Tag Archives: Non-trinitarians

Seeds and weeds for being the greatest nation

Today the world seems to be struggling with seeds sown after a horrible experience which brought millions of people to end their life earlier than it should have been.

Nearly hundreds years ago everybody had said “never again”, but less than 30 years loomed the ghost ship already from the waves. soon the European battlefield was again full of blood and tears. this time one tiny man had shouted loud and had made many grand gestures getting the crowd to believe this time it would be different and he would made their nation, their own country, the greatest again and forever the greatest.

The Jews where blamed for all the poverty and misery in the country. They where considered also to be the murderers of Jesus Christ and if Europe was not going to be careful they would conquer Europe.

World War I era US poster by James Montgomery ...

World War I era US poster by James Montgomery Flagg, 1918, lithograph, color; 56 x 36 cm. Columbia (female allegorical personification of the United States of America) broadcasts seeds in a plowed field. Text:”Sow the Seeds of Victory! Plant and raise your own vegetables”…”Every garden a munition plant”. Urging civilians to raise their own food to free up resources for the war effort. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today there is an other Izegrim who is telling his compatriots they should be aware for a people that supposedly would have conquered Europe already and soon would be conquering the United States of America. The bully, neatly his head being covered with his blonder peruche, wants others to believe he is the clairvoyant who knows what is best for the nation and who is the only one who can make the nation great again. Lots of people have put their hope in him. Worse is that many who voted for him say they are Christians. Though clearly they show not a Christian attitude by liking the use of weapons, killing others and spreading the hate against Jews and Muslims. Those last ones seem to be the cause of all trouble today. They are consider a very dangerous breed of people, worshipping a strange and dangerous god. Those christians mostly worship a false three-headed god, though they claim to be worshipping the Only True God. And there is what the problem of today is…..

In the contemporary world the seed of the adversary of God is sown and germinating. Thought that seed starts seeing that the seed of God, the people who want to worship the Only One True God is starting to shine more. Jews, true Christians (non-trinitarian) and true Muslims are those who follow the teachings of the Holy Scriptures, the Words of Allah, the Most Almighty Elohim Hashem Jehovah. The false Muslims and false Christians see a danger or threat in those lovers of God and try to do everything to bring them in a bad light.

First there are the ones who take Jesus as their god but do not follow the teachings of peace of that master teacher. Rabbi Jeshua was always an ear and a good heart to those who where different than others or who had difficulties. He always was there to come to help them and to be there to defend them who had no voice or did not belong to the main community.

The photo depicts the Sowing the Seeds icon fr...

The photo depicts the Sowing the Seeds icon from the Greek Catholic Cathedral of Hajdúdorog, Hungary. It was painted on the end of the 18th century by unknown painter (most probably by Mihály Mankovics). The painting decorates the pulpit of the cathedral. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In our Holy Scriptures we are told that this master teacher told many parables and many of them concerned our faith and our behaviour towards people around us and towards God. We also consider him as the sent one from Allah was not going to keep his mouth shut, but would open it with illustrations so that people would be able to come to see.

“هذا كله كلم به يسوع الجموع بامثال.وبدون مثل لم يكن يكلمهم” (متى 13:34)
“All this Jesus spoke to the crowds in (sayings or stories) parables; and without a parable, he didn’t speak to them,” (Matthew 13:34)

In our Holy Scriptures we are told that this sent one from the Most High Allah, the son of man, is the sower of the fine seed.

“فاجاب وقال لهم.الزارع الزرع الجيد هو ابن الانسان.” (متى 13:37)

“He answered them Hm.alazara, “He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man,” (Matthew 13:37)

Fine seed is naturally very delicate and may (perhaps) be easily damaged. That is the problem with some seeds Jesus could sow on this earth. They might have found Jesus, though not knowing their master or sower very well, they thought they knew him enough to say that they are his. We see lots of people who say they are Christian, which should mean being a follower of Christ Jesus. But what we can see is that they have that son of man made into their god and where even not afraid to make graven images of him, though Allah is very clear that we never should make any graven image of a god nor of Him.

“لا تصنع لك تمثالا منحوتا ولا صورة ما مّما في السماء من فوق وما في الارض من تحت وما في الماء من تحت الارض.” (خروج 20:4)

“”You shall not make for yourselves a graven image or any likeness of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters under the earth:” (Exodus 20:4 )

The One having to be the Only One God should be Allah, the Elohim Hashem Jehovah Who is One and Who is not a man of flesh and blood but an eternal Spirit.

“اسمع يا اسرائيل.الرب الهنا رب واحد.” (تثنية 6:4)

“Hear, Asiraial (Israel): Jehovah is Allah our Lord God; Jehovah is just (the only) one:” (Deuteronomy 6:4)

“انا الرب هذا اسمي ومجدي لا اعطيه لآخر ولا تسبيحي للمنحوتات.” (اشعياء 42:8)

“”I am Magdi Jehovah, that is my name. I will not give him (the Magdi or glory) to time or to another, nor my praise Zbhristi (Haem or glorification) to sculptures or engraved images.” (Isaiah 42:8)

“لا تنطق باسم الرب الهك باطلا لان الرب لا يبرئ من نطق باسمه باطلا.” (خروج 20:7)

“Do not pronounce the name of Jehovah your Allah in vain; for Jehovah will not acquit of His name in vain (or will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain)” (Exodus 20:7)

that is what we can see what happened in this world. Many have taken the Holy Name of Allah and changed it from Jehovah into Jesus and made sculptures, paintings and several objects with drawings of him and his heavenly Father, though this is an abomination in the eyes of that Father of rabbi Jeshua, who is the only One God Spirit.

الله روح.والذين يسجدون له فبالروح والحق ينبغي ان يسجدوا.” (يوحنا 4:24)

“Allah is spirit, and you should worship Him in spirit and truth.”” (John 4:24)

Instead of worshipping Allah in truth many fake their devotion for god by worshipping not at all or having more interest in (or worship of) money and material possession. That love of possession brings also certain people to use the title of God to bring fear over man and to oppress those around them. Often they use Allah His Words in the wrong way, distorting or twisting them so that they can justify their wrong acts, like attacking other believers and non-believers, humiliating women, selling people, etc.

Brooklyn Museum - The Enemy Sowing Tares - Eli...

Brooklyn Museum – The Enemy Sowing Tares – Elihu Vedder – overall (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Most Christians do not worship Jehovah, the Only One True God of gods, with spirit, but prefer to keep to human dogmas and therefore many became blind for the biblical truth, like we also can see in the Ummah, where several so called believers do not come to read the Holy Scriptures any more but follow just some verses, taken out of context by their teachers, which they follow without comparing their sayings with what is written in the Scriptures. Because so many Muslims and Christians not knowing their Holy Scriptures any more they can be mislead and be driven away from the truth and worse also from God.

Perhaps both Christians and Muslims should come to read Muslim scriptures where is written

And, likewise, their belief in beings or powers that are supposed to have a share in God’s divinity makes [even] the slaying of their children seem goodly to many of those who ascribe divinity to aught beside God, thus bringing them to ruin and confusing them in their faith. Yet, unless God had so willed, they would not be doing all this: stand, therefore, aloof from them and all their false imagery!(6:137)

There and then will every human being clearly apprehend what he has done in the past; and all will be brought back unto God, their true Lord Supreme, and all their false imagery will have forsaken them.(10:30)

It is they who have squandered their own selves-for [on the Day of Resurrection] all their false imagery will have forsaken them:(11:21)

Is Then, He who has every living being in His almighty care, [dealing with each] according to what it deserves -[is, then, He like anything else that exists]? And yet, they ascribe to other beings a share in God’s divinity! Say: “Give them any name [you please]: but do you [really think that you could] inform Him of anything on earth that He does not know-or [do you] but play with words?, Nay, goodly seems their false imagery to those who are bent on denying the truth, and so they are turned away from the [right] path: and he whom God lets go astray can never find any guide.(13:33)

And [this retribution will befall all evildoers because] they devise that false imagery of theirs – and all their false imagery is within God’s knowledge. [And never can the blasphemers prevail against the truth – not] even if their false imagery were so (well devised and so powerful] that mountains could be moved thereby.(14:46)

As it is, they ascribe – out of what We provide for them as sustenance – a share unto things of which they know nothing. By God, you shall most certainly be called to account for all your false imagery!(16:56)

And on that Day will they [who had thus been sinning, belatedly] proffer their surrender to God; and all their false imagery will have forsaken them.(16:87)

when he said unto his father and his people, “What are these images to which you are so intensely devoted?”(21:52)

But, then, did those [beings] whom they had chosen to worship as deities beside God, hoping that they would bring them nearer [to Him], help them [in the end]? Nay, they forsook them: for that [alleged divinity] was but an outcome of their self-delusion and all their false imagery.(46:28)

Instead of becoming liberated in Christ they have become slaves of a new religion not afraid to set them up against other religions. In this can be seen the reason why so many can not see what are real Christians or what are real Muslims. True Christians and true Muslims should be bringers of peace. Again they better look at Muslim writings which say

And when Abraham said: “O Lord, make this a city of peace, and give those of its citizens who believe in God and the Last Day fruits for food,” He answered: “To those will I also give a little who believe not, for a time, then drag them to Hell, a dreadful destination!”(2:126)

Except those who take refuge with a people allied to you, or those who, weary of fighting you or their people, come over to you. If God had so willed He would surely have given them power over you, and they would have fought you. If they keep aloof and do not fight, and offer peace, God has left you no reason to fight them.(4:90)

You will also find persons who, while wishing to live in peace with you as well as with their own people, turn to civil war the moment they are called to it. If they do not keep away from you, nor offer you peace nor restrain their hands, seize them and kill them wherever they are. We have given you a clear sanction against them.(4:91)

O believers, when you go out on a journey in the way of God, be discreet and do not say to anyone who greets you in peace: “You are not a believer.” You desire the gain of earthly life, but there are prizes in plenty with God. You were also like him (an unbeliever) in the past, but God has been gracious to you. So be careful and discreet, for God is aware of what you do.(4:94)

Their confidential counsels are seldom for the good, save of those who talk of charity or goodness or peace among men. Whosoever does so for the pleasure of God, We shall give him an ample reward.(4:114)

 

The seeds of Jesus do not have to worry. Because when they truly believe their master teacher they can be sure Allah will guide and protect them.

Through which God will lead those who follow His pleasure to the path of peace, and guide them out of darkness into light by His will, and to the path that is straight.(5:16)

But man has to give something in the place. They should believe. They should believe in God and today they also should believe in the the sent one from God, Ishi (Jeshua or Jesus Christ) and would not mix their faith with that of pagans, or taking part in to pagan feasts like Halloween, Yule, Christmas and Easter e.g. and may not deny the position of each character God placed on this earth.

They alone have peace who believe and do not intermix belief with denial, and are guided on the right path.”(6:82)

For them is an abode of peace with their Lord. He will be their defender as reward for what they did.(6:127)

“الحق الحق اقول لكم ان من يسمع كلامي ويؤمن بالذي ارسلني فله حياة ابدية ولا يأتي الى دينونة بل قد انتقل من الموت الى الحياة.” (يوحنا 5:24)

Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that hears my word and believes Him who sent me, has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgement, but has passed from death to life. (John 5:24)

Lots of Christians do not believe the One Who sent Jesus and said that man standing in the river Jordan was His only begotten son.

“21  ولما اعتمد جميع الشعب اعتمد يسوع ايضا.واذ كان يصلّي انفتحت السماء 22 ونزل عليه الروح القدس بهيئة جسمية مثل حمامة وكان صوت من السماء قائلا انت ابني الحبيب بك سررت 23 ولما ابتدأ يسوع كان له نحو ثلاثين سنة وهو على ما كان يظن ابن يوسف بن هالي” (لوقا 3:21-23)

“21  Now it happened, when all the people were baptized, Jesus also had been baptized, and was praying. The sky opened up, 22 and the Holy Spirit in a bodily form as a dove descended on him; and a voice came out from heaven, saying

“You are my beloved Son. In you I am well pleased.”

23 Jesus himself, when he began to teach, was about thirty years old, it was thought he being the son of Joseph, bin Hali,” (Luke 3:21-23)

Those Christians who made Jesus into their god also do not believe Allah’s Own Word, who tells mankind about the moment when it was begotten time to have that one promised in the Royal Garden to come to earth.

“ولكن لما جاء ملء الزمان ارسل الله ابنه مولودا من امرأة مولودا تحت الناموس” (غلاطية 4:4)

“But when the fulness of the time had come, Allah sent out his son, born to a woman, born under the law,” (Galatians 4:4)

He knew very well the Law and the Word of God, but the seed of the contemporary world has so much weed between it it nearly becomes suffocated in the field.

Some days after that preaching man told about the weeds, Allah once more declared who this rabbi was.

“وفيما هو يتكلم اذا سحابة نيرة ظللتهم وصوت من السحابة قائلا هذا هو ابني الحبيب الذي به سررت.له اسمعوا.” (متى 17:5)

While he was speaking, a bright cloud and voice from the cloud overshadowed them, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.  Hear him (or listen to him).” (Matthew 17: 5)

Today we have come into an age where we find again people of little faith and people of no faith and being a twisted generation, catching fear because they do not know the Word nor the people of God and how they should unite with all people of God, transferring from here to there (Matthew 17:20; 21:21; Mark 9:31; Luke 9:44).

the weed Atriplex patula

We today must be aware how the adversary is working hard to bring division between man. The adversaries of God sow seeds of weed to make sure many plants will die because the weeds not giving place for them. Please let us therefore listen to the wise words of the sent one from Allah, who explains his story about the seeds and weeds.

“37 فاجاب وقال لهم.الزارع الزرع الجيد هو ابن الانسان. 38 والحقل هو العالم.والزرع الجيد هو بنو الملكوت.والزوان هو بنو الشرير. 39 والعدو الذي زرعه هو ابليس.والحصاد هو انقضاء العالم.والحصادون هم الملائكة. 40 فكما يجمع الزوان ويحرق بالنار هكذا يكون في انقضاء هذا العالم. 41 يرسل ابن الانسان ملائكته فيجمعون من ملكوته جميع المعاثر وفاعلي الاثم. 42 ويطرحونهم في اتون النار.هناك يكون البكاء وصرير الاسنان. 43 حينئذ يضيء الابرار كالشمس في ملكوت ابيهم.من له اذنان للسمع فليسمع 44 ¶ ايضا يشبه ملكوت السموات كنزا مخفى في حقل وجده انسان فاخفاه ومن فرحه مضى وباع كل ما كان له واشترى ذلك الحقل. 45 ايضا يشبه ملكوت السموات انسانا تاجرا يطلب لآلئ حسنة. 46 فلما وجد لؤلؤة واحدة كثيرة الثمن مضى وباع كل ما كان له واشتراها. 47 ايضا يشبه ملكوت السموات شبكة مطروحة في البحر وجامعة من كل نوع. 48 فلما امتلأت اصعدوها على الشاطئ وجلسوا وجمعوا الجياد الى اوعية.واما الاردياء فطرحوها خارجا. 49 هكذا يكون في انقضاء العالم.يخرج الملائكة ويفرزون الاشرار من بين الابرار. 50 ويطرحونهم في اتون النار.هناك يكون البكاء وصرير الاسنان 51 قال لهم يسوع أفهمتم هذا كله.فقالوا نعم يا سيد. 52 فقال لهم.من اجل ذلك كل كاتب متعلم في ملكوت السموات يشبه رجلا رب بيت يخرج من كنزه جددا وعتقاء.” (متى 13:37-52 Arabic)

the weed Urtica dioica, often called common nettle, stinging nettle many of which have many hollow stinging hairs called trichomes on the leaves and stems, which act like hypodermic needles, injecting histamine and other chemicals that produce a stinging sensation when contacted by humans and other animals

“37 He answered them, “He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man, 38 the field is the world; and the good seed, these are the children of the Kingdom; and the darnel weeds are the children of the evil one. 39 The enemy who sowed them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels. 40 As therefore the darnel weeds are gathered up and burned with fire; so will it be at the end of this age. 41 The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will gather out of his Kingdom all things that cause stumbling, and those who do iniquity, 42 and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be weeping and the gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine forth like the sun in the Kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear. 44  “Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found, and hid. In his joy, he goes and sells all that he has, and buys that field. 45 “Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a man who is a merchant seeking fine pearls, 46 who having found one pearl of great price, he went and sold all that he had, and bought it. 47 “Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a dragnet, that was cast into the sea, and gathered some fish of every kind, 48 which, when it was filled, they drew up on the beach. They sat down, and gathered the good into containers, but the bad they threw away. 49 So will it be in the end of the world. The angels will come forth, and separate the wicked from among the righteous, 50 and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be the weeping and the gnashing of teeth.” 51 Jesus said to them, “Have you understood all these things?” They answered him, “Yes, Lord.” 52 He said to them, “Therefore, every scribe who has been made a disciple in the Kingdom of Heaven is like a man who is a householder, who brings out of his treasure new and old things.”” (Matthew 13:37-52 WEB)

Those who really love should do their utmost best to come to know that Divine Maker of all things and should try to please Him more than to please man around them. they should be very careful for those people who promise they alone are the one who is able to make their nation great again. they should look at the fruits of such people and check if they are living themselves according to what they are preaching.

We should make ourselves stronger in the faith by regularly reading the Whole Word of God and not to take just a few verses from scripture out of context.

As lovers of God we should also show that we are really willing to be His children, living under His Fatherhood, enjoying the diversity in His family, people from different cultures with different skin-colour, different tongue, with different attitudes, ways of dressing and talking, but all united under His Holy Name.

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Preceding

Seeds to be planted soon

Seeds of promiseSeeds, weeds and kingdoms

Unbelief, faith and mustard seed

Seeds from the world creating division and separation from God

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Additional reading

  1. Belonging to or being judged by
  2. Follower of Jesus part of a cult or a Christian
  3. Evangelisation, local preaching opposite overseas evangelism
  4. Looking for a biblically sound church
  5. Luther on Being a Theologian: Oratio, Meditatio and Tentatio
  6. Back from gone #3 Giving worries to God and believing in His promises
  7. 2014 Religion
  8. Silence, devotion, Salafists, quietists, weaponry, bombings, books, writers and terrorists
  9. Not liking your Christians
  10. Not bounded by labels but liberated in Christ
  11. A Living Faith #10: Our manner of Life #2
  12. Relying on the Love of God
  13. Unconditional love

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Further related articles

  1. Hitler and the Original Conspiracy Theory
  2. Know Your Enemy
  3. Nationalists’ approaches to Jews, Israel and Zionism: Complex relationships
  4. A former skinhead explains why it’s a mistake for the US to stop targeting right-wing extremists
  5. FBI Opens Hate Crime Investigation Into Dozens Of JCC Bomb Threats
  6. Netanyahu’s silence on Trump and anti-Semitism
  7. French scholar prosecuted for “incitement to racial hatred” for noting the culturally inherited anti-Semitism of French Muslims
  8. France’s Jihad against the truth | Yves Mamou
  9. Israeli Police Prepare for the Coming of the ‘Messiah’
  10. What’s Holding the Arab World Back?
  11. Use of the word Pharisee
  12. This Man
  13. A Christian’s Job Interview
  14. God Knew Me When
  15. The ungodly
  16. Is Trump the Antichrist?
  17. What is Dignity?
  18. Courage is Believing
  19. The Well-Balanced Christian
  20. Walls that Divide, Pt. 1
  21. Walls that Divide, Pt. 2
  22. Our Resolutions or God’s Promises?
  23. In the dust of the Rabbi- Day 66
  24. Mission Trips
  25. Saving Faith is Present Tense and Active – Part 5: He Who Stands Firm to the End Will Be Saved
  26. Got Weeds?
  27. Parable of the Weeds (sermon)
  28. The grass is always greener….
  29. June 21, 2016: 5th Tuesday after Pentecost

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Many opportunities given by God

I often did not have it easy in my life. Certain choices also made it that I got myself in more trouble than if I would have followed the mainstream.

Career Opportunities (film)

Career Opportunities (film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

First there was the choice of my profession. Having being brought up in the Old Roman Catholic church, having been an acolyte, wanting to be working for God, becoming a priest was a first option, but then I was not allowed to marry, and I loved to much women. I also loved very much musicals and wanted to be an artist, able to sing and dance. when I asked to study that I got a slap in my face and was told I could better become a garbage man than an artist. In secret I started lessons and worked in my spare time to pay for the study. It was a good thing about that time time Europe had to build itself up again and had to find its way to restore from the horror of wars and the political systems which brought Europe unto the swamp.

Being so much interested in God, having had to learn the Catechism, comparing to what was written in the Scriptures I soon found out that the Catholic Faith (be it the Roman, Charismatic or Orthodox) was not according to Biblical teachings. This made it again difficult for my parents and me, creating a conflict on theological matters now. After some church shopping, having looked at different protestant denominations, I chose for a non-trinitarian church (the Baptist Church at that time and when the Baptists moved more to Trinitarianism I, like thousands of my brethren and sisters chose for an other non-trinitarian group: the Christadelphians)

Concerned about the world I also stood on the barricades in 1968, hoping for a better world. Becoming a dancer I also more than once had to face the difficulties of my body which also more than once was pushed in the corner by accidents or by my autoimmune illness. Continually I had to prove myself and found that I had to restart my life again. Later the children sometimes asked “Why did you do not that?”  or asked “Why did you not get that role?” or “Why did he got that position instead of you?”. It looked strange for them that I made certain ethical choices and did not want to do certain things to get a certain position. At the end of the trail, now being retired I do not have to shame myself for everything I did. And looking back on my career I must confess that I have really being blessed, being able my whole life to do what I loved to do and having been able to refuse several jobs because I did not like them or did not find them appropriate for a Christian to do (or did not want to do what they hoped for, for giving me that role or position).

In the end I can see how I was blessed and how there was an Incredible Strong Hand that pushed me in certain directions or got me up again when I was in the trenches. I was very lucky to have done fantastic work and having worked with fantastic people, international stars as well as with incredible people who, like me would only be known by their stage name or be forgotten soon.

Under this (official civil name) name I am writing I often was bullied because I did not hesitate to say my opinion or to speak about my faith which was not according to the main Christian majority. Once more I felt the Strong Hand of God, Who guided me and gave me further insight.

We may encounter lots of moments of darkness in our life, but by the sun-rays which brake the darkness we should come to see the better end of it. I had some horrible experiences in my life, which I would not wish any body would have such ones. But they helped me to help others and they also helped me to become strengthened or to know I was on the right way to show others how they have to behave or not have to behave. (For one incident: Though I never know what happened to a gang of seven that once attacked me with a knife in Chiswick Park, I do know I came out alive of it by keeping calm and trusting God.)

Over the years I also came to see how God uses the different elements/groups or denominations in Christendom to bring people from those different parts of the Body of Christ together in unity with Christ. Though for some it might take many years. But God is patient and we as Christians should also be patient with those we want to bring to Christ, getting them to believe that Jesus is the Way to God and not God himself.

In the meantime God is also helping others of different faith to build up a life, so that they too shall come to see how God helps them in their life.

Today I also want to bring an other case than myself to attention.

On the net you may find a blog which

“is a testimony of God’s goodness, protection and guidance over me and my family.” {Surpises: Bad news turned to Good!}

it’s from a person who is been working with for almost all of her tenure in the financial industry. She writes

Surprisingly, we lost the bid! Another bigger company took over the account, leaving our company with a devastating, disappointing news. {Surpises: Bad news turned to Good!}

She confidently,  was not affected by the bad news and is convinced that

God has gone ahead of this scene, He knew it would come. And He knew, that I would be the very first one to feel fearful among all my colleagues. Why? I have all the reasons why, I am not as competitive as they are – being in the sales industry, my achievements were not at par as what my colleagues had produced. I would be in the bottom list, definitely! {Surpises: Bad news turned to Good!}

Like I had certain feelings in my life the author of that blog also has the feeling God assured me of the things that may come to pass. She writes

Last year, the Lord has been very busy preparing me and my husband with so many things, including the planning and executions.

We have gone to the most “thriftiest” way we can save money, He gave us a house , He brought the desire of going back home, instead. He gave a new sustainable job for my husband, He increased our commission in ways that we can finish all our goals for 2016. And finally we come up to an answer, that hey, I will finish my job this March 2017. {Surpises: Bad news turned to Good!}

Please do read more about her experiences and her telling about their family’s life circumstances

We all had a fair share of life circumstances. 2014, we lost our dad due to cancer, my husband lost his lolo due to old age, we had 2 series of unemployments and some financial problems. 2015, it’s like the continuation of 2014, consoling our mom during our mourning season, separation and long-distance childcare, 1 unemployment and financial struggle. 2016, was a good year, God restored all that we wanted to pursue, those that we missed, savings goals, dreams, home acquisition, clearer goals and more. 2017, is still uncertain, we have expectations and even before we embark to this year, God already had confirmations of what to expect and we are excited with that.
Through it all, there is one important thing that God wants us to inhabit in our hearts, it is about “gratefulness”. {New Perspective: Gratefulness and Thankfulness}

And find that

we would learn how to cultivate a life of gratefulness and thankfulness. Learning to appreaciate every season in our lives, that we will not give up on ourselves because God never did, and even if there are some struggles and life- circumstances – God is always there so inclined and willing to help and guide us.

In all things, give God praise, not only for the gifts that He gives, but because we understand that He is the source of all things. Our giver and our Father. Learn to be grateful even in the little, so when the big one comes, we will be more grateful. 🙂
Be thankful, always! {New Perspective: Gratefulness and Thankfulness}

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Find the articles

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Preceding

What would you do if…?

Just be yourself…

Winter and Spring wonders of nature showing the Master’s Hand

Echo

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Additional reading

  1. The Question is this…
  2. Struggles of life

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Further reading

  1. Under His Wings Part One
  2. Day 36: Living above reproach
  3. Dying to Live
  4. Bad Habits
  5. Life is Hard only half of the Truth
  6. Of Gifts and Grace and Immeasurably More
  7. – Laying Hold of the Hope –
  8. How to Live When this World Seems in Chaos (Part 3)
  9. Suffering, part 5; Mixed Bags
  10. Treasures of the Heart
  11. Seen Another Way
  12. Do People Still Do Thanksgiving???
  13. Happy Thanksgiving 2016
  14. Just Thankful: My #24
  15. a Thanksgiving meditation
  16. A Thankful Heart at Year’s End 2016
  17. When 2017 doesn’t look like you thought
  18. Give & Take Away
  19. Testimony Tuesday
  20. goodness precedes knowledge in Christianity/ in the faith
  21. Thank You
  22. I See, God Is Good
  23. God is good, in all the timing
  24. God’s Goodness vs Seeking Safety
  25. Only Goodness
  26. Greatness in You
  27. The Naked Truth
  28. The Faultfinder
  29. God’s goodness and Promises – By Laurence Torr
  30. Praise The Lord For His Goodness
  31. Just What I Needed
  32. good
  33. Today’s walk
  34. God’s recycling program
  35. The Battle Is Real
  36. Creation reveals God’s goodness
  37. If God guides, He will provide
  38. When God Moved a Mountain
  39. R.A. Torrey: Soul Winner
  40. Fruit of the Spirit!

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Filed under Being and Feeling, Lifestyle, Religious affairs

What would you do if…? Continued trial

When you are diagnosed with a disease which doctors say you shall have to live with it for as long as you can live, it does not mean you have to give in to it and let your self go. Be realistic also not to think you shall be able to get rid of it. No way! sorry for those who have put their hope in a possibility to get that horrible monster out of their body and to be free of any such malignant adversary.

Any illness of the bones and muscles which is considered for life, has to be looked at in that way. Though you shall not be able to cure it you might postpone the badness of it or get to learn with the limitations it brings over you.

I do agree sometimes the pain and the horrible prison you might find yourself can be so much threatening that you wish you were not born or that you would not mind having an end to your life.
The pain sometimes can be so horrible you want to break the walls or explode.

But than I would advice you to try to do the same as I try to do. To speak to the Most High Who gives and takes life and let us not be tempted over that what we really can cope. And you would be surprised that can be a lot. Though sometimes others may feel the pressure even more than you yourself. Once my family had to wait for two days before they got the news I was going to survive. Be sure, it was not me, who had tried to take my life away, but some aggressive road user who had pushed me from the motorway. At the moment of the accident I asked God to be able to stay here on this earth, and I am convinced He allowed it.

0510 Spondylitis ankylosans (morbus bechterew) anagoria.JPG

An ankylosing spine in which the vertebrae become fused together.

At that time I had already fought many years against Ankylosis Spondilitis (AS, Bekhterev spondylitis or Bechterev or Marie-Strümpell arthritis) after having got Rheumatic fever or rheumatoid arthritis. My job was my salvation. Being a dancer having lots of physical training every day was a battle against my own ‘corps’. But it was also not accident free, so sometimes I was put back or remembered how weak our body can be.

It did not stay with the earliest symptom of chronic lower back pain and when in 1999 two vertebra‘s were broken and I was paralysed for six months I had time enough to be busy with trying to get my body on track again. Certain doctors noticing the destruction of intervertebral disks and the growth of spurs on the vertebrae themselves wanted me to accept I had to stay the rest of my life in a wheelchair and should have enough rest. I resisted the idea to stay the rest of my life in a wheelchair and with help of the Belgian government and health-service I started one of my biggest battles in life, now applying the Kounovsky technique, which I had, for several years, taught and used to help other people with physical and mental problems, for my self. Application of heat, and lots of exercises to learn to move my fingers and the rest again to a point where I could try to maintain a normal range of movement, brought me ten years later to a point where I could say I was ‘the old one’ again, though still more limited than I was before the accident.  But we also should take into account the normal deterioration by age.

After everything seemed to go better we shall be confronted more than once by moments of declension. They may not let you down. Your mind should always be stronger than your body. You have to govern your body by your mind. You can read lots of scientific books about that, but may I advice you to take up a very strange old book perhaps? At first you will perhaps not see the reason to read such very old books, but once you started your adventure going from one book into an other, you will come to see the light and start finding answers.

Before my 1999 accident I was already busy with God. In the 1960s I even wanted to become a priest, but had most difficulty not being able to have a wife and children. The trinity matter and all the pagan rites in the Old Roman Catholic Church in which I grew up disturbed me also a lot. So much that I even went church shopping I had a look at all sorts of denominations and different faith groups.

After some long studies about religion in 1974 I became a non-trinitarian and in 1976 found myself at ease by the Baptists. But a little bit more than ten years later the American Southern Baptists got stronger and stronger and pressed their trinitarian way of thinking, so that thousands of my Baptist brethren and sisters went looking for other congregations. Most of them moved over to the Jehovah Witnesses and to the Church of God, whilst others found their way to the Church of Abrahamic Faith, the Restoration Church, and the Nazarene Friends.

1999 was a turning point and a year of many doubts, me wondering if I had chosen the right way and the right faith. then after my many doubts and my close talk to God, requesting Him to stay alive to take care of my family, I was granted an other life opportunity and got enough time, lying on my back to study once again the Bible and to do research on everything what is written in it.

Now I even became more convinced of the reality of that master-work and good reasons to believe that bestseller.

I was already convinced of our duty to care of mother earth, had been active in the green movement and also stood on the barricades in 1968 fighting for a more righteous society.

Back in the running, the biggest frustration I have to cope with is not being able to dance any more, or not able to enjoy movement, because moving demands a lot of my being (offering me ‘pain for free’). I let not others notice it and do not complain about it, but it is in me, and I know it shall stay with me. To operate my back is too dangerous, thus as long as I can cope with the pain that is my best option, to continue to do whatever I want to do, moving around and doing things I like to do.

And that is what every person should do when trapped in his own body. Not letting it become master of the inner soul, but letting it be a carrier of strive and war-zones of positivity, going forward as long as we can. Never mind that those around us not always see the struggle we have to go through and sometimes do not seem to comprehend us. For the youngsters it is often very difficult to grasp it is sometimes something we can not cope with ourselves. To apprehend the deeper undercurrents of life is not always given to the young ones. Often they also do not understand the work we do and get not paid for, can also be considered work or something necessary. And when it has to do with faith, for them it seems all a waste of energy and time. Hopefully they shall come to learn the value of it.

We can only hope that enough motor neurons shall reach from the brain and spinal cord to the muscles and that they can stay enough elastic and reactive to react properly to signals we want to get to them. But also our mind has to be able to think properly. Also that is not always acceptable for the youngsters that we forget things or at certain moments can come up the right word any more. Wear and tear gets master over us, but also that should not get us to stop to continue our ‘battle’.

Having had several unpleasant and painful experiences, I had to learn the hard way that “Life is hard”. Previous to my serious accident I had put lots of energy in many people and lots of cases. Having for a third time to build up my life, this time like beginning from scrap again, because I had memory loss, and had to learn everything about what happened in the past again. This was an incredible difficult task, to take loss of languages, which still gets me frustrated at moments.
But I also learned not to loose energy any more in ‘lost cases’ and to stop in time to stay in contact with certain people or tackling certain subjects. I found out that it is better to stay in contact with the right people. It is much easier to surround oneself with people who can ‘energeticise’, those who can bring something positive to our life as well, by not pulling it down and by not considering us ‘lower’ or ‘disabled’ or ‘not performant’ any more. Yes it is much better to get positive people around you. People that won’t only rejoice with you in the good times but and who will not stay away when it goes bad with you. People who are willing to support us in the difficult times are the ones we better have around us.

For that reason I also wanted to spread more positivism and share positive ideas, and therefore created this lifestyle magazine, also in the hope people shall find some articles which can strengthen and courage them as well give them more hope and perhaps also shall get them to know other people with similar problems who can help them further.

Often it helps when we do know we are not alone and that others have foudn solutions which can be good for us as well. From each-others experiences and from sharing ideas we also can learn a lot.

But not only the people are important. Also the things we do and the things we eat.

I am convinced that what we eat and think is very important. So we should take care we try to eat and use as much as possible natural materials not burdening our body with animal material. We do not need meat and to much meat is eaten in our greedy society. A huge variety of fruit and vegetables will help you on your way to have less pain whilst avoiding as much as possible the synthetic medicinal drugs. If you never tried it, please do it, go to a homeopathic doctor and see what he can offer you to reduce your ‘hell’ to something you can bear.

With a good natural diet and natural drugs (homeopathy and phytotherapy) you shall notice life will be so much easier. Ad to it a daily dose of some walking and daily exercise and you shall go a step higher.

And yes, why should you not think about some other part of life, the spiritual life?

What would you do if you know your body is hurting you so much or luck does not seem to have come your way?

Why would you not reconsider everything that happened to you and those you love and come to see that there is more behind it all?

Would it be nice to know that there is some promise which can become a reality for you and me as well?

In the Bible are promises given to individuals and to people or nations. Prophesies have come true so why not shall the last ones which are not fulfilled yet, not come true?
Have a look at them. Think about them. Think also about some one who had a body which seemed normal and not affected by pains or limitations. That man from Nazareth walked for miles and could not stop talking about the One he loved and trusted. He showed why we too should trust Him Who is much mightier than that man who walked through desserts and was tempted more than once, but did not give in. He managed to put his own will aside, to do the will of his heavenly Father.
Why should we also not try to listen to that Father and give our hands, our life also in His hands?

You better be careful the environment you choose for it will shape you and choose for the right people around you. Always remembering that self-preservation is the highest law of nature and that being angry upon yourself or a situation is not going to help. And remember that

You only lose energy when life becomes dull in your mind

Know there is a good foundation to go your way but be always careful where you want to put down your steps or leave your marks or sow your seeds.

And most important to remember:

Never give up or never give in. Keep running the battle.

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Preceding articles

What would you do if…?

What Are You Seeking?

Denis Wright looking at the world of human beings

Mourners Celebrate Life Of Inspirational Cancer Teen

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

Be not afraid of going slowly; be afraid only of standing still

See the conquest and believe that we can gain the victory

May we have doubts

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Additional reading

  1. What would you do if…?
  2. Meaning of life 
  3. The business of this life
  4. When discouraged facing opposition
  5. The road to success is dotted with many tempting parking places
  6. When you don’t know what to do and hate yourself
  7. Do not be so busy adding up your troubles
  8. Be Not Thou Weary
  9. Confidence
  10. Hope begins in the dark
  11. Suffering
  12. Suffering continues
  13. Offer in our suffering
  14. Suffering – through the apparent silence of God
  15. Relapse plan
  16. God’s instruction about joy and suffering
  17. God’s promises to us in our suffering
  18. Emotional pain and emotional deadness
  19. From pain to purpose
  20. Suffering leading to joy
  21. Surprised by time in joys & sufferings
  22. Allowed to heal
  23. Old story to inspire and to give hope to those who are oppressed
  24. An anarchistic reading of the Bible (2)—Creation and what follows
  25. 1 Corinthians 15 Hope in action
  26. End of the Bottom Line
  27. Light going on in darkness
  28. Solution for Willing hearts filled with gifts
  29. Luck
  30. Shelter in the morning
  31. Vision blurred by cumulative burden of divisions
  32. Never too late to start going to the right end
  33. Not words of any organisation should bind you, but the Word of God
  34. I Only hope we find GOD again before it is too late !
  35. Give your worries to God
  36. Call unto God so that He can answer you
  37. Trust the future to God
  38. Does God answer prayer?
  39. Make a joyful noise unto Yahweh, rejoice, and sing praise unto Jehovah
  40. God loving people justified
  41. God my fence, my hope for the future
  42. God is my refuge and my fortress in Him I will trust
  43. Separation from God in death, the antithesis of life
  44. Seeing the world through the lens of his own experience
  45. Knowing where to go to
  46. A Living Faith #1 Substance of things hoped for
  47. A Living Faith #5 Perseverance
  48. A Living Faith #9 Our Manner of Life
  49. Final forming of a person’s character lies in his own hands
  50. Happy is the person who knows what to remember of the past
  51. To have fire in yourself to warm others
  52. Blessed are those who freely give
  53. Words must be weighed, not counted
  54. Honor your own words as if they were an important contract
  55. Obstacles to your goal
  56. Foundation to go the distance
  57. Remember there’s a light in the next day
  58. Let tomorrow be sufficient
  59. Fear not tomorrow. God is already there
  60. A time for everything
  61. People should know what you stand for
  62. Finish each day and be done with it
  63. Character is built
  64. Patience is the ability to count down before blasting off
  65. A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks away
  66. Weapons of our warfare
  67. Without God no purpose, no goal, no hope
  68. You God hold the future
  69. To belong to = toebehoren
  70. Possibility to live
  71. Don’t Envy the World
  72. Walking alone?
  73. Careful what you sow, it might grow
  74. Be a ready giver
  75. Sow and harvests in the garden of your heart
  76. Joy: Foundation for a Positive Life

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Further reading

  1. The unfairytale
  2. He Is Disabled???!
  3. Disabled entrance
  4. Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS) Awareness Month
  5. 9 Top Rehab Centers for Spinal Cord Injuries
  6. Blind
  7. Invisible Strength
  8. Life, reality and fairy dust
  9. My “illness”
  10. The “web”
  11. Infinite Inhibition
  12. The Amygdalin Explosion
  13. A Spoonful of Sour
  14. The Struggle
  15. Eleven.
  16. Jaini’s Diaries turns One!
  17. Habits
  18. Riot Erupts At Wheelchair Basketball Tournament
  19. Yeshiva Invites Their CP Friends for Shabbos
  20. Prompt for the Day: “Diverse”
  21. Prompt for the Day: “Chaos”
  22. Prompt for the Day: “Stroll”
  23. Disabled and Pregnant
  24. Creative solution helps him work in the arts
  25. Oaklands: Part 1
  26. 13 Days To Go!
  27. The Wait
  28. Falling in love
  29. I’m Back.
  30. I’m not THAT old…
  31. Keeper of Sunlight
  32. A break in your workout routine causing you troubles?
  33. Frustrated, Confused and Under the Weather
  34. Dear Patience…
  35. I Can’t Resist A Good Challenge!
  36. What the heck is Stress anyway?| Ataraxia Series 07 | Understanding the Biological Reality of Stress
  37. Frustrating Transition
  38. Trapped?
  39. Trapped 2
  40. The wall…
  41. Caitlyn Jenner might de-transition back to a Bruce? claims Biographer
  42. Cold Bones
  43. When You Feel Trapped
  44. Not much to say
  45. Life Goes On
  46. Stop Running
  47. When God Intervenes
  48. The True Nature of God
  49. Standing Up For What You Believe

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Filed under Being and Feeling, Health affairs, Lifestyle, Religious affairs, Social affairs, Welfare matters

Don’t be Muslim

With everything what is going on in Europe and the Middle East many who want to worship only One True God may think it is better not to become or to be a Muslim. For non-trinitarian Christians this might be a good thing to be able to welcome those who love the Divine Creator, the God of Abraham.

But fear is not always the right or good reason to change faith. When it is fear for God than it is very good to make the right choice going on the right path, following Allah‘s commandments and coming to an understanding of the sent one from Him.

All those who dare to call themselves Christian should be worried about the recent of Islamophobic reactions. The Parisian attacks did not help, neither the refugee crisis nor the Muslim community or Ummah.

Lots of people do forget under the victims were also non-believers, Christians but also Jews and Muslims. From several sites we do hear Jews and Muslims who are bullied, or have witnessed, or have been victims of racial crimes. Racial slurs, violent confrontations, verbal abuse; the full spectrum of hate crime has been on show.

We condemn every terrorist act but we also should condemn every antisocial behaviour. We must warn others and be careful not to become blind ourselves for what is really going on and how some may try to get more power in our society.

People should remember that those who call themselves Jew, Christian or Muslim should follow the Holy Scriptures. Torah (Law), Nebim (Prophets), Kethubim aleph (First Writings) Kethubim Bet (Second Writings or Messianic Scriptures = New Testament) and Quran or Koran condemn such violence and hatred. Those who are terrorising lots of people in the name of Allah are abusing the God’s title and God’s Name.

Too many people seem to be blind and deaf about Islam which says no to terrorism, It is up to the Muslim teachers, imams, preachers and followers of the prophet Muhammad to show the world that those terrorists are not representable for Islam and that the real Muslim faith is a very peaceful religion.

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the writer her mind turns to her mum worrying about her every time she sees a post about an attack or abuse.

heart aches > anything happening to her +  anyone harming her + looking at her as someone other than who she is <=== loving, caring, selfless + humble human

cycle of violence numbes

here + Middle East + Asia = affected by violence

know people who have lost relatives in Syria, Palestine, Yemen, Lebanon, Jordan. Iraq, Pakistan etc. etc. etc.

More Muslims are killed + affected by terrorist’s attacks than any other group of people

> unenviable position of being part of a group which is labeled both victim and perpetrator.

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Preceding articles

What we don’t say about the refugee crisis?

Human tragedy need to be addressed at source

Real progress leaves nobody behind

Migration not something to fear

Human tragedy need to be addressed at source

Poster: Please help the refugees

 

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Additional reading:

  1. A world with or without religion
  2. Sharing a common security and a common set of values
  3. Migrants to the West #1
  4. Migrants to the West #5
  5. Migrants to the West #10 Religious freedom
  6. Not true or True Catholicism and True Islam
  7. ISIS cannot be presenters of the real Islam
  8. Islamic State forcing the West to provide means for Kurdistan
  9. Malaysia requires sole use of God’s title for Muslims
  10. Shariah and child abuse – Is there a connection?
  11. Where do we stand in the backdrop of Charlie Hebdo Massacre ?
  12. Public not informed enough about Jihad terrorism in Belgium
  13. Quran can convert to Christianity
  14. Muslims should also Fear God
  15. Al-Fatiha [The Opening] Süra 1: 4-7 Merciful Lord of the Creation to show us the right path
  16. Islam says it admires faith based on logic, what about the others

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Filed under Activism and Peace Work, Crimes & Atrocities, Headlines - News, Political affairs, Re-Blogs and Great Blogs, Religious affairs

On the Affirmation of Scripture

On the tenth of October 2015 in the United Kingdom there took place a debate on the dwindling numbers of community members.

Small” and “big” may be relative, but for certain faith groups in Christendom they can not ignore that they are a tiny group. The groups of Christianity who keep to the teachings of Jesus and who believe what he and his Father say are also “small” compared to the mainline churches of Christendom.

The Christadelphians, who are a very small group in Christianity its non-trinitarian groups had all the reason to come together at Dudley college to look at their society.

The Christadelphians were once an outspoken, vibrant, edgy “Christian” group who spread their urgent end-times message far and wide. They grew exponentially in the latter half of the nineteenth century, but their heyday is long past. For several decades now they resemble a heavy rusty old steam locomotive that is running out of speed as it lumbers along ill-kept tracks, but still tries to muster the motion needed to take on steep mountain slopes.

recognised Arne Roberts who looked at the community of Dr. John Thomas who inspired many Bible Students from which later came such today better know and much bigger groups like the International Bible Students and Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Al over the world we may find big churches and in the United States of America we even can find mega churches. What we can see and hear at those churches and institutions that often they have gone far away from the Biblical Truth.

Many people may think the big churches and those who have the classical church building are the real good churches. On what do they base themselves for making that judgement? Is it really the looks outside that make the Church of God. are those places with shining gold and many pictures and statues the right temples god wanted to have build for Him? And in those huge places is there done a worship of the right god and in the right way, according to God’s Wishes?

Often it is better to be a small church, with people so loving the Word of God that they really spent enough time studying it and living according to it. The only danger with a small church is that with being small there can be a small mindset or that people do not feel enough encouragement and start loosing interest.

A small group (12-15 people) is the perfect environment for people to share needs of being able to talk to people, to share ideas, to feel common ground and to find an intimate environment.  In fact, this is the size of group Jesus himself also used for discipleship and his disciples also came together in small groups at each-others houses. they did not have especially build worship places outside the synagogue. For their bible study and worship of God those who were not a Jew, but followed the teachings of Jesus, gathered regularly in public and private places. They were not looking for big numbers but were happy to meet with like minded followers of Christ.

Let believers always assure that they go hand in hand with each other, looking for the biblical knowledge and wisdom entrusting the elder-ship, leadership or guidance of their church by people who are really founded in the truth, continuing to study that Word of God and putting it in the first place plus knowing where and how to go to.

In that small church may be a strong feeling of togetherness where the leader of the group does not as a dictator but is willing to share his vision and hopes that can inspire and affirm what God is stirring in the hearts of that small community.

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Additional readings

  1. a little church
  2. Is your church small?
  3. The Big Conversation
  4. The Big Conversation follow up
  5. The Big conversation – Antagonists
  6. The Big conversation – Recognition and refocus
  7. Having a small church mentality
  8. Reasons why you may not miss the opportunity to go to a Small Church
  9. Follower of Jesus part of a cult or a Christian
  10. To remove the whitewash of the Jehovah Witnesses as being the only true Bible Students and Bible Researchers
  11. Vision blurred by cumulative burden of divisions
  12. Not words of any organisation should bind you, but the Word of God
  13. Why we do not have our worship-services in a church building
  14. Four Pressing Needs in Rural Communities, and How the Church Should Respond

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Further reading

  1. What is God’s Will For Your Life?
  2. On the Affirmation of Scripture
  3. Walking in Total Dependence Upon God
  4. Walking With Intentionality
  5. Deacon Selection In the Small Church
  6. If It’s All About Relationship…
  7. Advice to Pastors from Nanny McPhee
  8. Just Try a Few Things
  9. Seven Critical Factors in Bringing About Change
  10. For the Bookshelf: The Apathetic and Bored Church Member
  11. A Snapshot of the Church in America
  12. Jesus and the Church Growth Gurus
  13. What’s in It for Me?
  14. What’s my line?
  15. A major problem in the church.
  16. Overcome division with core values
  17. Why Churches Must Plant Churches That Plant Churches (Part II)
  18. How do you eat an elephant?
  19. “When Faith Goes, All Good Things Go”

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The Wittenberg Door

With respect to the authority of Scripture, the greatest challenge facing Bible-believing churches today is not the disbelief aimed at the Bible from outside the faith; nor is it the attack against it from unbelieving theologians cloaked with Christian terminology.

The greatest challenge facing Christians are pulpits where the inerrant Word is wholeheartedly affirmed but routinely side-stepped and ignored. If your preacher is not preaching the text, he is not preaching the Bible, and functionally denies its authority. It does little for the church to affirm the authority of the Scriptures, if the church’s preachers are not shaped by it. If the preachers and elders of the church are not fed on the Word of God, with what do they feed the sheep entrusted to them?

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Filed under Re-Blogs and Great Blogs, Religious affairs

Daring to speak in multicultural environment

Living in a multicultural environment, in a democratic capitalist world, you may wonder how much freedom of speech and freedom of religion people are willing to give to each other.

U.S Postage Stamp, 1957

U.S Postage Stamp, 1957 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In our world which says it is a free democratic world you would expect religious freedom to be a fundamental right. It might well be recognised by international human rights documents, and one which is integral to our human dignity, but that does not mean yet that people are so open minded they accept other’s people way of thinking and certainly not their sort of faith. In our surroundings the countries may enable its citizens to live in accordance with deeply held values and beliefs about what it means to be human, but by the different population groups we encounter often those who only are prepared to have their way of thinking, their faith, to be the one to be the main value and to which everybody has to adapt to. For sure that can not be called an open mind.

The exclusion of other Christians can be felt mostly by evangelicals, especially pentecostal new-born Christians. They shall in many cases fiercely react against non-trinitarian Christians, even would deny their right to call themselves Christians. Strangely enough by those evangelicals who call for unity under Christians and say we should come to religious freedom, we find many who oppose Muslims or people belonging to an other religion than their Christendom. Are those who are calling for religious freedom accepting the theists (those who accept a or the godhead exist) and atheists who belief that he doesn’t

(glossing over wrinkles in which god we may be talking about…). {Does not believing result in belief?}

Often we do find they close the doors for such other believing people, instead of trying to go into conversation talking about the differences in belief. Often they complain that their faith is threatened by all the immigrants and by the many converts to Islam. They also often complain that the other groups seemingly have little understanding of, or respect for, the rights of their religious communities to maintain the religious identity of their organisations, but often it are they themselves who oppose the religious laws like halal and kosher food or religious killing of animals without sedatives. In Belgium we can clearly see this with the opposition against the slaughter of sheep for the Jews and Muslims.

In Australia some may call to withdraw all government funds from organisations that ‘discriminate’, but often they do not see in own bosom, often bringing wrong and discriminating messages over other believers.

As Babamboga from Nairobi,Kenya, writes:

Christians at time are so side blinded they believe that the only way is Jesus Christ and anything else is going to hell including Muslims and the Buddhists and if go further on some a bit open minded Christians will say that Allah is the same God but does that mean anyone worshipping Buddha or Seth are already sinners but really is that their problem. It is like judging people who grew up knowing Santa Claus exists, is it really their problem that they believe such old folk tales are real? And oftenly in most of those movies it is faith that ensures these fairy tale super heroes are still alive. {Oh, My brother testify.}

This person is right to remind people what is written in the Bible were God is letting the world know that

there will be prophets who will spread his word

and that it doesn’t necessarily have to be pastors who give wrong renditions of the Bible based on their useless understanding of the word. Too many people still give too much preference to those theologian writings instead of clinging to the Bible Words, of which we are told that they are the Words of God.

In Belgium, the last thirty years, church attendance became minimal whilst the attendance at mosques grew intensively. We do agree that in our juridical system only the recognised religions agreeing with the council shall have their priests, pastors, rabbi‘s or imams paid by the government, but that did not withdraw many who believe in only One God to go out and preach and to attract those Christians who got muddled up by the many human doctrines.

By those monotheist believers we do find the non-trinitarian Christians who are outnumbered by the many different non-recognised or non-official or not Islam council associated Muslims, who often get together in packed garage mosques.

At the same time we do find several fanatic fundamentalist Christians who bring in hell for everything they can. They come up with saying that the Bible actually condemns some behaviour and wonder how the church will outright give justice to drunkards and prostitutes.

… yet in the bible itself, mind you in the new testament, weren’t prostitutes part of His plans, weren’t thieves there too…. {Oh, My brother testify.}

Those who call themselves Christian should come to see the difference between Christendom and Christianity and should distance themselves from human doctrines, looking for Biblical truth there where it is to find, in the Bible itself.

Some Christians are so into their religion and they fail to see when pastors apply simple mind games of the interpretation and soon a whole congregation enjoys in the feasting of snakes and you wonder has it really got to the point that if I do a couple of acted miracles and tell people the Lord wants us to eat sinners you will all follow. {Oh, My brother testify.}

In our surroundings where, this way, we do find many who fled from the Catholic and other Christian denominations to find a stronghold by Muslims, it is important that followers of Christ take up the Bible and perhaps also the Quran to show others where it went wrong in Christendom and what is really written in the Holy Books and how our society should come to the Abrahamic faith.

When there is an open mind and freedom of religion, each faith-group, monotheist, unitarian or trinitarian, or having a whole bunch of gods to worship, should have the same rights to be there and to speak out.

That outspokenness we not often enough do find by Christians. Many of them just keep their beliefs for their own and do not dare to speak about it with others.

The agnostic is saying that they don’t think there is a way to transform a belief about god’s existence into knowledge. But they could still hold a belief on the matter. You could be an agnostic atheist, or, for that matter, an agnostic theist. {Does not believing result in belief?}

For many the issue of a god has become so complicated by theologians and philosophers

that we think it is some totally different concept that we can treat differently. Maybe people just don’t want to take a stand, they’re too unsure or don’t want to offend. {Does not believing result in belief?}

The one who really believes in the One True God, need not to be afraid to express his opinion. He has good reason to let others know what he believes.

Many would say

Of course there is no chance of “proving” God by strict logical syllogisms (but can we prove anything outside of mathematics this way?) Every logician knows that there’s nothing in the conclusion that is not already latent in the premises. But neither is this inability any proof that such a being as God does not or cannot exist. You may as well say that since I cannot prove to you whether life exists on other planets by sheer argument it therefore cannot exist. An unprovable proposition is not any more false (or true) simply because it cannot be proven. {Pascal’s Possibility}

We have the Book of books to give us an idea of the nature of the Most High Divine Being. For some it seems manifestly impossible to prove an image of God,

formed by a haphazard, subconscious blending of our moral intuitions and deepest wishes, it is not simply a figment of our imagination {Pascal’s Possibility}

The real believer knows exactly it is not just some imagination and wants others to know it. It is like you found something incredible or you ‘invented’ something extraordinary. You cannot be quiet about it.

Some might think the fact that the ideal is too good to be really possible.
But

It is a trick of the mind to think that the goodness of a thing counts as positive proof against its existence. You may as well be lying on the beach and say the sun feels too good to exist. {Pascal’s Possibility}

Encountering so many people today who laugh at the saying that there would be a god Who created everything and Who is so good that He has a Plan that will bring eternal life and peace for many, there is reason enough to tell them that the question about such a God existing has nothing to do with if logic proves it

… logic either does, or does not, make such a God’s existence possible. {Pascal’s Possibility}

But we should listen to our inner being and look around ourselves. We also should not be afraid not to claim absolute demonstrable knowledge, but “reasonable belief”. And that “reasonable belief” should be founded deep in our heart and fed by a thorough knowledge of the Bible.

From somewhere we received the Good News and came into the faith. Now it’s up to us to share it wherever we are. We now should come to the conclusion that it is marvellous that we came into the faith to become children of God. Knowing and accepting the Divine Creator as our heavenly Father to Whom we own everything, we also do know that it is a privilege and a responsibility that God gives to us to go and speak others about His wonderworks.

When we came into the faith we wanted to become part of the Body of Christ, the church, and one of the highest things that you can do in the church, is to be an active member willing to share the truth. For sharing that truth we do not have to give a theological or biblical lecture and we do not have to have a theological education (though it might help, but could also distract, because most theological colleges are formed from one or the other denomination and focussing more on the worldly writings than on the Bible itself.)

What the community of faith demands of their members is an openness to others and words that can make the community grow. Though it is also not bad to have words which will remind those in community of how the world really is now. Therefore we too are looking for writers who are willing to share how the world is evolving. What happens around us may not let us be untouched. We have to notice it and should react accordingly how that God would like us to behave in such surroundings.

When looking at this reality of the world we are living in we can show the difference of this world with the different world in God’s Plan. Writing about it or preaching we can become preachers exposing the lies that are driving people’s lives,

ripping them to shreds, sapping them of strength and energy. {10 Years of Preaching, 10 Lessons: Lesson 1}

A ‘Lead Pastor’ from Bloom in Denver believes preaching is

standing up in a tradition that reaches back to Moses and Isaiah and finds its consummation and climax in Jesus of Nazareth and saying, “The reign of God is here. Change your mind, and believe yourself into this shocking good news.” {10 Years of Preaching, 10 Lessons: Lesson 1}

It is following up the task Jesus has give to his disciples, to go out into the world to tell about that Good News. We have to come to understand that we are messengers called to this –

to employing all of the resources our speech to construct alternative modes of understanding for the people of God so that they can leave every dehumanizing Egypt and Babylon they find themselves in. Week after week, we summon them saying, It is time to go home! {10 Years of Preaching, 10 Lessons: Lesson 1}

It is not by praying often out loud, while driving down the road, for all to see, listening to a lot of Christian music with sometimes cheesy, weird beats and no cuss words, letting yourself be seen at the church-building and certainly not by going to church and

worship a man named Jesus who you may believe has saved the world by dying and coming back to life. {Why Being A Christian Isn’t Cool}

that you will find the way back home and would bring others to home-base. But when you keep to the words as they are written in the Bible and to a honest form of worship, without all the cirque and circumstance, concentrating on the truth instead of letting yourself and others be diverted by entertainment, you shall be able to go together with other devoted people on the right path. And, yes, that way you perhaps have lesser people in your congregation and would not be able to build a mega church, but better to have a good quality church than a quantity church.

We, who label ourselves as “Christians” need to re-focus.  We need to speak the truth, even when it hurts.  We need to replace the luke warm water in our mouths with hot sauce baby, confidently sharing God’s peace, grace and power.   {Why Being A Christian Isn’t Cool}

We should not have fear, like the apostles, when Jesus was caught, where very much afraid to let others know they were with Jesus. After he died and raised from the dead they even did hide in houses. We should not hide ourselves in our house, but go out, like the apostles did after they received the Holy Spirit.

We as Christians should be baptised with water but also with Holy Spirit and be encouraged to speak. Opening our heart to God we can let God’s Spirit enlighten us and guide us on our way. Trusting Him using His Word as our backbone we shall be able to enter many sorts of gates of this world, which is in the hands of ‘Satan,’ the adversary of God who more than once shall try to question you about the existence of that One God.

When questioned about God, what we belief and be tested, let us never compromise the truth ourselves for anything or anyone. We always do have to be carefully how we treat the Word of God. It is sacrilegious. That Holy Word we should sincerely seriously investigate and reflect on ourselves and those around us. When we want to tell others about that word we sincerely honestly should show the facts of it, showing that it presents good but also bad in all people, even in men of God. Bring the gospel-message we should dare to show good and bad of all and that we dare to let others see the brutal forces or battles which took place in the past. We may not present it as if everything is moonshine but also never may be guilty of turning the sweet gospel into something sour by our own surliness.

If we do, we might cause the hearer to turn away from God wincing instead of turning to him rejoicing. {Lessons Learned from 25 Years of Preaching (3)}

We also should remember that we

Don’t Have to Be Vicious with Truth to Be Strong for Truth {Lessons Learned from 25 Years of Preaching (3)}

We may not let any unwholesome talk come out of our mouths. Our ordinary speech should be  always with grace and as a sacrifice.

Col 4:6 RNKJV  Let your speech be always with favour, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.

Col 3:8 RNKJV  But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.

Eph 4:24 RNKJV  And that ye put on the new man, which after Elohim is created in righteousness and true holiness.

It is a vain effort to try to exorcise the evil only. Character is not a negation. Having put on the new self by our baptism we should be proud to show to others that renewed body which is created in God’s likeness and let it reveals itself in the true life that is upright and holy.

By saying

You have learned the Christ

the apostle Paul puts the members of the ecclesia their faith upon a high level; it is the faith of approved disciples in Christ’s school. For such men the “philosophy and vain deceit” of Colossae and the plausibilities of the new “scheme of error” will have no charm.

Also for us who want to go out in the world to bring the Word of God to as many as we can, we should be so pleased that we have found the treasures of wisdom and knowledge that are hidden in Christ, that we want to share that treasure with as many as we can, because we do want to have the love of Christ also in our heart and bring the fire unto those around us.

Therefore also in trying to reach others we do not want to use harmful words, but only helpful words, the kind that build up and provide what is needed, so that what we say will do good to those who hear us.

Eph 4:29-32 RNKJV  Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister favour unto the hearers.  (30)  And grieve not the holy Spirit of YHWH, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.  (31)  Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:  (32)  And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as YHWH for the Messiah’s sake hath forgiven you.

 

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Preceding articles:

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

What Should I Preach ?

 

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Find also:

  1. Religious Freedom in a Multicultural World conference, 25 Sep 2015
  2. Freedom for faith
  3. Hope by faith and free gift
  4. Jehovah steep rock and fortress, source of insight
  5. Atonement And Fellowship 4/8
  6. Bible in the first place #2/3
  7. Bible in the first place #3/3
  8. The Bible and names in it; Proclaiming the Name of The One and Only Who Is and has EverBeen
  9. Necessary to be known all over the earth
  10. Necessity of a revelation of creation 10 Instructions for insight and wisdom
  11. Proclaiming shalom, bringing good news of good things, announcing salvation
  12. Reasons to come together
  13. The Right One to follow and to worship
  14. Fools despise wisdom and instruction
  15. Those who love Jesus
  16. Risen With Him
  17. What is preaching to me… and what it is for others.
  18. Are You Afraid To Witness?
  19. Science, 2013 word of the year, and Scepticism
  20. 34th World Congress of the International Association for Religious Freedom (IARF)
  21. See God’s wonderworks and hear His Voice
  22. Faith related boycotts
  23. European Parliament stands for human dignity
  24. Inequality, Injustice, Sustainability and the Free World Charter
  25. Texts, writers, accesibility and willingness
  26. Journal for and from bothered citizens
  27. Couple Ordered to Stop Holding Bible Study at Home Without Permit
  28. A small circle taking a nation hostage
  29. Being Charlie 2
  30. Lack of religious freedom South Sudan
  31. 2013 Lifestyle, religiously and spiritualy
  32. 2014 Religion
  33. Stepping Toes 2014 in review
  34. Blow to legitimacy of the capitalist system
  35. Anti-Semitism ‘on the rise’ in Europe
  36. Israel, Fitting the Plan when people allow it
  37. Vatican against Opponents of immigration
  38. Migrants to the West #2
  39. Migrants to the West #3
  40. Migrants to the West #10 Religious freedom
  41. Freely & fairly
  42. Approachers of ideas around gods, philosophers and theologians
  43. Democratic principles for church
  44. Manifests for believers #5 Christian Union
  45. Mormons, just an other faith
  46. Driscoll not wished as a guest at 2015 Hillsong Conference
  47. Vatican lifts ban on married priests for Eastern Catholic churches in US, Canada, Australia
  48. Anti-Semitic incidents in Australia in 2012 highest ever on record
  49. In a world which knows no peace sharing blessed hope
  50. A beginning with many false starts
  51. Church sent into the world
  52. Evangelisation, local preaching opposite overseas evangelism
  53. Two new encyclopaedic articles
  54. Follower of Jesus part of a cult or a Christian
  55. Using the name Jehovah but not a witness of that name
  56. To remove the whitewash of the Jehovah Witnesses as being the only true Bible Students and Bible Researchers
  57. Not many coming out with their community name
  58. Let us make sure we are not stiff-necked
  59. Christadelphian Auxiliary Lecturing Society in changed times
  60. Dissolution of Bijbelvorsers (Bible scholars), Association for Bible study
  61. Counting sands and stars
  62. Dealing with worries in our lives
  63. Sunday 7 September service: Imitate prophets and Paul
  64. A man from the North wanting to have control in Belgium
  65. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #2 Witnessing
  66. First Century of Christianity
  67. Breathing to teach
  68. Words to push and pull
  69. Good or bad preacher
  70. Caricaturing and disapproving sceptics, religious critics and figured out ethics
  71. A true sermon is a real deed.
  72. What Should I Preach ?
  73. Truth, doubt or blindness
  74. Preachers should know and continue the task Jesus has given his followers
  75. How to Choose a Bible for Preaching
  76. Looking for True Spirituality 7 Preaching of the Good News
  77. Missionary action paradigm for all endeavours of the church
  78. A new school-, academic and church year
  79. Kill the messenger
  80. Biblereading statue
  81. Record breaking preaching in Mount Dora
  82. Many forgot how Christ should be our anchor and our focus
  83. Parish, local church community – Parochie, plaatselijke kerkgemeenschap
  84. Not all ability to preach

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Further reading:

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31 Comments

Filed under Activism and Peace Work, Announcement, Knowledge & Wisdom, Lifestyle, Religious affairs, Spiritual affairs, World affairs

Scepticals of the Bible

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

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

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

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

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

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

sign at front gate

sign at front gate (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“And a lot of churches are doing that,”

says Kinnaman.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Additional reading:

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

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Please do find to read:

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

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

    • There are now 3.9 billion urbanites in the world.

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

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

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

    19% Bible Lovers/19% Bible Skeptics.

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

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Filed under Religious affairs

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.

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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

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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?

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  • 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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