Decolonising our minds

Every generation has to undergo some turnovers on one or the other factor.

What is to considered to be normal at one time in another generation can be “not done”.

The last few years it seems like we are living in a society which wants to overcorrect itself. It wants to break with previous passages in history. In several countries suddenly a lot of words may not be used any more because they are considered wrong or unjust to certain groups of the population. Often then there are created new words to substitute the older word, but then they forget that happened in the past already with several words as well.

With the “Black Lives Mattermovement this seems to have arrived in a roller-coaster or rapids. It looks like when you do away with all monuments and all related words that part of history shall be made away with and forgotten. Instead of thinking about the value of keeping also the wrong things in memory.

Even the prestigious London university got caught in a row with some of its students who have repeatedly demanded leading philosophers, whose ideas have underpinned civilised society across the Western world. It might well be that a lot of philosophers their writings students may have to cover, come from Europe and as such from white people. Instead of studying the European Enlightenment figures, the students have insisted the majority of philosophers should be from Africa and Asia, and white thinkers only to be studied “if required”.

People often forget that they when being part of a certain culture should learn about their own culture first. If one wants to learn the other culture(s) it should also be possible but in another curriculum. It is wrong to exclude European thinkers, because they are part of our world mindset and provided the patrons with our wisdom, morals and ethics.

What we can see today is that lots of youngsters are trying to desacralise European thinkers, stopping them from being treated as unquestionable. We should not stop studying them, but should be able to look at them critically.

For sure, we may question what should be the place of European philosophy, and European philosophers, in an age of globalisation and of a shifting power balance from West to East, but we should recognise that they are essential to our insight in the construction of our society throughout the ages.

The argument for a more diverse curriculum seems reasonable, indeed unquestionable. After all, philosophers and thinkers come not just from Europe. There are great non-European intellectual traditions, a myriad philosophical schools from China, India, Africa and the Muslim world, many of which have shaped European philosophy as well. It would be good to see that there is made more place to look at the works of Mo Tzu, Zhu Xi, Ibn Rushd, Ibn Sina, Anton Wilhelm Amo, Frantz Fanon, Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan and Feng Youlan, just to call a few.

It is wrong to think that all European philosophy would be tainted by racism and colonialism. Several people are now falling in the same trap as racists, suggesting that because one possesses a particular identity, so one’s ideas are necessarily distinct, and linked to that identity.

A philosopher is white so his or her ideas are contaminated.

John Locke is widely regarded as having provided the philosophical foundations of modern liberal conceptions of tolerance. Yet he was a shareholder in a slaving company.
Immanuel Kant, often seen as the greatest of Enlightenment philosophers, clung to a belief in a racial hierarchy, insisting that

‘Humanity is at its greatest perfection in the race of the whites’

and that

‘the African and the Hindu appear to be incapable of moral maturity’.

Sian HawthorneSian Hawthorne, convenor of the undergraduate course in ‘World Philosophies’, the only philosophy degree that SOAS provides, observes:

‘Enlightenment philosophers make arguments about knowledge and reason setting us free, and laud the values of liberty, at the very moment that colonial enterprises and the slave trade are expanding. Those very same arguments are summoned to justify Europe’s so-called civilizing mission and make claims about European superiority.’

Jonathan Israel, now Professor Emeritus of History at the Institute of Advanced Studies, Princeton, lauds the Enlightenment as that transformative period when Europe shifted from being a culture

‘based on a largely shared core of faith, tradition and authority’

to one in which

‘everything, no matter how fundamental or deeply rooted, was questioned in the light of philosophical reason’.

Yet, Israel is also deeply critical. At the heart of his argument is the insistence that there were actually two Enlightenments. The mainstream Enlightenment of Locke, Voltaire, Kant and Hume is the one of which we know, and of which most historians have written. But it was the Radical Enlightenment, shaped by lesser-known figures such as d’Holbach, Diderot, Condorcet and, in particular, the Dutch philosopher Baruch Spinoza, that provided the Enlightenment’s heart and soul.

The two Enlightenments, Israel suggests, divided on the question of whether reason reigned supreme in human affairs, as the Radicals insisted, or whether reason had to be limited by faith and tradition – the view of the mainstream. The mainstream’s intellectual timidity constrained its critique of old social forms and beliefs. By contrast, the Radical Enlightenment

‘rejected all compromise with the past and sought to sweep away existing structures entirely’.

Israel finds the argument that the ‘Enlightenment is racist’, coming from a one-eyed view, the selective picking and choosing of certain individuals and quotes.

Such critics see only the more conservative mainstream figures, such as Locke, Kant and Hume, and ignore the thinkers of the Radical Enlightenment,

an approach that Israel calls

‘seriously obtuse’.

The Radical Enlightenment, he observes,

‘was condemned by all European governments and by all churches, because in principle it insisted on the universal and equal rights of men and the full emancipation of the black population.’

Israel is sympathetic to the demand that university curricula be diversified.

‘There is a strong case for studying non-European traditions as an essential part of any philosophy teaching course.’

But, he points out, such a global view began in the Radical Enlightenment itself.

‘Many radical enlighteners believed their anti-Christian naturalism had powerful roots in medieval Islamic philosophy. They also had strong affinities with Chinese Confucianism. They were free of the Eurocentrism that marked the mainstream Enlightenment of Voltaire, Montesquieu, Hume and Smith.’

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Preceding

Visual and aural impacts – contacts and concepts

Added commentary to the posting A Progressive Call to Arms

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Additional reading

  1. The twist of politics and expression
  2. Institutional Racism
  3. Mass Media’s Deception Causing Division

Visual and aural impacts – contacts and concepts

 notes that the world reveals itself to us in a stream of sensation. Man has to face a lot of things in his life; Growing up we always go from one (unexpected) situation onto another, always bringing new and other facts and facets.

All the time we are confronted with lots of imprints, made by colours, shapes, lines, shades of light and dark, whilst at the same time we do have to endure lots of sounds.

female_touching_glassWe hear sounds shrill and bass, harmonious and discordant. Our skin touches cold and heat, hard and soft, rough and smooth. Scent passes constantly through our nostrils and in our mouths we taste bitter and sweet. {Contact, Concept and Art}

How are we willing to cope with everything that surrounds us?

Beyond out physical sensations we have the rich inner world of emotion and feeling. Joy, sorrow, fear, anger, and contentment – our inner reality is constantly fluctuating between different emotional reactions to the sensations that the world presents. {Contact, Concept and Art}

As human beings it are our sensations which bring us into life. Those visible and invisible vibrations and impulses give us feelings and joys.  We get an impulse to go somewhere or do something and that then this leads us to something different, perhaps something bigger, but we never know beforehand how acting on them will transform us and our life.

When walking around on this globe we have to see and hear, or to have a willingness to undergo the vibrations of this earth. It’s really about becoming aware of them and act on them, because the universe is always speaking to us, but lots of people are not fully aware of it. Lots of people ignore signals which are giving all the time.
We should know that all those impulses around us give some direction to our emotions, even when we would not want to be influenced by them.

This cascade of sensation and emotion is not all of our reality, however, because alongside these our minds have developed the ability to generate a parallel stream of concepts that arrange and organize our sensations into ideas that can be held onto long after the sensations that gave birth to the have faded into our even out of memory. {Contact, Concept and Art}

How do we want to look at things? What do we want to allow to influence us? How do we want to form ideas and impressions?

Our concepts take a set of sensations and create an object out of them. {Contact, Concept and Art}

Do we want what we see to be real? Or do we think it is just imagination? And how far do we want to allow our imagination cope with that what passes our eyes and mind? Every one of us experiences similar experiences differently. We might be beings all come from the same one being (Adam), and in a way we all should be partners in sameness, oneness, unity, though being absolute and irrevocably unique. There is not a single person in the world who has the exact same thoughts-feelings-experiences, i.e. story, as you, me or another. None. This insight makes all of us relevant to the history of the life of humankind. It is this uniqueness which makes us all so interesting for others as well as for ourselves. Because we for ourself have to explore and to uncover our own self and the beings around us.

Exploring and developing this uniqueness, expanding and narrating our story, gives meaning, perhaps the only meaning we really need. {The meaning of life – Finding purpose}

All the time we want to find out the truth of what we see and hear. Whilst we go from one year in the next we try to live a life and grow up with reality or what we think is reality. Meanwhile, we have to cope with our strengths and weaknesses, explore our talents and analyze our personality traits. At the same time we often fear to have to explore our own self, being confronted with that what we do not want to see: our weaknesses. Most of us want to ignore them, pretend they don’t exist, and choose to focus only on our strengths, which means we don’t do anything about our shortcomings. So they grow and continue to hold us back. doing so we create a lie, sheeting ourselves.

Facing our weakness requires us to acknowledge and accept that we’re not perfect, and that is often something we do not want to know or not want to be. We would love to be perfect and somehow we also would love to see that others would also be perfect. But they just aren’t.

Why is it that human beings accept that people, in general, aren’t perfect, yet are embarrassed to admit their own imperfections?

One word: vulnerability. Imperfection and weakness mean that we’re vulnerable.

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Preceding

Philosophy hand in hand with spirituality

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Additional reading

  1. Ways of dreaming or thinking
  2. Fictional or real world
  3. The meaning of life – Finding purpose
  4. Anxiety Management During Pandemic Days~
  5. Philosophy hand in hand with spirituality
  6. Uncertainty and limitations
  7. Existence of a powerful “life consciousness” in all individuals

Where people find meaning in life

Pew Research Center asked thousands of Americans where they find meaning in life. Their responses were rich, thoughtful and varied. Here are just a few examples of what they told us…

“That’s a gosh darn big question for a survey like this, I’m used to the check boxes. I find meaning in career, family, spiritual and hobbies aspects of my life. Those are the things that keep me going and areas that I develop goals and look to improve.”

I honestly think goals are very important in life. But people constantly also need new stimuli. Having a good focus also helps people staying on a path where they can tackle the difficulties in a reasonable way.

one person reacted:

“My family is the focus of my life. I feel like I should have said Christianity; however, that is a given for me, underlying and surrounding everything in my life. My greatest joy comes from my loved ones.”

Family was the most common topic Americans mentioned when talking about what keeps them going. Two-thirds (69%) brought up their spouse or romantic partner, children, grandchildren or simply “family” in general.

Surroundings do a lot for having an interesting and acceptable or a detestable life. But even when not living in good surroundings a person is able to make the best of his life, when he is willing to invest in his own personality.

One person wrote

“I look at meaning a little differently. I believe meaning is something we build into our lives; by our successes, failures and experiences. I do not feel meaning can be found but must be created.”

Though some did not see so much in their life to have them going or to keep them going.

Nothing keeps me going, I just do. No meaning at all. Too many stupid people in life to deal with, that cause constant negative consequences. Many of them in positions of power. I would find meaning in life from anything that would remove their influence from my life!

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It would be nice to live according to my being rather than my blackness. I will never know how a totally worthwhile life will feel because of this.

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Read more:

What keeps us going

 

Human nature designed for love

GOD DESIGNED HUMAN NATURE FOR LOVE 

By Jesse Morrell
Everything God created has a function and a design.

God created human nature.

Therefore, human nature has a proper function and a design.

What is the proper function that human nature was designed by God for?

“For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves”

Romans 2:14

The proper function of a thing is determined by its design.

When a thing operates according to its design, it functions properly and orderly.

When it malfunctions, it violates its design and is in a state of disorder.

Our moral obligations (how we should function properly) are according to the design of our human nature.

We were created to love God and love our neighbor. We were designed for love. Love is our proper function.

A holy man is simply a man who lives according to his true human nature – the way God designed mankind to live.

Sin is a malfunction – a violation of our design.

Sin has damaging affects upon our soul, heart, mind, and body precisely because it is a violation of our design.

Our world is in a state of disorder because men choose by their free will to violate their God given nature, just like Adam and Eve did.

“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection [ἄστοργος: inhuman, unloving], trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.”

2 Timothy 3:1-5

Emphasis: without natural affection [ἄστοργος: inhuman, unloving]

It’s natural and human to be loving.

It is unnatural and inhuman to be unloving.

Human nature was designed by God for love.

Two kinds of knowing – experience and understanding

There are two kinds of knowing – experience and understanding – and the confusion between them is the cause of all sorts of trouble for any thinking person – which is all of us.

Experience is the knowing of things. It is exactly what appears to our senses precisely as it is without us doing anything. It is immediately and directly present to awareness with no mediating activity. Because it is immediate it cannot be denied.

Understanding is the knowing about things. It comes to us in the form of the inner language of thought.
Understanding is the knowing-about-things that is contained in explanations, interpretations and logic.

Reason is intuitive knowing. It is the self evident knowing that isn’t derived from rational deduction. It is directly perceived pure awareness.

Read more:

Experience and Understanding

What Tolerance really means

In this world we can see that less and less tolerance is given by people. Lots of Christians and fundamentalist religious groups want to take the crown for not tolerating others to live with them or in their neighbourhood.

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To remember

“Tolerance: Willingness to accept behaviour and beliefs which are different from your own.”

  • you will always see people who behave or believe differently from you => In order to coexist harmoniously with such people, you should be willing to accept such different behaviour or beliefs, if they cannot be changed.
  • changing someone’s behaviour or beliefs =  influence operating word, not force.

Victors' Corner

WHAT TOLERANCE REALLY MEANS
By Victor Uyanwanne
13/03/2015

I have always been interested in learning new words and I have usually made conscious effort towards achieving that aim. I remember way back in school when we were much younger when we used to keep “New Words and Meaning” notebooks as a deliberate strategy to enhance our knowledge of English words. Those notebooks were really helpful then in building our capacity to understanding English as a second language.

Somehow, I have carried the habit of learning new words into my adult life, but with a different strategy. Thanks to the revolution in ICT! For instance, I subscribed to an offer by my telecom service provider to send me one new English word and its meaning, every day. I have been enjoying this service for years now without fail. This service has afforded me a convenient medium of learning the meaning of…

View original post 816 more words

Our Attitude – a recent exhortation

George Bernard Shaw once wrote;

‘Attitude is the public face of the private thinker, it’s how we present ourselves to others, the smile, the words. The inner-self, made public.’

Attitude is everything. Our problems, whatever they are, are not really the problem – it’s our attitude to the problem, that is the problem.

We can change the most difficult circumstances into something quite different, we can change the negative into something positive. Even when you can’t change the direction of the wind – one can adjust the sails!

It is one’s attitude that is critical – the ultimate example is contained in Philippians 2:5.

“Let this mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, he humbled himself …”

Everything that follows: the statement about the nature of Jesus, his sacrifice and his resurrection has no meaning for us unless we take on board this opening phrase; everything is dependent upon our attitude to life – this is the link between us and Jesus. Attitude is critical, attitude is everything.

W C Fields wrote;

‘Attitude is more important than education, money, circumstances, than what people say or do, its more important than appearance, dress or status. Attitude is everything.’

This is the unstated theme underpinning the letter of James. It’s all about attitude towards trials & temptations – it’s not what we suffer or why we suffer but our response to suffering (James 1:12) listening & doing (James 1:22-25) respect for the other person (James 2:9) faith and deeds (James 2:24) use of the tongue (James 3:13), submission to God (James 4:10) & each other. Its not just about what we think, but about what we do & how we do it. The latter is the most critical part. It’s not about what we believe and do but the way in which we believe and do – It’s our attitude that matters!

However, it’s not just our attitude that matters, it’s often ‘we’ who cause another’s attitude to be negative & unresponsive! I share some thoughts from a little booklet I recently picked up in a local church about ‘Soul Wounding’! An imaginative idea that is closely related to our subject.
The writer imagines a satirical sketch where he is covered in bandages. The bandage over his head will be for ‘the ears that are burning’ and the ‘nose out of joint’ the bandage around his back for the ‘stabs in the back’ he has received, his feet bandaged for the damage caused by people ‘standing on his toes’. You get the idea – these are the scars that cannot be seen by the naked eye but the pain they cause are as real as physical scars. They wound the soul, the life of the person and they are often caused by the attitude that we adopt to another!

One simple fact resulting from ‘soul wounding’ is that such a problem can affect us for many years, we may carry around with us these scars, untreated and unhealed – they will just fester & cause even greater suffering. We need to avoid causing such problems in the first place & if we are affected, we need to seek treatment – forgiveness & restoration. The answer is to think about ‘our attitude’ and aim to demonstrate a more positive attitude to life and to others so that we & others may be at peace with God and each other.

Colin Edwards

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Additional reading

  1. Life Is A Marathon
  2. Facing our existence every day
  3. We may not be ignorant to get wisdom
  4. Careful not to have God’s wrath poured out upon us taking on the right attitude
  5. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #6 Prayer #4 Attitude
  6. A Royal Rule given to followers of Christ
  7. The works we have to do according to James
  8. Memorizing wonderfully 71: Philippians 4:8 True and Honest things
  9. Today’s thought “Forgive … from your heart” (January 16)
  10. Looking for a spiritual new life
  11. Worthy partakers of the body of Christ
  12. Genuine Christian behavior
  13. If you keep your faith and trust in God
  14. Brothers and sisters in Christ for you

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Related

  1. Perception
  2. Genesis 4:6-7
  3. January 2
  4. Can Versus Will
  5. “Do. Or Do Not. There Is No Try.”
  6. Forests
  7. Move
  8. Spiritual Adept Shortcuts Series … by Alice B. Clagett
  9. Two Affirmations to Help Heal the Heart … by Alice B. Clagett
  10. Update on a Prior Blog … by Alice B. Clagett

A truth to face often to do with time

A truth we all have to face is that the days pass by and that we are always limited by time. It is the ticking of the clock which may remind us that we have to take in account the time. Day and night bring us to face the reality of the day, where we have to make a distinction between the real and the unreal; between knowledge and perception.

We may not forget that “Truth” is unalterable, eternal and unambiguous. Truth might be unrecognised, but it will not be changed. Truth applies to everything that God created, and only what God created or allows to exists is real and true. This is beyond learning because it is beyond time and beyond the limited awareness of processing thoughts, feelings, and perceptions.

Truth has no opposite; no beginning and no end. Truth is real, unchanging and it is the serene peace of faithfulness.

Manny may be looking for truth at the wrong place. We would like to know that the best place to find truth is the Bible.

As we come to the end of 2018 it is perhaps not bad to check how media distorted truth and how much we were confronted with fake news. True news shall be that we soon shall have to face an other year with again new steps to undertake. People should know that there is also the truth that time is starting to run out. Every hour, every day, every week, every month, every year, we are getting closer to the moment of truth. Before it is so far, make sure you are ready. Come to know who is the way to God and how you should be ready for hard times to come.

Today we are still connected to the time, not able to escape it. We are not able to stay young and healthy. We are all confronted with difficulties in life and illnesses. And at a certain point in life we shall have to face it that we shall not be able to be under the living on this earth. We even shall not be able to stop the time when we die. Then our body shall decay to become dust and nothingness again.

The truth of life is that there is no nothingness. When you get drown in the idea of being a nothing or to live in a nothing, you are strangling yourself. Speak of nothing can bring to mind a sense of desolation and darkness, plus can bring you in a space where you feel the emptiness

Although we may describe times of our life interchangeably using nothingness or emptiness, they have different meanings for Christians.

We should not be afraid of the time passing, of empty moments, of scaring moments, of darkness coming over this world. By time we should come to see the signs of the times the book of books speaks so many times. We as Christians are to pour ourselves out in time, treasure, and talent and be ready for others to help them come through the times. When others are afraid of darkness or certain times coming we can show the the light in that darkness.

When at 24.00 hours today sounds the fireworks and light up the skies, we should be happy, because we know we received again one more year to be here on earth and to come closer to better times. And let us not forget, having time, it means also we have to consider our obligation brought by the time. Our responsibility to make the best out of time and to take up a responsible position in times to come. Are you aware of the content you are going to bring in time, this coming new year?

For the time being, we hope you had a nice 2018 and wish you all the best for 2019.

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Concerning time, read: Coming to the end of 2018

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Related

  1. Now that autumn is over, winter is here
  2. A cogitative and brief interpretation concerning time
  3. Lose All That Importance
  4. Nothing Remains
  5. Ego, you go
  6. Nihilism – not waving, drowning.

When there is secrecy involved

In this world there are lots of denominations in Christendom. Lots of Christians say that the non-trinitarian christians belong to cults or sects, but clearly than they forget what the characteristics of a sect or cult are.

The many non-Trinitarians who found one or another denomination in which they go to meetings are all free people with no obligations to that meeting, congregation or church except to live according to the commandments of God. In nearly all other Christian denominations of trinitarians we can find churches which dare to say they are the only church by which people can be saved or “go to heaven”. Nearly all of them are weekly asking money to their parishioners or even ask a tithing. Whilst in most of the non-trinitarian churches the parishioners are free to give or not to give any amount of money and are not pushed to do so. Never are they threatened by a so called burning in hell for ever, because such false teaching even does not exist by them.

Anna in Shadowland is a web-blog from a certain Andrea which represents the view of a disillusioned girl who left her own church to have an experience in a Charismatic church influenced by the New Apostolic Reformation. She writes

Every so often I receive testimonies from people who have read my “Leaving the NAR Church” series. There are more than 50 of them, and I am adding another. These stories are precious to me, and serve as a painful reminder that there is hope for the dear deceived ones caught up in this insidious movement. If you don’t know what NAR is, I hope you’ll take a moment and read What is the New Apostolic Reformation Movement. {Leaving IHOP and the NAR: Sammy’s story}

She has a testimony about how the good and faithful God she loves and wanted to serve opened her eyes and removed her from the clutches of the deception, lack of discernment, and false teachings of a movement that has invaded the worldwide church on a massive scale. {An open letter to the church I left}

In Christendom and Christianity we may see many churches who claim to be adhering to ‘authentic New Testament practices’ but when we look closer at them we find all sorts of practices which are not according to the lifestyle of the first Christians (which we can come to know from the Acts of the Apostles and from civil writings of the first century CE).

Today there are several churches who love to attract people with their “Speaking in tongues” and all sorts of trance movements, even not minding to have people in hysterics, shaking on the floor to the very contemporary music of Hillsong and Bethel (not to be confused with the Bethels of the non-trinitarians), surrounded by all their technological advances, big screens, and coffee bars, and all the other comforts of modern convenience that they manage to accumulate around them.

Although it sure is a whole lot of fun and I have to admit, you had me fooled there for a while.  {An open letter to the church I left}

does the blogger says after her eyes were opened. Continuing

I was really starting to climb up that ladder to sit there with you because I’m sure the view is amazing. But thankfully I could never quite manage to get there, and these days I actually find it rather insulting that anyone can claim to be living ‘authentic Christianity’ just because they belong to a certain kind of church.  {An open letter to the church I left}

The blogger Andrea thinks

seeking after a truly authentic apostolic life and experience would be completely unattainable, because I currently live in 2017. {An open letter to the church I left}

but than she forgets we do have enough civic papers, next to the biblical account, to give us a fair image how life was by the first century followers of the Nazarene Jewish master teacher Jeshua (Jesus Christ).

Naturally she should also know that life 2000 years later is so different that we should take that into account too.

Today we see a growing amount of people loving the ‘New Apostolic Reformation’ (NAR), a movement which seeks to establish a fifth house within Christendom, distinct from Catholicism, Protestantism, Oriental Orthodoxy, and Eastern Orthodoxy. Some of that church, at the moment, say they are ‘Charismatic’ others say they are a ‘New Testament’ or ‘Apostolic Household’ church and do not belong to the Charismatic movement.

For sure all the modern Holly-Bolly-Woody-Booly modern entertainment forms a very attractive asset to lure people in the community. At several places in the United States certain movements took place which were noticed by C. Peter Wagner to fall under the same denominator. Unlike several sects or cults groups it is not some secret society or shadowy organization. They started to find like-minded people who had no intention to overthrow world governments or undermining the Church. For many of them the “New Apostolic Reformation” started off as a name giving for a movement that was going through the established church. Nothing more but a term used to classify a subset of people throughout denominational and non-denominational Christendom who seem to share some common characteristics.

In Christendom we may find lots of churches which not only worship a Trinity, but also believe that the Holy Spirit is with them and moving around in their church even in such a way that this spirit would choose special pastors, giving them a special role in the Church of God and/or in the Kingdom of God. They may come up with many different stories even telling that people got ‘gold dust’ on their hands.

One of them was the wife of one of your pastors/elders, and she very excitedly and animatedly told us how the ‘spirit had been moving’ in a certain meeting, because the people had seen ‘gold dust’ on their hands. {An open letter to the church I left}

Andrea remarks

it is easy to dismiss the ‘manifestations of the spirit’ thing when someone is interpreting a verse of scripture about ‘being filled with the spirit’ or ‘being drunk in the spirit’, while you are sitting under the cloud of false teaching. But when you realize that these kinds of ‘manifestations’ are actually completely absent in scripture, and had been completely absent in the church until only a couple of years ago, that is when you sit up and take notice. And then when you realize that during all that time it had actually been present in the occult and Eastern mystic religions, that is when you start opening up a whole can of worms. That is when you get up and walk out of a meeting before the end, leaving behind some dear friends who are violently convulsing on the floor, and shaking in fits of ‘holy laughter’. That is when you walk out of a large WOF centre from a Jesus Culture ‘revival’ concert, feeling like you had just walked out of the depths of hell, and all the while absolutely hating yourself for having such feelings and for questioning ‘the work that God is doing through the moving of His spirit’.
And you’re asking yourself ‘Is this really the God that I know?’, but still you are convinced that the problem lies with you because you are ‘not open to the spirit’, because that is what you’re being told over, and over, and over again. And then you get pushed, and pushed, and pushed to get baptized so that you can also ‘receive the spirit’, and you’re left scratching your head because you had thought that because you were already a believer, you had already received the Holy Spirit, but the word ‘obedience’ gets thrown at you over, and over, and over again. And this is when you start to see the indoctrination above the doctrine. {An open letter to the church I left}

People should come to see that at such point they do come in the danger zone. There it is, where we would differentiate between a through church and a cult or sect. Whilst non-trinitarians do keep to the biblical teachings and are not pushing people to come into their church, afterwards demanding all sorts of obligations, and not letting people easily go, this is typical for the cult groups we notice in the trinitarian churches. Also when people then want to leave such a church or group we notice the leaders of such community want to give a ‘guilt feeling’ to the person who wants to leave.

Andrea gives a nice example how such cults or groups work

Instead you preyed on my hurt and my weakness, and used it to set your trap, so that you could be the ones who avoided the issue. This leads me to believe that, despite the deceptive façade, you actually have no idea who you are or what you believe, and you are carried about by every wind of doctrine. If this was not so, you would have had no problem answering all the questions I had first, despite any other issues that might have been present. {An open letter to the church I left}

Backsliding term used within Christianity to describe a process by which an individual who has converted to Christianity reverts to pre-conversion habits and/or lapses or falls into sin, when a person turns from God to pursue their own desire. – The story of the Prodigal Son has become a representation of a backslider that repented. Engraving of the Prodigal Son as a swineherd by Hans Sebald Beham, 1538.

In most such dominating churches we can see that they try to put the guilt feeling by accusing that person who has objections of being a backslider. Saying that the faith is watering down because the person is going the wrong way, spiritually. They want to have the doubting person to believe all lies within him or her. Saying that he or she  is regressing rather than progressing and that there is no proof any more of a commitment to Christ or that a certain standard of behaviour is not there any more.

DivideTheWord.blog, a cloud-based ministry who claim to have as purpose to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the world in such a way as to be available to all of God’s children, saying it is free from denominational judgmentalism, free from race, colour or creed stipulations, brings a testimony

Having been a member of an independent Oneness Pentecostal (Apostolic) church for fifteen years, gaining a 4-year degree from a Oneness Pentecostal Bible College, and being involved in many ministries within that church, to them, I am now completely backslid. I know the doctrines. I learned the dogma. I defended it ardently.

I justified foul behavior for the purity of the doctrine and I even considered, as they do, all other Christians, lost. According to Apostolic Oneness Pentecostals (the majority, there are personal exceptions) all other Christians, be they Baptist, Lutheran, you name the group, they will not be going to heaven, because they do not follow the Pentecostal doctrines.

And when I finally had enough of the stink of judgmentalism, elitism, self-righteous pomp, the hypocrisy of their holiness standards, I backslid. I left the church. I’ll never return, nor attend another Oneness Pentecostal church again.

But something miraculous happened to me, and to hundreds, and thousands of others I’m connected to via this blog, my YouTube channel and many recovery based online groups;

I backslid, right into Jesus {I Backslid Into Jesus}

Also Andrea writes

I can assure you that I am anything but a ‘lukewarm’ Christian. {An open letter to the church I left}

The woman who likes to think of the NAR as a ‘mega cult’ or an ‘out-of-control cult’ seems to have not such nice experiences, though at first it looked even so attractive she left her ‘old’ traditional church.

For her

Praise and Worship during a Catholic Charismatic Renewal Healing Service.

It is probably important, at this point, to also note its interconnectedness with the Signs and Wonders, and Word of Faith movements. And that it is also known or characterized by a bunch of other terms, like ‘Dominionism’, ‘The Third Wave’, ‘Kingdom Now Theology’, ‘Joel’s Army’, ‘Manifest Sons of God Doctrine’, ‘Charismania’, ‘The Seven Mountain Mandate’, and ‘The Fivefold Ministry’, to name only a few. And that its precursor was ‘the New Order of the Latter Rain’, a discredited movement out of which a lot of current day NAR teachings is derived. It seems to be an ever changing, constantly evolving and expanding movement, which is what makes it so hard to pinpoint and, I believe, is part of its deceptiveness. {Eighteen Months in a Cult: Prologue}

In Pentecostalism there may be found so many subgroups that often people can not see the woods any more because of the trees. Some of those groups evolve around one ‘spiritual leader’ who can have many people under his spell. Some groups have an end to their existence when the pastor dies, others have a longer life.

In the book ‘A New Apostolic Reformation? A Biblical Response to a Worldwide Movement’, Geivett & Pivec writes:

“Whereas the Latter Rain revival lasted only a few years, NAR has been around for more than thirty years – since the 1980s, when the office of prophet began to be restored. NAR teachings have gained enough momentum for an entire generation of young people to be raised in churches that promote them. For these people, NAR teachings are at the heart of Christianity.”

Andrea was raised Reformed, and writes

– that is, the other reformation. Whereas the NAR is a falling away from the authority of Scripture towards ‘experiences’, ‘encounters’, and ‘new revelations’, the Protestant Reformation was a return to the light of Scripture. To the eternal things that God has already promised and revealed in His Word, and to recognizing it as the only truth and authority to live by. Hence one of the battle cries was Sola ScripturaScripture Alone. And even though I do not remember the emphasis ever really being placed on the fact that we were Reformed, or being taught exactly what that even meant, this was very much the culture and mind set I had grown up with. {Eighteen Months in a Cult: Prologue}

For the Mega-churches and Pentecostal Churches youngsters are an easy prey because they are not so much interested in pure words of the Scriptures, but like more “ambience” with song and dance and special actions, like seeing people going in trance or watching unbelievable things like people nearly going mad.

Andrea also admits

when you are a young person, still searching for passion and a sense of purpose, it is very hard to disagree with those who say that the traditional church is ‘dead’. And hymns, structure and doctrine simply does not seem all that relevant and exciting anymore.
So for me, when the opportunity presented itself to become part of a young, vibrant, hip & happening church, suffice it to say that I did not hesitate for very long. Even though the circumstances of how I came to be introduced to this church was accompanied by a sense of hurt and rejection, I nevertheless grabbed the opportunity to join what seemed like a genuinely committed, and caring, community of believers. I was hoping, and expecting, to have my faith nurtured and strengthened in the process. {Eighteen Months in a Cult: Prologue}

Question is how much such attractive groups can nurture a person in the good sense. We should know it is really god’s Word that must give guidance to people. It is the Bible which can give us the most correct education and foundation for a good faith.

When not much attention is given to the text from the Bible, people shall miss out edifying material, for reproof and profitable for correction for building up a life according to the Will of God.

When to much attention is giving to the pleasures of life or to the human or natural flesh the real faith can not grow. Mike sojournerphoto remembers

I (was) removed from these organisations many years ago – initially with judgement in my heart – but have since watched the ‘Toronto ‘blessing’ and such stuff thrive. I became increasingly appalled at what was happening and now am amazed that it continues, ever more subtle. I remember a dark day sitting in ‘my church’ sometime around 1986 or 7 and the band deciding to play on after the service to ‘continue to seek God’ and as looked down it was a though there was a dark pit (not visual, so much as metaphorical) and I felt compelled to leave the building. I later came to recognise so much of this as seeking after ‘the flesh’ and to equate it with James observation on the ‘earthly, natural, demonic’.

Therefore let us remember that a true Christian church should be open, have no secrecy for its members nor for the outside world, and should give most attention to the Word of God, it is to readings from the Bible.

Eighteen Months in a Cult: Prologue

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Preceding

Lovers of God, seekers and lovers of truth

Some one or something to fear #3 Cases, folks and outing

All Souls’ Day

 

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Additional reading

  1. Ideas about Religiosity
  2. Religions and Mainliners
  3. Parish, local church community – Parochie, plaatselijke kerkgemeenschap
  4. Expenses, costs – Onkosten, uitgaven
  5. Contribution – Contributie, bijdrage
  6. Follower of Jesus part of a cult or a Christian
  7. A small company of Jesus’ footstep follower
  8. Matthew 6:1-34 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Leviticus 19:18 Continued 5 Matthew 6: 24-34: e) Anxiety and neighbor love
  9. Why we do not have our worship-services in a church building
  10. Why we do not keep to a Sabbath or a Sunday or Lord’s Day #6 Sunday or the Lord’s day
  11. Breaking up with a cult
  12. Evangelicalism in France on the rise
  13. Do those who want to follow Christ to be Jews
  14. What is the Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship International (FGBMFI)?
  15. What Doctrines came out of the Shepherding/Discipleship Movement (SDM)?
  16. Place for a fifth and sixth house in Christendom
  17. History of the NAR cult infiltrating the marketplace.
  18. Wagner the NAR and new wineskins
  19. C. Peter Wagner – The Don Quixote of Evangelicalism (Part 1): Knighted as a General.
  20. A new bible translation from the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) group
  21. Using Alexander Dowie’s “altar call” system to suggest that they are God’s instrument to furthering the Kingdom of God here on earth
  22. Brian Simmons and The Passion Translation Deception

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Related

  1. Christianity Is Not a Cult, It’s How It’s Taught
  2. So you want to be a Christian? [731]
  3. Cult…
  4. Cults around the World: Heaven’s Gate
  5. 049 :: Cult thinking
  6. Sects in the New Testament
  7. Q17: Sects and conflicts
  8. Cult Accusations Against the Body of Christ
  9. True Talk: What goes on within a sect?
  10. Same God – Different People
  11. #Tupper #Saussy PDF : Exposing the #Luciferan #Jesuit #Cult for what it is. #Catholic #Evil – YouTube
  12. Church of England downplayed extent of child abuse allegations, ritual abuse, padeophile cults, multiple personalities, FLDS – Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
  13. What is the New Apostolic Reformation?
  14. New Series: The New Apostolic Reformation
  15. Churchwatchcentral create a boogie man
  16. Should James White be disregarded as a valid voice in the field of Christian apologetics?
  17. James Goll Is a Tricky Devil: He Deceives After Warning People About the Devil’s Deception
  18. Prophetess Stacey Campbell Participated in and Promoted Catholic Event that’s in submission to the Magisterium of the Church
  19. Make Your Marine Demon Tap Out Through Full Immersion: Jennifer LeClaire’s Spiritual Hacks to Drowning Marine Demons
  20. NAR Nonsens
  21. N’ar John Silver
  22. When Church Invades Your Home
  23. Blame Cindy Jacobs for Terrorist Attacks and Tyrannical Leaders
  24. Psychic Fishing Expedition with John Edward and Shawn Bolz
  25. Cults on the rise in social media
  26. Cults of the World: Synanon
  27. Cults of the World: Aum Shinrikyo
  28. Cults of the World: Lundgren Cult
  29. Cults and sects – Jehovahs witnesses [702]
  30. Cults and sects – Christadelphians [703]
  31. Cults and sect – World Wide Church of God, Herbert Armstrong [706]
  32. Children Of God #Cult Was Hell On Earth. #Scotland
  33. Rating Cult Websites (and some background about the cults)
  34. I said #no ..’#In14ways #MercyfulGrace
  35. When Control Sets In – An Excerpt from my Book
  36. The Fall Rivers Cult
  37. A Bunch Of Rich White People From New York Are Being Arrested In Connection With A Sex Cult
  38. This Isn’t a Culture War — But a Patriotic Defense Against All Cults
  39. “Choose Freedom, Choose Happiness” – introduction
  40. Introduction – Prophet or Profit?
  41. My cult made me do comedy
  42. Card Catalog Review: Breaking Free: How I Escaped Polygamy, the FLDS Cult, and My Father, Warren Jeffs
  43. Bethel School Of Spiritual Drunkenness
  44. Drawning in mystery or Secrets with Courtney – a brief series on Scientology
  45. Video Comparison: Matt Chandler and Bethel Redding’s Shawn Bolz on the Same Page: Kooky Practices of Charismatic Things
  46. Are Phil Pringle’s ‘visions’ from God just as infallible as the NT Apostolic letters?
  47. Todd Bentley’s Vintage Heresy Oil and Prayer Cloths
  48. Experience Outweighs Scripture Implies Apostle Jennifer LeClaire
  49. Dr. Michael Brown Promotes Baby Throwing Evangelist Smith Wigglesworth
  50. Greater Works Epic Fail: Why Did Bethel Redding Need to Buy so Many Groceries for CARR Relief?
  51. I Backslid Into Jesus
  52. “Be strong and of good courage; be not afraid”
  53. Jesus The Way (2)

Genuine Christian behavior

Genuine Christian behavior

“14 Bless them that persecute you; bless, and curse not. 15 Rejoice with them that rejoice; weep with them that weep. 16 Be of the same mind one toward another. Set not your mind on high things, but {1 } condescend to {2 } things that are lowly. Be not wise in your own conceits. {1) Gr be carried away with 2) Or them }17 Render to no man evil for evil. Take thought for things honorable in the sight of all men. 18 If it be possible, as much as in you lieth, be at peace with all men. 19 Avenge not yourselves, beloved, but give place unto {1 } the wrath of God: for it is written, {2 } Vengeance belongeth unto me; I will recompense, saith the Lord. {1) Or wrath 2) De 32:35 }20 But {1 } if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him to drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head. {1) (Pr 25:21 f) }21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Ro 12:14-21 ASV)

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In this world we may encounter lots of name Christians (worshipping a three-headed god) who hate those real Christians who prefer to live according the Holy Scriptures and to worship only One God.

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Very often those trinitarian Christians like calling the other ones names and sent them all sorts of hate mail and wishing them eternal torture in a place they call hell. With such fear-mongering they also try to get others to their faith and to keep them in their denomination, calling all other denominations works of the devil. Often we do find in several of those denominations also people who call themselves Christian but who are not ashamed to use such vocabulary their grandparents for sure would turn over in their grave. Today we can find lots of so called Christians who use one f… word after the other as if it is nothing.
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Each person who want to call himself “Christian’ should make sure that his or her attitude is in line with the teachings of the master teacher Jeshua (Jesus Christ) and should make sure he or she can be an example for and of the Body of Christ.

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To remember

  • God planned for all of us who are alive today, to be in this time for a specific purpose.
  • Sin invading this earth for thousands of years > influence seems to be growing immensely => Many being led astray from confines of God’s covering + walking along broad path that leads to destruction.
  • imperative Christians carry themselves in a way that demonstrates character of Christ,
  • hard to win others to God when behavior is just as bad, or worse as theirs.
  • trying to witness to people + tell them to turn away from same things being caught up in
  • When we do good while others treat us badly => our resistance to retaliate causes a seed of love to be planted in the hearts of those who come against us.
  • important to be rooted in God, + have wisdom + understanding of His word, because Scripture tells us why theses things happen, + how we are to react in them.
  • church should be of the same mind, + walk in humility.
  • church = direct representation of Christ
  • Instead of fighting against all those who attempt to knock you off track, show love toward them, + let God do the fighting for you, because vengeance is His, and He’ll be sure to give them a spanking they’ll never forget.