Tag Archives: Submitting to God

It’s Time real lovers of God to Stand and Speak Out!

On one article we reblogged over here (and as such did not write it ourselves) and in which there were used popular words by youngsters, somebody felt offended. It looks like she could not feel any empathy with the generation we and the author of the original article were talking about and brought herself calling us stupid people, though missing the whole point of that article and the discussion around it.

Extended Coloured family from South Africa showing some spectrum of human skin colouration

In our world we see still too many people who want to differentiate between skin colour and race. They continue to demand that there would be called or named the differences between people who live at the same place, instead of accepting everybody who lives there for what he is and for how he looks like. They insist that people who live already for many generations in a certain country or area would still have a referral to that long ago place of origin as if that place of origin of so many generations ago brought a blemish on that person. It looks like many do want that lots of people keep running around with the stain of their past and long death ancestors.

Today we see again a movement going on to put on all people labels, like Moroco, Turkish,  Arabic, Berber, Afro-American, etc.. Though those people may already live here for the 3rd, 4th or even 5th generation. As we spoke about the trend the Dutch Press requesting not to use the word ‘blank’ (fair) but now to use ‘wit’ (white) opposite ‘zwart’ (black) instead of ‘kleurling (coloured). Whilst certain newspapers still shall continue words as ‘blank’ and ‘kleurling’ (coloured) not looking at the different skin colour as something negative. Clearly the colour of the skin has become again a point of discussion and we are back to the way of return and pre-Martin Luther King-times, or the time of racial segregation with Apartheid.

Darya safai-1480075466.jpg

Iranian-Belgian human rights activist Darya Safai playtoy of the rightwing political parties trying to limit the freedom of expression and freedom of religion

Several politicians are doing their best to come back to such a time and many migrants are helping them without them having a proper knowledge of what is happening. As such we may find the Iranian dentist Darya Safai who is used as a plaything by the Flemish Nationalists and/or right-wing political parties. The Iranian-Belgian human rights activist grew up in the Islamic Republic of Iran after the revolution of 1979. We can clearly see how she got traumatised with her experiences in Iran. There she experienced at first hand how it was to live as an oppressed woman in a religious dictatorship. But now she thinks this would also be so in Belgium or the countries around us. She insist that parents would have no say on the religious education they want to give at home and want to prohibit any person in our country to wear religious symbols or to have traditional attire.  She finds the schools must prohibit any religious dress-code. By doing so she wants the freedom of religion, the freedom of expression and the freedom of clothing restricted. By doing so see also endangers our democratic freedom.

After she was temporarily released on bail, she decided to flee Iran together with husband via Turkey to Belgium.  Instead of seeing that we want to be a free country where everybody should be able to live next to each other she now wants to create an other Iran where she shall be on the side of the dictators or decision makers. Though she says she wants to fight against discrimination she tries to bring in discriminating  measures, having children nor their parents the right to choose their own religion and how they want to be religious.

In December 2016, Darya Safai was awarded the title ‘Women Of Peace’ by the Belgian Secretary of State for Equal Opportunities at the Belgian Senate, for her fight for women’s rights, though at that time it was already clear she had a more unpleasant agenda.

Last week when  a state school was ordered to let 11 young girls (age 12) to wear their hijab to school inspite their ban on all religious symbols Safai went into heavy reaction again helping to have a growing stir in the debate

because when a judge rules that specific people can ignore a rule that counts for everyone, it will cause more division.

It is true that now other Muslim, Sikh, Jewish parents can go to court and achieve the same override for their kid. On the other hand by Safai her actions to forbid head-covering we now have Sikh kids in Sint-Truiden (Haspengouw Hesbaye), who cannot go any more to a state- or to a Catholic school because they are not allowed in with their head covering. For them and for those who want to wear a head-covering the only solution is to go to a private school. Safai forgets that this would cost the parents a lot more and that such private schools of a certain religion endangers our society more, because than there is no control by the school directorate and then the way to indoctrination is totally free and would be unnoticed. We also could see what happened already in one of the Antwerp Jewish schools a few weeks ago. We must be very careful with an overprotection and giving the opportunity to have youngsters drifting away.

Safai seems to think the same rules count over here as in her birthplace. She argues that the choice to wear a headscarf is not made by girls themselves. By this she underestimate the strong will of many Belgian girls. She says

“It’s not a free choice, when I see six-year-old girls wearing headscarves, I really wonder how they could decide that for themselves-it’s imposed on you and you live with them.”

For Safai the girls their head-covering is indeed a symbol of oppression.

“Men do not wear headscarves, that’s the best proof,”

Orthodox Christian pilgrim

said Safai, to which Vanhecke replied

“With Jews, only the men wear a yarmulke, and that is not seen as a symbol of oppression,”

Safai also forgets or probably does not know that in West Europe all kids from the 1940ies to 1960ies have had to cover their head as girls and we as boys had to cover (like the girls also) our limbs. No bare arms or are knees where to be seen and women at to sit on the left side of the church.  It is all still clear in our head also, how our parents and when we went swimming in the sea we had to cover most of our body. (Later, as hippies we went against those restrictions and ran even naked in nature.) And now a few years later what had to happen then suddenly should not be allowed any more. She also does it as if the head-covering is only a Muslim matter, forgetting that still today many religious Christian groups prescribe head-covering for their members.

Roman Catholic nuns

Roman Catholic nuns – Roman Catholic nuns singing in choir. – Smith2006

Throughout the centuries of Church history, women have worn head coverings during the meetings of the church – that is, when “praying or prophesying” take place. In Europe the wearing of fabric head coverings in worship was also universally the practice of Christian women until the twentieth century and in several Reformed churches, Baptists, Christadelphian, Brethren and various Mennonites it is still the custom for young and old. In the South of Europe we may find lots of nuns of the Roman Catholic churches with a covering of their heads, whilst many women in the South (like Spain and Italy) still often have the head covering by means of a headscarf. In Eastern Orthodox churches, all women still cover their heads. With the old believers this may only be a headscarf, with the other Eastern Orthodox it may also be a veil.

Vanhecke, with good reason, thinks girls are also oppressed if they are not allowed to wear the headscarf.

“A religion obliges the headscarf, a society forbids it, that is the same principle.”

“You interfere in a fundamental right of parents to make choices for their children,”

says Vanhecke.

That what Safai tries to avoid she helps to create. One should avoid that we get such private religious schools as only possibility for religious people to give their kids an education. When we would have such specific Jewish, Hindu and/or Islam schools we make it much easier to have them a specific religious education or indoctrination and creating a generation which would be less adapted in our culture than those who grow up together with all sorts of kids from different nationalities and different religions. Instead of integrating them in a multicultural society Safai shall help to create a divided society with lots of racism.

So needless to say this situation actually causes the very religious division that the ban on head-covering tries to avoid.

Mieke Vanhecke (CD & V), ex-top woman of Catholic education, pleaded in Terzake for the right to wear a headscarf at school. Darya Safai (N-VA) continues to see it as a symbol of oppression. Vanhecke argues that not only Muslims are victims of the headscarf debate.

“A ban on headgear not only affects Muslims,”

says Vanhecke.

“In Sint-Truiden there were never any problems, the Sikh boys came to school with a turban, because of the ban they no longer have access to our school.”

Safia is convinced that children and young women can not make up their own mind what to wear. For her children nor women who wear the hijab impossibly can do that of their own will and impossibly can be happy clothing themself that way. Many like her she see misogyny and are convinced that they must be under dictation of a male dictator or male bully. Often we hear voices like

Her husband must have forced her’

‘Poor girl, she may not dress like she wants’

Safia like many right wing people can only think of suppression, seeing men’s orders and their power over women. Others love to shout

Unveil yourself’,

‘Hide not yourself”

‘Let us see your beauty’

Why should they have such a need to see the beauty of that woman? Why can they not respect that woman like she wants to dress herself?

Those people thinking women or girls who like to wear a head scarf of hijab are pushed by their family, do forget that there are enough strong women in Belgium who can make up their mind themselves. They do not need their fathers or their male partner to dictate what they should wear but even less should they have others to dictate what they should wear or may not wear. That last bit is what Darya Safai and many Nationalists and Neo-Nazis love to do.

Lots of those who call themselves Christian but oppose the freedom of other lovers of God, do forget that by doing so they go in against the Law of God. Their strong actions against Muslims and Jews also clearly show that they do not bear Jesus his teachings of love in their heart. Lots of them also do not understand that wearing a covering on the head may represent an ordainment from God and a submitting to the Most High. There are enough places in Scriptures which talk about such covering and reasons why and when to do it.

Those who are an atheist or do not believe in the One True God should not try to put their law above the Laws of God nor should they urge all others to live like them and to dress like them.

Many also do forget the use of a head-covering can just mean those women liberated themselves from the world and its attitudes. For many believers in the One True God it can mean just empowerment, liberation and freedom. Too many underestimate the European female and think they would be like the women in the Middle East used as slaves by the male figures around them. But we can see strong women who have made up their own mind and by their own choice and by their own intentions they dare to show their faith to others and are not afraid to be mocked at or to be looked at as of ‘not of this world’. They do not want to be of this world but of the world of God. For them that is more important than being a slave of this world where every body assumes he or she is free when they can have sex with as many as they can or drink as much as they want to do all the funniest things one can think of.

Mrs. Safai does as if those girls, when they would wear a head dress, never would be able to integrate in our society or would never be able to get work. When they would not get work because they wear a head covering, does that not tell more about the party who does not want to give her work? And does that not show how certain people do not want others to integrate in our community?

By the way, lots of right wing people do as if those Muslim girls who want to cover their head are foreigners, but a lot are girls and ladies who were before ‘white Belgian citizens’ and even belonging to Catholic families.

That many people are so much afraid that there would be so many converts to Mohammedanism tells also a lot about the weakness of most members of that faith. Lots of Roman Catholics and Protestants even not knowing the Name of God and never having read the Bible. If they would be standing strong in the faith we see no reason why they and others should be so afraid. The other way, Christians should come out and proclaim their faith to those who are no Christian. They should show people that Jesus is the way and show that Jesus his teaching is one of love and of comprehension and compassion. But most Belgians, Dutch and French people just show the opposite, showing their hate against immigrants and people who are different than they or who think differently than they.

Lots of people seem to have forgotten how we and our parents had to cover our body a few decades ago. Lots of them also forget that just because their western values don’t fit with a woman covering her hair and beauty, it still could be a personal choice for that person covering herself. Many do forget that their Western values are way out from our Christian Western values and norms.

Today so many oppose people who have an other opinion. We also see the right wing people wanting so much that every body would dance to their will.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said,

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

These days we are going backwards because several people want to push their will unto others. They want an exclusive white state for themselves with only believers in that what they believe and in that what they call Christian values, but are not at all Christian values.

In Belgium we can find  more and more Muslim children in community education, especially with regard to other educational networks we may find a larger influx of students from other cultures in general in the state schools. When these children want to show their own faith in the form of clothing, they often do so out of their own convictions, but because these young people are not yet adults, they often take over the prevailing morality of their immediate environment and of society. If we compare this with the Flemish youths of indigenous origin, we notice a big difference, but according to us that is easy to explain. After all, with many Flemish young people there is a great ignorance of the church, while the Muslim children are more often socialized in their ideology.
The total banning of religious signs would thus be a violation of religious freedom. We should resist such a thing.
That a lot of inhabitants of Belgium, Holland and France do not want to stand open for other cultures we should try to avoid in the next generations by introducing the various cultures from the early years in childhood.

Dyab Abou Jahjah in 2008.

The Belgian-Lebanese Arab political activist and writer Dyab Abou Jahjah, claims that

‘hatred in Flanders is mainstream’

and

‘racism determines the agenda’.

When you follow certain reactions and talks it gives the impression not enough people want to react against that dangerous trend.

Christian people should let others know that all people have the same value because we are created by the same One True God. We all are being allowed to live on this globe and are given talents which can be used to help others. All people in a community have to complement each other.
Each person should know that racism devalues people. Non believers should come to see that Christ has broken down racial doors and overcomes divisive thinking by creating for himself a new nation through his death and resurrection. Every Christian should help to build a loving world by showing his love for others, be them of no believe or any other believe than Christianity.
When the politicians are not doing their job properly to build a multicultural peaceful state, the Christians needs to lead the way.
When you are a Christian do not wait until it is too late!

Let your voice be heard and speak up for the weaker ones in our society and for those who humiliated and shut out.

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Preceding articles

What is important?

Enough with the Clothes Shaming of Muslim Women

Anti-Semitic pressure driving Jews out of Europe

The Mountain: Radical Love

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Additional reading

  1. Vliegend spaghettimonster en Gelijke behandeling voor elke overtuiging
  2. Parenthood made more difficult
  3. Uncertainty, shame and no time for vacillation
  4. Migrants to the West #2
  5. On French beach French police forces woman to undress in public
  6. Pew Research: How People in Muslim Countries Believe Women Should Dress
  7. Allowing dress code according liberty of religion
  8. Coverings Worn by Muslim Women
  9. The Dress Code for Women in the Quran
  10. Meditating Muslimah on “hijab to be a religious obligation”
  11. French showing to the whole world their fear and weakness
  12. Christians, secularism, morals and values
  13. Trusting present youngsters who are not necessary evil
  14. Overprotection and making youngsters drifting away
  15. Today’s thought “And he counted it to him for righteousness” (January 12)
  16. Listening to the lessons of the Bible and looking for ways to please God

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Related

  1. Hijab 1
  2. Hijab 2
  3. The Meaning of Hijab
  4. I Tried Wearing a Hijab (sort of)
  5. The hijab of ignorance
  6. Cultural Bias
  7. An Imagined Offence
  8. The Irony of Hijabs!!
  9. Transition: My Hijab Story
  10. Hijab: Oppression or Freedom?
  11. Hijab in Islam and other religions
  12. Hijab | Zanzibar, Tanzania
  13. Women unite for World Hijab Day, which is Today
  14. Happy World Hijab Day 2018!
  15. Pearls and swines – loose priorities – the hijab-saga in perspective
  16. Hidden Pearl Hijab Review
  17. Hijab ‘Attack’ Condemned By Canada’s Prime Minister Was A Hoax
  18. My Hijab Story
  19. The Secret Hijabi
  20. What My Hijab Means To Me
  21. Perspective: Hijab is Oppression or Freedom?Newspeak and the politics of fear

13 Comments

Filed under Activism and Peace Work, Being and Feeling, Crimes & Atrocities, Cultural affairs, Educational affairs, Fashion - Trends, Headlines - News, History, Juridical matters, Knowledge & Wisdom, Lifestyle, Political affairs, Religious affairs, Social affairs, Welfare matters, World affairs

The works we have to do according to James

 

“2  You must consider it the purest joy, my brothers, when you are involved in various trials, 3 for you surely know that what is genuine in your faith produces the patient mind that endures; 4 but you must let your endurance come to its perfect product, so that you may be fully developed and perfectly equipped, without any defects.
5 But if any one of you is deficient in wisdom, let him ask God who generously gives to everyone and never reproaches one with its lack, and it will be given to him. 6 But he must ask in faith, without a doubt, for the man who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is whirled and swayed by the wind. 7 Such a man, indeed, 8 a person with two minds, unreliable in every step he takes, (1:7A) must not expect to get anything from the Lord.

9 Let the poor brother of lowly station rejoice in his exalted station as a Christian, 10 and the rich brother rejoice in his being on a level with the poor, because the rich will fade away like the flower of the grass.” (James 1:2-10 Williams)

“12 Blessed is the person who endures trial, for when he stands the test, he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love Him.

13  No one must say, when he is tempted to do evil, “I have a temptation from God to do evil,” for God cannot be tempted to do evil, and He never tempts anyone to do so. 14 But anyone is tempted to do evil when he is allured by his own evil desire and enticed by a bait. 15 Then evil desire conceives and gives birth to sin, and when sin is completed, it brings forth death.” (James 1:12-15 Williams)

“19  You must understand this, my dearly loved brothers. Everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to get angry; 20 for a man’s anger does not produce the uprightness that God requires.
21 So strip yourselves of everything impure and all the evils prevailing around you, and in humble spirit welcome the message which when rooted in your hearts is able to save your souls.

22 Keep on obeying this message; do not merely listen to it, and so deceive yourselves. 23 Because if anyone merely listens to the message without obeying it, he is like a man who looks in a mirror at his own face, 24 for he looks and then goes off and at once forgets how he looked. 25 But the man who looks at the flawless law that makes men free, and keeps on looking, proving himself to be, not a forgetful hearer but an actual doer of what it requires, will be blessed in what he does.

26 If anyone thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue, but deceives himself, his religious worship is worthless. 27 A religious worship that is pure and stainless in the sight of God the Father is this: To look after orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep one’s own self unstained by the world.” (James 1:19-27 Williams)

“1  My brothers, stop trying to maintain your faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious presence of God on earth, along with acts of partiality to certain ones. 2 For if a man with a gold ring, dressed in fine clothes, comes to your meeting, and at the same time a poor man clad in dirty clothes, 3 and you pay special attention to the man who wears the fine clothes, and say to him, “Sit here in this fine place,” and say to the poor man, “Stand up, or sit there on the floor at my feet,” 4 do you not make improper distinctions among yourselves and prove to be critics with evil motives?” (James 2:1-4 Williams)

“8  But if you really observe the law of the King in accordance with the Scripture, “You must love your neighbor as you do yourself,” you are doing right; 9 but if you show partiality, you are committing sin, because you are convicted by the law as lawbreakers.
10 For whoever obeys the whole law, except to slip in a single instance, is guilty of breaking it all.

11 For He who said, “You must not commit adultery,” also said, “You must not commit murder.” Now if you do not commit adultery but you do commit murder, you are just the same as a lawbreaker.

12 You must continue talking and acting like people who are to be judged by the law that treats them as free. 13 For merciless judgment will be the portion of the merciless man; yet mercy will triumph over judgment.

14  My brothers, what good is there in a man’s saying that he has faith, if he has no good deeds to prove it? Such faith cannot save him, can it?

15 If some brother or sister is thinly clad and has no food for the day, 16 and one of you says to him, “Blessings on you, keep warm, eat until you have a plenty,” without giving him the things that are needed for the body, what good does it do?

17 So faith by itself, if it has no deeds to back it up, is dead. 18 But someone may say, “You have faith, and I have good deeds. Show me your faith without any good deeds, but I will show you mine by my good deeds.”

19 Do you believe in one God? Very well; the demons, too, believe that, and shudder. 20 But, O senseless man, are you willing to learn that faith without good deeds is worthless?

21 Was not our forefather Abraham shown to be upright by his good deeds, namely, by offering Isaac his son upon the altar?

22 You see that faith co-operated with his good deeds, and by his good deeds faith was made complete; 23 and so the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham put his faith in God, and it was credited to him for uprightness, and he was called God’s friend.”

24 You see that a man is shown to be upright by his good deeds, and not merely by his faith.

25 Was not even Rahab the prostitute shown to be upright by her good deeds, namely, by entertaining the scouts and sending them off by a different road? 26 Just as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without good deeds is dead.” (James 2:8-26 Williams)

“13  Who among you is wise and intelligent? Let him show by his noble living that his good deeds are done in humility, which wisdom prompts. 14 But if you cherish bitter jealousy and rivalry in your hearts, stop being proud of it and stop being false to the standard of truth. 15 This is not the kind of wisdom that comes down from above; no, it is earthly, human, demoniacal. 16 For wherever jealousy and rivalry exist, there will be confusion and all sorts of evil practices. 17 The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of compassion and good deeds, free from doubts and insincerity. 18 The harvest of uprightness is grown from the seed of peace by those who are peacemakers.” (James 3:13-18 Williams)

“1  What causes wars and quarrels among you? Is it not your different desires which are ever at war within your bodies?
You desire things and cannot have them, and so you commit murder. 2 You covet things, but cannot acquire them, and so you quarrel and fight. You do not have them, because you do not ask for them. 3 You ask and fail to get them, because you ask with evil, selfish motives, to spend them on your pleasures.

4 You faithless wives! Do you not know that the friendship of the world means enmity with God? So whoever wants to be a friend to the world puts himself down as an enemy to God. 5 Or, do you think that the Scripture means nothing when it says, “He jealously yearns for the Spirit that He causes to dwell in your hearts”? 6 But He gives a greater spiritual blessing. He says, “God opposes haughty people but blesses humble people.”

7 So then, submit to God. Resist the devil and he will fly from you.

8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Get your hands clean, you sinners. Get your hearts purified, you double-minded. 9 Be miserable, mourn, and weep aloud. Let your laughter be turned to grief and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you high.

11  Stop talking against one another, brothers. Whoever is in the habit of talking against a brother or of criticizing his brother is criticizing and condemning the law. But if you are in the habit of criticizing the law, you are not a practicer but a critic of the law.
12 There is but one Lawgiver and Judge, the One who has the power to save and to destroy; then who are you that you presume to judge your brother?” (James 4:1-12 Williams)

“7 So be patient, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer keeps on waiting and waiting for the precious crop from his land; how he keeps up his patience over it until he gets the early and the late rains.
8 You must be patient, too; you must put iron into your hearts, because the coming of the Lord is close it hand. 9 Stop muttering against one another, brothers, so as to keep from being judged yourselves.
Look! The Judge is standing at the very door. 10 As an example of ill-treatment and patience, brothers, take the prophets, who spoke in the name of the Lord.” (James 5:7-10 Williams)

“12  Above all, my brothers, stop swearing, either by heaven or by the earth, or by anything else. Let your “Yes” mean Yes, and your “No,” No, so as to keep from falling under condemnation.

13 Is any one of you suffering ill-treatment? He should keep on praying. Is anyone in a happy mood? He should keep on singing praise to God.

14 Is anyone sick among you? He should call in the elders of the church, and they should pray over him, and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord, 15 and the prayer that is offered in faith will save the sick man; the Lord will raise him to health, and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.

16 So practice confessing your sins to one another, and praying for one another, that you may be cured. An upright man’s prayer, when it keeps at work, is very powerful.” (James 5:12-16 Williams)

“19 My brothers, if any one of you has wandered away from the truth, and someone brings him back, 20 you may be sure that whoever brings a sinner back from his evil ways will save the man’s soul from death, and cover up a multitude of sins.” (James 5:19-20 Williams)

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Part of Dutch version / Gedeelte van de Nederlandstalige versie: De aanduiding door Paulus en Jacobus van de werken die wij horen te doen

Preceding articles

  1. Leading people astray!
  2. Restitution
  3. Comments to James remarks, about Faith and works
  4. Luther’s misunderstanding
  5. January 27, 417, Pope Innocent I condemning Pelagius about Faith and Works
  6. Our life depending on faith
  7. Romans 4 and the Sacraments
  8. Is Justification a process?
  9. Justification – salvation is by grace through faith – JI Packer
  10. Faith itself not the cause of justification – Louis Berkhof
  11. Letter to the Romans, chapter 3
  12. Letter to the Romans, chapter 4
  13. Additional comments to the 3rd Letter to the Romans
  14. Additional comments to the Letter to the Romans 4
  15. Which is worse–works without faith, or faith without works?
  16. James 2:14-23 — Justified Dynamic Faith & works
  17. James 2:24 – You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.
  18. James 2:25. Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?
  19. Paul giving notice of the works we have to do

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Read also other articles as:

  1. A god who gave his people commandments and laws he knew they never could keep to it
  2. Our relationship with God, Jesus and eachother
  3. The way of salvation
  4. A “seed” for the blessing of all mankind would come through the family of Abraham
  5. God works faith
  6. Faith is the belief that god will do what is right
  7. Christ’s ethical teaching
  8.  Being Justified by faith
  9. Faith is knowing there is an ocean because you have seen a brook.
  10. Faith Requires a Basis
  11. Walking in love by faith, not by sight
  12. Faith Alone Does Not Save . . . No Matter How Many Times Protestants Say It Does
  13. A Living Faith #1 Substance of things hoped for
  14. A Living Faith #2 State of your faith
  15. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  16. A Living Faith #4 Effort
  17. A Living Faith #5 Perseverance
  18. A Living Faith #6 Sacrifice
  19. Faith and works
  20. Sharing your faith
  21. Bearing fruit
  22. Observing the commandments and becoming doers of the Word
  23. The first on the list of the concerns of the saint
  24. Be holy
  25. 1 Corinthians 15 Hope in action
  26. Chief means by which men are built up
  27. Not to play at Christianity
  28. To be established in the present truth
  29. She who sows thistles will reap prickles
  30. Love for each other attracting others
  31. Share your faith
  32. Outflow of foundational relationship based on acceptance of Jesus
  33. Faith, storms and actions to be taken
  34. The longer you wait

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18 Comments

Filed under Being and Feeling, Lifestyle, Quotations from Holy Scriptures, Religious affairs

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

In the past there have been many discussion about the possibility man being good. When we look at the world today it seems not much has changed. Along all sides we can see people who do not want to share the luck they have with others. This has come to a high point with the refugee crisis. It is understandable that people want to protect their own goods and culture, but often they are too much afraid that their way of living would be in danger by others from far away coming to live in their regions.

Several people are convinced that people who are fleeing from war-zones can not be good and trustworthy people. According to several Christians it is even impossible for a human being to be good from himself and as such no one can be reliable.

A17th century Calvinist print depicting Pelagi...

A17th century Calvinist print depicting Pelagius. The caption says “Accurst Pelagius, with what false pretence Durst thou excuse man’s foul concupiscence, Or cry down Sin Originall, or that The love of God did man predestinate.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The controversial British monk Pelagius in the fifth century had taught that man’s nature was essentially good. This was not to the liking of the Catholic Church leaders who found that because of Adam’s sin all men were born with a strong tendency to sin. It is even for that reason that lots of Christians do say it is impossible for Jesus to be a man. Because he was without sin he should be God, according to them. This naturally is not at all true and makes of God a horrible Creator, having created human beings who can not decide for themselves to do good or bad. Worse it would also mean that God gave man commandments He knew they would never be able to follow.

Pelagius rightly said that an individual had the power to do right by choosing to do right and by beating the body into submission through ascetic practices. Traditional Christianity said that men could defeat their tendencies to sin only by the working of God’s grace in their heart. According to the churchleaders Pelagius‘s ideas meant that Christ‘s death on the cross served more as a moral example than as an atonement able to transform the soul from within by divine force, which meant against going their doctrine of sola fide.

Those who think that Old and New Testaments alike teach us that we cannot change ourselves have not very well read the Holy Book of books. In the many books which form the bible we do have many examples of people who have gone from bad to good but also from good to bad and sometimes returning to good.

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Saint Augustine from a 19th-century engraving

The Christian philosopher and theologian St. Augustine or Augustine of Hippo (354-430), best known for “The Confessions” and “The City of God” was responsible for the excommunication of Pelagius.

While in Rome, Pelagius first heard of Augustine through his reading of a prayer from Augustine’s Confessions: “Give what Thou commandest and command that Thou wilt.” To Pelagius, the philosophy expressed in this prayer sounded like the total abandonment of human responsibility and a denial of the ethical dimensions of the Christian faith. If all moral action, thought Pelagius, depends solely on God — both the commanding as well as the ability to obey — God is either an arbitrary tyrant or else man is a creature deprived of free will. Pelagius conducted his teaching along these lines while he was in Rome, and it was to this teaching that an able lawyer, Caelestius, responded, leaving his profession of advocacy and becoming Pelagius’s disciple, companion, and the popularizer of his views.

Caelestius’s Pelagian views continued to spread, and soon Augustine was preaching and writing with intense fervour against this what he called a new heresy, arguing that the whole lump of humanity is infected with sin and that only the grace administered in baptism can wash away the guilty stain.

In spite of these admonitions from the Doctor of Grace, the controversy continued, and it was not long before the articulate bishop of Eclanum, Julian, stepped in to argue the Pelagian cause, forcing Augustine, by the clarity of his logic, into positions regarding the doctrines of grace and predestination that have been burdensome to Western Christendom ever since. {Encyclopedia of World Biography | 2004}

Today we still find many who do not want to see that man has a lot in his own hands. Today there are still lots of Christians who think it is impossible for man to live according to God’s Wishes and that he does not have to do any good works to enter the Kingdom of God because it is just impossible for him to do such good works.

According to Augustine it is not possible to lead a sinless life, with (for whatever reason, probably she had to carry the god son according to the Catholic Church) the exception of the Virgin Mary. For Augustine divine grace must precede every virtuous act and today many Christians are also still convinced we are all saved whatever what we have done and whatever we do in our life.

For such Christians who try to put sand in the eyes of searching people, the saying that we need works to enter the Kingdom of God is heresy. For them it is not only possible for man not to sin, they are not able to bring any change in the salvation of themselves.

The caricature of Pelagianism found in many orthodox textbooks and devotional manuals is hardly one that Pelagius would recognize. He never, for instance, denied the need for grace or for infant baptism; he never accepted the position that man can, by his own moral efforts, achieve his salvation. On basic doctrinal issues, Pelagius was certainly orthodox; and on matters of Christian morality his chief concern was to foster among Christian people a right regard for the ethical responsibilities he saw as inherent in the Gospel message. {Encyclopedia of World Biography | 2004}

The Christian attitude is a very important issue which was been tackled by rabbi Jeshua (master teacher Jesus Christ) with a lot of delicacy. The Nazarene Jew, who was not afraid to bring others to see they had no right to judge others, told his listeners many parables in which he tried to get them to understand that we must be very careful not to loose the right to enter the Kingdom of God.

Lots of Christians are mistaken to think they do not have to do any good works to enter Gods Kingdom. It is true that they are saved and have nothing to do to get under the Grace of salvation. But what they forget is that, though they received salvation for nothing, they can loose it when they do not work at themselves. The leaders of the Protestant Reformation, 1,500 years after the last books of the Bible were written wanted their flock to believe that Jesus paid the full prize or penalty for our sins, so that nothing had to be done or paid any more. They added their human doctrine, which is nowhere written in the Bible, saying that

Jesus paid the punishment for our sins, he having fully atoned for our sins and by saying “it is finished” he did what no human could do, make up for their sins and made an end to everything what had to be done.

But it was not finished by having to come to God (a work) or to follow God’s commandments (again demanding works).

It is totally wrong to think once new born and/or being baptised, we are cleared and have a free way to enter into God’s Kingdom, or what some are thinking to go to heaven. In case a person has fund Christ and has come to God several works are needed. First of all before finding Christ work has to be done to come to know him and his God. Once a person believes in Jesus Christ, the son of God, that person has to convert to Christianity which again is a work to be done. But once baptised it is not finished. Than the person has to work at his or her character and try to stay on the right track, following God’s commandments, which shall require again some, not to say ‘lots’ of works.

Every Christian must work to control themselves. Once having become a Christian that person should try not to lie, to steal, to betray, to fornicate, to murder and many other things he or she should avoid doing (which demands work). If none of these works are needed for salvation the person could have sex with as many persons or animals as he or she wanted no matter the gender. If no works have to be done a person could also continue to do fraudulent actions, without having to worry.

It is for the reason having so many Christian preachers trying to convince others they do not need to do any works, and because of the reaction by Grow Pastor, Minister to Men, Ken Miller to us, at his article That’s the Spirit!, that we think it opportune to warn people of the lack of understanding of the given grace.

Christ Jesus died for all people, sinners or not. By the works of faith he has done, we received the Grace of Salvation, but when we ignore his calling or his heavenly Father’s calling than we shall not be allowed to enter the Kingdom of god when we did bad things and did not repent about them. It is not by works of justice that we had done, but, in accord with the mercy of God, Him willing to accept the ransom offering of His son. Through Jesus Christ our Saviour we are been justified by his grace and are we allowed to become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. (Titus 3:5-7)

When Saul had become a follower of the Messiah he looked at the work of the master teacher and at the sacraments which were given to those who followed Jesus. The apostle wrote

Romans 3:27-31 The Scriptures 1998+  (27)  Where, then, is the boasting? It is shut out. By what Torah? Of works? No, but by the Torah of belief.  (28)  For we reckon that a man is declared right by belief without works of Torah.  (29)  Or is He the Elohim of the Yehuḏim only, and not also of the gentiles? Yea, of the gentiles also,  (30)  since it is one Elohim who shall declare right the circumcised by belief and the uncircumcised through belief.  (31)  Do we then nullify the Torah through the belief? Let it not be! On the contrary, we establish the Torah.1 Footnote: 1See 7:12.

and gave the Romans to know that they thought or hold that a man is brought into right standing with God by faith and that observance of the law has no connection with it.

Saying that he did not confirm that

“by faith apart from deeds of the law” as meaning, “by faith alone”

but him affirming that we then not through faith make null and void the law; instead, we confirm it. It is by our faith that we shall do certain works according to the faith. Pelagius considered that sacraments are elements believers should keep taking throughout their life. For him it was like it is for us, that faith should be expressed and perfected in works. Submitting to Jehovah His works in the proper disposition, which is that of faith, is an action or a work to be done.

Too many Christians forget the importance of the feeling we should have about what we have done. If we do not feel bad by the wrong things we have done and do not repent for them, for sure the Bible shows us, we shall not receive an entrance in God’s Kingdom. Repentance and teshuvah demands a work. Staying a good person also demands work. All those that say we do not have to do any work of faith, are either forgetting what the Bible tells about it and are insinuating we can do whatever we want and shall still be saved.

On the other hand it is very strange that it are just such preachers who talk so ferociously about salvation and no works needed for salvation, who also preach about damnation in a hell, a place of eternal fire.

Luckily the Bible speaks about the end of our life by death, and that we once we die shall not be able to feel anything any more. No frustrations, no pain, no sorrow any more when we die. Then it shall all be finished, but then it shall also be too late if we did not choose for God and did not work at our own self.

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Please do find also to read:

  1. Salvation and Righteousness
  2. Elul Observances
  3. God’s wrath and sanctification
  4. A god who gave his people commandments and laws he knew they never could keep to it
  5. Outflow of foundational relationship based on acceptance of Jesus
  6. Back from gone #4 Your inner feelings and actions
  7. Being Religious and Spiritual 8 Spiritual, Mystic and not or well religious
  8. Cognizance at the doorstep or at the internet socket
  9. Good and bad things in this world
  10. Establish your hearts blameless in holiness
  11. Myth 12: The Hyper-Grace Gospel Makes People Lazy
  12. Faith Alone Does Not Save . . . No Matter How Many Times Protestants Say It Does
  13. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  14. A Living Faith #6 Sacrifice
  15. Humbleness
  16. A race not to swift, nor a battle to the strong
  17. The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong
  18. Being of good courage running the race
  19. Bearing fruit
  20. To Soar In The Spirit You Have To Be Hard Core
  21. Our stance against certain religions and immigrating people
  22. Religion, fundamentalism and murder
  23. Daring to speak in multicultural environment
  24. As Christ’s slaves doing the Will of God in gratitude
  25. 2014 Religion
  26. Disobedient man and God’s promises
  27. From pain to purpose
  28. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #17 Sorts of prayers
  29. God’s forgotten Word 5 Lost Lawbook 4 The ‘Catholic’ church
  30. Daily Spiritual Food To prepare ourselves for the Kingdom of God
  31. Evangelisation, local preaching opposite overseas evangelism
  32. When not seeing or not finding a biblically sound church

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Further reading

  1. No one is saved by the law. Salvation is by faith through Grace.
  2. The Justification of Abraham
  3. St. Paul Didn’t Say Faith Alone
  4. The Law of Diminishing Returns
  5. A Call to Dare God
  6. The Tangible Presence of God
  7. Devotion for Monday After the Second Sunday in Lent, Year C (ELCA Daily Lectionary)
  8. Grace is a soft gospel for soft Christians & The Hyper-Grace Gospel Makes People Lazy
  9. Did God really say “Prevenient” Grace
  10. Can someone who genuinely loves the God of Israel, prays to Him and trusts him go to hell? The New Testament says…
  11. I was wrong – but I am right – Calvinists preach a false gospel.
  12. The pain of radical grace
  13. The power of grace
  14. Seeing Christ
  15. (12/04/2015) By More Than Believing
  16. Faith Child – Forget the poor!
  17. (01/13/2016) How To Treat Unbelievers?
  18. Repent so that you can understand
  19. Faithfulness
  20. Faith Without Works (Pastor Joe Taylor)
  21. Faith without Works ??? (1 Way to live)
  22. Spiritual Insights for Everyday Life: Faith Alone Does Not Save
  23. The Works
  24. Faith in Action
  25. Put Your Faith Into Action
  26. Fashion advice?
  27. Intentional God
  28. The Sower of Seeds: A Parable of Jesus
  29. Matthew 23:23 [Coming Soon]
  30. Studies in Mark (Pt. 8)
  31. Galatians 5:4 [Unfinished]
  32. Galatians 6:7-9 [Unfinished]
  33. Ephesians 2:8-9
  34. Titus 3:5-7
  35. NT Reading – October 5
  36. James 1:14-20 — Faith that Works!
  37. James, Part 2
  38. The Book that Almost Wasn’t: Faith, Lists, and Works ~ James 2
  39. Tuesday Devotional: Revelation 2
  40. Faith Without Works Is Dead
  41. Putting Legs to Their Faith
  42. Are You a doer???
  43. Are You Willing to do more???
  44. Mincing no Words
  45. Epistle for September 6, 2015
  46. Tell it Tuesday w/ B.Parker|How To Pray When Life Isn’t Going Your Way
  47. Tell it Tuesday w/ B. Parker| It’s 2am and No One is Answering…Who To Call?
  48. Childish Thinking
  49. Are You A Weed?
  50. Sneaky Subjectivism
  51. What Future?
  52. Intentional Avoidance, Disconnected Ignorance, or Disinterested Forgetfulness?
  53. We Are All Damaged Goods…
  54. Just Sitting There
  55. The Subnormal Christian Life
  56. 14 How to Work Your Way to Hell
  57. Faith Life Congruence
  58. We pray and plead with you…”Do You Job!”
  59. Gospel Doctrine 2015 – Lesson 42 – “Pure Religion”

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