What Tolerance really means

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

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To remember

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

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

Victors' Corner

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

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

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

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Epicurus’ Problem of Evil

In the philosophy of religion, an ancient discipline, being found in the earliest known manuscripts concerning philosophy, the problem of evil is the question of how to reconcile the existence of evil with that of a deity who is, in either absolute or relative terms, omnipotent, having the quality of having unlimited power with the capacity to know everything and this even in a state of omniscience or ubiquity, the property of being present everywhere, and omnibenevolent (from Latin omni– meaning “all”, and benevolent, meaning “good”) (see theism).

All About Evil

All About Evil (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lots of people have already spend lots of words and time to discussions about the existence in this world and the position of or no position of a deity in this matter.

We may have logic, reason or moral intuition, not derived from purported supernatural revelation or guidance (which is the source of religious ethics), seeing what happens in the world every day. Strangely enough as long as everything goes all right people do not need a god or say they do not believe in God. But as soon as something bad happens they all seem to blame that God Which they say does not exist.

They overlook the fact that through logic and reason, human beings are capable of deriving normative principles of behaviour.

For humanists it is clear that we do have a universal morality based on the commonality of human nature, and that knowledge of right and wrong is based on our best understanding of our individual and joint interests, rather than stemming from a transcendental or arbitrarily local source, therefore rejecting faith completely as a basis for action. When there is some wrong in the world this does not have to come from any supernatural power. No god or not the God has to be called responsible for the wrong-going in this world. Most humanists look for viable individual, social and political principles of conduct.

People who do not believe in God do not exclude our secular ethics, secular beliefs as a matter of influence on good and bad in our environment. Most thinkers are aware that lots of evil that comes over man comes over the human beings by their own fault.

Though lots of people do ask if there is a God willing to prevent evil, but not able? In case, they think, this god is not omnipotent. That is also what the Greek philosopher Epicurus thought. He wrote a riddle which turns out to be loaded with a couple of erroneous presuppositions.

He also questioned:

Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?

The problem with a lot of thinkers is that they assume that God must do so in exactly the way we think he ought to, and if he doesn’t, we’re going to get all uppity and tell him that he doesn’t exist.

Portrait of Epicurus, founder of the Epicurean...

Portrait of Epicurus, founder of the Epicurean school. Roman copy after a lost Hellenistic original. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

According to Epicurus we do have a a mental perception of our nature which is usually ridiculous. Man having created gods who live eternal lives of contentment in the void of the universe and have no concern with men. There are no rewards or punishments after death; death is extinction, according to him. Dying might reasonably — though mistakenly, he feels — seem a cause for fear; to fear death itself, however, is absurd, since it brings nothing in its wake.

Because we are confronted with elements and with problems we can not cope with, we consider that God to be responsible that He has not given us enough power to avoid such problems and all that suffering it brings with it. We take such an attitude that we blame Him to be responsible for all the badness that comes over this earth. We consider Him responsible and point our finger at Him, finding that He ought to deal with evil. Funny thing is also that most people give the impression that they know just how He ought to do deal with it.

Epicurus continues:

If God exists, then God is omnipotent, omniscient, and morally perfect.
If God is omnipotent, then God has the power to eliminate all evil.
If God is omniscient, then God knows when evil exists.
If God is morally perfect, then God has the desire to eliminate all evil.
Evil exists.
If evil exists and God exists, then either God doesn’t have the power to eliminate all evil, or doesn’t know when evil exists, or doesn’t have the desire to eliminate all evil.
Therefore, God doesn’t exist.

Epicurus does seem to forget that The God can really eliminate all evil, but Epicurus does not question why He allows it to exist. He also in several of his texts gives the impression that God would not know that evil exists, but the Word of God, given to us with the Holy Scriptures let us know very well that God is conscious about the existing evil, but also how evil is in man.

When we look in the Bible, we can get a good impression of what evil is, how it came into being and why there is still evil in this world. All the answers are in the Scriptures. Evil is defined by God as being that which is opposite to him. The “Satan” is any adversary or any person working against the Divine Creator. In every person there is a satan, or a character of opposition or adversary, against the “I am” the own personality and against the “I Am Who I Am” the Divine Superior God in Whose image we are created.

Most people when they look at evil in this world want God to solve it because they have come aware that human is worthless in solving it all. They hope that God can deal with all the problems in this world, the evil the suffering, in such a way that will give them a problem-less world, with no bad things in it. But they themselves would not like to be changed. Because God offers them a world with less problems. He does give the world advice to avoid problems and suffering.But the world does not want to know.

Blaming God is all-right but listening to Him?

Epicureanism afforded a role to gods, they were not thought to be involved in the universe in any way, and it rejected outright the idea of an afterlife. That last bit made it not so loved by many people who loved to have something to look forward to after they had to endure this life full of misery.

English: Ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus, d...

Ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus, depicted in the Nuremberg Chronicle (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The disdain with which Epicureanism was treated has led to it being misconceived to this day. Epicureanism is still thought of as a commitment to sensual pleasure, to fast living. Though Epicurus did conceive of pleasure as the highest good, his conception of pleasure was far from hedonistic: all that Epicurus sought was a peaceful life free from discomfort and distress. Though for many religious people it seemed so wrong to enjoy life. They all forgot that this is also something God would love His people, to have joy of this world and to live nicely. But for God the nice living does not come undeserved or without any action of man himself. We all have to grow up, have to learn, have to think about matters, have to make decisions, have to act and to react, and by the actions we do take we shall have to bear the consequences of our actions.

Many do think if God is omnipotent He would not allow evil to be, but why not?

There have been many attempts to defend God‘s goodness in view of the existence of evil. They are common to monotheistic religions based on the Abrahamic tradition, namely Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, as these all suffer from the problem of evil.

In short, the problem of evil occurs when specific attributes are ascribed to God:

David Hume argued:

“Why is there any misery at all in the world? Not by chance surely. From some cause then. Is it from the intention of the Deity? But he is perfectly benevolent. Is it contrary to his intention? But he is almighty. Nothing can shake the solidity of this reasoning, so short, so clear, so decisive; except we assert, that these subjects exceed all human capacity”

We would not say that “Free will is assumed to be a greater good than the evil that it causes”, but with free will or free choice human beings have most in their hands. We also would not say that free will is needed by God to serve some purpose. It is a free gift from God, which can be used by people like they want. But they also can leave it for what it is, and God cannot be called responsible for that.

It is true God could have created humans such that they would always freely choose the good. This He did not do and therefore many call Him ultimately responsible and blameworthy for any evil act which humans perform. This gives the indication that they preferred the God having created human beings who only would follow His Will and only could do what He wanted.

Humans must be free to commit actions which would qualify as “evil” as well as “good” in our argument, in order to have free will. When they only would be made to have restriction, only doing the Will of God, they would be like robots or machines not able to think and act for themselves. Those who want God having to have created beings which only could do good, should wonder if such a being uberhaut has any free will or free choice to do something. In this case, all humans born without this capability, possess no free will. Should then all human beings all be the same? Because what is going to determine that one person is going to do this or an other job, having an advantage of strength, size, or skill. This are factors now determined by the choices being made by that person. The development of a human being depends on how he or she wants to use his or her free will. Are then the potentially smaller, weaker, or less skilled persons than victims? Would a difference in capability also not be part of evil or part of the good?

In case all would do the same job and would be totally the same that would place God in a worse light than now. This would put God in the position of denying free will to someone regardless of God’s position on an action, whether God intervenes, or not.

People limiting God by not allowing Him to let nature develop and have what we call natural disasters, such as hurricanes, tsunamis, and earthquakes, do not want to see the necessity of certain developments in nature, or they would not want nature to evolve. Natural disasters are not to be defined as evil. The fact that they occur, and that God does not prevent them or the deaths and suffering they cause, people should question if those people were living at areas provided by God to live. Often people do want to take parts from nature to house themselves, whilst they were provided for the animals or as natural buffer. A lot of people just think they are master of nature and can decide where they may live and where animals may not live. Now lots of people do not take enough account of nature and ignore the laws of nature. By not showing any respect for nature and its laws they do have to bear the consequences of their bad behaviour against the universe.

God is not unaware of people’s suffering, but He has given them on their demand, what too many do forget, the right to decide for themselves what they want to do, which way to go and how to behave. He is not therefore not omniscient; or He is therefore not unable to do anything, and therefore not omnipotent. Some may find it not right that He does not want to intervene. Because He is unwilling to intervene they do find Him not omnibenevolent. The latter word being primarily used as a technical term within academic literature on the philosophy of religion, mainly in context of the problem of evil and theodical responses to such. Although even in said contexts the phrases “perfect goodness” or “moral perfection” are often preferred because of the difficulties in defining what exactly constitutes ‘infinite benevolence’.

For many God not showing directly infinitely compassion makes Him not worthy to be called a Omnibenevolent Deity. But is it not like any parent who has his children doing things and when something did something wrong and therefore got himself or herself in problems tells them that if they did not want to listen had to learn from what happened to them because they were not willing to listen to what the father said beforehand.

Belief in a God’s omnibenevolence is an essential foundation in traditional Christianity; this can be seen in Scriptures such as Psalms 18:30:

“(18:31) “as for god, his way is perfect, the word of ADONAI has been tested by fire; he shields all who take refuge in him.” (Psalms 18:30 CJB)

According to the Bible Jehovah, the Elohim is The Rock Whose work is perfect, for all His ways are justice. (Deuteronomy 32:4) Too many people are forgetting that This God of faithfulness and without iniquity is Just and right, having a perfect law which restores the soul. The people should remember they are nothing without God and that His testimony is sure, making wise the simple.

“(19:8) the torah of ADONAI is perfect, restoring the inner person. the instruction of ADONAI is sure, making wise the thoughtless.” (Psalms 19:7 CJB)

Jehovah is righteous in all His ways, and gracious in all His works (Psalms 145:17). It is not because we do not understand why certain things happen in nature, earthquakes, flows of water, etc. that they do not have the right purpose or are meant for the better, because we do not see straight ahead the good results.

Too many people do believe their way of thinking is the best. Often they consider others their idea less good than their own. And most people consider it impossible that there could be a Supreme Being which nobody can see or feel, would be even better and more knowledgeable than they. For them it is difficult to accept that great and marvellous would the works of that One God, the Almighty and that His ways would be righteous and true (Revelation 15:3 )

Many ancient authorities read nations:

“who would not fear you, king of the nations? for it is your due! —since among all the wise of the nations and among all their royalty, there is no one like you.” (Jeremiah 10:7 CJB)

This understanding is evident in the following statement by the First Vatican Council

The Holy, Catholic, Apostolic and Roman Church believes and acknowledges that there is one true and living God, Creator and Lord of Heaven and earth, almighty, eternal, immeasurable, incomprehensible, infinite in will, understanding and every perfection. Since He is one, singular, completely simple and unchangeable spiritual substance, He must be declared to be in reality and in essence, distinct from the world, supremely happy in Himself and from Himself, and inexpressibly loftier than anything besides Himself which either exists or can be imagined. {“First Vatican Council”. dailycatholic.org. Retrieved 2008-05-02.}

Notice how also the Catholic Church agrees that The God of gods “is one, singular”, but also an “unchangeable spiritual substance”. According to the Bible God is a Spirit, Who was, is and ever shall be the same. so He did not became one moment a man who could be seen and be tempted, because God can not be seen and can not be tempted. God His divine qualities are consistent.It is only those who want to believe in the human doctrine of the trinity who can see inconsistency, which would be normal because God and Jesus are two totally different characters.

God contains within himself the cause of himself. Being self-sufficient, having within Himself the sufficient reason for His own existence, He also has given others, His creation, the ability to be and to have cause for existence. It is not that God would be without emotion or is “impassible”, because in the Bible lots of times is given an indication how God feels and is given an idea of His emotions.

All things came into being through Him, and without Him not one thing came into being. The aorist tense implies that everything that exists (other than God) came into being at some time in the past. This verse carries the weighty metaphysical implication that there are no eternal entities apart from God, eternal either in the sense of existing atemporally or of existing sempiternally. Rather everything that exists, with the exception of God Himself, is the product of temporal becoming.

We also should come to understand that everything is as such also temporarily. The badness we see now can turn out something good in the future. And in the end we do know that God shall provide the best for every creature, man, animal, plant, in His Kingdom.

Human beings should know that there is nothing God needs from us and that there is nothing we can do to improve on God. God is sufficient unto Himself. Human Beings should know that the “end purpose of all things” is God. God loves mankind but like any father who loves his children it does not have to mean he does not allow bad things to come over them. Lots of people do not seem to notice how He His caring for those who suffer, His desire to be in communion with us. The “grand object” of Scripture is God’s saving purpose worked out in human history.

We should come to understand that every journey is a process, from beginning to end, by which we have choices and can have faith in some things some ones and/or in Some One, whereby the energy in the beginning can be matter and be the product of Faith. When there is faith in the One God matters can become clear, and than we can understand cause of pain and how we can live wit it.

All those who are willing to find the one, and Only True God, by seeking Him, shall find assurance, even when they do suffer, that God shall be prepared to listen to them and to be near to them. When you seek, the One and Only True God, with an honest, open heart, and with humility, you shall be able to come to understand lots of things. God wants to enter your life. He shall give you insight.

Many may say

“Where is God when a child cries from hunger, fear, loneliness?”
“Where is God when a young mother dies of breast cancer?”
“Where is God when we cry out in the night?” {Where Is God?}

People may not forget that always God is here waiting for us to reach out, to invite Him into our lives. He has given us the world to live in and to develop. He has given us the taks to name the animals and the plants, but he did not ask us to destroy His creation by our selfishness and by polluting “our Earth”. God is love. God does not hate. God does not kill. God does not make war, God has never given any man the authority to kill another man in his name.  That is man again, doing the evil that men do for their own evil reasons.
God is waiting for us “in our hearts, if only we would call.”

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Preceding articles:

  1. Does God stands behind all evil on earth
  2. Is God behind all suffering here on earth
  3. I Can’t Believe That … (2) God would allow children to suffer
  4. Why God permits evil
  5. Evil Never Ceases
  6. Pain, sanctification and salvation
  7. From Despair to Victory

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Additional reading:

  1. Epicurus and the problem of evil
  2. Satan the evil within
  3. It is a free will choice
  4. National Natural Disaster and Bible Prophecy
  5. Tragic coach crash in the Swiss Alps
  6. Facing disaster fatigue
  7. Profitable disasters
  8. Reacting to Disasters
  9. From pain to purpose
  10. Bad things no punishment from God
  11. Doubting the reality, genuineness and effectiveness of God’s love
  12. We are ourselves responsible
  13. I said God it hurts
  14. Dealing with worries in our lives
  15. I Only hope we find God again before it is too late !
  16. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #1 Listening Sovereign Maker
  17. Faith Over Fear
  18. Faith because of the questions
  19. Trust God to shelter, safety and security
  20. God is my refuge and my fortress in Him I will trust

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  • What Role Did Psychology Play? (psychologytoday.com)
  • Happiness (todayssigns.wordpress.com)
    Not understanding that has to be the main reason for why criticism of hedonism involves pursuit of pleasure as an end in itself. Any student of Epicurus knows that happiness results as a byproduct of pleasurable activities. Any student properly schooled in American history knows that “the pursuit of happiness was included in the basic philosophy upon which America was founded. Think of this the next time someone tells you America was founded as a Christian nation. We are a nation of hedonists very ignorant of how to apply that fact.
  • Letter: Whose ‘right’ should we follow? (norwichbulletin.com)

    Whose right and wrong? That of the American Atheists Inc.? Mine? How about ISIS? If you throw away the “whims of some bronze age mythological figure,” whose whims rule the day?

    As for leaving religion in the history books, isn’t that what we’ve done as least as far as the schools go? How’s that working?

  • What is Morality? (seesharppress.wordpress.com) > What is Morality?
    The Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry defines morality as “Morality is the distinction between right and wrong. It is the determination of what should be done and what should not be done. Morals deal with behaviours as well as motives. There is a great deal of discussion on what is the source of morals and whether or not they are objective. Biblically, morals are derived from God’s character and revealed to us through the Scriptures”
  • Above the Gray: How We Approach Ethics As An Organization (prsay.prsa.org)
    As a Society, we represent the very largest and smallest of enterprises worldwide. Issues such as transparency, privacy and personal identity are now far more challenging, thereby increasing our responsibility as public relations professionals. Transparency is part of the larger conversation around ethics, which frames it with other such conventions as truth, accuracy, fairness and a responsibility to the public. While it’s tempting to think of ethics as the domain of philosophers debating theoretical concepts, the reality is that we all face ethical decisions every day, and they are almost never black and white.
  • Is SEO Immoral? (moz.com)
    By learning and manipulating the system to accomplish its goal, SEO makes it more likely that you will come upon a target that is irrelevant.
  • Epicurus’ Problem of Evil (keskyisnotbusy.wordpress.com)
  • Jesus Was Tortured And Killed, Today Most Christians Are Highly Supportive Of Torture (blacklistednews.com)
    Let’s get this straight, Jesus who was interrogated, tortured and then killed has modern followers who actually support government sanctioned torture. If they are Christians and are familiar with his history then they would know what happened and reject such savage methods. Today so-called terrorists are picked up on the street and hurt severely without even being put before a judge and jury. These people are the antithesis of Jesus and have nothing in common with him.
  • ▶ Nullification The Rightful Remedy – YouTube (chasvoice.blogspot.com)

Re–forming ourselves

Looking at the world today, with its spiritual health in chronic condition it is not bad to take in consideration what happened in the old times and to look at the readings of today Sunday November the 2nd.

It was a difficult time for Hezekiah with the land suffering greatly as a result of his father’s failures as a spiritual leader. But Hezekiah was single-minded in what he purposed to do in Judah. His declaration “it is in my heart to make a covenant with the LORD God of Israel,” was said with the realization of just how far the nation had fallen. He could see that it was not a holy nation before their God. There was a need for deep, far reaching change with the people. Initially there would be opposition, complacency and even mockers (30:10) but Hezekiah had faith that God would bless what he set out to do.

The Kings record (2 Kings 18:5-7) has this to say about this man:

– “he trusted in the LORD God of Israel, so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor who went before him. For he held fast to the LORD, he did not depart from following Him”

and it continues

“The LORD was with him; he prospered wherever he went”. God, through Hezekiah brought about a great reformation in Judah, a time of refreshment for those who sought their God.

“20 And thus did Hezekiah throughout all Judah; and he wrought that which was good and right and {1} faithful before Jehovah his God. {1) Heb [faithfulness]} 21 And in every work that he began in the service of the house of God, and in the law, and in the commandments, to seek his God, he did it with all his heart, and prospered.” (2 Chronicles 31:20-21 ASV)

Hezekiah is a tremendous example for us to look to. With “a purpose of heart” he continued to walk with his God throughout his reign. He continually scrutinised every aspect of his life as one ‘who trembled before God’s Word’. Like all of us, Hezekiah wasn’t without fault, he stumbled, made mistakes and wavered before certain trials, but in his mind, there was always only one path before him.

The writer to the Hebrews exhorts us (Hebrews 12:12)

“therefore strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, and make straight paths for your feet.”

We should strengthen ourselves but also help others to be strong enough to go on the right path, up to the Kingdom of God.

Reform

2 November — Mark Vincent – Stirling

English: Roman custom of proclamation of emper...

Roman custom of proclamation of emperor on the shield. King Hezekiah. From Chludov Psalter (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is an exhortation about reform, inspired by today’s reading from II Chronicles 31.  It had been desperately needed; Israel’s spiritual health was in chronic condition.  But thanks to the remarkable enthusiasm and leadership of King Hezekiah, the people had been galvanised into change.  In chapter 30 they had kept the Passover, and now, at the beginning of chapter 31 they bring their idols to destroy them:

“Now when all this was finished, all Israel that were present went out to the cities of Judah, and brake the images in pieces, and cut down the groves, and threw down the high places and the altars out of all Judah and Benjamin, in Ephraim also and Manasseh, until they had utterly destroyed them all.  Then all the children of Israel returned, every man to his possession, into their own cities.”  (v.1).

It was an act which showed initiative and determination.  It would also have involved a considerable amount of effort.  The verbs that are used are quite graphic: ‘break … in pieces’, ‘cut down’, ‘threw down’, ‘utterly destroyed’.  The action they took was drastic and decisive.

How do we bring this home to ourselves?  What would we have brought to cast upon the great pile of smashed images?  What bad habits and slovenliness have crept into our own lives that must be cut down?  What altars have been erected that must be thrown to the ground?

The physical activity of bringing idols and destroying them, of chopping down groves and throwing down altars must have had considerable power for those who were involved.  We rarely if ever have the opportunity to join in with something so graphic.  But perhaps this is our loss.  Reform may be no less necessary in my life or in yours.  To think about what (metaphorically) I might have brought to that pile of destruction is a very worthwhile exercise.

The trigger for this great change in Israel’s behaviour was, in large measure, the example and leadership of Hezekiah.  This is an instructive point.  The people were quite capable of making the sacrifices they made as they threw away their old lifestyle, but they needed a trigger or a catalyst to inspire them to do so.  They were not self-starters.  This highlights one of the reasons why we need instruction and exhortation on a regular basis.  It also highlights the way in which our own actions can serve to ignite discipleship and self-sacrifice in others.

Reform is about re – forming, forming or constructing something again.  We have to be careful, of course, that what we form is the right thing.  It is all very well bringing our idols to the trash, but if all we do is go back to our workshops and start building them again, then we may as well have spared ourselves the effort.  “For if I build again the things which I destroyed,” says Paul, “I make myself a transgressor.”  (Galatians 2 : 18).  He is referring to this very danger.

Instead, clearing out those things in life that ought not to be there is an opportunity for forming again those things which should – an opportunity to build again into our lives structures and habits, patterns of behaviour, which will help us on our journey to the kingdom.

Each of us has tremendous potential to do this, and to contribute to the brotherhood’s wider work and responsibility of manifesting Christ to the world in which we live.  Far more so, in fact, than we some times imagine.  This is exactly the point that comes out of II Chronicles 31.  The people surprised themselves and surprised their leaders, by the extent of the commitment and sacrifice that they were capable of when they put their minds to it.

This can be seen in the collection of the tithe later in the chapter:

“And as soon as the commandment came abroad, the children of Israel brought in abundance the firstfruits of corn, wine, and oil, and honey, and of all the increase of the field: and the tithe of all things brought they in abundantly … and laid them by heaps (margin: ‘heaps, heaps’) … And when Hezekiah and the princes came and saw the heaps, they blessed the LORD, and his people Israel.” (v.5,6,8).

The people responded with such generosity that it took four whole months to collect the mass of substance that they brought!  There was heaps of it, quite literally.  Charity, generosity, and spirituality overflowed; the people responded with all their might.

The heaps of provisions the people brought for the Lord’s service contrast with the heaps of destruction now strewn about the cities of Judah – the heaps of destroyed altars, idols, and groves.  On the one hand, we can bring things of the old way to be destroyed, and it is very important that we take this call seriously – but the Truth is not primarily an exercise in removing the negative. We each have good and positive things to bring, and this is a crucial element of discipleship.  We may surprise even ourselves by how much we can offer when we really put our minds to it.

As we reflect now on the sacrifice of Christ and the abundant provision he has made, it is up to us to bring our offering, obedience full and free, to respond with a full and open heart from the abundance, which God has given us.

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  • Assyrian Kings Insidious Spirit of Compromise (k2globalcommunicationsllc.wordpress.com)
    There is in The Lords Church, throughout all Christendom, a spirit so insidious, relentless, as to seem to even the well seasoned-christian [in so much that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Matthew 24:24 KJV] as reasonable.  The Spirit of Compromise.  This spirit works its evil by lies, incremental-ism, very rarely with large movement that would expose it for what it is, who is behind it and its goal.  When I drive past a Methodist church flying the perverts rainbow flag, not God’s Rainbow of Promise, Catholic Church goes full on sodomite, etc. The Lords Church steeped in Ecumenical-ism with Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Satanism, Judaism,  has serious issues brought about by the spirit of compromise and society suffers the consequences.
  • Zephaniah: The Day of the Lord Part 1 (joshuaasipper.wordpress.com)
    God’s Judgment on Judah (Southern Kingdom) In Nahum (which David did such a great job teaching) Go proclaims the fall of the Northern Kingdom (Israel), so by the time the Babylonian occupation and destruction come to Judah, Israel has already been basically obliterated by Assyria. So, when Zephaniah begins in Chapter 1, he gives a terrifying image of how God will destroy His people: vss 1-6 “The word of the Lord that came to Zephaniah the son of Cushi, son of Gedaliah, son of Amariah, son of Hezekiah, in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah.
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    Zephaniah highlights the obvious hypocrisy going on in Judah’s service toward God. Molech was an Ammonite god represented usually as a man with a bull’s head, to whom the people of Israel sacrificed their children. Molech was the antithesis of the one true God. So, when His people turned from Him to such an abomination, He simply couldn’t stand it!
  • Open Heavens Devotional Monday – 13/10/2014 Judah by Pastor E.a. Adeboye (princeadetokunboolaoye.wordpress.com)
    The name ‘Judah’ means praise. Judah was chosen to be the chief and ruling tribe of the twelve tribes of Israel (Genesis 49:8-12). The sceptre of a king and the office of a lawgiver were all allotted to Judah. Genesis 4:10 says:“The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.”Judah is a similitude of the church. In Judah, we can see a shadow of the things to come with respect to the church. Just like Judah, believers are the royal priesthood, expected to show forth the praises of God (1 Peter 2:9-10).
  • 31 Days with the Savior: Family (mlsgregg.com)
  • Listen: Pray Always, Part 4 (The Prayer Motivator Devotional #591 with Daniel Whyte III) (blackchristiannews.com)
    Those who speak from God to us we should in a particular manner desire to speak to God for us. He is a prophet, and he shall pray for thee. The great prophet is the great intercessor.
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    When the interests of God’s church are brought very low, so that there is but a remnant left, few friends, and those weak and at a loss, then it is time to lift up our prayer for that remnant.Our prayer motivator quote today is from J. Oswald Sanders. He said: “It is impossible for a believer, no matter what his experience, to keep right with God if he will not take the trouble to spend time with God. Spend plenty of time with him; let other things go, but don’t neglect Him.”
  • The ancestors of Jesus (georgehach.wordpress.com)
    Ahaz was the father of Hezekiah. Hezekiah was the father of Manasseh. Manasseh was the father of Amos.
    +The Gospel of Matthew links the Old and New Testaments and contains many references that show how Jesus fulfilled Old Testament prophecy.Jesus entered human history when the land of Palestine was controlled by Rome and considered an insignificant outpost of the vast and mighty Roman Empire. The presence of Roman soldiers in Israel gave the Jews military peace, but at the price of oppression, slavery, injustice, and immorality. Into this kind of world came the promised Messiah.

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    God’s work in history is not limited by human failures or sins, and he works through ordinary people. Just as God used all kinds of people to bring his Son into the world, he uses all kinds today to accomplish his will. And God wants to use you.

  • The Privilege of Our Approach (hisimagenme.wordpress.com)
    Go straight to God, don’t ‘pass go’, don’t ‘collect $200′, don’t call a friend, don’t check the Internet for further information, don’t do or say or act in any way shape or form except to with reverence and absolute trust go to God…and approach Him with the issues we have, our hurts and confusions, our fears and frustrations, and joys and celebrations. Lay them out before Him and expect and wait for His counsel.

    The first thing Hezekiah did was go before Adonai. He could have went to Isaiah. After all he was the anointed prophet of God there. His counsel could hardly have been in error. He likely would have told Hezekiah to do what he did anyway. It certainly would not have been a ‘sin’. But what King Hezekiah was learning was that God, Himself’s first and greatest desire is that each would seek Him for themselves.

  • Guest Post: Doubt (pastorericdykstra.com)
    What’s so awesome about this story is how humble Hezekiah is. Not once does he start counting up his men, or calculating the rations he has in the city, or discussing terms of peace with his advisors, or whatever else kings do when they’re under siege. He immediately goes into mourning, essentially, and searches for God’s wisdom. He knows that there is no way that he, Hezekiah, could defeat Sennacherib – he’s heard the stories, and he sees the massive army.

    But while he’s so humble, he’s also incredibly confident in the power of his God. God said that he will deliver them. So when he gets that intimidating letter, he takes it and spreads it out in the temple, and asks for deliverance so that everyone will know that God is the boss.

    In that moment, his faith is being tested; he has a whole city to care for, and if God were to fail them, they’d all be screwed. But instead of re-evaluating everything he believes, he takes the problem and lays it out before God. Pointing to it, he says, “I know what you promised. This seems to contradict what you had said before – but, I really can’t make this happen on my own, so I’m going to keep trusting you to take care of it. Deliver me so that everyone knows who’s in charge here.”

Wired to Connect?

Wired to Connect?

Once born we have to make a connection with the world and have to learn to associate with it and to react in the right way with those around us.

 

Step by step we have to reach out but also take hands which are offered to us. We do have to notice those who would like to help us to advance in the community where we are living in.

 

Having the three neural networks within our brain that promote our social connection we have to learn how to properly use them.
The one that gives us the ability to feel social pain and pleasure is often one we would like to ignore or not foster, but that is just the one we should give much more attention to. When we do grow up we should train our part of the brain which allows us to read others’ emotions and predict their behaviour.
Newt we do have the elements in us which can help us to absorb cultural beliefs and values, thereby linking us to our social groups.

 

Each network involves brain structures and neural pathways that have been mapped using fMRI technology and studied via psychological experiments, some of which make for fascinating and provocative reading.

 

We should be thankful to the Divine Creator He has provided us with a magnificent tool that can brings us further in life and make us able to connect in different ways.

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  • Brain circuits multitask to detect, discriminate the outside world (eurekalert.org)
    A new study found that neural circuits in the brain rapidly multitask between detecting and discriminating sensory input, such as headlights in the distance. That’s different from how electronic circuits work, where one circuit performs a very specific task. The brain, the study found, is wired in way that allows a single pathway to perform multiple tasks.

    “We showed that circuits in the brain change or adapt from situations when you need to detect something versus when you need to discriminate fine details,” said Garrett Stanley, an associate professor in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University, whose lab performed the research. “One of the things the brain is good at is doing multiple things. Engineers have trouble with that.”

    The research findings were published online in the journal NEURON on March 5. The research was funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF).

    The distance at which a person can discern two headlights from a single light is controlled by the acuity of the body’s sensory pathway. For decades neuroscientists have assumed that the level of one’s acuity is controlled by the distance between areas in the brain that are triggered by the sensory input. If these two areas of the brain closely overlap, then two sensory inputs — two headlights in the distance — will appear as one, the thinking went. The new study, for the first time, used animal models and optical imaging to directly assess how acuity is controlled in the brain, and how acuity can adapt to the task at hand. One neuronal circuit can do different things and do them in a robust way, the study found.
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    Learning more about how circuits in the brain multitask could lead to a better understanding of disease, therapeutic applications or to potentially improving how the brain functions. Stanley said that down the road engineers might be able to experimentally manipulate brain circuits to perform a desired task.

    “Can we make individuals better at doing something? Can we have them detect things more rapidly or discriminate between things with better acuity?” Stanley said. “Using modern techniques, we believe that we can actually influence the circuit and have it selectively grab one kind of information from the outside world versus another.”

     

  • Train Your Brain To Let Go Of Habits – 10 Methods For Creating New Neural Pathways (asheepnomore.net)
    You may remember the punch line “The light bulb has to want to change.”  You have to have a high intention to change as well. If there is this high intention, then creating new pathways in your brain is bound to happen.
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    To create a new neural pathway, you take the focus off the old habit, and then that old habit eventually falls away. Don’t pay attention to the donuts and cakes. Take your awareness and focus it on good, wholesome, healthy delicious foods.
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    Know you have the Force within you, and therefore you have great power. Meditation creates new pathways and brain changes. Actual studies have been done on the brains of monks to show meditation’s effect on neural circuits of the brain.

  • 5 Ways to Improve Your Brain (humansarefree.com)
    Neurogenesis has been found to occur in two brain regions; the subventricular zone and the hippocampus.

    The latter part of the brain plays a key role in learning and memory, and alterations have been linked to a variety of cognitive pathologies such as anxiety, depression, addiction and neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s. A reduction in hippocampus volume has been observed in patients with depression and other cognitive disorders.

    To reverse this process we need to harness neurogenesis. In this article I will cover a wide array of things we can do (for example: meditation, Ibogaine, turmeric) and stuff we can eat to boost our brains.

  • Why Are We So Wired To Connect? (illuminations2012.wordpress.com)
    Our brains are continuously working, and in order to better respond to our environment. “This is what our brains were wired for: reaching out to and interacting with others,” writes Lieberman.
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    Why Are We So Wired to Connect?

    Schools need to encourage better social climates where students feel like they belong, writes Lieberman, since a sense of belonging is closely tied to a higher GPA. Teacher should also plan lessons that engage students’ mind-reading neural networks in order to help them learn material better, especially in the social sciences and humanities, but even in math and science courses. Assigning students to learn material in order to help another—i.e., perhaps to tutor a younger student in math—would improve academic learning too, he argues.

    But perhaps most importantly, we need to understand how vital our social connections are to our happiness and health. Lieberman points to research that shows having social connection is as important to health outcomes as not smoking. Our experience of pain is lessened by the presence of those we love and our sense of worth is connected to our social standing more than to our monetary wealth. He cautions against working so hard or remaining so isolated that we eschew social ties.

  • “Clarifying” Neural Circuitry: A New Technique to Image the Brain (lions-talk-science.org)
    Both CLARITY and optogenetics are useful brain mapping tools that may lead us towards the creation of a map of all of the connections in the human brain, allowing us to finally gain a structural understanding of the many neurological disorders out there.
  • Wiring Your Brain (integral-living.com)
    You are not your brain. The stories you tell yourself and the way you respond is in your control. You are not just and actor reciting someone else’s lines. You can rewrite the script.

    Start by focusing each morning on who you want to be and how you want to show up. Breathe. Dress for the occasion. Walk, eat, interact, think, as the best you can be, instead of an unconscious jumble of reflexes and conditioned responses. Be in charge. Believe. Shift will happen. The connections that no longer fire together will rewire and new circuits will start to form. Celebrate when it works. Recalibrate when you regress.

  • Claim: “Male and female brains wired differently” (trueorfalse.me)
    Between 2-3 December 2013, reports emerged through the Guardian newspaper, followed swiftly by the Independent, that a new scientific study had demonstrated for the first time that “the brains of men and women [are] wired differently.” The media stories were based on a study by the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) which appeared to find that many of the connections in a typical male brain run between the front and back regions, and are mostly confined to individual hemispheres. In contrast (on average), the connections in women’s brains were more likely to run from side to side between the left and right hemispheres. The only region where men had more “between-hemispheric” neural connectivity was the cerebellum, which plays a vital role in motor control.
  • How one (well financed) startup is attempting to decode the language of the brain (news.nationalpost.com)
    There are many ways to map the brain and many kinds of brains to map. Although the ultimate goal of most neuroscience is understanding how human brains work, many kinds of research can’t be done on human beings, and the brains of mice and even flies share common processes with human brains.

    The work of Reid, and scientists at Allen and elsewhere who share his approach, is part of a surge of activity in brain research as scientists try to build the tools and knowledge to explain — as well as can ever be explained – how brains and minds work. Besides the Obama administration’s $100-million Brain Initiative and the European Union’s $1 billion, decade-long Human Brain Project, there are numerous private and public research efforts in the United States and abroad, some focusing on the human brain, others like Reid’s focusing on nonhumans.

    While the Human Connectome Project, which is spread among several institutions, aims for an overall picture of the associations among parts of the human brain, other scientific teams have set their sights on drilling to deeper levels. For instance, the Connectome Project at Harvard is pursuing a structural map of the mouse brain at a level of magnification that shows packets of neurochemicals at the tips of brain cells.

writing to freedom

Did you know that our brains are designed to connect socially?

Wired to Connect? brain neurons Image source: douban.com

Brain researchers are discovering how much our brains have evolved to thrive on social connections. For those of you who had close loving relationships growing up, this might seem obvious. For others who grew up without close and loving relationships, this is foreign territory. For most of my life, I have struggled with loneliness and depression. Even though I know intellectually that I need people, sometimes the hardest thing in the world is to reach out when I’m feeling lonely or depressed.

The article didn’t address this, but I suspect, for those of us who didn’t have strong social connections growing up, we have fewer connections in our brains, resulting in a lower foundation for emotional health and happiness. Positive psychology calls this our set point. Science seems to demonstrate that we can change and…

View original post 263 more words

Being Religious and Spiritual 5 Gnostic influences

Diagram of a Religious experience

Diagram of a Religious experience (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The religious and the spiritual person may be looking for certain experiences which can occur at several levels: physical, emotional, cognitive, pertaining to the mental processes of perception, memory, judgement, and reasoning, as contrasted with emotional and volitional processes, and transcendent. For the religious person there is the groups-feeling which shall be important to give him or her the appropriate feelings. The belonging to a community or parish shall fuse the personal feeling and the feeling of being part of something more than the self. The individual is not as such concerned about his individuality in the universe but more about his unit or union with others in the world. “Belonging to” is the feeding ground for the religious person.

The spiritual person is not so much connected to a reason to belong to a group or being part of a community or parish. The Self and especially the inner-self are the motives underlying his quest and behaviour. His or her search to the inner-self are the grounds for a quality that can infuse experience in a wide variety of settings. Spiritual experience can be both transcendent and immanent: it can be both an experience of transcending worldly concerns and an intense present-moment perception that the ground of all being permeates all things. for the individual it is not a groups matter but a personal and an intense aliveness and deep sense of understanding that one intuitively comprehends as having come from a direct, internal link with that mysterious principle which connects all aspects of the universe. In Christianity and Ecclesiastical Terms the immanence came to be the relation to the pantheistic conception of God, as being present throughout the universe. A person could come to a state where he or she could make himself or herself free from the limitations inherent in matter, becoming Theol (of God) having continuous existence outside the created world in a well-built relationship with the Most High Creator God or with a godly being.

In the 19th century several people became convinced that society and its institutions — particularly organized religion and political parties — ultimately corrupted the purity of the individual.

Among others New England congregationalists, rejected predestination, and they emphasized the unity instead of the trinity of God. The many people who had seen how in Europe the church had corrupted the real Truth of the Bible, the infallible Word of God, were also convinced the dogmatic teaching of a Tri-Une God, three persons coexisting consubstantially as one being or homoousia (consubstantialis), had brought man away form the commandments of God not to worship pictures or sculptures of any heavenly being nor of Him, the God of all things. The Gnostics were the first theologians to use the word “homoousios”, while before the Gnostics there is no trace at all of its existence. Jesus, who was placed by God on this earth, was well aware of his position, being lower than the heavenly beings (the angels) and his Father, without Him he could do nothing and who is the Most High of all.

“You* heard how that I said to you*, I go away and I am coming to you*. If you* loved* me, you* would have rejoiced, because I said, I am going to the Father: because the Father is greater than I.” (John 14:28 MLV)

“But Jesus answered them, My Father works until now and I work. (18)  Because of this, then the Jews sought even more to kill him, because he did not only break the Sabbath, but also called God his own Father, making himself equal with God.
(19)  Therefore Jesus answered and said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you*, The Son can do nothing from himself, unless he sees what the Father is doing: for* whatever things he does, the Son is also doing these things similarly. (20)  For* the Father loves the Son and shows him all things that himself does and greater works than these he will show him, that* you* may marvel. (21)  For* just-as the Father raises the dead and gives-life to them, even so the Son also gives-life to whom he wills. (22)  For* the Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son; (23)  that* all may honor the Son, just-as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son, does not honor the Father who sent him. ” (John 5:17-23 MLV)

Already soon after the rabbi Jesus his death, his disciples were confronted with teachers who twisted Jesus his words and his teachings and mixed them with the Greek-Roman culture of that time. Lots of theories of the Greek philosophers did find their way in the faith of many early Christians, though the apostles kept warning for such false teachings. (See the Acts of the apostles and the many letters to the different communities.) Jesus of Nazareth never required his followers, many ordinary craftsman or fisherman, to follow theologian studies. But those who brought in all those studies of philosophers wanted their followers to learn them thoroughly. Therefore they created special institutions where this mix of teachings could be learned. by the years more time was spent on the teachings of the philosophers than on the Words of God. The early church theologians were probably made aware of the Gnostic concept, and thus of the doctrine of emanation, by them. {Aloys Grillmeier, Christ in Christian Tradition, vol. 1, From the Apostolic Age to Chalcedon (451) (London: Mowbrays, 1975), p. 109.}

It was what so many spiritual people kept busy, finding substance between generating and generated, getting to the identity of substance between things generated of the same substance that brought several people away from the Biblical Truth, finding the early Gnostic religious teacher Basilides in Alexandria, Egypt who taught from 117–138 CE.
Basilides believed faith was merely

“an assent of the soul to any of the things which do not excite sensation, because they are not present”.

He also believed faith was a matter of “nature,” not of responsible choice, so that men would

“discover doctrines without demonstration by an intellective apprehension”. {St. Clement of Alexandria, Stromata Book ii. Chapter iii.}

Image of a fiery purgatory in the Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry

Because Basilides believed faith was a matter of nature, doubtlessly he pushed election so far as to sever a portion of mankind from the rest, as alone entitled by Divine decree to receive a higher enlightenment. In this sense it must have been that he called “the election a stranger to the world, as being by nature supermundane”. {St. Clement of Alexandria, Stromata Book iv. Chapter xxvi.} It was also this teacher who brought in that Jesus his death was not enough to get liberated of sin. According to such a teaching it denies the value of the sacrifice of Christ by who’s death we can be adopted as a child of God and be reconciled, having paid for our sins by our death. The idea was created that people only could receive ‘reconciliation’ when they belonged to the Roman Catholic Church and had received a sacrament in which repentant sinners are absolved and gained reconciliation with God and the Church. Basilides deprived men of a salutary fear by teaching that transmigrations are the only punishments after death. In later years many churches used purgatory and hell-fire to frighten the people and to get them in their system as angst-ridden followers. Many denomination used it as the big stick to keep people in their flock, also telling them they only could be saved and could come in heaven by being a member of their church. Today we still notice such a preventative measure against going astray or leaving that church still works. The fear of loosing their heavenly life makes that many people do not dare to question those theologian doom teachings. Because Basilides held to a fatalistic view of metempsychosis, he believed the Christian martyrs were being punished not for being Christians, but for sins they had committed in the past. This made that people became afraid to loose their life when they would keep on to the teachings of the apostles and early followers of Jesus, who took him as the son of God and not as god the son. Taking on the symbols and worship methods of the Greece-Roman culture made them one of them and would give them less reasons to be killed.

Lots of religious people took the sign of the god of evil Tamuz, the cross, as the sign of the death of their god. The Only One God can not die and never did have an end to His life which is eternal, meaning ‘with no beginning and no end’. Jesus had a beginning, his birth and an end, his death. The ones from the New World had seen how the European churches not only brought in false doctrines like the trinity, but resisted also many other Christian doctrines which had become considered conventional for the Christian Faith. Searchers for the truth like Joseph Priestley, one of the founders of the Unitarian movement, defined Unitarianism as the belief of primitive Christianity before later corruptions set in. Among these corruptions, lots of people had taken on several pagan rituals and had made them custom actions in their religious life.

Soho House in Handsworth, Birmingham, a regular venue for meetings of the Lunar Society

At Daventry, Priestley was sufficiently grounded in Latin and Greek to hold his own in subsequent disputes with university-trained scholars. He was more generally introduced to a range of subjects in natural philosophy, but more significantly, he was there formally instructed in logic and metaphysics. In Birmingham he became preacher at New Meeting House, one of the most liberal congregations in England, and was soon associated with the Lunar Society, an informal collection of provincial intellectuals, scientists, and industrialists. Taking the Bible as the main guide for his study about God to compare with the historical writings about Jesus and his followers, he became the chief propagandist and protagonist for Unitarian beliefs in England, writing annual defences against attack, and developing in various historical and polemical works (for example, An History of the Corruptions of Christianity [1782] and An History of Early Opinions concerning Jesus Christ [1786]) a rationalist theology that suggests, in some measure, the ideas of textual and “higher criticism” of the New Testament. In the eyes of the church establishment, he came to represent the intolerable encroachments of dissent, and on him was focused their theological and political animus. {Complete Dictionary of Scientific Biography, 2008} when he had to escape from conservative England he emigrated to the United States in 1794 where president John Adams and George Washington were welcoming his teachings and made him to feel at home.

Those people looking to save their life found in the religion preached by those theologians of the Old World could feel ways to feel at ease with the many traditional movements done by the people around them. Instead of abstaining them form those worldly actions they now could take part without hesitation and fear, being part of the world. For many it was quite easy now to be religious, because according to the teaching of the apostles and the non-trinitarians or unitarians, people themselves were responsible and had to make choices themselves to make sure they would be worthy salvation. In the gnostic and Roman Catholic Church and later in several protestant churches they could blame their faults to a devil, called Satan or Lucifer, and always could find penitence even when they kept doing the same bad things. In many cases churches were willing to accept money for pardoning.

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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

Next: Being Religious and Spiritual 6 Romantici, utopists and transcendentalists

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Read also:

  1. Idolatry or idol worship
  2. “Who is The Most High” ? Who is thee Eternal? Who is Yehovah? Who is God?
  3. God of gods
  4. Some one or something to fear #6 Faith in the Most High
  5. יהוה , YHWH and Love: Four-letter words
  6. Praise the most High Jehovah God above all
  7. Praise and give thanks to God the Most Highest
  8. Christ Versus the Trinity
  9. Altered to fit a Trinity
  10. Reasons that Jesus was not God
  11. Jesus begotten Son of God #13 Pre-existence excluding virginal birth of the Only One Transposed
  12. Through Christ’s death you can be adopted as a child of God
  13. Sharing thoughts and philosophical writings
  14. Morality, values and Developing right choices
  15. Science and God’s existence
  16. Seeing the world through the lens of his own experience
  17. Leaving the Old World to find better pastures
  18. Emotional pain and emotional deadness
  19. What happens when we die?
  20. Fear and protection
  21. Heavenly creatures do they exist
  22. Satan or the devil
  23. Satan the evil within

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Additional reading:

  1. Paradise, the First Sin, the Fiery Sword, and the Path to Rectification
  2. Fear
  3. All trust, no fear
  4. Trinity And Pagan Influence
  5. Trinity: A False Doctrine of a False Church
  6. Part 2) God is not a Trinity
  7. The Trinity: paganism or Christianity?
  8. Unitarianism and the Bible of the Holy Trinity

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  • A New Gnosticism (supertradmum-etheldredasplace.blogspot.com)
    Well, after several months of thought, and being a bit dense, I figured out that Christian Scientism was a new Gnosticism. I suppose other people have known this, but I have beenin discussion with a friend who is a Christian Scientist and it finally dawned on me. She thinks that all reason is empiricism, so that is a confusion immediately seen.To the Catholic, reason and faith are two pillars of our spiritual life.

    For the Gnostic, the material world is evil. God is not part of the material. What the CS does with Genesis, in which we read that God created the world and everything in it and saw that it was good.

    For the Catholic, creation was created good by a good God. For the Catholic, Christ was Incarnated, became Man, became material. The CS does not accept this. To them, God is a principle not a person.

  • Embracing the Body as a Spiritual Path. (elephantjournal.com)
    The belief from many traditions is that we suffer precisely because we identify with our bodies, and that freedom is (somehow) somewhere beyond that mistake. But what I found over the years is that in fact the opposite might be true: we suffer when we do not embrace our bodies, and in fact it is our suffering in the first place that makes us reject, disconnect from and seek to be somewhere other than our bodies.chakrasHealing lies in coming home to the body. Whether it is recovery from trauma, abuse or addiction, learning to manage stress and be present with feelings, or releasing shame and media-conditioning to embrace our bodies as they are.
  • Um, Since When Does Jesus Have Skeletons in His Closet?: A Research Paper on Christianity (Part 1) (kosmosys.wordpress.com)
    Gnosticism is known to have correlations with Christianity based on its status of heresy with the Roman Catholic Church. Without going into specifics just yet, one can assume that “correlations”,”similarities” mean concepts, persons, principles, histories, what have you. Another interesting (or troubling?) thing about Gnosticism is that it actually Predates Christianity, meaning that it was in existence Long before Christianity. The understanding of the term “heresy” (and we will officially define it later) is that it is a corruption or perversion of scripture already in existence. How can Gnosticism corrupt or pervert Christianity IF Gnosticism was already in existence? So, if we are supposed to believe that Christianity is “self-existent” (meaning that the events in the Bible Actually happened and the people in the Bible were Real) how is it possible for it to be influenced by a School of Thought older than it? How can Jesus’ teachings exist Before He was supposedly born?
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    Um, Since When Does Jesus Have Bones in His Closet?: A Research Paper on Christianity (Part 2)
    What doctrine was the Church trying to silence? So by using Gnosticism, we can then get a new perspective on Christianity. We can look at its behavior, if you will, and understand exactly what, if anything, it is hiding in its closet.
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    According to NewAdvent.org, certain aspects of Gnosticism was in existence before that of Christianity, although at the time it was not called Gnosticism, as you can imagine, because Gnosticism itself was/is a spin off of older doctrines. One of the parent faiths of Gnosticism was the Babylonian Mandean faith, which I won’t even get into here. It is also pretty obvious that Gnosticism was not called such until it reached Greece seeing as the root of Gnosticism is “gnosis” meaning knowledge and is a greek word. So, according to this particular source, NewAdvent.org, “it is beyond doubt that Gnosticism existed independent of and anterior to Christianity.” Which means that there is no way that Gnosticism could come as a perversion of Christianity because it was here first.
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    As Christians have we not been trained to not think? What about the questions wehave been asked thathave been answered with a “don’t test God” or “God’s mysterious ways.” How many times hasCreflo dollar told us “don’t think! Sow!” How many times have we wondered where all our tithes and offerings are going? Who is spending it and on what?It is clear what the Church thinks about people with knowledge, people who think. Was Jesus not the reason for the slaughter of dozens of innocent men, women, and children during the Salem Witch Trials? How many of you knew the TRUE meaning of the terms listed above?
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    All I’m saying is that we need to open our eyes more. Ask questions. Understand things. Obviously there is more to be see than just meets the eye. There is more that needs to be learned. Otherwise, why would the Church cause so much bloodshed to silence the knowledge?
  • My Experience In The Word Of Faith Pt. 7-Watchman Nee,Mrs. Jessie Penn-Lewis (christianreasons.com)
    Pay careful attention to the reference regarding a deeper spiritual life. That will become important when we discuss the Keswick movement. The main thing I want to demonstrate is the link to Roman Catholic mysticism.Although the “Cross” is emphasized with the Higher Life advocates, the Sanctifying effects of union with Christ is stressed almost to the exclusion of the Justifying effects and the forgiveness of sins. I have a real problem with that. It is also common among Classic Wesleyans and Pentecostals to over-emphasize the more subjective aspects of Sanctification than the objective work of Christ in Justification.
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    The focus on the intuition as the real means of grasping truth, rather than through the specifics (including the wording) of Scripture is a definite type of Gnosticism, complete with its arrogance and exclusivity (regardless of intentions to the contrary). His claims that the conscience is based on one’s intuition opens wide the door for being directed by a supposed inner voice from God rather than taking God’s written Word as the true basis of conscience training. The conscience is only as accurate as the training upon which it is based. development of a rather complicated system, with its own specific terminology, which means that the uninitiated cannot really grasp the “deep teachings” of God. The focus on the intuition as the real means of grasping truth, rather than through the specifics (including the wording) of Scripture is a definite type of Gnosticism, complete with its arrogance and exclusivity (regardless of intentions to the contrary).
    +My Experience In The Word Of Faith Movement Pt. 6-Watchman Nee, Miss Margaret E. Barber, Roman Catholic Mystics
    + Pt.1, Pt. 2, Pt. 3, Pt. 4, Pt. 5.
    It has been in my exposure to the Reformers that I learned the broken ladders that the little theologians of glory in us love to use to get to God.
    +
    In The Normal Christian Life, (probably one of his more popular titles), Nee writes: “Righteousness, the forgiveness of our sins, and peace with God are all ours by faith, and without faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ none can possess them.” His whole exposition on the Blood of Christ in this book is very orthodox, and insightful. As far as it goes, it’s theologically sound.
  • Is It O.k. for Christians to Do Martial Arts? (prayers4reparation.wordpress.com)
    Many of the martial arts popular in the West have origins in parts of the world where Buddhist and other forms of religious philosophy are (or were) prevalent. Such philosophy is not essential to discipline and exercise, and indeed we can bring a Christian approach to bear, especially since we strive to focus not only on our own well-being but on selfless charity to others.
    +
    If it is simply a question of breathing exercises or seeking peace and harmony of soul, without the imposition of Pagan beliefs, then we can take part, though in our own practice we can bring to bear our Christian faith in which Christ is our peace, and the values of self-discipline and care of our physical health are seen in the context of a spiritual life in accord with the teaching of the Gospel.

Dignified role for the woman

The dignity of the office of housewife is today by many forgotten. Many men are not conscious what a work it demands to keep the household running properly. there are men who wanted their wives to work outside the house, but who are not willing to take on themselves the jobs in the house. Instead many married men do expect to have the woman working to bring in extra money plus doing all the household tasks.

If we want to see gender equality we do have to find the household jobs being done by men and women, both sharing in equal tasks.

English: Equality (film), a short film produce...

Equality (film), a short film produced and directed by Al Sutton, MD in 2010, that documents the largest gender equality strike in U.S. History, The Women’s Strike for Equality of 1970. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When we look at creation, the first woman, Eve, was provided as Adam’s complement, or counterpart, by the Creator. She was not created as a minor to the first man Adam. the divine Maker of all things, the Elohim Hashem Jehovah God assigned to the mannin or first woman an honourable role in the family arrangement. She was to be a part of God’s purpose for them to produce children and care for them as well as to take care of the earth and its animals. She would provide the intellectual stimulus and support of a true companion.

26 And God* went on to say: “Let us+ make* man* in our image,*+ according to our likeness,+ and let them have in subjection the fish of the sea and the flying creatures of the heavens and the domestic animals and all the earth and every moving animal that is moving upon the earth.”+ 27 And God proceeded to create the man in his image, in God’s image he created him;+ male and female he created them.+ 28 Further, God blessed+ them and God said to them: “Be fruitful+ and become many and fill the earth and subdue+ it, and have in subjection+ the fish of the sea and the flying creatures of the heavens and every living creature that is moving* upon the earth.” (Genesis 1:26-28)

23 Then the man said: “This is at last bone of my bones And flesh of my flesh.+ This one will be called Woman,* Because from man* this one was taken.”+ (Genesis 2:23.)

Today we have become a society where mothers are commonly made to feel that being a homemaker and caring for children is a second-class occupation. Women are made feeling guilty when they would prefer to look for the children. The world does not mind to see the children dropped at the crèche or childcare early in the morning, and to get them at the end of the day just to put them back into bed. Though they do not want that the childminders interfere with upbringing or that the educators at school give an education in ethical behaviour. Because of that we do have already three generations where we can find no guided social behaviour, creating several problems in social behaviour and finding ways to live together with others. Resulting in anti-social behaviour.

Some men and women feel that a woman needs a career outside the home in order to realize her full potential.

Through history we can see that the Divine Creator established guidelines for what women could do and as to how they were to be treated. For example, Israelite mothers were to be shown honor and not to be treated with contempt. If a son ‘called down evil upon his father and his mother,’ he would be subject to the death penalty. Christian youths were urged to be “obedient to [their] parents.”

3 “‘YOU should fear each one his mother and his father,*+ and my sabbaths YOU should keep.+ I am Jehovah YOUR God. (Leviticus 19:3)

9 “‘In case there should be any man who calls down evil upon his father and his mother,+ he should be put to death without fail.+ It is his father and his mother upon whom he has called down evil. His own blood* is upon him.+ (Leviticus; 20:9)

Children in the early times learned to be obedient to their parents and to those who got guidance over them, like their teachers. This does not seem to be appropriate any more today, and that iw why so much is going wrong in our society.

6 Children, be obedient* to YOUR parents+ in union+ with [the] Lord,* for this is righteous:+ (Ephesians 6:1)

16 “‘Honor your father and your mother,+ just as Jehovah your God has commanded you; in order that your days may prove long and it may go well with you+ on the ground that Jehovah your God is giving you. (Deuteronomy 5:16)

16 “‘Cursed is the one who treats his father or his mother with contempt.’+ (And all the people must say, ‘Amen!’) (Deuteronomy 27:16)

17 The eye that holds a father in derision and that despises obedience to a mother+—the ravens of the torrent valley will pick it out and the sons of the eagle will eat it up. (Proverbs 30:17.)

People sitting on mats on the floor, reading b...

Men and women sitting on mats on the floor, reading books to edify themselves. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Father an mother were placed on the same level, and children did not have to honour their father more than their mother. Under the husband’s direction, the mother was to be the educator of both daughters and sons. A son was commanded ‘not to forsake the law of his mother.’

20 Observe, O my son, the commandment of your father,+ and do not forsake the law of your mother.+ (Proverbs 6:20)

Also, Proverbs chapter 31 provides “the weighty message that [King Lemuel’s] mother gave to him in correction.” She wisely directed her son to avoid improper use of alcoholic beverages, saying: “It is not for kings to drink wine or for high officials to say: ‘Where is intoxicating liquor?’ that one may not drink and forget what is decreed and pervert the cause of any of the sons of affliction.”(Proverbs 31:1, 4, 5.)

The apostle Paul let his brethren know he also listened to his mother and grandmother and demanded that they also did that. (2 Timothy 1:5) It is from childhood that the basics of faith and the way of life should be given, to the babe, the teen, the adolescent, so that the young adult can remember how his or her parents and teachers brought wisdom to them. From infancy the children should have to learn about the way they do have to continue in their life. From infancy they have to known the Holy Scriptures, that are able to make them wise unto salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.

15 and that from infancy+ you have known the holy writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation+ through the faith in connection with Christ Jesus.+ (2 Timothy 3:15)

In our society of men and women some may think it does not matter any more if men or going to live together with other men or women with other women. In the provision for manhood is foreseen that young man would find young woman and would contemplate going to live together under a bond called marriage. Considering such a bond the young man would be wise to consider the description of “a capable wife” that was given by King Lemuel’s mother, who said: “Her value is far more than that of corals.” Then, after describing the important contribution that such a wife makes to a household, the king’s mother said: “Charm may be false, and prettiness may be vain; but the woman that fears Jehovah is the one that procures praise for herself.” (Proverbs 31:10-31) Clearly, our Creator made women to occupy a position of honour and responsibility in the family.

In cultures where men received an education centred on the man, we can observe the mistreatment of and lack of respect for women. In places where it is accepted that the woman has to offer something very valuable to the community, people look at those women with respect.

We learn so much from mothers — habits that stand us in good stead throughout life, good manners so essential for good relationships, and in many cases a moral and spiritual upbringing that keeps youths on course.

Women should be proud and show their kids and husbands their reason for making our world a righteous place where every person can be treated equally respectful. The should find joy in loving their husbands, loving their children, and should be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonoured.  (Titus 2:4-5)

+++

"Mother and Child" by Henriette Brow...

“Mother and Child” by Henriette Browne; Wollstonecraft envisioned motherhood as a liberating role for women. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • Francis Frangipane: A Special Word to the Women of God (soundofheavenblog.wordpress.com)
    When the Lord created humankind, He placed unique graces in man and separate but equally unique graces in woman. He told Adam to name the species of life on earth “and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name” (Genesis 2:19).
    +
    Within the genetics of this original man, there also existed the powerful, but dormant, qualities of the woman. While Adam slept the Spirit took from the man a rib. Fashioning it into a woman, the Lord created for Adam a companion. Not only was she suitable for him, but she powerfully expanded man’s creative capacities. Indeed, the woman brought many new graces into Adam’s world that did not formerly exist – the foremost of which was the power to conceive and give birth.
    +
    The term woman was a delineation used by Adam, identifying her as a unique variation in the species of man. My wife says, “Think of her as the upgrade.” In some ways, she is right, for the nature of the woman was twice refined. Adam was created of earth; the woman emerged not from the earth but from the man. She is both more complex and emotionally sophisticated.
    +
    Eve enlivened Adam in ways no other creature on earth could. Adam could build a house; Eve made it a home. When Adam named Eve “Life,” he was not only speaking prophetically of the first mother, but he was speaking out of his own experience: Eve brought life into the structure of Adam’s world.
  • Polygenism is Problematic – A Catholic Caution on another Aspect of Evolutionary Theory (adw.org)
    Polygenism is a theory of human origins positing that the human race descended from a pool of early human couples, indeterminate in number. Hence, this theory, Adam and Eve are merely symbols of Mankind. Rather than being an historical couple, they represent the human race as it emerges from the hominids that gave rise to them as they become homo sapiens, properly speaking.This is opposite to the idea of monogenism, which posits a single origin of humanity in Adam and Eve. In this understanding, Adam and Eve are historical figures who actually existed and from them alone the whole of the human race is descended.
  • Genesis 3:15 (biblebeastswheatweeds.com)
    More than 4,000 years after Jehovah’s original prophecy, the promised Seed appeared. It was Jesus. (Galatians 3:16) As a perfect man, Jesus kept his integrity to the death and thus proved that Satan’s accusations were lies. In addition, since Jesus was sinless, his death was a sacrifice of great value. By means of it, Jesus provided deliverance from sin and death for faithful descendants of Adam and Eve. Jesus’ death on the torture stake was the ‘bruising in the heel’ of the promised Seed.—Hebrews 9:11-14.
  • When Family Matters Most (r16sixteen.wordpress.com)
    He created a perpetual (until the return of the Savior) renewing of family. The family structure is important. It is a beautiful union of lives meant to love, care for and support one another. Without family suitable companionship cannot be found.
    +
    If companionship were suitable outside of marriage and the extension family, then God would not have needed to create the woman to be with the man. But God knew that man needed to be joined together in a companionship which leads to family.
    +
    The Home and Family
    We need to define our family as God’s word defines it.  We need to constantly be evaluating ourselves within a marriage to see if we are fulfilling our roles properly.  We need to be watchful for attacks against our home and family.  In fact, we need to be holding God’s word up to ourselves constantly as a father, mother, husband, wife, son, daughter, or whatever to see how we are measuring up and how we need to improve.
  • Roles of men and woman (knowandmakeknown.wordpress.com)
    Men and woman have equal but very different roles. Our culture has a skewed look on relationships and the gender roles within them. It has become common in our culture for the woman to be the leader or initiator. It is common for woman to try and manipulate situations to get a guy to like or pursue her. It is normal for woman to initiate contact with man first. It is common for men to get by with being lazy or coward. It is common for men to be aggressive and abusive. I so easily forget where I cam from, where mankind came from. In the Garden of Eden we see the roles of man and woman and the consequences of not fulfilling those roles.
  • We Are Equal. (cutedollars.wordpress.com)
    nowhere in all the creation accounts – from Biblical accounts to Greek stories of human creation to Charles Darwin’s theory of human evolution – was woman said to be inferior to the man.
    By Biblical accounts, when God created Adam and Eve, he made them one. Not one then half, but one as a whole, signifying equality.
    +
    To understand gender inequality and its inherent dangers, let’s take a look at the meaning of gender inequality.
    Gender inequality is the unequal treatment or discrimination of individuals based on their gender.
    The problems with gender inequality stem primarily from traditional gender role playing. Girls do house chores; boys do not cook; boys construct and build; girls internally decorate and beautify.
    +
    Psychological and financial dependence on others are the bedrock upon which domestic violence thrive. The importance of a career or means of livelihood for the woman, single or married, cannot be overemphasized.
  • Women Othered in Genesis (genderandsexualitycore.wordpress.com)
    though she was created to be “his partner” she is instructed that he is the superior human being, and that her “desire shall be for [her] husband, and he shall rule over [her]” (2:7-18; 3:16).
    +
    Eve can be construed as wiser than Adam for eating from the tree but it is also important to note that the default human being is male and that God is referred to throughout Genesis with male or gender neutral pronouns and never female pronouns. Most of the passages detailing genealogy focus on or only mention male names and Adam and Eve as a couple are often defined by the male in the relationship, referred to as “the man and his wife” rather than “the man and the woman” or “the woman and her husband.”
  • “Men are from Earth, women are from Earth. Deal with it.” -George Carlin (muggleinconverse.wordpress.com)
    UN Women’s new ad campaign came to my attention several days ago. It made me sick to my stomach, disappointed, sad, and angry. Let’s see how it makes you feel.
    +
    Centuries of religious and societal standards have told us that women are less than men. Women are starting to show up in leadership positions, but they still feel the sting of patriarchy.
    +
  • Urmila Home Manager – Dignifying Domestic Work (saath.wordpress.com)
    According to National Sample Survey Organization (NSSO), In 2009-10, estimated total number of domestic worker in India is around 2.52 million out of this 2/3 reside in urban areas and 57% of them are women. So in the last 10 years there is almost 75% increase in domestic workers mostly accounted for by women. Domestic work has historically been viewed as the realm of the woman with crucial household chores continuing to be either being unpaid (if performed by a household’s women) or underpaid (if outsourced to a domestic worker). Though Gujarat as a State is booming economically, the informal sector and amongst these, domestic work is still a sector where there is a lot of work that needs to be done. Their situation remains the same as for many across India – no bargaining power, no leave, no legal access, sexual harassment, over worked, and underpaid. Moreover there is no platform through which these women can come together to demand their rights.