Mental Enslavement and Sins Syndrome (MESS)

Today we came across a blog where was spoken of the Mental Enslavement and Sins Syndrome (MESS), which we would consider concerns all people of this globe.

Pastor ucocsthdm, Founder/Senior Pastor at Universal Church of Christ Seventh Day Ministries

The blog Inward Jews’ Site for Emancipation from Mental and Spiritual Enslavement! (previously Blessupebookstore) is from Redeeming Luv,  a God-fearing Guyanese of African descent, whose name is Wilfred A. Wilson, Pastor of Universal Church of Christ Seventh Day Ministries, INC., and leader of the Inward Jew Nation in Christ (Guyana, South America, an arm of the UCOC7THDM. He came to grips with Jesus in the early 70s and felt saved by him, called and put in the ministry.

If we are right his church then belongs to over 500 Sabbath keeping Churches of all different denominations. Some of the largest Sabbath keeping Churches would be the Seventh Day Baptist, Seventh-day Adventist, Church of God and the United Church of God.

The preacher his online presence is due to the fact that because his African descendants, 177 years after their ancestors, were fully emancipated on August 1, 1838, his people, are still enslaved mentally and spiritually, and he feels he is having an inspired Word and message to deliver to his people as well as for the world in a season where souls are ready to be harvested upon hearing the true Gospel of Jesus Christ preached unto them.

He asks coloured people to take back their birthright to the kingdom of God and of Christ, His Son, for the coloured people wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. [Ephesian 5:4]

He writes

The devil got to run when we speak the Word, viz., Jesus, say it again, Jesus, and say it again, Jesus. May God Almighty richly bless you. The Spirit of God gave me a Word which will set free whosoever believes from their Mental Enslavement and Sins Syndrome. (MESS) The inspired New Testament Word is:

“…Pass the time of your sojourning here in fear: for as much as y know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers: But with the precious Blood of Christ, as of a lamb without spot.” [1Peter1:17-19] {Blogging 201: Day 8 Assignment}

Mental Enslavement for sure is something we are all chained by. Wherever we live are minds are taken in by the place where we grew up and by the people who formed us and moulded in the being we are at present in this system of things. The ‘Mental Enslavement’ the pastor considers to be a legacy of slavery. For him it is

the root cause of the current divisions among us, African descendants. {Blogging 201: Day 8 Assignment}

The white English naturalist and geologist Charles Darwin

Nelson Mandela led the ANC in the battle against South African Apartheid.

Caucasians, Asians, they too are divided by their enslavement of their spirit. It is not restricted to the African people. Neither is the Sins Syndrome as a legacy of Adam’s transgression restricted to black people. Perhaps worse, the white people took the innocent black people chained to their world of greed and of unconnectedness with nature. By the commerce of slavery many black people where taken away form their native place where their people were still connected with nature and lived in peaceful communities where there was a certain order of respect. That respect and family order was broken, the mind degraded unto that of an animal. The negro was made into a carnal man which had no rights and was considered as part of the animal world. Carnal white man saw in them an opportunity to enrich themselves and to have some element with whom they could have sex as much and how they wanted it. For many of them it was an element by which no sin could be done. And church looked at it and did nothing against it.

A European map of West Africa, 1736. Included is the archaic mapping designation of Negroland.

We may not forget they all are under the spell of the fall of man, but God did ask each individual to make up their own choice and to go away from that spell. God created the human beings with the possibility to think for themselves. Man has no excuse to point the finger to Adam and Eve. It is not because they sinned, we can not do different. If that would be so that would mean the Divine Creator created human beings who are not able to live according to the rules God gave them. Such a thing would make that God a very Cruel God.

It is true that even today there are lots of Christian preachers who say man is incapable to do good or to do the Will of God, and therefore Jesus has to be God. They are mistaken and have become enslaved to their twisted mind or to the twisted mind of generations of theologians. Those people who call themselves scientists in the knowledge of God took a lot of time to study books of other theologians. Most of their time is spend to reading and studying books of other people of this world, instead of spending more time to reading the Word of God itself, given to mankind by the Book of books.

They and their followers have come enslaved to their minds which are taken in by human doctrines. That ‘Mental enslavement’ is the root cause of the current divisions among so many people, not only for African descendants.

The blogwriter thinks his people, due to years of conditioning, have become strangers one to the other, or at least some act as though they are because of their mindset. He should know all other races are also enslaved to their world which works as a magnet drawing them in all sorts of dreams and adventures.

When you look at this world you will see that man made a big mess of it. As such that Mental Enslavement and Sins Syndrome (MESS) fits clearly our big mess.

Living in this big mess perhaps also being caught by that Mess, we do have to know we can become liberated from any form of slavery. Some two thousand years ago a man was born who proofed that it was all lies that a man could not do the Will of God. That Nazarene Jew managed not to do his own will but humbled himself and gave himself totally to this God and His creatures. That son of man showed the world that each son of man is capable to come to God and do what God wants from him or her. Those who say Jesus is God, because no man is ever able to follow God from himself or herself, are telling lies. They are misleading people and are holding them back from the real God of gods, Who is the Only One True God which all people should come to worship.

The Jew Jeshua, today better known under his falls name which gives honour to the god Zeus, Jesus  (Hail Zeus), had studied the Word of God, proclaimed it, prayed a lot to his heavenly Father and asked also his followers to pray to his heavenly Father, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jakob. That man of flesh and blood gave his body to the world, but kept his mind high up by his heavenly Father and demands us to do the same, as him coming to be united with that only One True God, being one like Jesus is one with Him.

When we do follow Jesus, who is the Way to God, we are able to change our attitude. Yes it

could be changed by the power in the blood of Christ.

How? You have to let go (MESS), and allow God to have His way in you. {Blogging 201: Day 8 Assignment}

We are not a hopeless people, who are unable to become without further sinning. It is true that all of us sin but such a condition has not to continue for ever. For there is hope, hope in the very Christ, whose precious Blood washes away our sins the moment we repent and believe the Word of God from the heart. Such act of coming into believing in Christ, the son of God, will demand work. Then shall come the most important factor to break the chains of enslavement, namely the demand of repentance. When we do not come to see what we have done wrong or what we can do wrong we shall never be liberated. We do have to see what is wrong and what is the right way. Without recognising good and bad we shall not see the light nor become free citizens under Christ.

People of all sorts of cultures should know that God is not partial and that He had sent His son for all people. For God nobody should be enslaved and be under the spell of satan, the adversary of God. People should come to believe in the sent one from God, the son of God and

Know that it is the Word that will turn your life around so that you do not have to continue being a slave to sin. and to the devil. [Romans 6:7-23]  If you have doubts about Christ, put your right hand on the region of your heart and say, Father in heaven, help my unbelief. Amen. I guarantee that God the Father will hear your prayer. Amen. {Blogging 201: Day 8 Assignment}

There are still too many Christians who do not believe what Jesus really did, not doing his own will but submitting to the Will of God and giving his body as a ransom for the sins of mankind.

Today there are still too many who prefer following human traditions and human doctrines instead of adhering to sound Biblical teaching and going for the Biblical tradition. We should come to see how everything links together. The Old Testament is inherent to the New testament. The promises given in the Garden of Eden have become a reality by Jesus being the promised Messiah.

Jesus has become the slave who managed to liberate his fellow slaves. His death made an end to the curse of death. In him we are liberated and can put away the chains leading to death. After he had gone his apostles continued doing the work Jesus ordered them to do. Philip also came to bring people as the eunuch to God.

Philip in the awesome presence of the Most High God and under His Sovereignty did not sprinkle water on him, he did not pour water on his head, he did not duck him in the water three times, he did not baptize him in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, but rather, Philip baptized our Ethiopian brother in the name of the Lord Jesus, just as He cayon-sugar-canewas guided by the Holy Spirit to do at Samaria.
It is written, “…they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.”[Acts 8:16, 2:] And for those who may have a problem with the parenthesis in this verse of scripture: Acts 2:38, says,

“Then Peter said to them, Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”

Proof: Thus at the mouth of two genuine witnesses (the scriptures) baptism in the name of the Lord Jesus is established. Let us give Yahweh praise. {Blogging 201: Day 8 Assignment}

The highly placed person came into the faith and knew he had to do things. He was convinced that it was not enough to have been baptised, but that once having come into the faith the believer had to do works, like spreading the gospel and giving people hope.

Cush or Kush, an ancient African kingdom situated on the confluences of the Blue Nile, White Nile and River Atbara in what is now the Republic of Sudan.

Ethiopia was one of the great kingdoms of Africa, part of which is now called Abyssinia. It is frequently mentioned in Scripture under the name of Cush. But Cush comprehended a much larger region, including the southern part of Arabia, and even sometimes the countries adjacent to the Tigris and Euphrates. Ethiopia Proper lay south of Egypt, on the Nile, and was bounded north by Egypt, that is, by the cataracts near Syene; east by the Red Sea, and perhaps part by the Indian Ocean; south by unknown regions in the interior of Africa; and west by Lybia and the deserts. It comprehended the modern kingdoms of Nubia or Sennaar, and Abyssinia. The chief city in it was the ancient Meroe, situated on the island or tract of the same name, between the Nile and Ashtaborus, not far from the modern Shendi. (Robinson’s Calmet,)

The confidential officer, or counsellor of state, was a Jew, or at least a Jewish proselyte. It was customary for the Jews in foreign lands, as far as practicable, to attend the great feasts at Jerusalem. He had gone up to attend the Passover, and got fascinated by the new teachings of the followers of the Jew Jeshua and humiliated himself going down into the water to get baptised. The conversion of the Ethiopian Eunuch is a milestone in the proclamation of the gospel which spread from Jerusalem. The fact that he rode in a chariot was a demonstration of his wealth and power. One would think he would not share his faith with lower people, but he did. The eunuch “went on his way rejoicing” (Acts 8:39). He went along taking care others also came into the faith, which could spread from Arabia and Egypt to the North of Africa.

All nations should come to see how that important man welcomed the opportunity of ‘emptying himself’ by going down to baptism. He rejoiced in his appreciation of how his Saviour had emptied himself to make it possible for the eunuch, a man who was excluded from the ‘congregation of the Lord’, to draw close to God, no longer being distanced from Jehovah God by sin.

We all may be connected with one or other ‘class’ or ‘profession’, but for god we are all the same and given the same opportunities to come to God. We only should react in the right way when we hear the call.

Like the eunuch we can take the knowledge of the greatness of the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ with us into our everyday lives that will provide a fitting contrast to the aspirations to greatness of those around. This can help us to follow his example of humility and rejoice that we might share the true greatness of the Lord Jesus Christ at his return to the earth.

In the meantime we may not sit still. We do have to do the works of faith. To get away from the ‘Sin Syndrome’ we have to work at our character. It will not come easy to step in the right direction and to always keep to the Word of God.

Like god in the past changed the mindset of many He is willing to change our mindset too. We should take time to see the links from the past as well as those with the future.

The past refers to Yahweh’s Visitation with our African brother (1) and when He miraculously changed His mindset, and moved Him away from those aspects of our Fathers’ tradition which are not in sync  neither Yahweh nor His Word. {Blogging 201: Day 8 Assignment}

The pastor ends

Make it a habit to trace our Biblical history and tradition back to Acts 8:26-39, and believe the Word and teach your children all the Word builds up our confidence, gives us a sense of belonging, a high self worth, and a strong feeling that we are guided by it (the Word), in our journey along a path in Christ— that has continuity.  O let us give God Praise. Amen. {Blogging 201: Day 8 Assignment}

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Preceding articles

Scripture about Creation and Creator Deity

How Many Persons Created the Heavens and the Earth?

Some one or something to fear #7 Not afraid for Gods Name

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Additional reading

  1. No other god besides Jehovah who gives all explanation
  2. God of gods
  3. Only One God
  4. God is one
  5. The faithful God
  6. God’s wisdom for the believer brings peace
  7. Necessity of a revelation of creation 9 Searching the Scriptures
  8. Necessity of a revelation of creation 11 Believing and obeying the gospel of the Kingdom of God
  9. Necessity of a revelation of creation 14 Searching the scriptures
  10. God’s forgotten Word 3 Lost Lawbook 2 Modern scepticism
  11. Theologians and a promised Spirit to enlighten us
  12. A god who gave his people commandments and laws he knew they never could keep to it
  13. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  14. Back from gone #4 Your inner feelings and actions
  15. Our life depending on faith – Looking at the Bible reading for January 28
  16. Faith Alone Does Not Save . . . No Matter How Many Times Protestants Say It Does
  17. January 27, 417, Pope Innocent I condemning Pelagius about Faith and Works
  18. Epicurus’ Problem of Evil
  19. A Living Faith #1 Substance of things hoped for
  20. A living faith #2 State of your faith
  21. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  22. A Living Faith #4 Effort
  23. A Living Faith #5 Perseverance
  24. A Living Faith #6 Sacrifice
  25. A Living faith #7 Prayer
  26. A Living Faith #8 Change
  27. A Living Faith #9 Our Manner of Life
  28. A Living Faith #10: Our manner of Life #2
  29. A Living Faith #11 My place in the body of Christ and my ecclesia
  30. A Living Faith #12 The Love for Jesus
  31. Faith and works
  32. Not making yourselves abominable
  33. The attraction of doing something
  34. Re–forming ourselves
  35. Humbleness
  36. Wired to Connect?
  37. Bearing fruit
  38. Comments to James remarks, about Faith and works
  39. First man’s task still counting today
  40.  He who knows himself, is kind to others
  41. Luther’s misunderstanding
  42. Our life depending on faith
  43. Romans 4 and the Sacraments
  44. Is Justification a process?
  45. Letter to the Romans, chapter 3
  46. Letter to the Romans, chapter 4
  47. Additional comments to the 3rd Letter to the Romans
  48. Additional comments to the Letter to the Romans 4
  49. Missional hermeneutics 5/5
  50.  The sin of partiality
  51. Hope by faith and free gift
  52. Not bounded by labels but liberated in Christ
  53. The meek one riding on an ass
  54. Atonement And Fellowship 7/8
  55. Authority given to him To give eternal life
  56. Reasons why you may not miss the opportunity to go to a Small Church
  57. Being Religious and Spiritual 7 Transcendence to become one
  58. Preparation for unity
  59. Follower of Jesus part of a cult or a Christian
  60. Sharing thoughts and philosophical writings
  61. Looking for True Spirituality 7 Preaching of the Good News
  62. Daring to speak in multicultural environment

 

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Further related articles

  1. A man
  2. My Flesh and My Spirit
  3. What are we asking for? What do we need?
  4. Baptism of the Spirit: my testimony
  5. So, Here Goes…
  6. The Angelic Doctor
  7. Good Morning January 25
  8. Theologian Spotlight: Martin Luther
  9. What Does It Mean To Be a Theologian
  10. What Makes a Theologian
  11. Pulpit Supply: Sunday School: Four Key Concepts to be a better Theologian
  12. Luther on Being a Theologian: Oratio, Meditatio and Tentatio
  13. Who is qualified to write theology?
  14. A Quote from St. Augustine on “The State”
  15. Theology as Discipleship
  16. 43rd of 2015.
  17. No More Sunday School Answers
  18. Between A Father and Son
  19. lifted up
  20. Father, Holy Spirit, & Son: When the Trinity is Out of Order
  21. Have You Seen Jesus?
  22. What does it mean that God is the Ancient of Days?
  23. Review: The Unseen Realm

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Finding God amid all the religious externals


“Every age has its own characteristics.
Right now we are in an age of religious complexity.
The simplicity which is in Christ is rarely found among us.
In its stead are programs, methods, organizations and a world of nervous activities which occupy time and attention but can never satisfy the longing of the heart.


The shallowness of our inner experience, the hollowness of our worship, and the servile imitation of the world which marks our promotional methods all testify that we, in this day, know God only imperfectly, and the peace of God scarcely at all.

If we would find God amid all the religious externals we must first determine to find Him, and then proceed in the way of simplicity.
Now as always God discovers Himself to `babes’ and hides Himself in thick darkness from the wise and the prudent. We must simplify our approach to Him.


We must strip down to essentials (and they will be found to be blessedly few).
We must put away all effort to impress, and come with the guileless candor of childhood.
If we do this, without doubt God will quickly respond.”
-Tozer, The Pursuit of God

 

 

Cover of "The Pursuit of God"

Cover of The Pursuit of God

 

Please do find about :

 

Finding God:

 

  1. I Only hope we find GOD again before it is too late !
  2. This month’s survey question: Does God Exist?
  3. Philosophy hand in hand with spirituality
  4. Good or bad preacher
  5. Unread bestseller
  6. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #13 Prayer #11 Name to be set apart
  7. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #14 Prayer #12 The other name
  8. Lord or Yahuwah, Yeshua or Yahushua
  9. The radiance of God’s glory and the counsellor
  10. Jesus spitting image of his father
  11. A God between many gods
  12. Jehovah Yahweh Gods Name
  13. Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name
  14. OT prophesies and the NT fulfillment of them

 

Stripping down to essentials

 

  1. We have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace
  2. Act as if everything you think, say and do determines your entire life
  3. A good idea to halt all activity for one hour some day
  4. Truth never plays false roles of any kind, which is why people are so surprised when meeting it
  5. Blaming their circumstances for what they are
  6. Knowing where to go to
  7. Hello America and atheists
  8. Preferring to be a Christian
  9. The inspiring divine spark
  10. Eternity depends upon this short time on earth
  11. Foundation to go the distance

 

Believing in the Creator

 

  1. Words in the world
  2. A learning process for each of us
  3. Being sure of their deliverance
  4. Whom Shall I Fear (God of Angel Armies) by Chris Tomlin
  5. Praise be to God
  6. Only one God
  7. The Divine name of the Creator
  8. Fearing the right person
  9. Faith is knowing there is an ocean because you have seen a brook.
  10. Walking in love by faith, not by sight
  11. Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked
  12. Looking to the East and the West for Truth
  13. Where is the edge
  14. Believing in God the rewarder
  15. Disappointed with God
  16. Does God hear prayer?
  17. Sometimes we pray and pray and it seems like nothing happens.
  18. Disappointed with God
  19. God’s non answer
  20. Does God answer prayer?
  21. Content with the “no” answer
  22. God Helper and Deliverer
  23. Gods hope and our hope
  24. Gods design in the creation of the world
  25. Gods promises
  26. Gods salvation
  27. Gods measure not our measure
  28. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #10 Prayer #8 Condition
  29. Creator and Blogger God 8 A Blog of a Book 2 Holy One making Scriptures Holy
  30. Be an Encourager
  31. How long to wait before bringing religiousness and spirituality in practice

 

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From other denominations:

 

  1. How to Find God
    1. It is not necessary to go to church or other place of worship to find God, though it may be very helpful.
    2. Participate in a local worship center, if you choose, as this may also be helpful to your search.
    3. Look at your local library or bookstore. You will find helpful books and videos about many different faiths in the religion section of your local library or bookstore.
    4. Do not turn off your brain
    5. Start your search with an open mind.
    6. Choose a person of faith. Ask them to give you direction.
    7. Compose questions for your search
    8. Speak to God.
    9. Be ready to discard notions you may have of the nature of God.
    10. Be ready to look outside of one organized denomination.
    11.Consider reading the holy books that are referred to as being or containing the word of God as pinned by prophets and apostles (followers) of God, for example the Holy Bible or Quran.
  2. Finding God in 5 Steps
    While it’s important to understand that any kind of powerful experiences of God are a gift, that there’s not some magic formula we can follow that will guarantee that we’ll hear the voice of God or have a major religious experience, there are certain things we can do to make more room in our hearts for God’s presence.
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    1. Seek humility first
    2. Go on a cynicism fast
    3. Do the experiment
    4. Pray frequently
    > Our Note: according to us you do not need to “Read the great Christian authors”
    and we would say 5. Be confident because he has called you.
  3. Finding God in everyday life
    Our God is passionately engaged in drawing us to the fulness of life we were created for.  We are seeking to find a God who loves us and is always seeking intimacy with us.  It is simple.  A sense of absence vanishes when I am open to a sense of presence.
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    Making the choice to adopt some new patterns  allows it to happen.  God is always choosing to be with me, in any way, in any situation I will be open to.  The choice to get better at meeting God there is all mine.
  4. Finding God After Leaving Religion
    Thirty-four million Americans have given up on organized religion, according to the most recent American Religious Identification Survey. Yet for many of these dropouts — from churches, synagogues, temples and so on — spirituality is still a vital part of their lives.
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    Maybe people are leaving the church because they’d prefer to live in the real world — the desegregated one.
    Then, there are those church leaders who seem obsessed with having the biggest church, the largest crowds and the most expensive campuses. While 40 million people died of starvation in the last decade, churches spent $10 billion on campuses.
    Perhaps some churchgoers departed because they’d rather their charity actually make a difference in the world.
    If you went to church looking for relief from the stress and burdens of living, you might have found more of the same, only dressed as beliefs and dogmas, rules and expectations Then, there’s the debating, disagreement, and division that goes on between churches, as well as between people in the same church. I call it the “We’re right! You’re Wrong!” syndrome: each group insisting that their beliefs are right, which by implication means that everyone else’s beliefs are wrong. “We’re in; you’re out!” “We’re the chosen ones; you’re not!” Maybe those who came looking for some sanity in life are leaving the church to preserve what little remains.
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    In Eastern thought, there’s something called “the law of least effort,” or “do less and accomplish more.” If you will give up the “doing” and, instead, just enjoy “being,” I think you’ll make a great discovery. The psalmist said, “Be still and know … ” In my own experience, I have found that when I’m present (and that’s my spiritual practice), I’m immediately in Presence, the real and sacred sanctuary of God.
  5. How to Find God (in Six Not-So-Easy Steps)
    While it’s important to understand that any kind of powerful experiences of God are a gift, that there’s not some magic formula we can follow that will guarantee that we’ll receive a flood of consolation, there are certain things we can do to make more room in our hearts for God’s presence.
    +
    Read the Bible. Give God the thanks and honor and respect you would show him if he did exist.
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    6. Be willing to lose it all
    One of the things that’s different about seeking the truth about God as opposed to, say, seeking the truth about a mathematical equation, is that the truth about God is personal and transformative. If you’re seeking the truth about mass-energy equivalence and you discover that e=mc², it doesn’t mean anything for you personally. You don’t need to live your life any differently just because you now know that the mass of a body is a measure of its energy content. But not so with God. Because God is the source of all that is good, to know what God is is to know what Good is. And if you’re not open to a new understanding of what is Good, then you’re not really open to God.
  6. A Message of Hope
    The only way to reach God is for God to build a bridge.
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    No matter how far away from God you may feel right now, the amazing news is that God has never stopped wanting to have a relationship with you.
  7. How to find God
    Until about twelve years ago, my view of religion was that it was a psychological crutch required by neurotic people to enable them better face the rigours of life.
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    The words caused a rather shadowy understanding to dawn in my mind, a vague notion that was like a half remembered song that had been long put aside, and I became more deeply aware of an inconsolable longing that had plagued me for many years. I then made my decision, entered the bedroom, fell to my knees because that seemed the appropriate thing to do at the time, and full of aggressive and embarrassed curiosity, challenged, for want of a better word – God, if indeed He existed – to enter my life and take it over. There was no flash or bang and the earth did not move, but from that moment until this very second I have been aware of the presence of God, all the time and in every place even when I am tired or ill, busy or idle, happy or sad.
    I had discovered like so many before me that Faith is simply a question of making a quantum leap into the unknown, reaching out a hand in the darkness and then discovering that someone is holding it. I am totally unable to rationalise this gift of absolute Faith as from that day to this, no matter how bad things have been; I have never once doubted the ever-present reality of God.
    And so began for me what has turned out to be a continuing journey into the heart of God.
  8. Finding God in the shower

    I can remember being an atheist, or perhaps an agnostic, for in those days I did not think much about God one way or another. I knew at that time there were Christians – and I suppose adherents to other faiths whose adherence I judged “ethnic” and thus not applicable in my own instance. As for Christians, I assumed they came in two sorts – those who went along for a sense of belonging or from a sense of nostalgia, rather like attending a bridge club or square dancing; and evangelicals, who were clearly under-educated and over-excited. I can remember, from my lofty, 21-year-old height of wisdom, thinking that it must be soothing to be one of the latter, all of whose problems in life could be seen to be answered.
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    I could not doubt the reality of that loving presence, and still cannot. I now know that one-off “religious experiences” of this sort are rather frowned upon by the best theologians, among whom Thomas Aquinas, the confessors of Teresa of Avila and Professor Nicholas Lash, as susceptible to mood and delusion, and if I have my life to live over I will try to have a higher class of conversion experience – but this is what happened to me. I was turned around. Converted. Not that I had been the sort of person who kicked old ladies and found myself now helping them across the street. I was much the same person, but facing in a new direction.

 

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  • The Pursuit of God – Introduction (ccvinspirewomen.com)
    I pulled off my well loved but neglected copy of The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer from the bookshelf and got out my pen to journal my thoughts.  My hope is that this series of writings will burn these very truths into my heart once and for all.  I encourage you get your hands on a copy of the book and discover the jewels of this classic writing alongside me.
  • God Chaser Series – Part I (justlivingpurpose.wordpress.com)
    Knowing something about a person is not the same thing as knowing them.  You know facts about them but you do not have a relationship with them.  It is the same thing with God. It is not enough to know about him or of him, you have to know him intimately.
  • Many things mentioned in Are Atheists Superior To Religious People? (thebuybulljournal.wordpress.com) are just caused because people created many false gods and false groups for worship one or the other god. In case people would adhere to the One and only True God they would not create difficulties with other creatures, because they would all of them, be them of any colour, race, culture, gay, transvestite, transsexual or other.
    The writer writes a.o.:
    “I see the harms done of religion and have good reason to say I think all religion is something to be hated and feared. As a rule I will do my very, very best to not hate the person and will remind myself that they are merely “victims” of the “religious faith virus” and “religious disease”.”
    As a rule every Christian should do his or her utmost best to love all people and to help them in their life.
    +
    the writer also notes:

    “One of the New Atheists named Christopher Hitchens had several quotes that were right on the mark.Here is one of them:

    “Name a moral statement or action, uttered or performed by a religious person that could not have been uttered or performed by an unbeliever. I am still waiting for a response to this. It carries an incidental corollary: think of a wicked action or statement that derived directly from religious faith, and you know what? There is no tongue-tied silence at THAT point. Everybody can instantly think of an example.”

    But he does not give the readers a possibility to answer. As such he will never get a sound and shall be able to affirm that it kept “tongue-tied silence”.

  • Finding courage (allhisdaughters.wordpress.com)
    We heard about the pruning of others about God making changes in their lives and people stepping out on new journeys.
  • In (kittyjonesblog.wordpress.com)
    What does it mean to be “in?” It indicates location, meaning inside, contained, wrapped up, surrounded. That tiny word says something about me according to Colossians 3:3, “… you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”

    As A. W. Tozer attempts to explain God’s attribute of infinitude he says, “when you get into God, ‘with Christ in God,’ then you’re on a journey into infinity, into infinitude. There is no limit and no place to stop. There isn’t just one work of grace, or a second work or a third work and then that’s it. There are numberless experiences and spiritual epochs and crises that can take place in your life while you are journeying out into the heart of God in Christ.”

  • Tozer (thechanginglifeblog.com)
    The labor of self-love is a heavy one indeed. Think for yourself whether much of your sorrow has not arisen from someone speaking slightingly of you. As long as you set yourself up as a little god to which you must be loyal there will be those who will delight to offer affront to your idol. How then can you hope to have inward peace? The heart’s fierce effort to protect itself from every slight, to shield its touchy honor from the bad opinion of friend and enemy, will never let the mind have rest. Continue this fight through the years and the burden will become intolerable. Yet the sons of earth are carrying this burden continually, challenging every word spoken against them, cringing under every criticism, smarting under each fancied slight, tossing sleepless if another is preferred before them.
  • What really matters to Yahweh? (corbenstreet.wordpress.com)
    every one of us in this lifetime will face the grave danger of losing ‘something’ of even greater value than we could ever have imagined and that, of course, is our Souls! Ever heard of SOS? What does it really means to you? Are you not even saving your own Soul for goodness sake? Unless you don’t think you have a soul to bother about what SOS means, you will, of course, not bother about what I’m saying now, will you? Whether one would bother about what really matters to Yahweh and one’s own soul or not, everyone knows so well that nothing in this world will last – including, so sorry to say, all the laughs, smiles and not forgetting those “good” but stale memories of the past!
  • I Am A Sign And Wonder (pureglory.net)
    Jehovah is the Great I AM and we are a part of him. Every instance we say, I AM, we negate, cut off, divide into and sever ourselves from the enemy’s lies and “I am nots.”
  • Know God, a Devotional by Pastor Chuck Smith (calvarytraining.org)

    Really, what is the most important thing?” “First,” being in order; not, “What is the very first commandment God gave?” The first commandment was, “Don’t eat the tree in the middle of the garden.” But, first in the order, that is the most important commandment of God. What is it?

    And Jesus answered him, The first of all commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord (Mar 12:29):

    He goes back to Deuteronomy in what is known as the shima, the hear. It is that portion that the Jews roll up in these little boxes that they tie on their wrists. The boxes that they put on their foreheads; they all have this shima in it. “Hear, O’ Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord.”
    +
    the religious systems are man’s attempt to reach out to God, where Christianity is God’s attempt to reach man. In the religious system, man being good enough to be accepted by God, in Christianity, there’s no way man can be good enough to be accepted by God. He has to just trust in the grace of God. There’s no good work that you can do. It is not by works of righteousness that we have done, but by His grace alone. So rather than a system of works that can bring you to God, it bypasses all that and says, “There’s nothing you can do to be worthy of God, you can only receive His grace, His love, His mercy that He extends to you through His Son Jesus Christ.” God is reaching you; you can’t reach Him.

  • Hebrew Word – LORD of Recompense [Jehovah-Gemûlâ] (james1948.wordpress.com)
    Because of His perfect, absolute righteousness, God is also called by two names that speak of His judgment upon unrighteousness. We find the first, for example, in Jer_51:56, where He is called Jehovah Gemûlāh. The prophet foretells that God will come “upon Babylon, and her mighty men are taken, every one of their bows is broken: for the LORD God of recompences shall surely requite.” The Hebrew gemûlāh (H1578)—a derivative of gāmal (H1580), “to deal, to recompense, to ripen”—speaks of full repayment for what is deserved.

     

 

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How long to wait before bringing religiousness and spirituality in practice

Praying people

Marc Minter thinks most churchgoers would fully acknowledge “Prayer is essential in the life of every Christian“.  Most churchgoers would fully acknowledge this as a reality, but some may be embarrassed to answer any questions regarding the frequency, intentionality, or purpose of their own prayers.  In public you would not find many Christians praying any more. The only ones you see on the streets, parking spaces, stations or airports, praying are Muslims. It looks like they are the only ones who are not afraid to pray in public.

Luke tells us that Jesus said people ought to “always pray and not lose heart” (Luke 18:1), but we do not seem to see many people pray and openly confess their love for God.

Responsible churchgoers

I would not agree with Marc Linter about the fact that most churchgoers would accept some responsibility for evangelism generally. Perhaps they might think there should be some evangelism, but nobody dares to take the steps to go out, except the Jehovah Witnesses and the Mormons, though these can be seen less than in the 1960ies and 1970ies.

I wonder where those Christians would like to take their tasks up, Jesus has given them. I must admit that for me it is also very frustrating to notice that also I can not get more Christadelphians to come out to preach or to join this internet magazine about spiritual and religious lifestyle. I wonder where those evangelists stay? Where are those Christians to take up their voice in the name of the Most High? Where are those willing to preach about the coming Kingdom of God? Even to find people who would like to help others to find ways to look at life and to understand the human way of thinking are difficult to find. Up to now I did not find any writer who presented himself or herself to come to write for Stepping Toes about the history of humankind and of philosophy or to shed a light on the archaeology or write about Christian history or to write about different religions. This are important subjects to know more and to create more understanding? But who wants to share his or her knowledge?

Requirement to participate in personal evangelism

I do agree with Marc Minter that personal evangelism and the clear requirement of every Christian to participate, would cause a bit of discomfort to say the least. Today many are afraid to give sight of their opinion or do not like that others have other ideas than they. Creating an internet magazine where the authors do accept that other writers may have other insights and are willing others also to show the different views, is not an easy choice. But we do believe in an open mind and are willing to admit we can not know everything. Lots of things are also untold in the Scriptures or are left open. We do believe the things we can not know for sure should not be a burden of faith, and can be interpreted à volonté. Who is going to decide it is this or that way? We just will have to wait until the end-times, to hear Jesus explaining everything and making all clear. We better trust him and wait for his return.

Vasily Perov's painting illustrates clandestin...

Vasily Perov’s painting illustrates clandestine meetings of Christians in pagan Kiev. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the mean time we should try to help each other to get insight. It is a matter of brotherly love. Prayer and evangelism should mark the lives of every Christian, and no less than Jesus Himself has commanded his followers thus. In the previous articles you could already see that Jesus provided examples of prayer (Luke 5:16; 6:12; 9:28; Matthew 19:13; John 11:41-42) You could also read that prayer is an intimate connection with an imminent Counsellor and Omnipotent Provider. From Scriptures we also got to know that we must ask guidance and knowledge. But in the examples is also given that we must pray we may have and give love. Part of this love is the sharing of knowledge and helping each other to come to the truth.

Regarding evangelism, Marc Minter writes:

Jesus commissions all who would follow him to “make disciples” of all people groups everywhere (Matthew 28:19).  While some may attempt to distinguish the group described by terms like believer and disciple, I find no reason at all in Scripture to do so.  In fact, the two appear to be synonymous when referring to one’s relationship to Christ (Acts 9:26; John 8:31).  Therefore, the commission given by Christ to all His followers at least includes evangelism.  Discipleship may refer to much more than conversion, but no one would rationally argue that it refers to less. {Jesus, Prayer & Evangelism}

Action of discipleship

Christians should be so much more aware that discipleship in Christ should really mean following the teachings of Christ Jesus. Not only being aware of the Commandments of Christ, but living according them. Knowing that Jesus is our mediator between God and man we should trust this barrister and follow his counsel. Jesus planted the seeds and wants us also to plant seeds in the knowledge that we also shall have to give them water.  We should water the world by spreading the Good News and by relating our live and the live of others to the World of God.

Christ followers may tell others of the good news, and rely upon God to give the growth; that is they rely upon the Spirit of God to transform the soul of sinners (John  3:3).  This then is where evangelism and prayer intersect, and again Christ affords both instruction and example. {Jesus, Prayer & Evangelism}

Unity and estimation of the value or worth of a person or thing

It is not because we may have different opinions, prevailing or popular feeling or view, about certain matters that there would not be unity in faith or unity in believe.  Jesus asked the Father to bring unity of belief in the truth of Christ’s person and work to all those that the Father gives the Son. When Jesus desired that the people God would draw and would give to him, he hoped God would listen to his wishes and bring all those in Christ to be with him where Jesus is, in order that they may behold his glory, which Jehovah God has given his son Jeshua, Jesus Christ the Messiah.

““father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am; so that they may see my glory, which you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.” (John 17:24 CJB)

We should know that it is God Who allows people to come to Him. We may help to get people to know God, but we shall not be able to make them fully accept the Most High. It will be up to them to make the choice and to follow the call from God. Are task is just one of helping Jesus and be an instrument in the Hands of God.

Doing yourself

We may not leave everything in the hands of others. In case we are calling ourselves Christian, we should show the world that we are followers of Christ. We can not leave it to wait, because we should know the end-times are near, and out of brotherly love we should like to have everybody be saved. Therefore we should now that Now is the right time to witness to someone. Postponement about preaching is something which is not in accordance with the commandments of Christ.

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?

asks Marc Minter, being aware that this question may be phrased in numerous ways and yet ask basically the same thing. He continues:

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. {Should a believer wait to have a “burden” before witnessing?}

Being religious and spiritual demands action of evangelion

Many may say they are religious and several people claim to be spiritual. But of those who are religious and spirituality minded are willing to find the real True Creator God? And of those who found God are willing to share their experiences and are willing to share their love for God and for God His creation?

Evangelism comes from the word evangel, which is a transliteration of the Greek word euangelion, meaning good message.  The message called good is that singularly wonderful message of how God promised and performed all that was necessary to save sinners in the person and work of Christ.  Therefore, evangelism is the activity of proclaiming or telling of that great message. {Should a believer wait to have a “burden” before witnessing?}

But how many are seeing and knowing that great message? How many are prepared to awaken to that Good News and alert the world of the coming Kingdom of God? Only by bringing in practice the spreading of the Good News a person can show his or her full appreciation for that Marvellous Message of which the whole world should be conscious.

Willingness to attest

Evangelism is the willingness to attest euangelion, meaning good message. It is the willingness of telling of the Gospel (the good message of salvation through Christ). This telling should be our witnessing or testifying to the trustworthiness of that message which we do believe came a reality by the becoming flesh of the Word of God, about two millennia ago.

“The Word was in the beginning, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a God.” (The New Testament in An Improved Version)

“The Word was to His essence absolute deity” (Kenneth S. Wuest’s “The New Testament) and we should let It resound all over the world.

“In the beginning the Word having been and the Word having been unto God and God having been the Word he having been, in the beginning, unto God all through his hand became: and without him not even one being whatever became.” (Yah Chanan, John 1:1-3, Aramaic New Covenant;  ANCJ)

Jesus to look at as the fulfilment of God His Words and promises

Jesus coming into this world is the fulfilment of the words spoken by God, in the Garden of Eden, before Abraham existed. For ages God gave His Word to the world, but now His Word was presented by His own son to all people in the world.

Today everybody should receive the opportunity to hear words of Christ Jesus the Messiah who made the Words of God more understandable and known to all.

In which way are you willing to have that Word of God resound in the world?

We have heard Jesus his words and can listen to his parables, which should give us an understanding of the Work and Way of Thinking of The Supreme Being, the Only One God, our Father and the Father of Jesus Christ.

Deserters of the Faith of Jesus

Sculpture - head of Jesus Christ

Sculpture – head of Jesus Christ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Often I am amazed how quickly the so called “Newborn Christians” are deserting Him who called them by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel. Lots of worldly ideas became intermingled and many go looking by other religions to find their thing. Our believe in God the Father as the One who raised Jesus from the dead should make that we also believe that we will be able to look forward to such a moment that we shall be raised from the dead. This should make us so happy and so full of expectations that we should not be able to stay quiet about that Good News which is given to us by Jesus Christ and his apostles.

The apostle Paul had good reason to remind the Galatians of this. The resurrection was proof of God’s complete satisfaction with the work of Christ for our salvation. Apparently, the Galatians were not wholly satisfied with the Saviour‘s work, because they were trying to improve on it by adding their own efforts at law-keeping. Paul was called by the risen Christ, in contrast to the twelve apostles, who were called by the Lord Jesus during His earthly ministry. This calling of somebody who was not prepared to come to Jesus when he was alive, should also give us hope that we, who could not see Jesus, can be called and still follow Jesus. Like the apostle Paul became a worker for Jesus his message, we also can become workers and messengers of that Good News.

Like Paul was amazed that the Galatians should so suddenly surrender the truth of the gospel, and he solemnly labelled their action as deserting God for a false gospel, we also should let others know when they go astray. When people, after God called them, are putting themselves under the curse of the law we should try to help them to stay on the right track. It is our duty to help those around us. When we are prepared to help them and to give them advice, we bring our unconditional love for them in practice. We should try to bring people to accept the true gospel and than should take care that they would not abandon it for a different gospel which is not good news at all.

Coming forward independent of man

When we notice a perverted message, a mixture of grace and law, or teachings which are disturbing us because they want to distort the gospel of Christ, than we should come to witness, even when we do have to step on the toes of somebody. Therefore those who found the love of God, believe in the salvation by Christ, should come forward and let their voice bring the Good News all over the world.

We at the Belgian Ecclesia would love to give those who are willing to help spread the Good News, a place for their voice.
You too can became a co-author on this internet blog or internet lifestyle magazine. When you are willing to let others see the words that come not as such from you or any other man, but which you received through a revelation of יהושע Messiah, you could be the person to help with us spread the Good News.

In case you want to reveal God His Son in you, like we want to reveal Christ in us so that we together might bring him, the Good News, to the gentiles, to those who have not yet found the salvation of Christ. Like Paul demonstrated his independence of other men in connection with his gospel, we also do not have to have a worldly connection to one or the other denomination to be saved or to be a messenger in the name of Christ. He is it who should be our cornerstone, and not a specific organisation or church of the world. Our Church should be the Church of God under the guidance of our master teacher Jesus Christ.

And as such people may be surprised that we do dare to refer to different websites from totally different denominations. Some people let us already know that they are chocked that we mention writings from this or that denomination, or that we quote from people who are from opposing denominations. But we consider Jesus the head of the Church, and it is for him that we want to be instruments in the Hand of his Father, our only One God.

The Four Evangelists

The Four Evangelists (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After his conversion, Paul did not immediately confer with human leaders, nor did he go up to Jerusalem where the other apostles were. Instead, he went to Arabia, then returned again to Damascus. His determination to avoid Jerusalem was not out of disrespect for his fellow-apostles; it was rather because he had been commissioned by the risen lord himself and given a unique ministry to the Gentiles (Galatians 2:8). Hence his gospel and his service needed no human authorization. He was independent of man altogether.

We on this platform also want to be independent of a human organisation, though we do agree we need some human organisation and official statue. We do have to apply to the laws of Belgium, Europe and Internationally. As such we do take on a non-profit position and have a community on this earth. But God His Laws are the most high, and are the ones we want to follow in the first place, and we want also others to get to know them.
The authors on this site, who all write from their own vision and keep their own responsibility, are not paid for their work, nor are those working at the office in Belgium. Though any organisation has its legal obligations and has to find accommodation somewhere, that is ‘are connected’ to the world, because no matter what happens we still have to live in this world. We are thankful for the contribution of the Christadelphian Bible Mission to cover part of our many costs, like paperwork and printing material, postage, copyrights, internet costs, a.o..

Passing on the message

Like Paul has been the recipient of a message and he had also passed that message along to many others, we should be prepared to go out in the world like the early Christians did.  We now do have the modern means and can make use of the internet to speak of that message concerning Christ and his work that was ‘according to the Scriptures.’  The apostle Peter refers to the “good news” that was preached and received or believed, thus resulting in “the salvation of souls”.

“and you are receiving what your trust is aiming at, namely, your deliverance.” (1 Peter 1:9 CJB)

“it was revealed to them that their service when they spoke about these things was not for their own benefit, but for yours. and these same things have now been proclaimed to you by those who communicated the good news to you through the Ruach haKodesh sent from heaven. even angels long to look into these things!” (1 Peter 1:12 CJB)

“but the word of ADONAI lasts forever. moreover, this word is the good news which has been proclaimed to you.” (1 Peter 1:25 CJB)

Transmitter of the Gospel or good news

We are convinced that more than one person has to transmit the Gospel or good news. We are aware that our role of witnessing is to transmit or communicate the message which Jesus made so clear.

May we also say that:

Successful communication of the Gospel, then, is nothing more and certainly not less than accurate communication of the content of that pre-eminent message.  In other words, whether one believes the message upon hearing it has nothing whatever to do with the role of the evangelist. {Should a believer wait to have a “burden” before witnessing?}

Goals to set forward

Looking at reactions we get in real life or by e-mails, there is no doubt that some perceive our ideas and goals as ridiculous, not feasible or too rigid. I do agree I may have set high goals, but as a believer in Christ Jesus, I am not ashamed to tackle this which might seem not practicable. Either just a handful may join efforts to bring the message of the Good News or some others would also see the importance of bringing the good News and would not mind joining hands with us, who might be idealistic and having the hope in something which is impossible for many.

Do you want to look with us at the chief goal of everything in life?

Privileged people

The Christian is privileged to participate in God’s work of glorifying Himself in the salvation of sinners.

Please, let me end with the words of Marc Minter in his article Should a believer wait to have a “burden” before witnessing?:

Thanks be to God that He has given Christians any part to play at all!

So, evangelism is telling people of the message of Jesus Christ’s redeeming work, and the witness’s role is simply to transmit that message accurately and regularly.  The ultimate purpose of witnessing is to bring glory to God in an accurate proclamation of what He has done in revealing Himself through the Gospel.

Because these are true, it seems easy to answer the questions listed at the beginning.

Should a believer wait to have a “burden” before witnessing?  No!  

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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

Looking for True Spirituality 8 Measuring Up

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

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Additional reading:

  1. יהוה , YHWH and Love: Four-letter words
  2. The radiance of God’s glory and the counsellor
  3. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love
  4. One mediator
  5. Salvation, trust and action in Jesus #3 as a Christian
  6. The Law of Christ: Law of Love
  7. Christ’s ethical teaching
  8. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  9. A Living Faith #9 Our Manner of Life
  10. Our relationship with God, Jesus and each other
  11. A call easy to understand
  12. Belief of the things that God has promised
  13. Would You Run?
  14. Breathing and growing with no heir
  15. Determine the drive
  16. Compassion and Discipline
  17. Unconditional love
  18. Unarmed truth and unconditional love
  19. The first on the list of the concerns of the saint
  20. Digging in words, theories and artefacts
  21. Exceeding Great and Precious Promise
  22. The builder of the Kingdom
  23. Kingdom of God what will it be like
  24. The hands of God’s wrath
  25. Holiness and expression of worship coming from inside
  26. Some one or something to fear #7 Not afraid for Gods Name
  27. Rejoice even though bound to grieve
  28. Those who make peace should plant peace like a seed
  29. Let me saw beliefseeds
  30. Looking forward to God’s faithfulness
  31. Bringing Good News into the world
  32. The Involvement of true discipleship
  33. Testify of the things heard
  34. Proclaiming shalom, bringing good news of good things, announcing salvation
  35. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #2 Witnessing
  36. Obstacles to effective evangelism
  37. A Voice to be heard
  38. Creator and Blogger God 4 Expounding voice
  39. Blogging for Jesus…
  40. Preaching to an unbelieving world
  41. Words to push and pull
  42. Good or bad preacher
  43. Learn how to go out into the world and proclaim the Good News of the coming Kingdom
  44. How should we preach?
  45. Breathing to teach
  46. Bringing Good News into the world
  47. Jehovah’s Witnesses not only group that preach the good news
  48. Holland Week of billing
  49. Trying to get the youth inspired
  50. When discouraged facing opposition
  51. Messengers of Jesus will be hated to the end of time
  52. Who are you going to reach out to today
  53. Praise the God with His Name
  54. Agape, a love to share with others from the Fruit of the Spirit
  55. The Spirit of God brings love, hope and freedom
  56. Holiness and expression of worship coming from inside
  57. Belonging to or being judged by
  58. Not all will inherit the Kingdom
  59. Knowing where to go to
  60. United people under Christ
  61. Fellowship
  62. Discipleship way of life on the narrow way to everlasting life
  63. Pastorpreneur Warren
  64. Catholicism, Anabaptism and Crisis of Christianity
  65. Which Christians Actually Evangelize

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  • Renew (womenatthewellfbco.com)
    It feels so refreshing to start anew!  What better time to do that than the New Year?  Why is it that we crave renewal and how on Earth do we attain it?
    +
    I daily read the Bible and pray.  Each week, I participate in some form of ministry or corporate worship, or Bible study.  However, these activities can become routine, and lack vitality, lack enthusiasm, when I have been at them for awhile, or a long time.
  • 2014: Set a standard, early (jeremycainbiblestudies.wordpress.com)
    If you would just begin to set a standard early on this year spiritually in your prayer, bible study and reading, and service then you will find that when it comes November you’re not going to be wondering how did this year pass you by and you still feel no closer to God.  Think of the discipline and strength you would built up by the end of this year if you just begin right now, right this day, praying just one hour a day, every day.
  • Why I Am a Christian. (crawfordgarrett.wordpress.com)
    I have to admit that it’s not always the most simple and straightforward answer to give, because there are many reasons that have led to my faith in Christ.  However, I guess the first place to start is with my parents.  I am a Christian because of my parents.  There may be nothing remarkable about that, and often times I, or many other Christians, would not like to admit that truth.  I am a Christian because my parents are Christians, and that’s what they raised me to believe, just like Jesus was a Jew because His parents were Jews.
  • My Prayer for 2014 (planetsellas.wordpress.com)
    I don’t deserve anything from God. I have repeatedly broken his laws; I am a rebel.
    +
    Lord, I pray that you show me how I can spread your gospel and give honor and praise to your name. I want more people to know you and love you, Lord.  God, I really want to lead someone to Christ this year. A friend, a family member, or a complete stranger. I want to do this not so that I may boast or get any glory–kill the pride in me. No, Lord I want to do so that you may be glorified.
  • Living Out the Gospel in 2014 (craighamlin.wordpress.com)
    Whatever your resolutions are for 2014, I want to encourage you to make one overarching commitment for everyday in 2014: to live out the Gospel of Jesus Christ for the glory of God.The Gospel is the saving message that Jesus Christ died for your sin, He was buried and that He was raised from the dead according to the Scriptures (1 Cor. 15:3-4). However, the Gospel goes far beyond that to the transformation of every area of life. The Gospel penetrates our attitudes, actions, and dictates the affairs of life. The Gospel is not just a message, it is the transforming power of Christ to make us more like Him. God’s grace working through faith and empowered by the Holy Spirit makes it possible to live for Christ. Therefore, God saves us to live for Him and shine as lights in a dark world. Our commitment everyday must be to live out the gospel for the glory of God.
  • Christ didn’t come to help us, He came to Include us (melwild.wordpress.com)
    a surprising few resonate so much to the more important fact that the Father’s plan was to substitute Christ for us and place us in Him. I think this is unfortunate.
  • Jesus Christ was an Anarchist (blacksupremacylovenunity.wordpress.com) > Jesus Christ was an Anarchist
    Jesus came along to lead his followers out of this ungodly Roman system, preaching an alternative form of government. He spoke of a jurisdiction outside of the Roman state, based on the perfect law of freedom, outside the tyranny of men who would rule over their brothers and neighbors. He unified the early Christian church in a system of charity, hope and respect for the rights of each other, requiring that each person love thy neighbor as thy self in a system of mutual, not governmental support.
    +
    Jesus was showing a way to untangle people from the captivity of the social contracts they had made with the state of Rome and Judea, and the tribute and obligations they had become snared by. He proclaimed to call no man “Father”, as they called their Roman benefactors, but stated that “thou Father art in heaven.” The perfect law of freedom indicated that man’s unalienable rights stemmed from God and nature, and not governments of men. This was a system of anarchy, by strict definition, without the complex system of tribute that led to the decadence and decline of society, and the corruptible force of the state to back it up.The early Christian church was not persecuted for their belief in a different God or a Kingdom in Heaven, but for their opting out of the mutual taxation system and seeking to live apart from the kings and overlords, the gods many, who demanded their tribute.
    +Today, most of us find ourselves under slothful tribute to an emperor and a system that is not for our benefit. We have coveted our neighbor’s goods in a vain pursuit of “free” health care, education, welfare, unemployment benefits, social security and government protection. We have traded our inalienable God-given rights through social contracts both implied and explicit. Our churches are not ordained by God, but are 501(c)(3) corporations granted status by the state.As we head into what is certainly going to be a volatile 2014, we are going to need to dig down deep and find that anarchist in all of us, with a little more loving thy neighbor as thy self to boot. Happy New Year!
  • Change Your Village (elderyvesjohnson.wordpress.com)
    This week you might meet someone new and probably see some old friends and acquaintances.  Do they know Who you belong to?  Do they know the wonderful life you now enjoy?  If so, are you sharing this great gift with them?
    +
    It’s true Christians need to be encouraged and challenged.  Yet, unbelievers will not be knocking down the church door to learn about Christ. It can happen but I don’t think it will on a large-scale.  Why would they want to learn about Christ if His followers won’t even talk to them?
    +
    You should follow Jesus’ words, not those belonging to naysayers and unbelievers. You have been strategically positioned in your family, circle of friends, neighborhood, job, school, etc., to show, teach and talk about the goodness of Christ to those individual.  They need to know about the opportunity for salvation.  Who will tell them?  If not you, then who?
  • Fanatic hindu who hated christians is an evidence of Jesus (pciniraj.wordpress.com)
    I never liked Christian missionaries. I used to speak against Christianity and was organising people near the temples against the evangelism activites.“But Lord Jesus mightly fighting for His children, if anybody persecuting Christians, for which I am a clear evidence”, now I am witnessing this every corner to corner by holding the Holy Bible in one hand and showing my terrific stomach to the public. “I was an enemy of Christians, but Jesus Christ loved me, made me alive and saved me from sin and death. Now I am His servant”. This is my testimony.
  • Pouring Into Others (comeawake.org)
    If you are a Christian, you are a disciple of Christ. You know Him, but what have you done to make Him known to others? And I’m not just talking about evangelism. I’m talking about how you can use your time, your energy and most importantly, your knowledge about who Christ is to help out a fellow brother or sister.The purpose of our lives is simply this: To know Christ, and to make Him known.

Looking for True Spirituality 3 Mind of Christ

“The Mind of Christ”

Ruins of the ancient city Corinth

In addition to pointing out the importance and benefits of being spiritually-minded, the apostle Paul had much to say about what true spirituality is. To the Christians in the ancient city of Corinth, Paul explained the difference between a physical man, that is, a person who follows the impulses of the flesh, and a spiritual man, a person who cherishes spiritual things. Paul wrote:

“A physical man does not receive the things of the spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him.” On the other hand, Paul explained that the spiritual man is characterized by having “the mind of Christ.”—1 Corinthians 2:14-16.

Having “the mind of Christ” basically means having “the same mental attitude that Christ Jesus had.”

Now may the God who supplies endurance and comfort grant you to have among yourselves the same mental attitude that Christ Jesus had, so that unitedly+ you may with one voice* glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.  (Romans 15:5-6)

Keep this mental attitude in you that was also in Christ Jesus,+who, although he was existing in God’s form,+ gave no consideration to a seizure, namely, that he should be equal to God.+ (Philippians 2:5-6)

In other words, a spiritual man is one who thinks as Jesus does and walks in His footsteps.

Cover of "The Mind of Christ"

Cover of The Mind of Christ

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.+ (1 Peter 2:21)

4.1 Since Christ suffered in the flesh,+ you too arm yourselves with the same mental disposition;* because the person who has suffered in the flesh has desisted from sins,+ (1 Peter 4:1)

The more a person’s mind resembles that of Christ, the deeper his spirituality is and the closer he is to gaining “life and peace.”

11 And do this because you know the season, that it is already the hour for you to awake from sleep,+ for now our salvation is nearer than at the time when we became believers. 12 The night is well along; the day has drawn near. Let us therefore throw off the works belonging to darkness+ and let us put on the weapons of the light.+ 13 Let us walk decently+ as in the daytime, not in wild parties* and drunkenness, not in immoral intercourse and brazen conduct,*+ not in strife and jealousy.+ 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ,+ and do not be planning ahead for the desires of the flesh.+ (Romans 13:11-14).

+

Preceding articles:

Looking for True Spirituality 1 Intro

Looking for True Spirituality 2 Not restricted to an elite

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

Dutch version of this article / De Nederlandse versie van dit artikel: Op zoek naar spiritualiteit 3 Zin van Christus

The beginning of the Dutch original version may be found:

De aanvang van de originele Nederlandse versie kan gevonden worden:

Op zoek naar spiritualiteit 1 Inleiding

+++

File:Badger's footsteps.JPG

In whose footsteps do you want to walk?

  • The Standpoint (danielquarteyministries.wordpress.com)
    The Grace of God came to us so we may enjoy the liberties of life. The redemptive power of His Grace was to translate us from the darkness in which we were in, into His marvelous light and love. But us Christians we haven’t really come to the understanding of the fullness of this light. We find ourselves here in the light today and tomorrow back into darkness.
    +
    A carnal man is in partial darkness; he desires the things of the spirit yet is so much yielded to the things of the world. Though he knows the right things as commanded by Christ yet he finds himself on the opposite side.
  • Imitating Christ (rthibeault2000.wordpress.com)
    Daily these people strive to seek the heart, mind, and spirit of Christ.  Then after their seeking, they push on to imitate or act it out in their lives.
    +
    As a Believer, I want to go where no one has gone before, do what none has done before, all for the Glory of God, for Jesus Christ, Our Savior.  I want to win the race, knock out the adversary , to cross the finish line.
  • The Mind of Christ (sarasmusings.wordpress.com)The Mind of Christ
    Those of us who claim to know Jesus Christ can have the mind of Christ, but so many times the world and everything in it that we want gets in the way. Our spiritual life is practically nonexistent because we have allowed sin in it’s myriad of enticements to rule our lives (e.g., gossip, greed, never being satisfied with when we have, jealousy and envy, pride, ego, status, and the list goes on and on).
    +
    Having the mind of Christ means sharing the plan, purpose, and  perspective of Christ, and it is something that all believers possess.
  • Embracing Our Roles (lordiofferyoumylife.wordpress.com)
    Just as in the Corinthian church, today’s society is in much cultural confusion.
    +
    Jesus Himself submitted to the will of the Father. Without Jesus’ submission, the Father’s plan of salvation would not have been completed.
    +
    Adam and Eve wanted to be gods, and humanity has been trying ever since. But no matter the form of rebellion we hold in our hearts, we can confess that to God and be forgiven.
  • Why Shoot Your Brother When God Says Not Too? (codybateman.org)
    According to the New Testament, there are two broad categories of Christian believers, carnal and spiritual—that is, those whose actions and decisions are mainly governed by the “flesh” and those who normally are governed by the leading of the Holy Spirit.
    +
    Even though true believers can behave carnally, the fact that they are “babes in Christ” confirms that they are “in Christ.” They just need to grow up, as it were, into spiritual maturity through partaking of both the milk and the meat of the Scriptures. Note 1 Peter 2:2 (“desire the sincere milk of the word”) and Hebrews 5:14 (“strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age”) for the God-given principle of Christian growth.
    +
    Fruit Bearing Christians
  • December 8 (bookministry.wordpress.com)
    The most important thing in the believer’s life is to learn Christ. “In Him dwells all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” That fulness is for us, for: “In Him we are made full.” And because Christ, as our fulness, is in the glory, therefore Paul writes to the Ephesians: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.” That means we are blessed with every spiritual blessing in our Lord Jesus Christ in the heavenlies.
  • The Greatest Missionary of All, Part 3 (pikeassociation.wordpress.com)
    Jesus’ humility was one of the main reasons why He was the greatest missionary of all.
  • The mind of Christ (egwquotables.wordpress.com)
    If the mind is molded by the objects with which it has most to do, then to think of Jesus, to talk of him, will enable you to become like him in Spirit and character.
  • The Mind of Christ (promisebook.net)
    The heart of Jesus was spiritual. Our hearts seem so far from His.  He is pure.  We are greedy. He is peaceful; we are hassled. He is purposeful; we are distracted. How could we ever hope to have the heart of Jesus?
  • Seeking Christ (rthibeault2000.wordpress.com)
    When you have Christ’s Spirit, you will find hidden manna.  Manna, the bread provided to the Israelites during their wandering of the Desert of Sinai is symbolic of the spiritual sustenance provided by the Word of God.  This symbolism is even greater when we understand the hidden manna refers to the manna which was placed in the Ark of the Covenant.  This Ark was maintained in the Temple in Jerusalem,  inside the Holy of Holies.  It was found in the holiest part of the holiest part of the Temple of God.
    +
    As Christians we need to have the mind of Christ.  The Gospels reveal that Christ’s mind was focused on relationships.  In particular, there are two relationships with which He was concerned.  The first is the vertical relationship between God and man.  The second is our relationships with each other.
  • …we have the mind of Christ. (momsfirstscreenn.wordpress.com)
    The mind of Christ is not old, slow or forgetful! I don’t care how old you get. You don’t have to become forgetful. Don’t believe and confess what medical science or your friends say. Believe and confess the Word of God which brings life.

    The power of life and death is in your tongue. (Proverbs 18:21) So use your tongue for life. Don’t sit around saying, “I am getting old and forgetful.” Say, “I have the mind of Christ. My mind is sharp and quick because it is the mind of Christ!” Believe it, confess it, and see your thinking and memory live up to it!
  • Put on the mind of christ by Donald Young (onaldwhy.wordpress.com)
    Romans 12:2 – And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
    +
    Philippians 2:5 – Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus
  • The Gift of Peace (setimmerman2.wordpress.com)
    If you surrender everything – by prayer to God with thanksgiving, peace, the kind of which makes no sense at all to the human mind, will guard your heart, and your mind, in Christ Jesus.
  • The Gospel According to MacArthur: Examining the book The Gospel According to Jesus Pt2 (Nicodemus) (standforthefaith.wordpress.com)
    Also, Ryrie claims that repentance is “a change of mind about Jesus Christ so that He is believed and received as personal Saviour from sin.” Repentance, by this definition, has nothing to do with one’s attitude toward sin and does not necessarily result in any change in lifestyle.
    +
    This is “the obedience of faith,” they say; it is one-time obedience to the Father, not lasting obedience to the commandments of Christ. But obedience to Christ’s authority is clearly enjoined by texts such as John 3:36 (“He who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him”) and Hebrews 5:9 (“[Christ] became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation”). “
  • Hebrews 7:26 NKJV – No One Higher (pagprayer.wordpress.com)
    God is set apart from all other things. God is holy; His nature is holy; His name is holy and His dwelling place is holy. As I lay in bed last night, the thought of God being above all things resounded in my mind. God is far above, beyond and outside all of created order.
    +
    We as believers have the mind of Christ. “For “who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 2:16 NKJV) Through the Holy Spirit, we have understanding of the things of God. The mind of Christ reveals the essence of God’s nature; including God’s holy nature. Having the mind of Christ leads to holiness. Believers are enabled to grow in holiness on account of the sacrifice Jesus paid on the cross and through the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit.

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

Today lots of youngsters their understanding of their faith is the faith that was “once for all entrusted.” This makes that often the “spiritual but not religious” group can be the most difficult to work with, primarily because they believe they have found a personalized expression of faith. But their faith was not placed in a seed that could grow in fertilized ground.

This painting is on display at the Kunsthistor...

Religious men and their actions because of their faith- Painting is on display at the Kunsthistorisches Museum (Museum of Art History) in Vienna, Austria (site). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Church should bring in the fertilisation for its members to grow, be it slow but strong.

Much has been made about the growth of “nones” in the past few years, the group who consistently checks “none” on surveys about religious faith. As with all surveys, how questions are shaped determines how good the data is. If a question is multiple choice, the answers must fit within the parameters of the possible responses. For example: What is your faith? a. Christian b. Buddhism c. Islam d. Judaism e. Hindu f. none.

Clearly, that’s a poor question. It assumes the five major faiths are the primary conduits for the transmission of religious frameworks. While I believe that is largely true, there are other factors at work culturally right now. What does none or spiritual but not religious really mean?

writes a teacher of a Teaching World Religions summer term. {Spiritual but not Religious, or A Disconnect on the Faith Divide}

In such courses about world religions or religion tous-court, you can see that lots of people want to restrict their idea about their god on others. They may say

I just believe in God

But then we should ask which God? Most people do take only a story from the four Gospels, one that is canonized by Church Councils, propagated by ministers and missionaries, and communicated to them through Christian denominational speakers. They are brought up with the religious concepts of their family idea and than they believe that their story is just one wherein they simply believe in God.

Vermeer The Allegory of the Faith

Vermeer The Allegory of the Faith (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The radical individualism and consumerism in our culture makes a personalized faith seem perfectly normal. In Belgium, which is considered to be a Roman Catholic Country (though only 6% of the population still go sometimes to mass whilst 25% of the population visits the mosque very regularly), when you would ask what they believe and whom they think Jesus or God is, you would find very individual interpretations of the person Jesus, which some Catholics say is the son of God and do not believe he is God, though the godhead of Jesus is part of the Trinitarian dogma of the Catholic Church. But most Belgians want to believe their own thing and do not bother what the church may say. Lots call themselves Catholic or Christian (meaning the same for them) but do not follow the rules of the Pope and their church, not bothering to use preservatives or having abortions, having sexual relations than the own ‘regular’ partner, etc. Their religious life is standing far away from a spiritual life and from church life. The church is mostly only used to have a child baptism, a first and second communion, a wedding service and a funeral. That is what church stands for in Belgium, when they are not talking about all the abuses in that church.

According to some

All the new Christian categories — Christ follower, Jesus follower, follower of the Way (hell, just pick one)—are all concepts that are used intentionally to avoid the unhappy conclusion that the follower is really a Christian, but a Christian who doesn’t like the Christian tradition or church or some doctrine. Better to own the word Christian than have me interrogate you only to discover that you are actually a Christian. At that point, I think you’re dishonest, disingenuous, ignorant, narcissistic, or confused. None of those are good. {Spiritual but not Religious, or A Disconnect on the Faith Divide}

Wherever you may look you shall see that many of your spiritual but not religious acquaintances have no genuine framework for their faith. Lots of the people who say they are religious or spiritual, are mostly enjoying some trend which is popular at the moment, and go from one fling into the other, but never stick to one ‘faith‘ for a long time.

The writer of The Parish believes that it’s a completely self-serving construct that allows them to believe, in the words of Christian Smith,

“God loves me and wants me to be happy.”

What that requires is no commitment to a larger tradition, and a radical internalizing of metaphysical assumptions, all of which are exempt from criticism.

Do you pray? Yes. Do you attend worship services? No. Do you have a sacred text? No. Will you go to heaven? Yes. What will it be like? It will be what I make it. How do you know there is a God? I just do. What’s he or she like? He loves me. He’s kind and forgiving and gracious. Why should he be those things and not angry, vengeful and capricious? He’s not. How can you know this? What tradition taught you this? I have no tradition. I just know this. I’m not a religious person, just spiritual.

Faith

Faith (Photo credit: sspantherss)

Often when you will present students of religion or people on the street and you

talk about all the Saturnalia and pagan syncretism you like, talk about substituting one pagan holiday for a Christian one, talk about borrowed symbols and commercialism, talk all you want about it; at its core, theologically (for Christians), Christmas is the coming of Messiah, and therefore, a religious high, holy day. It’s a celebration day, much like Easter (another holiday about which I’m weary of hearing stories of syncretism. One thing is clear, however it started, the Christian narrative won.), not a fast day like Good Friday. It is, by my estimation, the second most important day on the church calendar, following Easter, of course. {Christian Identity, or Can Baby Jesus Get Some Love?}

The great church institutions by the years have mixed their theology with philosophical and pagan teachings so that that more became  “great pagan institutions” which allegedly “pickle” children’s brains by pouring “paganism” into them. We can see a society in decline where parents do not to set any more good religious examples for their children. It is time they will concern themselves with their offspring’s spiritual state, and again “plead God’s promises” to their children. We should long to do well by our children and grandchildren, striving to raise them well and encouraging other parents to do the same.  Parents should come to teach their children spirituality again. That spirituality must also include empathy, humanity, and critical thinking. Piety without these elements can devolve into fanaticism, with unsettling results.

Lots of people may know that lots of elements in their celebrations are from pagan celebrations, but they do not want to change their similar manner of celebrating what they want to place on that day the heathen use for their celebration. It does not matter for them that Jesus was a Jew who is not born on the 25th of December (Christmas-day); It is just a lovely time for them to be together and have everybody having a good time, giving each other presents and enjoying some nice food. Why should they change the tradition of their forefathers? And why should churches abandon such a festivals when those are the few occasions that they can get some people in their churches and get some more money in the till?

Almost all American and European forms of Christianity are first cultural, traditional and secondly theological. In the capitalist countries the people are more concerned with their material wealth than their spiritual wealth. Europeans like

Americans are largely shaped by consumerism, individualism, and materialism, the three idols of the market that serve to make all of us mini-narcissists. {Christian Identity, or Can Baby Jesus Get Some Love?}

They want to enjoy their life with good food and lovely goods for their enjoyment. Fairy tales and mythical stories, ‘little lies for fun’ seem to be harmless for them and to create the mysterious atmosphere which attracts them and their children. The unknown and mysterious has always been an attraction.

The Knights of Columbus exhibiting their group identity in American society

In the United States some Christians do not want to know about the ‘unknown’ and do think the bible has to be take literally on all fronts. Their creationist and revisionist education might leave children ill-prepared to integrate into American society, and failed to grasp that some children might reject their fundamentalist upbringing altogether. For this reason it is important that God-loving people make it clear how we do have to interpret and follow the Bible. God loving people should be challenging historical revisionism. By remembering that history encompasses many narratives, not just one. By demanding accuracy in home school curricula. By reaching out to current and former home-schoolers and making accurate information available to them. And finally, by educating ourselves on the past and recognizing its impact on the present. Home-schooling and schooling at the church (Sunday school, Bible Study or Children’s Bible class) are powerful, useful tools. It represents a democratic approach to educational progress, innovation, and creativity. It allows a child’s learning environment to be tailored to individual and personal needs. When home-schooling or Sunday-school is done responsibly, it can be amazing. We should oppose irresponsible home-schooling or church training, where the educational method is used to create or hide abuse, isolation, and neglect, and where the child is not educated to go and search, to explore the world and to explore the Bible. They should train the children to read and study the Bible thoroughly and to go deeper into their own soul, learning them to meditate about everything they learn, be it in their daily school or at the church. The trainees at the church should make sure that social contact outside of church, family, and the home-school umbrella group is provided so that children do get to know the outside world and are aware of the world its ideas and way of living. Only by growing up in a church which is open to what is happening in the world the children would not become what we can call socially retarded to use the pedagogical technical term.

In certain developed countries we see a growing tendency to protect church life and to get the children away from what is really happening in the world. The religious sheltering of such a childhood in recent years has come more extreme and miserable by greater institutions and international homeschool conglomerate cults. Those groups not only present childish stories in which all do have to believe and activities everybody has to follow with the right dress-code, otherwise they are considered to be against the group. More attention is given to the outside appearance of the persons gathering than on the inner spirit. Often it is all about the creationist teaching and opposing scientists, not willing to see archaeologist their findings, which are all considered as contra-actions of the evil world.

They often try to drive home to their ‘trainees’ (typically 16-18 years old) that no matter what adversity or difficulty they are facing, either physical, mental, or spiritual, all they need to do is cry out to God and He will get them through it. But they forget that we did have received the responsibility to become resourceful fellows who should try to grow from the understanding of the Scriptural knowledge and use it in their daily life. To be able to stand strong in that daily life there should be a good relationship with the Supreme Being.

Most people are not interested in a good relation with their god, but with themselves. It has become already very difficult to build up a good relationship with one partner in this world which can be seen and touched. So who would try to have a good relationship with somebody who can not be seen nor touched, and who nobody has ever seen, or when it is Jesus who is already long ‘dead and forgotten’?

Dr. Tom Kennedy does find that correct religion, like bones, provides the proper structure for spirituality.  Spirituality grows in distorted ways without religion.

Imagine reaching over and grabbing the child’s head.  Then imagine lifting up the skeleton out of the imaginary child.  What would happen?  Spirituality would collapse to the floor. {Can You Be Spiritual and Not Religious?}

Religion, like bones, also provides much of the immune system for spirituality.

It helps to fight toxic influences that may corrupt one’s spirituality.  Two of the most toxic influences are the individual’s own selfishness and the willingness to let other people control one’s spirituality.  Of course, if religion itself becomes corrupt, one’s spirituality also becomes corrupt. {Can You Be Spiritual and Not Religious?}

Like the religion can be corrupted we should know that spirituality is not always so ‘clean’ as it may seem.

Many people think of spirituality as perfect and incorruptible.  Unfortunately, that is not true.  Non-religious spirituality emphasizes special experiences, something you feel.  If there are no feelings to this kind of spirituality, people would not pursue it. I have heard of many strange experiences that were labeled ‘spiritual’ just because there was a burst of pleasant feeling involved. {Can You Be Spiritual and Not Religious?}

03.365 (02.08.2009) Faith

Faith in words from a Book of books (Photo credit: hannahclark)

Religion in the Bible is a catalyst for our relationship with God, to Whom we have to bring a spirit which is pure and not hiding things for God Who sees everything, so that would be useless to hide something for Him. Our state of mind we do have to build ourselves. Others may help us but they can not do it for us or make it work for us. We ourselves our responsible for the way we want to think and the way we want to use the knowledge we receive by the years.

Jesus died on the wooden stake to make God’s religion and spirituality alive, dynamic and interactive with each other. He opened the way for humankind to come directly to the Creator God. Today Jesus sits at the right hand of God to be the mediator between God and man. by the brothers and sisters in the church we should be exhorted therefore, first of all, that supplications, prayers, intercessions, thanksgivings, be made not only for ourselves but for all men. We should know we live in a world where there are kings, presidents and members of parliament who have to make decisions for the community. So we better also pray for them that they may make the right decisions. Yes we should have our thoughts also at all that are in high place and pray for them and for that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and gravity.
Each of us should look to find in himself or herself the way to become acceptable in the eyes of God. He that provided the human Saviour, who could understand his fellow man, who wanted that all men should be saved, and will come to the knowledge of the truth.  For there is one God, one mediator also between God and men, himself man, Christ Jesus,  who gave himself a ransom for all; the testimony to be borne in its own times;  where-unto several people like the apostles and religious men were and are appointed a preacher and a teacher of the Gentiles or those who are not in the faith in Christ Jesus, in faith and truth.

” I Beseech you, therefore, first of all to offer to God, petitions, prayers, supplications, and thanksgiving for all men,  (2)  For kings and for all in authority; that we may live a quiet and peaceable life, in all purity and Godliness.  (3)  For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour:  (4)  Who desires all men to be saved and to return to the knowledge of the truth.  (5)  For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;  (6)  Who gave himself a ransom for all, a testimony which came in due time.  (7)  For that testimony I was appointed a preacher and an apostle; I tell the truth and I lie not; and I became the teacher of the Gentiles in a true faith.  (8)  I wish, therefore, that men pray everywhere, lifting up their holy hands, without anger and doubting thoughts.” (1Ti 2:1-8 Lamsa NT)

Religion, Catholic Community

Religion, Catholic Community having prayers and meditation together at a meeting (Photo credit: Parker Knight)

Lifting up the hands or going in prayer can be done on our own. But to come to a good prayer we better also do come close to ourselves. Be it also becoming in a more concrete relationship the world can offer. Away from the materialisation of things we can come in a transcendent form.

Where Transcendentalists assert their natural right to an individual relationship with God, defined only by one’s own will and a communing with nature, Puritans “sought both individual and corporate conformity to the teaching of the Bible, with moral purity pursued both down to the smallest detail, as well as ecclesiastical purity to the highest level. They believed that man existed for the glory of God, that his first concern in life was to do God’s Will and so to receive future happiness”. Puritans were largely responsible for amendments that mandated public education inspired by their belief that children could only conform properly to biblical and legal tenants if they could read them for themselves.

To come to the Truth, each person has to make the free choice to study the matter. Without reading the Bible and without the will to think about what is written a person shall not come to the Truth. No matter how he may be active in doing things for his church, how religious he  or she may look for the outsiders, when their is no burning spirit in the soul of that person, no willingness to go deep in him or herself, there shall not come an opening to the real faith Jesus had in front of his eyes.

Jesus was also brought up in a world full of traditions. He was a boy living in a Jewish cult and learned from the Torah, which was his guide. He looked at the different religious groups and dared to question them. He looked at the way they interpreted the Holy Scriptures, how they lived their faith and how they were are were not prepared to go into the mystics of faith.

In most spiritual traditions, mysticism lies at the heart of spirituality. ‘‘Mysticism’’ refers to transcendent, contemplative experiences that enhance spiritual understanding. Mystical experiences can occur during intentional practices designed to create openings for transcendent experiences, such as Christian contemplative prayer, Zen meditation, movement or dance meditation or Sufi dance; or they can occur in the process of living a lifestyle that is conducive to transcendent experiences, as in contemplative gardening. In either case, contemplative or transcendent knowing is associated with spiritual experience.

‘‘Transcendence’’ refers to contemplative knowing that occurs outside the boundaries of verbal thought (Wilber). Although transcendence can refer to increasingly abstract thought, contemplative transcendence involves transcending thought itself. Mystical experiences of transcendence can be brought into thought, but they do not originate in thought or sensory perception.

The spiritual person can become a transcendental person, going into mystical contemplative experiences. He either may become religious with it or stay out of religion. But this kind of spirituality, set apart from religion would be weak and might be directionless, or worse, narcissistic.  Jesus wanted us to have a vibrant faith that focuses on his Father and he wants us to use the teachings of the Bible to shape both our religion and our spiritual interactions with him and God. Our spirit has to become connected intimately with Jesus, God but also with our brethren and sisters in the community, plus feeling a love for the full creation of the Supreme Being, Jehovah God. This includes a good relationship with the animals, plants and all sorts of people, no matter which religion they may belong to. A good Christian should be a good follower of Christ, sharing the same love Jesus had for all people, no matter what they had done or how they felt about him. Jesus loved also his enemies, so we should do likewise.

Our religious and spiritual practices should focus on that relationship with creation. The spiritual practices should not merely be productive in a narrow sense but should be disciplined, creative and committed. The regularity of a spiritual discipline like meditation may give shape to what may otherwise be a fragmented life. as such it can enrich the religious life. Over time meditation may facilitate a growing freedom from destructive energies that inhibit healthy relationships. Such a growth in inner freedom makes us more available and effective as compassionate presences in the world.

As the great traditions emphasise, spirituality is actually concerned with cultivating a “spiritual life” rather than simply with undertaking practices isolated from commitment. It offers a “value-added” factor to personal and professional lives. So, for example, in a variety of social contexts spirituality is believed to add two vital things.

  • First, it saves us from being purely results-orientated. Thus, in health care it offers more than a medicalised, cure-focused model and in education it suggests that a holistic approach to intellectual, moral and social development is as vital as acquiring employable skills.
  • Second, spirituality expands ethical behaviour by moving it beyond right or wrong actions to a question of identity – we are to be ethical people rather than simply to “do” ethical things. Character formation and the cultivation of virtue then become central concerns.

Current evidence suggests a growing diversity of new forms of spirituality as well as creative reinventions of the great traditions. The language of spirituality continues to expand into ever more professional and social worlds – for example urban planning and architecture, the corporate world, sport and law. Most strikingly there are recent signs of its emergence in two contexts that have been especially open to public criticism – commerce and politics. Equally, the Internet is increasingly used to expand access to spiritual wisdom. So, on current evidence, spirituality appears to be less of a fad than an instinctive desire to find a deeper level of values to live by. As such, it seems likely not only to survive but to develop further into many new forms. {Is spirituality a passing trend?}

Church HDR

Church HDR (Photo credit: I_am_Allan)

The church community should not be afraid of those people who also want to be spiritual people. Every religious person in a way should be a spiritual person. Faith without works is dead. Each person believing in Jesus should know he should undertake efforts to understand those teachings, knowing the Torah and following the commandments of Christ and the commandments of God. Each follower of Christ should not only go out in the world on his own, no he should make efforts to meet regularly with other like minded people, considering them as his brothers and sisters in Christ. Gathering together they should ‘make church‘ and be united in the religion of the Body of Christ. In that Body or Church they should undertake actions, like reading the Bible, exhorting each other and Breaking bread with each other. This would mean they are have do do religious actions and to be religious in the tradition of the faith of Christ Jesus. But without their pure heart they would not be honest to the others in that community. So first of all each individual has to purify himself or herself, to which she or he can use meditation or spiritual exercise.

Religion and spirituality are complementary and should go together, uniting each of us in the name of Christ.

Bible School, USA

Christadelphian Bible school meeting.
United brethren and sisters in 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

Being Religious and Spiritual 7 Transcendence to become one

Next: Points to remember of philosophy versus spirituality and religion

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Find also to read:

  1. Human nature
  2. “Who is The Most High” ? Who is thee Eternal? Who is Yehovah? Who is God?
  3. Only One God
  4. God’s design in the creation of theworld
  5. God Helper and Deliverer
  6. Gods hope and our hope
  7. God’s Will for Us – Gods Wil voor ons 
  8. Gods hope and our hope
  9. God’s measure not our measure
  10. God’s promises
  11. Gods Salvation
  12. Full authority belongs to God
  13. Preexistence in the Divine purpose and Trinity
  14. Jesus Messiah
  15. Servant of his Father
  16. Incomplete without the mind of God
  17. Our relationship with God, Jesus and each other
  18. Faith
  19. A Living Faith #1 Substance of things hoped for
  20. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  21. A Living Faith #4 Effort
  22. Faith antithesis of rationality
  23. Faith is a pipeline
  24. Faith is knowing there is an ocean because you have seen a brook.
  25. Are religious and secular ethicists climbing the same mountain
  26. Caricaturing and disapproving sceptics, religious critics and figured out ethics
  27. Theology without spirituality sterile academic exercise
  28. To mean, to think, outing your opinion, conviction, belief – Menen, mening, overtuiging, opinie, geloof
  29. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  30. Fellowship
  31. United people under Christ
  32. Parts of the body of Christ
  33. What part of the Body am I?
  34. Communion and day of worship
  35. Church sent into the world
  36. Pulpit reserved for the pastor
  37. Teach children the Bible
  38. Everything that is done in the world is done by hope
  39. Christmas customs – Are They Christian?
  40. Holidays, holy days and traditions
  41. Peter Cottontail and a Bunny laying Eastereggs
  42. Fr Paddy Byrne finds First communions and confirmations should be delayed
  43. Are Science and the Bible Compatible?
  44. The Soul confronted with Death
  45. Is there an Immortal soul
  46. The Soul not a ghost
  47. Immortality, eternality – onsterfelijkheid, eeuwigheid
  48. Dying or not
  49. What happens when we die?
  50. Dead and after
  51. Destination of righteous

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Additional reading:

  1. Spiritual but not Religious, or A Disconnect on the Faith Divide
  2. Is spirituality a passing trend?
  3. Christian Identity, or Can Baby Jesus Get Some Love?
  4. Rewriting History — The History of America Mega-Conference: Part Three, “Religious Liberalism” And Those Magnificent Mathers
  5. Rewriting History — History of America Mega-Conference: Part Eight, Closing Thoughts
  6. Can You Be Spiritual and Not Religious?
  7. Let The Children Come ~ Teach Them About God
  8. Let The Children Come ~ Teach Them God’s Word « An Imperfect Life
  9. Let The Children Come ~ Be An Example « An Imperfect Life
  10. Let The Children Come ~ Pray for Them

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  • I am Spiritual but not Religious (passionistpartners.com)
    “I am spiritual but not religious.” This is the mantra voiced by a number of people, Catholics included. It means that such people savor the inner qualities of their faith in Jesus Christ but not the outer framework in which those qualities are contained.

    They respond warmly to the Christmas scene of Mary and Joseph kneeling close to Jesus as a newborn infant. They may resonate with the teaching of Jesus on the beatitudes, describing the poor in spirit, the meek, the merciful, the peacemakers. They may treasure His words on loving one another as he has loved us.

    But when it comes to graphically depicting these sentiments in ritual, music, art, architecture, vestments, ceremonies, processions, incense—this is a different story. They find such a discrepancy between thoughts and feelings, and the attempt at giving tangible expression to them fails miserably in the opinion of some people. The sermons are boring, the collection is scandalous, the singing is outdated, the prayers formulaic and out of touch with people’s needs and desires.

  • The one religion that’s not part of my spiritual quest (roguepriest.net)
    Jesus is central in one out of 16 or five out of 43 major religions practiced in the world today. (In the first list I’m excluding “no religion,” “new religions” and “other” for my count, and in the second list I’m pointing to Christianity, Christian Science, Jehova’s Witnesses, Mormonism, and Rastafari.) By that count less than 6 – 11% of religions consider Christ important. With nods from Baha’i, Islam and Unitarianism, the figure rises to a max of 25%.
    Likewise, the majority of people in the world today do not follow any branch of Christianity.
    Yet the teachings of Christ loom large.
  • Religions and Spirituality (allowinglove.wordpress.com)
    diverse ethnicities and faiths from Passaic County gathered for one hour at Pa… SPARTA, NJ
  • Picking fights over religion and the separation of church and state (santamariatimes.com)
    how this kind of free-floating rage differs from Bible-beating preachers who blame earthquakes and tornadoes on other people’s sexual sins escapes me. The main characteristic of the fundamentalist mind is an inability to refrain from expressing contempt for beliefs different from one’s own — whether one’s spiritual example is Pat Robertson or Christopher Hitchens.
  • Spiritual Well-Being (casapalmera.com)
    piritual well-being is an integral part of mental, emotional and physical health. It is considered to be a primary coping resource on the journey of recovery and healing. This healing takes place in drug treatment centers, eating disorder residential programs and at trauma recovery. Spiritual well-being can be associated with a specific religion but does not have to be. This practice is merely one’s own journey to discover things of importance in life as well as one’s place among them. It can be practiced in numerous ways, with its main purpose being to find purpose and meaning in life. Spirituality and faith provide an opportunity to detach from circumstances and observe life with clarity and integrity. Spirituality can either be positive or negative. Spiritual well-being is a state is which the positive aspects of spirituality are shown. How the effects of spiritual well-being impact you is greatly determined by each individual.
  • My journey of faith (brynsthoughtsonfaith.wordpress.com)
    What might have happened if I was baptized into the Church of England, for instance? Would my faith have been stronger as a teenager? Would I have still gone down the route to the Catholic Church, given the opportunity?My early upbringing was, as such, not massively religious one way or the other. We did not go to Church (Anglican or Catholic) on Sunday, so as not to sway me one way or the other.
    From what I remember, my Primary School was Church of England in all but name, we had Assembly every morning, sang hymns and when Christmas and Easter came, we would sing in the local Anglican Church, St. Nicholas.
  • Obama Spiritual Advisor: President Very Religious (peacemoonbeam.typepad.com)
    President Obama’s spiritual adviser says the leader of the free world is more religious than most people think.
  • Enriching Your Spirituality: Famous Christian Quotes (quotes.answers.com)
    A poignant quote can have a profound effect. The simple truths contained in only a few lines have the power to inspire, calm, and encourage someone in need. This is especially true for Christian quotes. Whether you are struggling to find God’s purpose in your life or seeking comfort in a time a duress, these famous Christian quotes offer great help in times of need.
  • 10 Religious Quotes to Make You Think (quotes.answers.com)
    It seems that no matter what breakthroughs science makes in explaining the world, people will always have a need for spirituality and religion. Indeed, it seems that the only area with satisfying answers for many tough questions is religion. These religious quotes are collected from thinkers, writers, and lay people from a wide range of religious faiths and creeds. What they all have in common is that they are guaranteed to make you think.
  • Religious Rites: An Overview of Christian Funeral Services (christianity.answers.com)
    Regardless of your religious persuasion, a funeral service is one of the more somber rites that you might attend. In the Christian faith, even though death is seen as a passage to eternal life, saying goodbye to a loved one is very sad. This article details the common elements of most Christian burial services.