness?….M.C. Richards
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Filed under Being and Feeling, Religious affairs, Spiritual affairs

Searching for fulfillment and meaning through own efforts, facing unsatisfaction and depression

Dark season to cope with

On “Voice, the Christian E-book blog” in Winning the War against Depression and Anxiety: An Interview with Perry Noble is given an interview about Depression and Anxiety is with Perry Noble, founder and senior pastor of NewSpring Church, a multicampus church whose mission is to reach 100,000 people in South Carolina with the gospel.

Mostly the Winter season is marked with people having a lot of difficulty to cope with depression. Spring brings more anxiety to people feeling sometimes pressed in a corner or not able to develop their own talent. Seeing everything coming up  in the parks and fields they become frustrated that nature looked death, but every year can recover so much and bring every time such new beautiful things, whilst they can not.

Today people are not concerned about God and His Creation, but they always will be confronted by that creation. In a way this may become a little bit frustrating for them and for the believers who would like to bring the unbelievers closer to the Creator. By those believers there also may rise a lot more questions when everything comes to live again, and they do not see Spring coming into their life, but see them getting older and less vibrant.

Spring-cleaning

Spring brings also the Spring-cleaning and making us to confront the old things, deciding what to throw away and what to keep but brings also questions, how to continue, and what to do this year. More than the 1st of January people now get wondering what to do and how to succeed in this New Year.

For many, like us it might be the start of trying to meet more  people and getting them to see where they and we are and bringing them to where they and we need to be in a relationship with Jesus and his Father, which should be also Our Father, the Most High God.

People will always get offended—it’s inevitable. The question we have to ask is: would we rather offend religious people or lost people? When Jesus healed on the Sabbath, he offended the religious people at the same time he healed a lost person.  {Perry Noble}

Searching for fulfilment and meaning

Perry Noble thinks people are searching for fulfilment and meaning through their own efforts — jobs, money, cars, kids, hobbies— whatever the next big thing might be. The reality, though, is we’ll only be truly fulfilled when we have a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Today we find a lot of people who become frustrated because they can not reach the goals they had set in front of them. Everywhere they seem to see negative elements, blocking their advancement. Lots of people do not feel they get recognition for what they do and having their work not being appreciated they start doubting in the quality of their work or in their ability to bring something others can appreciate.

Man who do not seem to get out of the darkness become struggling with depression. They do not dare to come to others with their problems and do not want to see they are depressed and perhaps need help from specialised people. They need to ask for help immediately.

Elements that can help

Noble who’s first book, Unleash! Breaking Free from Normalcy was a New York Times bestseller, also has struggled with depression. He says:

I was overwhelmed (in an awesome way) with an amazing amount of encouragement and support by my church when I shared my struggle with depression.

For so long, I thought I should be able to pray away how I was feeling or snap out of it and if I did tell anyone what was going on, they would think I was a bad Christian or didn’t really love Jesus. That’s just not true and only by speaking up and asking for help was I able to see this. I don’t think anything is wrong with medication if it’s something a doctor recommends. If you needed medicine to fix your heart you would take that, so why wouldn’t you take medicine to help fix your brain?

Our relationship with our brain and moods

English: Complete neuron cell diagram. Neurons...

Complete neuron cell diagram. Neurons (also known as neurones and nerve cells) are electrically excitable cells in the nervous system that process and transmit information. In vertebrate animals, neurons are the core components of the brain, spinal cord and peripheral nerves. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It looks like many people are afraid for their own brain. Certainly when their brain does things they themselves do not like it to do.

It’s often said that depression results from a chemical imbalance, but that figure of speech doesn’t capture how complex the disease is. Research suggests that depression doesn’t spring from simply having too much or too little of certain brain chemicals. Rather, depression has many possible causes, including faulty mood regulation by the brain, genetic vulnerability, stressful life events, medications, and medical problems. It’s believed that several of these forces interact to bring on depression. {What causes depression? first printed in Understanding Depression, a Special Health Report from Harvard Medical Schooll}

We got to know that the brain, and not the heart is the centre of our life and the place for all our emotions. We would love to control those areas of the brain which help to regulate mood, but we do not seem to be always in control of them.

Researchers believe that — more important than levels of specific brain chemicals — nerve cell connections, nerve cell growth, and the functioning of nerve circuits have a major impact on depression. Still, their understanding of the neurological underpinnings of mood is incomplete.

Experts have long wondered why, if depression were primarily the result of low levels of neurotransmitters, people don’t feel better as soon as levels of neurotransmitters increase.

The answer may be that mood only improves as nerves grow and form new connections, a process that takes weeks. In fact, animal studies have shown that antidepressants do spur the growth and enhanced branching of nerve cells in the hippocampus. So, the theory holds, the real value of these medications may be in generating new neurons (a process called neurogenesis), strengthening nerve cell connections, and improving the exchange of information between nerve circuits. If that’s the case, medications could be developed that specifically promote neurogenesis, with the hope that patients would see quicker results than with current treatments.

Depression connections in the brain 5

Depression connections in the brain 5 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Regulating mood

Many of our brothers in our community believe that the ultimate goal in treating the biology of depression is to improve the brain’s ability to regulate mood.

We now know that neurotransmitters are not the only important part of the machinery. But let’s not diminish their importance either. They are deeply involved in how nerve cells communicate with one another. And they are a component of brain function that we can often influence to good ends.

Every part of your body, including your brain, is controlled by genes. Genes make proteins that are involved in biological processes. Throughout life, different genes turn on and off, so that — in the best case — they make the right proteins at the right time. But if the genes get it wrong, they can alter your biology in a way that results in your mood becoming unstable. In a genetically vulnerable person, any stress (a missed deadline at work or a medical illness, for example) can then push this system off balance.

Mood is affected by dozens of genes, and as our genetic endowments differ, so do our depressions. The hope is that as researchers pinpoint the genes involved in mood disorders and better understand their functions, treatment can become more individualized and more successful. Patients would receive the best medication for their type of depression.

But mood is also a lot influenced from outside, the people we meet, the activities we see developing around us, how people interact, etc..

View of the world and influential factors

sympathy|for|the|anxiety|explosion

sympathy|for|the|anxiety|explosion (Photo credit: massimo ankor)

Cognitive psychologists point out that your view of the world and, in particular, your unacknowledged assumptions about how the world works also influence how you feel. You develop your viewpoint early on and learn to automatically fall back on it when loss, disappointment, or rejection occurs. For example, you may come to see yourself as unworthy of love, so you avoid getting involved with people rather than risk losing a relationship. Or you may be so self-critical that you can’t bear the slightest criticism from others, which can slow or block your career progress.

How we look at the world can be influenced by many factors, but for sure the media are not helping to have a positive look on it. Therefore we on this site world love to have an other look at the world and see the positive aspects of the world. Therefore we would like to put some photographs , like the previous one published, more in the picture. When you see all those little flowers coming up and giving colour unto our world, we should also like to give colour to our world we are living in.

Many affected by stressful experiences

In the United States of America nearly 19 million adults each year are affected by depression and worldwide we may find more than 35 million people having problems with it. Many of them do not see any more the beauty of nature and do not see any more what marvellous things this world has to offer.

The depression they got in often followed stressful experiences. The brain interprets events and decides if they are threatening, then controls the behavioural and physiological responses to those events. The brain’s reaction to stress is useful in that it supplies extra energy to help a person act on or flee from dangerous situations. Sometimes, however, brain chemical levels that increase during stressful situations stay at high levels and cause problems such as depression.

Would it not better to avoid such route where we went to far on the wrong (site) track? And can we not see by people around us when they are floating away?

Some may think

This world is becoming More Wicked by the moment: and If We; the older men and women, do not speak up: Then How Will the Young Folks learn anything about history?

Knowing history, knowing how people reacted in the past, will avoid that people go again in the same wrong direction.

Depression is a very real issue and it has impacted everyone—either it’s happened to us or someone we know. I think the church needs to talk about this issue and help people understand what the Bible says about overcoming fear, anxiety, and stress. The church should be a place where people meet Jesus, find hope, and have the courage to ask for help! {Winning the War against Depression and Anxiety: An Interview with Perry Noble}

Having eyes for the other and helping each-other

Each of us can help a person not getting so far that he or she gets into a depression. We should see when people around us get more into a deep well or in a bottomless pit. By being positive ourselves we can radiate ourselves positiveness that can infect others, making them to see the bright site of life.

Depression is dark and lonely, and there is a misconception that Christians shouldn’t struggle with depression; if you love Jesus, you should just be able to pray it away. But that’s just not true!

Many times, if things are messy, the church doesn’t want to talk about it. {Winning the War against Depression and Anxiety: An Interview with Perry Noble}

Churches should also talk about this and other matters people do have to struggle with, also when they are Christian. It is not because we have accepted Jesus in our life that we are free of pain and struggle. Do not believe that. But be sure in our faith we can find guidance and lots of help to be able to cope better with those struggles.

In most cases, people will identify with your pain more than they will your success. Sharing stories of your past and where God has brought you from could help someone take the next step with Jesus. If God can use my pain for someone else’s progress, then I want him to use it! {Winning the War against Depression and Anxiety: An Interview with Perry Noble}

Believers and non-believers, people adhering a religion or not, have to see that depression, anxiety, and fear are very real struggles. They should know that they can help each other to overcome it. Every person in the community should take care he or she is no cause that an other shall come in problems or would feel bad.

To endure

Those who are Christian should remember the pains Jesus and his family had to endure. They should remember how Jesus his mother continued her life and how the brothers and sisters went on after Jesus was killed. One of his brothers got the strength to to continue the preaching of his brother, telling not about the negative point that he had lost his brother Jesus, but telling about the positive news his resurrection for us was.

In Christianity we can see how many overcome the many struggles they had to face. Also today we still can find many living proofs that it is possible to overcome being overwhelmed.

We should stop being held back by life’s everyday struggles, and learn to overcome stress and anxiety. And we should concentrate ourselves on the nice things this world may offer to all living people, religious and non-religious. Those who have faith in the Only One True God, should show others how they are and can be further blessed by the Magical Hand of the Divine Creator. So that others may see the marvellous things this world has to offer and how we may enjoy it all.

We all can do much more than we think. Because all people are created in the image of God theyall have received inner forces from the Creator. When we are willing to look in ourselves for those inner forces, we shall be able to use them. Even when you do not believe in God, you would be better to start looking for those inner forces which are implanted in your being. By opening your mind for the search of those inner forces you might well be able to find that what gets you stronger and shall enable you to recover much faster than synthetic medical drugs can do. Animals in the wild do not have the doctor and medicines with them, but they can help themselves by what nature is providing for them. Start seeing what is in nature to help you live a better and easier life.

 

English: Robert Plutchik's Wheel of Emotions

Robert Plutchik’s Wheel of Emotions (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

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Find additional reading:

  1. Meaning of life
  2. Feed Your Faith Daily
  3. My Christadelphian Faith

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  • An Honest Christian Look At Depression: Perry Noble’s Book, “Overwhelmed” (johnweirick.com)
    “I wanted to kill myself.”Few people want to admit that, and even fewer pastors would.
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    “Overwhelmed” is not for people who have it all together. It’s not for those among us who seem to glide through life, unaffected by tragedy or discomfort. This book won’t help someone who lives a conflict-free life. Anyone who’s got a perfect family, a perfect past, and no fears or doubts — just skip this book. And for those who expect to get everything they want out of life and never suffer resistance of any kind, this book will be completely useless.
  • My Opinion on Overwhelmed book by Perry Noble (chunton.wordpress.com)
    The book taught me that if you are in Christ Jesus He’s for you and if He’s for you He loves you and with all of things on your side nothing can hold you back and keep you down! No matter what you’re facing Jesus is greater and He wants you to overcome not be overwhelmed!
  • Blog on Perry Noble quote (chunton.wordpress.com)
    The church today needs to focus more on pointing people to Jesus and the fact that He’s alive! The fact that the resurrection happened should be a weekly topic on our church’s because that’s just not something one can simply get over if they truly love Jesus.
  • Three Resources by Perry Noble (resourcesforus.wordpress.com)
    Perry provides honest scenarios and practical solutions on how to win the war against worry.This is a book that can help you learn more about the character of God and His ability to help you through these difficult times in your life. You CAN overcome being overwhelmed!”
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    Pastor Perry Noble challenges all followers of Christ to make a bold move by fully embracing the exciting adventure God has called us to. Are you ready to unleash all the life he has created you to live?
  • What Is Depression? Examining the Link Between The Physical and The Emotional (Part 1) (megsanity.com)
    People around you owe you more than, “It’s all in your head.” Because that simply isn’t true.
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    Kramer notes that depressives may actually have more realistic views of the world, for example understanding that they aren’t likely to win the lottery or a poker game. However, they are actually less likely to listen to those instincts which leads to a self-fulfilling prophecy of doom and reinforcement.
  • Is Depression Just Bad Chemistry? (scientificamerican.com)
    The general idea is that a deficiency of certain neurotransmitters (chemical messengers) at synapses, or tiny gaps, between neurons interferes with the transmission of nerve impulses, causing or contributing to depression. One of these neurotransmitters, serotonin, has attracted the most attention, but many others, including norepinephrine and dopamine, have also been granted supporting roles in the story.
  • Unraveling the Mystery of How Antidepression Drugs Work (scientificamerican.com)
    Depression strikes some 35 million people worldwide, according to the World Health Organization, contributing to lowered quality of life as well as an increased risk of heart disease and suicide. Treatments typically include psychotherapy, support groups and education as well as psychiatric medications. SSRIs, or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, currently are the most commonly prescribed category of antidepressant drugs in the U.S., and have become a household name in treating depression.
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    Everyone could use a little confession every now and again to get out what’s been eating them inside. The philosophical “black bile” seems like recalled memories that trigger episodes, and an inability to control the reaction. Who doesn’t engage in percussive maintenance when they encounter an embarrassing thought? Pills aren’t going to fix that unless they make you numb, which also means prevented growth.
  • 4 Quick Tips for Helping Someone With Depression (thereseborchardblog.com)
    Education is always the starting point because until a spouse or daughter or friend of a depressed person understands the illness, it is impossible to say or do the right thing to be supportive. Do your own research by going online to NAMI.org (National Alliance of Mental Illness) or dbsalliance.org (Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance), by doing your own Google search, or by reading some of the articles about depression on this site.
  • Pastor Perry Noble Taking 2 Month Leave from Megachurch (blackchristiannews.com)
    The extended leave is not due to a marriage, family or church problem, he has clarified. Instead, Noble said he realized he needed to do “what sets me up for long-term success and sets this church up for the same way.”
    With 90 percent of people entering into ministry and not finishing and some pastors being worked too hard by their church, he noted, he decided to take a sabbatical.
    Noble made the announcement to his congregation, which draws around 16,000 people every weekend, last week. Attendees expressed their support of his decision.
  • Perry Noble on Modern Day Phariseeism (blackchristiannews.com)
    I became obsessed with religious rules and legalism and forgot all about the grace that God had poured out on me through Jesus. As I look back on that time in my life there are eight things that really defined me…

    #1 – I was way more obsessed with the sins and shortcomings of others and made it my obsession to point out their faults so that I did not have to deal with my own. (Matthew 23:27-28)
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Religions and Mainliners

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

Map of the distribution of Christians of the world

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

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

English: Major branches within Protestantism (...

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

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

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

Calvinist church

Calvinist church (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Christianity Today

Christianity Today (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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

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

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

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

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

+

Please do find additional reading:

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

++

Further reading:

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

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

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

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

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

+++

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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