Tag Archives: Western World

Why are you afraid?

2001 September 9 was the day the world changed totally, for the Western world. A shock-wave of fear started to go from one nation to the other from the West to the East, bringing horrible terrorist attacks in America, Spain, France, Belgium but also further in the East where Islam and Hinduism are practised more.

In our regions lots of people are caught by the trap of fear and by the persuasion by politicians and terrorists alike.

Those who misuse the name of Allah/God want not only to hit those who do not believe in God. They also want to frighten those who believe in God and want to bring them away form their faith-group giving in to those who show the strongest.

We always should know that we should not fear man, but more fear God and should listen to His commandments.

When taken by fear for what goes on around us let us always remind ourselves what Jeshua thought and find peace in our hearts by giving ourselves to the Only One True God.

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We got to hear a lot of spectacular things that happened in the past, which went beyond man’s power. Today still the majority of people do not believe in those miraculous things that happened in the past. but they also are blind for the miraculous things that still happen every day in this time space.

Strangely enough often people only go looking for God, or start blaming God, when things go wrong. During those bad times that we’re looking for Him we are given the opportunity to get to know god better and to grow in faith.

We all should remember that god is willing to come to those who search Him.

“You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13)

Today’s guest-writer who at the age of 36 was diagnosed with a terminal disease called Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or “Lou Gehrig’s Disease” (after the famous New York Yankee’s player that died from it), did not let his illness get him down on his knees forgetting how even he also could help many people. Not being pushed back by his health crisis impacting his emotional as well as his financial life.

He became fully aware how our emotional and spiritual life and our relationships etc.,

“Every part of our lives” are connected to one another like parts of an engine and one part breaking effects the performance of the whole engine.

Regardless of the part of the body first affected by the disease, muscle weakness and atrophy spread to other parts of the body as the disease progresses, knowing that he would be limited in his walk and handling, his trial has taught his family that the only way to experience genuine and consistent hope, peace and joy in the midst of a trial is to view our life and situation through God’s eyes.

He writes

For me, learning this was a long and difficult, but rewarding process; an ongoing process that will continue to the day I go to be with God. {About Bill}

Several people may undergo lots of physical problems, being sick and time after time to recover from this health issue. At such moments it is important to continue your way and to come out of your battle feeling spiritually stronger than you were before your battle with

that which did not kill me.” {Trials Can Make Us Stronger}

As someone who has relied on caregivers for even longer than Nietzsche had to (ALS, not Syphilis), our guest-writer empathize with the helpless, the suffering and their caregivers. But feels great sympathy for those that do not place their hope and strength in Christ, regardless of the state of their health. He writes

I feel sympathy because, like Nietzsche, the “strength” and “hope” that they derive from physical/temporal pleasures do not provide genuine and lasting joy or peace. As King Solomon concluded, it’s “all vanity.” {Trials Can Make Us Stronger}

On one of his articles Dawn Marie answers:

“If Christ is our hope, the pleasures we enjoy on earth will be so much more enjoyable …”

I thanked God yesterday for: bringing us to a new home where we are within walking distance of a Ice Cream Store, the new grass growing outside that’s beginning to cover up the mud, my new hospice patient who is the biggest Army football fan I’ve ever met, and the strength to console our son who is suffering through a broken, discinigrating marriage. How is it that a God so big can love someone as small as me so much to bring me His hope in ALL which touches me.

In these days were the west seems to be tested a lot, those trials may force us off of the proverbial fence.

Tested faith is enduring and overcoming faith; it’s faith that can empathize with and encourage others who find themselves in the midst of a raging storm – those who are feeling as if Jesus is asleep in the boat.

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Preceding articles:

Where were you when the world stopped turning?

Nailed to our chairs, never to forget

The Nine Eleven Scar

Taste of Dust

A Prayer for 9-11

When will it stop

Next: Life Goes On

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Additional articles:

  1. Stronger than anything that wants to destroy
  2. Economic crisis danger for the rise of political extremism
  3. A world with or without religion
  4. Being Charlie 8
  5. For more than Three thousand people fifteen years ago this world came to an end
  6. Wrong choices made to get rid of Assad
  7. Coming closer to the end of 2015 and the end for Donald Trump as presidential candidate
  8. 2015 Human rights
  9. 2015 the year of ISIS

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Save

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Unshakable Hope

“And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being covered with the waves; but Jesus Himself was asleep. And they came to Him and woke Him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing!” He said to them, “Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?” (Matt 8:24-:26) 

I suppose that even the most faith-filled Christian would experience some level of fear if they found themselves in a situation like the above. But I know that a doctor delivering news of a life-threatening diagnosis, a loss of a job and insensitive debt-collectors calling day-after-day, can instill that same kind of “Save us, Lord; we are perishing” fear.

Unfortunately, we don’t really know if we have genuine faith until that faith is tested. I believe this is the reason that Jesus allowed His disciples, and us, to go through so many of these nail-biting…

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For those Christians who say they are the Victim

You Are Not A Victim

Nova Scotia, Canada

Nova Scotia, Canada (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Paul Van Buren, a preacher born in Nova Scotia, Canada who lived in so many places since then considers himself to be called by God at the age of 19 but knows that calling was knit into him before his birth.

Being a father of 11 children and husband to a most wonderful lady, he is the pastor of a Holy Spirit directed church in LaSalle, Quebec where  he is having the time of his life. On his Pastor’s Blog he writes that it frustrates him when Christians play the part of victim.

He writes:

Victimized Christians do not know who they are in Jesus and it is a shame that they are wasting the precious days they have been given in this world.

Probably he thinks of the many gifts we are given: first of all life itself and secondly many gifts when we grow up and try to make something of our life.

Having lots of messages circulating on the media, with lots of horrible pictures of terrorist acts lost of people are getting so afraid that our Western World would become Islamised and that we Christians should have to convert to Islam or being killed. Strange is that not more people question how it comes that so many left Christianity or Christendom and became Muslim and do not wonder how it comes that so many Christian churches are getting more and more empty.

Clearly we should question Christians how they live their faith. Is not many their faith as dead? What are they doing to bring others into the faith?

How are they helping those who have doubts and wonder if those Muslims are not right?

Let us have a look on what Paul Van Buren writes:

Paul first reminds Timothy that he has been raised and trained in a life of faith. It was demonstrated to him in his mother and grandmother. Paul encourages Timothy by stating that he is confident that this same faith resides in Timothy. Then:

Because of this, I’m reminding you to revive God’s gift that is in you through the laying on of my hands. (v. 6)

I like this. Because of this faith Timothy I am reminding you to operate in it. Live by the Spirit. Do what you have been equipped to do. The Spirit provides the equipping but we are responsible to operate in it. Then Paul writes what we all must grasp:

God didn’t give us a spirit that is timid but one that is powerful, loving, and self-controlled. (v. 7)

This is not personality. Personality type does not play in your calling and equipping. Look at many of the servant’s of the past who tried to get out of their calling with excuses, like Moses and Jonah. It has everything to do with the spirit he has given to us and it is one of boldness. He has equipped us with his power, his love and the power to be self-controlled. This is good stuff that we simply have to act on, in faith that it is so.

Too many Christians seem not to feel that power which they have received, or what has happened more likely when getting older and more trapped by this materialistic world they have lost he fire of their faith and the flames are only burning very weakly or not at all.
Several people are also born in a Christian family and lots of them were even baptised before they could properly think or understand what God and faith really meant. This also makes that many of those name Christians never ever did feel that Spirit in them. They only got the name or the label ‘Christian’ on them and want to consider themselves Christians because they want to belong to the general group of the West.

Now the West comes under threat again from Muslims going to the west, like they had already done before and had conquered Spain, now Europeans are having fear those Muslims will conquer the whole of Europe. But when they would have a strong faith, why should they than be so full of fear?

For sure it is because most of those Europeans do not have any faith in God or do have no idea at all what their faith-groups stands for or if that faith-group follows really the Holy Books or not. The same for the many Muslims here, lots of them born in that faith-group and not knowing enough their own holy books, they do not react strong enough against those who defile their holy books and the teachings of Muhammad. They should have reacted much more against those criminals who defile the Name of God in name of the Muslims, blackening their ummah and making it more difficult to have a peaceful life here in the West.

Today we are living again in a similar time when Noah was alive. Everywhere around us we can see how people live against nature and against God’s Wishes. In a certain way it would be no wonder if God would shaken the world once more to awaken them. But it is not God Who brings terror and horror over people. It are the people themselves who bring cruelty over themselves.

We better should think again of those times, what happened after the water came down and Noah got promises from God. We also should remember how people at the time of Moses very fast had forgotten how God ahd liberated them and how fast they went worshipping other gods again.

Pastor Paul writes:

When Moses was about to die he addressed the nation and told them to possess the land because Yahweh had told them to possess it. He encouraged them:

Be strong! Be fearless! Don’t be afraid and don’t be scared by your enemies, because the Lord your God is the one who marches with you. He won’t let you down, and he won’t abandon you. (Deuteronomy 31:6) 

Two things right there are the source of our boldness. First, our God is always with us, going before us, always preparing the way. He abides in us. Psalm 139 states we can never escape him, even more now that he lives in us. This is for our encouragement.

The second thing the pastor wants to highlight is that we may count on God:

He won’t let you down. That is a big one all on it’s own and can only be understood in the context of a loving, intimate relationship.

Though in his text we have the impression he , like so many Christians got two Biblical characters mixed up. He namely continues than with looking at Jesus, who is the sent one from God, and not God Himself.

As Christians, being followers of Christ, we should believe the words of this Nazarene teacher and see how his heavenly Father protected him and gave him special gifts. In the knowledge that this man also did not tell lies, because he did not sin, we may assume that also his promises will come true.

Jesus promised that he would be with us until the end of this age. He said his desire was for us to be one with him in the same way that he is one with Father. The Way, the Truth and the Life is in you. The one who declared that all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to him, is intimate with you. The one who stated that he is the Resurrection walks with you every day.

With that knowledge we should have our minds at rest. It should be a comforting thought that at the end times those who love God shall find peace after the big battle or the Big Tribulation, which nobody can escape. Yes the big trouble shall come over us all. But Jesus has told about the signs and it is up to us to recognise them and to prepare ourselves for that time of the Last Days.

It is not that we ourselves shall have to go into the battle and have to be conquerors.

Paul wrote that we are more than conquerors, we are overcomers. We are not victims. We are not powerless. We are not timid, because our God has given us the authority to forgive. Thank about that for a moment. The power does not rest in the hands of the offender but in the hands of the offended. Without your forgiveness, the offender will have to give account for their actions. With your forgiveness that offence is wiped away. By offering forgiveness you are also set free from the cage of victim. That is power and that is what has been given to you with the responsibility to love your enemies.

We cannot and must not live with a victim mentality. Jesus has made us greater, more powerful than people can grasp. Now walk in the boldness you have been given and dare to love where others have failed.

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Preceding: Fear for rebel groups and men

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Filed under Activism and Peace Work, Being and Feeling, Crimes & Atrocities, Lifestyle, Religious affairs

Solstice, Saturnalia and Christmas-stress

Today lots of people tend to treat things such as Christmas trees and holiday gift giving as if they’ve been with us forever. While these are old traditions, they were once far more localized. In this world of media everywhere, we tend to forget that customs were once far more specific to the area. Lots of people also have lost the connection of those festivals and have transposed it to their group of people, believers or non-believers in Jesus Christ or in God.

From the Saxon days there was Yule for mid-winter and in the regions of West Europe the autumn storm brought many ideas alive to think about gods who controlled everything in nature. The days becoming darker demanded for and still demand for some more light bringing into it. In the old times to honour the gods it was custom to put all sorts of things in the trees as an offering to the gods. On December the 25th it was the day of the goddess of light. Time was taken to celebrate her.

Traditional Christmas card with holly and mistletoe. Circa 1880s

Druids, Celts, and even the Romans used evergreen branches made into wreaths in winter solstice celebrations. Because so many things lost colour and seemed to have died people looked up for those elements in nature which could be so strong that they stayed green. Pagan symbols as holly and ivy remained green and were taken as a promise of life to return in dead of winter. Holly – prized for its ability to bear fruit in winter and its healing uses – were the blessings people hoped they could have in the house and share with each other. Healing elements were very important to get through Winter.

While the Romans were holding the feast for the god Saturn — which occurred about the time of the winter solstice — they decked the outsides of their houses with holly. At the same time the Christians were quietly celebrating the birth of Christ, and to avoid detection they outwardly followed the custom of their heathen neighbours and decked their houses with holly as well. In this way holly came to be connected with Christmas customs. The plant was also regarded as a symbol of the Resurrection.

The missionaries coming in these regions quickly understood how the pagan traditions were so strong and how people would not like to give them up. This we still see today happening. As Christians should come to know more about traditions and about usages all over the world, plus having the Holy Scriptures to find what they could or could not do, we see that those who call themselves Christian still do not like to give up those pagan traditions and pagan festivals.

The Roman Catholic Church had already given in to Constantine the Great allowing the false teaching of the trinity be part of the Catholic Faith, so it was a further small step to adapt the Western Celtic and Saxon traditions to the Roman Faith. In 336 CE, during the time of this so called  first Christian Roman Emperor for the first time on December 25th “Christmas” was being celebrated.

A very early Christian tradition said that March 25th was the day when Mary was told she’d give birth to Jesus (called the Annunciation). And nine months later, of course, would be December 25th. But the Bible doesn’t mention the exact days of that annunciation, nor of the birth of Jesus, though from all the secular writings we do know when the cencus took place, when the falling star appeared and that it was in October that Mary and Joseph went to fulfil their duties. We can take it was in 4BCE on October the 17th that rabbi Jeshua from the tribe of King David was born. For those who would love to celebrate his birthday it is strange that they than not do this around the period Jesus was rally born.

An image from the necropolis under the Vatican...

An image from the necropolis under the Vatican in which Jesus = Mithras (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is true that in many cultures we can find a festival of lights, also the Jews have such a festival of lights. Germans and Scandinavians had their yule festival. Celtic legends connected the solstice with Balder, the Scandinavian sun god or Norse god of light, son of the chief god Odin and his wife Frigg, who was struck down by a mistletoe arrow from the blind god Hödur (or Höd). At the pagan festival of Saturnalia, Romans feasted and gave gifts to the poor. Drinking was closely connected with these pagan feasts.

The Babylonian sun-god and god of agriculture and flocks, Tammuz, lover of Ishtar, born on the winter solstice according to legend was also celebrated on December the 25th and by the Roman Catholic Church his symbol was taken as the symbol for Jesus (the sign of Tammuz or the cross), placing Jesus as the bringer of light and god of light.

The leaders of the instituted organisation of clergy who accepted the trinity, agreed to adopted the saturnalia day of the ‘day of birth’ or ‘day of new life’ as a remembrance day of the new life Jesus has given to all mankind. For them it was easier to get more converts by keeping the folks from indulging in the old pagan festivals as part of the pagan culture, now transformed or redressed in a Roman Catholic dressing.

Branches that had thorns became to be the thorns Christ wore on the crucifix (sign of Tammuz) and the berries were stained red by his drops of blood. From the Norse and the Druids, the Mistletoe you may find growing here everywhere and at that time was considered special because of it found growing on the sacred oaks, was featured in several old myths and held to be sacred and associated with fertility, which led to kissing boughs.

Also today at the Christmas markets we can find the gangway where there is the kissing bough custom one holds that a woman who refuses the kiss shall have bad luck, and that those who kiss underneath it shall be having a blessed and fruitful year.

Not all the following years Christmas was part of Christian life. During Cromwell’s rule, Christmas was even banned. Charles II restored the holiday in England. However, the Parliament of Scotland officially abolished the observance of Christmas in 1640, to purge the church “of all superstitious observation of days”, and it was not restored as a public holiday in Scotland until 1958.

Julbocken, by John Bauer (1912)

From the 4th to the 19th century the tradition of the Northern people their celebration for their chief god and the father of Thor, (Thunor, or Thonar), Balder, and Tiw, Woden or Wotan became more and more also liked by the people from Holland and Belgium and the man with a long white beard who rode a horse through the heavens one evening each Autumn became their Sint Niklaas (Sinterklaas) or Sint Nicholas  (saint Nicholas) and in the Anglo Saxon countries Father Christmas or Santa Claus/Sancta Claus.

1881 illustration by Thomas Nast who, along with Clement Clarke Moore’s poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas”, helped to create the modern image of Santa Claus

From the 20th century onward that Father Christmas started gaining more popularity and the presents became more and more the focus of the people for that season were the darkness seemed to have darkened their Christian sight. Lots of Christians enjoyed decorating the ‘Christmas tree‘ and telling their children the Saint from Spain had brought presents for all those who had behaved well the previous year. Later in the month it was the Santa who once more brought presents in the house.

History illustrates the awesome outworking of initial events from when the Divine Creator has declared

Zephaniah 1:17-18 The Scriptures 1998+  (17)  “And I shall bring distress on men, and they shall walk like blind men – because they have sinned against יהוה  {Jehovah}, and their blood shall be poured out like dust and their flesh like dung.”  (18)  Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of יהוה  {Jehovah}. And by the fire of His jealousy all the earth shall be consumed, for He makes a sudden end of all those who dwell in the earth.

This comes from the Christadelphian bible reading for December 15 when we started reading this short and somewhat overlooked prophecy of Zephaniah. He would have been one of the prophets Peter referred to, as we read the final chapter of his second letter of the same day-reading, he told them they should remember

2 Peter 3:2 The Scriptures 1998+  (2)  the words previously spoken by the set-apart prophets, and of the command of the Master and Saviour, spoken by your emissaries,

Today we may find lots of people who have stress about the coming days when they have to present nice meals and many presents and have to fulfil many family visits and social obligations. Their eyes are closed for the real issue in life. Not a Santa shall bring salvation and he from the North has nothing to do with the birth of Jesus Christ. When we look at the many Christmas markets we even do not see much what reminds us of the Saviour who was sent by God to this earth.

Ages ago holy prophets told about the eyes of people which would become blinded. Today we

“should remember their predictions

Folk tale depiction of Father Christmas riding...

Folk tale depiction of Father Christmas riding on a goat. Perhaps an evolved version of the Swedish Tomte. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We also should remember that they also warned for the time that scoffers were going to come and would lead people following their own sinful desires. About the promised one who was born, lived for a very short time here on earth, died, was resurrected from the dead and showed that he was not a spirit, but the one brought back alive by his heavenly Father, that master teacher is not remembered much these days and many do not think about his return or even do not believe in it.

Yes many laugh at us and say,

“Where is the promise of his coming?”

Many children have to promise their parents that they will be good next year. Then they also will get some present. But not many children learn about that man who died for our sins. Not many take time in this ‘Time of the year’ to read the Bible and to meditate on what God and his son Jesus had to say.

Today lots of people are concentrating on their self and do see all those refugees coming in our regions as a possible threat to what they can enjoy. Many are afraid they shall have to share with those poor people who travelled thousands of miles to find their luck in our Western world where money seems to flow like moulted butter.

Many people do not see what is really going on and how those set apart men of God had warned for certain situations we can see today. Also Jesus told about the signs of those days we have today. That time Jesus spoke about, may be much closer than many think. Many are blinded by the money this world is offering. Lots of people think everything can be said with presents and with the value of money. The real value for life they often do not see. Capitalism has put sand in their eyes.

The ways of godless thinking and living will be seen for all the foolishness they are; and we must never forget, there are only 2 ways: the broad way and the narrow way. Those on the narrow way are

2 Peter 3:12-15 The Scriptures 1998+  (12)  looking for and hastening the coming of the day of Elohim, through which the heavens shall be destroyed, being set on fire, and the elements melt with intense heat!  (13)  But according to His promise we wait for a renewed heavens and a renewed earth in which righteousness dwells.  (14)  So then, beloved ones, looking forward to this, do your utmost to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless,  (15)  and reckon the patience of our Master as deliverance, as also our beloved brother Sha’ul wrote to you, according to the wisdom given to him,

“waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace” (verses 13,14).

Included in what they (we) are waiting for, is what Job perceived and that we read today. He declared,

I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. My heart faints within me!” (19:25-27).

He believed in resurrection!

That final comment is most thought provoking. Our hearts will be in danger of fainting within us for multiple reasons, when God “bring(s) distress” – the experience will be awesome for believers! But how imminent then will be the time when they will “see God” through seeing his Son, marvelling in anticipation of the ultimate time when

God himself will be with them as their God … for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:3,4).

Let us anticipate in faith the things that “our eyes shall behold” to carry us through the coming time of “distress”.

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Additional reading

  1. Holidays, holy days and traditions
  2. Christmas customs – Are They Christian?
  3. Christmas, Saturnalia and the birth of Jesus
  4. Irminsul, dies natalis solis invicti, birthday of light, Christmas and Saturnalia
  5. Focus on outward appearances
  6. Jesus begotten Son of God #1 Christmas and Christians
  7. Christmas in Ancient Rome (AKA Saturnalia)
  8. Christmas trees
  9. Actions to be a reflection of openness of heart
  10. With child and righteousness greater than the law
  11. Objects around the birth and death of Jesus
  12. Politics and power first priority #3 Elevation of Mary and the Holy Spirit
  13. The imaginational war against Christmas
  14. Autumn traditions for 2014 – 1: Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet
  15. Manna from Sint Nicholas
  16. Traditionalists Vow to Fight Charges of Racism in Netherlands
  17. Ignorance of Today’s Youth (and Adults)
  18. Sancta Claus is not God
  19. Brits believe Santa present at Jesus’ birth, new poll reveals
  20. Wishing lanterns and Christmas

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Further reading

  1. Winter Solstice and Yule
  2. Yule is upon us!
  3. Dickens’ Christmas Story as an Intertexteme in Leskov’s Yule Short Story
  4. Winter Solstice 2015: Shortest Day Of The Year Celebrated As Pagan Yule
  5. Commercialmas
  6. Yule 2015 #15 performing magic
  7. Yule 2015#16
  8. A radiant vision of splendour
  9. Yule prep
  10. Yule Wreath and Garland
  11. 13 Trolls
  12. War Against Christmas?
  13. Holiday King of the Hill
  14. SGC Admin: From our inbox to you from: Patti Wigington: Paganism/Wicca Expert
  15. Yule – Wicca subject of the week
  16. Happy Yule 2015
  17. How to bring some real Christmas spirits into your Yule-tide
  18. 10 Ways to Celebrate Yule
  19. Santa Claus, Krampus,The Wild Hunt and Me.
  20. Vigil
  21. Use Yule Bells For Positive Energy
  22. Irish Christmas
  23. Christmas, the Weridest Holiday of the Year; Part one
  24. Holly Tree
  25. Holly, Plant of Saturn and Mars
  26. Symbol of Yule: Holly Mistletoe and Bayberry Candles
  27. Memories of Yuletide
  28. A Little history on the holly tree
  29. Let It Be Done Unto Me
  30. Annunciation
  31. Annunciation: a reflection for Advent
  32. This Annunciation
  33. The Annunciation, according to Bl. Anne Catherine Emmerich
  34. Tuesday 15th December
  35. Wednesday Writings – Annunciation
  36. Mary’s Heart
  37. Angels & Advent: In His Shadow – a sermon podcast
  38. And the virgin’s name was Mary
  39. Angels of Advent: Encountering the Annunciation
  40. Somersaults /Wednesday, December 9, 2015
  41. Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin
  42. Mary and a “Yes” to God’s Request
  43. Joseph’s Pregnant Advent
  44. The Overshadowing of Mary –Pentecost
  45. Christmas
  46. Saturnalia
  47. From Sukkot to Saturnalia: The Attack on Christmas in Sixteenth-Century..
  48. Togas, Laurels, Chariots and Some Roast Lambs’ Testicles
  49. Countdown to Christmas 17: Saturnalia
  50. Saturnalia Is a Fleadh by Another Name. Just Don’t Tell Jerry Buttimer
  51. By Jove! It’s Christmas: Did the First Christian Roman Emperor Appropriate..
  52. War On Christmas Memes: Saturnalia
  53. War On Christmas Memes: The Yule Tree
  54. Christmas: it’s all about money, not messiahs.
  55. Geranium Lake Properties, Saturn and Sol
  56. Advent Calendar Day 15: Christmas: The Perfect Excuse For A Fight? by Lucy Brazier
  57. Pig Washing 1, “Christmas”
  58. Christmas is Pagan!
  59. Christmas — Who gives a rip HOW we came up with the date we use?!?
  60. Christmas is Tammuz’s Birthday?

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Filed under Being and Feeling, History, Lifestyle, Religious affairs, Spiritual affairs

Responses to Radical Muslims and Radical Christians

Some may think

The world is telling Christians that they must be blindly tolerant of all things or they are haters. {Churches response to Radical Muslims}

The Christians who are asking to be tolerant do not ask to be tolerant to violence. They ask do be concerned about those in need, and they ask to sincerely investigate all things and not to make conclusions too fast, putting everybody on the same line. Like after the Parisian attacks, so many people getting to shout to get all the refugees out and to stop them entering the European Union because they would be bringing Islam over our regions.

Русский: скромная одежда для muslims и non-muslims

Русский: скромная одежда для muslims и non-muslims (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Most of the from violence fleeing people are not practising Muslims and they just want to be spared of any fundamentalist teaching reigning over their life. We should not straight ahead think those people would bring radical Muslim teaching to our regions. Even when lots of them may be Muslim it should not frighten us that they would convert people here. If they are able to convert people to Islam others should ask themselves

People may think they don’t have to tolerate everything that crosses their path or that we or others think they should tolerate. {Churches response to Radical Muslims} It is given to everybody in our democratic countries to utter their opinion. We always should make that clear to any body entering our regions and certainly to those who want to live in our regions. Those who come to live in our states should very well know that here there shall have to stay freedom of speech and freedom of religion. Such freedom of speech makes it also possible that there shall be people who take a stand against those teachings they consider false and against tolerances, that plague, divide and destroy the people of God.

Though what we see today is that certain Christians do think that those refugees would come in here in Europe or in other parts of the Northern hemisphere to

divide and destroy the people of God {Churches response to Radical Muslims}

But is that so?

No, it is an idea that many want to pose because they are afraid of their own identity being hurt. In case they would stand strong enough in their shoes they should not worry. Christians should even be joyful because this would give them more opportunities to preach their faith and convert others to their faith. Is it not because so many Christians do not preach any more and are themselves not active in the Witnessing process that they consider those who are preaching as a danger. As such we also find a lot of aversion and opposition against Jehovah Witnesses, Christadelphians, Mormons and other preaching believers.

Christians should know there is a Big Battle coming. They should prepare themselves and their children for it, but also should warn others around them for the dangers that shall come over our world. But they also should know that in the Holy Scriptures is written that one of the signs of the Last Days shall be that religion shall come to rise against religion. Those religious groups fighting against each other should not make us afraid but should make us even more prepared to go out in the world and to preach the Truth. In case our teachings are founded on the Truth, we should not have to worry. We also know that man can kill man but they shall not be able to take man away from God when that man is in God.

English: The Ethnic composition of Muslims in ...

The Ethnic composition of Muslims in the United States, according to the United States Department of State based on the publication of Being Muslim in America as of March 2009 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We do know many Americans do think they are the centre of the world and that Islamic leaders saw America as the central power of Christianity. We have no idea where they got that from, but for sure it is true that radical Muslims do consider Christendom (and not Christianity) as their arch-enemy. In case they should know better Christianity than they should be more moderate and recognise that not all Christians do worship a threeheaded god. They should know that there are also many Christians who worship only the One True God, Allah, The Elohim Hashem Jehovah. If they knew their history they should be able to see why Mohammed was the right person in its time on that place, but that throughout history there have always been true worshippers of the Only One True God, the God of Abraham (Ibrahim).

Tom Harkness is right in saying

Everything about the West they view as Christian, all that we find valuable they hate; democracy, transparency, the rule of law, human rights, the separation of religion from governments are all discredited in the eyes of the jihadis (Wayne Grudem; Politics according to the bible). {Churches response to Radical Muslims}

That is today’s biggest problem, that those fundamentalist Muslims are doing exactly the same thing as the fundamentalist Christians from some centuries ago but also from those today.

Certain Christians do want to believe there are some extra-terrestrial demons hovering around, which they call devils, under the leadership of their head-devil Satan who organise a world-war against Jesus. They forget that according to the Holy Scriptures a satan is any adversary, like Peter was called a satan. so they teach people

so that you have a sound response either in your own mind or when people are attempting to discredit the truth that this is a battle between satan and the Jews and satan and Christians. {Churches response to Radical Muslims}

They are right in the fact that it is a satan who goes into battle with the world of God. The adversary of will trample hard. He knows the end shall be coming near and it is high time to go into the counter-attack. Real believers of God have to see that and should recognise the dangers of getting pulled in the trap to act also against the Will of God.

People like Imam Sheikh Muhammad Ayed,  who has told Muslims to use the migrant crisis to breed with European citizens and

‘conquer their countries’.

are the ones who put oil on the fire and spread the lies which are fed with messages from negative reacting Christians and National Socialists.

‘Throughout Europe, all the hearts are enthused with hatred toward Muslims. They wish that we were dead, but they have lost their fertility, so they look for fertility in our midst,’ {Imam tells Muslim migrants to ‘breed children’ with Europeans to ‘conquer their countries’ and vows: ‘We will trample them underfoot, Allah willing’ }

God is a God of love and order. He wants us to feel respect for all creatures, including those who do not love God. We should not kill them but should present them a life full of hope and glory. With our strength of faith we should bring them over the line, getting them to see where the true expectations of God are.

The real reason radical Islamists attack America, may be born out of a want to create an Islamic State and to destroy Jews & Christians, but it is mainly also because they consider the West interfering with their politics and hindering their cause in their own regions, which do not belong to America nor Europe.

It’s important that we understand the background. These attacks are not caused by people experiencing poverty or oppression in poor nations. This was started and is maintained by well-educated upper class, largely college-educated mostly wealthy men. (Wayne Grudem: politics according to the bible) {Churches response to Radical Muslims}

We even should come to see who are really backing ISIS and providing them with the necessary funds to get all that weapon arsenal.

English: There are apparently as many Christia...

There are apparently as many Christians as Muslims in Lebanon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Please let us always remember

“There are peaceful Muslims in the world that simply want to live their lives just like you and want their children to live peaceful and successful lives. The problem is not the peaceful Muslims but the radical Muslims. There are 1.2 billion Muslims, not all are radical. The radicals are 15-25% according to all intelligence reports around the world. That leaves 75% who are relatively peaceful people.” {Churches response to Radical Muslims}

We should concentrate much more on those peaceful Muslims as well on the peaceful Christians and should react to those Muslims and Christians who want to destabilise the world by their messages of hate and intolerance.

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Preceding articles:

Paris Attack and Ranting

Problematic Or Patriotic? Two Ways To Talk About Muslims

The World Wide Refugee and Migrant Crisis and a possible solution for it

Migration not something to fear

What we don’t say about the refugee crisis?

Social media and asylum seekers

Human tragedy need to be addressed at source

Real progress leaves nobody behind

Spike In Anti-Muslim Attacks Casts Spotlight On Government Policies

Don’t be Muslim

Children of Men

Tolerance Ends When There Is No Tolerance Shown Towards Us

My two cents on the refugee crisis

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Find also to read:

  1. Meaning of life
  2. Our relationship with God, Jesus and eachother
  3. Suffering through the apparent silence of God
  4. If you have integrity
  5. Integrity of the fellowship
  6. More Muslim children than Christian children growing up in our cities
  7. Being Charlie 10
  8. 2014 Religion: with a.o. Global war against Christians
  9. Syrian but also Belgian connection to French attacks
  10. Brussels-born Salah Abdeslam key suspect Paris terrorist attacks
  11. Paris attacks darkening the world
  12. Refugee crisis, terrorist attacks and created fear
  13. Massive police operation in northern Paris suburb of Saint-Denis
  14. French Muslims under attack
  15. Americans wrongly informed about situation in Europe
  16. Trump brand of migrant demonization #1
  17. Trump brand of migrant demonization #2
  18. Are people willing to take the responsibility for others
  19. Daring to speak in multicultural environment
  20. Sharing a common security and a common set of values
  21. Faith related boycotts
  22. Mocking, Agitation and Religious Persecution
  23. If Europe fails on the question of refugees, then it won’t be the Europe we wished for
  24. Schengen area and Freedom for Europeans being put to the test as never before
  25. Europe’s refugees just follow the ancient routes for the peopling of Europe in the Neolithic
  26. American atheists most religiously literate Americans
  27. Is Turkey attempting to resurrect the Ottoman Empire
  28. To freeze the fighting in Aleppo
  29. Is ISIS a product of American in-action or a product of direct action
  30. Islamic State forcing the West to provide means for Kurdistan
  31. Funding of ISIS
  32. ISIL will find no safe haven
  33. Wrong choices made to get rid of Assad
  34. Cities not under fear but monuments feared
  35. Rampaging, demolishing sacred sites and cultural heritage
  36. Sharing a common security and a common set of values
  37. If you want to go far in life
  38. God let my compassionate affection be tolerant and kind

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Further related reading

  1. Syrian Tourists
  2. Syrian refugees: Nothing “Christian” about Fearing Muslims?
  3. Op-Ed: There is no “radical Islam” and there is also no “moderate Islam”
  4. The acts of war
  5. I.S.? We Haven’t Seen Anything Yet!
  6. Radical Muslims and Americans
  7. Remembering 9/11…14 Years Later: A United States President Stands Poised to Give Radical Islamists Nuclear Capability
  8. The Crusader Rifle
  9. Brits in Costa Del Sol, Costa Brava and Costa Blanca now ‘top targets for ISIS attack’
  10. ESPN Liberal Logic
  11. Muslim Takeover Of Bendigo Must be Halted
  12. Egypt by
  13. The UN Needs A Boot Up The Backside
  14. Violent extremists up to interpretation by homeland security chairman Mike McCaul
  15. “Extremists…have given Islam a bad name, but…have no connection with the religion” Really?
  16. Does Minnesota House ISIS’ “Farm Team”?
  17. ISIS or Daesh
  18. Will Bangladesh propaganda help Rohingya Muslims?
  19. The Time is Now to Stop Radical Muslims
  20. The Third Jihad
  21. Glenn Greenwald: Greatest threat to free speech comes not from terrorism, but from those claiming to fight it
  22. The argument for deluded losers
  23. Oops! Nemtsov killed by radical Muslims, not Putin fans
  24. Congress Defies Obama. Warns Iran.
  25. The Hidden Menace
  26. On Aggression
  27. Extremists and Terrorists Miss the Mark
  28. Oh Dear God: Copenhagen Shootings
  29. Still freedom of speech on Danish TV
  30. A special kind of hate
  31. A no–go zone For truth
  32. Why Would I Distrust Muslims Baroness Warsi?
  33. The RCT Talk Show
  34. to our 21 Christian Egyptians who fought for their Faith up to their last breath
  35. Are Christianity and Capitalism Compatible?
  36. Day Six: Hell House

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Filed under Activism and Peace Work, Crimes & Atrocities, Headlines - News, Religious affairs, World affairs

29. Laws that Value People

In our series on abortion we have let you hear pro’s and con’s and tried to show how we have to cope with such situations when something terrible happened or when people are confronted with the question of going to a Family Planning Office or counsellor or an abortion clinic.

Lots of people think there are only the 10 commandments, forgetting that those better would be called 10 Words. In the Torah are many many more rules given and to often people overlook the “You may not’s” to see them as commandments as well. Once is said a person may not do something him or her is given a rule or regulation to keep at.

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Those who call themselves Christian should better also look at those “You may not” remarks in the Holy Scriptures.
Most of the instructions given in the Holy Scriptures concern relationships; the relationship to the Divine Creator and His creation, the creatures (man, animal and plant). They concern our attitude to ourself, to others around us, and to our ‘wants‘ and involve the things we should want to share with others around us, guiding us to a good behaviour and to a good way of life.

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In case many more people would live according to those Divine instructions there would be less trouble and less pain in this world.

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To remember:

Much of our Western world rejects God and many would say our only meaning is found in evolution, and humanists and atheists (who tend to be one and the same) say that evolution is about survival and we have arrived at a point where we are sophisticated human beings who now act on more than just instinct. We have developed reason and rationality and so we see that it is sensible, if nothing else, to think well of one another if we are to survive and not enter another world war which would undoubtedly be even worse than the previous two. To survive we need to think well of one another. {28. Valuing People}

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Simply writing a list of human rights does not mean everyone will keep them. They will not make a child obey its parent or the parent not abuse the child. They will not stop an employer abusing an employee or vice-versa. They will not stop politicians, or any other national leaders for that matter, acting corruptly. Laws may be good in general but a strong adherence to the values underpinning those laws (remember, we considered this a couple of meditations back) will be the only thing that guarantees we treat one other well across the globe and, as we suggested in a previous meditation, we will only hold those values when we see and accept the primary cause behind those values – God. Any and every other foundation gives way. It will only be those who hold fast to God, the loving God of the Bible who reveals His design for us, who will genuinely hold these values – and live by them! {28. Valuing People}

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Gal 9:5,6“I will demand an accounting for the life of his fellow man. Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for in the image of God has God made man.”

= You Will be held accountable to God for the wrongful killing of another person.

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God’s values are expressed in the Law He gave to Moses

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at the heart of valuing a human being = honour or respect or value the victim’s life > in the image of God has God made man

  • evolution is the method God used in Creation, it was with purpose {28. Valuing People}
  • God’s first ‘laying down the law’ in respect of the sanctity of human life
  • God warned about being held accountable for taking a human life – + by implication forbade the taking of human life
  • God warned of what the repercussions would be for taking a human life
  • Ten Commandments = first half = about relationship with God + second half about relationships with other human beings
  • instructions go to the heart of community + civilisation, relationships within families
  • Parents = building block for next generation + to be honoured
  • if parents are dishonoured or disrespected => following generation will be at odds with God’s design for a harmonious world

following commands in the negative form – “you shall not” = so sharp + clear => consequences for ignoring them not spelled out by God

=  in respect  of a) basic human life,  b) marriage relationships, c) personal property, d) human reputation and e) human peace and security.

main covenant laws = guidance laws about dealing with servants (slaves) i.e. respect within employment (Ex 21:2-11), the penalty for murder (v.12,14), manslaughter (v.13), a child attacking or cursing its parents (v.15,17), the death penalty for kidnapping (v16), ….

= steady catalogue of instructions about dealing with people + dealing with circumstances where life is threatened

first 15 verses of chapter 22 about dealing with property problems + protecting people, e.g. virgins 22:16,17,  aliens (22:21), widows and orphans (22:22-24), i.e. protecting the vulnerable.

Into chapter 23 we find laws about justice in general, about not helping the wicked (v.1), not perverting justice (v.2), not showing favouritism (v.3), not denying justice (v.6), not making false charges (v.7), not using bribes (v.8), not oppressing foreigners (v.9) + about their relationship with the Lord when they enter the Promised Land

first nine verses of chapter 23 = about making sure that people are dealt with fairly (justly).

=> underlying value of importance of each individual human being covered by a law to protect them

laws show how to deal with miscreants, how to deal with situations that go wrong

in Leviticus a whole series of lengthy requirements about offering sacrifices and those laws are all about how a guilty sinner can get right again with God.

God does bring destructive judgment on human beings > a remarkably restrained hand > constantly looking for the good for humanity

We are to value human life.

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Additional reading

  1. No prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation
  2. Incomplete without the mind of God
  3. No prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation
  4. Bible, helmet of health, salvation and sword of the spirit
  5. Bric-a-brac of the Bible
  6. Feed Your Faith Daily
  7. We should use the Bible every day
  8. Fools despise wisdom and instruction
  9. Every creature is a divine word because it proclaims God.
  10. Observing the commandments and becoming doers of the Word

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Further reading

  1. God’s Healing Power – Ask and You Shall Receive?
  2. Moses, the Exodus and the 10 Commandments
  3. The 10 Commandments
  4. 10 Commandments- Keeping the Name of God
  5. 10 Commandments: the idolatry commandments
  6. 10 Commandment Pt. 2
  7. God’s Law in the Life of the Baptized: The Fourth Commandment
  8. God’s Law in the Life of the Baptized: The Fifth Commandment
  9. God’s Law in the Life of the Baptized: The Sixth Commandment
  10. God’s Law in the Life of the Baptized: The Seventh Commandment
  11. “Are We Really Keeping the 10 Commandments?”
  12. Following the Rules
  13. What do you mean, the 10 Commandments don’t apply to me???
  14. Sermon on 11 October 2015 about a whole lot of Law….and just a little bit of Gospel. (Because you have to put it in there)
  15. The Law Fulfilled In You, Making It Obsolete
  16. Kosmic Laws Of Nature
  17. 20 Extremely Stupid Quotes By Famous People That Is Sure To Steal Your Ribs
  18. The Ten Commandments Still Apply
  19. Hear the Instruction of Thy Father, and Forsake Not the Law of Your Mother
  20. Trick for Memorizng the 10 Commandments
  21. These ought ye to have done…
  22. Beware Spiritual Lust
  23. Ten Words
  24. The Ten Commandments Movie trailer
  25. For the Narrative Lectionary Preacher: Deuteronomy & Talking about Law
  26. Ten Commandments Removal Discussion – Eavesdropping
  27. #7: This Rule Is So Underrated
  28. Do Romans 14 and Colossians 2 Provide Cover For Modern Sabbath Deniers?
  29. The Significance of the Shabbath & The Laws for Keeping the Shabbath
  30. Understanding Bible Truth
  31. Surpassing Glory.
  32. Don’t Just Let the Rocks Cry Out
  33. Humanity in the Toddler Stage
  34. Is Removing The 10 Commandments A Big Deal?
  35. Texas Riders Deliver 10 Commandments To Oklahoma Governor
  36. An Overview of the Ten Commandments Enforced by the Civil Magistrate
  37. Late Night Removal of 10 Commandments Monument in Oklahoma Reignites Controversy
  38. “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
  39. A Doubter’s Guide to the Bible Review: Is the Old Testament Law really good?
  40. The little boy on the beach….
  41. Truth 13. God’s laws guide you in the best way to live and lead you to Jesus.
  42. Living with the understanding that His commandments are not burdensome.
  43. In Need of Perfection – Part 11: You Shall Not Covet
  44. The Unity of Body, Soul and the Tablets
  45. Justifiable Acts Against Wrong
  46. Devarim Five: Shamor v’Zakhor
  47. Devarim Ten: Circumcise the Foreskin of Your Heart
  48. Deuteronomy Chapters 10, 11, and 12
  49. The basis of the 10 commandments

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Bible Meditation Shop

Meditations in Meaning & Values  29. Laws that Value People

Ex 20:12-15   “Honour your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you. “You shall not murder. “You shall not commit adultery.

“You shall not steal. You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor. You shall not covet your neighbour’s house.

We considered in the previous meditation God’s first ‘laying down the law’ in respect of the sanctity of human life. When He said, ““I will demand an accounting for the life of his fellow man. Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for in the image of God has God made man,” He not only warned about being held accountable for taking a human life – and by implication forbade the taking of human life, but He also warned…

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Filed under Crimes & Atrocities, Juridical matters, Lifestyle, Re-Blogs and Great Blogs, Religious affairs, Social affairs, Spiritual affairs, Welfare matters

He who beams never walks in the dark

The Western World has her holy cow : the free market economy. GNP and welfare are its arteries. It is convinced that here, now and immediately, everything always has to go quicker and better, while its adage is one of ‘always more’. The average westerner is chasing his salary, from early morning till late at night. His holy cow has eaten every scrap of him in the meantime. As well as the soil that has produced the animal .
 
That is the problem.

Light beams in smoke02

Light beams in smoke02 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We have reached the limit. It is not easy to admit that we have grown crooked towards ourselves, away from the other; alienated from the essential, away from our heart. We are collectively indulging in navel-staring at our individualism, while we are searching  with our remaining energy, for new stimuli that have to give us a feeling that we are still alive. Essentially, we are squeezed dry. Empty. Exhausted. Notwithstanding all our knowledge and abilities, we are like a giant with feet of clay who screams from a deep nostalgia he cannot name.

Nostalgia: the sign of our times
“Homesick”, the English call it, “Sehnsucht” for the Germans. Our heart shouts that is ‘sick’ for its ‘ home’, wants to “come home” and “longs to see”. We are directed by a longing we cannot name, that drives us and of which Zen Master Hisamatsu says :

it rises from the heart of existence itself”.

When we stop making a playground of our life and become aware of our emptiness and longing, a deeper force is released from within us. Against all odds it is experienced as ‘light’. Light without darkness, hope without despair, fullness without emptiness. This light is not only there, but essential. Small and humble, but beaming with life. He who stands in this light, no longer walks in the dark. Never again.

In this time of  Christmas  MWN wants to spread this light. We do this thanks to your support. Your contribution in this sensitive time is for people in need and for us of vital importance. We wish you and your family a Christmas full of light and life.

– The proverbs are the most visible part of MWN. Together they represent a potted philosophy, and a handful of wisdom! Download now!: Proverb of the month.
MWN and URI Europe wish to contribute to a better world in a substantial manner. We want to set an example and have therefore introduced the URI proverbs.

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Dutch version / Nederlandse versie: Wie straalt, loopt nooit in het donker

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Find also:

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

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5 Comments

Filed under Economical affairs, Movement Without a Name, Welfare matters