The Pastor Theologian

The first disciples of Jeshua, the Christ, were, except Luke, no scholars. It was only after Jeshua had died and was risen that an other scholar joined the disciples and became known as the great apostle Paul.

The early members of the ecclesiae of the followers of Jesus were a mix of all sorts of professions, where everybody became a partaker of the group, taking up different roles. They did not go to universities to have their degree in theology and did not have a training in the synagogues to become a priest in the ecclesia.

They were people united in the body of Christ, humbling themselves to be a worker for Christ and for God, not aiming to be the Leader, because they knew very well who had to be the leader, namely Jesus Christ should be the cornerstone of the community.

It is very nice to hear that

“At the end of the day theology is not about having more head knowledge or even about pursuing more academic degrees. It’s about getting to know the God of the Scriptures who is able to do immeasurably more than we could ever ask or imagine. And when he is made much of – that is, when he is encountered and known, the real work of ministry is done in our hearts, our communities, and the world!”

Though it is a pity that so many theologians have become blinded by human doctrines that they do not see the biblical truth any more.

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To remember

  • pastor = CEO or “leader” dominating conference scene
  • two of the Church’s finest leaders – Andy Stanley + Craig Groeschel = god-like on stage + every ear attune to their words of wisdom
  • wondering if we’ve pushed focus on leadership too far to the neglect of the study of theology
  • Gerald Hiestand + Todd Wilson in their book, The Pastor Theologian: Resurrecting an Ancient Vision, think this may be the case.
  • great chasm between study of theology and the Church
  • office of pastor + theologian not always separate
  • birth of university => divide => best + brightest minds pursued work in the academy+ those gifted with people skills became pastors in the local Church
  • Church could use some more theology while the academy could use some more pastoral wisdom.
  • all ministry leaders should prioritize study of God
  • to keep a close watch over own life and doctrine (teaching)(1 Timothy 4:16)
  • guard against false doctrine if unable to identify it
  • health of the Church + the making of disciples = both reliant on sound teaching.

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Preceding articles

Mental Enslavement and Sins Syndrome (MESS)

Luther on Being a Theologian: Oratio, Meditatio and Tentatio

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Additional reading

  1. The importance of Reading the Scriptures
  2. No other god besides Jehovah who gives all explanation
  3. God’s forgotten Word 3 Lost Lawbook 2 Modern scepticism
  4. Theologians and a promised Spirit to enlighten us
  5. Necessity of a revelation of creation 9 Searching the Scriptures

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Praxis

Thepastortheologian

We live in an age where the pastor as CEO or the pastor as “leader” dominates the conference scene. I remember attending a Catalyst One Day Conference in Chicago several years ago. One day packed full of vision casting, leadership tips, and inspirational quotes from two of the Church’s finest leaders – Andy Stanley and Craig Groeschel. I was mesmerized. They were god-like on stage and every ear was attune to their words of wisdom. I took copious notes and made it a priority to implement as much as I could into the college ministry I was leading at the time. It goes without saying that much of what leadership literature and media have to offer is valuable and necessary.

I’m just wondering if we’ve pushed the focus on leadership too far to the neglect of the study of theology. Gerald Hiestand and Todd Wilson in their book, The Pastor…

View original post 516 more words

The Presence of God

When we look around us we shall be able to see enough proof of the presence and work of the Divine Creator. We only have to open our eyes and our heart. Without opening ourselves for the Most High it can well be we stay blind, blinded by the super strong light creation provides.

To see God we have to be willing to look for Him and to see Him. The presence of God is in the things He created. It can well be that the presence of God can not be seen a a certain church. Like the writer of this poem can not find God in church, many are willing to look for God and luckily they are willing to look at their surroundings, the planes, flowers, forests, mountains and the things above our head.

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Related articles

Sliver of Darkness

The pressence of God
The presence of God is in the things he created
The beauty of the leaves serrated
The height of the hills
The might of flapping fins
The melody of the sunbirds
The oneness of travelling ants
The orange setting sun
The bald peeping moon
Smiles that awaken the souls in gloom

The presence of God is in all I see
The falling stars that serenades the moon
Heavy rains wiping the tears of noon
The barren nature of the deserts
And the solitude with which it serves

Honestly, I don’t find God in church
But in forests, mountains and places as such
In the gospel preached by whispers of wind
And the soothing touch of grass on my feet

I find God in strangest of phenomena
In the Sirens of Silence
In the wails of still waters
In the overflow of aridity
And the abundance of scarcity

For he left…

View original post 27 more words

Marriage of Jesus 10 Old and New Covenant

Divinity Hall, Harvard Divinity School, view f...

Divinity Hall, Harvard Divinity School, view from Divinity Avenue (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Harvard Divinity School Professor Karen King agrees that the fragment, written in Coptic, she analysed,

“does not, however, provide evidence that the historical Jesus was married, nor does it prove that he was not married. The earliest reliable historical tradition is completely silent on that. So we’re in the same position we were before it was found. We don’t know if he was married or not.”

In the previous postings I mentioned already that when we look at the accounts of Jesus’ life in the Bible and the many non-religious writings of the early centuries, there is no mention of his marital status, while the accounts do mention Jesus’ mother, father and siblings.

Darrell Bock, a senior research professor of New Testament studies at Dallas Theological Seminar said:

“There’s no indication we have that Jesus was married. One could say the text is silent on Jesus’ marital status because there was nothing to say.”

Bock agreed with the notion that the text fragment shared similarities with the Gnostic Gospels and said the text could be referring to a gnostic rite of marriage but

“it’s a small text with very little context. We don’t know what’s wrapped around it to know what it’s saying.”

King writes:

“the importance of the ‘Gospel of Jesus’ Wife’ lies in supplying a new voice within the diverse chorus of early Christian traditions about Jesus that documents that some Christians depicted Jesus as married.”

In “Marriage of Jesus 8 Wife of Yahweh” and “Marriage of Jesus 9 Reason for a new marriage” I pointed out to the Wife of God, indicating the Book of books speaks about God being married to Israel, but this being spiritually talking about the relationship of Jehovah God with His Chosen People, Israel, or the Israelites, the religious Jews. From the Old Testament text we can understand that Jehovah God cast Israel off as a wife, and that it was impossible for Him to marry her as a “virgin” (Jeremiah 3:1-18; Ezekiel 16; Hosea 2; 3:1-5). We can see what faithless Israel has done and find God giving her the notice or her certificate of divorce and having sent her away because of all her adulteries.

“She saw that for all the adulteries of that faithless one, Israel, I had sent her away with a decree of divorce. Yet her treacherous sister Judah did not fear, but she too went and played the whore.” (Jeremiah 3:8 ESV)

"Abraham, Abraham!" So he said, &quo...

“Abraham, Abraham!” So he said, “Here I am.” And He said, “Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him…” (Photo credit: -Reji)

God had made a promise to Abraham, that his seed would multiply and God would make a people for Him out of his descendants. God always keeps to His promises. One of them, at the beginning of human history,just after the foundation of the earth, was also that He would provide a solution for the sin the first man and woman (the 1° Adam and Eve) committed. There He indicated already His special relationship with the human beings, and planned for a son to whom He would give the throne to restore the paradise and bring to fulfilment the clean and safe Kingdom of God (the 2° Adam).

” And [Psa. 102:25-27 says “Thou, Yahweh/Adonay/Jehovah”], “Lord, in the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hand. (11)  They will be destroyed, but you will remain. And they [i.e., the heavens and earth] will all wear out like an article of clothing. (12)  And you will fold them up like a robe, and they will be changed like an article of clothing. But you will stay the same and your years will never end.” (13)  But which one of the angels did God ever say [this] about [Psa. 110:1], “You should sit at my right side until I put your enemies [in full subjection] beneath your feet?”” (Heb 1:10-13 AUV)

“So [then], we [Christians] should pay closer attention to the things we have heard, so that we do not drift away from [believing and practicing] them. (2)  For if the message spoken through angels proved to be binding [Note: This is a reference to the Law of Moses. See Acts 7:53; Gal. 3:19], and every violation [of it] and disobedience [to it] received a just penalty, (3)  how will we escape [punishment] if we neglect such a great salvation? [For it was] first announced [to people] by the Lord and then confirmed to us [i.e., the writer and other Christians] by those who heard Him [i.e., the original apostles]. (4)  God also testified, along with those people, by [giving them] both signs and wonders and various miracles, and by [supernatural] gifts distributed [to them] by the Holy Spirit, as He desired. (5)  For God did not place the coming inhabited world [Note: “The coming inhabited world” here probably refers to the present Christian age. It was viewed as “coming” from the perspective of Old Testament times], under the control of angels [and] that is the world we are talking about.” (Heb 2:1-5 AUV)

With regards to which of the angelic messengers “emissaries”, none where invited tocome to sit next to God, but His son Jeshua (Jesus Christ), who was first lower than the angels (remember God is, was and always shall be the Most High) was placed higher after his resurrection and invited to come to sit at the right hand of God to become a mediator between God and man. In case Jesus was God he could not be sitting next to himself nor take on the duty of mediator or intermediary. His position as arbitrator for man and woman would be of no value either when he would have been God and the end judge of it all. The third party has to be someone other than the principals who are involved in a transaction. In the Bible is also written that he would hand over the Kingdom of God to his Father. In case he himself is the same person as the Father there is no use nor any possibility to hand over the Kingdom to himself.

But in the text in front of us we hear about the world to come: the New World. The angels are ministering spirits, servants, with no royal dignity; having a subordinate role of serving God. God’s concern is not with angels, but with us, and He accordingly sends those angels or messengers of God, to bring help to those who will inherit salvation.

“And if children, then also lawfully-allotted ones, lawfully-allotted ones surely of God, moreover, lawfully-allotted-with the Anointed One, if- we -wholly suffer-with Him, in order that, we may also be given splendor-with Him.” (Romans 8:17 AS )

In the Old Times God shared His passion with His people, who kept stubborn and did not want to recognise the Promised One, the Christos, or Christ the Messiah. God placed Jesus in a higher position than His angels and by doing this God’s glory becomes Christ’s glory and finally, in measure, our glory also, because in him, Jesus Christ, we can be saved and become part of the Body of Christ. The apostle Paul brings some ‘with’ words in his 8° letter to the Romans (8:1-39), that testify of what we are and what we do jointly with Christ. There it is said the Anointed One should be from-within us, being lawfully-allotted ones,  joint-heirs with the Anointed, even when we ourselves still dare to groan inside ourselves, waiting for our adoption, to wit, the ransom of our body, we may find not such an adoption, becoming children of God, but also finding the redemption of the body we still have here on earth. (In this world.)

God did not spare His own son Jeshua, but delivered him up for us all. (Romans 8:32) This Jesus is raised up, and is actually at the right hand of God, and makes intercession for us. (Romans 8:34) In the Old World the angels were in charge.

” Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold, And see the reward of the wicked.  (9)  For thou, O Jehovah, art my refuge! Thou hast made the Most High thy habitation;  (10)  There shall no evil befall thee, Neither shall any plague come nigh thy tent.  (11)  For he will give his angels charge over thee, To keep thee in all thy ways.  (12)  They shall bear thee up in their hands, Lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.” (Psalm 91:8-12 ASV)

But now God choose a cornerstone in His son, to whom angels already came to minister him in his lifetime (Matthew 4:11; cp Matthew 26:53)

” You made him for a little while lower than the angels; you have crowned him with glory and honor,  (8)  putting everything in subjection under his feet.” Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control. At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him.  (9)  But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.” (Hebrews 2:7-9 ESV)

We all share in flesh and blood, the same as the son of God Jesus Christ partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the evil, the adversary of God. For ages God’s People where thrown through and fro and often did not make a proper choice. Because of His great dissatisfaction god was not inclined any more to keep the bond of His ‘marriage’ with them alone. Too many times the Israelites were  ill-disposed to their Creator. They often behaved unlawful and that hurtled the Most High in such a way that He allowed His son to provide a New Covenant, to deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery (Hebrews 2:15).

God renewed His bond or covenant with His son and with the Spiritual Israel, which had to become the Church of God, the Body of Christ where the Nazarene Jeshua (Jesus) would be the cornerstone, to bring the lovers of God close to Him and to put down the adversaries or hostile ones, their necks under his foot.

Besides the heavenly Bride, the transfigured, translated, and risen Church, reigning over the earth with Christ, there is also the earthly bride, Israel, in the flesh, never yet divorced, though for a time separated, from her divine husband, who shall then be reunited to the Lord and be mother Church of the millennial earth, Christianized through her. Note, we ought, as Scripture does, restrict the language drawn from marriage—love to the Bride, the Church as a whole; not use it as individuals in our relation to Christ, as Rome does in the case of her nuns.” { All the Women of the Bible » Chapter 4. Symbolic and Representative Bible Women » The Bride, The Lamb’s Wife}

In his teaching period Jesus explained that some people may prefer to stay single “for the sake of the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 19:12). We should understand that by choosing celibacy to have more time to devote to proclaiming and living out God’s kingdom. They would find earthly responsibilities, such as those that go with marriage and parenting, a hindrance to their kingdom calling. This is similar to the situation of the disciples who were called away from their professions (fishermen, tax collectors, etc.) in order to follow Jesus with singular purpose. As I mentioned earlier such people consider themselves as married to Christ. They have taken Christ as their “bride“, like Jesus preferred to stay single and be the spouse or “wife of God“.

We always should remember that the Old Testament uses a lot of metaphors, and marriage is such one of them. Early Christians also used such metaphors to describe the relationship between celibate believers and Christ. Nuptial imagery is commonly used to describe salvation and heaven in the New Testament; and later Christian martyrs are sometimes called or portrayed as brides of Christ.

In the most difficult book of the bible, the apostle John describes in his vision the marriage scene in which the Bridegroom makes His Bride His wife. The ones who accept Christ as the son of God and their saviour may be glad and rejoice, and give honour now to him they wanted to follow and God raised out of the dead. He, the Lamb of God has now been taken up in heaven where the marriage of the Lamb took place. The ‘new’ wife of God or the wife for us in heaven has made herself ready in the presence of the one who is presented in fine linen, clean and white, like so many women their wedding dress. For the fine linen is the righteousness of saints, the ones who are set-apart from the world.  The followers of Christ may become part of the new Israel, the new chosen people of God, though they might have been gentiles, they are now called righteous and also sons  and daughters of God. We should know that blessed are they which are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb, Jesus Messiah. We all better listen to the true sayings of God.  We best remember what He has done for us and whom He provided for us and how we should worship that only One True God,the Father of Jesus, for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

“Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready;  (8)  it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure”— for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.  (9)  And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.”  (10)  Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God.” For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” (Revelation 19:7-10 ESV )

A woman, of course, only becomes a wife on the completion of her marriage to the man to whom she has been engaged or espoused. In this age of Grace, the church is the affianced Bride of Christ. At the marriage of the Lamb, she becomes His wedded wife (Ephesians 5:22, 23; 2 Corinthians 11:2). { All the Women of the Bible » Chapter 4. Symbolic and Representative Bible Women » The Bride, The Lamb’s Wife}

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The "Gospel of Jesus's Wife," a papyrus written in Coptic and containing text that refers to Jesus being married, is looking more and more like it is not authentic, research is revealing.

The “Gospel of Jesus’s Wife,” a papyrus written in Coptic and containing text that refers to Jesus being married, is looking more and more like it is not authentic, research is revealing.

Conclusion

Professor King has devoted much of her scholarly career to making a case that the early church falsely constructed an orthodox understanding of Jesus that minimized the role of women. Back in 2003 she released The Gospel of Mary of Magdala: Jesus and the First Woman Apostle, in which she argued that at least some ancient texts pointed to Mary Magdalene as an apostle. In 2012 she told the writer for Smithsonian: “You’re talking to someone who’s trying to integrate a whole set of ‘heretical’ literature into the standard history.” {It’s Back — The “Gospel of Jesus’s Wife” and the State of Modern Scholarship}

King saying

“it does not make sense that a forger with poor Coptic and scribal skills could also manage to acquire the right kind of papyrus and ink, and leave no ink out of place at the microscopic level.”

in her judgment may be right that “such a combination of bumbling and sophistication seems extremely unlikely” and that the world has a genuine old manuscript. But this does not mean it is a worthy “gospel” fragment or a sacred text.

King said.

“Is Jesus talking about a real wife, or the church, or a sister-wife? Who is the Mary—his mother, his wife, or some other Mary entirely?”

As I tried to explain in these 10 chapters is that we might understand it that when we would like to translate it with “wife” we should understand it to be a “woman” or female person in the bond of covenant-ship of being a pupil or follower of Christ.

What also might be important is that certain conservative ideas about the role of women in church herewith would be contradicted. If the papyrus fragment reflects religious writing copied from earlier texts, perhaps ones in the fourth century, it would speak to early Christian concerns about the role of the family in the early Church, which famously called upon its adherents to put aside family and civic loyalties, King suggests.

“This is not evidence that Jesus was married. We don’t know,”

Professor King originally interpreted the document as a debate about celibacy and had said:

“But early Christians were extremely interested in questions about whether they should be married or be celibate.”

Last month she added:

‘Now when I come back and read the fragment, it seems the major issue being talked about was that Jesus was affirming that wives and mothers can be his disciples,’ she said in an interview earlier this week.

The Harvard Divinity School writes:

If ancient, this tiny, damaged fragment provides tantalizing glimpses into issues about family, discipleship, and marriage that concerned ancient Christians. The main topic of the dialogue between Jesus and his disciples is one that deeply concerned early Christians, who were asked to put loyalty to Jesus before their natal families, as the New Testament gospels show. Christians were talking about themselves as a family, with God the Father, his son Jesus, and members as brothers and sisters. The particular focus in the Gospel of Jesus’s Wife, however, is on women: his mother, Mary, his wife, and a female disciple. The disciples discuss whether Mary is worthy, and Jesus states that “she can be my disciple.” These signs indicate some controversy over whether women who are sexually active (mothers and wives) can be disciples of Jesus. Other early Christian writings defend marriage and reproduction against fellow Christians who think virginity and celibacy are required for all, or who argue that “women are not worthy of life.”

This gospel fragment provides a reason to reconsider what we thought we knew by asking what role claims about Jesus’ marital status played historically in early Christian controversies over marriage, celibacy, and family. The Gospel of Jesus’s Wife makes it possible to say that some early Christians believed that Jesus was married. This conclusion potentially has significant implications for the history of ancient Christian attitudes toward marriage, sexuality, and reproduction.

I agree with professor King that the papyrus may show that there were early Christians for whom …

“sexual union in marriage could be an imitation of God’s creativity and it could be spiritually proper and appropriate.”

For her the so-called ‘Gospel of Jesus’ Wife’ may have been thrown out

“because the ideas it contained flowed so strongly against the ascetic currents of the tides in which Christian practices and understandings of marriage and sexual intercourse were surging.”

This representation of Jesus as a man with earthly passions and needs has not survived in the doctrines of the established churches, which emphasise celibacy and asceticism as a spiritual ideal. We as Christians should remember how Jesus preached equality between man and how we all had to love each other becoming one, united. Men and women equally united in the lord Christ Jesus, having the bride Jesus, him married to spiritual Israel, the Church.

The John papyrus fragment (right) comes from the same anonymous owner as the Gospel of Jesus's wife and has the same line breaks as a papyrus transcribed in 1924 (shown on left). The papyrus and Gospel of Jesus's Wife have similar ink and writing styles, suggesting the latter is a fake.

The John papyrus fragment (right) comes from the same anonymous owner as the Gospel of Jesus’s wife and has the same line breaks as a papyrus transcribed in 1924 (shown on left). The papyrus and Gospel of Jesus’s Wife have similar ink and writing styles, suggesting the latter is a fake.

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Find in this series:

 Marriage of Jesus 1 Mary, John, Judas, Thomas and Brown

 Marriage of Jesus 2 Standard writings about Jesus

 Marriage of Jesus 3 Listening women

 Marriage of Jesus 4 Place of the woman

 Marriage of Jesus 5 Papyrus fragment  in Egyptian Coptic

 Marriage of Jesus 6 Jesus said to them “My wife”

 Marriage of Jesus 7 Impaled

 Marriage of Jesus 8 Wife of Yahweh

Marriage of Jesus 9 Reason for a new marriage

Marriage of Jesus 10 Old and New Covenant

 To be continued with:

The Bride New Jerusalem

 

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Additional reading:

  1. God’s promises
  2. Creator and Blogger God 2 Image and likeness
  3. Creator and Blogger God 3 Lesson and solution
  4. Proclaiming shalom, bringing good news of good things, announcing salvation
  5. Nazarene Commentary Mark 1:1-8 – The Beginning of the Good News
  6. Do not be afraid. Good news because a Saviour has been born
  7. The Immeasurable Grace bestowed on humanity
  8. God’s salvation
  9. Written to recognise the Promised One
  10. Jesus begotten Son of God #3 Messiah or Anointed one
  11. Anointing of Christ as Prophetic Rehearsal of the Burial rites
  12. Messiah
  13. One mediator
  14. Slave for people and God
  15. Kingdom Visions of a Man, Throne and Great crowd
  16. Kingdom Visions of Rainbowed angel, Lamb in Mount Zion
  17. The Song of The Lamb #1 Visions, symbols and suggested meanings
  18. Accommodation of the Void
  19. Heavenly creatures do they exist
  20. Angels
  21. Father counterpart of the mother
  22. Invitation to all who believe
  23. Belief of the things that God has promised
  24. Gospel = Good tidings, good news, a good message
  25. Many forgot how Christ should be our anchor and our focus
  26. Walking in love by faith, not by sight
  27. United people under Christ
  28. Fellowship
  29. What’s church for, anyway?
  30. Church sent into the world
  31. Intentions of an Ecclesia
  32. Misleading Pictures
  33. A Living Faith #4 Effort
  34. Catholicism, Anabaptism and Crisis of Christianity
  35. Looking for True Spirituality 6 Spirituality and Prayer
  36. How long to wait before bringing religiousness and spirituality in practice
  37. Self inflicted misery #7 Good news to our suffering
  38. Signs of the Last Days

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Please find also of interest:

The ‘Gospel of Jesus’s Wife’ is Still as Big a Mystery as Ever
Given that King announced the discovery at a professional conference and immediately made preliminary test results and high-resolution photographs available to the world, it is difficult to know what she could have done differently.   Certainly a more somber title—something in Latin perhaps—would have conveyed more nuance and garnered less attention, but getting attention for the discovery and the field was King’s aim. It used to be the case that papyrus discoveries were routinely announced on the front pages of the Times of London, but things have changed. It’s tough out there when you’re not a Kardashian, and a catchy title and clear message can go a long way. It’s rare for scholars to pass up the opportunity to reach a broader audience when the opportunity presents itself, even if that means giving up some precision.

It’s Back — The “Gospel of Jesus’s Wife” and the State of Modern Scholarship

Last week, the Harvard Theological Review released a much-delayed series of articles on the fragment. After a series of investigations undertaken by diverse scholars, the general judgment claimed by Professor King is that the fragment probably is not a forgery — or at least that it dates back to ancient times. The analysis suggested that the fragment dated from about four centuries later than Professor King had first suggested. This would place the fragment, if authentic, in the context of eighth-century Egypt — hundreds of years after the New Testament was written and completed.

The language used by the national media in reporting the story this time reveals the lack of confidence now placed in the fragment. The Boston Globe reported that the tests “have turned up no evidence of modern forgery,” but the reporter had to acknowledge that at least one of the scholars writing in the Harvard Theological Review insisted that the fragment is not only a forgery, but an amateurish effort. The New York Times ran a story that featured a headline announcing that the fragment “is more likely ancient than fake.” Note the uncertainty evident even in the headline.

The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife? When Sensationalism Masquerades as Scholarship,”
One British newspaper notes that the claims about a married Jesus seem more worthy of fans of Dan Brown’s fictional work, The Da Vinci Code, than “real-life Harvard professors.” If the fragment is authenticated, the existence of this little document will be of interest to historians of the era, but it is insanity to make the claims now running through the media.

No Evidence of Modern Forgery in Ancient Text Mentioning Jesus’s Wife,”
Specialists said, hypothetically, that a highly skilled modern forger could have obtained the right kind of ink and meticulously applied it to a blank piece of ancient papyrus.

Determining the age of the ink using conventional testing methods would destroy the tiny document, roughly the size of a business card. Groundbreaking work by Columbia University researchers may soon uncover a way to date the ink without harming the fragment, which would offer a more definitive verdict about its authenticity.

‘Gospel of Jesus’s Wife’ likely isn’t a modern forgery, scientists claim
The Vatican has previously said that the document is most likely a modern forgery, but scientists from Columbia University, Harvard, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology say their analysis strongly suggests that it is indeed part of an ancient manuscript and that it wasn’t edited or tampered with. The researchers used micro-Raman and infrared spectroscopy to analyze the composition of the ink, looking for clues as to whether it may have been applied after the original document was damaged.
“There is absolutely no evidence for that,” Timothy Swager, an MIT chemistry professor who worked on the project, tells the New York Times. “It would have been extremely difficult, if not impossible.” The researchers dated the fragment to between the sixth and ninth century AD, noting that it bears a strong resemblance to other texts from that era.

The ‘Gospel of Jesus’s Wife’ Is Real: What Now?
As with all scholarly work on the ancient world, it seems impossible to ever fully resolve disputes over the text and its interpretations. This isn’t the last word on the Gospel of Jesus’s Wife, but it is a fragment of understanding about how early Christians saw their savior.

No Forgery Evidence Seen in “Gospel of Jesus’s Wife” Papyrus
One report in the journal, by epigrapher Leo Depuydt of Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, claims grammatical errors dog the text and concludes, “The author of this analysis has not the slightest doubt that the document is a forgery, and not a very good one at that.”

Overall, he suggests that the papyrus was forged from a copy of the ancient Gospel of Thomas text, discovered less than a century ago in Egypt.

King refutes those criticisms in a response in the journal, arguing that the grammar errors are misinterpretations by Depuydt. She also argues that writings similar to the Gospel of Thomas were then prevalent in the eastern Mediterranean, so words from that gospel would not necessarily be a sign of forgery.
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In the journal reports, a chemistry team led by MIT’s Joseph Azzarelli concluded that the age of the papyrus scrap matches that of a verified Gospel of John papyrus from antiquity. The team relied on microspectroscopy of the papyrus, which found the fragment only slightly less oxidized—aged by exposure to air—than the verified gospel.

Likewise, Columbia University’s James Yardley and Alexis Hagadorn looked at the pigments in the ink on the fragment. They found it similar to “lamp black” ink used on other ancient texts.

‘Gospel of Jesus’s Wife’: Doubts Raised About Ancient Text
In an effort to confirm the origins of the papyrus and discover its history, Live Science went searching for more information about Laukamp and his descendents, business partners or friends.

Our findings indicate that Laukamp was a co-owner of the now-defunct ACMB-American Corporation for Milling and Boreworks in Venice, Fla. Documents filed in Sarasota County, Fla., show that Laukamp was based in Germany at the time of his death in 2002 and that a man named René Ernest was named as the representative of his estate in Sarasota County. [Proof of Jesus Christ? 7 Pieces of Evidence Debated]

In an exchange of emails in German, Ernest said that Laukamp did not collect antiquities, did not own this papyrus and, in fact, was living in West Berlin in 1963, so he couldn’t have crossed the Berlin Wall into Potsdam. Laukamp, he said, was a toolmaker and had no interest in old things. In fact, Ernest was astonished to hear that Laukamp’s name had been linked to this papyrus.

Is the ‘Gospel of Jesus’s Wife’ a fake after all? Fresh doubts cast over ancient papyrus that suggested Jesus was married after another in the collection with the Same handwriting is proved to be a forgery
Fresh questions over the authenticity of the ‘Gospel of Jesus’s Wife’ papyrus have been raised after a text from the same collection written in the same handwriting was proved to be a fake, experts say.
Debate over the fragment’s authenticity is set to continue as some will no doubt question these latest findings.
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Additional tests showed that the ink’s chemical composition is consistent with other inks used by the ancient Egyptians, while microscopic imaging found no suspicious ink pooling that critics of the papyrus said was evidence of the ink being applied in more recent times.

At the same time, other papyri from the collection were tested for means of comparison. One of those was a fragment from the canonical Gospel’ of John written in a rare ancient dialect of Coptic known as Lycopolitan. A Lycopolitan version of John, which was first published in 1924, is now available online.
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Many people over the centuries have tried to work out a ‘bloodline’ for possible descendants of Jesus and Mary Magdalene.

Many historians agree that there is no historical, biblical, archaeological or genetic evidence to support the idea.

New clues cast doubt on ‘Gospel of Jesus’ Wife’

Once we started carbon-dating papyrus, forgers started using authentically ancient papyrus. Once we discovered how to identify ancient ink by its chemical composition, forgers started creating precisely the same ink.

Like steroids in sports, it’s safe to assume that the best bad guys are always one step ahead of the science.

And yet, the dating of the papyrus and ink did shift the burden back on to the doubters. And just this past week, they seem to have discovered something as close to proof as we can really expect in cases like this.
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Add to this the fact that the carbon dating of the John papyrus puts it in the seventh to ninth centuries, but Lycopolitan died out as a language sometime before the sixth century. No one wrote anything in Lycopolitan in the period in which this text would have to be dated.
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This forgery was detected not through lab analysis but through good old-fashioned humanities-based detective work. This was Sherlock Holmes, not “CSI.”

‘Gospel of Jesus’s Wife’ Looks More and More Like a Fake

Just recently, Christian Askeland, a research associate with the Institut für Septuaginta-und biblische Textforschung in Wuppertal Germany, revealed new information that casts further doubt on the papyrus’ authenticity. His work is set to be published in the journal Tyndale Bulletin and is currently posted on a blog.

Askeland analyzed a second papyrus that, according to documents published in the Harvard Theological Review, was also purchased by the anonymous owner from Laukamp. It was presented to Harvard as a papyrus believed to be genuine.

This second papyrus, which has writing on two sides, includes text from the Gospel of John — and is a fake, writes Askeland, its lines being copied from a papyrus published in 1924. In addition, the researcher notes this papyrus has similar handwriting and ink to the Gospel of Jesus’s Wife, making it likely that the Jesus’s wife papyrus is also fake. [Proof of Jesus Christ? 7 Pieces of Evidence Debated]

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  • Centuries-Old Document Stirs Up Jesus Marriage Debate (fox8.com)
    A newly revealed, centuries-old papyrus fragment suggests that some early Christians might have believed Jesus was married. The fragment, written in Coptic, a language used by Egyptian Christians, says in part, “Jesus said to them, ‘My wife …”Harvard Divinity School Professor Karen King announced the findings of the 1 1/2- by 3-inch honey-colored fragment on Tuesday in Rome at the International Association for Coptic Studies.
  • ‘Gospel Of Jesus’ Wife’ Papyrus Is Ancient, Not Fake, Experts Say (huffingtonpost.com)
    “The main topic of the fragment is to affirm that women who are mothers and wives can be disciples of Jesus — a topic that was hotly debated in early Christianity as celibate virginity increasingly became highly valued,” King, whose specialties include Coptic literature, Gnosticism and women in the Bible, said in a statement Thursday. “This gospel fragment provides a reason to reconsider what we thought we knew by asking what the role claims of Jesus’ marital status played historically in early Christian controversies over marriage, celibacy, and family.”The legible lines on the front of the artifact seem to form a broken conversation between Jesus and his disciples. The fourth line of the text says, “Jesus said to them, my wife.” Line 5 says “… she will be able to be my disciple,” while the line before the “wife” quote has Jesus saying “Mary is worthy of it” and line 7 says, “As for me, I dwell with her in order to …”
  • The Great Debate: Death and Taxes Matthew 22:15-33 (whatshotn.wordpress.com)
    Jesus has boldly claimed authority as Israel’s Messiah by His triumphal entry, His cleansing of the temple, and His possession of the temple for His teaching and healing ministry (Matthew 21:1-17). It is while Jesus is ministering in the temple that His adversaries,  the religious elite of Jerusalem  choose to challenge Him publicly, demanding that He declare the source of His authority for all He has been doing (Matthew 21:23).
  • did jesus kill himself (or, maybe, have himself killed)? (unsettledchristianity.com)
    Famously, some liberal theologians suggest Jesus only submitted to the cross after his example was wasted on the folk. Or, some suggest he was the first martyr. Neither of this, I think, does justice to what I am going to propose in my new dissertation. If we allow for the moment that devotio means, in its simplest form, “self-sacrifice,” then we can allow for an exploration of suicide as a form of devotio even if the proper term is not used.
  • The revelation of Jesus that John saw and heard (correctunderstandingofshinchonji.wordpress.com)
    The revelation that John saw, heard, and recorded is the revelation of Jesus Christ (Rv 1:1). Anyone who learns this revelation of Jesus is not learning from mere men; he is learning from Jesus and the angels coming in his name (Jn 14:26; Rv 10). This revelation contains prophecies and their fulfillment (Jn 14:29; Rv 21:6). The prophecies record the events of betrayal, destruction, and salvation (2Thes 2:1-3). The fulfillment of Revelation includes battles and the handling down of judgment (Rv 13; Rv 12). Revelation describes the war between God and the devil, and the battle between God’s promised pastor and the pastors of the devil (Rv 12).
  • Psalm 2 (The coming reign of Jesus on Earth) (disciplesofhope.wordpress.com)
    the scenario of Psalm 2:2 shows that the rulers of the earth are aware not just of God but also about Christ his anointed One. It means that the around that time (which will soon come) most people will have the Gospel preached to them as a witness. So there will be some rulers who will try to go against the Gospel teachings.
  • The Bible backs same-sex couples: Point by point, why conservatives are wrong (salon.com)
    If the essence of marriage involves a covenant-keeping relationship of mutual self-giving, then two men or two women can fulfill that purpose as well as a man and a woman can. But is lifelong commitment between two adults sufficient for realizing a Christian basis for marriage? Or is there something unique about heterosexual relationships that prevents same-sex couples from truly illustrating Christ’s love for the church?
  • The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife ~ A Rogueclassicist Perspective (rogueclassicism.com)
    We also saw some things from the Smithsonian, which may have added some gravitas to the story:

    … and it became apparent that this was connected to a documentary on the subject which was funded by the Smithsonian and which will appear on the Smithsonian Channel later this month.

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Marriage of Jesus 9 Reason for a new marriage

Asherah goddess of heaven by some called also the Wife of Yahweh

 

Drawing on ancient inscriptions that mention “Yahweh and his asherah,” some scholars (notably William Dever in Did God Have a Wife? Archaeology and Folk Religion in Ancient Israel) have in recent years posited that the ancient Israelites worshipped Asherah and other deities alongside Yahweh, the God of the Old Testament. In the previous chapter I tried to show you that Yahweh’s supposed wife Asherah was no part of the real followers of the One True God YHWH יהוה {Jehovah} of Hosts is his Name, the Holy One of Israel or better:  the Set-apart One of Yisra’ĕl.

A Revealer between many gods

A certain Andy on the bible Gateway Blog writes:

That the ancient Israelites worshiped many different gods is not news to anyone who has read the Old Testament. Although God revealed himself to His people as the one and only true God (even singling out Asherah worship for condemnation), the Israelites, surrounded by other nations that worshiped many gods, constantly backslid into idolatry. This idolatry didn’t always take the form of an outright denial of God—rather than denying Yahweh, the Israelites would often start worshipping other deities (like Asherah) alongside Yahweh; or sometimes they would worship Yahweh in a way that he had expressly forbidden. Much of the Old Testament describes theforbiddenworshipofpagangodslikeAsherahandtheBaals and the failure of Israel’s leaders to outlaw such cults. {Did God have a wife?}

Cover of "Did God Have A Wife? Archaeolog...

Cover via Amazon

Writings from the world

In the previous chapter I showed you God’s amazement at Israel’s constant backsliding into idol worship, despite all that God had done for them. I mostly spoke about the Old World except at the end when I looked at the prophetic writings in the Bible and compared it to the situation today, about what we have seen happening in several churches.

 I also wanted to warn you how we do have to be careful for writings from the world and so called findings, which are not exactly historically proven to be genuine. We have seen that many people try to bring a lot of attention to the Gnostic writings and to more contemporary writings as the Da Vinci Code. In such writings there may be spoken of a wife for God and a wife for Jesus, but nowhere in the Bible is this even hinted at.

 It is not because we can find in those papyrus manuscripts chunks of the same Bible texts that we may assume they original writings to be taken serious. I do believe many of them were retroactively rewritten to falsify the record. As I told previously it is strange that God did not protect such writings like He did with the other canonic writings. Everything which was notated in one language and translated in other languages, could be compared to early and later writings, which compared with manuscripts found much later but written much earlier confirmed the writings we had or have so far.

Human or spiritual needing or not having sexual appetite

English: Noah's testament with God

Noah’s testament with God (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Abrahamic God is not a God recognisable as a human figure needing sex like the other gods of the pantheon. The God of Moses, who is the same God of Jesus has no sexual qualities or desires.

When there is spoken about Asherah in the Bible she is not depicted as God’s wife. The true believers of God do not need to see or find a God with the same attributes as themselves or as any human being. We are made in the likeness of God, so naturally many attributes we do have come from God. But because God is a Complete God of gods, without any deficiencies we may assume that those elements which can weaken us can not be found by the Most High God. Sexuality is such one of the elements God does not have to have.

Canaanite and other gods

Robert Wright writes in his book The Evolution of God:

Many scholars have said no. Indeed, in Kaufmann’s view, the “non-mythological” nature of Yahweh “is the essence of Israelite religion” and sets Israelite religion “apart from all forms of paganism,” certainly including native Canaanite religion.

There is doubly bad news for those who, like Kaufmann, would hail Yahweh as a clean break from pagan myth. First, there are signs that the break wasn’t so clean—that, like so much else in the history of religion, it was more evolutionary than revolutionary. Second, when you try to trace this evolution, you see that Yahweh’s family tree may contain something even more scandalous than an early fusion with the Canaanite deity El. It may be that Yahweh, even while inheriting El’s genes, somehow acquired genes from the most reviled of all Canaanite deities: Baal.… {Did Yahweh have a wife? Excerpt from Chapter 5: Polytheism: The Religion of Ancient Israel}

Virgin Queen of heaven

Astarte, the goddess, the Queen of Heaven, whose worship Jeremiah so vehemently opposed.

From the previous posting you may also have come to the conclusion that God Himself who told Jeremiah that He was grieved by the idol worship of the “queen of heaven“, would than also not be married to such a queen. Many ancient sky goddesses got that title and later the Roman Catholic Church added their “queen of heaven”  or the “Blessed Virgin Mary”  The fact that archeologists have found Asherah in Samaria is not surprising when you know that according to biblical history, about half of the kings of Israel worshipped other gods and built altars and Asherah to them.

Concerning that wife of Yahweh, I presented Biblical writings where the position of the Only True God and His people is presented, under the figurative way of speaking about the relationship and bond or covenant between a husband and his wife. I do hope that you  readers came to see that  “that wife” is not Asherah or any other cultic goddess. The wife is none other than God’s people. In the Word of God (the Bible) the Creator compared His relationship with a young man youth who married a virgin, and as the bridegroom at such an occasion would rejoice, joyeth over the bride,
so shall He who is the God of gods, the Elohim rejoice over them.

“For as a young man marrieth a virgin, so shall thy sons marry thee; and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee.  (6)  I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem; they shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that are Jehovah’s remembrancers, take ye no rest,  (7)  and give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth.  (8)  Jehovah hath sworn by his right hand, and by the arm of his strength, Surely I will no more give thy grain to be food for thine enemies; and foreigners shall not drink thy new wine, for which thou hast labored:  (9)  but they that have garnered it shall eat it, and praise Jehovah; and they that have gathered it shall drink it in the courts of my sanctuary.” (Isaiah 62:5-9 ASV)

Zion and Backsliding children

God could only see His people wandering off many times, though He often called them and asked them to remember what He had done for them:

“Return, O backsliding children, says Jehovah; for I am married to you. And I will take you, one from a city, and two from a family; and I will bring you to Zion.” (Jeremiah 3:14 VW)

aka. the Moabite Stone (2007-05-19T14-10-19.jp...

aka. the Moabite Stone (2007-05-19T14-10-19.jpg) Mesha Stele: YHWH, the god of Israelites as mentioned in the Moabite inscription in line 18 (context: and I took from there tvessels (or hearths) of YHWH and I dragged them before the face of Kemosh). Transliteration (modern Hebrew characters): יהוה (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This Zion is also a bride to the Most high. in Jerusalem shall be His bed, his throne, which will be given to one of the sons of Adam, who would be the righteous son of Abraham and son of king David. This young man would become the new wife but also the new husband. Zion or Tzion for The God of Abraham is the spiritual point from which reality emerges, located in the Holy of Holies of the First, Second and Third Temple. It was that what was build up by God. as happens more in the Holy Scriptures Jerusalem and the Jewish people are personified. Naming the holy city “daughter Zion” was a common practice in the Hebrew language. Not only Jerusalem was called this way, but also Babylon, Tyre and Tarshish were referred to as “daughter”. In the New Testament the Daughter of Zion is the bride of Christ, also known as the Church, according to the writer of the book of Hebrews (see Hebrews 12:22). In this sense the lower hill with the temple mount is of course the Daughter of Zion as a geographical or ‘earthly’ manifestation of spiritual reality, as well as the lively and alive place of the human congregation.

“on the contrary, you have come to mount Tziyon, that is, the city of the living god, heavenly Yerushalayim; to myriads of angels in festive assembly;” (Hebrews 12:22 CJB)

God having been married to Israel, the People of God; His son Jeshua (Jesus Christ) shall be married to the spiritual Israel, which is the Body of Christ or the Church.

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Preceding articles:

 Marriage of Jesus 1 Mary, John, Judas, Thomas and Brown

 Marriage of Jesus 2 Standard writings about Jesus

 Marriage of Jesus 3 Listening women

 Marriage of Jesus 4 Place of the woman

 Marriage of Jesus 5 Papyrus fragment  in Egyptian Coptic

 Marriage of Jesus 6 Jesus said to them “My wife”

 Marriage of Jesus 7 Impaled

 Marriage of Jesus 8 Wife of Yahweh

 To be continued with:

 Marriage of Jesus 10 Old and New Covenant

 

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Additional reading:

  1. Another way looking at a language #6 Set apart
  2. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #4 Transitoriness #2 Purity
  3. Catholicism, Anabaptism and Crisis of Christianity
  4. Looking for True Spirituality 6 Spirituality and Prayer
  5. How long to wait before bringing religiousness and spirituality in practice
  6. Self inflicted misery #7 Good news to our suffering
  7. Signs of the Last Days
  8. Misleading Pictures
  9. A Living Faith #4 Effort
  10. Reflect on how much idolizing happens
  11. 8 fears caused by the fear of Man
  12. Wishing lanterns and Christmas
  13. Christmas, Saturnalia and the birth of Jesus
  14. Irminsul, dies natalis solis invicti, birthday of light, Christmas and Saturnalia
  15. Easter: Origins in a pagan Christ
  16. Hellenistic influences
  17. Position and power
  18. Politics and power first priority #1
  19. If we, in our prosperity, neglect religious instruction and authority
  20. God’s wisdom for the believer brings peace
  21. Worship and worshipping

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Also of interest:

Did God Have a Wife?

  • Never Mind Jesus–Did God Have A Wife? (theatlantic.com)
    The recently revealed “evidence” that Jesus had a wife deserves those quotation marks. As various people have argued, a fragment of text written centuries after the crucifixion doesn’t carry much weight as a biographical source. However, when it comes to the question of whether Jesus’s father had a wife, the evidence is stronger. And I’m not talking about Joseph, but, rather, about Jesus’s heavenly father–God.
  • Asherah, Wife of God (fractalfortress.wordpress.com)
    Asherah is a Semitic “mother goddess” who appears in several ancient sources. She was loved by the Jews, Akkadians, Hittites, Canaanites, Sumerians, and possibly the Ancient Egyptians. Due to syncretism, she absorbed the traits of the Goddess Athirat. Her titles are similarly many and include Queen of Heaven, Creator of the Gods, Lady of the Sea, and Holiness.Contrary to what you may believe, Jews were not always monotheistic: the worship of many deities was at one time a common and acceptable practice. Monotheism came late to Israel’s history. During this early time period, some scholars believe, the Goddess Asherah was worshipped alongside Yahweh, the god of the Bible. We can find evidence of this in the “Good Book” itself: in 2 Kings 21:7, Manasseh builds a statue of Asherah, and Solomon builds temples to many deities. Goddess figurines, along with numerous references to “Yahweh and his Asherah,” have also been unearthed in Israel. Furthermore, biblical verses that describes God as mother [Deut 32:18; Num 11:12-13; Isa 45:9-10, 49:15; 66:13] were probably absorbed from Asherah.
  • Asherah – the Queen of Heaven, who is Astarte and Ishtar (magickwyrd.wordpress.com)
    In biblical text the Goddess Asherah was worshiped in the temple Solomon built for Yahweh in Jerusalem. In the Book of Kings, we’re told that a statue of Asherah was housed in the temple and that female temple personnel (2 Kings 21:7) wove ritual textiles for her. Ancient texts, amulets and figurines unearthed primarily in the ancient Canaanite coastal city called Ugarit, now modern-day Syria, include reference to Yahweh and Asherah. Inscriptions are found asking for blessings together from Yahweh and Asherah, which reveals that God was not alone and his wife was a revered Goddess who had a part in religious practice and belief. All of these artifacts describe that Asherah was a powerful fertility goddess. As time passed, and over centuries, Asherah has been carefully edited out by authors who put bible texts together, to clear the way for focus on the worship of a single male god, Yahweh.
  • Asherah: Was God’s wife edited out of the Bible? – Christy Choi (bharatabharati.wordpress.com)

    “What remains of God’s purported other half are clues in ancient texts, amulets and figurines unearthed primarily in an ancient Canaanite coastal city, now in modern-day Syria. Inscriptions on pottery found in the Sinai desert also show Yahweh and Asherah were worshipped as a pair, and a passage in the Book of Kings mentions the goddess as being housed in the temple of Yahweh.” – Christy Choi
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    “Traces of her remain, and based on those traces … we can reconstruct her role in the religions of the Southern Levant,” he told Discovery News.

    Yahweh & AsherahAsherah, he says, was an important deity in the Ancient Near East, known for her might and nurturing qualities. She was also known by several other names, including Astarte and Istar. But in English translations Ashereh was translated as “sacred tree.”

    “This seems to be in part driven by a modern desire, clearly inspired by the Biblical narratives, to hide Asherah behind a veil once again,” Wright says.

  • Know Your Bible Lesson 14: Ahab & Elijah (Period 5) (924jeremiah.wordpress.com)
    By now we’ve learned that wives have a powerful spiritual influence over their husbands. Every time the Israelite men jump in the sack with some idolatrous women, they turn away from Yahweh to worship other gods. We saw this happen during the wilderness journey in Period 2, and we saw King Solomon take himself down by collecting lovers from all over the pagan world. We’re going to see this pattern again with Ahab, but somehow we get the feeling that Ahab knows what he’s doing when he rushes out to marry a sexy Baal worshiper.
  • Celebrating the Wiccan Way on Litha (anytimecostumes.com)
    Held on June 21st, the longest day of the year, this exciting holiday is a celebration of light, power, fertility, and nature. It’s meant to honor the Sun God when he is at his strongest and the Goddess pregnant with life before the harvest. It’s a bittersweet occasion as well, though–once it ends, the days begin to get shorter and shorter, marking the decline summer and the beginning of winter.
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    There are a few different stories Wiccans retell during the Litha Sabbat (holy day).
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    Since it’s a time of fertility and communion, marriages and handfastings are often held on Litha. One of its bynames–Vestalia–comes from the Roman goddess Vesta, the ruler of the hearth, and so, marriage. Juno, the goddess of union, is also the presiding deity over June, making it a popular day for couples to tie the knot…or jump the broom, depending on your preference.
  • Asherah, Part I: The lost bride of Yahweh (pterprof.wordpress.com) > Asherah, Part I: The lost bride of Yahweh + Asherah, Part II. + Asherah, Part III: The Lion Lady « Queen of Heaven

    The archaelogical record suggests that Asherah was the Mother Goddess of Israel, the Wife of God, according to William Dever, who has unearthed many clues to her identity. She was worshiped, apparently throughout the time Israel stood as a nation.  In many homes, images like the one above decorated household shrines.

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    In Ugarit, She was known as Athiratu Yammi, She who Treads on the Sea.  This suggests She was responsible for ending a time of chaos represented by the primordial sea and beginning the process of creation.  The Sea God, or Sea Serpent Yam is the entity upon which She trod.  In a particularly bizarre and suggestive passage in the Bible, 2 Kings 18:4, one monotheistic reformer, pursuing the typical course of smashing sacred stones and cutting down Asherahs records this additional fact: He broke into pieces the bronze snake Moses had made, for up to that time the Israelites had been burning incense to it. (It was called Nehushtan.)

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    Asherah, Part II: The serpent’s bride

    In Minoan Crete a mysterious goddess bearing serpents is very ancient; in classical Greece, Athena, Goddess of Wisdom, bears the serpent covered head of Medusa on her shield.  Throughout ancient Canaan, images can be found of a goddess holding or surrounded by serpents.  Some believe she is Astarte (the Canaanite version of Ishtar, who is in turn the Babylonian version of Inanna).  Inanna is said to have stolen the me, the magical tablets of wisdom, from Enki, and to have delivered that knowledge to her own people. Others believe the Canaanite serpent goddess is Asherah, in part because this goddess is often depicted standing on a lion and Asherah is also called the Lion Lady (a topic for another day).
    Asherah, Part III: The Lion Lady « Queen of Heaven
    The flower and the nudity are natural symbols of fertility; the snake is associated with wisdom. This fits with the archaelogical evidence that Asherah was worshiped by the Canaanites and later Israelites as the Mother Goddess and the Tree of Life.  (See Asherah Part I and Part II.) But why is Asherah the Lion Lady?

  • Asherah, Part I: The lost bride of Yahweh (farpointe.wordpress.com) Originally posted on Queen of Heaven
    They worshiped Her under every green tree, according to the Hebrew Bible (what Christians call the Old Testament).  The Bible also tells us Her image was to be found for years in the temple of Solomon, where the women wove hangings for Her.  In temple and forest grove, Her image was apparently made of wood, since monotheistic reformers demanded it be chopped down and burned.  It appears to have been a manmade object, but one carved of a tree and perhaps the image was a stylized tree of some kind.
  • Know Your Bible Lesson 13: Warring Kingdoms (Period 5) (924jeremiah.wordpress.com)
    In Lesson 10, we learned about how there are two different series of books which give us chronological summaries of the kings of Israel. One is the Samuel-Kings series, and the other is the Chronicles series.
    +
    David’s line is the true royal line—anyone else is just an imposter. The only time we hear about the kings of the north in 2 Chronicles is when they have an interaction with the kings of the south. So Chronicles is about the kings of Judah, while the author of Kings leaps back and forth between the two nations.

People Seeking for God 6 Strategy

Seeking the Most High Creator, our God is a process that is pivotal in our daily lives. When we look for God we should know that it is not a one day occasion. It will take more time to find God. Seeking God must not be seasonal fling. It also can not just be based on a mood of the day or a one time feeling.

Many times in history the Divine Creator had been all but forgotten like a distant memory fading into obscurity. We also can see this in our society, people do not know of the Power, the grace and the majesty of the Elohim, Jehovah our God. Not only the younger ones but also the more settles ones are interested in the temporary things of this world, not so much in the beautiful things of nature, but more the electronic gadgets. The material things they look for are like the flowers of the field, charming for a time, but eventually wither and fade away. Yet hope remained for the people of Israel and hope remains for us too.

Jhva Elohim Meth... The Revival

Jhva Elohim Meth… The Revival (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sometimes people start looking for a god or church because of peer pressure, but those intentions are mostly not serious and integer enough. Determined by circumstances a person also can come into a stadium where he or she wants seriously to receive more answers. Whatever triggers the search for God, the quest had to be undertaken seriously.

When it is only to have eternal life our reason of seeking God is not the right one and probably would not encounter so easily the expected answers.

We should aim to come into the presence of God. Some would say “it is the crucible where we learn to see eye to eye with God, feel His pulse and get primed to move by His Spirit“.

There should be various things you do to affirm your seeker-of-God status (praying, reading the bible, fasting, listening to truth messages), as you pursue the goal of being changed from glory to glory as you behold the Son of God.

The word ‘seek’ (in the Hebrew ‘dârash’) means to ‘tread’ or ‘frequent’ and this builds the image of seeking or treading a path to the Most High Elohim. It is the willingness to undertake the trip on a path which can lead to the Higher Being. Like Josiah in the past that one looking for God should begin to tread out a path to the Supreme Being, to understand and know how to seek Him.

בית ביסוד המעלה

בית ביסוד המעלה (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are so many things around to distract our attention, although there are nevertheless good things to look at. The beauties of God’s creation are wonderful sights for us to look at. The marvellous designs of the flowers; the birds we see flying around; the busy lives led by the insects; snow-capped mountains or a beautiful sunset. To come to look for God we should first be willing to see the things around us. We should come to see the incredible structures of all those things. Looking at nature, seeing its beauty, this will help to come to see the Maker of all that.

If we seek or tread a path to God frequently, the path will become clear and visible to us.

We read in Psalm 123:2

“(2)  See, as the eyes of servants Are toward the hand of their masters, As the eyes of a female servant Are toward the hand of her mistress, So are our eyes toward יהוה  {Jehovah} our Elohim, Until He shows favour to us.” (Psalm 123:2 The Scriptures 1998+)

The person willing to find God does have to take on the right attitude, willing to have his eyes waiting on Jehovah our God. In the psalm we may find the loyal slave’s attitude of watchfulness toward his/her master (Proverbs 27:18). Laziness or inattentiveness are not the right requisites to look for God. We do have to open our mind and be willing to read and think about the Word of God, as given in the Holy Scriptures, the Bible.

Excerpts from Raymond Martin's (Lat. Raymundus...

Excerpts from Raymond Martin’s (Lat. Raymundus Martini, appointed by the Pope to dig up the passages of the Jewish Talmud objectionable to Roman Catholics) Pugio Fidei adversus Mauros et Judaeos of 1270 CE (page 559). The Latin form “Jehova” of the Tetragrammaton is seen. This edition is published in Leipzig, 1687, now is found in the New York City Public Library. Also, see online at Google books here. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Those words we can find in that Book of books we do have to consider and take them at heart. It should be as reading a love letter, from our most beloved. The Bible should give you that fire to come into a close relationship with the Writer. That Speaker wanted to give his Voice to the whole world. His Voice is calling everybody to come into a good relationship with Him, His son and His beloved children who are willing to follow Him. We too can develop a close and personal relationship with our heavenly Father; however, it requires a diligent and zealous mind set on our part. But what a magnificent reward there is! To be able to worship and serve the Creator of everything around us, the one who has provided a great hope of salvation, so that unlike the temporary things of this life we can look beyond to a time of peace and equity, where

‘there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain’.

It is not a bad strategy to look  also at Jeshua, the Nazarene Jew and son of Joseph and Miriam (Mary). This man had learned from his parents who God is and what He had done for them. Already at a young age Jesus was more concerned of looking for God than for what his parents would say or feel. Jesus as he actively sought out his Father, when he was twelve years old, remained in the temple for three days. After three days looking for their son, they found Jesus in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both hearing them and questioning them.When Mary and Joseph voiced their concerns about the location of Jesus, we see his sense of duty towards the Only One God. When his mother asked him why he had done so to them, who became greatly distressed, he
said to them:

 (49)  … “Why were you seeking Me? Did you not know that I had to be in the matters of My Father?”  (50)  But they did not understand the word which He spoke to them.  (51)  And He went down with them and came to Natsareth, and was subject to them, but His mother kept all these matters in her heart.  (52)  And יהושע {Jeshua} increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with Elohim and men. (Luke 2:49-52 The Scriptures 1998+)

revealed in verse 49

‘I must be about my Father’s business.’

Even at the tender age of twelve Jesus provides us with a poignant example, seeking out the Most High LORD was absolutely essential for Jesus, despite the fact that he had to leave the comfort of his family in what was a very busy city. Towards the end of the chapter we see the result of Jesus’ actions, as we read in verse 52,

‘And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.’

This verse provides us with a wonderful motivation by seeking out the LORD of Lord of lords, Who is the Divine Creator God, we can increase our Godly wisdom, so we can learn how to worship and serve this LORD, the Elohim Hashem Jehovah. Instead of seeking out the God in the temple in Jerusalem we must seek out the ‘LORD’, Allah, God,  by reading His Word and praying for His Guidance in our lives. Although both Josiah and the Lord Jesus provide us with a two wonderful examples of seeking the LORD from an early age, however, this is a process that both of them continued throughout their lives. We must also spend our time and energy throughout our lives in seeking the LORD of Lord of lords, the Almighty God.

Do our eyes wait upon the Lord our God? Or do our eyes feast on other things? For what proportion of the day do our eyes look on the word of God or writings in connection with the Scriptures?

"Jehovah" at Exodus 6:3 (1611 King J...

“Jehovah” at Exodus 6:3 (1611 King James Version) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So in times of happiness or distress on our walk throughout life we can follow the path and easily seek the God of gods. However, this must be an active process, just as it was with Josiah; we must keep this path clear of the debris that life can bring upon us. To seek or frequent the LORD does not mean just to want to know more about God, it requires us to do something about it. This seeking of the LORD is an active process involving prayerful reading of God’s word. By looking for God we also should come to get Him so well that we also get His Name right. We have the wonderful consequence of seeking the Divine Creator laid out for us in Matthew 7:7, that if we do seek the LORD, we ‘shall find’ Him. God is waiting for us to actively seek Him out so that we can develop our relationship with Him as dutiful servants. when we read the Holy Scriptures and take the words for what they are we shall see the difference between the people and shall not have to speak about a lord, a Lord or The LORD, but shall come to know whom the lord Jesus is and Who is Father is. We shall also get their names right and shall recognise Jeshua (Jesus Christ) as the son of God, being the long awaited Messiah. We also shall come to see and understand why the creator had so much patience and wants the whole world to get to know His Name, Jehovah. It is up to us to come to know our heavenly Father and to get others to know Him, Who should be our Only One God.

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Preceding articles:

Finding God amid all the religious externals

Seeing or not seeing and willingness to find God

People Seeking for God 1 Looking for answers

People Seeking for God 2 Human interpretations

People Seeking for God 3 Laws and directions

People Seeking for God 4 Biblical terms

People Seeking for God 5 Bread of life

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Find also:

  1. Everyday beauty
  2. Did the Inspirator exist
  3. God, Creation and the Bible Hope
  4. God Feeds The Birds
  5. I Only hope we find God again before it is too late !
  6. God is One
  7. Only One God
  8. A God between many gods
  9. God of gods
  10. The one who makes us well and gives life
  11. Sayings around God
  12. Full authority belongs to God
  13. Lord or Yahuwah, Yeshua or Yahushua
  14. The Divine name of the Creator
  15. Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name
  16. Jehovah Yahweh Gods Name – Jehovah Gods Naam
  17. Our relationship with God, Jesus and eachother
  18. Jesus is the Son of God but Not God the Son
  19. Words in the world
  20. Book of books and great masterpiece
  21. Who Wrote the Bible?
  22. The Bible: God’s Word or pious myth?
  23. Bible Word from God
  24. Bible word of God, inspired and infallible
  25. Pure Words and Testimonies full of Breath of the Most High
  26. Unsure about relevance Bible
  27. Appointed to be read
  28. Unread bestseller
  29. The truth is very plain to see and God can be clearly seen
  30. Philosophy hand in hand with spirituality
  31. Good or bad preacher
  32. Getting to know the Truth
  33. How to look for and how to handle the Truth
  34. The World framed by the Word of God

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Additional reading:

Treasure Hunters
Imagine that you were just handed a treasure map that leads to Blackbeard’s Lost Treasure. Now take that map, put it in a frame, and hang it on the wall for all to see. Makes sense right? Of course not! You would take that map, follow it exactly step by step. No questions asked because you knew that this map would lead to Blackbeard’s Lost Treasure. Just like any quest , along the way you may encounter obstacles, people may call you names for following the map, and you might even want to give because it is just to hard. But instead of giving up, you continue with the treasure hunt and find it, and knowing all the trials and hardships you had to endure just makes finding the treasure even sweeter. Sounds like the plot to a movie right, but it’s not. It’s the the story of our lives.
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The Bible was written by man but inspired by God to teach us and instruct us in our everyday lives ( 2 Timothy 3:16) but if we just sit it on a shelf and let it collect dust, how are we suppose to know what it is God whats us to do?  If we don’t use God’s map and seek Him out, it is us that is missing out. God’s love is our treasure and just like any other treasure that is buried, it hasn’t moved. It is in the same place it has been for years but we must seek it in order to have that treasure and just like any other treasure, it is meant to be shared with everybody, so they can inherit God’s kingdom and feel this unending love of God. Lets start using our maps and seek God not just when we are going through struggles and storms, but in our everyday life.

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  • Seven, looking past the just a number (faithgracetorah.net)
    Our heavenly Father hides the deep wisdom like treasure hidden in a field. We are to guard our hearts. When we find wisdom, our hearts have joy. With wisdom, insight, understanding, knowledge and a pure love for YHWH apart from our own wicked selfish desires will keep our path straight.
  • Ahnsahnghong’s teachings – Elohim of plural form means God’s Omnipotence and Majesty? [WMSCOG] (ahnsahnghongtruthorfalse.wordpress.com)
    World Mission Society Church of God believes in God of the Elohim (plural form of God), and the existence of God the Mother/Heavenly Mother.However, the opposers do not agree at all.

    They claim that in Hebrew, the masculine suffix is “-im” and the feminine suffix is “-oth”.

    That is why the word “Elohim” is the plural masculine form of “El” or “Eloah.”

    They also claim that the plural elohim is used to show omnipotence and majesty of God’s character.

  • The Genesis 1:1-4 and John 1:1-5 Connection (thejewishinstitute.wordpress.com)
    The question that seems to always get raised within the Christian faith is, “How does John 1:1-5 connect or have any relation to Genesis 1:1-4?” I will answer this question not from a Christian point of view but from a Jewish one. We must first understand what Genesis 1:1-4, Bereshit in Hebrew, has to say regarding the Messiah. If there is relation between Genesis 1:1-4 and the Messiah then John 1:1-5 would make more sense from a Hebrew perspective and not a Greek one. Let us begin by reading Genesis 1:1-4 and see what it has to say and what the ancient sages understood about it.
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    “Jehovah, Elohaynu, Jehovah. There are three steps to accept the mystery from above. In the beginning God created. In the beginning is the first mystery from where all else spreads…The name takes three forms and from there the name is interpreted in several ways… Rabbi Bechai explained: Elohim is El Haym. These are gods. Remember your creators (Ecclesiastes 12:1). The wise will understand.” (The Jerusalem Edition of the Zohar)
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    “Elohim is composed of two words, El and Haym. These are God. That Elohim is plural, though there is only one God, is truth. Eliezer sat before his father. We have learned that to him is justice. How is it that wherever we meet Adonai Elohim [yod, hay, vav, hay, the letters of Jehovah’s name], it means mercy? (the Zohar)
  • Praise the Lord With Me and Oriki Song (thepraisesofgod.wordpress.com)
    How extra-ordinary must your beauty be O God? / It definitely is beyond and above all range of normal human imagination / I see you high and lifted up far beyond the starry sky / Above principalities and powers / Above rulers of darkness of this world / Above spiritual wickedness in high places / Above powers and dominions / Above everything that exalts itself against the knowledge of God.
  • The God to Whom I Pray (prayerfromtheheart.net)
    God, you are the great I AM. You are all knowing, all sufficient, ever-present and above all perfect love.
    God when I think of Jesus, my Lord and Savior, I know you are my caring shepherd, my Jehovah-rahh.
    Lord when I am anxious and worried you are Jehovah-jireh, the Lord who provides.
    When I am, overcome with anxiety, worries and cares, when the challenges of this life are too great for me to bear, I know you as Jehovah-shalom, the Lord of peace.
    When my body and emotions are weak or sick I come to you as Jehovah-rophe, the Lord who heals me.
  • Was The Name Jesus Christ Given To The Saviour By Heaven Or By Mankind? (spyghana.com)
    For many salvation seekers of Christian persuasion, the question posed in this caption may seem unimportant since almost all of them will readily give “yes” as answer to the first part and “no” to the second.
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    The original writers of the Hebrew version of the Holy Scriptures were inspired by the Most High One, and were under His direct supervision, as they wrote these scriptures on scrolls of parchment long ago (Second Timothy 3:16 and Second Peter 1:21). These writers could, therefore, never have made even the minutest of errors in their writings in this language since one could say they wrote with the finger of the Most High One.
  • In the article The Names of God (shareaverse.wordpress.com) is given the proof how many mix the names of people and do not see the difference between titles and names. the writer also goes astray by naming a description of an action as a name and as such takes the sign god gave to the virgin as a name of god whilst it is the name of the son of God, who is not god the son but the son of Mary and Joseph from the tribe of king David. By doing this he want to give direction to people getting them to believe that the Immanuel or God with us means that Jesus is God.
  • To the God I pray, & Intercessions for all men (twiyesudowo.wordpress.com)
    I know You as Jehovah-Shammah, The Lord is Present.
  • Why I Keep the Seventh Day Sabbath (christinachronicles.com)
    For those who are believers in His Son? He came to do the Father’s will…

    {Yeshua} יהושע said to them, “My food is to do the desire {will} of Him who sent Me, and to accomplish His work.” ~ John 4:34

Looking for True Spirituality 1 Intro

In his famous Sermon on the Mount , Jesus said:

“Happy are those conscious of their spiritual need ” (Matthew 5:3 ).

Probably you agree with that statement . Everywhere people recognize the need for spirituality in their lives and they assume that if they have once found , they will be happier. But what is the meaning of the term spirituality?

In previous articles Bijbelvorser or Bible Researcher has already given a clear picture of what we may understand under spirituality. But we would like to examine this still further and would like to see how people can get answers in their quest for spirituality.

Spirituality is defined as ” sensitivity or attachment to religious values ​​”, a “mental attitude” . Terms such as “spirituality”, “spiritually minded” or “mental attitude” are more or less synonymous. For comparison: From someone who sees everywhere trading, one can say that he is commercially oriented. For example, someone who is committed to spiritual or religious affairs is called spiritual.

But how can true spirituality being achieved? Although almost every religion claims to know the path to spirituality and do provide several instructions we can see that in the numerous religions there can be found many people still looking for that spirituality.

There are Protestants who claim to be spiritual. Saved at a revival meeting Catholics seek contact with God at Mass. Buddhists pursue enlightenment through meditation. Hindus seek liberation from the cycle of rebirth through self-denial. Are all these people on the road to true spirituality ? Is there is a path that leads to spirituality?

Many would answer that question in the negative. They believe that spirituality is,

“that you believe without belonging to something”

so that you believe in a god without belonging to any sort of organisation or church. Others find that to belong to a church is not a guarantee to have religious experience. Being part of a church may bring with it that the person has an urge to become strengthened in spirituality. The spirituality being but a desire for inner peace and a meaningful life. They claim that people who are looking for spirituality, are not in need of a religion, and that they shall only have to turn inward and shall have to go deeper in themselves.

Some think we can find spirituality when we are prepared to counsel ourself. One writer says:

“True spirituality is something you can find deep within yourself. It’s the way how you treat the world and the people around you, how you love and accepts. You will not find it in a church or by believing in a certain direction. “

 

It is clear that people have very different ideas about spirituality. Thousands of books claiming to point the way to a spiritual life, while the reader is too often still feels unsatisfied and confused.
However, there is a book that does contain reliable advice about spiritual matters. It is the book that evidences of divine inspiration.

16 All Scripture is inspired of God*+ and beneficial for teaching,+ for reproving,+ for setting things straight,*+ for disciplining+ in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be fully competent,+ completely equipped* for every good work.+ (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

Let’s see what spirituality is according to this book, the Bible, and appreciate the value attributed to it.

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Dutch version /Nederlandstalige versie: Op zoek naar spiritualiteit 1 Inleiding

 

  • Social or Spiritual (johnnoble1.wordpress.com)
    there has long been an entrenched attitude that the gospel be either social or spiritual.
  • Assessing the Spiritual (therosemasquerade.wordpress.com)
    A strong belief in the self and in the pure reality of existence, and most of all, the spiritual force that drives everything behind this, is most likely the only way I have found to not lose that sense of Romanticism that often haunts our evenings with such strong passions.
  • Humanism, the Call of Our Better Angels (deliberation.info)
    Spirituality is the goal of religious practice. Long before religious texts were written there were shamans who explored the spiritual realms by observing and interacting with nature and natural forces. Entheogens have helped guide humanity to wholeness long before any holy book came along.
  • Defining Spirituality: What Does It Mean? (allowinglove.wordpress.com)
    Can someone tell me what “spirituality” means? I feel like I should already know. It’s important enough to be constantly described as one of our defining characteristics as humans.
  • Spiritual Well-Being (casapalmera.com)
    Spirituality and faith provide an opportunity to detach from circumstances and observe life with clarity and integrity.
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    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. Through spiritual well-being classes, people become empowered and realize that even though they have issues, stressors, and challenges, they are not defined by these circumstances. This realization provides a pathway to greater peace, freedom of self-expression, increased manageability over the healing process and higher self-esteem. Such a realization can make a huge impact in the life of a patient in an anorexia treatment facility, bulimia program, or trauma treatment center.
  • Spirituality and Your Health (evelynmmaxwell.com)
    Let us each examine ourselves and invite the Spirit, the “Presence” of God, the Teacher and the Teachings, into our presence, our homes, ourselves.  The spirit and soul need the gentlest presence.  The Teacher will be gentle with us.  Let us sit at the feet of the Teacher and learn.  Our service will improve.  Recognition and reward are assured.
  • Spiritual warfare: As God is of peace so shall I be! (realisticimaginations.wordpress.com)
    As we mature in Christ we start to see we truly don’t fight against flesh and blood. (Eph 6:12) Our natural instincts cry out from our afflictions: He lied. She cheated. He stole. She said. He hit. She spent. Yet, let’s look from it with our God given eyes. Then we start to see the enemies start standing clear.
  • Spirituality (dustindemille.wordpress.com)
    As an Angel, I like to attend church regularly.  I attend mass at Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in Tampa.  I continue my spiritual growth up here in Elloquencia or Heaven.
  • Spiritual Center for Positive Living Hosts Masters Speakers Series… (prweb.com)
    The answer to every question we could ever ask sits lovingly in the silence of our heart, waiting for the right moment to emerge,” says previous Deepak Chopra Center Education Leader, davidji.
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    “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.
  • The one religion that’s not part of my spiritual quest (roguepriest.net)
    Sometimes, like with Vodou, I commit myself to these traditions for life.
    +
    Growing up, I never had a bad church experience. I wasn’t abused, was seldom threatened with Hell, and didn’t feel constrained by my family’s beliefs. This is thanks in large part to my mom.

    But I dodge Christianity. Even in my practice of Vodou, which uses Christian trappings as décor over a much older faith, I hesitated before lighting my first saint candle.

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.