People Seeking for God 3 Laws and directions

As Byron ‘FLi’ Walker writes in Why We Need God most people looking for answers in their life find no deep or lasting fulfilment in their commitment to their leisure time to nature, art, music, and so on. He reminds us that humans have an inborn spiritual yearning which comes as no surprise to Bible readers. Those who regularly read the Bible have encountered enough places in those Scriptures where signs are given why and how we are to find ourselves in this world. In the Book of books, the Bible or Holy Scriptures it is written how Jehovah God, the Creator of heaven and earth, although His creation turned against Him, still wants to have a good relationship with them.KJV Bible

From the moment we do come on this earth we do feel the need to be connected with someone else and to have communication with those around us. also with the first humans there was already a communication going on with their Maker. God spoke with them regularly, allowing them to establish a spiritual relationship with Him. (Genesis 3:8-10) Children do have the need to speak with their parents. We do have our earthly parents but also an heavenly Father. As Creator of the universe, giving us life, placing us in His creation, He did not design us to live independently of Him. Made in the image of God, we also do have feelings but also needs. Like the Creator wanted to communicate with His creation we also do have a need to communicate with our Maker. The Bible refers to this need frequently.

Bible Study 2

Bible Study 2 (Photo credit: DrGBB)

We who want to live ‘godly lives’ can actually be deceiving ourselves into thinking that we are doing all the right things. Those who have found God already also may think they love God and may think that they are serving Him. But when they love Him, do they have a good relation with Him and do they communicate often with Him? Lots of people may think because they go to mass every Sunday they have done their bit of religiousness. They should know there is more to it than just attending all the functions on Sundays and midweek. What we love is revealed by what we find time to do in our daily life. By our very actions we tell God how much we love Him. We may be fooling ourselves. How much time do we spend thinking about God, reading His Word, caring for others and doing things just to please Him? When we have free time, what do we do with it? Do we turn to Bible reading and study, or do we turn to diversions such as computer activities, entertainment, or hobbies? When we say we do love God, Who do we want to take as our God? Those who are looking for some Special Being behind everything around us, are they willing to open their mind to the different ideas? Are they and we, willing to take in more research and knowledge, to have us spiritually growing? And in which we do we want to be connected to whom? When we look at the Old Testament we can find the importance placed on One Supreme Being but also on the hope for two things, one a man who is going to bring salvation and secondly a reign which shall be governed at first by that man. He will become at first the messenger of God bringing the Good News. He would suffer and find his life come to an end but than he would be taken out of the dead by God and made a mediator between God and man, restoring the broken relationship with the Creator. Therefore when we look for God we also should look for that one man who is called the restorer of faith and has taken in the place at the right hand of God to be the mediator between man and God. Clearly, that means it is somebody else than God. Meaning we have to find that person also to be able to speak with him or to ask things in his name to the One Who is called the Most High. The promised Saviour is Jeshua from the tribe of King David, better know today as Jesus Christ. When we do find him or get to know him, he can lead us to his Father, Who is the Most High Elohim Hashem Jehovah, the God of gods and all things. When we are prepared to become a disciple of Christ we can listen to his teachings and take them at heart. He made so many things clear, that we have made it so much easier to understand when we listen to his teachings.  Jesus also told his followers to continually seek to increase in knowledge and understanding. From him we got to know that this search in his Father’s Words is essential to get to know his Father fully well. Without taking the Words of Jesus his Father at heart it shall be impossible to find God. God’s Truth invites … indeed, it welcomes … investigation, we said already in the previous chapter. So when encountering a different view, we should seize the opportunity at least to understand the evidence provided. We can always learn something, and if we’re wise, we may need to adjust our own views accordingly.

On August 25, 325, the Council of Nicaea, the first ecumenical debate held by the early Christian church, concluded with the establishment of the doctrine of the Holy Trinity. Convened by Roman Emperor Constantine I in May, the council also deemed the Arian belief of Christ as inferior to God as heretical, thus resolving an early church crisis. From that time onwards the church went astray and even more different teachings saw light, confusing lots of people. This event early in Christendom brought darkness in the eyes of the people. It made them going further away from God.  It took also the people away from seeing the truth of the man of flesh and bones, who said to his disciples he was not a spirit. Those disciples knew very well that God is Spirit and can not be seen by man or they would die. They knew they had seen Jesus. Some even had seen a dove and heard the voice from above, in heaven, saying that this man was His (God’s) beloved son.

In the 4th century men tried to get people far away form that idea of a man being able to follow God, not doing his own will but only the Will of God. They wanted and still want to have people believe that it is impossible for any human being to love God so much that they would like to do only His will and not theirs. Hearing of such impossibility that also has taken lots of people of their hope to become like Christ and to do the Will of God. We only can say the Roman emperor succeeded partly in what he wanted to get, having people adhering to the world more than to the Law of God.

The Arians and all those who preferred to believe in the One True and Only One God Who is One, were persecuted for their belief that Jesus is not coequal with his Father. All Christians were forced to believe that Jesus is not inferior to God or be considered heretics. Many found their life being ended at the stake or tortured until they stopped breathing and lost their life. Even in our age of tolerance today, those who reject the divinity of Christ are considered to be non-Christians by mainstream Christendom. Though in Christianity, through the times there have always been serious lovers of God who kept studying the Torah, the Old and the New Testament books of what is considered to be the canonic Bible today.

From the 4th century onwards a fog-curtain was pulled down by which a person who said “I am” was considered to be God. Those who were called “Jesus,” “Joshua,” “Chesu, “Jezus“, “Yashua” had to be God, this meaning that in the time when Jeshua te Nazarene was preaching, the other Jesus who was taught of to be the Messiah because he revolted against the Romans, there were and there are still many gods walking on this earth who should also be the God. This is naturally impossible and is no good way to look for The True God. In case people do want to find the True One and Only One God they should take away such false teachings or prescriptions. They should have to take the Words of the Bible, like they are written, black on white, without any dogmatic background teachings.

As long as people keep continue to hold fast on those dogmatic teachings of the many churches which came into existence after the Roman Catholic Church every time expelled those who did not agree with their power, it would be not easy to see through the fog. To find clarity we do have to believe God wants us to find Him and that He does not make it especially difficult, so that only theologians could find him. The Divine Creator took care that every body = all human beings, could come to know Him Who is responsible for their being. He is the Most High Elohim, the most powerful Authority, who has given mankind the most reliable set of unchanging guidelines, the Book of instructions, wisdom and answer to life’s question. The World shall not be able to find any book more reliable than this Book of books, which is the infallible Holy Word of God – The Bible! In the Bible humankind receives all the guidelines, the directions and laws they need at the time given. Certain things changed because the time and the people had changed. When we look at all the prophecies we also can notice some did not come into accomplishment. But we may be sure that like the previous prophecies became reality, the ones still to come, like World War III or Armageddon, the End-times, another thousand years after the Big Battle, shall happen when God considers it time to happen. Whatever shall happen, God did not want His people to stand in the cold and He assured them of a better time to come.

Those who are willing to believe in the One God and look forward to the return of His son, may find peace in the hope God has given the world. In the mean time people will have to come to know Who God is, what His Will is, what His Laws are and why we better keep to the Law of God, instead of trying to make better laws than Him. When we are willing to follow His directions and to listen to His Voice we shall get to know Him better. By keeping to His Law we also shall be able to make a safer life and a better way to live for our selves and for those around us.

Michelle Yee and many others know they can be a beloved daughter or son of the Most High King, when she writes:

It may not always be easy reading, understanding and interpreting it, but if you are diligent enough to read it than pray for wisdom to understand it, the revelation would come to you sooner or later. Either God will reveal it to you personally in spirit, or he will teach you through life experience, or perhaps God will reveal it to you through your pastor or someone else…. If you desire to seek God, you shall find him, if you seek him with all your heart… Seek him in prayer and seek in His word, eventually you’ll find Him… {Jeremiah 29:12}”

(11)  ‘For I know the plans I am planning for you,’ declares יהוה {Jehovah}, ‘plans of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and an expectancy.  (12)  ‘Then you shall call on Me, and shall come and pray to Me, and I shall listen to you.  (13)  ‘And you shall seek Me, and shall find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart1. Footnote: 1Dt. 4:29, Joel 2:12.  (14)  ‘And I shall be found by you,’ declares יהוה {Jehovah}, ‘and I shall turn back your captivity, and shall gather you from all the gentiles and from all the places where I have driven you, declares יהוה {Jehovah}. And I shall bring you back to the place from which I have exiled you.’” (Jeremiah 29:11-14 The Scriptures 1998+)

From here we should go out and seek the Most High, Creator of all things, who we want to have as our Only One God. We do not need pictures or statues, special buildings or constructions to remind us of Him or to find Him. Those who are willing to look for Him, God shall be willing to let Him be found by them. We do have to look for Him. We do have to search after Him, with all our heart and with all our soul (= our whole being). We should not let us be frightened by those who mock at us or by those who laugh with us.  When others who joke with us bring us in oppression, and all these things have come on you, in the latter days we shall be able to come in front of our God, and listen to His Voice. Looking for God may be like looking for a treasure. And the treasure hunt map God has provided in the Bible.

Today we may already be sure that He is a merciful God Who does us want to know Him and not want to fail us, neither destroy us, nor forget the covenant of our forefathers which He swore to them. For ask now of the days that are past, which were before you, since the day that God created man on the earth, and from the one end of the sky to the other, whether there has been anything as this great thing is, or has been heard like it?

” (29)  “But from there you shall seek יהוה {Jehovah} your Elohim, and shall find, when you search for Him with all your heart1 and with all your being. Footnote: 1Jer. 29:13.  (30)  “In your distress, when all these words shall come upon you in the latter days, then you shall return to יהוה {Jehovah} your Elohim and shall obey His voice.  (31)  “For יהוה {Jehovah} your Elohim is a compassionate ?l, He does not forsake you, nor destroy you, nor forget the covenant of your fathers which He swore to them.” (Deuteronomy 4:29-31 The Scriptures 1998+)

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Preceding articles:

Finding God amid all the religious externals

Seeing or not seeing and willingness to find God

People Seeking for God 1 Looking for answers

People Seeking for God 2 Human interpretations

To be continued:

 People Seeking for God 4 Biblical terms

People Seeking for God 5 Bread of life

People Seeking for God 6 Strategy

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Please find also to read:

  1. Did the Inspirator exist
  2. God, Creation and the Bible Hope
  3. God’s design in the creation of the world
  4. God is One
  5. Only One God
  6. God of gods
  7. The one who makes us well and gives life
  8. The Divine name of the Creator
  9. Sayings around God
  10. Full authority belongs to God
  11. Pre-existence of Christ
  12. The Trinity – the truth
  13. Why believing the Bible
  14. Bible basic intro
  15. Who Wrote the Bible?
  16. The Bible: God’s Word or pious myth?
  17. Of the many books Only the Bible can transform
  18. Bible Word from God
  19. Pure Words and Testimonies full of Breath of the Most High
  20. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #4 Words in Scripture
  21. Creator and Blogger God 10 A Blog of a Book 4 Listening to the Blogger
  22. Creator and Blogger God 12 Old and New Blog 2 Blog for every day
  23. Bible a guide – Bijbel als gids
  24. Bible guide Taking the Bible as a lead
  25. Statutes given unto us
  26. Absolute Basics to Reading the Bible
  27. Digging in words, theories and artefacts
  28. Bible Translating and Concordance Making
  29. The Metaphorical language of the Bible
  30. Finding and Understanding Words and Meanings
  31. Out of Context: How to Avoid Misinterpreting the Bible
  32. Which View is Right?
  33. Bible in the first place #1/3
  34. Bible in the first place #2/3
  35. Bible in the first place #3/3
  36. Missional hermeneutics 1/5
  37. Missional hermeneutics 2/5
  38. Missional hermeneutics 3/5
  39. Missional hermeneutics 4/5
  40. Missional hermeneutics 5/5
  41. Bric-a-brac of the Bible
  42. Unsure about relevance Bible
  43. Appointed to be read
  44. Youth has difficulty Bible Reading
  45. Learn to read the Bible effectively
  46. We should use the Bible every day
  47. A Bible Falling Apart Belongs to Someone who isn’t
  48. The Bible is a today book
  49. Bible for you and for life
  50. Bible like puddle of water
  51. Cell phone vs. Bible
  52. How to look for and how to handle the Truth
  53. The truth is very plain to see and God can be clearly seen
  54. Relapse plan
  55. Having Truth Decay?
  56. Jesus is the Son of God but Not God the Son
  57. Our relationship with God, Jesus and eachother
  58. One mediator
  59. Discipleship way of life on the narrow way to everlasting life
  60. Politics and power first priority #1
  61. Politics and power first priority #2
  62. Politics and power first priority #3 Elevation of Mary and the Holy Spirit
  63. Many churches
  64. Prophets making excuses
  65. God is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him
  66. Hope
  67. True Hope
  68. Working of the hope
  69. Fear knocked at the door
  70. Getting to know the Truth

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Additional reading:

  1. If the Father is the “only true God” (John 17:3) , does that mean that Jesus is a false god?
  2. Some common misconceptions about the truth
  3. Trinity a false doctrine of a false church
  4. Is Jesus God?
  5. Is God an Impersonal Force?
  6. Massacre of children leaves many asking, ‘Where’s God?’
  7. Do You Allow God to Speak to You Every Day?
  8. Why We Need God

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  • Friday Devotional: Check Your Spirit (divinefaithfulness.wordpress.com)
    Living in complacency is not where God has called us to live. I sure have camped out there more times than I care to admit, though. Thinking that I didn’t need to go to church because I simply didn’t need to, saying that I loved God was good enough. Thinking that I didn’t need friends who loved God, that my old friends were just fine because they weren’t going to challenge me to live differently. Living in sin because, God will just forgive me anyway. Like it was all just no big deal. Ever been there, too?
  • A Sermon: Reading the Bible Together (davidswanson.wordpress.com)
    As a church we say that, “We desire to listen and submit to the Scripture, God’s revealed Word for His beloved children.” There are at least two important assumptions within this statement. The first is that God reveals himself through the Bible. God, being God, is so different from us that anything we know about God must be revealed by God. And though we don’t believe God has showed us everything about himself, as Christians we believe he has revealed enough for us to know him and experience his love and salvation. He has done this most importantly through his son.
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    It’s one thing to acknowledge the Holy Spirit’s role in the Bible’s writing and even our understanding. But when it comes to applying – to submitting – we act as though this is up to us, on our shoulders. But it’s not and this is why even a hard word – submit – a word few of us like, is a good word. For it is God who gives us the wisdom, strength, and stamina to live new and better lives in response to the Bible.
  • Real Truth never changes….. (wepresson.wordpress.com)
    In a world that seeks change there are some things that never change and
    it’s a good thing they don’t. Yes, there are absolute truths we can count on. The key is
    that they can only come from a Source that cannot be in error. Did you catch that?
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    And God promises to protect it down through the ages so that everyone has a chance to hear His truths and trust in His Son, our Savior, Jesus.
  • Advice from someone who knows. (commutewithchrist.com)
    We usually seek advice from people who have been in a similar situation or have knowledge of something that we don’t. But how often so we seek it from God? He’s written an entire book on how to live our lives. The Bible. It’s quite incredible that not many people seek it out given that in some shape or form it can give us direction and advice on everything we face in this life. It may not be the advice or guidance we want to hear but it’s in there. Work, relationships and money. These are the topics in our lives that we spend the most time thinking and worrying about.
  • The Word of God is perfect! (jooch1986.wordpress.com)
    all men have no excuse for not knowing Him or seeking Him.
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    Many people see the Scriptures as burdensome and full of rules.  Of course it will appear this way to those who do not know God and do not understand that His “yoke is easy and [His] burden is light (Matt. 11:30).  But really, the Word of God, or just decrees or whatever you want to call them are “more to be desired…than…even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey” (v. 10).  These are the words that show us the Way to eternal life with the perfect Creator of the universe who is all good, and in whom “there is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5).
  • Intellectual Discipleship? Faithful Thinking for Faithful Living (pjcockrell.wordpress.com)
    The biblical master narrative serves as a framework for the cognitive principles that allow the formation of an authentically Christian worldview. Many Christians rush to develop what they will call a “Christian worldview” by arranging isolated Christian truths, doctrines, and convictions in order to create formulas for Christian thinking.
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    A God-centered worldview brings every issue, question, and cultural concern into submission to all that the Bible reveals, and it frames all understanding within the ultimate purpose of bringing greater glory to God. This task of bringing every thought captive to Christ requires more than episodic Christian thinking and is to be understood as the task of the church, and not merely the concern of individual believers. The recovery of the Christian mind and the development of a comprehensive Christian worldview will require the deepest theological reflection, the most consecrated application of scholarship, the most sensitive commitment to compassion, and the courage to face all questions without fear.
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    Christian faithfulness requires the conscious development of a worldview that begins and ends with God at its center. We are only able to think as Christians because we belong to Christ; and the Christian worldview is, in the end, nothing more than seeking to think as Christ would have us to think, in order to be who Christ would call us to be.
  • Communication with our Father (eviej13.wordpress.com)
    The ability to communicate is often taken for granted and we just expect people to know what we want from them. Although God Does know what we want from Him, there is still nothing more important than our communication with Him.
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    Reading the Bible can help us sort through all the craziness to see what’s really important. It can bring about peace in our lives rather than allowing us to wallow in our confusion.
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    Nothing should become more important than getting into the Word and the Word into us. We will suffer the spiritual consequences of not feeding on the Word of God as we would suffer the physical consequences of not having a regular meal.
  • Psalm 78 as a Microcosm of the Bible (blogforthelordjesuschristianleaders.wordpress.com)
    Psalm 78 is a microcosm of the entire Bible in that it was written in ancient times, chronicling the works of the Lord in the face of the faithlessness of man, that all succeeding generations might learn from this written record that God is good and that there reward in obeying Him.
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     A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.
  • What is the Bible and what are we supposed to do with it? (theway21stcentury.wordpress.com)
    Christians often use terms like inerrant, infallible, authoritative and inspired, but not all of these are Biblical terms, and not all of them represent clear Biblical concepts. We should be willing to modify or deepen our understanding based on the best in information we have.
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    Most christians belief that Jesus was (and is) God incarnate (i.e. in a human body), and that he was at once fully God and fully human. Enns suggests we perhaps should also consider the Bible as both a human and divine document, in that it is fully grounded in the language, culture and thought forms of its day, yet it is also God’s means of revealing himself to the world.But instead of presuming we know how ‘God’s word’ ought to be, we should study and learn how it actually is …. and so learn more about God’s character.
  • The Greatest Gift: A Defense (triggermanblog.wordpress.com)
    Probably the greatest gift that I have ever received, from anyone, was the first Bible I was old enough to read.
    Oh, I was given story bibles with those smiling pictures and happy tales of when God did great things for those men, and women, of old. But I always knew that I wasn’t getting the whole picture, it was like I was getting spoon-fed some rhetoric, choice tales about God being my “buddy”if I would just put on a smile and believe. So, when I finally got my first “real” Bible, I was excited to be able to get to the real story, not the smiling faces and happy tales that were glossy and inspiring to me as a happy child, I wanted something more to understand the psychology of this God who was recorded as doing these great things.
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Seeing or not seeing and willingness to find God

Nearly 2 000 years ago

Nearly two thousand years ago a man preaching in the desert saw his cousin coming near. John the Baptist, perhaps not knowing so much about his cousin, understood how he came unto earth and what his position was.

English: John the Baptist baptizing Christ

John the Baptist baptizing Christ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

John seeing Jesus coming toward him yelled out

“Here he is, God’s Passover Lamb! He forgives the sins of the world! This is the man I’ve been talking about, ‘the one who comes after me but is really ahead of me.’

(Jesus was born or came into existence after John the Baptist, but had his function already planned by God long before John the Baptist, Isaiah, Isaac and Abraham.) John the Baptist knew that his task was been to get Israel ready to recognize him as the God-Revealer.

” (29)  On the next day Yoḥanan saw יהושע {Jehsua} coming toward him, and said, “See, the Lamb of Elohim who takes away the sin of the world!{1} {Footnote: 1Mt. 1:21, Titus 2:14, 1 John 3:5 & 8.}  (30)  “This is He of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who has become before me, for He was before me.’ {1 Footnote: 1See v. 15.}  (31)  “And I did not know Him, but that He might be revealed to Yisra’ĕl, therefore I came immersing in water.” ” (John 1:29-31 The Scriptures 1998+)

Jesus was placed by God in the womb of Miriam (Mary/Maria) to come on earth as the fulfilment of the Word of God spoken in the garden of Eden, providing Adam and Eve a solution for what they had done.

Baptism with water and spirit

At that time in the river Jordan God Himself led His Voice be heard to all who stood around John the Baptist baptising Jesus. And the Voice made known that it was the son of God who stood there in the water. Still two thousand years later many do not want to accept that it was the “son of God” who stood there to start his official adult life of witnessing for God.

Jan Brueghel the Elder, John the Baptist preaching

Jan Brueghel the Elder, John the Baptist preaching (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

John had come to baptise with water, giving the people a good bath and scrubbing sins from their life so they could get a fresh start with God. John clinched his witness that he watched the Spirit, like a dove flying down out of the sky, making himself at home in him, and that The One who authorized him to baptise with water told him, ‘The One on whom you see the Spirit come down and stay, this One will baptise with the Holy Spirit.’ As many prophets before him, Jesus was a man who was willing to give himself in the hands of the Creator God, who had told mankind that he was His son.

” (16)  And having been immersed, יהושע {Jehsua} went up immediately from the water, and see, the heavens were opened, and He saw the Spirit of Elohim descending like a dove and coming upon Him,  (17)  and see, a voice out of the heavens, saying, “This is My Son, the Beloved, in whom I did delight.”” (Matthew 3:16-17 The Scriptures 1998+)

God’s Passover Lamb to be seen

The people could see the one who John the Baptist called “God’s Passover Lamb.” There were two disciples of John who heard him and went after Jesus. Jesus looked over his shoulder and said to them, “What are you after?” They said, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher“), “where are you staying?” He replied, “Come along and see for yourself.” They came, saw where he was living, and ended up staying with him for the day but also got to see what Jesus could mean for them. They believed they had found the “Messiah” (that is, “Christ“). (John 1:29-42) From that day onwards they kept their eyes on Jesus, and got to know more on the relation of Jesus and his Father the Only One True. they also came to understand that this rabbi could be the send one of God by whom they, and we, can come closer to God, the author and finisher of our faith. In Jesus they could find and can we find peace, forgiveness, rest, grace. They where willing to see what had happened and were going to see more incomprehensible thing the three years afterwards.

Second Adam also of flesh and blood

There may be many gods in the world, but there is only One True God Divine Creator, and That God is not comparable to any human being except to His son. God is Spirit (John 4:24) but His sons are human beings. His first son and daughter where the first Adam and Eve. But those first creations turned against their Creator. At that time, in the beginning of Creation, the Creator took care that a solution for their sin was given to the world. God was prepared to make a second Adam, who would bring salvation and as such would be called the “Christ” or “Messiah“. In him people could once again see that all people are created in the image of God. Though all children which came after the first Adam received the deficiencies from their forefathers. Being created straight ahead from the Source of Life, Jehovah God, the second Adam, would receive the opportunity to prove human kind that a human being could follow the Will of the Most High, and could stay pure and un-blamed.

Not able to be seen

God can not be seen by man or he would die, but Jesus could be seen by many. Jesus like any other man could be tempted, though God can not be tempted nor sin. Jesus could sin but did not.

” (20)  But He said, “You are unable to see My face, for no man does see Me and live.”” (Exodus 33:20 The Scriptures 1998+)

” (18)  No one has ever seen Elohim.1 The only brought-forth Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He did declare.2 Footnotes: 1See 5:37, 6:46, 1 John 4:12. 2The pre-existent Son declared, and was the One who appeared to men.” (John 1:18 The Scriptures 1998+)

” (24)  “Elohim is Spirit, and those who worship Him need to worship in spirit and truth.”” (John 4:24 The Scriptures 1998+)

Revelation to be seen

What we can see is what God reveals to the world and let us to be seen. Jesus declared his Father and made Him clear for all to understand what He want from us and How He thinks and works. Jesus was prepared to listen to the Voice of his Father, his God and the God of Abraham, making this voice know all over the world.

” (24)  and said, ‘See, יהוה {Jehovah} our Elohim has shown us His esteem and His greatness, and we have heard His voice from the midst of the fire. Today we have seen that Elohim speaks with man – and he lives!” (Deuteronomy 5:24 The Scriptures 1998+)

Flesh blood and bones, human and ghost or spirit

At the river Jordan people could see that God was in their midst and declared Jesus to be His son. Ghost has no flesh, blood nor bones, but Jesus had this all. That Jesus was no spirit, even not after he had died he proved to his disciples when he came under their midst and showed his wounds.

” (30)  And it came to be, when He sat at the table with them, having taken the bread, He blessed, and having broken, He was giving it to them.  (31)  And their eyes were opened and they recognised Him. And He disappeared from their sight.  (32)  And they said to each other, “Was not our heart burning within us as He was speaking to us on the way, and as He was opening the Scriptures to us?”  (33)  And rising up that same hour they returned to Yerushalayim, and found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together,  (34)  saying, “The Master was truly raised, and has appeared to Shim?on!”  (35)  And they related what took place on the way, and how He was recognised by them in the breaking of the bread.  (36)  And as they were saying this, יהושע {Jehsua} Himself stood in the midst of them, and said to them, “Peace to you.”  (37)  And being startled and frightened, they thought they had seen a spirit.  (38)  And He said to them, “Why are you troubled? And why do doubts arise in your hearts?  (39)  “See My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.”  (40)  And saying this, He showed them His hands and His feet.  (41)  And while they were still not believing for joy, and marvelling, He said to them, “Have you any food here?”  (42)  And they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish and some honeycomb.  (43)  And taking it He ate in their presence.  (44)  And He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all have to be filled that were written in the Torah of Mosheh and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.”  (45)  Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures,  (46)  and said to them, “Thus it has been written, and so it was necessary for the Messiah to suffer and to rise again from the dead the third day,  (47)  and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in His Name to all nations, beginning at Yerushalayim.  (48)  “And you are witnesses of these matters.  (49)  “And see, I am sending the Promise of My Father upon you, but you are to remain in the city of Yerushalayim until you are clothed with power from on high.”  (50)  And He led them out as far as Bĕyth Anyah, and lifting up His hands He blessed them.  (51)  And it came to be, while He was blessing them, that He was parted from them and was taken up into the heaven.  (52)  And they, having bowed down to Him, returned to Yerushalayim with great joy,  (53)  and were continually in the Set-apart Place praising and blessing Elohim. Amĕn.” (Luke 24:30-53 The Scriptures 1998+)

Those who have not seen the son of the Non-seen

After Jesus had died the apostles had seen him again. We never have seen him but we should believe those who have seen him and those who like us can not see God but did see the son of God, יהושע {Jehsua} Jesus, the one who is the Immanuel and Messiah. We also can get the Ghost God being part of us like it was being part of Christ. By letting Him enter ourselves we shall become transformed, but we shall never become God, like Jesus also was not God. We do have to become like Christ like Jesus was like God united one in spirit. Putting on the armour of Christ and the armour of God did not make the people in the old times God nor shall it make us  to become Christ nor God.

After and of the flesh and dwelling within

In the world we can see many people who are after the flesh, do mind the things of the flesh. We who believe in Christ Jesus, to be the Saviour should be after the Spirit, do mind the things of the Spirit. Jesus did also things of the Spirit like we should do. He also told us to become worthy children of God, having God enter our hearts and to put away our carnally mind because that is death. We are assured that to be spiritually minded is life and peace; because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, because it cannot be.  Jesus learned his followers that they who are in the flesh cannot please God. He also told many parables so people could easily understand what it mean to be in Christ or to be in God, to be with God, to be for God and to do the Will of God. Those who want to do like Christ, not his or their own will, but the Will of God, can receive the Holy Spirit and as such be not in the flesh, but in the spirit if the Spirit of God truly dwells within you. Jesus had the Spirit of God dwelling in him. We should have the Spirit of God dwelling in us likewise. This dwelling of the Spirit though shall not make us, like it did not with Christ, make us the God eternal. We shall stay man of flesh and blood like Jesus was a man of flesh and blood. We also shall not escape the penalty of the garden of Eden. Jesus also did not escape that death spoken out by His Father. Jesus really died whilst God can not die. It is only by accepting that Jesus was really a man of flesh and blood who really died,that we can give respectful notice to what Jesus really did; he gave his life for the sins of many, as a ransom. Those who take Jesus to God, who can not die, make a farce of his suffering and his death.

Having spirit of Christ

Now if any man does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to him.  And if Christ is within you, the body is dead because of sin: but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of Him who raised our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead dwells within you, so He Who raised Jesus Christ from the dead will also quicken our mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwells within us.  But therefore we do have to accept Jesus his anointment and offer as Lamb of God. We clearly have to see and understand the relationship between the Father and son, who now sits at the right hand of his Father to be a mediator between God and man.

Living in spirit

Those who have faith in the actions Jesus undertook and believe he was a messenger of the Most High are not indebted to the flesh to live after the flesh.  For if we live after the flesh, we will die in flesh and totality: but if we, through the Spirit, subdue the deeds of the body, we shall live this life in spirit. It does not mean we shall not feel any pain, or we shall not have to face difficulties and temptations. Like Jesus encountered many difficulties and temptations, we also shall have to face them and the natural death. But allowing the Spirit to enter in our hearts we may count on it that He shall enable us to endure whatever we need to endure. Those who are led by the Spirit of God, are the sons of God, for they have not received the spirit of bondage, to be in fear again; but they have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby they can cry onto God like Christ called on his Father: “Abba“, “Avon”, “Father“, “our Father“.  And this Spirit bears witness to our spirit, that we are the children of God:  and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Jesus Christ; so that if we suffer with him, we shall also be glorified with him.

” (5)  For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the matters of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the matters of the Spirit.  (6)  For the mind of the flesh is death, but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace.  (7)  Because the mind of the flesh is enmity towards Elohim, for it does not subject itself1 to the Torah of Elohim2, neither indeed is it able, Footnotes: 1Or does not obey. 2John 15:5, 1 John 4:4, 1 John 3:9, 1 John 5:18.  (8)  and those who are in the flesh are unable to please Elohim.  (9)  But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of Elohim dwells in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Messiah, this one is not His.  (10)  And if Messiah is in you, the body is truly dead on account of sin, but the Spirit is life on account of righteousness.  (11)  And if the Spirit of Him who raised יהושע {Jehsua} from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Messiah from the dead shall also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit dwelling in you.  (12)  So then, brothers, we are not debtors to the flesh, to live according to the flesh.  (13)  For if you live according to the flesh, you are going to die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you shall live.  (14)  For as many as are led by the Spirit of Elohim, these are sons of Elohim.  (15)  For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”  (16)  The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of Elohim,  (17)  and if children, also heirs – truly heirs of Elohim, and co-heirs with Messiah, if indeed we suffer with Him, in order that we also be exalted together.” (Romans 8:5-17 The Scriptures 1998+)

Presenting our body to allow God to enter in us, doing His Will

By the mercies of God we should present our bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, by means of reasonable service. Though we can not see Christ nor God, we should put faith in him who gave his soul (=his full being) to his Father who is also our Father to Whom we should pray.  Jesus lived in this world but was not of this world, so we also should not imitate the way of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of our minds, becoming as brothers and sisters in Christ, that you may discern what is that good and acceptable, and perfect will of God. As Christ also did not want to do his will, we also should only want to do God His Will.

” (10)  let Your reign come, let Your desire be done on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10 The Scriptures 1998+)

” (41)  And He withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and falling on His knees He was praying,  (42)  saying, “Father, if it be Your counsel, remove this cup from Me. Yet not My desire, but let Yours be done.”” (Luke 22:41-42 The Scriptures 1998+)

” (34)  יהושע {Jehsua} said to them, “My food is to do the desire of Him who sent Me, and to accomplish His work.” (John 4:34 The Scriptures 1998+)

” (30)  “Of Myself I am unable to do any matter. As I hear, I judge, and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own desire, but the desire of the Father who sent Me.” (John 5:30 The Scriptures 1998+)

” (38)  “Because I have come down out of the heaven, not to do My own desire, but the desire of Him who sent Me.” (John 6:38 The Scriptures 1998+)

” (7)  “Then I said, ‘See, I come – in the roll of the book it has been written concerning Me – to do Your desire, O Elohim.’ ”  (8)  Saying above, “Slaughter and meal offering, and burnt offerings, and offerings for sin You did not desire, nor delighted in,” which are offered according to the Torah,  (9)  then He said, “See, I come to do Your desire, O Elohim.” He takes away the first to establish the second.  (10)  By that desire we have been set apart through the offering of the body of יהושע {Jehsua} Messiah once for all.” (Heb 10:7-10 The Scriptures 1998+)

To see and understand the sending of the son of God

We should see and understand the sending of the son of God, Jesus Christ, because we can see what is written about him in the Book of books. We should see the desire this man had and we should see the desires of his Father the Divine Creator God Who does not like to have pleasure in, sacrifices, offerings, burnt offerings, and sacrifices for sin’ (offerings regularly made under the Law). That God, whom Jesus considered to be his Father and our Father was willing to take the offering of this Nazarene Jew as the token of reconciliation. Because Jesus wanted and succeeded into doing the will of his Father the former sacrifices were set aside to be replaced by the latter, the offer of the son Jeshua, Jesus the Christ or Messiah.  And it is in the fulfilment of the will of God that we have been purified by the sacrifice, once and for all, of the body of Jesus Christ.

See things and scrutinize everything

We should see all things and search them. We should come to see what is given to the apostles and followers of Jesus Christ, to all of us who are willing to follow the teachings of the rabbi Jesus, not to think of ourselves beyond what we ought to think; but to think soberly, every man according to the measure of faith which God has distributed to him.  For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same function,  So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.  Being in the body of Christ shall not make us Christ nor god or God. but being in the body of Christ we will be entrusted with many special gifts, differing according to the grace that is given to us; some have the gift of prophecy, according to the measure of faith,  some have the gift of ministration, in his ministry; and some of teaching, in his teaching.

” (1)  I call upon you, therefore, brothers, through the compassion of Elohim, to present your bodies a living offering – set-apart, well-pleasing to Elohim – your reasonable worship.  (2)  And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you prove what is that good and well-pleasing and perfect desire of Elohim.  (3)  For I say, through the favour which has been given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he should think, but to think soberly, as Elohim has given to each a measure of belief.  (4)  For as we have many members in one body, but all members do not have the same function,  (5)  so we, the many, are one body in Messiah, and members each one of one another.  (6)  Now having different gifts, according to the favour which was given to us, let us use them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of belief;  (7)  if serving, in the serving; or he who is teaching, in the teaching;  (8)  or he who encourages, in the encouragement; or he who is sharing, in sincerity; he who is leading, in diligence; he who shows compassion, joyously.” (Romans 12:1-8 The Scriptures 1998+)

A body with blood and a spirit without blood

We should come to learn to see that Body of Christ so that we can see the preparedness of others also willing to see the gift of God, His Grace and acceptance of the offer of His son Jesus Christ.

” (16)  to be a servant of יהושע {Jehsua} Messiah to the gentiles, with the priestly duty of bringing the Good News of Elohim, so that the offering of the gentiles becomes acceptable, set apart by the Set-apart Spirit.” (Romans 15:16 The Scriptures 1998+)

The world should get to see those who are willing to see the Most High in their minds, according to the Spirit or Force of God. By willing to open our mind to God’s Force, the Holy Spirit shall be willing to enter in our soul (=our being) and will strengthen us in our faith in Christ, the son of God, making us partakers of his offering, being cleansed by his blood (the Blood of Christ).

Knowing that a Spirit has no blood, we are aware that it was really a man of blood and flesh and bones, who did not have his bones broken, but had his blood flown out of his body.

” (28)  After this, יהושע {Jehsua}, knowing that all had been accomplished, in order that the Scripture might be accomplished, said, “I thirst!”  (29)  A bowl of sour wine stood there, and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and held it to His mouth.  (30)  So when יהושע {Jehsua} took the sour wine He said, “It has been accomplished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.  (31)  Therefore, since it was the Preparation Day, that the bodies should not remain on the stake on the Sabbath – for that Sabbath was a high one – the Yehuḏim asked Pilate to have their legs broken, and that they be taken away.  (32)  Therefore the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who was impaled with Him,  (33)  but when they came to יהושע {Jehsua} and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs.  (34)  But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and instantly blood and water came out.  (35)  And he who has seen has witnessed, and his witness is true. And he knows that he is speaking the truth, in order that you might believe.  (36)  For this took place in order for the Scripture to be filled: “Not one of His bones shall be broken.”  (37)  And again another Scripture says, “They shall look on Him whom they pierced.”” (John 19:28-37 The Scriptures 1998+)

Acceptance step in the good direction

Let us look on him whom they pierced and believe who he was and what he did. By accepting Christ we are one step in the good direction to find God. Once we want to accept Jesus as the son of God who offered himself for our sins, we can continue on that path he prepared for us. Listening to the parables he told we can come to understand the way his Father thinks and handles.

God had poured out on the house of David the fulfilment of His Word that His Word could become reality and could come into the flesh (figuratively and in the person of His son Jesus Christ), and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplication so that those who are willing to see and believe will look at him whom other humans have pierced; and they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for his only son, and will grieve bitterly for him, as one grieves for his firstborn. (Zechariah 12:10, John 1:1)

To be able to find God we first have to open our mind and to be prepared to allow God His Spirit to enter in us. It is God Who calls, but we should allow Him to call us and be prepared to hear His Voice.

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Preceding article: Finding God amid all the religious externals

Next: People Seeking for God

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Please also do find to read:

  1. Creator of heaven and earth and everything around יהוה
  2. Only One God
  3. God of gods
  4. How are we sure God exists?
  5. Apologetics (10) – The Hard Questions: Does God Really Exist? Introducing the Teleological Argument
  6. Bible and Science (22): Bible or Science
  7. Seeking for God
  8. The Faith of Abraham
  9. Having Truth Decay?
  10. Jehovah Yahweh Gods Name
  11. God’s promises
  12. God Helper and Deliverer
  13. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #1 Creator and His Prophets
  14. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #11 Prayer #9 Making the Name Holy
  15. Let God’s promises shine on your problems
  16. God should be your hope
  17. Walk Humbly With God
  18. Finding Strength in God
  19. Devotional – The Way to the Father (18): The Lord’s Prayer
  20. He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.
  21. The one who makes us well and gives life
  22. Jesus begotten Son of God #17 Adam, Eve, Mary and Christianity’s central figure
  23. Jesus spitting image of his father
  24. Reasons that Jesus was not God
  25. Jesus and his God
  26. The high calling of God in Christ Jesus
  27. Jesus Messiah
  28. On the Nature of Christ
  29. Christ begotten through the power of the Holy Spirit
  30. How is it that Christ pleased God so perfectly?
  31. Wishing to do the will of God
  32. A Messiah to die
  33. Jesus memorial
  34. No person has greater love than this one who surrendered his soul in behalf of his friends
  35. The redemption of man by Christ Jesus
  36. The day Jesus died
  37. Impaled until death overtook him
  38. Jesus three days in hell
  39. Christ has indeed been raised from the dead
  40. Through Christ’s death you can be adopted as a child of God
  41. Jesus is risen
  42. In the death of Christ, the son of God, is glorification
  43. Jesus begotten Son of God #11 Existence and Genesis Raising up
  44. Seeing Jesus
  45. Faith a commitment to the promises of Christ and to to the demands of Christ
  46. Jesus begotten Son of God #6 Anointed Son of God, Adam and Abraham
  47. Jesus begotten Son of God #19 Compromising fact
  48. Wishing to do the will of God
  49. Ember and light the ransomed of Jehovah
  50. Ransom for all
  51. An unblemished and spotless lamb foreknown
  52. The Song of The Lamb #5 Revelation 5
  53. The Song of The Lamb #8 Revelation 15 Lessons for us today
  54. Christ having glory
  55. Sitting at the right hand of God
  56. One mediator
  57. One Mediator between God and man
  58. No Other Name (But Jesus)
  59. Why do we need a ransom?
  60. The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ
  61. Two states of existence before God
  62. True Hope
  63. Epitome of the one faith
  64. Our relationship with God, Jesus and eachother
  65. The Word being a quality or aspect of God Himself
  66. Nazarene Commentary Luke 3:1, 2 – Factual Data
  67. Nazarene Commentary Mark 1:1-8 – The Beginning of the Good News
  68. Nazarene Commentary Matthew 3:1-6 – A Wilderness Baptist Prepares the Way
  69. Nazarene Commentary Matthew 3:7-12 – Opposition and Two Baptisms
  70. Nazarene Commentary Luke 3:3-6 – John Preaches Baptism of Repentance
  71. He has given us the Pneuma, the force, from Him
  72. The radiance of God’s glory and the counsellor
  73. Incomplete without the mind of God
  74. The Spirit of God brings love, hope and freedom
  75. The Spirit of God imparts love,inspires hope, and gives liberty
  76. Corruption in our translations !
  77. Book of books
  78. Let us become nothing, and Christ everything
  79. Parts of the body of Christ
  80. With God All Things Are Possible
  81. Wishing to do the will of God

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Additional reading:

  1. God and gods
  2. “Disciple, disciple, what do you see?” “I see Jesus looking at me.”
  3. The underlying truth in John 1:1
  4. John 1:1c Primer
  5. Basic John 1:1c
  6. Seven Lessons for John 1:1c
  7. The “Definite” John 1:1
  8. The Divine Name of God: Spoken by Jesus and Early True Christians
  9. Hebrews 1:8 – “Thy Throne, O God”

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  • Preparing the Way (graceofourlord.com)
    God, he tells them, can raise up children of Abraham from the stones present around them. In other words, it is not enough – God is not so impressed with their pedigree.
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    Although baptism in some form did exist before John the Baptist received his calling from God, it was not a baptism of repentance, nor was it for the forgiveness of sins. There was no real forgiveness of sins under the Law of Moses because, as Paul said, it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins” (Hebrews 10:1-4). There was washing for purification, as first implemented with Aaron and his sons (Exodus 29:4, Leviticus 16:23-24), and for remedy of defilement (Numbers 19). And at some point (though not Biblically required), baptism (immersion in water) was added to circumcision as a requirement for Gentile proselytes to be converted to Judaism.
  • He may be made known to Israel (twocatholicfriends.wordpress.com)
    Each of the prophets who came before Christ came to fulfill a particular mission, they pointed to the coming of the messiah. Isaiah’s prophecy of the restoration of israel and salvation reaching the end of the earth links his time and that of John the baptist’s by its fulfillment because it was John the baptist who showed this light of God which would reach the end of the earth to the world. First, with his disciples, whom he fashioned their waiting for the messiah. He did not know who the messiah was, but God revealed it to him by the outpouring of the Holy spirit by the baptism of our Lord which we celebrated last sunday; this he used to testify to the crowd of the sonship of Jesus.
  • Jesus and John the Baptist (larrycourson.wordpress.com)
    In Matthew 13 and 14 Jesus is rejected by the people of Nazareth where he grew up as no one special. They said he was just one of them.
  • John 1:29-42 – 19th January 2014 (rogerfarnworth.wordpress.com)
    John the Baptist expected his listeners to recall pictures from the Old Testament; the lamb provided by God for Abraham to slaughter, the lamb of Isaiah 53, led to the slaughter for the sins of God’s people; the Passover Lamb from Exodus.  The word “lamb,” for John’s listeners connected strongly with words like “sin” or “atonement” – the way in which we can be reconciled with God despite our wrongdoing.
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    Lamb of God, Baptiser with the Spirit, Son of God, Messiah – John, the Gospel writer’s names for Jesus. John wants us to carry these names with us as we read his Gospel. It is as though he says to us, “You will only understand my message fully if you realise that this is what I want to show you. Here is the one who by his life and death fulfils these roles and in doing so brings hope.” As we read the Gospels let’s use these names to inform our reading and to help us understand for ourselves just who Jesus is: Lamb of God, Baptiser with the Spirit, Son of God, Messiah.
  • Engaging the Gospel – John 1:29-34 (ubiquelucet.wordpress.com)
    By proclaiming Jesus as “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world,” St. John the Baptist identifies him as the fulfillment of Scripture.

    He “reveals that Jesus is at the same time the suffering Servant [prophesied by Isaiah] who silently allows himself to be led to the slaughter and who bears the sin of the multitudes, and also the Paschal Lamb, the symbol of Israel’s redemption at the first Passover” (Catechism paragraph 608).

    Moreover, the Spirit’s coming upon Jesus is an explicit mark of the Messiah.

  • God Demands a Response to Jesus (barrierbreakingenterprises.com)
    The fact of the matter is some of us are just  too cautious about changing when clearly the time for change has come.  We procrastinate just because procrastination is what we do.  But when you meet Jesus, Jesus calls for action, immediate, swift, decisive action.  Either you love him or you don’t but you can’t just sit around and think about it.  This morning Jesus is looking for radical disciples, those who will throw caution to the wind and follow him with their whole hearts.
  • The Passover Lamb (james1948.wordpress.com)
    When it was time for God to deliver the Israelites from bondage in Egypt, He established a way for the people to always memorialize their deliverance by instituting the Lord’s Passover. Each household was to shed the blood of a lamb that was without blemish and paint the blood on the doorposts of the home. Then, the lamb was to be roasted and eaten with unleavened bread and bitter herbs by everyone in the home, as they stood, ready to evacuate Egypt. That night, God preserved the firstborn of every home who had observed the Passover and delivered the Israelites from bondage.

    Jesus is the fulfillment of the Passover. He became what the Passover represented, God’s salvation through the shed blood of an innocent Lamb.

  • The Truth Through John Part 2 (soulfulcuriosity.wordpress.com)
    God is very detailed…everything has a purpose…more than we will ever know this side of heaven.

    Does studying God’s word bring you Joy?  I sure hope it does.

  • Sunday Devotional: John 1:6-8 (journeythereandbackagain.wordpress.com)
    Here we see John (the disciple) talk about John the Baptist.  John the Baptist was a forerunner to Jesus.  He was one who was sent by God to prepare the way for Jesus’ earthly ministry.  That was his calling.  He was to be a witness.  He was to point others to the light (Jesus).
  • Pastor Karl’s Challenge (brentwoodbiblechurch.wordpress.com)
    We must not think of Jesus, however, as the offspring of God the Father. Because according to Galatians 4:4, when the Father sent Jesus into the world, He already was the Son of God. The Father sent forth His Son! If He already was the Son of God, then He did not become the Son of God through conception and birth. Rather, the Son of God became a true human being in the conception.

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Science, belief, denial and visibility 1

In the previous article we talked about doubt which can be around the believer and non-believer. We have seen in the previous articles that many people have questions about life and surrounding. They wonder if knowledge of science would stand in the way of their belief. Sometimes people may find themselves dangling at the edge of belief not able to take the plunge.

In case you are feeling like that know that “you are not alone”. If  you are ashamed to ask questions or have reservations that seem insurmountable, “you are not alone”.

Some may consider religion “like a merchant selling its own knockoff of the real thing”.  They prefer to look at it as a “similar imitation, but not the authentic product”.

As recognises in 3 Ways Religion Has Failed Us is that it are human beings who made a concoction of religion. He writes:

the problem with religion: it is manmade and lacks the integrity of the real thing. Religion offers the “good enough” instead of the “best.”

But the right religion shall always present the best of what is available at that moment and shall never be satisfied with just offering something which might be “good enough”. In case that is so you are probably looking at the wrong religion.

Churches nearby or far away from home

Percentage of state populations that identify ...

Percentage of state populations that identify with a religion rather than “no religion”, 2001. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Those Americans who live in the Bible Belt where most people go to a church in their neighbourhoods may be called lucky that they are able to find a church very near by. In certain countries people have to go far for their service in a church. For example our ecclesia its services make that people have to travel between 40 and 360 km to come to the Breaking of the Bread, having our services taking place in Nivelles/Nijvel, HeverleeLeuven, Mons and Paris. This also makes that we do not have many people wanting to join, or to come regularly, because everybody just wants to have their church at the doorstep.

In Belgium the Catholic church shall have to face the distance problem also from now, because most Catholic churches shall become closed from 2014 because there are not enough priests and not enough churchgoers. Five to ten parishes shall be concentrated to one place from now on. We wonder if those Catholics shall travel such one way of 20 km to go to mass. In protestant circles this has not been strange over the years, so they are used to cover some distance to go to church.

The 26 years old, student, writer, sceptic and worshipper (of … ?) says:

Many people are walking away from God.

Faith and religions are some of those things people get confused with. Also the matter if it has something to do with a god or the True God. Strangely enough several people are searching the internet to get something to know about what “religion is.” The young writer finds that our look at religion and its painful presentation of God may be outdated. He writes:

The truth is, religion missed the bus into the 21st Century and now we are faced with an unpopular decision: starting over or being left behind.

and he has good reason to think so. Many churches did not see how time passed but also how times changed. God, Who is One, does not change, but they wanted to create their own pictures of their god how they wanted to see him fitting their age and time and making up their church according to their denominational construction. Most churches do not want to follow the way church has to be formed according to God, but do want to fit it in according their idea of how church should look like. And that is where church went on the wrong track or got on the line of deviations and delays.

English: A map showing the Norwegian Bible Bel...

A map showing the Norwegian Bible Belt. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Several churches, certainly in the United States wanted to make science the enemy of religion. In Holland several churches got blinded by the American Mega churches and having more than three hundred television channels to choose from, most home-stayers got pulled away by reality shows, series and some by those television preachers which promise all the gold you can think of. In Belgium, just a few, but also too many, found their way to those television churches, which make it easy to sit at home and say you watched a service, so you have done your Sunday duty.

The fight between science and religion.

We have all the seen the ugly fight between science and religion. Whether it has been in a classroom, a courtroom, or a Sunday morning sermon, we all have heard why one is right and the other is wrong.

continues the writer of 3 Ways Religion Has Failed Us, where he suggests this is just not the case and says he does not believe science is the enemy. He has good reason to believe that science and faith can co-exist and even work together.

In America it is possible, like in Holland to go to schools where they do not want to accept the world evolved. the author of the above mentioned article also was taught in high school that evolution was silly because of all the “missing links.” but did they get deeper into the subject of how the world could have been going on for millions of years? He does not tell. But we can see here at the European continent that more fundamentalist Christian churches and Christian schools want to give their youngsters an idea of the evolution of the world which is not according the real Bible teaching nor according to findings many scientists and archaeologists made.

Also at the television churches they mock with all scientific findings and ridicule archaeologists and other scientists.

Luckily the young writer who graduated in 2006 has seen new discoveries.

He came to understand that science can teach us where we came from and how the world as well as humans are evolving.

But I also believe that there is a certain point where science (logic and reason) are limited and this is the place faith takes over. Science cannot and will not explain everything, but neither can religion.

It has never been the aim of Christian religion to do this. It is wrong to think that the Bible would or should have to be a scientific explanation book and scientific instruction book. God provided a Guide for everybody whatever schooling they might have had or even also for those who did not get the chance to get an education.

God His Word had to be available and understandable for everybody. You do not have to be a theological scholar to understand God’s Word; That is one of the biggest misunderstandings and the biggest cause of having ‘religious institutions’ having deformed God His Words and having them made dogma‘s many people just took over, because they believed they had to believe what those theologians said, because they could not understands such ‘godly and divine matters’. Lots of people also wanted to have religion co-inside with their traditions and as such found it acceptable to have a three headed god for example. The Trinity made it also possible to have something mystic or something special ‘attractive’ because incomprehensible. It also made that they continue to worship pictures and have many saints or people where they could pray to. Otherwise they only had to count on One Something, Who was not a man but a Spirit, and could not be seen or pictured, because the God of Abraham can not be seen and may not be pictured.

So What Now?

One of the greatest tragedies in life is when people hold on to something when they know it has failed. The denial of carrying a corpse around can be a tremendous burden.

The problem with getting people to come and see about the different ways of religion and how the God of the Bible wants to have people around Him, is that people do not want to break with the past, with the attitudes of their ancestors and with the traditions of the region where they are living. It often takes a move to an other country before people would take over … some other traditions …

Or are people willing to come to the facts? Or do they only want to have faith in something they can grasp?

Spirit or person, reality or tradition

To get people to decide for their own, taking the words for what they are and how they are written down in the Bible is very difficult. When we do our preaching and read parts from the Bible, lots of people continue to bring into it always their background of their trinitarian teaching. when there is written “this person” does this or that, they consider that there is also said that “that person” does this or that, instead of willing to take the “this” person where is written “this” and the “that” person where is written “that”. And as such they keep mixing figures but keep also not seeing clear.
That way we also do find Christian denominations which say God is a woman because God is Wisdom and the Bible talks about “her” and “she”. Also others say God is a woman because God is Love and love is feminine and the Scriptures talk about “She” when it describes that love. Others say God is a man because He is a warrior, or something else which is masculine. But God is none of them because He is a Spirit.

” (24)  “Elohim is Spirit, and those who worship Him need to worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:24 The Scriptures 1998+)

People should try to accept that there can be a Supreme Being that is not like them or does not fit their images. God can not be pictured, except that we know He has some elements of us because we are created in His image. Because nobody has ever been able to see God, we also can have no real picture of Him in our mind and we may not make a picture of Him in our life.

” (1)  And Elohim spoke all these Words, saying,  (2)  “I am יהוה {Jehovah} your Elohim, who brought you out of the land of Mitsrayim, out of the house of slavery.  (3)  “You have no other mighty ones against My face.  (4)  “You do not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of that which is in the heavens above, or which is in the earth beneath, or which is in the waters under the earth,  (5)  you do not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, יהוה {Jehovah} your Elohim am a jealous Ěl, visiting the crookedness of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me,  (6)  but showing kindness to thousands, to those who love Me and guard My commands.” (Exodus 20:1-6 The Scriptures 1998+)

” (19)  And He said, “I shall cause all My goodness to pass before you, and I shall proclaim the Name of יהוה {Jehovah} before you. And I shall favour him whom I favour, and shall have compassion on him whom I have compassion.”  (20)  But He said, “You are unable to see My face, for no man does see Me and live.” (Exodus 33:19-20 The Scriptures 1998+)

” (17)  Now to the Sovereign of the ages, incorruptible, invisible, to Elohim who alone is wise, be respect and esteem forever and ever. Amĕn.” (1Ti 1:17 The Scriptures 1998+)

” (16)  who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or is able to see, to whom be respect and everlasting might. Amĕn.” (1Ti 6:16 The Scriptures 1998+)

Visible or invisible

How many people are wiling to accept that God the Immortal King of the King of kings is and was invisible? In case Jesus was God than nobody could have seen him and stayed alive. Many people saw Jesus of whom the Father in heaven declared that it was His son. In case God twisted His words and the above verses would not be true, nor that what God said from heaven was totally true than people could and should consider God a liar. But God does not tell lies. Though many churches of the Christian Faith made Him one who was not telling the truth or not keeping His words. Those who think Jesus is God should question if Jesus told the truth when he was asked if they could sit next to him or when he would return or when the end times would come. Every time Jesus told them it was not given to him to decide who was to be seated where or when he would come back. He told them he did not know such things. But God does know everything, so those who do not accept Jesus as the son of God but make him the god son are making God into a liar. He who believes in the Son of God has the testimony or witness in himself; he who does not believe God, has made Him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony or record that Jehovah the God of heaven and earth has given concerning His son.

” (10)  The one who believes in the Son of Elohim has the witness in himself, the one who does not believe Elohim has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the witness that Elohim has given concerning His Son.” (1 John 5:10 The Scriptures 1998+)

Denial

Religion Stencil

Religion Stencil (Photo credit: murdelta)

Atheism brings the denial of the existence of God or gods, but those who have faith in the Creator should know that the God of gods exists and that man still make many gods today.

It is narrow-minded to reduce a naturalist’s worldview down to its negative component of atheism, just as it is narrow minded for a Muslim to consider a Christian anti-Muhhamad.

Theo • philogue writes in Can A Theist Appreciate Baggini’s Atheism? :: Book Review of Julian Baggini’s book Atheism: A Very Short Introduction:

Such reductionist labeling can feed into prejudices and hinder mutual respect and productive dialogue.  On the other hand, … I don’t necessarily think the argument Baggini advances in order to accomplish his redefinition of the word “atheism” is sound.

But he also warns:

It seems to me that evangelicals who hold to exclusivists positions ideologically (i.e. that only Christianity is true and all other religions false) have no choice but to admit with Baggini that human beings in general are not good at interpreting their experiences — especially religious experiences.  How can Muslims be so skeptical about the religious experiences of Christians (or vice versa), but be so confident in their own?

Scientific understanding having more continuity globally than religious understanding

According to the Bible when people die they are just death and can do nothing or think anything. But there are religious people who think their soul is some extra element in their body which shall go out of it. In such an instance, when there would be a soul leaving the body, able to think and do things, this ‘soul’ should remain fully conscious after death. When this would the case you should wonder why the soul does not retain memories for those with brain disease, dementia , Alzheimer, etc..

Here it seems that views of consciousness after death are problematic in light of the dependency relationship established by science between consciousness and brain activity.  This area of science is forcing some evangelicals, for example, to rethink their interpretation of biblical language about souls to accommodate the scientific data. {Can A Theist Appreciate Baggini’s Atheism? :: Book Review of Julian Baggini’s book Atheism: A Very Short Introduction}

Several people say there is strong evidence for consciousness after death by the “testimony of mediums, supposed appearances of ghosts, and near-death experiences.” First of all they forget the near death experience is an experience the person had when he or she was not death but alive. It is an experience of a ‘living soul’, being the ‘being’ of a person.

Psyche and Amor, also known as Psyche Receiving Cupid’s First Kiss (1798), by François Gérard: a symbolic butterfly hovers over Psyche in a moment of innocence poised before sexual awakening.

In the Bibletranslations we do find the Hebrew ne′phesh and the Greek psy·khe′ in certain languages being translated as “soul” and “psyche”. It is not about Psyche (/ˈsk/, Greek: Ψυχή, “Soul” or “Breath of Life”) or Eros the mythical figure which fell in love with Cupid or Amor. It is about the Psyche (psychology) which is the totality of the human mind, conscious, and unconscious.

When we look at the different texts in the Holy Scriptures we can see that it was God Who placed His Breath in the first human beings, plus in the animals,  and as such the person or animal came into a living being. When spoken about a soul, this person or animal was meant. The soul is the life that a person or an animal enjoys and it does not mean an immaterial or spirit part of a human being that survives the death of the physical body. The Bible tells us that when God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life that after that action man became a living soul.

“(7)  And יהוה {Jehovah} Elohim formed the man out of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils breath of life. And the man became a living being.” (Genesis 2:7 The Scriptures 1998+)

It does not say that man was given a soul but that he became a soul, a living person.

“(5)  “But only your blood for your lives I require, from the hand of every beast I require it, and from the hand of man. From the hand of every man’s brother I require the life of man.” (Genesis 9:5 The Scriptures 1998+)

The “blood of your lives” or the blood of your souls” is not the blood of something different than the normal body we can see. When we see the same word in the original text we should translate it the same or when we use once ‘soul’ and the other time ‘live’ or ‘body’ in the same translation we should know that it is all speaking about the same thing ‘the corps’ the being of something or someone’. The Greek word translated in 1 Corinthians 15:45 for “soul” in many translations is the accusative case of psy·khe′. KJ, AS, Dy, JB, NAB, and Kx also read “soul.” RS, NE, and TEV say “being.”

” (45)  And so it has been written, “The first man Aḏam became a living being,” the last Aḏam a life-giving Spirit.  (46)  The spiritual, however, was not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual.  (47)  The first man was of the earth, earthy; the second Man is the Master from heaven.  (48)  As is the earthy, so also are those who are earthy; and as is the heavenly, so also are those who are heavenly.  (49)  And as we have borne the likeness of the earthy, we shall also bear the likeness of the heavenly.  (50)  And this I say, brothers, that flesh and blood is unable to inherit the reign of Elohim, neither does corruption inherit incorruption.” (1 Corinthians 15:45-50 The Scriptures 1998+)

When something happens with people the Bible says this or that happened with the souls.

“who before were disobedient, when God waited patiently in the days of Noah, while the ship was being built. In it, few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water.” (1 Peter 3:20 HNV) (NHBESY, NKJV, RNKJV, RV,Sawyer, WORNT,
“eight, souls were brought safely through water.” (WPNT); “eight souls, were delivered through water” (NET)
eight souls, were saved by water (RHB)
“wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water” (KJV, BRG, LEB, LITV, a.o..)
“Those who in the past were disobedient; and in the days of Noah, when the Spirit of God had patience, he commanded an ark to be made in the hope of their repentance, but only eight souls entered into it, and were saved by it floating upon the water.” (1 Peter 3:20 Lamsa NT ) “which were formerly disobedient, in the days of Noah, when the long suffering of Alaha commanded an ark to be made, in hope of their repentance; and eight souls only entered into it, and were kept alive in the waters.” (1 Peter 3:20 Re. Murdock);  “a few folks” (JMNT)
“those who disobeyed long ago in the days of Noah, when YHVH in extreme patience, commanded an ark to be made, hoping that they would amend their ways, but only eight people entered it and survived the water during the flood.” (1 Peter 3:20 ToY+ )

In several places, like in Joshua 11:11 we can find that those “souls” could be “stricken” or “killed” or could fall under the edge of the sword.Theo Philo writes:

It seems impossible to contest that the traditional Christian anthropology of body-soul dualism is problematic because it requires one to believe that “non-material thinking souls exist along side brains and somehow interact with them, and that, further, the dependency of consciousness on brain activity miraculously disappears at death, when the soul lives on without the body”

But according to the Bible there is no body-soul dualism at all and when people fall asleep, leaving the world of the living they shall be death and will not be able to do anything with what they collected in their life nor shall they be able to think something or do something, except having their body decaying or to dust or in the incinerator coming to ashes. When life comes to an end it is the breath of the person which goes out the person but not to live somewhere else. The breath is the transfer of air caused by breathing or by being alive.

” (2)  While I live I praise יהוה {Jehovah}; I sing praises to my Elohim while I exist.  (3)  Do not put your trust in princes, In a son of man, in whom is no deliverance.  (4)  His spirit goes out, he returns to his earth; In that day his plans perish.” (Psalm 146:2-4 The Scriptures 1998+)
” (5)  For the living know that they shall die, but the dead know naught, nor do they have any more reward, for their remembrance is forgotten.” (Ecclesiastes 9:5 The Scriptures 1998+)
” (9)  See life with the wife whom you love all the days of your futile life which He has given you under the sun, all your days of futility. For that is your share in life, and in your toil which you have laboured under the sun.  (10)  All that your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or planning or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going.” (Ecclesiastes 9:9-10 The Scriptures 1998+)
” (14)  I know that whatever Elohim does is forever. There is no adding to it, and there is no taking from it. Elohim does it, that men should fear before Him.  (15)  Whatever is has already been, and what shall be has been before. But Elohim seeks out what has been pursued.  (16)  Then again I saw under the sun: In the place of right-ruling, wrongness was there. And in the place of righteousness, wrongness was there.  (17)  I said in my heart, “Elohim judges the righteous and the wrong, for there is a time for every matter and for every work.”  (18)  I said in my heart, “Concerning the matter of the sons of men, Elohim selects them, so as to see that they themselves are beasts.”  (19)  For the event of the sons of men is also the event of beasts – one event befalls them: as one dies, so dies the other. Indeed, they all have one breath – man has no advantage over beasts. For all is futile.  (20)  All are going to one place – all came from the dust, and all return to dust.  (21)  Who knows the spirit of the sons of men, which goes upward, and the spirit of the beast, which goes down to the earth?  (22)  So I saw that man could do no better but to rejoice in his own works, for that is his portion. For who would bring him to see what shall be after him?” (Ecclesiastes 3:14-22 The Scriptures 1998+)

For us will happen the same as the animals. Our penalty for the sins we have done shall be paid by our death, where we shall end up breathing, thinking, speaking or being able to do anything. For that which happens to us happens also to animals. Even one thing happens to both of us, man and animal alike. As the one dies, so the other dies. Yes, they have all one breath; and man has no advantage over the animals: for all is vanity. There is no evidence at all for life after death and the Holy Scriptures tells us what is going to happen to our body (our souls). We shall all return to dust. Decay shall come over human beings as it comes over plants and animals. We better believe in the stronger evidence for human mortality than in evidence for immortality of human ‘souls’ being some extra spiritual being in man.It is the philosophical ideas of the early writers and of later fantasts which made people dream of adventures lives in some strange after-life worlds or underground-worlds, or several heaven-levels (be it 8 or 12 heavens according some worldly writers).We can not see any different soul than the souls running around on this planet, the masculine and feminine beings, called man and animal. No scientific X-rays or special screening could prove there would be some alternative ‘ghost’ or ‘spirit’ in the human beings. What is scientifically proven is the aura or a sort of temperature change around each living being. The aura appears by humans but also by animals and plants. so that also does not proof any existence of an extra spirit in the human beings which would be an other ‘soul’ than the ‘soul’ spoken of in the many books of the Bible where it is meant the persons.

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Next: Science, belief, denial and visibility 2

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Please do find additional reading:

  1. Faith
  2. Bible a guide – Bijbel als gids
  3. The Trinity – the Truth
  4. Idolatry or idol worship
  5. He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. #1 Creator and His Prophets
  6. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  7. Edward Wightman
  8. Dying or not
  9. What happens when we die?
  10. The Soul confronted with Death
  11. Dead and after
  12. Destination of righteous
  13. Destination of the earth
  14. Sheol or the grave
  15. Soul
  16. The Soul not a ghost
  17. Is there an Immortal soul
  18. Human Nature: What does the Bible teach?
  19. Immortality, eternality – onsterfelijkheid, eeuwigheid
  20. How are the dead?
  21. The soul has no rainbow if the eyes have no tears
  22. Let not sin reign in your mortal body
  23. We will all be changed

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Also of interest:

  1. 3 Ways Religion Has Failed Us
  2. Direct Faith & Belief
  3. Can A Theist Appreciate Baggini’s Atheism? :: Book Review of Julian Baggini’s book Atheism: A Very Short Introduction

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  • No religion ‘is the new establishment’ (christiantoday.com)
    Two surveys conducted by YouGov reveal that out of 8,455 British adults polled, 38 per cent – 3,199 in total – said they have ‘no religion’.

    This is most notable in younger generations, with almost half (48 per cent) of those under 30 identifying themselves as having no religion, while only 27 per cent of over 60s said the same.

    Furthermore, for the first time ever, ‘no religion’ has become the identity of the absolute majority of those aged 18 and 19.

    It is important to note that ‘no religion’ is not synonymous with ‘atheist’.

  • UK Supreme Court: Religion Does Not Require God (clrforum.org)
    Last week, the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom–since 2009, the highest court in the UK–handed down what looks to be a significant decision on the meaning of “religion” in English law. The decision suggests that, for legal purposes, religion does not require a belief in God.
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    Lord Toulson made clear he was not announcing a categorical test for all circumstances–Scientology qualifies as a religion. The court ordered the government to certify the couple’s church as a place where valid marriages could take place.
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    Religion is inherently communal, and some of the most important benefits the state derives from religion–for example, greater civic participation–depend on religion’s being a group activity. In America, some people have begun to argue for a very individualistic definition of religion, one in which a sole practitioner, following her own inner voice, can qualify as a religion for legal purposes. Earlier this year, a federal appeals court rejected this view, and there are good reasons to do so. I’ll have more to say about all this is a forthcoming paper, to be published next month by the European University Institute. I’ll post more on this subject then.
  • New Statistics: the religious make-up of America (skeptical-science.com)
    The Washington Post has published a rather detailed breakdown of religion in the US … alas statistics, so yes it can indeed be potentially quite dull stuff, I’ll skip a lot of details and cut to the chase of what it is of interest – non-belief is rapidly increasing.
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    40 per cent of people in Boston have no religion at all, and it’s more than half in many counties. As for the 47 per cent of Bostonians who are Catholic “participants” – well, there isn’t much participation going on come Sunday morning. We’re talking about 17 per cent Mass attendance these days –and it was only 20 per cent before the clergy scandals broke. The story is the same in many other supposedly Catholic cities – fewer than one in five Catholics go to church regularly. Compare that to the 70 per cent in the 1950s
  • Ask an Atheist: The Usual Questions (csgroome.wordpress.com)
    I am not 100% certain. I am certain beyond reasonable doubt, enough to state that I see no reason to think supernatural beings exist. Any academic and self respecting atheist who embraces science and reasoning would always leave their opinions open for change and new evidence. This is where Atheism differs from religion, because we are not certain and would change our views if given evidence, but we are convinced by the lack of evidence and by all rational argument, that appealing to myths from intellectually dark parts of human history can not even begin to give us answers to any questions, even moral or epistemological ones.
  • Haunting the chapel: my thoughts on heavy metal and religion. (seanmunger.com)
    Is heavy metal inherently anti-religious? Having been virtually a lifelong metalhead, I can say from experience that many people, both within and without the scene, believe that it is, or should be. Critique of organized religion or aspects of it has been a common lyrical and thematic element in metal for decades.
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    Even without analyzing the long history of Satanic themes in metal, the music itself has always celebrated nonconformity. Its heavy and dissonant tones, developing beginning in the 1950s, by their nature challenge the normal, the usual and the mainstream. Religion, especially orthodox or fundamentalist religion, is the ultimate conformity. It certainly didn’t help that some religious organizations and people, especially evangelical Americans, made metal music a target in the 1970s and 1980s, blaming it for causing suicides, school shootings or indoctrinating kids with Satanism. Against this background, the heavy-handed anti-religiosity of figures like Glen Benton (Deicide) seems more like retaliation than provocation.
  • Visible Religion: Beliefs permeate life in Indonesia (indonesiaful.com)
    Students praying in West Java. (Elizabeth Kennedy/Indonesiaful)

    Students praying in West Java. (Elizabeth Kennedy/Indonesiaful)

    Indonesia has six accepted religions: Islam, Catholicism, Christianity (which really means Protestantism), Hinduism, Buddhism, and Confucianism. It is not acceptable, however, to be atheist, agnostic, or Jewish. The first pillar of pancasila, Indonesia’s guiding political policy, is “belief in one God,” which has enough room in it to accept Indonesian versions of Hinduism and Buddhism, but definitely not the lack of any God at all.

    As a result of “knowing” that everyone has more or less similar beliefs, religion takes a highly visible role in everyday society here. My school’s flag ceremony alternates every other week with school-wide prayer, which is separate for Muslims, Christians, and Catholics. There are different uniforms for Muslim girls (long skirts and sleeves for girls, with headscarf) and Christian girls (short sleeves and knee-length skirts). All students take classes in their own religions, and each school has rooms for each religion.

  • Religion and Young People: The Lost Generation? (collectionofclancy.wordpress.com)
    I know of many relatives, friends and people I’ve met in general who are either agnostic or atheist and I don’t judge them for it. However what kills me is that their status gives me the feeling that they are the smarter and more enlightened people. But on the other side, the church gives me the feeling that because I have more liberal beliefs means I cannot truly be as good as the devout. A rock/hard place moment.
  • Does Religion Shape a Person? (meesh14102.wordpress.com)
    My Catholic education and religious family background influenced me to be a devout Catholic; no doubt about it. I attended Church every Sunday, received the sacraments, prayed every night, etc. I was a firm believer in God, heaven, and hell. However, as I matured in my college years, I began to have a few doubts about my religion. There was no traumatic life event or epiphany to lead me to these doubts, I just simply began to question. I began researching different religions, asking people of different beliefs their opinions on God (or lack there of) and finally I read a book. I was assigned to read, “God No!” by author Penn Jillette during my Communication Ethics course.
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    I don’t need a God to influence a good and honest behavior. My mom told me to never speak of my new belief (or lack  there of) ever again and to Never tell my father. I respected these wishes and continue to keep my thoughts about God and religion to myself. I believe a persons’ inner self shapes their character. I do not believe religion is what influences a good or bad character.
  • Religion? (lordmontello.wordpress.com)
    The cause and effect of religion leads to nothing but groups of different beliefs that have waged war on each other for not accepting their beliefs. Without religion their would be no blood shed by religious cults and will prevent mass war between other civilizations belifs.
  • The False Compatibility Of Religion And Science (amitoben.com)
    Religious counterparts will often point out that many scientists are religious, and that most, if not all, scientists in the past were religious as well. This claim is often propped up by such big names as Kepler, Galileo and Newton, and is commonly capped off with a challenge to nonbelievers that takes the form of “Who are you to claim to be smarter than those great religious scientists?”.
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Looking for True Spirituality 8 Measuring Up

Coming to own spirituality

The inability to take one’s stated goals seriously is widely shared among the human race, as easily found among traditional religious believers and committed social justice workers as within the ranks of spiritual types.
How many Christians truly seek to follow Jesus’s teaching about wealth (shun it), retribution (“turn the other cheek”), or religious pride (definitely not for the Christian)?
How many social critics pursue their political goals with close-mindedness, arrogance, or careerism?

Many Christians like others are so consumed with living their own life of faith that they don’t have time left over to worry about other people’s failings.

creation spirituality

creation spirituality (Photo credit: lars hammar)

Modern spirituality tries to detach itself form conventional creeds, particularly willing to utilize a wide variety of traditional and non-traditional (e.g. psychotherapy, physically oriented hatha yoga) resources. It nevertheless faces the same struggles as serious people of any denomination. It will always be extremely difficult to discipline the mind, renounce addictive pleasures, care for strangers, accept disappointment, and be grateful when times are rough.  Whether we are motivated to do so because God commands us to, or because we just think it is the only way to a really good life, living this way will never come easy. And therefore the struggle to do so is something that “spiritual but not religious” types and the most orthodox of the faithful have in common.

File:Tahia.JPG

Getting carried away. – This Tahia is made of coloured papers flowers wattle and crock. It multiplies the beauty of image to a great extend. Such a decoration creates spiritual emotions in the hearts and mind of devotees in Car Festival. – Photo: Taraprasad Jena

We do have to avoid many common pitfalls by focusing on spiritual virtues of compassion and self-awareness, and not forgetting to look at the critically important goals of social change.
If compassion for others and willingness to ask oneself hard questions are part of what you are about, then spirituality  is something you can respect, for it is part of your life already. And if as a spiritual person you care about the fate of humans and the earth, political activism beckons as a vital spiritual practice.

Internal angst may not be the basic for our spiritualism. Though for many the quest for our being, the reason and why of our person shall be a good reason to become looking for more and to dig deep in to the grounds of spirituality. Looking for the reasons of this universe you may find that to deny God is to debase one’s own mind and dehumanize the whole person.

The world should know that it are not the ones who fear Jehovah as the Only One God that are fools. Those who do not believe in God bilious and bloated may laugh and say “God is gone.” or “There is no God.” For the ones who believe they may be a danger because they, by many times hearing the same corrupt words and breathing the same poison gas, fouling the air; they might believe that those vile deeds of unbelievers are more successful than the good deeds of Christians.

The spiritual minded, accepting the deeds of Jesus Christ should know that the atheists their thistles are their cash crop on which Jehovah God looks down. He sticks his head out of heaven. He looks around. He’s looking for someone not stupid — one man, even, God-expectant, just one God-ready woman. The Creator looks down from heaven on the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God. For a long time God came up empty and perhaps He still finds there is no-one who does good, not even one.

File:Bosch follower Christ's dispute with the doctors in the temple (Louvre).jpg

Christ’s dispute with the doctors in the temple. – Jesus among the Doctors, Follower of Hieronymus Bosch (circa 1450–1516)

We do have the choice to become one of “The ninety and nine who follow their fellow” or to become one of the few followers of Jesus Christ, the Messiah who many consider a joke.  See all those impostors and wonder if they don’t they know they can’t get away with this — Treating people like a fast-food meal over which they’re too busy to pray? Night is coming for them, and nightmares, for God takes the side of victims. Do you think you can mess with the dreams of the poor? You can’t, for God makes their dreams come true. When you are looking for God, willing to dig deep in your mind, meditating on His words you may be sure the True God is present in the company of the righteous and will be willing to come to you also. God is around, not only to save Israel, but also to save you.

14 The foolish* one says in his heart:“There is no Jehovah.”+Their actions are corrupt, and their dealings are detestable; No one is doing good.But Jehovah looks down from heaven on the sons of men To see whether anyone has insight, whether anyone is seeking Jehovah.They have all turned aside;+ They are all alike corrupt. No one is doing good, Not even one.  Do none of the wrongdoers understand? They devour my people as if they were eating bread. They do not call on Jehovah.  But they will be filled with great terror,+ For Jehovah is with the generation of the righteous.  You wrongdoers try to frustrate the plans of the lowly one, But Jehovah is his refuge.O that Israel’s salvation may come from Zion!+ When Jehovah gathers back his captive people, Let Jacob be joyful, let Israel rejoice. (Psalm 14)

The one true God who has revealed Himself in Scripture as a God of grace and forgiveness, who so loved the world that He gave His Son as an atonement for sin, so “that we might die to sin and live to righteousness,” according to 1 Peter 2:24, shall be there with those who are willing to follow the footsteps of the Nazarene and to take on the mind of Christ to become spiritual and following the Spirit of the Most High.

21 In fact, to this course you were called, because even Christ suffered for you,+ leaving a model for you to follow his steps closely.+ 22 He committed no sin,+ nor was deception found in his mouth.+ 23 When he was being insulted,*+ he did not insult* in return.+ When he was suffering,+ he did not threaten, but he entrusted himself to the One who judges+ righteously. 24 He himself bore our sins+ in his own body on the stake,*+ so that we might die to* sins and live to righteousness. And “by his wounds you were healed.”+ 25 For you were like sheep going astray,+ but now you have returned to the shepherd+ and overseer of your souls.* (1 Peter 2:21-25)

He graciously compels us to thank Him, and He himself should top the list of things we are thankful for.

Please do look around you and see how people bring into practice what they say they believe. Look at those who call themselves Christian and check if they are living according the commandments of Christ.

In the previous chapter we did ask:

Can you identify the people who are following in the footsteps of Christ and preaching the good news of the Kingdom around the world?

Everywhere in the world there are many people who are loving God so much that they are prepared to go out on the streets and to preach in His Name. Many are afraid of those who witness about the Creator God, whose Name should resound all over the world, and than the end would come. Are you recognising those who preach in the Name of Jehovah God and who would love to get to know as many people as possible Jehovah‘s name and His Kingdom?

Find people who study the Word of God and who are sharing the love of God with each other. Find people who are wiling to come together in the Name of the Only One True God, to worship Him according His rules and regulations and not according the many pagan rituals and human traditions.

Of course, there are other characteristics that identify a truly spiritual person, but how do you measure up to those already considered? To find out, ask yourself:

‘Do I regularly read God’s Word, the Bible, and reflect on what I read? Do I manifest the fruitage of the spirit in my life? Am I a man or a woman of prayer? Do I want to associate with the people who are carrying out the worldwide preaching of the good news of God’s Kingdom?’

An honest self-examination may help you to determine the depth of your spirituality. We urge you to take the necessary steps now so that “life and peace” may be your lot.

8 Therefore, those in union with Christ Jesus have no condemnation. For the law of the spirit that gives life in union with Christ Jesus has set you free+ from the law of sin and of death. What the Law was incapable of doing+ because it was weak+ through the flesh, God did by sending his own Son+ in the likeness of sinful flesh+ and concerning sin, condemned sin in the flesh, so that the righteous requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us+ who walk, not according to the flesh, but according to the spirit.+For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh,+ but those who live according to the spirit, on the things of the spirit.+For setting the mind on the flesh means death,+ but setting the mind on the spirit means life and peace;+because setting the mind on the flesh means enmity with God,+ for it is not in subjection to the law of God, nor, in fact, can it be. So those who are in harmony with the flesh cannot please God.—(Romans 8:1-6-8)

13 “Go in through the narrow gate,+ because broad is the gate and spacious is the road leading off into destruction, and many are going in through it; 14 whereas narrow is the gate and cramped the road leading off into life, and few are finding it.+ (Matthew 7:13, 14)

For this very reason, put forth all earnest effort+ to supply to your faith virtue,+ to your virtue knowledge,+ to your knowledge self-control, to your self-control+ endurance, to your endurance godly devotion,+ to your godly devotion brotherly affection, to your brotherly affection love.+ For if these things exist in you and overflow, they will prevent you from being either inactive or unfruitful*+ regarding the accurate knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

For anyone lacking these things is blind, shutting his eyes to the light,*+ and has become forgetful of his cleansing from his sins+ of long ago. 10 Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling+ and choosing sure for yourselves, for if you keep on doing these things, you will by no means ever fail.+ 11 In fact, in this way you will be richly granted* entrance into the everlasting Kingdom+ of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.+ (2 Peter 1:5-11).

Let us all be aware or remember:

Do not be misled: God is not one to be mocked. For whatever a person is sowing, this he will also reap;+because the one sowing with a view to his flesh will reap corruption from his flesh, but the one sowing with a view to the spirit will reap everlasting life from the spirit.+ (Galatians 6:7, 8)

By our willingness to become spiritual and are preparedness to follow God His commandments we can free our mind and become true followers of Christ Jesus, helping each other by exhorting and edifying each other in the mind of Christ and by strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith even when we must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God.

24 “Exert yourselves vigorously to get in through the narrow door,+ because many, I tell you, will seek to get in but will not be able. (Luke 13:24)

22 There they strengthened the disciples,*+ encouraging them to remain in the faith and saying: “We must enter into the Kingdom of God through many tribulations.”+ (Acts 14:22)

+

Preceding articles:

Looking for True Spirituality 1 Intro

Looking for True Spirituality 2 Not restricted to an elite

Looking for True Spirituality 3 Mind of Christ

Looking for True Spirituality 4 Getting to Know the Mind of Christ

Looking for True Spirituality 5 Fruitage of the Spirit

Looking for True Spirituality 6 Spirituality and Prayer

Looking for True Spirituality 7 Preaching of the Good News

Fruits of the spirit will prevent you from being either inactive or unfruitful

Dutch version of this article / De Nederlandse versie van dit artikel: Op zoek naar spiritualiteit 7 Prediking van het goede nieuws

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Additional reading:

  1. Determine the drive
  2. Compassion and Discipline
  3. Digging in words, theories and artefacts
  4. Exceeding Great and Precious Promise
  5. The builder of the Kingdom
  6. Kingdom of God what will it be like
  7. Christ’s ethical teaching
  8. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  9. A Living Faith #9 Our Manner of Life
  10. Some one or something to fear #7 Not afraid for Gods Name
  11. Rejoice even though bound to grieve
  12. Those who make peace should plant peace like a seed
  13. Looking forward to God’s faithfulness
  14. Bringing Good News into the world
  15. The Involvement of true discipleship
  16. Testify of the things heard
  17. Proclaiming shalom, bringing good news of good things, announcing salvation
  18. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #2 Witnessing
  19. A Voice to be heard
  20. Creator and Blogger God 4 Expounding voice
  21. Blogging for Jesus…
  22. Preaching to an unbelieving world
  23. Words to push and pull
  24. Good or bad preacher
  25. Learn how to go out into the world and proclaim the Good News of the coming Kingdom
  26. How should we preach?
  27. Breathing and growing with no heir
  28. Breathing to teach
  29. Bringing Good News into the world
  30. Jehovah’s Witnesses not only group that preach the good news
  31. Holland Week of billing
  32. Trying to get the youth inspired
  33. When discouraged facing opposition
  34. Who are you going to reach out to today
  35. Praise the God with His Name
  36. Agape, a love to share with others from the Fruit of the Spirit
  37. Holiness and expression of worship coming from inside
  38. Belonging to or being judged by
  39. Not all will inherit the Kingdom
  40. Knowing where to go to
  41. United people under Christ

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  • How Does One Measure True Spiritual Satisfaction? (jordanbattiste.wordpress.com)religion
    I don’t think there are any monks praying in a hidden temple amongst the clouds, but I do know a little about the people who practice yoga and go to AA meetings and commit to altruism and humanitarian acts.
    +
    Can someone be spiritual and not believe in God? What about atheists and agnostics? Austin Cline from About wrote, “if spirituality really is best described as a highly personalized and privatized religious belief system, then the answer to the question is clearly “yes.” Atheism is not only compatible with the adoption of a public, organized religious belief system, it is also compatible with the adoption of a very personal and private religious faith.” Of all my speculation, this is the most satisfying answer yet. It’s objective and not riddled with bias – less truly is more.
  • I’m Confused About My Spiritual Beliefs. (thespiritualguru.wordpress.com)
    Every person is free to explore their Spirituality as they see fit. This just happens to agree with the Bible. As in Genesis God created man, and he gave man the power of Free Will. Man could choose for himself the path he would take.
    In many eastern traditions the concept of freewill is paramount. Buddhists believe that the choices we make not only affect our lives and Karma, but those around us as well. This is true, when you consider the interactions you have with others.
    What a person believes, or has faith in will determine their path in life. Faith is necessary for spiritually. It is belief in something you can’t explain. Some will say that if it can’t be proved logically it can’t exist. However humans are not the logical creatures we think we are.
    The Human mind has a logical and illogical side. The illogical is imagination, faith, belief, hope, emotion. None of which are logical. The logical side is the reasoning side, where we interact and classify what we see and touch. Where we solve problems and use our experience to keep from making the same mistakes. This logical side, however, can’t explain the other side.
    +
    Am I Crazy?
    A person will believe many things during their lives that have not been proven as 100% fact.
    +
    Whatever you choose to believe is OK. In the end your the one who has to decide to stand behind your convictions what ever they might be.
  • Short Sermons (attycortes.wordpress.com)
    a post of Peter Leithart on Pope Francis’ advice on preaching. > For Short Sermons
    Francis gives sound advice on preaching: The homily “is a distinctive genre, since it is preaching situated within the framework of a liturgical celebration; hence it should be brief and avoid taking on the semblance of a speech or a lecture. A preacher may be able to hold the attention of his listeners for a whole hour, but in this case his words become more important than the celebration of faith. If the homily goes on too long, it will affect two characteristic elements of the liturgical celebration: its balance and its rhythm. When preaching takes place within the context of the liturgy, it is part of the offering made to the Father and a mediation of the grace which Christ pours out during the celebration. This context demands that preaching should guide the assembly, and the preacher, to a life-changing communion with Christ in the Eucharist.”

  • New Creation (bhkmparish.wordpress.com)
    Paul prays first that we would be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding. Paul wants us to know what God’s will is for our lives as individuals and as a congregation. To get that knowledge we’ll need spiritual wisdom and understanding. This is not just book-learning about the Christian faith (although some of that will help), but rather a deeper sense of who we now are in Christ.
    +
    Paul prays that we would grow in holiness, or in his words, that we would walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.
  • ‘Be born in us today’ (bhkmparish.wordpress.com)
    Those with whom our Lord is pleased and in whom His peace rests are those who, on this joyous day, glorify and sing praise to God in their hearts
  • Do Preachers Know the Power of the Holy Spirit? (Martyn Lloyd-Jones) (chosenrebel.me)
    If a pastor always gets “expected” results, is he in danger of doing ministry apart from the power of the Spirit?
    +
    He may have been very ill, a thousand and one things may have happened to him, and he may go into the pulpit with fear and trembling, feeling that he hasn’t done his work; he’s got nothing. And it may be one of the most glorious services he has ever had the privilege of conducting. Why? Because he doesn’t control the power [within of the Holy Spirit]. It varies. And not only in preaching but in daily life and experience. It is the well of water that is within us and we don’t control it. It controls us.
  • Raising Children to be Witnesses, Not Just Spectators (astrugglingdad.wordpress.com)
    Raising my children with the eyes of faith, I have come to realize that this grace given to us comes with an even greater responsibility. I realize more and more that it is not enough to merely raise children who go through the motions of practicing their Catholic faith no matter how sincere or well-intentioned they may be. The task must be to nurture them to live their faith in a way that will engage and impact the growing faithlessness in the world.

  • Should a believer wait to have a “burden” before witnessing? (marcminter.wordpress.com)
    When is the right time to witness to someone?  What does a Christian need to know before witnessing or evangelizing?  Must a Christian wait to witness to someone until he or she is burdened or compelled by some inward sensation?  This question may be phrased in numerous ways and yet ask basically the same thing.  I think asking and answering three larger questions will help us answer these and others more definitively, as well as guide our understanding of evangelism or witnessing in general.
  • Meditation to Develop Witness Consciousness (rhondamills.wordpress.com)
    Regardless which style of meditation is practiced, the mistake that many people make is to think they are not good at meditating, or not being successful in the meditation because their mind wanders. Yes, your mind is going to wander. Coming back to the focus of the meditation – again and again as many times as needed – is part of the practice. Having to do that doesn’t mean you’ve failed; it means you are practicing.
  • Witnessing (hrobertsonblog.wordpress.com)
    It is precious and sacred to think on babies, and to remember my own special young motherhood and firsts in parenting. However, it is the magnitude of  a maturing relationship with Jesus Christ, my Savior that brings me to my knees. Unbelievable, that he would care for me a rebellious sinner. Care enough to die for me…is wonderful.
  • the last hour’s letter from the last apostle of the first twelve (kzlam36.wordpress.com)
    By this we know that we are in Him.  He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.
    +
    Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.
  • “On Meditation” – channelled spiritual message from The Circle of The Light of The Love Energy (earthmessagepress.com) discusses if we have to look in the quit to come to the light of creation.
  • In spite of insight (justmebeingcurious.com)

    One problem with written materials is that you only have whatever the author wrote down. If you have additional questions or don’t fully understand, you’re stuck. The attitude of many was, “I would prefer to learn from a disciple of Jesus or a disciple of a disciple than from a scroll.”

    And then comes The Main Man into the equation. Tapping the blackboard, whispering quietly, listening and nodding, laughing and rolling around on the floor … making it Fun! Some call it insight – I call it “in spite of insight”.

  • On Faith and Spirituality (zebrapotential.wordpress.com)
    I have felt for quite some time that god is a form of energy.  That palpable part of the universe for me that I feel everyday.  My personal energy is what I rely on the most.  It is my gauge for happy, competent or tired and needing to recharge.  I haven’t really developed this belief in god as energy.  Obvious to me is that spirituality is shared.  So, how will I share the energy given me and be receptive to that energy flowing back from others?
  • The Revisionaries (2012) (docdailyblog.wordpress.com)
    The Revisionaries is frightening because I can’t help but think about what a disadvantage Texan schoolchildren who are affected by these textbook changes will have when they get to college. Unless these Texan children attend a religious specific college they will be behind and a lot of the information they have [such as God being in the constitution] will be challenged and they will suffer as a result. At the least in college they will have to re-learn everything religion has touched in their educational career. I believe these board members’ decisions to make religion the priority will put the kids in Texas at a major disadvantage compared to the rest of the country.
  • Why study the Bible? (illustrationstoencourage.wordpress.com)
    Today there is more information available than ever before. But the big questions- questions about life, suffering and death still remain. Where can we find answers? What if the answers have been there all along, in the Bible.

Being Religious and Spiritual 7 Transcendence to become one

Often when people in a discussion come upon talking about the higher elements of life and speak about believes in God or in divine beings people in the previous years were curious to know if that person belonged to a certain church.  Today there might be not so much interest in talking about the spiritual. And when they encounter people more interested in spiritual matters we encounter a shift in questions.

Ryan Killough also noticed that and mentions in his blog:

Homo sapiens sapiens - Deliberate deformity of...

Homo sapiens sapiens – Deliberate deformity of the woman skull, “Toulouse deformity “. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The question I receive more frequently now is, “oh, what are you?” I always want to answer that question by saying: “I am a species of Homo sapiens from the kingdom of Animalia, pleased to meet you earthling” but it is clear what they mean. So instead I answer, “I am …” Wait, should I answer? I wonder if it’s worth it, because the second it is heard what, “I am” will the attitude and thought behind anyone reading this entire post now change? Not that this ever happens in politics, but why take the risk? There is nothing specifically wrong with the question, “what are you?” My concern is not the question itself, but the change in social norm causing the shift to this question. The question is often asked, not always to learn about someones relationship with Jesus, but to figure out what his or her beliefs are. That is the problem I am addressing. {Church/Denominations}

for him it seems to be a problem when people wonder what he believes. But is that not the first thing to come into a relationship with the person in whom you want to believe?

He should know that people are curious when they encounter somebody who dares to mention he believes in something. When it is Jesus or God that person believes in, he becomes a test person. Than that believer becomes the target to question to see if his beliefs are really well structured and sound. Most people do know that there are many churches and people with so many different believes but that they also often got against each other, even killing each other for their believes. For many the believes or connected with religion which was a ’cause’ (according to them) of many wars. they find it strange that those different churches often claim to be talking about the same God.
Ryan Killough also agrees and questions:

Even though we attend different denominations, we are all following the same God. We should be of the same mind and thought. So if God new all these religious sects would occur where differences and discord would take place, did He make a mistake with the idea of church? Absolutely not. {Church/Denominations}

The Seven Sacraments by Rogier van der Weyden, ca. 1448.

He finds Church is a necessity for teaching, admonishing, and worshipping but agrees that through weekly patterns in our forms of worship, we can deceive ourselves into believing in wrong philosophy.

Our church practices should not be our belief! We should not put tradition and spiritual rituals over what is right, good, and true. Traditions are for the purpose of acknowledging God and, again, are not to become our beliefs. Communion, baptism, confirmation, hand movements, church membership, fasting, or any other church sacraments will not give you salvation! They will not make you any more holy or deserving of Gods grace. These sacraments are simply to express our gratitude of God’s love for us, and allow us to become closer to Jesus in our personal relationship with Him. {Church/Denominations}

But it are just created sacraments and religious actions of those churches which are build on human traditions and not on biblical traditions of the Judean people of God. Many denominations created rules how to do things in the community which are not always totally Biblically funded. Through the years several theologians brought in different teachings and took followers or believers with them, often forming a new church-community  or worse, a new denomination.

Some might think the church does need its theologians to stay in existence, because without good doctrines, good theology, or wonderful expositions it would not be able to survive and be lost in the land of fables and cute stories. Without institutions, temples or churches there would be not much for religion to have a feeding ground. In Religion that church also needs life. In Christian religion this may be the resurrection life of Christ.

No doctrine, idea, theology, or exposition can replace the life of Christ. Only the life of Christ and that which issues from it will prevail against the gates of Hades.

writes Eric Adams in his writing on the British missionary in China, Margaret E. Barber. {My Experience In The Word Of Faith Movement Pt. 6-Watchman Nee, Miss Margaret E. Barber, Roman Catholic Mystics}

according to him

Heaven and God are far away, so we must find ways to ascend to heaven. Like the old African American spiritual says:

We are climbing Jacob’s ladder,
We are climbing Jacob’s ladder,
We are climbing Jacob’s ladder,
Soldiers of the cross.

Every round goes higher, higher,
Every round goes higher, higher,
Every round goes higher, higher,
Soldiers of the cross.

But we may know that God is not far away. He is every moment of the day very close to the world, everywhere and knows every person his or her heart. In their life every person is somewhere else on the Jacob’s Ladder. He can either look down and be afraid or look up and be of full hope.

The Christian Flag displayed next to the pulpi...

What some call “The Christian Flag” displayed next to the pulpit on the chancel of a church sanctuary. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Many religious people do want to grab themselves by the bootstraps, and try to work their way into God’s good graces, not by grasping or lathing themselves to the Bible, but preferring to  cling to theologian writings. Some may seek for God internally through emotional or mystical experiences and become preoccupied with their own spirituality. To come into a spiritual life which also can become a religious life the person has to be able to hear God’s voice, and to be willing to come to understand God’s Will. When not willing to understand and than to follow the Will of God his faith would not be of much value. Children also often do know what they should do but do something different. That will bring them in problems. The same for adults who have an inborn ethical feeling, which they can ignore or follow. Maturity also informs most of us which influence our feelings may have on others and vice versa. When grown up the person knows how sustained feelings can ‘strangle’ a person and how he can become enslaved by preventing emotional growth to progress beyond the sense of pain having been precipitated, in some way, by whom or what is not liked or hated (i.e., another person, group or class of persons).

As such every person in the world, all created in the image of God can come to hear the call of righteousness and have the feeling of good and bad in them. The difference for the Christian religious person is that he or she should hear that Voice of God and offers himself or herself to follow that Voice more than any other voice. This makes Jesus so special. He could do what he wanted to do and could strike all honour for the things he seemed to be doing; But he never claimed that he could do those things on his own. He recognised he could not do anything without his Father, to whom he prayed to have things done. Jesus was in the world to have his Father to be known better. He also lifted up his eyes to heaven asking his Father to accept and glorify him the only begotten son, in order that he, Jesus the Son of God, may glorify the Only One God who had given Christ authority over all flesh. The religious person who wants to call himself Christian should be a follower of Christ, Jesus the Messiah from whom he or she can get eternal life.  But to be able to get that eternal life those persons should come to the understanding Who is who and should come to know the Only True God, who is the Adonai Elohim Hashem Jehovah, and Jesus Christ, whom God had sent to the world.

Jesus never glorified himself, neither should we glorify ourselves. We should become like Christ, but by doing so we shall not become Christ himself like he did not become God himself. Jesus always had glorified his Father, the God of Abraham as the Only One True God. Jesus knew his lower position than the heavenly beings (angels), but also knew that God was the Most High and always should and shall be the Most High Elohim.  The son of Joseph and Miriam (Mary/Maria) from the tribe of King David only wanted to be the will of his Father and wanted to complete on earth the work that his Father, Allah the God of gods had given him to do.

It was this Nazarene man who has revealed God His name to the men whom God gave him out of the world. Jesus never claimed those to be his. He knew that those men who were willing to follow him, were given by his Father. They were God’s, and He have given them to Jesus, and they have kept God His Word.  Those disciples continued the work of Christ after he was killed and resurrected. By the sent Comforter, requested by Christ Jesus,  they lost their fear and went out into the world, understanding that all the things that God had given to their master teacher Jesus came not from their rabbi, but came from his Father, which they now also could call their Father, the Only One God, whose name Jehovah they knew already from Torah, but was now better known by the words and works of His son Jesus.

It was from that Nazarene man the disciples got their words. They received them and knew truly that Jesus had come from God, and they have believed that God had sent him. They never believed that it was God Who had come down onto earth, because they also remembered the voice, at the baptism of their master, Who told the people present that it was “His beloved son” who stood there and did not tell them that it was God who had come down to earth. They also had heard enough from this man to know his relationship with his Father, whom Christ considered to be the Only One true God, to whom Jesus prayed and asked them also to pray to.

” It came to pass when all the people were baptized, Jesus also was baptized, and while he prayed the heaven was opened,  (22)  And the Holy Spirit descended on him, like a dove, and a voice from heaven, saying, You are my beloved Son, with whom I am pleased.” (Luke 3:21-22 Lamsa NT)

Jesus had always asked  the things to happen on behalf of the people around him, but they also remembered Jesus telling them that he did not ask God on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those whom God had given him, because they are God His,  and all Jesus his things are His. They also remembered that Jesus was pleased that His Father had given His world into the hands of him, and that he could been glorified in them. Jesus became no longer in the world, and they were in the world, Jesus went up to his Father in heaven to sit at His right hand. Though Jesus left not his disciples, nor us, on their own. He asked God to keep them, and those who were willing to follow him, in God His name. Being under the Guidance of Christ and his Father all followers of Christ should become like Christ, becoming one the same way like Jesus and God were one. This would not make us to be Christ, like it also did not make Christ to be God. Otherwise we being one with Christ, Christ being one with God, in case Jesus was God we also would become God.  But that is impossible. Like Jesus was a man of flesh and blood, a material being we also are of flesh and blood material beings. Even when we try to become so spiritual that we overcome the material site of ourselves, we shall never be able to become as immaterial or spiritual beings as angels or as the eternal Spirit God.

Jesus has given us his word that he kept us in God’s name and told us all those things in the world so that we may have his joy completed in ourselves. Jesus does not live any more in this world, but we who are living in this world, are still submitted to the Laws of God but subject to the laws of the country were we live in. The world may hate us because we have chosen to follow Christ Jesus and to believe in the One God Who is One. Not believing in the worldly gods we also do not want to be of the world just as Jesus was and is not of the world.  Jesus did not ask his Father that He would take us out of the world, but that He would protect us from the evil of that world.

“But Jesus said to them, My Father works even until now, so I also work.  (18)  And for this the Jews wanted the more to kill him, not only because he was weakening the sabbath, but also because he said concerning God that he is his Father, and was making himself equal with God.  (19)  Jesus answered and said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, that the Son can do nothing of his own accord, except what he sees the Father doing; for the things which the Father does, the same the Son does like him also.  (20)  For the Father loves his Son, and he shows him everything that he does; and he will show him greater works than these, so that you may marvel.  (21)  For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to those whom he will.” (John 5:17-21 Lamsa NT)

“Jesus spoke these things, and then he lifted up his eyes to heaven and said, O my Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son, so that your Son may glorify you.  (2)  Since you have given him power over all flesh, so that to all whom you have given him, he may give life eternal.  (3)  And this is life eternal, that they might know you, that you are the only true God, even the one who sent Jesus Christ.  (4)  I have already glorified you on the earth; for the work which you had given to me to do, I have finished it.  (5)  So now, O my Father, glorify me with you, with the same glory which I had with you before the world was made.  (6)  I have made your name known to the men whom you gave me out of the world; they were yours and you gave them to me; and they have kept thy word.  (7)  Now they know that whatever you have given me is from you.  (8)  For the words which you gave me I gave them; and they accepted them, and have known truly that I came forth from you, and they have believed that you sent me.  (9)  What I request is for them; I make no request for the world, but for those whom you have given to me; because they are yours.  (10)  And everything which is mine, is yours; and what is yours is mine; and I am glorified by them.  (11)  Hereafter I am not in the world, but these are in the world; and I am coming to you. O holy Father, protect them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are.  (12)  While I was with them in the world, I protected them in your name; those you gave me I protected, and not one of them is lost, except the son of perdition, that the scripture might be fulfilled.  (13)  Now I am coming to you; and these things I speak while I am in the world, that my joy may be complete in them.  (14)  I have given them your word; and the world hated them, because they were not of the world, just as I am not of the world.  (15)  What I request is not that you should take them out of the world, but that you should protect them from evil.” (John 17:1-15 Lamsa NT)

The religious and spiritual person in the Christian faith should come to the essence of Christ Jesus his teaching. Like Jesus was not of this world they also should try to cleanse themselves, have their spirit clear, proper for God and not being tempted by the material world, loving the traditions of the world. As such they should try to dispose themselves of those celebrations which are kept in the world, but have elements not in accordance with God His commandments.  We should strip our world from all the heathen or pagan elements. The world were we do want to live in should be removed from all those things which are mentioned in the Bible, the Word of God, as things which are not right.  By avoiding all the things God does not want the world might not like us, because they will notice that we do not want to be “of the world”, even as Jesus was and is not of the world.

In history when churches went astray from the teachings of God, religious people wanted to bring them back on the good track. Their teachings being in conflict with the general or traditional church, made that new denominations were formed. Many allowed legalism, the theological doctrine that salvation is gained through good works, to take a higher stand than God and wanted certain actions to be part of the service a religious person ought to do. Instead of giving more attention at our personal daily walk with Christ and with his Father, which is more important than the sacraments we can burden ourselves with, they brought limitation to what people could do or gave specific strict rules to what people could not do. Sacraments became used as a tool to enter heaven, instead of looking at those sacraments as a symbol of our gratitude toward Gods unfailing grace.

Those ‘renewing teachers’ their followers created new churches and considered that only those people could be saved and go to heaven who became a member of their congregation. They had forgotten that Christ Jesus saved everybody and is the cornerstone of the Church. It is not by belonging to a church a person will secure his position in a place called heaven or in the Kingdom of God. Instead of so many different churches which exclude the other churches, all followers of Christ should be united in that Body of Christ. Those teachers claiming people could only be saved by being a member of their church, also had forgotten that יהוה , YHWH and Love are Four-letter words which are inextricable bound up with the Body of Jesus Christ and his Father, Jehovah God. There were two or more people are gathered in the name of Christ, Jesus is present and there should be peace and Christian brotherhood. The church should offer a place for Christian community, in order strengthen the members their faith, for the purpose of coming closer to God and of spreading God’s Word (by preaching) to the world and worshipping God in everything they do.

Going into ourselves, the spirituality should bring the person in a pure state of mind, clear to receive the entrance to the Supreme Being and becoming one with Him. It should be the aim of the spiritual minded and of the religious person to clear his or her mind of all the unnatural things. The Christian person aiming to get such an open mind to Jesus his Father, like he had, being sanctified in God His Truth, knowing that only God His Word is Truth.  Coming to the knowledge that it was God Who had sent Jesus into the world, and that it was not God Who came down Himself, the religious person should recognise that it was that man Jesus who also sent him or her into the world to become sanctified in Truth.

Jesus did pray to his Father concerning those who will believe in the Messiah Jesus through their word, that all may be one, as God is in Christ that they also may be one in Jesus and in Jehovah God so that the world may believe that God sent Jesus.

Jesus did give his disciples the glory which Jehovah God had given him, that they may be one, as God and Jesus are One. The real Christian his or her main aim should be that oneness with God, like Christ Jesus was one in his apostles we also should become one in Christ like Jesus had unity with his Father, that we may be perfected in one; and that the world may know that it was Jehovah God Who sent Jesus and loved them, even as God loved Jesus.

The spiritual minded Christian should aim to come in such transcendent state that he reaches that goal to become like Christ united with his Father. The transcendence should bring the person wherever Jesus would be. His desire to be one of those whom Jehovah God has given Jesus, that where he is, they may be with him also, that they may behold his glory which God gave Jesus, because God loved Jesus already before the foundation of the world. Because God knows everything, He already knows us as well already from the beginning of the universe. We do not know anything from that period when everything came into being (because we did not exist yet, like Christ did not exist yet), but our spirit should be willing to be part of that foundation of the world, that does not want to know about their Creator, but Jesus knew God and made him known to the world. We also should now become part of that New Foundation, where Jesus as the second Adam opened the gates to the Kingdom of God.

“I with them and you with me, that they may become perfected in one; so that the world may know that you sent me, and that you loved them just as you loved me.  (24)  O Father, I wish that those whom you have given me, may also be with me where I am; so that they may see my glory which you have given me; for you have loved me before the foundation of the world.  (25)  O my righteous Father, the world did not know you, but I have known you; and these have known that you have sent me.  (26)  And I have made your name known to them, and I am still making it known; so that the love with which you loved me may be among them, and I be with them.” (John 17:23-26 Lamsa NT )

In the spiritual mood the person wants to become perfect like the Father of Jesus in Heaven is perfect. (Matthew 5:48 )

“So he that descended is the same also that ascended far above all heavens, that he might fulfil all things.  (11)  And he has assigned some, apostles, and some, prophets, and some, evangelists, and some, pastors, and some, teachers;  (12)  For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:  (13)  Until we all become one in faith, and in the knowledge of the Son of God, and become a perfect man according to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:  (14)  That we henceforth be not as children easily stirred and carried away by every wind of false doctrines of men who through their craftiness are artful in deceiving the people;  (15)  But that we be sincere in our love, so that in everything we may progress through Christ, who is the head.  (16)  It is through him that the whole body is closely and firmly united at all joints, according to the measure of the gift which is given to every member, for the guidance and control of the body, in order to complete the edifying of the body in love.” (Ephesians 4:10-16 Lamsa NT)

The person getting into spirituality wants to become one with his full being and with nature. That nature is part of the universe God created. The spiritual person tries to go deeper than the material site of the world, coming into the mystic site. Apostles, prophets, evangelists, some pastors, and some teachers may help the person to find subject matter and to get him or her on the way to do good research. Those surrounding the person who wants to be religious and spiritual should provide the right spiritual food so that this person can come to unity with himself and with the Christian Church community, being a good working element and ‘being one’ in, and of, the Body of Christ.

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Preceding articles:

Being Religious and Spiritual 1 Immateriality and Spiritual experience

Being Religious and Spiritual 2 Religiosity and spiritual life

Being Religious and Spiritual 3 Philosophers, Avicennism and the spiritual

Being Religious and Spiritual 4 Philosophical, religious and spiritual people

Being Religious and Spiritual 5 Gnostic influences

Being Religious and Spiritual 6 Romantici, utopists and transcendentalists

Next: Being Religious and Spiritual 8 Spiritual, Mystic and not or well religious

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Find also to read:

  1. A world in denial
  2. Catholicism, Anabaptism and Crisis of Christianity
  3. To mean, to think, outing your opinion, conviction, belief – Menen, mening, overtuiging, opinie, geloof
  4. Being prudent – zorgvuldig zijn
  5. Choices
  6. Choosing your attitudes
  7. Not the circumstances in which we are placed constitutes our comfort
  8. The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands
  9. Our stance against certain religions and immigrating people
  10. Our relationship with God, Jesus and each other
  11. Parish, local church community – Parochie, plaatselijke kerkgemeenschap
  12. Attitude to others important for reaching them
  13. We have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace
  14. How us to behave
  15. Not liking your Christians
  16. Who are the honest ones?
  17. Greatest single cause of atheism
  18. What’s church for, anyway? (by Marcus Ampe)
  19. How we think shows through in how we act
  20. Act as if everything you think, say and do determines your entire life
  21. People should know what you stand for
  22. Remember that who you’re being is just as important as what you’re doing
  23. Followers with deepening
  24. Determined To Stick With Truth.
  25. Fear of God reason to return to Holy Scriptures
  26. Preaching to an unbelieving world
  27. True riches
  28. Doctrine and Conduct Cause and Effect
  29. Morality, values and Developing right choices
  30. Fixing our attention
  31. Being religious has benefits even in this life
  32. Faith
  33. A Living Faith #1 Substance of things hoped for
  34. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  35. A Living Faith #4 Effort
  36. Faith antithesis of rationality
  37. Faith is a pipeline
  38. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #2 Instructions and Laws
  39. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #3 Callers upon God
  40. To mean, to think, outing your opinion, conviction, belief – Menen, mening, overtuiging, opinie, geloof
  41. Two states of existence before God
  42. God receives us on the basis of our faith
  43. Grace is Gods acting love
  44. He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.
  45. Jesus begotten Son of God #6 Anointed Son of God, Adam and Abraham
  46. In the death of Christ, the son of God, is glorification
  47. Are Christians prepared to Rejoice in the Lord
  48. That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us
  49. Self inflicted misery #8 Pruning to strengthen us
  50. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  51. Are religious and secular ethicists climbing the same mountain
  52. Caricaturing and disapproving sceptics, religious critics and figured out ethics
  53. Theology without spirituality sterile academic exercise
  54. Trinitarian philosophy
  55. God of gods
  56. Only One God
  57. Jesus Christ being dispatched as the Figurehead of a Religion
  58. Gaining Christ, trusting Jehovah
  59. Happy who’s delight is only in the law of Jehovah
  60. Being one in Jesus, Jesus in us and God in Jesus
  61. Good or bad preacher
  62. Words to push and pull
  63. If you have integrity
  64. Set free from any form of mental torment or self-condemnation
  65. Emotional pain and emotional deadness
  66. From pain to purpose
  67. Everything that is done in the world is done by hope
  68. Honour your own words as if they were an important contract
  69. All Positive Energy People Are Acceptable
  70. Messengers of Jesus will be hated to the end of time
  71. Discipleship way of life on the narrow way to everlasting life
  72. Church sent into the world
  73. Communion and day of worship

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Additional reading:

  1. What is the difference between Philosophy and Spirituality
  2. Who is the Only “True God”? (John 17:3)
  3. If the Father is the “only true God” (John 17:3) , does that mean that Jesus is a false god?
  4. Following Jesus’ Footsteps
  5. Church/Denominations

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2013 St. Patrick's Day Races: 5k Participants,...

Are you running the right race, having the right goals? – 2013 St. Patrick’s Day Races (Photo credit: ianhun2009)

  • Critically examine the relationship between gender, religious participation and religious organisations. (cheapbestessaywriting.wordpress.com)
    While it is difficult to know precisely whether or not spiritual beliefs differ in relation to males and womanishs, it is evident that unearthly rule and participation does show relatively clear sexual urge differences. This is sure across all forms of religious organisation. Almost two-thirds of churchgoers are women. However, as with social factors worry class and age, it is clear that in that respect is no overall pattern of male / female religious attendance, since there are evident differences between denominations.
  • The Authority of the Catholic Church (zeal4thefaith.wordpress.com)
    I have heard the argument from Protestants that the Bible is the only authority. They do not believe that the Catholic Church has authority on earth at all. Well, the Bible says absolutely nothing about being the only authority.
    +
    Anglicans, Baptists, Born-again Christians, Brethren-in-Christ Churches, Calvary Churches, Episcopalians, Bible Fundamentalists, Non-denominational churches, Methodists, Presbyterians, start up churches too numerous to count and the list goes on and on. They all teach different theologies and they all have different pastors who went to different seminaries which teach different interpretations of Scripture. Which ‘church’ is correct? Which interpretation is correct?
  • Picking fights over religion and the separation of church and state (santamariatimes.com)
    “We have just enough religion to make us hate,” wrote Jonathan Swift, “but not enough to make us love one another.” A lifelong religious controversialist, the 18th-century Irish satirist definitely knew whereof he wrote. After all, it’s fewer than 20 years since Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland quit dynamiting each other’s gathering places.
    +
    Even here in the United States, it often seems that picking fights over religion increases during the Christmas season. If anything, claiming to be persecuted while expressing contempt for others’ beliefs appears on the rise.
    +
    Like Swift, Jefferson recognized the dangers of religious strife. That’s precisely why, he assured Connecticut Baptists in 1802, the First Amendment decreed “a wall of separation between church and State.”
  • Sunday Worship- Understanding and Teaching (eggflip.wordpress.com)
    Sunday Worship is a core practice of the followers of Christianity, but it’s meanings and it’s enactments represent a wide variety of different traditions and rituals loosely associated with different denominations of Christian Churches and sects that are associated the world religion of Christianity. As is precisely within the Roman Catholic Church, the Liturgical calendar is a key part of Sunday worship for Catholics, with liturgical cycles determining which scriptural passages are read out in sermons on each Sunday of the week. Anglican Churches and the Church of England are examples of other churches that retain their own liturgical calendar. Sunday worship is an important part of many different churches own liturgical calendars, and in part defines and how the Christian year is organized.
    +
    part of understanding the practice of Sunday worship as a religious commitment and a religious experience, and the impact it has on the followers of Christianity, or Catholicism
    +
    C Peck (2007) describes the Church’s rationale for Sunday worship “There are approximately two billion professing Christians on earth. They attend over 2,000 different church denominations and organizations in the United States alone. This number continually increases, bringing no end of confusion over beliefs and disagreement between them.
  • Spirit of Medjugorje Update: Patience (zenobiuszjuz.wordpress.com)
    a good Christian life cannot be pursued without a regular examination of conscience and a good grounding in the virtues…

    …virtues stem from the grace deposited in the ground of the soul by God..the root of all virtue is humility which is characterized by a patient and loving submission to authority…
  • Religulous Bastards (venitism.blogspot.com)
    In the Iran of the Mullahs, the Persian Gulf emirates and even in those countries where Orthodox Christian patriarchs still wield considerable influence, journalistsare branded as heretics as soon as they dare to describe the far-from-holy practices of the regime and its clergy. And if they dare to denounce the atrocities of an armed Islamist group in Pakistan, Bangladesh or Nigeria, theyare gunned down as infidels even when they are Muslims.

    Although used for political ends, religion often carries real weight in societies where no boundary between the spiritual and secular is recognized. When an Omani publication quoted gays as saying they were better off in Oman than in neighbouring divine-right petro-monarchies, it was accused of promoting “moral depravity” and therefore “sacrilege.” Subjects such as the role of women, sexuality and reproduction – all markers of secularization – are surrounded by taboos.
  • Significance of followers of Islam beliefs (lovevisiblesim.wordpress.com)
    I met a man in my days with SAT-7 from Tunisia – an Anglican by denomination but a true follower of Jesus among the people of Islam – a friend to followers of Christ.He shared these thoughts –

    For one, it is a myth that the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims are unified in the embrace of classical Islam’s religious precepts.  On the contrary, man Muslim peoples have a poor understanding of what their religion is really all about.
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    But the followers of Islam are religious people and under the right conditions, open about sharing their beliefs.  The word of God, presented under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and watered by the intercessory prayers of God’s people, can do its work in their heart just as in the heart of any who seek truth.

    The follower of Christ’s responsibility is to share the same love and concern for the followers of Islam that God has, the truth as it is in Jesus Christ — the One who can make him free indeed.

  • When Do Christians Have Church Services (christianity.answers.com)
    Christianity is the most prominent religion in the United States, and most Christians regularly attend worship services. However, not all churches offer the same services on the same days. If you are interested in giving it a try, learn a little bit about when Christians hold their church services.
    +
    In most churches, holiday services revolve around the birth and death of Christ, or Christmas and Easter. On Christmas Eve, many churches hold traditional evening services that sometimes include candle light ceremonies and Christmas carols. Some churches also hold services on Christmas Day. The days leading up to Easter, including Palm Sunday and Good Friday, are usually celebrated with special services. Easter Sunday, of course, is celebrated by nearly every church with an upbeat service.
  • Spirituality and Your Health (evelynmmaxwell.com)
    Our spirituality and philosophy are the roots to our tree of life.  Whether or not our spiritual beliefs and philosophy of life provide us with psychological comfort and hope, rather than distress and discouragement, is very important.  Whether or not they provide us the wisdom and courage to act affects us for life as we branch out in our “decision tree” (a term used in the medical field for the decisions we make in relations to our perceptions of the situations, for example, if “this” is true, we do something for “this”; but if “this” is not true we do something different). And, the strengths and weaknesses of our spiritual lives contribute to our society’s strengths and weaknesses.
  • Explaining Christmas to Children (joiedevivreheather.wordpress.com)

Being Religious and Spiritual 3 Philosophers, Avicennism and the spiritual

In the previous chapter “Being Religious and Spiritual 2 Religiosity and spiritual life“,  we have seen that the relation of religion and spirituality is in the eye of the beholder and that religiosity and spirituality are not always connected with each other.

File:Church Attendance and Welfare Spending Graph.png

Religiosity, Church Attendance and Welfare Spending

Historically, the major world religious traditions have relied upon symbolic forms for breaking outside of the profane world and into an alternative reality known only through its ecstatic qualities and interpretive frames. Even within contemporary, more secular social settings, research suggests that those persons most involved in their religious traditions are more likely to report having strong religious experiences (International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences referring to: Yamane and Polzer 1994, pp. 1–25).

We also said that we should see that there is a distinction between spiritual and religious or religiousness. This  is becoming more commonplace in advanced modern societies like the United States, for example, where the number of people claiming to be “spiritual but not religious” is estimated variously (but with differing empirical measures) as 14 percent (Roof 1999) and 31 percent (Wuthnow 2005) of the adult population.

English: Religious symbols from the top nine o...

Religious symbols (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Being religious implies a relationship with a faith, which should not be necessary Christian faith, but the believes in something divine and clinging to participation in institutionally based practices, and having respect for the teachings of a certain tradition or community. In contrast to be spiritual concerns the inner relationship with the inner and puts emphasis upon the experience of connectedness, relationship, or oneness with the Inner-Self and/or a higher power/the sacred/nature. The aim of the spirituality is also to come to satisfaction with the Self and to find appreciation for personal growth and inner awareness in one’s life journey. Aiming for more spirituality the person hopes he can come in a better stadium with himself and for himself, sometimes looking for transcendental forms.

Several people aim to come in a higher stadium coming to have mystical experiences. For some this can be New Age beliefs where they draw on both Eastern and Western spiritual and metaphysical traditions, infusing them with influences from self-help and motivational psychology, holistic health, parapsychology, consciousness research and quantum physics. Others may not like to be placed under New Age or post-New Age, for the reason it got negative connotations and because it does not always co-notate to the coming astrological Age of Aquarius,  but more to the “transformational” of the being, though they still may aim to create “a spirituality without borders or confining dogmas” that is inclusive and pluralistic. {Drury 2004, p. 10}

Some may look for a form of a form of monism and unity throughout the universe, where the variety of existing things can be explained in terms of a single reality or substance. But there they also think that all those things being in existence may find their origin on one source which is distinct from a human being. Some call it the Universal Supreme Being or The God of gods. For Christians that Divine Super Power should be their Only One God, the centre piece of everything which was before everything, the Adonai and Most High Elohim. All other beings are lower than That One Who is One and is not restricted like we are but is One unity of substance and essence which is complete in its unity, its spirit and in time being eternal.

Various different religious traditions have be...

Various different religious traditions have been labelled “pagan” over the centuries; including the Classical religion of ancient Greece (left; The Parthenon) and the new religious movement of contemporary Paganism (right; Romuvan priestess). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The body-mind dichotomy in philosophy examines the relationship between mind and matter, and in particular the relationship between consciousness and the brain. The problem was addressed by René Descartes in the 17th century, resulting in Cartesian dualism, and by pre-Aristotelian philosophers. {Robert M. Young (1996). “The mind-body problem”. In RC Olby, GN Cantor, JR Christie, MJS Hodges, eds. Companion to the History of Modern Science (Paperback reprint of Routledge 1990 ed.). Taylor and Francis. pp. 702–11. ISBN 0415145783.} + {Robinson, Howard (Nov 3, 2011). “Dualism”. In Edward N. Zalta, ed. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2011 Edition).} The Persian Pūr Sinɑʼ, who is regarded as the most famous and influential polymath of the Islamic Golden Age, made a big study the Quran and the Hadith, encountered greater obstacles in the philosophical writings and got greatly troubled by the Metaphysics of Aristotle. Due to Abū ʿAlī al-Ḥusayn ibn ʿAbd Allāh ibn Sīnā or Avicenna’s successful reconciliation between Aristotelianism and Neoplatonism along with Kalam, Avicennism eventually became the leading school of Islamic philosophy by the 12th century, with Avicenna becoming a central authority on philosophy.

He preferred a “short life with width to a narrow one with length” {Aisha Khan. Avicenna (Ibn Sina): Muslim Physician And Philosopher of the Eleventh Century. The Rosen Publishing Group. p. 85.} Trying to find logic, ethics this teacher founded also a system for people to come to the essence of life and inner sanctity. It is by placing the ego separate of the world, which is considered in the Holy Scriptures (the Bible) as being “set-apart” often translated in English with the word “holy” or “holiness“.

Several Islamic teachers and Christian theologians got very interested in the ancient philosophers. In medieval Europe the clergy went looking for the mysterious soul in the human being. They wanted to solve the many philosophical problems posed by the years. they wanted to go further than the philosophers who studied the fields of aesthetics, ethics, epistemology, logic, metaphysics, as well as social philosophy and political philosophy. For many clergyman the Catholic teachings had not brought “Logic“. Mainly by all the false teachings in Roman Catholicism they where distracted from the Biblical texts which was confusing them, because they were bombarded with many dogma‘s created over the years. for the bishops and higher placed ones in the ‘holy orders’ Avicennism brought more interesting doctrines on the nature of the soul and his existenceessence distinction. , along with the debates and censure that they raised in scholastic Europe. By 1210 so many people became interested in the Islamic teaching the church took measures to forbid it. A “decree of condemnation to death or banishment” was prescribed. This proscription or “decree of condemnation, outlawry” did not frighten William of Auvergne, Bishop of Paris and Albertus Magnus.  The psychology and theory of knowledge found in Avicennism and its metaphysics had an impact on the thought of Thomas Aquinas.

closer to our times several theologians also went looking in Confucius his philosophical writings.

The philosophers did not determine the value of an idea by the diversity of its applications. Philosophy in itself does not bring spirituality though it may help to form ideas and to give pulses to do thorough research. It may be interesting in its own right, and a substantial minority of philosophers investigate the many and varied interpretations of ideas studied in philosophy itself, testing others their thought experiments and their conclusions of philosophical arguments.

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Preceding articles:

Being Religious and Spiritual 1 Immateriality and Spiritual experience

Being Religious and Spiritual 2 Religiosity and spiritual life

Next: Being Religious and Spiritual 4 Philosophical, religious and spiritual people

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Find also:

  1. The Supreme Being God of gods
  2. Only One God
  3. God is One
  4. “Who is The Most High” ? Who is thee Eternal? Who is Yehovah? Who is God?
  5. Faith
  6. Living in faith
  7. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  8. Religion and spirituality
  9. Theology without spirituality sterile academic exercise
  10. Childish or reasonable ways
  11. Words to push and pull
  12. To mean, to think, outing your opinion, conviction, belief – Menen, mening, overtuiging, opinie, geloof
  13. The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands
  14. Religious Practices around the world
  15. The Soul not a ghost
  16. Focus on outward appearances
  17. Holidays, holy days and traditions
  18. Christmas, Saturnalia and the birth of Jesus
  19. Christmas customs – Are They Christian?

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Additional readings:

  1. Some Thoughts about the Integration of Spirituality and Religion
  2. Religion Vs. Spiritual
  3. Reginay’s Religious vs. Spiritual
  4. Who is religious?

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  • Wealth usually distracts one from a spiritual path (transientreflections.com)
    Are you a Materialistic Individual or do you pursue the path of an Academic or of a Spiritual and religious nature? These questions can only be answered by you and which you choose is solely up to you.
  • African Spirituality: What it is and what it ‘ain’t’ (moniquecharles.wordpress.com)
    In this discussion, Asar Imhotep will reassess the common understandings of African spirituality and provide an updated analysis rooted in over a decade’s worth of research as a practitioner of African spiritual systems, and a student of history.
  • Mapping the Possible Relations between “Religious,” “Spiritual,” “Humanistic” and “Secular” Sensibilities (villasophiasalon.wordpress.com)
    One way to map or model the spectrum of consciousness and culture today is to talk about the continuum that connects the religious, spiritual (but not necessarily religious), humanistic (but not necessarily religious or spiritual) and secular ( but not necessarily religious, spiritual or humanistic) sensibilities. Further, there are those who religion is not necessarily hostile or indifferent to the spiritual, humanistic and secular dimensions of life.
    +
    Are you aware that each of these words has a whole range of possible meanings and associations, and that the presumably objective denotative meanings are all but silenced by a cacophony of various subjective connotative meanings. Therefore, any meaningful and constructive dialogue between persons who have front-loaded their own experiential associations and interpretative evaluations of these words make real communication all but impossible.
  • Religion Vs. Spiritual (etsuwmst.wordpress.com)
    Although, religion and spiritually have its differences. Religion should be accompanied with spiritually although sometimes it does not go that way. Most people think you either one or the other. It is possible to be religious and spiritual most people are but then again you could be spiritual without religion. The reason being is because religion is very much forced in many situations. A lot of people can’t live freely in the world because they feel if they do it would conflict with their religion. Just because of the demands religion has on a person’s life. Unlike spiritually, it is a chosen practice so it designed the way you want to.
  • What Wishes to Come to Being through You? (agentleinstigator.wordpress.com)
    “What constitutes personal authority? Stated most simply it means, to find what is true for oneself and to live it in the world. If it is not lived, it is not yet real for us, and we abide in what Sartre called ”bad faith”, the theologian calls ”sin”, the  therapist calls “neurosis”, and the existential philosopher calls ”inauthentic being”. Respectful of the rights and perspectives of others, personal authority is neither narcissistic nor imperialistic. It is a humble acknowledgement of what wishes to come to being through us.“
  • (#7) Family, Huh, Yeah, What Is It Good For… (bushmansblogi.wordpress.com)
    In accordance with Notarianni’s claim, I would like to emphasize the essential nature families play in the spiritual development of children. It is in the home where either a spiritual void is discovered or a spiritual direction is initiated. This is seen in experiences that families go through together and how they adapt, as well as in family traditions, and finally, even the absence of spirituality in the home aids children in determining their own beliefs.
  • Deep Within, We Want it All By Brenda Hoffman (renardmoreau.wordpress.com)
    You wish to recreate some of the glories of past lifetimes. All of you have experienced both depravity, because of religious teachings, and lives with extreme levels of fame and wealth.You are now more interested in your past glories than the religious penitence that marked at least one of your lifetimes. Yet, you will not allow yourself access to the glories and riches you hold dear in this time and place because you are not certain you can achieve your goal – or that you want to.
  • Are Esoteric Teachings Missing from Christianity? (jesusweddingthebook.wordpress.com)
    In the television program Myths of Mankind – The Gnostic Origins of Christianity (Timestamp 43:12-43:54), Elaine Pagels PhD of Princeton University is quoted as saying,“Every great world religious tradition whether its Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Judaism has both the teaching for everyone, exoteric teaching, which every adherent of that faith is supposed to follow and esoteric or mystical teaching. The only one that lacks that is western Christianity. I think it is unfortunate that that which many people find necessary for their own integrity and development has been regarded as either heretical or a path leading nowhere.”
  • Discovering the Truth (cosmicmacduff.wordpress.com)
  • Artists forge their own spiritual path at Promenade Gallery – Mississauga (allowinglove.wordpress.com)
  • Meditation – Do try it! (trishbarcatta.wordpress.com)
    It involves focusing on a single thought, object or feeling and turning your attention inwards. Some people find it hard to drown everything else out so as to quiet the mind, but you don’t need to do that. You can just gently bring your focus back to what you need to and not be so hard on yourself.
  • How To Begin On The Spiritual Path (anandasingapore.wordpress.com)
    The seeker cannot be confined to a particular religion, rather, he or she must embrace the Divine teachings of all religions, and bow humbly, and revere the saints of all religions, for all saints have attained to Godhood, and making any distinction within the Fundamental Unity of God is contrary to the Divine Path.
  • Am I A Religious Person? (elephantjournal.com)
    In the West we tend to think of religion in really narrow terms that most of the ‘religions’ of the east don’t fit into very well.To me, the word ‘religion’ conjures connotations of dogma and authority. I don’t think either of those things are helpful on the spiritual path. I don’t believe in God. Belief or lack thereof in a deity is not considered an important thing in the path of Buddhism.
  • Daily Teaching for Wednesday, November 27th (bishopcraig.com)
    Humility is an absolute prerequisite for progress on the spiritual path, and thankfulness is its evidence.
  • Simply Being With Nothing to Be: A Commentary (edoshonin.com)
    If we have hope, then we automatically have fear. We are fearful that our hopes will not be realized. Many people think that in order to be happy they need hope. But this kind of happiness is very conditional and is reliant upon the presence of external factors.
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    We can observe the beings who are born and who pass away – one moment they are present but the next moment they are gone. One moment they are happy but the next moment sad. One moment they are in the company of friends and family but the next moment they are all alone. We see that beings come and go, planets come and go, and even the universes come and go. We observe the passing of time and the passing of space.
  • Gyo-shin-ki Evolution (gyoshinki.wordpress.com)
    Our spiritual center will continue to be Gyo, Shin and Ki. Shinto at the heart, Buddhist at the heart and Taoist at the heart. I continue to receive teaching and guidance and evolve methodology and techniques that allow energetic and spiritual purification and accomplishment. GSK is essentially a spiritual path – truth testing is done via the taijutsu. The taijutsu is a physical analog of the meditaion and purifications.

Joseph Priestley To the Point

Through the ages there have always been some people who wanted to honour and worship only One God. The Catholic Church did everything in her power to disgrace such believers in one God Who is only One. Later several protestant denominations joined forces against those who did not want to make the son of God as their God.

We should be strong enough to resist the powers of the adversary of God (satan) and continue to believe in the Only Divine Supreme Being, Adonai Elohim Hashem Jehovah.

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The 18th-century English theologian, Dissenting clergyman Joseph Priestley (1733 – 1804), having separated from the Church of England because his ‘ordinary brain’ has given him much on his mind to think and to consider how one God could be three persons. As a natural philosopher, chemist, educator, and political theorist who published over 150 works, he was not afraid to make his hands dirty to do some good study-work.

Agitated for a wide-reaching Protestant Reformation of the Established Church, he went looking for the Truth, and where could it not be better found than in the Bible itself, the Book of books that church claimed to have as its basis for its teaching. Several ministers refused to use certain vestments and ceremonies of the Church of England, rather than to separate from it. Not many dared to question the fundamental beliefs.

Because of his knowledge of the Holy Scriptures and what the church taught ‘When Joseph was four years old, he could flawlessly recite all 107 questions and answers of the Westminster Short Catechism.)  and his knowledge of the Greek, Latin, and Hebrew, he could see what the phrases said and how the way of writing should be interpreted .

Joseph Priestley’s science was integral to his theology, and he consistently tried to fuse Enlightenment rationalism with Christian theism. The classical rationalism of the 17th and 18th centuries (Descartes, Spinoza, Male-branche, and Leibniz) was based on the idea of natural order—an infinite chain of causality pervading the world. There was a decisive role of reason in both human cognition and human activity and everything should be investigated and checked by the things we know already.For him as scientist it was clear that reason should be used as the chief source and test of knowledge.

Using such a method of research, comparison and elimination, trying to understand the language of the Bible, looking at the words how they were written, placed and used he came to the findings that many church teachings,  presented to the people as dogma’s which they had to believe because they could not understand them, where not according to Biblical texts.

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We should remember

The excerpt from the pamphlet “A General View of the Arguments for the Unity of God,” published in 1794 its third section enumerates arguments from the Scriptures against the trinitarian doctrine:

  1. The doctrine of the Trinity . . . has as little countenance from Scriptures as from reason.
  2. The Scriptures teach us that there is but one God (Exodus 20:3; Deuteronomy 6:4; Psalm 83:19; Mark 12:29; 1 Corinthians 8:6)
  3. The Scriptures teach us the One God sent Jesus Christ to instruct mankind
  4. God empowered Jesus to work miracles
  5. God raised Jesus from the dead
  6. God made Christ, who has to make us and we should be in him (1 Corinthians 8:6)
  7. for followers of Christ there should only One Most High, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in all of them who have one faith, one baptism (Ephesians 4:5, 6)
  8. Bible says there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus (1 Timothy 2:5).
  9. Not only does the word trinity never occur in the Scriptures, but it is nowhere said that there are three persons in this one God; nor is the doctrine explicitly laid down in any other direct proposition whatever.
  10. Christ who did not sin and as such did not tell any lies, indeed says “I and my Father are one,” but he sufficiently explains himself by praying that his disciples might be one with him in the same sense in which he was one with the Father (John 10:30; John 17:21, 22)
  11. The one God is said to have created all things and is one God called the Father, author of all beings
  12. the Creator God is God and Father with respect to Christ, as well as all other persons (John 6:27; John 17:3; John 20:17; Ephesians 1:17; Colosians 1:3).
  13. Christ is said expressly to be inferior to the Father; all his power is said to have been given him by the Father, and he could do nothing without the Father. (John 16:28; 1 Corinthians 3:23; 1 Corinthians 11:3; John 5:19; John 14:10; Matthew 28:18; 2 Peter 1:17;  Revelation 1:1).
  14. God is the Almighty who knows everything and can do everything but:  Some things were withheld from Christ by his Father. (Mark 13:32; Matthew 20:23).
  15. Dominion Christ derived from the Father subordinate to that of the Father. (1 Corinthians 15:24ff.).
  16. Christ always prayed to the Father to whom we also should pray (Matthew 6:9; 26:37ff.; Philippians 4:6; Psalm 5:1-2; Psalm 69:13)
  17. God is Spirit (John 4:24) and his son is Jeshua from Nazareth in the lineage of King David, who came after God, Adam, Moses and Abraham, and who called Jehovah the Only True God. (John 17:1-3; Luke 1:35; John 1:34; John 20:17, 29-31; 1 Peter 1:3; Mark 15:34; Revelation of the apostle John 1:1; 3:12; Matthew 16:16-17; 1 John 4:15)
  18. Christ is not only styled a man even after his resurrection, approved of by God, by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of the people around at that time Jesus was alive and death (Acts 2:22; Hebrews 2:17; Hebrews 2:10; 1 Corinthians 15:21).
  19. Christ now enjoys exaltation,but it is the gift of his Father, and the reward of his obedience unto death. (Philippians 2:8, 9; Hebrews 2:9; Hebrews 12:2).
  20. Think above all those mentioned passages in the Holy Scriptures, compare them with other passages and wonder if the 18th century has reason to believe:

    No person, I think, can, with an unprejudiced mind, attend to these considerations and the texts of Scripture above recited (which are perfectly agreeable to the tenor of the whole), and imagine that it was the intent of the sacred writers to represent Christ either as the supreme God, or as the maker of the world under God.

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  1. Only One God
  2. God is One
  3. One God the Father, a compendium of essays
  4. God of gods
  5. Attributes to God, titles ascribed to Him or Names given to JHWH, the God of gods.
  6. Full authority belongs to God
  7. God Helper and Deliverer
  8. Praise the God with His Name
  9. The Divine name of the Creator
  10. Hashem השם, Hebrew for “the Name”
  11. I Will Cause Your Name To Be Remembered
  12. Jehovah Yahweh Gods Name
  13. Lord or Yahuwah, Yeshua or Yahushua
  14. Fearing the right person
  15. Jesus Messiah
  16. Christ begotten through the power of the Holy Spirit
  17. Jesus spitting image of his father
  18. The Trinity – the Truth
  19. The wrong hero

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  • Joseph Priestley Memorial Chapel (josephpriestly.wordpress.com)
    Priestley’s religiousness carried over to the U.S. when he came here later in life.  The Joseph Priestley Memorial Chapel is the oldest church building in the Borough of Northumberland, PA.
  • The Life and Works of Joseph Priestley (josephpriestly.wordpress.com)
    He performed experiments that also acknowledged photosynthesis.  He hasn’t had the easiest of lives, one full of political and religious torment.  He also did experiments on other things such as photosynthesis and carbonated water.  Still, somehow he managed to perform his oxygen experiments and make sure his name is forever written in our textbooks as one of the best scientists of his time.
  • Early Life (josephpriestly.wordpress.com)
    When Joseph was four years old, he could flawlessly recite all 107 questions and answers of the Westminster Short Catechism.  This showed that he was an extremely intelligent boy and absorbed almost anything put in front of him. His aunt decided to get the best education for him that they could.  They planned to have him become a part of the ministry. Joseph Priestley attended local schools where he learned Greek, Latin, and Hebrew.
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    in 1761 became a tutor at Warrington Academy in Lancashire. Ordained in 1762, he was married that same year to Mary Wilkinson, the sister of the Welsh ironmaster, John Wilkinson. He gradually came to question the divinity of Jesus, while accepting much else of Christianity, in the process becoming an early Unitarian
  • When Scripture Becomes Scripture (afkimel.wordpress.com)
    he writings of the Bible exist as historical artifacts and may therefore be read as historical artifacts. To properly interpret a text we must seek to understand it within its historical context. We need to know all sorts of things: we need to know who wrote it and why; we need to know its intended audience; we need to know the literary genre to which it belongs; we need to know about the society in which the author and audience lived; we need to know the cultural and literary conventions of the time; we need to know the worldview the text inhabits, etc.
  • Trinity: The Truth about Matthew 28:19 & 1 John 5:7 (discoverthetruefacts.wordpress.com)
    The Father is not the Son, nor is the Son the Father, and the Spirit is not the Son, nor is the Spirit the Father. They are all distinct from each other. Yet there are not three Gods, but One God (this is according to Christians). Any human with a sound/sane mind, who is looking for the truth, will see that the Christian doctrine of the Trinity is massive contradiction to what God Almighty stated in the Old Testament. Furthermore this kind of doctrine is never taught by Jesus or his disciples and thus contradicts everything what Jesus taught. If Jesus (p) really taught the doctrine of the Trinity, how come there is not one verse where he states:- “God is One but in three persons” i.e. saying something along the lines, “Father is God Son is God and the Holy Spirit is also God?” Anyone reading throughout the New Testament will see Jesus saying: “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.” Jesus taught Monotheism not Polytheism.
  • Unitarianism and the Bible of the Holy Trinity (afkimel.wordpress.com)
    I do not know if it’s happening throughout worldwide evangelicalism or is restricted to the more intellectually inclined; but I have noticed a curious phenomenon on the internet—a movement amongst evangelicals from trinitarian to unitarian faith. This movement does not necessarily entail the rejection of the teaching of Jesus nor even rejection of the confession of Jesus as Lord and Savior. It is a unitarianism that can accommodate the kind of subordinationism characteristic of some of the second and third century Church Fathers: Jesus and the Spirit are “divine” (in some sense), but only the Father is the one God. Consider, for example, a recent blog article by Kermit Zarley: “Can Genuine Christians Be Trinitarian or Non-Trinitarian?
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    CJ says:
    I think it’s just a function of sola scriptura. I think we can honestly say that the Trinity is not crystal clear from Scripture alone (I say this as a trinitarian). So when one doesn’t have recourse to tradition, what do you do with verses like “my Father is greater than I” or “I return to my Father and your Father, your God and my God?”

    There are other reasons that may particular to an individual. For example, libertarian blogger Vox Day is ok with the Nicene Creed, but takes issue with the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed (with the expanded section on the Holy Spirity) because he perceives it to be the result of imperial meddling. Here’s a link to a discussion of the Trinity on his blog: http://voxday.blogspot.com/2013/10/mailvox-25-reasons-for-trinitarian.html

  • Facts About The Birth Of Jesus (heatonkent.com)
    There are many people who believe Jesus was born on December 25 in a manger with shepherds and three wise men surrounding Him with a star shining above. Nothing is more foreign to the truth or the real story of what the Bible tells of the birth of Christ.
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    The Lord does not reveal when Jesus was born. It was likely in spring but the Bible does not reveal his birthday or the year of His birth. Christ was born somewhere between 7 B.C. and 4 B.C. Herod (Matthew 2:3,16) died in 4 B.C. and Jesus was born during his reign. Ferrell Jenkins writes, “It is impossible to keep Christ in Christ-Mass for He was never in it. The Catholic Church dreamed that up all by themselves without the help of Christ, and I might add, without His approval.” Should we hold to traditions of men instead of God’s word? Jesus said, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, “‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men.” And he said to them, “You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to establish your tradition” (Mark 7:6-9)!
  • Evangelical Nonconformist origins in Leeds (gerardtjcharmley.wordpress.com)
    Moult died in 1727, and was succeeded by Thomas Whittaker, son of the first pastor. His ministry was remarkable not so much for what he did preach, and what he did not preach. The Trinity was barely mentioned, as was election. The congregation declined, as dissatisfied members found homes elsewhere. A few years after his death, the congregation had become Unitarian. Depleted, they eventually united with the church worshiping at Mill Hill Chapel, and Call Lane Chapel became a hired hall, used by a number of sects. – (below, Mill Hill Chapel today)
    .Image

The Immeasurable Grace bestowed on humanity

A passionate seeker for spiritual Truth wherever It is found blogs now for one year with ‘Purple Rays‘. This writer knows that we cannot all blaze a trail! But she is aware that we can all Light up our Corners and leave footprints of Light in the sands of time!

2008 Mingdau University Fashion Fusion Show: T...It may sound ridiculous that we as small human beings somewhere in this vast universe would be able to bring words that can change something in the world. But I am convinced we can do bring change, each in our own environment, and in case we join hands, we can even bring change in places far, far away from where we live. I may send messages from tiny split dark and wet Belgium, but looking at the statistics those messages are read more abroad than in the Flemish, Dutch , French and German parts of this section of the Low Countries.

Inspired by an earnest volition and love to share her thoughts with the world and to learn from the world, the writer brought already a few poetic musings while she seems to be aware that there is a battle of two wolves inside us all. She writes:

A war like the raging calm of the sea! A war with an ominous end! A war difficult for man to win! Since he feeds the wolves at both ends! Arming both friend and foe alike! Devout in prayer but wicked in deeds! Angel in words but evil at heart! How can he win the war and find peace? When he rides on the back of a tiger, And can only end in the belly of the tiger! {The Intellect Continuously Wars Against The Spirit!}

1380648_10152038590170185_985555164_n

Photo from Purple Rays category Engraved in gold series

Though there may be this constant battle in the world she also sees the solution that there is made available for all who want to grasp the Hand of the Provider.

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” (Psalms 46:1 CJB)

She is also aware that the gods and goddesses of old are not figments of the imagination but, nature beings existing through the Will of God and still active today. But I would not agree with her calling them ‘servants of God’. Perhaps they ever tried to be a servant for the Divine Creator and were made more than they themselves wished, because it was, like she says, mankind who erred by making them objects of veneration and worship! I think many of those gods created by man are not serving the Most High Creator, the Spirit God.

To 99% of her listeners, the Purple Rays writer is a Buddhist and for non-Buddhists, her person is defined by what she might not be; not a Moslem, not a Christian, not a ‘believer’, not a true child of God and even worse negative descriptions! But for those people criticising others they should know we all are children of God.  Whatever we may believe, even when we do not want to believe that there exist a God who created heaven and earth, That Divine Creator stays the Maker of everything and the Father of all.

It is God Who allows all those people and gods to exist, and He is it who gives certain qualities to people which they can use for the good or the bad. God has given every body the free will to chose which way to go. It is not a dictator Father who only allows His Ways. Every one of us can say ‘I go my way’ or ‘It is My way’. All received a mind to use and have the freedom to think what they want, to follow those who they want to follow and believe in. The only thing is at the end of the trip, we are ourselves responsible and shall not be able to blame others for our own mistakes.

All people in the world are given the free choice by the Creator to choose in what and in whom they want to believe. He allows us to trust and accept what others say. He is not blind for the many teachers, good ones and false-teachers, there have been and still shall come in the world. We too can choose if we learn something from beings like Buddha, Confucius, Darwin, Gandhi, Muhammad or would like to follow the master teacher Jesus Christ, Jeshua the Messiah and the son of God and the best or real Servant of God!

Yuzen, a buddhist monk from the Sōtō Zen sect ...

Yuzen, a buddhist monk from the Sōtō Zen sect begging at Oigawa, Kyoto. Begging is part of the training of some Buddhist sects. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Purple Rays publishes:

Anyone who is privileged to read the untainted, transmitted accounts of the life and times of these truth bringers, with an open mind, will definitely perceive the Immeasurable Grace bestowed on humanity by their missions on earth! With Divine guidance, they were placed at different times and in different cultures/races to raise the collective consciousness of humanity from one level to the other!
Through countless un-celebrated Sages as well as renowned ones like Krishna, Zoroaster, Lao tse, Cassandra in Atlantis, Buddha, Moses, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, Prophet Muhammad down to Abd-ru-shin, mankind has received the truth unblemished! Each teaching dovetails into the other to form a luminous flight of steps: some at the bottom and some at the top, each forming an inevitable step in the stairway to spiritual maturity and emancipation! {Religion, Beliefs And Worship! (religionists are extreme believers of some sort!)}

She has good reason to believe that

If religion had evolved without prejudice like science and technology, today’s humanity would have recognized which piece each Messenger added to the spiritual consciousness jigsaw puzzle! They would have gone past bitter inter and intra religious rivalry, violent conversions, fanaticism and intolerance! They would have drawn the line between the truth and contrived creeds, dogmas and doctrines!
They would recognize and believe the truth irrespective of whether it issues from the mouth of a Bishop, an Imam or the Dalai Lama!

When people would also recognise the language of others, or all could come to understand and speak the same language, they would not have so much confusion and they would come to see that Allah is the title for God of All. And when they look further they will come to know That God, who can and should be recognised as the Divine Creator of heaven and earth. They shall come and should come to know that That Allah or God has a name which shall have to be known by many before the End of Times will come. His holy or set apart name being Jehovah:

2 And Elohim spoke to Mosheh and said to him, “I am יהוה {Jehovah }.” 3 “And I appeared to Aḇraham {Abraham }, to Yitsḥaq {Isaac }, and to Ya’aqoḇ {Jakob }, as Ěl Shaddai {The One Most High; The Almighty }. And by My Name, יהוה {Jehovah }, was I not known to them? 4 “And I also established My covenant with them, to give them the land of Kena’an, the land of their sojournings, in which they have sojourned. 5 “And I have also heard the groaning of the children of Yisra’ĕl whom the Mitsrites are enslaving, and I have remembered My covenant. 6 “Say, therefore, to the children of Yisra’ĕl, ‘I am יהוה {Jehovah}, and I shall bring you out from under the burdens of the Mitsrites, and shall deliver you from their enslaving, and shall redeem you with an outstretched arm, and with great judgments, 7 and shall take you as My people, and I shall be your Elohim. And you shall know that I am יהוה {Jehovah } your Elohim who is bringing you out from under the burdens of the Mitsrites. 8 ‘And I shall bring you into the land which I swore to give to Aḇraham, to Yitsḥaq, and to Ya’aqoḇ {Jakob }, to give it to you as an inheritance. I am יהוה {Jehovah }.’ ” (Exodus 6:2-8 The Scriptures 1998+)

Though there may be many gods in the world, the God of gods, the Adonai Elohim Hashem יהוה, Jehovah is the Only One God, heavenly Father of every one and Maker and Maintainer or Upkeeper of everything.

Every day we do have to be part of that universe This God of gods allows to exist. In it we do have to find our ways. Without fail and often without even realising it ourselves, we can and we do make some sort of impact on the life of someone else – either directly through our words and actions, or indirectly through our presence and example. We ourselves have to Sow and harvests in the garden of our own heart. We not only have to Control our destiny or somebody else will, we should be careful how we influence others and how we can have an impact on others.

Too many people do forget this impact they can have on others. We all should make more use of the power we have in ourselves, not only to build up or to make ourselves but also the power to change someone’s life, give someone hope, and change someone’s perspective. We should make more use of the power the Creator has given each person to inspire another soul.
Those who believe in That Creator should trust Him more and allow Him to enter their minds and to use them as a messenger, so that He can make us even more powerful and more extraordinary than we may realise and give ourselves credit for.

We shall be surprised that we can shift more stones than we ever thought and that people who see beyond any superficial (imagined) ‘imperfections’ shall be able to find and inspire each other. We also shall be able to meet people who see the magic and the Be You-Ty that lies hidden away in our hearts. {Extraordinary}

With every new heartbeat we may grow and find opportunities to look for wisdom in people their writings and sayings. Above those human beings we do have The Book of books which can guide us through our life as non other. The Words of That Writer, the God of gods, can transform us. And when we are wiling to take the many words of the world in consideration, thinking about them and putting them in the right perspective we can change with every new sunset.

We are not the same person we were yesterday, nor are we the person we will be tomorrow. Somewhere amid the challenges and the frustrations…  the successes and the setbacks… and the hardships and moments of happiness… our cocoon transforms into a butterfly. {Transformation}

When we look at the world, we notice that beauty is born out of every day tensions, suspense, pressure, anxiety and that the beauty is In these tensions because these tensions are called Life.

And life is beautiful.

Let’s remember this season when we are facing again a year coming to its end, soon to face a new year in the ever evolving world, that  there is a reason for everything we are now going though in our lives.

In moments of self-reflection, let’s remember how much we have transformed…and how far we’ve come.

And lets smile at who we have become…and who we are becoming. {Transformation}

World citizen

World citizen (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mary Anne Radmacher said:

Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Laugh. Play with abandon. Fail with enthusiasm. Continue to learn. Love well. Appreciate your friends. Practice wellness. Choose with no regrets. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.

Autumn reminds us how life can be so short and soon be taken away. It is the now that we do have to live. It is the now we do have to make it. We should not hesitate. We should not postpone until to morrow or until later, to become until never, forbearance being no acquittance. Do not tempt that all would not be lost that is delayed. Be sure that tomorrow never comes for such people.

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Preceding:

Patriarch Abraham, Muslims, Christians and the son of God

Holidays, holy days and traditions

Hanukkahgiving or Thanksgivvukah

Thanksgivukkah and Advent

Please do find to read:

  1. Change
  2. Only I can change my life
  3. Time for global change
  4. The wrong hero
  5. Idolatry or idol worship
  6. Worship and worshipping
  7. “Who is The Most High” ? Who is thee Eternal? Who is Yehovah? Who is God?
  8. The manager and Word of God
  9. The Word being a quality or aspect of God Himself
  10. Did the Inspirator exist
  11. God Helper and Deliverer
  12. God is one
  13. God of gods
  14. Only one God
  15. Attributes to God, titles ascribed to Him or Names given to JHWH, the God of gods.
  16. One God the Father, a compendium of essays
  17. Full authority belongs to God
  18. Creator of heaven and earth and everything around יהוה
  19. God about His name “יהוה“
  20. Praise the God with His Name
  21. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #1 Kings Faith
  22. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #2 Calling upon the Name of God
  23. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #2 Instructions and Laws
  24. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #3 A voice to be taken Seriously
  25. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #4 Words in Scripture
  26. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #5 To meditate and Transform
  27. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #3 Callers upon God
  28. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #7 Prayer #5 Listening Ear
  29. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #11 Prayer #9 Making the Name Holy
  30. The Divine name of the Creator
  31. Hashem השם, Hebrew for “the Name”
  32. Jehovah Yahweh Gods Name
  33. Who Is Jehovah?
  34. Creator and Blogger God 10 A Blog of a Book 4 Listening to the Blogger
  35. Lord or Yahuwah, Yeshua or Yahushua
  36. Jesus Messiah
  37. Jesus spitting image of his father
  38. Servant of his Father
  39. Religious Practices around the world
  40. The Trinity: paganism or Christianity?
  41. The Trinity – the Truth
  42. How do trinitarians equate divine nature
  43. About a man who changed history of humankind
  44. The Christ, the anointed of God
  45. The radiance of God’s glory and the counsellor
  46. He has given us the Pneuma, the force, from Him
  47. Promise of Comforter
  48. The inspiring divine spark
  49. Fearing the right person
  50. No prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation
  51. If you think you’re too small to be effective
  52. Communion and day of worship
  53. En Soma: One Body
  54. Parts of the body of Christ
  55. What part of the Body am I?
  56. The Church, Body of Christ and remnant Israel synonymous
  57. United people under Christ
  58. Rebirth and belonging to a church
  59. Making church
  60. A learning process for each of us
  61. Chief means by which men are built up
  62. Character transformed by the influence of our fellowships
  63. If we, in our prosperity, neglect religious instruction and authority
  64. Holiness and expression of worship coming from inside
  65. Being of good courage running the race
  66. Fellowship
  67. An ecclesia in your neighborhood
  68. Intentions of an Ecclesia
  69. Church sent into the world
  70. Sow and harvests in the garden of your heart
  71. Careful what you sow, it might grow
  72. Control your destiny or somebody else will
  73. Act as if everything you think, say and do determines your entire life
  74. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  75. Faith related boycotts
  76. Quit griping about your church
  77. Migrants to the West #6
  78. Migrants to the West #10 Religious freedom
  79. Try driving forward instead of backwards
  80. Aim High: Examples of Godly Characters to follow
  81. Gods hope and our hope
  82. Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God
  83. Only worship the Creator of all things

Additional reading:

  1. Will God’s People Be Stumbled By The Name Of Jehoshua?
  2. Jesus – The Promised Messiah
  3. If the Father is the “only true God” (John 17:3) , does that mean that Jesus is a false god?
  4. The Father (Jehovah) is God Alone
  5. Is God comprised of three persons, or is He just one person?
  6. What Does the Bible Say About Free Will? Is God in Control?

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  • Declaring Your Power (thedivinecovenant.wordpress.com)
    Let it be known to all past, present and future, that this most sacred Covenant known as Pactum De Singularis Caelum, also known as the Covenant of One Heaven, is registered, recorded and recognized in all Heaven and the Universe as the deed that has lawfully conveyed any and all property back to the Society of One Heaven, so that no Level 6 Life Form, person, higher order spirit, entity or aggregate may claim to hold separate title, possession, occupation or ownership of property, unless it has been legitimately granted through the Society of One Heaven or an associated entity;
  • Immeasurably More (poynterjourney.wordpress.com)
    I love the word “immeasurably” – too large to measure! That is our God! He is able to do more than we could ever think or imagine because He is the bomb like that!I think we underestimate God way too much.  We put Him in our mind like He is a human.  Humans fall short, humans fail, humans let each other down.  God is not a flawed human – He’s a Perfect God and He loves you beyond what you could ever imagine.
  • “Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible” The DalaiLama (pocketperspectives.wordpress.com)
    Sometimes, it might seem easy to access a sense of kindness. Other times, it seems, at least for me, a bit more “challenging.”  ( “whenever possible” seems to be my range… “always possible” is an aspiration: “look, far away there  in the distance are my highest aspirations”...Louisa May Alcott )
  • An Encounter with the Dalai Lama (asiasketches.wordpress.com)
    If there was a reason we chose McLeod Ganj, it was to be in the Himalayas and encounter a bit of Tibetan culture. We had no idea we would attend a teaching by the Dalai Lama.
    +
    Buddhists must first respect all religions. First respect, then learn, understand. Buddha not want all the world Buddhist, not want all Buddhist teach Buddhism” and I try in vain to imagine the leaders of other major religions saying something similar.He relates the importance of religious pluralism and then says, “OK, so, let’s have some tea,” and releases a deep sincere belly laugh as he raises his cup. The seated admirers raise cups and drink and eat their biscuits.
  • “If you think y… (js250226.wordpress.com)
    “If you think you’re too small to make a difference, try getting in bed with a mosquito.”- Dalai Lama XIV
  • Pope Francis I: The Catholic Dalai Lama? (elephantjournal.com)
    Pope Francis:“It is clear that, when we show respect for the religion of our neighbours or when we offer them our good wishes on the occasion of a religious celebration, we simply seek to share their joy, without making reference to the content of their religious convictions.”
  • Gerald O’Donnell ~ Happy Thanksgiving 2013 And Beyond (shiftfrequency.com)
    It is customary in many countries around the world and part of ancient traditions to join in thanksgiving festivities addressed to the Creator for the bounties and the harvest that have been bestowed upon each of us in the prior year.This tradition is not only part of the new world but is as old as mankind’s birth as an organized family and community.
    +

    What really counts is what is alive: humanity, and its living environment of the natural world. What counts is what has consciousness, which is part of the Divine, and not what is but dead matter and dying dreams created by fear and lack-oriented consciousness.

    What really counts is to decide, in common accord, to enter a bountiful oriented consciousness, that knows that all that is needed is already present, some of it in yet unmanifest format, ready to be discovered and activated by us, but most of it already in manifested format.

    What is needed, is to dream and act for the good of all humanity and be willing to gift unconditionally in the name of unconditional Love your presents, and presence to all, without expecting anything in return, as a mother or a father would want to gift to their child.
    +
    You will notice that all other old forms of lack and fear-based systems have all been fundamentally strengthened in recent times, on purpose, as a lesson for all of humanity to feel their painful consequences. These will soon be witnessed, by all of you, as fully and terminally imploding under their own weight as they show us the misguided choices and roads they caused us to travel and travail in hardship for thousands of years.

  • Unpacking Unthankfulness (ccmirvine.org)
    … we are minimizing God’s grace and goodness and trampling on His glory by belittling what He has done for us? Unthankfulness isn’t just a rude or inconsiderate act, it is an affront to God Himself. That is how unthankfulness is offensive to God.
    +
    We have seen the offensiveness of unthankfulness, but what about the effect that this sin has on us?
    +
    If we do not destroy this sin of unthankfulness, it has the potential to destroy us.
  • All BEings are Divine (amuseinharmony.wordpress.com)
    all beings, including human beings are divine manifestations of Creator Source on the physical earth plane materialized in various forms for the purpose of expansion. the earth is mother to us all. we are organisms formed from her womb. as she ascends, so shall we. the mother loves her humans as she does all creatures or our existence would no longer be. our love and unity with her and all her inhabitants is our duty as earth walkers.
    "Mother Earth" by Karl Bang
  • Words Of God (thedivinecovenant.wordpress.com)
    Before any higher order society, religion, or civilization existed within the star system we call the Solar System; Before the first thoughts, symbols or words were ever conceived, drawn or uttered by our higher order flesh ancestors; Before even matter itself existed, the idea of existence did exist in the form of that which we call God, the Universal, the Absolute, the ALL, the Divine Unique Collective Awareness;
  • Tibet in India (asiasketches.wordpress.com)
    Repression of the Tibetan way of life in Tibet and the draw of education at the Tibetan Children’s Village in McLeod Ganj pull these children to India. The stronger magnet, however, is the chance to see and be in the presence of the 14th Dalai Lama, who lives in McLeod Ganj. For Tibetans, the Dalai Lama is the closest thing to a god that exists. In China, Tibetans have been led to believe that he died in 1960.
  • Dalai Lama speaks on harmony to religious followers at Tokyo temple (japandailypress.com)
    The famous leader went on to explain that most of the problems humans encounter are of their own making, and thinking that they are all different from one another. This kind of thinking has a tendency to separate people instead of uniting them. His speech centered on the essential “oneness” of all people and emphasized on the divisiveness that comes with focusing on the “them” and “us,” rather than on the “we”, as a whole. Religious harmony is one thing that His Holiness has committed himself to, and hopes that it is something that Japan can contribute to as well.
  • China vows to silence Dalai Lama in Tibet (nation.com.pk)
    The Dalai Lama, who fled to India in 1959 after a failed uprising against Chinese rule, says he advocates greater autonomy for Tibetans rather than independence.
    Chen referred to Tibet as “a front line of the struggle against separatism” and vowed to “strengthen the role of party committees at every level, as the sole power”, in the editorial.
    Tensions between Tibetans and the Chinese government continue run high, with more than 120 members of the minority setting themselves on fire in protest in recent years, leading to a security crackdown.

Thanksgivukkah and Advent

Having several Holy days around us we should consider why those days are special and deserve to be placed separate (holiness : being set apart).

Dedication and illumination

In this Rosh Hashana greeting card from the ea...

In this Rosh Hashana greeting card from the early 1900s, Russian Jews, packs in hand, gaze at the American relatives beckoning them to the United States. Over two million Jews fled the pogroms of the Russian Empire to the safety of the U.S. from 1881-1924. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Jews have their eight day festival of Hanukkah, the Feast of Dedication, also called “Feast of the Maccabees“, in the Talmud principally known as the “Feast of Illumination.” But what is illuminated? Is it just about displaying eight lamps on the first night of the festival, and to reduce the number on each successive night, or to begin with one lamp the first night, increasing the number till the eighth night? Or is it only remembering the relighting of the altar-fire by Nehemiah due to a miracle which occurred on the twenty-fifth of Kislev?

A Ḥanukkah Lamp found in Jerusalem Excavations.(In the possession of J. D. Eisenstein) says:

“[We thank Thee] also for the miraculous deeds and for the redemption and for the mighty deeds and the saving acts wrought by Thee, as well as for the wars which Thou didst wage for our fathers in days of yore at this season.

Provider of light, waters, earth, plants and animals

Clearly it is not just only saying thanks for the wars having come to a good end. It is also a time to reflect on the Wonders of the Most High Adonai. Throughout history the Divine Creator God did not only provide the light of this world, the streaming waters, the food giving plants and the many animals which can be used as meat to get more strength.

In the days of the Hasmonean Mattathias, son of Johanan the high priest, and his sons, when the iniquitous kingdom of Greece [Syria] rose up against God  tried to make His people Israel forget God His Law and to turn them away from the ordinances of His Will. Taking this in mind we should notice that those adversaries of God (Satan) did not manage to get the people of God away from God. In God His abundant mercy He lifted them up. Those occupied with the Law of God could manage to get through all the troubles which came over them by the many years.

A blessing from the Jews

Not only the Jews should remember those blessings God gave to His people. By the deed of the only begotten son of God, the Jewish Nazarene Jeshua (Jesus Christ) salvation has come to other people people than the Jewish Judean people. Everybody has been called to follow Jesus the Messiah. He has been the greatest gift the Most High has given the world.

To say thanks for that gift and the many other blessings God has given this world many protestants feast Thanksgiving Day. This year they can celebrate their holy days with the Jews and give them also a stronger feeling of being respected as the Chosen People of our Creator. Certainly in this time of  growing anti-Semitism it is necessary that people are remembered of their special role those people do have in the Plan of God and world-peace.

Season of giving presents

Julius.jpg
Electric candle lights on the first Sunday in Advent

Catholics do like a lot of gifts and are also entering a season of gifts. This weekend they celebrate the beginning of Advent, looking forward to the ‘Light of God’. Following the Sunday of the Feast of Christ the King they have this weekend  Advent Sunday, starting a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus which they celebrate at Christmas. On the night of 5 to 6 December Catholic, Lutheran, and Orthodox Christians have Saint Nicholas bringing presents for the children. On the 24th and 25th of December they have their most special day of the year, being Christmas. Followed by the last day to give presents on the first day of the New Year, celebrating the circumcision of Jesus. That Feast of the Circumcision is also celebrated in the Eastern Orthodox Church on January 1 in whichever calendar (Old or New) is used, and is also celebrated on the same day by many Anglicans.

Advent wreaths are used to mark the passage of the season.

In the Advent Roman Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, Moravian, Presbyterian and Methodist believers think about the first and second coming of Christ. (Parousia ancient Greek word meaning presence, arrival, or official visit, is adventus in Latin.) Those Christians do look for the shining of their lord. That manifestation, striking appearance they also want to celebrate in the feast with that name epiphany (“appearing”) which they took from the Greeks who used ‘epiphaneia’ to describe the glorious manifestation of the gods, and by the Romans as a title for the Emperor. For them Christ Jesus is such a manifestation or appearance of a divine or superhuman being and a manifestation of the gods, being god the son, God the Father and God the Holy Spirit.

Passage of season

Like the protestants with their celebration of Thanksgiving, the Christians who celebrate the Advent remember the passage of the seasons and the special gift God has given the world. Both take it also as a time to meditate on the Works of God and how He is the Light in the dark, guiding us to the way to enter the Kingdom of God, by means of His only begotten son Jesus, the bringer of peace.

A godly mother

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/9/9e/Paolo_de_Matteis_-_The_Annunciation.jpg/330px-Paolo_de_Matteis_-_The_Annunciation.jpg
Annunciation by Paolo de Matteis, 1712. The white lily in the angel’s hand is symbolic of Mary’s purity in Marian art.

The Catholic religion follows the Roman theology presenting Christ his mother as the Venus, the yielding, watery female principle, essential to the generation and balance of life. The annunciation to Mary (Annunciation to the Blessed Virgin Mary or Annunciation of the Lord) is the Christian celebration of the announcement by the angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary that she would conceive and become the mother of Jesus, the Son of God, marking an Incarnated God and having her as the mother of god or the Venus who embodies sex, love, beauty, enticement, seduction, and persuasive female charm among the community of immortal gods.

Having Jesus an incarnation, he fitted Hermes the god of transitions and boundaries, intercessor between mortals and the divine, and conductor of souls into the afterlife. A bringer of presents he symbolises also Mercury, the patron god of financial gain, commerce, eloquence (and thus poetry), messages/communication (including divination), and travellers who will show the way to himself as the most important god.

Like Turms was the equivalent of Roman Mercury and Greek Hermes, both gods of trade and the messenger god between people and gods, Jesus is now celebrated as the divine messenger and god having come down on the earth to save his people.

Bringer of peace

When we look at the description of Jesus in Catholic theology books we clearly can see the superposition of the man born in Bethlehem on the Greek and Roman gods. Having him as Bringer of peace also fits those pagan gods, but we do know that the Real and Only One God told His people to bring a messenger of peace. Lots of Jews did also expect to find in the Nazarene Jeshua (Jesus) to find their liberator or the Messiah who could get rid of the Roman oppressor.

These days we should think of that messenger who brought ‘Grace’ and liberated us not from Romans or any other government literally, but liberated us spiritually and gave us a hope for a better future. That Nazarene Jew is the man of flesh and blood who offered himself so that we would receive space to develop ourselves in the liking of the Creator. By him we should be able to find the way to see the space of all creativity, the connection to the Divine. Many still keep looking outside themselves, but they forget how in the Scriptures is told that we should go into our own body. We can not blame others for our being what we are. We have to create ourselves and find the connection that is inside of us.

Lots of people are looking in the world around them. They should know that there is not really another place where they have to go to. Everybody is enabled to find Him who gives peace, comfort, blessings also in this life here and know on earth. Jesus prepared the way and made it possible that we can speak freely to his Father, the only One God. We just have to come to Him and just have to talk to him, as our closest Friend and He will answer and come to us.

If we want to come to peace, first of all we do have to create peace in ourselves. Therefore we should love ourselves and give the love of Christ the chance to grow in us. Like Jesus showed the world his love we also should find the inner peace he had. Like his peace brought water of life our inner peace should flow out of us flowing into the world.

Time to meditate and to feel

Various menorot used for Hanukkah. 12th throug...

Various menorot used for Hanukkah. 12th through 19th century, CE (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Putting on those candles in this holiday season, being Jew or Christian, those believers are demanded to see beyond the candle light and to see the real light. they also should come to feel a stillness deep within them, and should get to know how to look for that stillness that allows them to seek the Most High Almighty God Who is One Elohim Hashem Jehovah.

These days we get time to consider how lucky we are where we live and what we can do. We should become aware of all the things we really do get without doing enough for it. We must be aware of the nourishment we can get and the opportunities we get to live nicely and to come to an environment of peace. But oh, so often, we do not see it. We do run past it. We have our eyes shut so that we can not see it. It is all so close to us, but we do have to be willing to open our eyes and be willing to see.

God is prepared to give it you all, but you have to recognise Him and to take His hand.

“Hanukkah as the holiday of ‘miracles’ can help us reframe our gathering together with family and friends at this secular season as an incredible miracle that requires much gratitude,”

David Fainsilber, religious leader at the Jewish Community of Greater Stowe said.

“Thank God for this miracle of life and family, gathering, friends and gratitude.”

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Preceding: A Meaningful Thanksgivukkah

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Read also:

  1. Hanukkahgiving or Thanksgivvukah
  2. Being thankful
  3. Thanksgiving-Hanukkah overlap spurs thanks, angst
  4. What happens when you cross Thanksgiving with Hanukkah?
  5. Holiness and expression of worship coming from inside
  6. Count your blessings
  7. God’s Salvation
  8. Written to recognise the Promissed One
  9. A “seed” for the blessing of all mankind would come through the family of Abraham

Dutch articles about the advent:

  1. Adventstijd bezinningstijd
  2. Advent een tijd voor reflectie
  3. Uitkijken naar twee adventen
  4. Een “zaad” voor de zegening van de gehele mensheid gekomen door de familie van Abraham
  5. Uit u zal voorkomen degene die heerser in Israël zal worden
  6. Het grootste geschenk ons gegeven
  7. Wat betreft Korte inhoud van lezingen: Bijgeloof en feesten

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Find also additional reading:

  1. Do No-Thing: The Power of Self Love.
  2. Crazy Messy Love: [Insert Faith Here.]
  3. Legacy of peace
  4. Its Never to Late
  5. I Was to write about love

+++

  • Jen And Tim Get A Taste Of Thanksgivukkah (new102.cbslocal.com)
    On Thursday, November 28th, the first day of Hanukkah falls on the same day as Thanksgiving. Many popular websites such as Buzzfeed have created recipes for American Jews so they can incorporate both holidays and have some neat decorating ideas as well.
  • Next Thanksgivukkah in 70,000 years (vtdigger.org)
    “The calendar is drifting forward with respect to the solar cycle at a rate of four days every 1,000 years,” he said. “Right now, the earliest that the first day of Hanukkah can fall is Nov. 28. Coincidentally, this is also the latest that Thanksgiving can fall.”Other mathematicians argue that the phenomenon will never happen again. Regardless, everyone agrees on one thing: Thanksgivukkah is an extremely rare and significant event in our lifetimes.
    +

    Thanksgivukkah is big business. People are selling T-shirts, table décor, dreidels, jewelry and more in honor of the super holiday.

    But regardless of how people choose to celebrate Thanksgivukkah, this unique historical event offers Jewish Americans an opportunity for introspection and reflection, said David Fainsilber, religious leader at the Jewish Community of Greater Stowe.

    “The thinker behind Reconstructionist Judaism, Mordechai Kaplan, was the first to introduce a Thanksgiving service into his siddur/prayer book,” Fainsilber said. “One of his main contributions to Jewish thought is the concept that, as Jews in America, we live in two civilizations: American and Jewish. Today, as American Jews (or Jewish Americans) this concept is now taken for granted in many ways.

  • Thanksgivukkah 2013 (be-watchful.com)
    Both holidays are about being thanksful so that shouldn’t be too difficult. Thanksgiving is a day when Americans count our blessings and give thanks to those who fought for our freedom and for all that we have. We share a day together with our loved ones.
  • 18 Reasons Why Thanksgivukkah Gives Jews The Best Of Both Worlds (elitedaily.com)
    While it may be a little annoying for some Jews to have to meld two of their favorite holidays into one, it could be a lot worse: imagine if Thanksgiving fell on Yom Kippur! Thanksgivkippur would be terrible! When you think about it, it’s actually pretty awesome that the two holidays fall on the same day. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity that every Jew should embrace and look forward to.Here are 18 reasons why Thanksgivukkah gives Jews the best of both worlds
  • Q-C Jews celebrate Thanksgivukkah (qctimes.com)
    Justin Teitle of Bettendorf says his family’s partying like it’s 1999.He’s Jewish. His wife is Lutheran. Their two children are Jewish. And Thursday was the only time any of them will ever see Thanksgiving and the beginning of Hanukkah fall on the same day. The next time the two coincide will be 79,000 years.
    +
    “We see it as a great chance for our kids to participate in something that isn’t going to happen again, like New Year’s Eve before the year 2000,” Teitle said.
  • Happy Thanksgivukkah (mymorningmeditations.com)
    Amazement never ceases for the enlightened mind.At every moment it views in astonishment the wonder of an entire world renewed out of the void, and asks, “How could it be that anything at all exists?”-Rabbi Tzvi Freeman
    +
    In my recent investigation into the concept (as opposed to the movement) of Christian fundamentalism, I see that at its heart, it is just the attempt to render a basic definition of the essentials of what makes a Christian. It’s the minimum set of standards, so to speak, that one must uphold to be an authentic believer.
  • St. Louis Jews celebrate Thanksgivukkah for first time since 1800s (fox2now.com)
    Peggy Umansky has enjoyed preparing for both holidays simultaneously. “People have been very inventive,” she says, “I have half my house decorated for Hanukkah, half decorated for Thanksgiving.”

    Umansky and her daughter made pumpkin-flavored challah, shaped and decorated like a turkey.  “I think it’s fun for the kids when the secular world meets the religious world, and they see that everything can coexist and be fun together,” she explains.

  • ‘Happy Thanksgivukkah!’ (endtimebibleprophecy.wordpress.com)
    Judith Mendelsohn Rood, a Jewish Christian and professor of history and Middle Eastern studies at Biola University, connected Hanukkah to one of Jesus’ most important teachings. In an interview this week, Rood cited John 10:22-42, when Jesus celebrated the Feast of Dedication at Jerusalem.

    “In the Old Testament, there’s the festival of tabernacles, where people lived in booths in the fields for eight days,” Rood explained. In the time of Judas Maccabeus, the ruling Greeks would not allow the Jews to celebrate this feast. Once the Maccabees freed Israel from their rule, however, they celebrated Succoth late, and that gave rise to Hanukkah, Rood said.

Anti-Semitism ‘on the rise’ in Europe

For some years now in Belgium we see a bad evolution, similar as the trend was evolving in the 1930s Berlin.

Media creating an idea of danger

Once a world full of entertainment and “joy de vivre”, without financial restriction the people loved to have their freedom, going out until late in the morning.  Being drunk they passed others, but found themselves, by their anti-social behaviour more looked at. This annoyed them. with the financial crisis they also saw that they could not any more enjoy their going out “a volonté” and could not have so many trips to other countries any more. Aannoying as well was that some cheaper regions became more dangerous because of Muslim Fundamentalists. Those also came more in the news and tried to get more Belgians involved in their ‘road to Damascus’. Sharia for Belgium took care that the Muslim community came in a worse picture, and the media did the rest to present all those Muslims as a danger for our community.

The banks corrupting and the financial market bringing down the people with the little savings while the Jews still kept the thriving market of jewellery. Seeing those sometimes ‘poorly’ black dressed Jews was a sneer in the face of those who envied their money.

Antisemitism is one of the most alarming examples of how prejudice can endure, lingering on for centuries, curbing Jewish people’s chances to enjoy their legally guaranteed rights to human dignity, freedom of thought, conscience and religion or non-discrimination. Despite European Union (EU) and Member States’ best efforts, many Jews across the EU continue to face insults, discrimination, harassment and physical violence that may keep them from living
their lives openly as Jews. Nevertheless, there is little concrete information available on the extent and nature of antisemitism that Jewish people encounter in the EU today – whether at work, in public places, at school or in the media – information critical to policy makers seeking to craft effective solutions to bring an end to such discrimination.

Nazi Anti-Semitic propaganda at Yad Vashem

Nazi Anti-Semitic propaganda at Yad Vashem (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Data by European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights

The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) has reported on the available official and unofficial data on antisemitic incidents in its Annual report on Fundamental rights: challenges and achievements, as well as in a separate annual working paper – Antisemitism: Summary overview of the situation in the EU – which presents trends on the available data covering up to 10 years. This provides a long-term view of the developments concerning
antisemitic incidents. These reports are part of FRA’s body of work on hate crime, shining light on the experiences of various groups such as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) persons, immigrants and ethnic minorities, and persons with disabilities.

The available data fail to answer many questions, however, which are of keen interest to policy makers looking to improve responses to antisemitic acts. Effective solutions require information on the types of antisemitic incidents, the context in which they take place and the reasons why many incidents are not reported at all, indeed, why official statistics markedly underestimate the number of antisemitic incidents and the number of people exposed to these acts.
Furthermore, even the most basic official statistics on antisemitic incidents are not available in many EU Member States.

Need for rallying against something

For some it might be clear that people need something to rally against to stay united. A good example of that we could see in the ‘Cold War’ where we had the West against the East, the Americans against the Soviets. Many do think it was the best time when they had the USA to rally against the USSR. Several Americans do find they have come to sit in a slow-motion train wreck of a divisive, culturally degenerative society ever since the Soviet Union ceased to give them purpose and unity.

Others consider that certain people are looking for it by placing themselves as a separate people. They are convinced that the Jewish religion encourages a separate identity for Jews, asking them to keep themselves apart in certain respects from the cultures they live within. That naturally can lead to conflict. People hate certain Christians for much the same reason. Those who want to follow the Only One God undergo the difficulty of ‘not being of this world’ and still having ‘to be part of this world’. Non-trinitarians are as ridiculed and confounded as the Jews who have the same God of Abraham. (Check in your own environment how people do think for example of Jehovah Witnesses.)

Blamed for suffering

It's not a question of religion, the Jew is of...

It’s not a question of religion, the Jew is of a different race and the enemy of ours. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Historically, Jews have had religious traditions and doctrines that have allowed them to thrive (or at least survive) where others have struggled. Because those people did follow the Laws of the Divine Creator somehow they also where protected and blessed by this Creator God. They also seemed to cope better with their struggle for life and their suffering, which was a thorn in the flesh for the people around them who underwent more difficulties with the same problems.

During the Black Plague, Jews washed themselves more often than once a year, which reduced their infection rate; they were blamed.
Due to Christian bans on usury, they were inevitably the money lenders; they were blamed.

Having been able to cope with many diseases, many terrible incidents, every-time springing up again, like not destroyable weed, always forming one union with their community, combined with being members of a highly visible minority where race and religion are not equal but intermingled, is sufficient to trigger envy by others who also look at the actions taken in Israel where walls are build and Palestinians provoked.

2012 Survey

5,847 self-identified Jewish people (aged 16 years or over) in eight EU Member States – Belgium, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Sweden and the
United Kingdom gave their answers for the survey which was carried out online during September and October 2012.

Two thirds of the survey respondents (66 %) consider antisemitism to be a problem across the eight EU Member States surveyed, while on average three quarters of the respondents (76 %) also believe that the situation has become more acute and that antisemitism has increased in the country where they live over the past five years. In the 12 months following the survey, close to half of the respondents (46 %) worry about being verbally insulted or harassed in a public place because they are Jewish, and one third (33 %) worry about being physically attacked in the country where they live because they are Jewish. Furthermore, 66 % of parents or grandparents of school-aged children worry that their children could be subjected to antisemitic verbal insults or harassment at school or en route, and 52 % worry that they would be physically attacked with an antisemitic motive while at school or en route. In the past 12 months, over half of all survey respondents (57 %) heard or saw someone claim that the Holocaust was a myth or that it has been exaggerated.

Protecting Jewish people from discrimination

About one quarter of respondents (23 %) said that they have felt discriminated against on the grounds of their religion or ethnic background in the 12 months preceding the survey. Specifically concerning discrimination because of being Jewish, the respondents in all eight EU Member States indicate that they are most likely to experience discrimination at the workplace (11 % of respondents who were working during the period have experienced this), when looking for work (10 % of respondents who have been looking for work) or on the part of people working in the education sector (8 % of respondents in school or training or whose children were in school or training have felt discriminated against by people working in this area). More than three quarters (82 %) of those who said that they have felt discriminated against during the period because they are Jewish did not report the most serious incident, namely the one that most affected them, to any authority or organisation.

Antisemitism on the internet

Antisemitism on the internet – including, for example, antisemitic comments made in discussion forums and on social networking sites – is a significant concern for a majority of respondents. Overall, 75 % of respondents consider antisemitism online to be a problem, while another 73 % believe antisemitism online has increased over the last five years.
More than 80 % of the respondents living in Belgium, France, Hungary and Italy are concerned by the level of antisemitism on the internet which they say has increased either a lot or a little. Antisemitic hostility in public places and antisemitism in the media are the next two manifestations that respondents are most likely to perceive as on the rise.

Meeting the needs of Jewish victims of hate crime

Antisemitism in Budapest Gyermekavasut

Antisemitism in Budapest Gyermekavasut (Photo credit: Yigal Chamish)

One quarter of respondents (26 %) experienced some form of antisemitic harassment in the 12 months preceding the survey – including various offensive and threatening acts, for example, receiving written anti-semitic messages, phone calls, being followed or receiving offensive antisemitic comments in person or on the internet, according to the survey results. Overall, 4 % of respondents experienced physical violence or threats of violence because they are Jewish in the 12 months preceding the survey. Of all respondents, 3 % on average said that their personal property has been deliberately vandalised, because they are Jewish, in the 12 months preceding the survey. A majority of the victims of anti-semitic harassment (76 %), physical violence or threats (64 %), or vandalism of personal property (53 %) did not report the most serious incident, namely the one that most affected the respondent, in the past five years to the police or to any other organisation protecting Jewish people from discrimination The relative position of antisemitism on the list of other social and political issues varies slightly among the EU Member States surveyed. When asked to consider whether each of the items presented is a problem or not in the country where they live, the respondents rated unemployment (85 % saying that it was ‘a very big’ or ‘a fairly big problem’), state of the economy (78 %) and racism (72 %) ahead of antisemitism (66 %) in terms of the present magnitude of the problem. Anti-semitism was followed as a problem, respondents said, by crime levels (62 %), immigration (59 %), religious intolerance (54 %), state of health services (51 %) and government corruption (40 %). In contrast with other countries, in Germany antisemitism was regarded as the greatest problem (61 %) in comparison to the other issues listed in the survey, such as unemployment (59 %), racism (57 %) or others.

Respondents from all the EU Member States surveyed except of Germany – consider unemployment to be the most pressing issue facing the country where they live.
Over 90 % of respondents in five countries (France, Hungary, Italy, Latvia and the United Kingdom) saw the state of the economy as ‘a very big’ or ‘a fairly big problem’. Respondents in Germany and Sweden seem less concerned with the state of the economy – 41 % and 25 % of the respondents, respectively, said it is ‘a very big’ or ‘a fairly big problem’.

Most pressing social and political issues

Antisemitism was rated among the three most pressing social and political issues in France, Germany and Sweden (85 %, 61 % and 60 %, respectively, considered it ‘a very big’ or ‘a fairly big problem’). In a pattern that differs slightly from the other survey countries, respondents in Belgium viewed – besides unemployment – crime levels and immigration as the problems which most affect the country where they live (81 % and 80 %, respectively).

Respondents in Hungary and Italy alone considered government corruption to be among the top three problems in the country where they live (94 % of respondents voiced this opinion in both countries). A notable share of respondents in Latvia and the United Kingdom identified the state of health services as a problem (92 % and 69 % of respondents, respectively).

Respondents were also asked whether they felt that antisemitism has increased or decreased during the past five years in the country where they live. Antisemitism is reported to be on the increase – having increased ‘a lot’ or increased ‘a little’ – by a majority of respondents in all eight EU Member States surveyed . The percentage of respondents indicating that antisemitism has increased over the past five years was especially high (about 90 %) in Belgium, France and Hungary. These are also the countries, as shown earlier, where the respondents were most likely to say that antisemitism is ‘a very
big’ or ‘a fairly big problem’ today.

Manifestations and Attacks to affect community

Antisemitic attacks have a profound impact not only on the individuals concerned and those close to them, but certain manifestations of antisemitism also affect the Jewish community as a whole.

Among the specific manifestations listed, online antisemitism is seen as a particular problem: three quarters of all respondents (75 %) consider this either ‘a very big’ or a ‘fairly big problem’, and almost as many (73 %) believe that it hasincreased over the past five year.

59 % of the respondents feel that antisemitism in the media is ‘a very big’ or ‘a fairly big problem’, while 54 % say the same about expressions of hostility towards Jews in the street and other public places. Half (50 %) consider desecration of cemeteries to be a problem.

The majority of the respondents in France (84 %), Belgium (74 %) and Hungary (72 %) consider expressions of hostility towards Jews in the street and other public spaces to be ‘a very big’ or ‘a fairly big problem’ in the country. In Sweden (51 %) and Germany (48 %), about half the respondents consider it a problem, while in Italy (30 %) or the United Kingdom (35 %) one third of the respondents do so.

Arena’s

Regarding the four arenas where antisemitic comments may occur and comparing the eight survey countries, respondents from Belgium, France and Hungary indicate in particular antisemitic reporting in the media (64 %, 70 %, and 71 %, respectively, to be ‘a very big problem’ or ‘a fairly big problem’) and antisemitic comments in discussions people have (69 %, 72 %, and 76 %, respectively). Respondents in France and Hungary (87 % each) highlight political speeches and discussions. Respondents in Latvia were less likely than those in the other countries surveyed to highlight any of the four arenas as very or fairly problematic with regard to spreading antisemitic content. In Sweden and the United Kingdom, less than half of all respondents consider that  antisemitic content is ‘a very big’ or ‘a fairly big problem’ in three of the four arenas, with the exception of antisemitism on the internet, for which respondents living in those two countries also give a higher rating, seeing it as a problem.

Prevalence and context of negative statements about Jews

Hearing or seeing statements that offend human dignity by assigning fictional negative attributes to individuals as members of a group can be detrimental to Jewish people’s sense of safety and security and undermine their ability to live their lives openly as Jews. The FRA survey addresses this issue by asking respondents to what extent they have been exposed to certain statements selected for the survey, and whether they consider these statements antisemitic. The statements selected cover various issues including the role of the Jewish community in society, their interests and distinctiveness, attitudes towards historical experiences and current issues. These statements do not necessarily reflect the whole spectrum of antisemitic views or connotations. They were used to guide the respondent into thinking about situations where they may have heard negative comments about Jewish people, in order to identify the contexts in which Jewish people hear these comments and to describe the person or persons who made the comments.
Respondents’ assessments concerning these statements offer an insight into the issues which they consider antisemitic. Respondents’ sensitivity to all things (perceived as) antisemitic has an impact on all of the other survey results.
First, the survey respondents were asked how often they have heard or seen non-Jewish people make these statements, in what contexts they have heard or seen them, and respondents’ perceptions concerning those who made these statements. The information concerning the medium used for making these statements and the context in which they are made can help the EU and its Member States in designing measures to counteract the use of such statements, for example, through awareness-raising and education campaigns.

Worrying level of discrimination

Antisemitism casts a long shadow on Jewish people’s chances to enjoy their legally guaranteed rights to human dignity, freedom of thought, conscience and religion, and non-discrimination. The daily insults, discrimination, harassment and even physical violence, with which Jewish people across the European Union (EU) must contend, show few signs of abating, despite EU and EU Member States’ best efforts. Nevertheless, little information exists on the extent and nature of antisemitic crimes to guide policy makers seeking to effectively fight these crimes. This FRA survey is the first-ever to collect comparable data on Jewish people’s experiences and perceptions of antisemitism, hate-motivated crime and discrimination across a number of EU Member States,  specifically in Belgium, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Its findings reveal a worrying level of discrimination, particularly in employment and education, a widespread fear of victimisation and heightening concern about antisemitism online.
By shining light on crimes that all too often remain unreported and therefore invisible, this FRA report seeks to help put an end to them.

More to be done

John Mann, chair of the UK’s all-party parliamentary group against antisemitism, said he was shocked by the survey’s results.

“It is extraordinary that 75 years after the terrible events of Kristallnacht, Jews are again living in fear,” he said. “The inaction of the European commission in combating antisemitism is inexcusable.”

Mann said the EU had to do more to co-ordinate Holocaust education work and to crack down on online antisemitism.

“The internet is a classic EU territory because it crosses borders and the EU could have a huge impact – if it had a thorough approach to antisemitism and other hatred and abuse on the internet,” he said.

A spokesman for the Community Security Trust, which monitors antisemitism and provides security for the UK Jewish community, said the research showed that much more needed to be done to protect Jewish people across Europe.

“In some countries, including Britain, politicians and police are trying to deal with the problem, but these efforts are sorely needed everywhere,” the spokesman said.

“Jews also require basic anti-racist solidarity in all of this – solidarity that has been partial, or deliberately denied, far too often since the year 2000.”

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Please do find also to read:

  1. Ambassador Gutman and the relationship between the inhabitants of Belgium
  2. Built on or Belonging to Jewish tradition #3 Of the earth or of God
  3. Migrants to the West #7 Religions
  4. Pupils asked ‘why do some people hate Jews?’ in GCSE exam
  5. What Are The Sources Of Anti-Semitism? or Why do people hate Jews?
  6. Stand Up
  7. Religion, fundamentalism and murder
  8. Christian fundamentalism as dangerous as Muslim fundamentalism
  9. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #3 Right to Human dignity
  10. Jehovah’s Witnesses not only group that preach the good news
  11. A world in denial
  12. Judeo-Christian values and liberty
  13. Anti-Semitic incidents in Australia in 2012 highest ever on record

In Dutch:

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To me, it demonstrates the outdated mentality of a post-war generation. Too many of us are trapped in an anachronistic mind-set, always looking out for examples of antisemitism, always trying to “catch it on the edge of a remark” (as Harold Abrahams put it in Chariots of Fire).
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Being Jewish today can be a lot of fun. I work and socialise primarily with non-Jews, so I milk the Jewish angle whenever possible. I wear a chai necklace, drop Yiddish words into conversation and grow a beard and a Jewfro during the winter months.

Jews could hardly be better-positioned in our multicultural society, part of the mainstream but retaining a crucial bit of edginess. It’s a good place to be. The same goes for America, where the pollster Mark Penn now uses the voter category, philosemite, to describe people who either wanted to marry a Jew or emulate Jewish values.

Of course I’m not suggesting antisemitism is dead. It is an ancient and insidious prejudice that will exist as long as we do. There is still plenty of antisemitism in Britain, whether it’s troglodyte football fans chanting about Auschwitz or belligerent anti-Zionists obsessing over Jewish media influence.

 

  • EU Study: Jews in Germany Fear Rising Anti-Semitism (spiegel.de)
    The survey’s results provide insight into the perceptions, experiences and self-conception of European Jews. Rather than supplying absolute figures on anti-Semitic attacks, the study focuses on the perceived danger of such attacks and how much the anxiety this causes affects their lives.
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    In Germany, the KPMD, a service for registering crimes, has recorded a decline in anti-Semitic crimes since 2009. However, by itself, that says nothing about the perceptions of Jews living in Germany. According to the FRA report, 63 percent of the Jewish respondents in Germany have avoided “wearing, carrying or displaying things that might help people identify them as Jews in public,” such as a skullcap (kippa). Likewise, 25 percent of them claimed to have considered emigrating from Germany in the last five years because they don’t feel safe there.

 

When it comes to the relative seriousness of anti-Semitism, Germany was the only country in which a majority (61%) of respondents said it was the greatest problem. Respondents from the other seven countries believed that unemployment was the most pressing issue.

 

  • Alarming early figures from Euro antisemitism poll (thejc.com)
    In France, thousands of Jews have moved to Israel, North America and Britain. In Hungary, the situation is also very concerning, but very different, deriving from far-right nationalists. Then, there is Malmo in Sweden, widely regarded as the worst example of a local community living in fear.

 

In Britain, we are relatively fortunate. CST and the police have had excellent relations since the 1990s and, over the past decade, our politicians have taken antisemitism increasingly seriously.

Many of our continental cousins look on with envy, and really need this survey to kick-start better responses from local officialdom.

  • Poll: 76% of European Jews Believe Anti-Semitism Is On The Rise in Europe (jpupdates.com)
    On the 75th anniversary of Kristelnacht, the European Union Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) has released the results of their first poll ever that they conducted on Jewish people’s experiences of antisemitic harassment, discrimination and hate crime in the EU. This report, which covers responses from 5,847 Jewish people in the eight countries in which some 90% of the estimated Jewish population in the EU live, will thus be a vital tool for EU decision makers and community groups to develop targeted legal and policy measures.