Tag Archives: Worship

Not being clones connecting, engaging, praying or worshipping in the same way


We Christians and we humans are not all clones
and so we do not all connect, engage, pray or worship in the same way.
That would be very boring and unbiblical.

No, there is a marvellous uniqueness and variance to our God-given human spirituality which is sadly often overlooked by many charismatic evangelical Christian church leaders and pastors.

~ ‘Come, just as you are to worship’ 

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What is a Christian?

Lots of people do call themselves Christian but are not really real followers of Christ (what they should be when they call themselves Christian).

Being Christian should entail that the person is a follower of the Christ (Kristos) and would follow his teachings and worship the same God as him. Though in the Christian world we do find the majority worshipping another god than the God of Christ. Christ Jesus, born by the Power of God, was brought up in a very devout family who kept to the Torah and worshipped the Only One True God, the God of Israel, Who is also the God of Abraham.

A true Christian should also keep to that Unseen God and like Jesus should obey His Wishes and Commandments. As a follower of Christ a Christian should make sure to live according the rule of the God of Christ and according the teachings of Jesus Christ. Though in many denominations we see lots of so called believers who not take notion of all those things Jesus and God require from believers in God and from lovers of God. Many keep to the false teaching of the trinity (a three-headed god) and even do not mind having graven images of those gods (a blasphemy and an abomination in the eyes of God)
Lots of those calling themselves Christian also do not share the love of Christ and often are racist and not showing their love for others. Many also do not mind taking up weapons or to show aggressiveness towards others.

A real Christian is some one who really tries to live according the teachings of God and His only begotten beloved son Jesus, and like him shows respect and love to every creation of God (plants, animals and people).

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Additional reading

  1. The Nazarene master teacher learning people how they should behave
  2. Words to push and pull
  3. Atonement And Fellowship 2/8
  4. As Christ’s slaves doing the Will of God in gratitude
  5. Not withholding the Good News
  6. Jehovah’s Witnesses Circuit Assembly and a Pillar to freedom
  7. Blogging in the world for Jesus and his Father
  8. Devotees and spotters
  9. Concerning the humans who are a warlike species
  10. ….a powerful way to put the universe on notice….
  11. Days of madness with big bonfires, parades, and dressing up in costumes as saints, angels and devils
  12. Living lives in total darkness by lack of understanding the times that lie ahead
  13. An atoneless religious system or a hope giving religious system
  14. Given opportunity to accept Christ as Messiah
  15. A House for God in our 21st century
  16. Torah hanging on two commandments and focussing on a Mashiach
  17. Ambassadors for our faith in Jeshua
  18. Biblical Yeshua/ Jesus or Another European Greco- Roman Jesus ??
  19. Not being saved by faith in Christ alone
  20. Today’s thought “A breach of faith against the LORD” (March 1)
  21. Today’s thought “Being made prosperous and numerous on conditions” (May 13)
  22. Today’s thought “… with all your heart” (May 09)
  23. a Strong Family doesn’t just happen
  24. Eagerness to learn and to teach others
  25. Division, diversity, unity and connection
  26. Jewish and Gentile Disciples
  27. Jews and Christians against Messianics and Jeshuaists
  28. The attitude of Christians to Jews
  29. Working with others behind the scenes
  30. The Most Important Point to be a Jeshuaist
  31. Christadelphian opposite Christian
  32. The clean sweeper of the whole caboodle
  33. Living stones 5 Abraham’s seed and gentiles
  34. Living stones 7 The spiritual house
  35. Today’s thought “Forgive … from your heart” (January 16)
  36. Memorizing wonderfully 45 Living and bearing fruit by dying

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Filed under Being and Feeling, Re-Blogs and Great Blogs, Religious affairs

Holding fast on some one unique and able to trust

In today’s reading we can read about those who did not hold certain teachings in Thyatira. In the reading of Isaiah 45 we also hear about false teachings, the folly of the “idols” humans make and

“carry about … and keep praying to a god that cannot save” (verse 20).

So many in these days, have “idols”, be it their sports gods or film or music entertainment gods, they carry about and which constantly occupy their attention – but they can only communicate with fellow mortals – not with the immortal God and his redeeming Son!

In yesterday’s daily bible reading we could see Naomi who said unto her two daughters in law to return each to her mother’s house. Ruth, a widow and childless whose emotions paralleled Naomi’s, clave unto her.

15 And she said, Behold, thy sister in law is gone back unto her people, and unto her gods: return thou after thy sister in law.(Ruth 1:15)

In this example we can see the way that the love these women had for each other was causing the grief that hampered the decisions. How well we can relate to situations like this. When they happen, which way do we choose? Ps.125:5, Matt.13:20-21, Josh.24:15-20.

Ruth, Naomi and Obed. Pen and brown ink over p...

Ruth, Naomi and Obed. Pen and brown ink over pencil on paper. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ruth loved Naomi so much that she gave up everything she ever had or could have for her love of Naomi. She said,

“Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people, and your God my God … may the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me.”

Ruth was someone Naomi could rely on. Ruth stayed with Naomi through all her troubles. Together they were able to support each other and with Ruth’s promise of commitment, Naomi would be confident that she would not get up and leave her destitute at a whim.

Ruth was  not afraid to go onto the fields to pick up leftover grain (Matt 15:26-28) in hopes of finding marriage working in the field of “Boaz” (according to The Westminster Dictionary of the Bible means “in him is strength”), Naomi’s late husband’s “kinsman” Heb. “yada” (3045) meaning “kinsman, familiar friend”; v4,8,9,22 Boaz is a Godly man, based on his greeting, and is protective of Ruth; v10-12 Boaz notes her character and it is likely he was the Gentile Rahab’s son; v14-16 they share bread and wine and he helps and encourages her like Christ does for us and we are to do for each other; v18 Ruth is kind and shares with Naomi; v20 “kinsmen” Heb. “ga’al” (1350) meaning “to redeem, redeemer, ransom, to be next of kin, deliver, purchase”, etc. and this coupled with Boaz showing “kindness” Heb. “chesed” (2617) means “kindness, mercy”, etc. to the living and the dead both Jew and Gentile perhaps suggests Boaz is a type of Christ. Some of the above was gleaned from Judges and Ruth by H.A.Whittaker p205-235.

While the decision to leave her family and homeland was a big decision, it was encompassed by many small, selfless decisions and tireless devotion that gave Ruth the reputation she received.

Ruth’s devotion to Naomi is a very practical example of the devotion we should have for our Lord. As she pledged herself to Naomi, Ruth said,

“Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will
go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people, and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. May the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death
separates you and me.”
(Ruth 1:16-17)

Hannah who longed for a child, considered somewhat in the same vein as a leper – outcast and cursed, was also a woman not fearing her adversaries who could have mocked at her weeping and praying.

God heard Hannah’s prayer and gave her the son she had prayed for. We can learn from Hannah’s prayer. We can make our prayers heartfelt. We can forget what others might think about our prayers and pray between us and God alone. Let us pour out our soul to the Lord and our prayers will be effective too.

Hannah developed faith, and her desperate circumstances, are all in the purpose of God in order to bring about a man devoted entirely to His service. This man, Samuel, was going to prepare the way for David and ultimately become his tutor in the ways of Jehovah God. The Most High was providing the bedrock for David so that he in turn could provide for Jesus, and He was doing it through Hannah’s suffering!

Illuminated manuscript depicting Elkanah and his two wives, c.1430

When we look at Elkanah and his family how they began their morning, we can see that they arose and worshipped before the Most High Host of hosts and then went back to their home at Ramah. (1Sam 1:19) For Elkanah and his family, worship was a priority. It was something to do first thing in the morning. Worship was not something to be left until later in the day – if they got around to it. It was an essential part of living and it was important to them that God received the first and best part of the day.

We have seen in the ancient writings that each member of the house of Jacob found himself in – being cared for by the Divine Creator from the cradle to the grave, being carried and delivered.

Though we also can see there where many who preferred to call on elements of nature and who wanted to have gods they could see. Those man made gods that couldn’t see, hear, walk or even speak at all where favoured above the Most High God. We also can see that instead of giving them extra strength, those gods were more a burden on the people with having to carry them everywhere. Instead of giving them extra power their god used up the power of a horse and chariot as they transported it into battle. And instead of giving them security they had to guard their god to make sure no one stole it.
Today’s gods are no different.

We also can see that those gods could not care much for those who where praying and offering to them. Ruth, Hannah, David and many others had a God Who could do so much more. They could count on their God Who should also be our God.

God asserts His uniqueness as a God,

Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, (Isaiah 46:9King James Version)

In ancient times as well now we can see many who did not want to trust that Divine Creator and have no hope in Him.

In our days we have to make sure we are dressed with the right spiritual garments, not fearing those people who mock with us because we want to worship that God of Israel. We should not be afraid to show others that we belong to the few that prefer to walk with God in neatness or purity, even if those around us fail to do so. This is very important aspect of working out our own salvation. If we have people around us that are dragging us down to a lower spiritual lifestyle, then we should notice that and readjust our lives back to where we know they should be. Matt.10:11, Luke 20:35, 21:26, 2Thess.1:5.

We must make sure that we do not fall asleep in these times of trials, where many do try to get believers in God to stumble.

In the last two verses at the end of Jude’s short epistle we can read

“Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Saviour, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.”

With faith in these words firmly fixed in our hearts and minds, we will “Fear not, nor be afraid”.

Jesus told Peter, James and John that the best way to stay awake was to watch and pray. (Mark 14 v 38). So let’s wake up from our sleep (Rev 3:3 + v.2,5), exercise our sleepy spiritual muscles, watch ourselves so that we don’t fall asleep again, watch for the signs of the return of Jesus, and pray that we will not fall into temptation.

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Preceding: Ruth having reason to grief

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Ideas about Religiosity

From the Old French religiosete (late 14th century)  and directly from Late Latin religiositas “religiousness,” from religiosus we got religiosity. In 1795 it came only 0.02% as used word. In 1947 it reached 0.1% and got a peak in 1944-45 from 0.17-021%to decline again until 1959 when it reached a deeper point again of 0.12%. From then onwards it got more used, with a frequency of 0.3% in 1978 and climbing to 0.44 in 1996. In2005 it got a boost and was used 0.62%. After a little dip it got again to 0.74% in 2008.

You can wonder if the word became more popular because the time was so bad that people sought more answers and where looking for meaning in their life, but in a time when more people were religious in a way which seemed exaggerated and insincere.

In the 2010 the word became again more popular to denote the way people were either going to be or not be religious. Having to face times where more people are not so much interested in the existence of a supernatural ruling power, a divine Creator and a controller of the universe, the act of those people became also more in the picture and part of debate. This also because many impeach that religion is the base of the many problems we do face today. Lots of people accuse the religious people of creating a situation of hatred between people. The non-religious people inculpate the believers of the different religious or faith groups this world counts, and that are many.

religions in Europe, map en. See File:Europe r...

religions in Europe, map en. See File:Europe religion map.png for details. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When we talk about religion we look at one or an other of the various systems of faith and worship based on such belief. As such we are often confronted with the great religions of the world, being Christendom and Christianity, Islam and Buddhism. the persons belonging to one or another religion we do expect to be bounded to the organisations of that religion and to have a religious life according to the rules of that religion.

When we talk about the religiosity today we think of the manner a person has an awakened sense of the elements we encounter in life. This may be concerning a higher unseen controlling power or powers, with the emotion and morality connected therewith. {Chambers 20th Century dictionary, 1972-1977, p.128,1141} In the 1977 reprint of the Chambers dictionary is still looked at religiosity as some bigotry or blind or excessive zeal, especially in religious matters.

Appropriate to or in accordance with the principles of a religion a person might be religious. In Christianity of or relating to a way of life dedicated to religion by the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, and defined by a monastic rule. {Collins English Dictionary}

When we talk about the religiosity of some one we think about his religious life or how he is spiritual, holy, sacred, divine, theological, righteous, sectarian, sanctified, doctrinal, devotional, scriptural, devout, believing, godly, committedpractising, faithful, pious, God-fearing, reverent, pure, churchgoing, conscientious, exactrigid, rigorous, meticulous, scrupulous, fastidious, unerring, unswerving, punctilious. {Collins English Dictionary}

The religious person is some one who is taken by religiosity and beliefs in and worships something or someone, mostly a superhuman controlling power or powers, esp. a personal god or God or gods. The person who is religious wants to come to a religious act or have some religious activity, spending time to religiosity or giving time for his belief or practice, forming part of his or her thought about or worship of a divine being.

he has strong religious convictions

both men were deeply religious, intelligent, and moralistic. {The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English, 2009}

Today when we talk about religiosity and a religious person, not many are going to think straight ahead of

belonging or relating to a monastic order or other group of people who are united by their practice of religion: religious houses were built on ancient pagan sites. {The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English, 2009}

but are going to think more about the way people are treated or regarded with a devotion and scrupulousness appropriate to worship

I have a religious aversion to reading manuals. {The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English, 2009}

The religiosity may take on all sorts of forms, going from the simple worshipthe activity of worshipping, to veneration, cultism, also going into the extreme, becoming excessive or irrational devotion to some activity; “made a fetish of cleanliness” or to become a devotion to the doctrine or a cult or to the practices of a cult.

Religiosity mostly has to do with devotion or love, passion, affection, intensity, attachment, zeal, fondness, fervour, adoration, ardour, earnestness, dedication, commitment, loyalty, allegiance, fidelity, adherence, constancy, and faithfulness. It can be seen in the way people act or worship and bring prayers, religious observance, church service, prayer meeting, matins, vespers, divine office.

In its broadest sense today religiosity can be seen as a comprehensive sociological term used to refer to the numerous aspects of religious activity, dedication, and belief (or religious doctrine)

The Gallup Religiosity Index, 2015. (dark color indicates religious, light nonreligious)

Some like to divide religiosity in six dimensions, others from four to twelve components, based on the understanding that there are at least three components to religious behaviour: knowing (cognition in the mind), feeling (affect to the spirit), and doing (behaviour of the body). Though sociologists have differed over the exact number of components of religiosity.

What can be found in lots of studies is when written by atheists the believer is looked at as a stupid person who believes in things unseen. For the reason such a person accepting what is written in the Bible lots of such researchers do find that they can not be very intellectual because many strong believers do not want to accept certain scientific findings. We can assure you that there are also very intelligent people, scientists, medics, lawyers etc. who are very religious.

Also is known that many do not want to show their religiosity in public and today many are even afraid to show their religiosity to others at all, or dare not to bring up religious matters in public but also not between their own friends or in the family.

For the reason to bring religiosity more in the open the Message Board or Internet Forum Christadelphian has been created in August 2016 on the American Yuku servers of Crowdgather, Inc.. By creating such forum the public has the opportunity to bring up questions and members are allowed to edit or delete their own posts. The posts, when there are more, will be contained in threads, where they appear as blocks one after another. The first post starting the thread; this may be called the TS (thread starter) or OP (original post). Posts that follow in the thread are meant to continue discussion about that post, or respond to other replies. The Christadelphian makers of the board are aware that it is not uncommon for discussions to be derailed, but they do want to give it a chance.

Christadelphian Forum (started August 2016)

At the place Christadelpian where many people may exchange ideas easily hopefully many will bring forth some good subjects also. To start off the following opening articles can be found

  1. Welcome to Christadelphian
  2. Places of interest to get more knowledge about God
  3. Places of interest to get more knowledge about God
  4. Christadelphian a Christian
  5. A god, The God and gods
  6. How do you look at religion
  7. What or which god are you looking at and going for and who or what do you want to worship
  8. Christianity and Religiosity in Europe

 

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Preceding articles

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

Laboring in the Vineyard or Sitting on the Hillside with Jonah?

 

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Also related

  1. A world with or without religion
  2. Being Religious and Spiritual 1 Immateriality and Spiritual experience
  3. Being Religious and Spiritual 2 Religiosity and spiritual life
  4. Being Religious and Spiritual 5 Gnostic influences
  5. Being Religious and Spiritual 3 Philosophers, Avicennism and the spiritual
  6. Being Religious and Spiritual 7 Transcendence to become one
  7. Looking for True Spirituality 1 Intro
  8. Looking for True Spirituality 8 Measuring Up
  9. Philosophy hand in hand with spirituality
  10. Science, belief, denial and visibility 2
  11. Points to remember of philosophy versus spirituality and religion
  12. Science, belief, denial and visibility 2
  13. Worship and worshipping
  14. a Place to discuss religious matters and Christadelphianism
  15. Religious matters
  16. Religious people and painful absence of spring of living water
  17. Christianity and Religiosity in Europe
  18. New Christadelphian forum
  19. Finding God amid all the religious externals
  20. Problems attracting and maintaining worshippers
  21. Heaven and hell still high on the believers list showing a religion gender gap
  22. Structuur -structure
  23. A visible organisation on earth

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Further reading

  1. Religion
  2. Religion and ceremonies
  3. Ethics and Morals – the Ten Commandments
  4. Politics is a funny game.
  5. For the little gods’ sake…
  6. Consciousness continues to amaze and elude
  7. Weather or not.
  8. Success
  9. Religious matters
  10. What comes next?
  11. Young immigrants to Canada passionate about spirituality: Todd
  12. the primitive as reaction, pt. 2
  13. Science doesn’t know it all. Neither does Religion.
  14. Cara Wall Scheffler: What anthropology can tell us about the origins of religious behaviour
  15. Religious experience: William James + criticisms from Russell
  16. Religious experience: Otto and the numinous
  17. Religious experience: Ayer
  18. Experiencing God
  19. Belief in moralistic gods makes people generous—towards coreligionists
  20. On Certainty
  21. Stop Saying “I Feel Like …” to Spiritualize Your Desires
  22. Go Ahead and Ask God for Something Really Small
  23. How I Hear God’s Voice

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

What we do

Man worships many things and often uses their religion to do what they want for themselves, having more power and control.

Temple of Hephaestus, a Doric Greek temple in ...

Temple of Hephaestus, a Doric Greek temple in Athens with the original entrance facing east, 449 BC (western face depicted). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bombs bringing fire and giving the attackers the mythological divinity of fire. They might think to become reborn and having their virgins around them but like Hephaestus, protector of blacksmiths, the Japanese Kojin, which protects the hearths and symbolizes the violence of the elements placed at the service of humanity they will not remembered for long but disappear in oblivion having become dust like their victims who died at this cowardly attack.

But for the living there is light and hands which reach to each other, showing unity which overcomes all sorrow and shows those who try to kill our values that humanity goes on looking forward aiming for a democratic place where many people of all sorts of races, cultures and religions can live together in peace.

Light up a little flame, and make others think, is what many love to do and which gives a sign to those outside who think they can hurt us. >  just think + wonder + ask questions, and maybe read up some author or historical character, or read a new book, or argue, or get angry, and light another flame…  One hopes to make think – and to keep thinking, even in the midst of all the terrible things.

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I significati simbolici associati al fuoco sono numerosi, positivi e negativi: rinnovamento, purificazione, immortalità, iniziazione, sacrificio, forgiatura, distruzione… basta pensare al mito della Fenice che brucia e rinasce dalle proprie ceneri, a Prometeo che ruba il fuoco agli dei per emancipare almeno un po’ l’umanità, alle fiamme che custodiscono il sonno della valkiria disobbediente, alla colonna di fuoco che guida Mosè e i suoi nell’Esodo, al fuoco inestinguibile di Vesta, alle fiamme della dannazione eterna. {Fuoco!}

Italiano: Bandiera rosso e nera con tre fiamme...

Bandiera rosso e nera con tre fiammelle gialle al centro (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Read also

Fuoco!

Che Cosa Stiamo Facendo

A darker and stranger place

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Scribblings

flameBW3I’ve posted something very similar on my Italian blog, yesterday, but I want to do it again here, because…

Well, because terrible things keep happening, and everything seems to indicate that they will keep happening for Heaven knows how long. I was musing about it yesterday, and thinking how small, how inadequate it feels in such moments to sit down and write of history, and theatre, and books…

Then I found on Karavansara a quote of Charles De Lint’s, saying how writers keep shining little lights in the gathering darkness.

And I thought: yes, this is it. This is what I want to do too. Light up a little flame, and hope it will make readers think. Not to make them think something in particular – that readers can agree or disagree with what they read is a given… just think. And wonder, and ask questions, and maybe…

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Filed under Crimes & Atrocities, Lifestyle, Re-Blogs and Great Blogs, Spiritual affairs

The Proper Place of Excess

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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To remember

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

Excess > consequences = plays important role in survival process

Survival of the fittest + the fertilized

Northern Hemisphere winter = season of rest + recuperation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Preceding

The Culture of Excesses- Losing Humanity

Learning that stuff is just stuff

Material wealth, Submission and Heaven on earth

Looking for the consummation of presents

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

 

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Additional reading

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

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Further reading

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

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The T. Carlos Blog

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

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

Excess has its consequences.

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

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Daring to speak in multicultural environment

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

U.S Postage Stamp, 1957

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

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

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

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

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

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

As Babamboga from Nairobi,Kenya, writes:

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

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

there will be prophets who will spread his word

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Many would say

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We also should remember that we

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

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

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

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

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

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

By saying

You have learned the Christ

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

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

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

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

 

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Preceding articles:

Your position about materialistic desires having conquered the world

Looking for a shepherd for the sheep and goats

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

Not making yourselves abominable

Where are the female writers

Perishable non theologians daring to go out to preach

What Should I Preach ?

 

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Find also:

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

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Further reading:

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