Displeasures and Actions of the Almighty God

A nice resume of what we have to remember to do and what we should not or may not do.

We should be much more aware of what pleases God and of what He dislikes.

People much too often forget that our attitude to the Divine Creator and His creatures is very important. Our mind shall be the touchstone.

Finding the right balance in our life is very important. In our life we shall have to make the right choices, being aware of what are “Abominations to God” and what His regulations or “Commands to the Believers” are.

To be able to “Abstain from all appearances of evil” we do have to recognise “evil” and this will demand looking at things in the right way, and to make sure we do not fall for the wrong and human doctrines but keep to Biblical doctrines.
Beware of covetousness, backsliding and treacherous false teachers and giving preference to please human beings instead of pleasing God and laying up treasures in heaven, for your entrance in the Kingdom of God.

Therefore let us always look at the Commands of God, who does not want any other gods before Him and does not want any any graven image of Him. His request to love your God with all your heart requires you to worship only One True God, the God of Abraham, and not a threeheaded god or any-other god or saint. Only the God of Israel you should worship with all your soul, and with all your might.

We also may not forget to look at the Counterfeits like the many false worships we see in this world. At the same time we should be fully alert for the false Christ’s, false apostles and false ministers who preach a false gospel. But we also should be at the lookout for false Christians, who are those who twist the words of Christ and do not want to believe what Jesus himself and Jesus his heavenly Father say about themselves.

Lots of people love to see special things, like wonder-works and we can find lots of preachers who present themselves as miracle workers. Be careful not to be carried away by their nice or very theatrical words and actions.

Please do stay away from false commandments, false doctrines and false religion, not bringing false prayer and going along with false religious teachers, following false prophets, creating for yourself false or wrong Excuses.

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Christian Articles

People turn their backs on God’s method of salvation and take to themselves human methods. This action will incur the displeasure of the Almighty God and bring on human judgment and destruction.

The following lists are some of the things that find displeasure with God:

Abominations to God

1.     The evil-minded person Prov. 3:22; 11:20
2.     A false balance Prov. 11:1
3.     The sacrifices of the wicked Prov. 15:8; 21:27
4.     The thoughts of the wicked Prov. 15:26
5.     The justification of the wicked and the condemnation of the just Prov. 17:15
6.     A proud look Prov. 6:17
7.     A lying tongue Prov. 6:17; 12:22
8.     Hands that shed innocent blood Prov. 6:17
9.     A heart that devises wicked imaginations Prov. 6:18
10.     Feet that are swift in running to mischief Prov. 6:18
11.     A false witness Prov. 6:19
12.     One who sows discord among brethren Prov. 6:19

Commands to the Believers

1.     Abstain from all appearances of evil. 1…

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Writers needed to preach to non-believers

Growing Islamisation

The Great Mosque of Brussels is the oldest mosque in Brussels. It is located in the Cinquantenaire Park. It is also the seat of the Islamic and Cultural Centre of Belgium.

The Great Mosque of Brussels is the oldest mosque in Brussels. It is located in the Cinquantenaire Park. It is also the seat of the Islamic and Cultural Centre of Belgium.

It may be said that Christians seem to fail there where Muslims succeed. In Belgium we could see the Muslim community grow enormously in the last decade. Though we do not see so many preachers on the streets. In certain quarters the Islamic preachers are very actively on the street or in the parks, but in others you can’t see them. It seems a lot of youngsters do find their Islamic teaching on the net but do not find it countered by Christian teachers. Those who do have an idea that there could possibly be one God to be worshipped mostly can find Catholic and evangelical groups teaching trinitarian doctrine. Jehovah Witnesses go from door to door but most people are so much afraid of the groups and of the name Jehovah they really do not want to listen to them or to take some study material from them.

English: took it myself to illustrate open-air...

Open-air preaching (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Many people in several western countries stopped listening to the pastors, priests, bishops and those who say they are ‘men of God’ because they saw what happened in the many churches were priest and nuns used young children to please themselves. Lots of people saw that many preachers who did use lots of words to frighten the people, did not bother to do those things they told their flock not to de because they would end up in hell, a place of torment and eternal suffering. In many denomination the pastors or priests make use of the comparatively easiness to convince a man of his sin and then to frighten him for the consequences of that sin.

Guilt is a majority of our spiritual make up.  And it is the substance that leaks out into our fleshly day. {The necessity of the Gospel}

No good answers by clergymen for searching people

No Preaching sign in Australia

No Preaching sign in Australia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Having a guilty conscience many became bewildered, looking for real justifying answers. But the priests or pastors could not deliver them. By that “awakening” of getting conscious he had to do something against his sins, man becomes aware of a need to cleanse himself.  Some might than think

by that means, it is also comparatively easy to convince a man that Jesus is a necessary aspect of this cleansing.

but it does not seem to be so easy and it can not be brought over by staying in the church-walls. The preacher has to get out of those walls and come into the open to tell others what for possibilities there are and how Jesus can be found and is there for all of those who are willing to accept his ransom offer.

We read and hear of people saying that they need the Lord all day long.  Just a cursory look into the Christian announcement by His people will provide a rather overwhelming view of our sense of need.  And how can that be a fault?  All men know of their guilt.  It is a natural outcome that others should hear us speaking of our need for the Lord’s blood in decimating our sins. {The necessity of the Gospel}

Though people want to feel that they are helped and guided. The clerical people demanding from the ordinary human person to become holy, having to keep to all sorts of difficult things, therefore got lots of people stopping to listen to the men of their church because they know they cannot, or are not willing to, reach to the greatest of Christianity.

Need of human example

In The Swinging Doors is written:

Often, in a man’s frightful plight, he needs a human example.  As the little boy was reported to have said to his mother, “Sometimes I need a Jesus with skin on”. {The Swinging Doors}

Many churches made Jesus into their god and did not want to accept it was a man of flesh and blood who really died for the sins of many. They taught their believers that no man is capable to follow all through God’s commandments; So why bother many say. Many people also came to see that such teaching of a man who was not a man but was a spirit, who in one place says he cannot be tempted and in another place in Scriptures it says he was been tempted by the devil, could not be a real good teaching but only a misleading teaching.  Lots lost faith in their church of the misleading doctrines and found more clarity in the Islam teaching. The big problem is they did never tried to look at other Christian religions who do keep to the biblical Truth. Not many took time to look at the different non-trinitarian groups, because they thought all Christians are the same and do think the same. They also got frightened to look at the other denominations because they were made frightened by their own church who always told them it were heretics and not Christians.

No one willing to come down

Those who left the dogmatic Christian groups, Catholics, Evangelicals, Pentecostals, did not encounter on their path to other non-doctrinal Christians people who were confessing they only believed in Only One God. None of those non-trintiarians thought it necessary to come to them. Most of them who say they have the truth and are not a Jehovah Witness do not go away from their position in their church or ecclesia.

None will venture to ascend their hill.

They remain in their known group and are willing to give exhortations in their ecclesia, but to go out on the streets or to go to teach and preach somewhere else, not many wanted to do. so, those looking for God did not encounter people who wanted to tell them that in Christianity there may be found answers and may be found people willing to help to come closer to God.

In many of those non-trinitarian and trinitarian churches they are saying “God calls the people” which is true, but does not give you the right to sit on your ass and do nothing. Jesus was clear to his disciples and wanted all his followers to go out in the world to preach the gospel of the coming Kingdom of God. But in many churches the people in charge say we do have to be patient and the right people just shall come up to us. Is that so? Shall people be able to find you?

Given task

We should be prepared to bring honourable service and give ourselves into the Hands of God, offering ourselves as servants of Christ and servants of God. Faith without works is dead and true faith demands dedication to God’s sovereignty.
Preaching should be done across the entire world, every day and night regarding this subject, by those who believe in the things which are grounded in their heart. That what did not have enough opportunity to grow in the heart can not be shared. There has to be a willingness to hear others and to come to them to talk and share ideas with them. Ears have to be opened to the Word of God, but so few hear it.  So few accept it.  So few do it.   Why?

Because salvation from guilt and sin is a natural desire of the human mind.

says the writer of Words From There.

But the walk of Jesus comes from the Holy Spirit.  As we learn to listen to the Holy Spirit, we find ourselves compelled to agree with the Father in Heaven. {The necessity of the Gospel}

this should bring people united under Christ in the understanding of  the necessity to live as the Lord Jesus lived.

Servants for God

 He became a servant, though He is the Son of God.  We too are called to become servants, though we are sons of the same God.

The big question is: How many do want to become a humble servant in the hands of God? How many are willing to follow up the task Jesus has given his disciples?

Understanding the true nature of God by observing phenomena on earth is like exclusively studying shadows to examine the Sun.  The resultant assumptions would most certainly fall short. {Thoughts from Isolation}While some people ponder the very existence of a God, His people ponder His promises. {Thoughts from Isolation}

Short time to stand at the side

There are too many questions to be answered, and time on earth is too short to get all the answers right. When we do have to find out everything on our own it (perhaps) will take a long time, but when we can find help in what others can show us from the Bible we can grow with each other and come to a better understanding sooner. It is easy to say

Why is there not even a hint of concern in the majority of people?

and do nothing. Standing at the side, staying in the close environment, the safe surrounding of the own ecclesia or church is easy. It is high time to come out of the ‘building’ and to go out in the  ‘wild nature’.

Messengers with wrong motives

Soon after Jesus his death it happened already that people made use of his name and his popularity. The apostle Paul noted already that there were some that preached Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. (Philippians 1:15-18) Many centuries later not much has changed. We still can find people who are more interested in their own good and their own name, instead of sharing the gospel with many for the matter of  Jesus his name. We shamefully notice that everywhere we can find people who preach Christ out of selfish ambition. But perhaps this should not bother us so much because whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this we should rejoice.

Dave Whitehead, Senior Pastor, GraceNYC.org, Author of Making Sense of the Bible wrote

What security in the gospel! Even if the messenger has wrong motives, the message remains unstoppable. This means that God has built into the gospel a self-correcting power for every abuse of the gospel at the hands of men. Men misused the Bible to promote slavery in Africa and America, yet the abolitionist movement came out of the church.

All of us should be thankful we are good in something. We all have been given a gift of God’s grace for the good of His people. As the least of the Lord’s people, Paul knew that these graces were not given based upon any personal merit, so stop disqualifying yourself to use the gift of grace that God has given you. God has created all things, including you and your capacity, and God wants us to focus upon him and use what he has freely given us. And each person who comes in Christ should also as a member of the body of Christ use his or her gifts to let that body grow.

Poisoned and mislead

Arthur W. Pink was aware that we should use the gifts we received more to proclaim the Word of God

those whose whole time and energies are to be devoted to seeking the spiritual and eternal welfare of souls, and the better equipping of themselves for that most blessed, solemn, and important work. Their principal tasks are to proclaim God’s Truth and to exemplify and commend their message by diligently endeavoring to practice what they preach, setting before their hearers a personal example of practical godliness. Since it be the Truth they are to preach, no pains must be spared in seeing to it that no error be intermingled therewith, that it is the pure milk of the Word they are giving forth. To preach error instead of Truth is not only grievously to dishonor God and His Word, but will mislead and poison the minds of the hearers or readers. {Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures}

Many people felt dishonoured and mislead by their common church. The Muslims seemed to honestly keep closer to the Word of God and kept more to their holy Scriptures, doing what was requested by them.

Governing bodies have taken over the Pauline churches which at early Christendom were free communities.

It is true that the early apostles held a council in order to examine more closely certain issues. Upon holding this council a letter was drawn up and sent to the Gentile churches. This letter gave basic rules of how to conduct oneself as a Christian. Paul later went back and wrote too many of these Gentile Christians and gave them a fuller explanation on what it meant to be a Christian and how to live as a Christian.  {Does an Independent Minister have a right to preach what he so desires? Pt 3}The reason men like Harold Camping can gather disciples around him are because people have remained silent. They fear persecution and do not want to live a life of being shunned or spoken evil against. I am not going to be unloving when I examine other ministers’ doctrines, but I also will not be ashamed of the gospel of Christ. I will not shun being persecuted by remaining silent concerning the truth of God’s word. Therefore I will not be silent concerning the doctrines of the ‘Teacher’ nor Otis Graves.

writes a a Reformed Baptist, from a Covenantal, Amillennial perspective in Does an Independent Minister have a right to preach what he so desires? Pt 2. This while too many keep silent and do not dare to step on toes. But no congregation is free of the silent ones or of those who do not want to go out to those who do not belong to the community. This made that many in the city or at the countryside did not find it interesting enough to go to hear in the church-building what the preacher had to say. those who stayed at home and did their normal daily business did not find somebody on their path to work or to the shops who tried to convince them of the beauty of Jesus his ransom.

Unlearned men

‘Church’ wanted people to believe they could not understand the Bible, because they did not follow special university courses. In the past they had also told Luther that if the scriptures were translated into the common language of the people that a flood gate of sin would come out of it.

They told him that the church would begin to split and splinter into all kinds of different denominations. This is because that unlearned men will not take and interpret scripture according to the tradition of the Church. Luther responded by saying that he knew that if he put the scriptures in the hands of ignorant and unlearned men, that it would open a flood gate of iniquity, but nevertheless every person ought to have the scriptures to read for themselves. {Does an Independent Minister have a right to preach what he so desires? Pt 2.}

We may not forget that in the first century of this common era, like in the centuries before people did not get a university degree to read and understand the Holy Scriptures. The disciples of Christ got their training first hand from the master teacher Jeshua (Jesus Christ). They continued the same practice as Jesus to educate others in the teachings of Christ Jesus. They wrote down what they had learned so that others in places far away could use the writings as edifying material. We too have that educational material at hand in our own language. We can use the many Bible translations to receive the Biblical Wisdom. We should use it.

Right to read and to interpret

So the Reformation opened the door for private interpretation. But just because we have the right to interpret scripture privately does not mean that we have the right to distort scripture. The Reformers taught what is known as the perspicuity of scripture or that the scriptures are so plain that even a child could understand it. This doctrine does not teach that scripture is plain in every place, but it teaches that the doctrines that are essential to salvation are so clear that even a child could find his was to Christ by reading them. {Does an Independent Minister have a right to preach what he so desires? Pt 2.}

People need help in their interpretation and it are the elders and scholars who can and should help. In time the church has developed a science of interpretation known as ‘hermeneutics.’ This science and art of interpretation is our key which can keep us from falling into much error when we interpret scripture. Not everybody is been given the art of hermeneutics but those that have received it should use it and help others to come to a better understanding of what is written in the Bible.

While the Bible is filled with many types of literature it also uses many forms of speech within that literature. The Bible uses hyperbole, simile, symbolic, irony, sarcasm, metaphor, parallelism, synonymous parallelism, metonymy, personification, anthropomorphisms, anthropopathisms, and many more. The Bible also uses types and shadows to convey its message. So without a properly working hermeneutic we all would misinterpret scripture all the time. {Does an Independent Minister have a right to preach what he so desires? Pt 2.}

But it are the communities and those in charge of the ‘churches’ who should take care their flock is trained to come to good Bible reading and good Bible interpretation. Every person in the ecclesia should try to come to a good Bible knowledge and should help others in reading and interpreting the Bible.

Not staying in own cocoon

As we go on, after we have been baptised, and grow in our faith, we do have to carry it with us and should share it with others. We cannot keep our faith to our own. We also may not stay in our little cocoon just staying safe with those we do know and with those whom we love. Out of love for the others, we should go out to reach them and to show them the Way.

Thomas Manton asked

“What is the reason there is so much preaching and so little practice? {So much Preaching and so Little Practice – Thomas Manton}

but we wonder where all that preaching is. We can not see many Christians on the streets, in parks, in public buildings or in public transport, teaching the Word of God. It seems to stay in between closed doors.

Charles Haddon Spurgeon by Alexander Melville.jpg

One of the great inspirers for many Christians and strong figure in the Reformed Baptist tradition: Charles Haddon (C.H.) Spurgeon

We do need constant thoughts which are operative so that musing makes the fire burn. {Thomas Manton} The British Reformed Baptist preacher who remains highly influential among Christians of different denominations, among whom he is still known as the “Prince of Preachers,”  Charles Haddon (C.H.) Spurgeon in his lifetime preached to around 10,000,000 people, often up to 10 times a week at different places. His sermons are reprinted many times and are still going strong. He knew very well the importance to go out on the streets and to take sure educating thoughts would be spread amongst many. We should remember him who said

Preaching! Man’s Privilege and God’s Power!

A Privilege to be taken seriously

Jonathan Edwards, A.W. Tozer, A.W. Pink, John Owen, Oswald Chambers, Andrew Murray, E.M. Bounds, John Bunyan, George Whitefield, Mary, Thomas and their son Octavius Winslow, John Fullerton MacArthur, Jr. and many more understood the need of reaching to the people, covering topics on many aspects of the Christian life. We should take them as an example and not limit ourselves to our own community, staying only at our own ecclesia.

For sure it might be easier just to preach for people who believe the same as we do. It is easier not be confronted with people who have other ideas and want to ask questions. It is easier to avoid such questions and keeping to a close group where one is sure they all believe the same and/or do not dare to question.

Like Aiden Tozer’s passion for a deeper knowledge of God led him to study the great devotional writers of the past, we should not hesitate to look at such works from the past but always should see them in the light of the Holy Scriptures, which constantly should be the main guide.

People wanting to know God

The move of many churchgoers to become mosque goers proves that there are enough people wanting to get to know God. You can wonder how they can get to know God when nobody wants to come to them and tell about God.

Prayer and worship were the hallmarks of many previous Bible teachers  their life. but they did not stay in their own little environment, their safe surrounding of their church. They stood up and went to those who did not yet belong to their church or even did not believe in a god or the God. Like them we should come forward and present our thoughts and our writings to people who are looking for God and perhaps not belong to any church, or did not find the Truth.

A W Tozer.jpg

Aiden Wilson Tozer

Our preaching as well as our writings should simply become an extension of our faith and prayer life.

In modern evangelicalism, contended Tozer, we work, we have our agendas–in fact, we have almost everything except the spirit of true worship. He defined worship as a humbling but delightful sense of admiring awe, astonished wonder and overpowering love in the presence of the unspeakable Majesty. He reminded the pastors, “We’re here to be worshippers first and workers only second; Out of enraptured, admiring, adoring souls God does His work. The work done by a worshipper will have eternity in it.” {A. W. Tozer Sermon – The Unpopularity of Jesus and His Doctrines}

Tozer called the doctrine of the Holy Spirit “buried dynamite”. Yet he always insisted that the Spirit and the Word operate in harmony. He exhorted the overzealous to a warm heart and a cool head:

“The history of revivals in the Church reveals how harmful the hot head can be….These are days of great religious turmoil. Let love burn on with increasing fervour, but bring every act to the quiet test of wisdom. Keep the fire in the furnace where it belongs. An overheated chimney will create more excitement than a well-controlled furnace, but it is likely to burn the house down. Let the rule be: a hot furnace but a cool chimney.”

– Walter Unger {A. W. Tozer Sermon – The Unpopularity of Jesus and His Doctrines}

Simply taking up the task given by Christ

We should not aim for great fame and popularity as a preacher, but we should be well aware that we do have to come together, read and study the Bible with others, preach the gospel and make new believers.

In many church services other than those of the Christadelphians not much time is given or spend at the Word of God. God’s Word in Scripture, if ever used at all, comes in sporadic bursts of verses here and there, and in evangelical churches they are just parts of phrases being shouted out repetitive whilst most of the time entertaining songs sweep up the public. Very often bible texts are stripped of their intended meaning, stifling the work of the Spirit in His sacramental function of quickening the Word, and robbing the people of blessing. At other places the sermon or the exhortation has not much to do with the Bible fragments read.

Though time has to be spend to go deeper into the reading and to give some examples of how the Bible text relates to our daily life. That we need much more, so that people can see how the stories of the Bible still have relevance today. Further we also need more stories of influences of the Bible and faith to people in our society. The Lifestyle magazines Stepping Toes and From Guestwriters would love to bring such Bible and Faith related stories. But we need more people who can bring such stories and show people what it can do to have the Christian Faith.

You to can play your role

It is high time there shall come forward more Christian believers to proof to others they are not children of the bond-woman but of the free (Galatians 4:31) and to show the world which blessings come over those who are willing to accept Christ in their life.

When the early church went out into the world, armed with the truth through which alone true unity could be effected, they, as well as Paul, met with opposition. The had to conquer their fear for speaking in public. It took time but with the aid of the Holy Spirit and with their trust in God they managed to spread the faith very well. We better take up their courage and start evangelizing like they did in the early days.

You too can do your share. For sure you too have something to tell; something that changed your life; something you feel inside, something you notice in the world; let it be known to others. We are willing to give you a platform where you can let your voice be heard so that your voice can put an other cobblestone on the big road to be made.

As time went on, however, the church no longer loved God enough to see, feel and talk about the wonders of the Divine Creator. Let those Works of God be better known. Open people their eyes and ears so that they can see and hear the beauty of nature, the Hand of God in our world. Show the world where there can be growth of true worship in the face of daunting challenges so that it can be faith-strengthening and inspiring to God’s people everywhere. Let the sun never sets on the Kingdom-preaching and disciple-making. Remember the prophet Zechariah his words

 “who has despised the day of small things?” (Zecharia 4:10)

and do not hesitate to join the small group of enthusiast preachers.

Declaring Good News

Let us “declare good news” like Jesus demanded from his followers. Each of us can “bear news; announce; act as a news bearer.” (1 Samuel 4:17; 2 Samuel 1:20; 1 Chronicles 16:23)

Jesus recognized that his divine commission called for a preaching work, and he carried it on publicly, in cities and villages, in the temple area, synagogues, marketplaces and streets, as well as in the countryside. (Marcus 1:39; 6:56; Luke 8:1; 13:26; John 18:20)
Do you want to go wherever you can entering into villages or cities or countryside or bring  your texts on the internet so that it can come in the homes of many people?

Jesus had stressed that he was ‘sent by God’ (Luke 9:48; John 5:36, 37; 6:38; 8:18, 26, 42), who gave him “a commandment as to what to tell and what to speak.” (John 12:49). The apostles who followed the directions of Christ knew that they publicly had to declare that Jesus is Lord, and that we have to exercise faith in our heart that God raised him up from the dead, so that we will be saved.

For with the heart one exercises faith for righteousness, but with the mouth one makes public declaration for salvation. (Romans 10:9, 10)

Like John the Baptist Jesus did more than preach. His teaching receives even greater emphasis than his preaching. Teaching (di·da′sko) differs from preaching in that the teacher does more than proclaim; he instructs, explains, shows things by argument, and offers proofs. The work of Jesus’ disciples, both before and after his death, was thus to be a combination of preaching and teaching.(Matthew 4:23; 11:1; 28:18-20).

The writings which we present as such shall have to bring preachings and teachings, sermons and exhortations, bringing examples that show how God is at work also today and is still calling everybody who is willing to hear His Voice.

We have to share our heartfelt feeling for Christ and for each other. We have to share like Christ did, our love for the Only One God and our love for brothers and sisters in Christ, but also our love for the whole creation (man, animals and plants). As this in the old times was shared by all disciples, men and women, we too should till “the conclusion of the system of things” proclaim the Good News and share our faith with others, bringing a call to the world to join us and to become a member of the Body of Christ. (Matthew 28:18-20; Luke 24:46-49; Acts of the apostles 2:17; compare Acts 18:26; 21:9; Romans 16:3.)

18 And Jesus approached and spoke to them, saying: “All authority*+ has been given me in heaven and on the earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples*+ of people of all the nations,+ baptizing+ them in* the name of the Father+ and of the Son+ and of the holy spirit,+20 teaching+ them to observe+ all the things I have commanded YOU.+ And, look! I am with YOU+ all the days until the conclusion* of the system of things.”*+ {Matthew 28:18-20 Reference Bible}

Let us make sure that on the basis of Jesus his name, repentance for forgiveness of sins will be preached in all the nations and that you with us may be a witness of these things. Jesus was sending forth upon us that which is promised by his heavenly Father. We, though, have to follow the decree given by Jesus to be a pupil but also a teacher, a follower and a leader, always a servant, one for the people and one for God.

coming closer to the Last days we should be fully aware that Jesus said

‘“And in the last days,” God says, “I shall pour out some of my spirit*+ upon every sort of flesh,* and YOUR sons and YOUR daughters will prophesy and YOUR young men will see visions and YOUR old men* will dream dreams;+ 18 and even upon my men slaves and upon my women slaves I will pour out some of my spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. {Acts of the apostles 2:17 Reference Bbile}

Sharing and blessings for all

All sorts of men and women shall go out in those days, but we do not have to wait to the last moment be part of them. Today you can stand up and show your alertness and your vivid will to be part of that community which want to show others the way to God. You can start to speak boldly in your own surroundings and share your voice on this platform and on From Guestwriters. You can let people hear and see that they too can find a place where blessing are shared with love with all who want to come along and with all who want to celebrate the greatest love a person has ever given.

We have to show others that it is not sufficient just to take the posture of politely and respectfully listening, not doing much of anything else. Jesus wanted active followers, doers of the Word. Those who come to church or enter the ecclesia perhaps would (all) agree that they are there to learn and be challenged in the Word, but in actuality, they are very inactive in the learning process, very passive in the spiritual discipline, and very unengaged while the preacher is preaching. We have to show them that is not what is wanted form a member of Christianity, a follower of Christ. we have to stimulate them that they also get up and start showing the works of faith. doing our work not forgetting how Christ should be our anchor and our focus

All believers are still hold to the task of challenging the wider Church which is asking, struggling, journeying about how we, those who are called to be “Preachers”, “Teachers”, “Leaders” can create sacred spaces so that those outside our community feel as welcomed and share with us too, how the Good News impacts, revitalises, renews, re-forms their and others lives, and how they impart their own wisdom empowered by the Holy Spirit to encourage who we have been called to be.

All human beings, regardless of age, gender, nationality, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or economic status,every human being has sinned and falls short of the glory of God.”

Let us take many into our company, showing the blessing we receive on daily basis, and expound the way of God more correctly to them.

May your time spent here be blessed.

Isn’t this what we are called to do?  We are to ascend to our place near the Lord.  From there we are commanded to proclaim regardless the response.  Can you count the number of us who have gone into the city?  How many of those tiny houses contain artifacts of man?   How did they get there?   The Lord did not put them there, nor did He have them delivered. {The Swinging Doors}

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Find to read:

  1. More Muslim children than Christian children growing up in our cities
  2. Christians fail there where Muslims succeed
  3. Trying to get the youth inspired
  4. When discouraged facing opposition
  5. Christianity without the Trinity
  6. Bible in the first place #2/3
  7. Bible for you and for life
  8. Dedication and Preaching Effort 400 years after the first King James Version
  9. The Most Reliable English Bible
  10. The Bible and names in it: Proclaiming the Name of The One and Only Who Is and has Ever Been
  11. Proclaiming shalom, bringing good news of good things, announcing salvation
  12. Atonement And Fellowship 4/8
  13. Reasons to come together
  14. Not many coming out with their community name
  15. Jehovah’s Witnesses not only group that preach the good news
  16. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  17. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #2 Calling upon the Name of God
  18. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #2 Witnessing
  19. Looking for True Spirituality 7 Preaching of the Good News
  20. Not all ability to preach
  21. Breathing to teach
  22. Church sent into the world
  23. Blogging in the world for Jesus and his Father
  24. Missionary action paradigm for all endeavours of the church
  25. Our openness to being approachable
  26. Words to push and pull
  27. Preaching to an unbelieving world
  28. How should we preach?
  29. Perishable non theologians daring to go out to preach
  30. Good or bad preacher
  31. Many forgot how Christ should be our anchor and our focus
  32. Learn how to go out into the world and proclaim the Good News of the coming Kingdom
  33. Holland Week of billing
  34. Asia Cahaya Conference focusing on preaching
  35. It is Today
  36. Belonging to or being judged by
  37. Follower of Jesus part of a cult or a Christian
  38. Manifests for believers #5 Christian Union
  39. A Society pleading poverty
  40. Dealing with worries in our lives
  41. Sunday 7 September service: Imitate prophets and Paul
  42. 2013 Lifestyle, religiously and spiritualy
  43. Risen With Him
  44. Why did Christ not reveal the exact time of his second coming?

+++

Additional reading:

  1. Thoughts from Isolation
  2. To the stump
  3. Your Post
  4. The necessity of the Gospel
  5. Jehovah’s Message
  6. Following Jesus’ Footsteps
  7. The Good News of God’s Kingdom
  8. Does an Independent Minister have a right to preach what he so desires? Pt 2
  9. Does an Independent Minister have a right to preach what he so desires? Pt 3
  10. A. W. Tozer Sermon – The Unpopularity of Jesus and His Doctrines
  11. Rev. Duncan Campbell Sermon – Action and Obedience
  12. Puritan Thomas Watson – Christian Joy!
  13. Thoughts concerning the preacher
  14. What if Jesus Preached What Modern Preachers are Preaching?
  15. What if Modern Preachers Preached What Jesus was Preaching?
  16. Preaching the Gospel in the Power of Signs and Wonders
  17. On Preaching “To the Men”
  18. The Primacy of Preaching
  19. Expository preaching – friend or foe?
  20. How to Spread the Gospel
  21. 4 Principles for Collaborative Preaching
  22. 6 Ways to Your Teacher’s Heart
  23. Preaching is a two-way street
  24. What do you think about preaching someone else’s sermon?
  25. Sex, murder, and preaching: How much is too much for Sunday morning?
  26. Redemptive-Historical Preaching Vs. Moralistic Preaching in Sanctification
  27. How to Get More Out of the Preached Word of God
  28. Four Reasons You Should Go Easy On Yourself After Failure, Divorce or Abuse
  29. Preach It, Sister!
  30. What do you need…?
  31. The Mystery of Being In Christ: A Review of Paul and Union with Christ
  32. Community Houses are Better than Church Buildings
  33. Proclaim Christ Thru Service to Others
  34. Cavite Hosts I-Proclaim! 3 on National Bible Week 2012
  35. Proclaim Jubilee: A Spirituality for the Twenty-First Century
  36. How to Proclaim Restoration

+++

  • Jehovah’s Witnesses descend on Melbourne in pictures (theguardian.com)
    A large sign across the turf at Etihad Stadium reads: ‘Keep Seeking First God’s Kingdom’
  • Taking the plunge at Etihad Stadium into a life of faith serving Jehovah (smh.com.au)
    Cameron Dobber’s nerves had mostly settled by the time he took his place in the middle of Etihad Stadium in front of more than 65,000 people.The 27-year-old forklift driver from Sunshine had been preparing for this moment for more than four years.After months of Bible studies and a three-hour interview with church elders, it was finally his turn to step into the baptismal pool and become one of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
  • Suppository preaching (onedaringjew.wordpress.com)
    A Christian is called. To do what? “Follow me.” And the crucial part of this calling by Jesus is getting nailed – as Paris Reidhead once said – to the back of the cross; the “purpose-driven” crowd’s worst nightmare.+

  • 19. Daily Bible Verse (12160.info)
    It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel.
  • Watch: ’19 Kids & Preaching’ Video Highlights Duggar Family’s Christian Faith (blackchristiannews.com)
    A new video called 19 Kids and Preaching shows that the Duggar family members are passionate about their Christian faith. While they often pray and talk about God on their TV program, this video shows them getting out of their comfort zone to share their faith with others.
  • Preaching What God’s Word Says about the World (reformedreader.wordpress.com)
    [T]he principle that the Christian minister is to preach only the Word of God most certainly does not forbid him to apply the teaching of Holy Writ to the specific needs of his hearers and the peculiar conditions of his day. Application, as well as explanation, is of the essence of preaching.
  • 970) Whether I know what preaching is! Taught by Srila Prabhupada! (pmdasa.wordpress.com)
    A devotee should not only give respect to the devotees, but he should try to make others a devotee. That is, means preaching.
  • The Active Power of Faith (codybateman.org)
  • “Coming Up Short”; Jeffrey Sartain’s sermon, Oct. 26 (plymouthspirit.wordpress.com)
    Acts of generosity draw goodness and blessing toward us. When we give, we receive blessings far greater than what we have given.
  • “The way I finish a sermon” by Charles Spurgeon (tollelege.wordpress.com)
    I have preached this Gospel for many years, and I do not think I ever finished a sermon except in one way—by trying to explain what is meant by this simple trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Al-Fatiha [The Opening] Süra 1: 4-7 Merciful Lord of the Creation to show us the right path

Saint Gabriel archangel

Saint Gabriel archangel (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In our first article in the series on the Quran reading Muslims got to believe Allah revealed this prayer to Muhammad early in his career as a prophet (which began in the year 610 AD, when he received his first revelation from Allah through the angel Gabriel – a revelation that is now contained in the Qur’an’s 96th chapter) so that the Muslims would know how to pray.

In the 96 chapter verses 1-5 we are asked to “Proclaim!” or “read!” in the name of the Lord and Cherisher, Who created man, out of a (mere) clot of congealed blood (hence the name Adam: the red blood), but also from the “black mud”, and Who is the is Most Bountiful, He Who taught (the use of) the pen (4), taught man that which he knew not.

In the Bible are the human beings created in God’s image. According to the Islam the Quran/Koran rejects such a similarity of the image between God and man explicitly.

“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the heavens, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.” (Genesis 1:26 ASV)

“And Jehovah God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” (Genesis 2:7 ASV)

“And also the {1} Strength of Israel will not lie nor repent; for he is not a man, that he should repent. {1) Or [Victory]; Or [Glory]}” (1 Samuel 15:29 ASV)

“وقال الله نعمل الانسان على صورتنا كشبهنا.فيتسلطون على سمك البحر وعلى طير السماء وعلى البهائم وعلى كل الارض وعلى جميع الدبابات التي تدب على الارض.” (تكوين 1:26 Arabic)

“وجبل الرب الاله آدم ترابا من الارض.ونفخ في انفه نسمة حياة.فصار آدم نفسا حيّة.” (تكوين 2:7 Arabic)

“وايضا نصيح اسرائيل لا يكذب ولا يندم لانه ليس انسانا ليندم.” (1 صموئيل 15:29 Arabic)

Musa (Moses), the prophet who wrote down the Word of God over the beginning of time (Genesis) and proclaimed God’s Word – in a Persian miniature from the 15th century

Allah is presented as the Most Gracious, Most Merciful Who brought His Message to humankind. According to Muslim tradition it was revealed in a chain of messages starting to the Archangel Gabriel (Jibreel). Soon in the text we remarked that the Islamic community went into the same fault as many Christian denominations taking more attention to traditional human thoughts instead of keeping to the words of their Holy Scripture itself. As such we noticed that by “the Cherisher and Sustainer of the worlds” several Muslims created their worlds of demons and djinns or Gjinn-people, and like several Christians started to believe in a place of damnation being called “hell“. But from the Quran and the Bible we can only find two worlds: namely the world of the human beings (earth and waters) and the world of the celestial beings (heaven).

وَلَقَدْ خَلَقْنَا الْإِنْسَانَ وَنَعْلَمُ مَا تُوَسْوِسُ بِهِ نَفْسُهُ ۖ وَنَحْنُ أَقْرَبُ إِلَيْهِ مِنْ حَبْلِ الْوَرِيدِ
And certainly We created man, and We know what his mind suggests to him, and We are nearer to him than his life-vein.(50:16)

الَّذِي جَعَلَ لَكُمُ الْأَرْضَ فِرَاشًا وَالسَّمَاءَ بِنَاءً وَأَنْزَلَ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ مَاءً فَأَخْرَجَ بِهِ مِنَ الثَّمَرَاتِ رِزْقًا لَكُمْ ۖ فَلَا تَجْعَلُوا لِلَّهِ أَنْدَادًا وَأَنْتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ

Who made the earth a resting place for you and the heaven a canopy and (Who) sends down rain from the cloud, then brings forth with it subsistence for you of the fruits; therefore do not set up rivals to Allah while you know.(2:22)

هُوَ الَّذِي خَلَقَ لَكُمْ مَا فِي الْأَرْضِ جَمِيعًا ثُمَّ اسْتَوَىٰ إِلَى السَّمَاءِ فَسَوَّاهُنَّ سَبْعَ سَمَاوَاتٍ ۚ وَهُوَ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ

He it is Who created for you all that is in the earth, and He directed Himself to the heaven, so He made them complete seven heavens, and He knows all things.(2:29)

إِنَّ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَاخْتِلَافِ اللَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ وَالْفُلْكِ الَّتِي تَجْرِي فِي الْبَحْرِ بِمَا يَنْفَعُ النَّاسَ وَمَا أَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ مِنْ مَاءٍ فَأَحْيَا بِهِ الْأَرْضَ بَعْدَ مَوْتِهَا وَبَثَّ فِيهَا مِنْ كُلِّ دَابَّةٍ وَتَصْرِيفِ الرِّيَاحِ وَالسَّحَابِ الْمُسَخَّرِ بَيْنَ السَّمَاءِ وَالْأَرْضِ لَآيَاتٍ لِقَوْمٍ يَعْقِلُونَ

Most surely in the creation of the heavens and the earth and the alternation of the night and the day, and the ships that run in the sea with that which profits men, and the water that Allah sends down from the cloud, then gives life with it to the earth after its death and spreads in it all (kinds of) animals, and the changing of the winds and the clouds made subservient between the heaven and the earth, there are signs for a people who understand.(2:164)

وَعِنْدَهُ مَفَاتِحُ الْغَيْبِ لَا يَعْلَمُهَا إِلَّا هُوَ ۚ وَيَعْلَمُ مَا فِي الْبَرِّ وَالْبَحْرِ ۚ وَمَا تَسْقُطُ مِنْ وَرَقَةٍ إِلَّا يَعْلَمُهَا وَلَا حَبَّةٍ فِي ظُلُمَاتِ الْأَرْضِ وَلَا رَطْبٍ وَلَا يَابِسٍ إِلَّا فِي كِتَابٍ مُبِينٍ

And with Him are the keys of the unseen treasures– none knows them but He; and He knows what is in the land and the sea, and there falls not a leaf but He knows it, nor a grain in the darkness of the earth, nor anything green nor dry but (it is all) in a clear book.(6:59)

اللَّهُ الَّذِي خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ وَأَنْزَلَ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ مَاءً فَأَخْرَجَ بِهِ مِنَ الثَّمَرَاتِ رِزْقًا لَكُمْ ۖ وَسَخَّرَ لَكُمُ الْفُلْكَ لِتَجْرِيَ فِي الْبَحْرِ بِأَمْرِهِ ۖ وَسَخَّرَ لَكُمُ الْأَنْهَارَ

Allah is He Who created the heavens and the earth and sent down water from the clouds, then brought forth with it fruits as a sustenance for you, and He has made the ships subservient to you, that they might run their course in the sea by His command, and He has made the rivers subservient to you.(14:32)

وَإِذْ قَالَ رَبُّكَ لِلْمَلَائِكَةِ إِنِّي خَالِقٌ بَشَرًا مِنْ صَلْصَالٍ مِنْ حَمَإٍ مَسْنُونٍ

And when your Lord said to the angels: Surely I am going to create a mortal of the essence of black mud fashioned in shape.(15:28)

The opening of the Quran, starting with the prayer:

1  Fatiha, or the Opening Chapter. In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
2 Praise be to Allah, The Cherisher and Sustainer of the Worlds;
3 Most Gracious, Most Merciful;
4 Master of the Day of Judgment.
5 Thee do we worship, and Thine aid we seek.
6 Show us the straight way,
7 The way of those on whom Thou hast bestowed Thy Grace, Those whose portion is not wrath, and who go not astray.

In certain translations is indicated that it is only to Him (Thee alone) to give worship and (Thee alone) to ask for help.

Shakir translates:

5 Thee do we serve and Thee do we beseech for help.
6 Keep us on the right path.
7 The path of those upon whom Thou hast bestowed favors. Not the path of those upon whom Thy wrath is brought down, nor of those who go astray.

Ysufufali and other translaters give:

5 Thee do we worship, and Thine aid we seek.
6 Show us the straight way,
7 The way of those on whom Thou hast bestowed Thy Grace, those whose portion is not wrath, and who go not astray.

It is clear that to the Most Gracious, Most Merciful, Master of the Day of Judgement the Muslims do want to give praise. It is Him Who they do  worship and Whose aid they seek. Normally, like they pray, to worship Him alone, and no imams or khomeinis they also say in their prayer they only  ask Allah for help (for each and everything) (5).

001.006 اهْدِنَا الصِّرَاطَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ
001.006 Show us the straight way,/ Guide us to the Straight Way

001.007 صِرَاطَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيْهِمْ غَيْرِ الْمَغْضُوبِ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلا الضَّالِّينَ
001.007 The way of those on whom Thou hast bestowed Thy Grace, those whose (portion) is not wrath, and who go not astray.

In verse 7 the Muslims often add themselves:

The Way of those on whom You have bestowed Your Grace , not (the way) of those who earned Your Anger (such as the Jews), nor of those who went astray (such as the Christians).

We also hear Muslims speaking about Ṣirāṭ, Siraat, Serat, As-Sirāt

اهدنا الصراط المستقيم

Guide us to the straight path: — Abdel Haleem

Guide us along the straight way— — Ahmad Zaki

Guide us on the straight path, — Ali Quli Qarai

In the previous article we saw the opening prayer, in which one wants to give his gratitude to the Supreme Creator of heaven and earth. In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful they call onto Him and say that He (Allah), the Lord of the Worlds, belongs all praise (2), which means that world also does not belong to imams or Khomeinis, who one really should not support, too, because the Muslims pray and claim that they only beg for help unto the Beneficent, the Merciful, Master of the Day of Judgment. (4-5).
Judgement belongs to the fifth pillar of iman (Imaan) [of the six pillars of Iman (faith)] in addition to the belief in the existence of Angels. The Muslim believes that Judgement Day will come at the time provided for. On this day Allah will judge between people and
reward everybody for what he has done.
The Five Pillars of Islam and six pillars of Iman are the foundation of Islam.

It is up to Allah/God that they ask to be lead to the straight path. The path which according to them, that way what God would have them presented by whom He has bestowed favours – not that of those who earn His anger nor went astray.

The Maker and Sustainer of the world, the Creator of and Provider for man, the Active Force and Effective Power in nature are all one and the same, and that is known to be Allah or God. This is the Secret of all secrets and the Most Supreme of all beings. The Holy Qur’an claims to be the True Book of God, in which He says:

It is God Who has made the night for you, that you may rest therein, and the day to see. Verily God is full of Grace and Bounty to men. Yet most men give no thanks. Such is God, your Lord, the Creator of all things. There is no god but He; why then do you turn away from Him. Thus are turned away those who deny the Signs of God. It is God Who has made for you the earth as a resting place and the sky as a shelter, and has given you shape and made your shapes beautiful, and has provided for you sustenance of things good and pure; such is God your Lord. So glory to God, the Lord of the worlds! He is the Living (One); There is no god but He: Call upon Him, giving Him sincere devotion. Praise be to God, Lord of the worlds. (Qur’an, 40:61-65).

In the Bible we are warned we do have to seek the Most High and be ready before His Day of Judgement will come.

“Seek ye Jehovah, all ye meek of the earth, that have kept his ordinances; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye will be hid in the day of Jehovah’s anger.” (Zephaniah 2:3 ASV)

“And Jehovah uttereth his voice before his army; for his camp is very great; for he is strong that executeth his word; for the day of Jehovah is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?” (Joel 2:11 ASV)

“The great day of Jehovah is near, it is near and hasteth greatly, [even] the voice of the day of Jehovah; the mighty man crieth there bitterly.” (Zephaniah 1:14 ASV)

“to the end that ye be not quickly shaken from your mind, nor yet be troubled, either by spirit, or by word, or by epistle as from us, as that the day of the Lord is just at hand;” (2 Thessalonians 2:2 ASV)

“Ask of me, and I will give [thee] the nations for thine inheritance, And the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.” (Psalms 2:8 ASV)

“And as for both these kings, their hearts shall be to do mischief, and they shall speak lies at one table: but it shall not prosper; for yet the end shall be at the time appointed.” (Daniel 11:27 ASV)

“And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved.” (Matthew 10:22 ASV)

“And {1} this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole {2} world for a testimony unto all the nations; and then shall the end come. {1) Or [these good tidings] 2) Gr [inhabited earth]}” (Matthew 24:14 ASV)

“Now these things happened unto them {1} by way of example; and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages are come. {1) Gr [by way of figure]}” (1 Corinthians 10:11 ASV)

“but the heavens that now are, and the earth, by the same word have been {1} stored up for fire, being reserved against the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. {1) Or [stored with fire]}” (2 Peter 3:7 ASV)

“But them that are without God judgeth. Put away the wicked man from among yourselves.” (1 Corinthians 5:13 ASV)

“[Let] marriage [be] had in honor among all, and [let] the bed [be] undefiled: for fornicators and adulterers God will judge.” (Hebrews 13:4 ASV)

“And the nations were wroth, and thy wrath came, and the time of the dead to be judged, and [the time] to give their reward to thy {1} servants the prophets, and to the saints, and to them that fear thy name, the small and the great; and to destroy them that destroy the earth. {1) Gr [bondservants]}” (Revelation 11:18 ASV)

“But of that day or that hour knoweth no one, not even the angels in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.” (Mark 13:32 ASV)

“inasmuch as he hath appointed a day in which he will judge {1} the world in righteousness {2} by {3} the man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead. {1) Gr [the inhabited earth] 2) Gr [in] 3) Or [a man]}” (Acts 17:31 ASV)

“اطلبوا الرب يا جميع بائسي الارض الذين فعلوا حكمه.اطلبوا البرّ .اطلبوا التواضع.لعلكم تسترون في يوم سخط الرب” (صفنيا 2:3 Arabic)

“والرب يعطي صوته امام جيشه.ان عسكره كثير جدا.فان صانع قوله قوي لان يوم الرب عظيم ومخوف جدا فمن يطيقه” (يوئيل 2:11 Arabic)

“قريب يوم الرب العظيم قريب وسريع جدا.صوت يوم الرب.يصرخ حينئذ الجبار مرّا.” (صفنيا 1:14 Arabic)

“ان لا تتزعزعوا سريعا عن ذهنكم ولا ترتاعوا لا بروح ولا بكلمة ولا برسالة كانها منا اي ان يوم المسيح قد حضر.” (2 تسالونيكي 2:2 Arabic)

“(2:9) ‎تحطمهم بقضيب من حديد.مثل اناء خزّاف تكسّرهم” (مزامير 2:8 Arabic)

“وهذان الملكان قلبهما لفعل الشر ويتكلمان بالكذب على مائدة واحدة ولا ينجح لان الانتهاء بعد الى ميعاد.” (دانيال 11:27 Arabic)

“وتكونون مبغضين من الجميع من اجل اسمي.ولكن الذي يصبر الى المنتهى فهذا يخلص.” (متى 10:22 Arabic)

“ويكرز ببشارة الملكوت هذه في كل المسكونة شهادة لجميع الامم.ثم يأتي المنتهى” (متى 24:14 Arabic)

“فهذه الامور جميعها اصابتهم مثالا وكتبت لإنذارنا نحن الذين انتهت الينا اواخر الدهور.” (1 كورنثوس 10:11 Arabic)

“واما السموات والارض الكائنة الآن فهي مخزونة بتلك الكلمة عينها محفوظة للنار الى يوم الدين وهلاك الناس الفجار” (2 بطرس 3:7 Arabic)

“اما الذين من خارج فالله يدينهم.فاعزلوا الخبيث من بينكم” (1 كورنثوس 5:13 Arabic)

“ليكن الزواج مكرما عند كل واحد والمضجع غير نجس.واما العاهرون والزناة فسيدينهم الله.” (عبرانيين 13:4 Arabic)

“وغضبت الامم فأتى غضبك وزمان الاموات ليدانوا ولتعطى الاجرة لعبيدك الانبياء والقديسين والخائفين اسمك الصغار والكبار وليهلك الذين كانوا يهلكون الارض.” (رؤيا 11:18 Arabic)

“واما ذلك اليوم وتلك الساعة فلا يعلم بهما احد ولا الملائكة الذين في السماء ولا الابن الا الآب.” (مرقس 13:32 Arabic)

“(17:32) ولما سمعوا بالقيامة من الاموات كان البعض يستهزئون والبعض يقولون سنسمع منك عن هذا ايضا‎ .” (اعمال 17:31 Arabic)

 

Preparing for the Day of Judgement can be managed by seeking Him and by making sure you can find Him and by keeping His commandments. God has given His word to man as a guidebook and help. In the Bible we can find the answers to our questions and we can find sufficient data to ensure that we will be ready when the day of Jehovah comes. For this we have to find the right direction where to go to and have to take the right path on the (high)way to God’s Kingdom.

وَآتَيْنَاهُمَا الْكِتَابَ الْمُسْتَبِينَ

And We gave them both the Book that made (things) clear.(37:117)

وَهَدَيْنَاهُمَا الصِّرَاطَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ

And We guided them both on the right way.(37:118)

وَإِذَا تُتْلَىٰ عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتُنَا بَيِّنَاتٍ قَالُوا مَا هَٰذَا إِلَّا رَجُلٌ يُرِيدُ أَنْ يَصُدَّكُمْ عَمَّا كَانَ يَعْبُدُ آبَاؤُكُمْ وَقَالُوا مَا هَٰذَا إِلَّا إِفْكٌ مُفْتَرًى ۚ وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا لِلْحَقِّ لَمَّا جَاءَهُمْ إِنْ هَٰذَا إِلَّا سِحْرٌ مُبِينٌ

And when Our clear communications are recited to them, they say: This is naught but a man who desires to turn you away from that which your fathers worshipped. And they say: This is naught but a lie that is forged. And those who disbelieve say of the truth when it comes to them: This is only clear enchantment.(34:43)

وَمَا آتَيْنَاهُمْ مِنْ كُتُبٍ يَدْرُسُونَهَا ۖ وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا إِلَيْهِمْ قَبْلَكَ مِنْ نَذِيرٍ

And We have not given them any books which they read, nor did We send to them before you a warner.(34:44)

“Kiss the son, lest he be angry, and ye perish in the way, For his wrath {1} will soon be kindled. {2} Blessed are all they that take refuge in him. {1) Or [may] 2) Or [Happy]}” (Psalms 2:12 ASV)

“Thou wilt show me the path of life: In thy presence is fulness of joy; In thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” (Psalms 16:11 ASV)

“NUN. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, And light unto my path.” (Psalms 119:105 ASV)

“But the path of the righteous is as the dawning light, That shineth more and more unto the perfect day.” (Proverbs 4:18 ASV)

“And many peoples shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of Jehovah, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth {1} the law, and the word of Jehovah from Jerusalem. {1) Or [instruction]}” (Isaiah 2:3 ASV)

“and make straight paths for your feet, that that which is lame be not {1} turned out of the way, but rather be healed. {1) Or [put out of joint]}” (Hebrews 12:13 ASV)

“The Rock, his work is perfect; For all his ways are justice: A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, Just and right is he.” (Deuteronomy 32:4 ASV)

“Show me thy ways, O Jehovah; Teach me thy paths.” (Psalms 25:4 ASV)

“Good and upright is Jehovah: Therefore will he instruct sinners in the way.” (Psalms 25:8 ASV)

“For {1} the commandment is a lamp; And {2} the law is light; And reproofs of instruction are the way of life: {1) Or, their [commandment] 2) Or, their [teaching]}” (Proverbs 6:23 ASV)

“There is a way which {1} seemeth right unto a man, But the end thereof are the ways of death. {1) Or [is straight before]}” (Proverbs 16:25 ASV)

“Train up a child {1} in the way he should go, And even when he is old he will not depart from it. {1) Heb [according to his way]}” (Proverbs 22:6 ASV)

“And many peoples shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of Jehovah, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth {1} the law, and the word of Jehovah from Jerusalem. {1) Or [instruction]}” (Isaiah 2:3 ASV)

“and thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it; when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.” (Isaiah 30:21 ASV)

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith Jehovah.” (Isaiah 55:8 ASV)

“{1} For narrow is the gate, and straitened the way, that leadeth unto life, and few are they that find it. {1) Many ancient authorities read [How narrow is the gate, etc]}” (Matthew 7:14 ASV)

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, and the truth, and the life: no one cometh unto the Father, but {1} by me. {1) Or [through]}” (John 14:6 ASV)

“And they sing the song of Moses the {1} servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, O Lord God, the Almighty; righteous and true are thy ways, thou King of the {2} ages. {1) Gr [bondservant] 2) Many ancient authorities read [nations]; Jer 10:7}” (Revelation 15:3 ASV)

“(3:1) مزمور لداود حينما هرب من وجه ابشالوم ابنه‎ .‎يا رب ما اكثر مضايقي.كثيرون قائمون عليّ‎ .” (مزامير 2:12 Arabic)

“(17:1) صلاة لداود‎ .‎اسمع يا رب للحق.انصت الى صراخي اصغ الى صلاتي من شفتين بلا غش‎ .” (مزامير 16:11 Arabic)

“(119:106) ‎حلفت فأبره ان احفظ احكام برك‎ .” (مزامير 119:105 Arabic)

“اما سبيل الصديقين فكنور مشرق يتزايد وينير الى النهار الكامل.” (امثال 4:18 Arabic)

“وتسير شعوب كثيرة ويقولون هلم نصعد الى جبل الرب الى بيت اله يعقوب فيعلّمنا من طرقه ونسلك في سبله لانه من صهيون تخرج الشريعة ومن اورشليم كلمة الرب.” (اشعياء 2:3 Arabic)

“واصنعوا لارجلكم مسالك مستقيمة لكي لا يعتسف الاعرج بل بالحري يشفى.” (عبرانيين 12:13 Arabic)

“هو الصخر الكامل صنيعه.ان جميع سبله عدل.اله امانة لا جور فيه صديق وعادل هو” (تثنية 32:4 Arabic)

“(25:5) ‎دربني في حقك وعلمني.لانك انت اله خلاصي.اياك انتظرت اليوم كله‎ .” (مزامير 25:4 Arabic)

“(25:9) ‎يدرب الودعاء في الحق ويعلم الودعاء طرقه‎ .” (مزامير 25:8 Arabic)

“لان الوصية مصباح والشريعة نور وتوبيخات الادب طريق الحياة.” (امثال 6:23 Arabic)

“توجد طريق تظهر للانسان مستقيمة وعاقبتها طرق الموت.” (امثال 16:25 Arabic)

“ربّ الولد في طريقه فمتى شاخ ايضا لا يحيد عنه.” (امثال 22:6 Arabic)

“وتسير شعوب كثيرة ويقولون هلم نصعد الى جبل الرب الى بيت اله يعقوب فيعلّمنا من طرقه ونسلك في سبله لانه من صهيون تخرج الشريعة ومن اورشليم كلمة الرب.” (اشعياء 2:3 Arabic)

“واذناك تسمعان كلمة خلفك قائلة هذه هي الطريق اسلكوا فيها حينما تميلون الى اليمين وحينما تميلون الى اليسار.” (اشعياء 30:21 Arabic)

“لان افكاري ليست افكاركم ولا طرقكم طرقي يقول الرب.” (اشعياء 55:8 Arabic)

“ما اضيق الباب وأكرب الطريق الذي يؤدي الى الحياة.وقليلون هم الذين يجدونه” (متى 7:14 Arabic)

“قال له يسوع انا هو الطريق والحق والحياة.ليس احد يأتي الى الآب الا بي.” (يوحنا 14:6 Arabic)

“وهم يرتلون ترنيمة موسى عبد الله وترنيمة الخروف قائلين عظيمة وعجيبة هي اعمالك ايها الرب الاله القادر على كل شيء عادلة وحق هي طرقك يا ملك القديسين.” (رؤيا 15:3 Arabic)

from Smithsonian :Folio from a Koran :9th-10th...

Free choice to follow the Holy Scriptures or not; from Smithsonian :Folio from a Koran :9th-10th century :Abbasid dynasty :Ink and color on parchment; Egypt :Purchase, F1929.71 The verses are from sura (chapter) 22, entitled al-Hadj (Pilgrimage) and include a discussion of the pilgrimage to Mecca. The Hadj is one of the five principal duties of every Muslim. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 Each of us has to make their own choice, and have to do everything to stay on the right track. As human beings we are weak and it can and probably shall happen that we sometimes go wrong. Each time we shall have to adjust and should take care to come back on the right way aiming for the best what is laid in front of us. All people should know they are able to get salvation, and we should look forward to that time that the Word of God is preached all over the world, because than we know that the time is ripe to find the Kingdom of God, close to us.

“and I said, O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face to thee, my God; for our iniquities are increased over our head, and our guiltiness is grown up unto the heavens.” (Ezra 9:6 ASV)

“Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity; And in sin did my mother conceive me.” (Psalms 51:5 ASV)

“If thou, {1} Jehovah, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? {1) Heb [Jah]}” (Psalms 130:3 ASV)

“But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5 ASV)

“And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity, whereby they have sinned against me; and I will pardon all their iniquities, whereby they have sinned against me, and whereby they have transgressed against me.” (Jeremiah 33:8 ASV)

“{1} let him know, that he who converteth a sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall cover a multitude of sins. {1) Some ancient authorities read [know ye]}” (James 5:20 ASV)

“For, uttering great swelling [words] of vanity, they entice in the lusts of the flesh, by lasciviousness, those who are just escaping from them that live in error;” (2 Peter 2:18 ASV)

“This also shall be my salvation, That a godless man shall not come before him.” (Job 13:16 ASV)

“Upright men shall be astonished at this, And the innocent shall stir up himself against the godless.” (Job 17:8 ASV)

“For what is the hope of the godless, {1} though he get him gain, When God taketh away his soul? {1) Or [when God cutteth him off, When he taketh etc]}” (Job 27:8 ASV)

“{1} Like the profane mockers in feasts, They gnashed upon me with their teeth. {1) Or [Among]}” (Psalms 35:16 ASV)

“With his mouth the godless man destroyeth his neighbor; But through knowledge shall the righteous be delivered.” (Proverbs 11:9 ASV)

“Therefore the Lord will not rejoice over their young men, neither will he have compassion on their fatherless and widows; for every one is profane and an evil-doer, and every mouth speaketh folly. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.” (Isaiah 9:17 ASV)

“The sinners in Zion are afraid; trembling hath seized the godless ones: Who among us can dwell with the devouring fire? who among us can dwell with everlasting burnings?” (Isaiah 33:14 ASV)

“For the iniquity of his covetousness was I wroth, and smote him; I hid [my face] and was wroth; and he went on {1} backsliding in the way of his heart. {1) Heb [turning away]}” (Isaiah 57:17 ASV)

“وقلت.اللهم اني اخجل واخزى من ان ارفع يا الهي وجهي نحوك لان ذنوبنا قد كثرت فوق رؤوسنا وآثامنا تعاظمت الى السماء.” (عزرا 9:6 Arabic)

“(51:6) ها قد سررت بالحق في الباطن ففي السريرة تعرّفني حكمة‎ .” (مزامير 51:5 Arabic)

“(130:4) ‎لان عندك المغفرة لكي يخاف منك‎ .” (مزامير 130:3 Arabic)

“وهو مجروح لاجل معاصينا مسحوق لاجل آثامنا تاديب سلامنا عليه وبحبره شفينا.” (اشعياء 53:5 Arabic)

“واطهرهم من كل اثمهم الذي اخطأوا به اليّ واغفر كل ذنوبهم التي اخطأوا بها اليّ والتي عصوا بها عليّ .” (ارميا 33:8 Arabic)

“فليعلم ان من رد خاطئا عن ضلال طريقه يخلّص نفسا من الموت ويستر كثرة من الخطاياٍ” (يعقوب 5:20 Arabic)

“لانهم اذ ينطقون بعظائم البطل يخدعون بشهوات الجسد في الدعارة من هرب قليلا من الذين يسيرون في الضلال” (2 بطرس 2:18 Arabic)

“فهذا يعود الى خلاصي ان الفاجر لا يأتي قدامه.” (ايوب 13:16 Arabic)

“يتعجب المستقيمون من هذا والبريء ينتهض على الفاجر.” (ايوب 17:8 Arabic)

“لانه ما هو رجاء الفاجر عندما يقطعه عندما يسلب الله نفسه.” (ايوب 27:8 Arabic)

“(35:17) يا رب الى متى تنظر.استرد نفسي من تهلكاتهم وحيدتي من الاشبال‎ .” (مزامير 35:16 Arabic)

“بالفم يخرب المنافق صاحبه وبالمعرفة ينجو الصدّيقون.” (امثال 11:9 Arabic)

“لاجل ذلك لا يفرح السيد بفتيانه ولا يرحم يتاماه وارامله لان كل واحد منهم منافق وفاعل شر.وكل فم متكلم بالحماقة.مع كل هذا لم يرتد غضبه بل يده ممدودة بعد” (اشعياء 9:17 Arabic)

“ارتعب في صهيون الخطاة.اخذت الرعدة المنافقين.من منا يسكن في نار آكلة.من منا يسكن في وقائد ابدية.” (اشعياء 33:14 Arabic)

“من اجل اثم مكسبه غضبت وضربته.استترت وغضبت فذهب عاصيا في طريق قلبه.” (اشعياء 57:17 Arabic)

Those upon whom God’s wrath rests are those who do not want to know Him and do not want to keep His commandments, those who reject the Truth or want to hide it. The erring’ are those who have been misled and who are  inconsiderate or choosing human traditions above the Laws of God

Let us all look for the Most High God and pray:

 اهْدِنَا الصِّرَاطَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ
صِرَاطَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيْهِمْ غَيْرِ الْمَغْضُوبِ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلا الضَّالِّينَ

Dear God,
Show us or Guide us to the straight way
The way of those on whom You have bestowed Your Grace, those whose (portion) is not wrath, and who go not astray.

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Preceding article:  Al-Fatiha [The Opening/De Opening] Süra 1:1-3 In the name of Allah the Merciful Lord Of The Creation

Find the introduction to this series:

Public not informed enough about Jihad terrorism in Belgium

 Quran versus older Holy Writings of Divine Creator

Notes:

* Five Pillars of Islam (arkān al-Islām أركان الإسلام; also arkān al-dīn أركان الدين “pillars of the religion“) are five basic acts in Islam, considered mandatory by believers and are the foundation of Muslim life:

  • Shahadah: declaring there is no god except God, and Muhammad is God’s Messenger
  • Salat: ritual prayer five times a day
  • Zakat: giving 2.5% of one’s savings to the poor and needy
  • Sawm: fasting and self-control during the holy month of Ramadan
  • Hajj: pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in a lifetime[5][6] if one is able

** Belief in the six articles of faith, known as arkān al-īmān: Iman (Arabic: الإيمان‎) in Islamic theology denotes a believer’s faith in the metaphysical aspects of Islam.

  1. Belief in God: Tawhid
  2. Belief in the Angels
  3. Belief in Divine Books
  4. Belief in the Prophets
  5. Belief in the Day of Judgement
  6. Belief in God’s predestination

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Additional reading:

  1. Created to live in relation with God
  2. Seeking for God
  3. Finding God amid all the religious externals
  4. Seeing or not seeing and willingness to find God
  5. People Seeking for God 1 Looking for answers
  6. People Seeking for God 2 Human interpretations
  7. People Seeking for God 3 Laws and directions
  8. People Seeking for God 6 Strategy
  9. People Seeking for God 7 The Lord and lords
  10. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #2 Calling upon the Name of God
  11. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #8 Prayer #6 Communication and manifestation
  12. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #16 Benefits of praying
  13. Creator and Blogger God 7 A Blog of a Book 1 Believing the Blogger
  14. Praise the God with His Name
  15. Worship God only
  16. Looking for True Spirituality 8 Measuring Up
  17. Prophets making excuses
  18. What Jesus Did – Misleading around the Messiah and the final assessment
  19. Love been perfected with us
  20. It is Today
  21. Discipleship way of life on the narrow way to everlasting life
  22. Believe that moves stones
  23. Know Who goes with us and don’t try to control life
  24. God will not tie my shoes without me
  25. Go the distance
  26. Foundation to go the distance
  27. The road to success is dotted with many tempting parking places
  28. How are the dead?
  29. Hellfire
  30. Wondering

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  • Benefits of Fasting in Ramadan (islambestreligion.wordpress.com)
    Fasting has been made obligatory (Fardh) By Allah in Ramadan and every Muslim needs to observe entire month’s fasts. Allah, the All Powerful and Creator of Universe say in Holy Quran
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    knowing the benefits of good deeds will increase our Imaan and actually it is part of the Imaan, as we will get to know what Allah is going give us on this particular deed in this world and hereafter. This helps us in performing the good deeds steadfastly and consistently.
  • Concept of Revivalist [Mujaddid] in Islam (madinasharif.wordpress.com)
    Commenting on the authenticity of the above Hadith Shareef, Allama Imam Isma’eel Haqqee records in his marginal notes of Siraj al-Muneer Sharh Jame’h al-Sagheer:

“My Shaykh said that there is a consensus of the Hadith Masters that this Hadith is Sahih.”

Amongst the later Hadith Masters that verified this Hadith Shareef as Sahih are Imam Allama Abul-Fadl Iraqee and Imam Allama ibn Hajr and amongst the predecessor Masters, Imam Hakim author of Sahih al-Mustadrak and Imam Bayhaqee author of al-Mudkhal.
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when there comes a period in which there is a shortage of knowledge and a deterioration in following of the Sunnah; when there is an increase in false innovations and ignorance; then Almighty Allah will send a person at the beginning or end of every century who will show the difference between Sunnah and Bid’at. He will refute and destroy false innovations and will fear none but Almighty Allah. He will very bravely and sincerely hoist the flag of Deen-e-Muhammadi (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam). Such a person is known as a “Mujaddid” (Reviver) of Deen.

  • Allah loves (1) the kind good doers (safaafromcaeg.wordpress.com)
    “That which is lawful is clear and
    That which is unlawful is clear, and
    Between the two of them are doubtful matters about which many people do not know.
    Thus,
    • He who avoids doubtful matters clears himself in regard to his religion and his honor, but
    • He who falls into doubtful matters [eventually] falls into that which is unlawful,
    +
    The best Quotes (127) Niyyah = free will“Actions are (judged) by motives (Niyyah, which is the intended and predetermined free will),
    Therefore, each man will have what he intended.
  • Hajj Round The Ka’bah Craft (greenbirdbooks.com)
    Hajj is the great pilgrimage made by Muslims which includes walking around the special house named the Ka’bah. Hajj is the fifth pillar of Islam and all Muslims if they are able to make this great journey once in a lifetime. This pillar is observed during the month of Thul-Hijjah
  • Lessons of festival of ram sacrifice (vanguardngr.com)
    Yesterday specifically, pilgrims observing the core of the worship of Hajj gathered at the plains of  Mount of ‘Arafah, outside Makkah where they spent their time totally in worship and proceeded from Arafah to Muzdalifah to offer prayers and cast seven stones at the symbols of Satan and other devotional course.
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    it shows the spiritual committment to the covenant with Allah and absolute submission to His will at all times, in times of pain and joy. Although, the solemn pronouncement of Allah’s name over the sacrifice is an essential part of the rite,  Allah does not take delight in flesh and blood, rather, it is a symbol of thanksgiving to Allah by sharing meat with fellow humans.
  • The Feast of Sacrifice: What is Eid Al-Adha? (tnnegypt.com)
    ‘Eid’ is an Arabic word referring to a celebration that is repeated annually.There are two great ‘Eid’ festivals in Islam, ‘Eid Al-Adha’ – Festival of Sacrifice, which occurs on the tenth day of the last month of the Muslim year ‘Thul Hijjah’ and coincides with the last day of the Hajj pilgrimage.‘Eid Al-Fitr’ – Festival of Breaking the Fast occurs on the first day of the month of ‘Shawwal’ following the month of ‘Ramadan’.

    However, the Festival of Sacrifice is also regarded as the ‘Eid Al-Kabeer’ – the Great Festival, while the other is known as ‘Eid Al-Sagheer’ – the Small Festival.

  • Humbleness in Prayer (jamkarani.wordpress.com)

    20ـ رسولُ اللهِ‏ِ (صَلَّيَ اللهُ عَلَيهِ وَ آلِهِ): لا صَلاةَ لِمَن لا يَتَخَشَّعُ في صلاتِهِ.

    20- The Prophet (S) said; ‘The prayer of one who does not humble himself in his prayer does not count.’[al-Firdaws, v. 5, p. 195, no. 7935]

    21ـ رسولُ اللهِ (صَلَّيَ اللهُ عَلَيهِ وَ آلِهِ) ـ لَمّا سُئلَ عنِ الخُشوعِ ـ: التَّواضُعُ في الصَّلاةِ، وأن‏ يُقبِلَ العَبدُ بقَلبِهِ كُلِّهِ على رَبِّهِ.

    21- The Prophet (S), when he was asked about humbleness in prayer, said; ‘It is to abase oneself in the prayer, and for the servant to come to his Lord wholeheartedly.’[Da`aim al-Islam, v. 1, p. 158]

  • The Excellence of Du’a [The Essence of Worship] (madinasharif.wordpress.com)
    Du‘a is the most powerful weapon of a believer. It can change fate, while no action of ours ever do. It is the essence of ‘Ibadah or worship. With it we can never fail; without it we can never succeed. With all the suffering and disasters Muslims are facing in various parts of the world, the question of Du‘a can be directed to all of us today.
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    Sayyiduna Rasoolullah SallAllaho Alaihi wa Sallam states that Almighty Allah says:

    أنا عندَ ظنِّ عبدي بي

    I am with the supposition of My servant. [Recorded in Bukhari (Hadith 7239), Muslim, Tirmidi, Nisa’i  and Ibn Maja on the authority of Sayyiduna Abu Hurayrah]

    This means that as a servant imagines or has an opinion concerning Allah, the Merciful Lord accordingly reacts with him. Knowledge and Qudrat is with everything but there is a special proximity of mercy with those who make Du’a to Him. What bigger mercy can a servant ask for than being blessed with the Divine Proximity of the Sublime Lord? Thousands of acceptances and millions of desires and intentions may be sacrificed on such Divine Proximity!

  • The Prayer (jamkarani.wordpress.com)

    ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): الصَّلاةُ تَستَنزِلُ الرَّحمَةَ .

    3- Imam Ali (A) said; ‘Prayer elicits the descent of divine mercy.’[Ghurar al-Hikam, no. 2214]

    4ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): كانَ رسولُ اللّه‏ِ (صَلَّيَ اللهُ عَلَيهِ وَ آلِهِ) لا يُؤثِرُ على الصَّلاةِ عَشاءً ولا غَيرَهُ، وكانَ إذا دَخَلَ وَقتُها كأنّهُ لا يَعرِفُ أهلاً ولا حَمِيماً.

    4- Imam Ali (A) narrated; ‘The Prophet (S) never put anything before his prayer, neither his dinner nor anything else. When the time for prayer would set in, it was as if he knew neither family nor close friend.’[Tanbih al-Khawatir, v. 2, p. 87]

  • With what do you direct the student and the beginning seeker of knowledge with? – By: Shaykh Saalih ibn Fawzan al-Fawzan (salaf-us-saalih.com)
    I say, and with Allāh is the success, without doubt seeking knowledge is an important affair. Allāh جل وعلا says: “Know! That none has the right to be worshipped except Allāh, and ask for forgiveness of your sins and for the male and female believers” (47:19)Imām al-Bukhārī (May Allāh have mercy on him) said in his chapter “Knowledge proceeds speech and action”  then he mentioned this verse.This is because if actions are not based upon knowledge, founded upon knowledge, then it is misguidance and tiring without benefit.Because the affair is like this it’s an obligation upon the Muslim to seek knowledge.

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.

 

Being Religious and Spiritual 5 Gnostic influences

Diagram of a Religious experience

Diagram of a Religious experience (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Preceding articles:

Being Religious and Spiritual 1 Immateriality and Spiritual experience

Being Religious and Spiritual 2 Religiosity and spiritual life

Being Religious and Spiritual 3 Philosophers, Avicennism and the spiritual

Being Religious and Spiritual 4 Philosophical, religious and spiritual people

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

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Read also:

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

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Additional reading:

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

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

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

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

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

Are Christians prepared to Rejoice in the Lord

Daryl G. Stewart seems to know that God has called us to live a life devoted to him, and says:

– so knowing and understanding his standards is far more important. In this seven-day plan, you will find strength to face the pressure and make wise choices throughout life. {Peer Pressure – Intro & Part I}

In the world there has often been so much peer pressure people did not dare to say something different than the majority. Today it is not different than in previous centuries and in Christianity we can find much division and aversion against people who think differently than the main stream.

With all the promises God and Jesus have given you would assume Christians would be happy persons!

Mr Stewart has the impression our generation has become well versed in Christian terminology, but is remiss in the actual practice of Christ’s principles and teachings.When we browse the net we can only affirm that many Christians do show a strange way of reacting against those who have opposing ideas than theirs. The many denominations seem to quarrel endlessly and many so called ‘Christians‘ do not mind using words which a good citizen, even when he is an atheist, would not find it appropriate to use such words.

For this reason we can only applaud the call to come to the senses and to consider a proper Christian way to behave. More than ever we should see the move in Christendom to not have a better Christianity with more true Christians.

The world can argue against Christianity as an institution, but there is no convincing argument against a person who, through the Spirit of God, has been made Christlike. Such a person is a living rebuke to the selfishness, rationalism, and materialism of the day. {Billy Graham Says: “Rejoice in the Lord”}

The ones using inappropriate words while claiming to be Christians, should reconsider what it means to be a Christian. They should look how Jesus behaved when he met people who had not the same believe as him or who were sinners. Should a Christian not try  to follow the example of Christ? Should a Christian not have to try to become like Christ?

We should all become brothers and sisters in Christ. Those who use the name of Christ Jesus should honour that name by having the right attitude showing to the world that they are Children of God.

English: Christ and the woman of Samaria at Ja...

Christ and the woman of Samaria at Jacob’s Well (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We better, all remember what Jesus said to the woman at Jacob’s well

“9 Then said the woman of Samaria unto Him, “How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest a drink of me, who am a woman of Samaria?” For the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans. 10 Jesus answered and said unto her, “If thou knewest the gift of God and who it is that saith to thee, ‘Give Me to drink,’ thou wouldest have asked of Him, and He would have given thee living water.” 11 The woman said unto Him, “Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. From whence then hast thou that living water? 12 Art thou greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank thereof himself, and his children and his cattle?” 13 Jesus answered and said unto her, “Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again, 14 but whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.”” (John 4:9-14 KJ21)

Followers of Christ should drink from the well of Jesus so that they would not have to worry and trust that they will find water enough, receiving insight from the Father of Jesus by reading the Torah regularly. Looking at Jesus we also should not be afraid to meet sin-sick, disillusioned people.This woman

was the symbol of the whole race. Her longings were our longings! Her heart-cry was our heart-cry! Her disillusionment was our disillusionment! Her sin was our sin! But her Saviour can be our Saviour! Her forgiveness can be our forgiveness! Her joy can be our joy!

We also should remember that it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one stroke of a letter in the Torah to become void. So let the Words of the Holy Scriptures not become empty words.

“And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away, than one tittle of the law to fail.” (Luke 16:17 KJ21)

We should be workers of the Word and have patience for those who do not know or understand the Word of God.

“1  But speak thou the things which befit sound doctrine: 2 that the older men be sober, serious, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience; 3 the older women likewise, that they be in behavior as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things, 4 that they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the Word of God be not blasphemed.” (Titus 2:1-5 KJ21)

Let all those who love God and would like to have others to get to know God follow His commandments and do as He desires, like Christ Jesus also only did the Will of his Father in heaven and not his will.

“O ye people! Adore your Guardian-Lord, who created you and those who came before you, that ye may have the chance to learn righteousness;” (Koran 2:21 Yusufali)

“O mankind! reverence your Guardian-Lord, who created you from a single person, created, of like nature, His mate, and from them twain scattered [like seeds] countless men and women; -reverence Allah, through whom ye demand your mutual [rights], and [reverence] the wombs [That bore you]: for Allah ever watches over you.” (Koran 4:1 Yusufali)

“[Both] the Jews and the Christians say: “We are sons of Allah, and his beloved.” Say: “Why then doth He punish you for your sins? Nay, ye are but men,- of the men he hath created: He forgiveth whom He pleaseth, and He punisheth whom He pleaseth: and to Allah belongeth the dominion of the heavens and the earth, and all that is between: and unto Him is the final goal [of all]”” (Koran 5:20 Yusufali)

“1 Praise be Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth, and made the darkness and the light. Yet those who reject Faith hold [others] as equal, with their Guardian-Lord. 2 He it is created you from clay, and then decreed a stated term [for you]. And there is in His presence another determined term; yet ye doubt within yourselves!” (Koran 6:1-2 Yusufali)

“It is He who created the heavens and the earth in true [proportions]: the day He saith, “Be,” behold! it is. His word is the truth. His will be the dominion the day the trumpet will be blown. He knoweth the unseen as well as that which is open. For He is the Wise, well acquainted [with all things].” (Koran 6:73 Yusufali)

“”And behold! ye come to us bare and alone as We created you for the first time: ye have left behind you all [the favours] which We bestowed on you: We see not with you your intercessors whom ye thought to be partners in your affairs: so now all relations between you have been cut off, and your [pet] fancies have left you in the lurch!”” (Koran 6:94 Yusufali)

“Yet they make the Jinns equals with Allah, though Allah did create the Jinns; and they falsely, having no knowledge, attribute to Him sons and daughters. Praise and glory be to Him! [for He is] above what they attribute to Him!” (Koran 6:100 Yusufali)

Jews, Christian nor Muslims do have the excuse to fight against other believers, because they should know that we all are created in the image of the One God, Allah, the Elohim Hashem Jehovah. And the believers in the creation of the world by the Most High Originator of all things, should respect all that is created by God and all that God allows to be here on earth or in space.

Ask Grace to go forward and Spread love everywhere you go

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The Woman of Samaria at the Well

The Woman of Samaria at the Well (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Please do find:

  1. Billy Graham Says: “Rejoice in the Lord”
  2. Our stance against certain religions and immigrating people
  3. Greatest single cause of atheism
  4. What’s church for, anyway?
  5. Not liking your Christians
  6. Who are the honest ones?
  7. A learning process for each of us
  8. Abhor evil. Adhere to goodness
  9. How we think shows through in how we act
  10. How us to behave
  11. Unconditional love
  12. Christianity is a love affair
  13. Being Christian – Following Jesus Christ
  14. Follower of Jesus part of a cult or a Christian
  15. Life and attitude of a Christian
  16. Followers with deepening
  17. Words in the world
  18. The World framed by the Word of God
  19. Cosmos creator and human destiny
  20. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  21. A Living Faith #4 Effort
  22. A Living Faith #6 Sacrifice
  23. A Living Faith #9 Our Manner of Life
  24. The Spirit of God imparts love,inspires hope, and gives liberty
  25. The Spirit of God brings love, hope and freedom
    Life and attitude of a Christian
  26. Becoming like Christ
  27. What Jesus did: First things first
  28. Faith antithesis of rationality
  29. Being prudent – zorgvuldig zijn
  30. Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience
  31. We have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace
  32. Work with joy and pray with love
  33. Our attitude at a difficult task
  34. Finish each day and be done with it
  35. Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal
  36. The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands
  37. Raise a standard to which the wise and honest can repair
  38. Determined To Stick With Truth.
  39. People should know what you stand for
  40. If you want to go far in life
  41. You only lose energy when life becomes dull in your mind
  42. Are Christadelphians so Old Fashioned?
  43. Ask Grace to go forward
  44. Spread love everywhere you go
  45. Attitude to others important for reaching them
  46. Remember that who you’re being is just as important as what you’re doing
  47. Act as if everything you think, say and do determines your entire life
  48. Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap
  49. Don’t wait to catch a healthy attitude
  50. Choosing your attitudes

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In Dutch:

  1. Grootste oorzaak van atheïsme in de wereld zijn de Christenen
  2. Uitkijken voor de steeds groter wordende kloof tussen wereld en kerk
  3. Niet houden van dat soort Christenen
  4. Welk soort leven moet een Christen hebben?
  5. Christen worden iets anders dan lid worden van een kerk.
  6. Kan u zich Christen noemen?
  7. Christen, Jood of Volk van God?
  8. Christus toebehorenden
  9. Neem afstand van het kwade
  10. Onze houding voor moeilijke taak
  11. Hoe we denken schijnt door in hoe we handelen
  12. Hoe ons te gedragen
  13. Onze houding naar anderen belangrijk om te overtuigen
  14. Vergeet niet dat wie je bent slechts zo belangrijk is als wat je doet
  15. Volgelingen met de vrucht van verdieping
  16. De Bekeerling, bekeringsactie en bekering
  17. Christelijke houding tegenover slavernij
  18. Woede Oordeel en veroordeling
  19. Een norm waaraan de verstandigen en eerlijken zich kunnen herstellen optrekken
  20. Being prudent – zorgvuldig zijn + Zorgvuldigheid of oplettendheid
  21. Kleed jezelf met compassie, zachtheid, vriendelijkheid, nederigheid, en geduld
  22. Mensen moeten weten waar je voor staat
  23. Als je ver wilt gaan in het leven
  24. Vraag Genade om voorwaarts te gaan
  25. Handel alsof alles wat je denkt, zegt en doet uw hele leven bepaalt
  26. Je verliest alleen energie wanneer het leven saai in je geest wordt
  27. Beoordeel niet elke dag door de oogst die je plukt
  28. Zijn Christadelphians zo ‘Old fashioned’?
  29. Tot bewust zijn komen voor huidig leven

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Catholicism, Anabaptism and Crisis of Christianity

Coming to an end

Christianity, as most people living in the industrialised countries have known it, is according to some in its final death throes. We can not deny that almost all denominations in those countries where most people do love the money, have witnessed dramatic reductions not only in church attendance but also in membership numbers and fewer converts are entering the faith than at any time in its history.

According a Greensboro, North Carolina native in an ever-changing and progressively postmodern world it is becoming increasingly difficult for western Christians to engage the wider culture in a meaningful way.  He writes:

Much of this dilemma can be attributed to the plurality of denominations and traditions indebted to the old and dying Christendom system which had dominated western society for centuries.  As Christendom has withered, Christianity has increasingly been pushed into the margins civilization.  We are entering the age of post-Christendom.  Although the coming era is replete with uncertainty it is also abundant in opportunity.

Danger for the grip of the Roman Church

Through the ages several organisations tried to get more people in their grip. The Roman Catholic Church in the early centuries of this common era succeeded to have her organisation grow enormously, though the way how they did it was not always very lovingly or like their ‘example’ Jesus would have done. For a long time the church tried to control and dominate the world and even took care that people would not be able to study the Holy Scriptures themselves.

The renaissance put fire in the spirits of the people who got so much hunger for knowledge they where willing to look everywhere and were willing to discuss many things with each other, prepared to feed each-other freely. The why and how was something man intrigued from the beginning, but by the possibility to get ideas of other on printed material it became much easier to look into the needs and possibilities of the own spiritual life. They also found out, to the dislike of the church, that Bible study was the best tool to enrich the spirit or soul.

Bischof Ulfilas erklärt den Goten das Evangelium.jpg

Ulfilas, or Gothic Wulfila: little wolf (also Ulphilas. Orphila) explaining the Gospels to the Goths in the 4th century CE.

 

As Christianity spread to the borders of the Roman empire, translations had been made, like in the third century Armenia where the first official Christian nation set a pole in the ground, having  Mesrop, Bishop of Armenia (390-439), creating an Armenian alphabet so the Bible could be translated into the language of his people.
Ulfilas who spoke Greek and Latin as well as Gothic and devised the Gothic alphabet, became an able missionary to the barbarian tribes and offered his his translation in Germanic language of the fourth century. Ulfilas organized the Gothic church and was its spiritual head for forty years. At this time the Goths had no written language, so Ulfilas devised an alphabet so he could begin to translate the Bible for them.

The Cyrillic alphabet, developed by two brothers who were missionaries to the Slavic people in the ninth century could bring a further advancement in Bible reading. Cyril and Methodius continue to be highly revered among the Slavic peoples today, not only for bringing Christianity to the people, but for creating the literary language of the Slavs.

Call to read the Bible

At the European continent even the educated, however, rarely saw an entire Bible. Bibles were very rare, large, expensive, and usually in 2-3 volumes. Sometimes the wealthy would have translations of the Psalms or the Gospels. During the crusades the books of Kings (the Sepher M’lakhim), with its history of warfare and fighting, became popular, and crusaders sometimes had personal copies of these sections of the Old Testament.

The Catholic church did not mind that many people could not read and that their teachings were brought to the general public in many imaginative ways like interpreting the religious books through mystery plays performed at festivals or the carvings and stained glass windows of cathedrals or in church music and great art.

In Flanders, France and Germany lived stubborn people eager to get to know things, but also finding that they should bring the message of Jesus to as much people as possible. Peter Waldo and his followers, called the Waldensians were among the first to demand Bible study by the common people. Heaving those sacred words spread under common people was not to the liking of the hierarchic clergy. The church authorities feared that the Bible in the hands of the uneducated would only produce heretical departures from official church doctrine. For sure they were aware that people also would find out where the teachings of their church would not coincide with the teachings of the Holy Scriptures.

Light in the Dark days for those wanting to hear God’s Word

Having translations of the Scripture was often banned by the church, and many were punished for having a Bible in their own language. These were dark days! As the Hebrew prophet said, there had come a famine for hearing the words of the Most High Master Creator God.

“See, days are coming,” declares the Master יהוה {Jehovah}, “that I shall send a hunger in the land, not a hunger for bread, nor a thirst for water, but for hearing the Words of יהוה. (Amos 8:11 The Scriptures 1998+)

Though God took care that darkness could not stay in the land of those who wanted to know.  After a thousand years of medieval darkness the Word of God could return with help of the magnificent printing press with movable type Johannes Gutenberg had invented. This greatly increased the speed of printing books. But because such an easy spreading of the Word of God looked like a sword going around in the wild for the Catholic Church. The illumination of the Word of God changed the hearts and minds and the motivations of the people who heard.

Disparities unmasked

Roman Forum and surroundings

Roman Forum and surroundings (Photo credit: KayYen)

By having the opportunity to see the Words of God black on white made that more people became appalled to see the obvious disparities between what they saw in the Bible and what was being practised by the Church of Rome. The selling of indulgences by the church, supposedly securing the release of loved ones from Purgatory, was the last straw for Luther. Protesting this outrage, and numerous other grievances he nailed his 95 theses to the door of the Wittenburg Cathedral. This sparked off a religious conflagration with the Roman Church in Germany. With Duke Ferdinand of Saxony and other German princes coming to his aid Luther avoided being taken into custody by the Roman church where he most certainly would have been burned as a heretic. Indeed, during the previous century in 1415 this had happened to a faithful priest in Bohemia, John Hus. Luther’s stand at the German city of Worms was historic. It was a defining moment for the church. And it led western Christendom into the Reformation. That re-thinking of what was to be concluded from the reading of the Bible made that many different ideas brought people in different camps, making their own churches.

Central Europe was to become a battlefield of ideas and so called religious people all fighting in the name of God.From the scriptures the Bible-searchers or Bible-students had come to believe that Jesus was the one to follow and not so much the Church which called it self the Universal Catholic Church. For many believers in the Word of God, Christianity was a matter of personal faith, not national or church sponsored citizenship. Nor was it about which church or cathedral they belonged to. For them it was also clear that they did not need such a huge construction as church building to worship God. Many eyes were opened by reading the Bible. As such they became to see that believe and faith was all about a covenant relationship with Jesus Christ and a personal faith walked out with him daily. Some of them were also convinced that a faith in Christ Jesus had to be fulfilled in following Jesus his teachings and following the examples the apostles gave in the early centuries after Christ.

Evangelical movement

With the possibility of having a cheaper and easier reproduction than the work of the scribes the Scriptures could reach the common man which had an enormous impact on European and English history. The Reformation led to the evangelical movement. Unfortunately its politicization led to a great tragedy. The awful 30 Years War wrecked Germany. It was left in such a ruined state that it would not recover for 200 years out of which the Anabaptist movement came which could be called the ”bakermat’ or cradle of the many Biblestudentgroups or Bible Student movement like the non-trinitarian Baptists, Millennialist Restorationist Christians, Brethren, Brothers in Christ or Christadelphians, Thomasites, International Biblestudents, Russellites, Associated Bible Students, or Independent Bible Students, Dawn Bible Students, Jehovah’s witnesses and others. Many of those denominations still existing today payng their taxes to the governing powers but not willing to take oaths of allegiance with the political or ecclesiastical princes, whoever they might be. In following the Master teacher Christ they also would not take up arms with or against any army coming into their valleys, whether they were Protestant, Catholic, Muslim or pagan.

For their stand in the peace of Jesus Christ they were bitterly persecuted from both sides. Millions of Anabaptists and other non-trinitarians, being called sacrilegious, irreverent, profane, blasphemous, wicked, sinful, unholy, iconoclastic, ungodly, impiousheretics, died at the hands of Catholic and Protestant powers alike. In Vilvoorde, in Flemish Brabant, near Brussels (the present capital of the European Union) thousands found their life ended by so called Christians because they only wanted to adhere to One and Only One God, following the teachings of Jesus Christ. They continued to die for over 200 years. This story has not been told. It has been cut out of the history books. From these determined Christian separatists came the peace loving Amish, Hutterites, and Mennonites along with the Brethren and some primitive Baptists of the free church tradition. They remember this history. Most Christians don’t.

More important to follow the Words of the Bible

These people who found it more important to follow the Holy Scriptures instead of organisations and rejected the sword, were still full of Christian zeal. But they had given up on a church that had corrupted itself by going to bed with the state. They would prefer to go to their secret Christian meetings, even if they were under the constant threat of being arrested. If an Anabaptist met another on the pathway they would challenge him with the scripture,

“You cannot serve two masters”.

If the other man was an Anabaptist he would smile and reply,

“You cannot serve God and mammon”.

The Anabaptists resolved to keep their little church pure in devotion to Christ. They were weary of seeing the hideous mixture of the cross and the sword played out before their eyes year after weary year. The sword had been stained with Christian blood. To their mind it had become a despised and shameful thing. It no longer had the sacred power of chivalry it once held over them. They had seen its dark side. It had come to the point where they were going to turn their back on politics and make the peaceful preaching of the Gospel their prime concern come what may. At this time the first missionary outreaches were organized. The Mennonites, the Baptists, the Brethren and many other Christian groups began to send out missionaries beyond European shores. A new era in Christian missions had begun.{The Puritans, by Gavin Finley}

Into the waters

Those who set out sailing aboard the Mayflower during the fall of 1620 and the later pioneers who build up the ‘New World’ we know today as the United States of America, had got enough time crossing the ocean to discuss with others the Bible and faith-matters and believed in the Judeo-Christian values.

Today the descendants are now in the driver’s seat of global power and played a vital role, which could be in danger now by China becoming bigger. But those progenies of searchers for the truth who were also called to bring God’s grace and God’s shalom into this world became also blinded by denominational dogmas and by the fun of the world. In the country where evangelicals became the majority those Christians took more and more the same dogmatic teachings as the earlier Roman Catholic Church and started using the Word of God less and less in their church services. Several even only use just some phrases in their shouting in front of mega churches, performing a show, hoping to catch as many spectators  and as much money as possible.

A 15th-century Mass

As the years went by, those studying the Holy Scriptures grew smaller and the ones claiming to be evangelist went less out to preach to others, preferring only to go to a Sunday service or mass when they wanted to make time for it or on special days, more connected to holdays which took on many heathen elements, like Christmas, Easter, Halloween, All-Saints a.o.. They also started to react fierce and went with violence against those who prefer to humbly keep to the Word of God. Those who witnessed on the streets where laughed at, and many jokes were told about those who came to witness at the door. The spreading of the Word of God from door to door dropped off. With it non-trinitarians their urge to attract others to their teachings diminished, except for the Jehovah Witnesses which strongly continued their assignment to spread the Good News of the coming Kingdom.

Global responsibility to preach in biting climate

Lots of people forgot that the Christian Gospel is destined to be preached to all nations. (Matthew28:18-20) Most of them are satisfied with their church visit now and then and not having to be bothered by reading the Bible daily or having to discuss Biblical writings. At first those Bible students in the 19th century got people interested in God and made that churches grew. The age was host to a variety of religious and philosophical thinkers. with a.o. Joseph Smith, Jr. and Brigham Young, founders of Mormonism, and Ellen White religious author and co-founder of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

The new media in the 20th century made those churches grow even more, but by the amount of entertainment increasing the amount of serious churchgoers decreased.

Gavin Finley MD of Endtime Pilgrim organisation writes:

Christians are having trouble remembering their global responsibilities both politically and spiritually. This is truly unfortunate. Because it happens to be the gateway into their destiny.

A spirit of acquisitive materialism has grasped many Americans by the heart. Even Christians are being led away from the Highway of holiness. Their church ministers are even helping them to set up their own, often narcissistic, ‘purpose driven life’. They are scarcely aware that epic global events are even now beginning to unfold before their eyes. Great dramas of biblical proportions lie up ahead. And these coming events will certainly affect them!

Many people liked first of all to find a religion which could suit as many people as possible. Jesuit theologian Father Jacques Dupuis, at the 2003 interfaith congress “The Future of God” said:

“The religion of the future will be a general converging of religions in a universal Christ that will satisfy all … In the end, it is hoped that the Christian will become a better Christian and each Hindu a better Hindu.”

Alice Bailey & Djwhal Khul are convinced that:

“The Christ has no religious barriers in His consciousness. It matters not to Him of what faith a man may call himself.”

“He [‘the Christ’] inaugurated the new era and … the new world religion began to take form. The word ‘religion’ concerns relationship …”

“The day is dawning when all religions win [sic] be regarded as emanating from one great spiritual source; all will be seen as unitedly providing the one root out of which the universal world religion will inevitably emerge. Then there will be neither Christian nor heathen, neither Jew nor Gentile, but simply one great body of believers, gathered out of all the current religions.”

No wonder by such thinking that the religious people who love traditions are eager to take on new festivals and funny things which can brighten up their lives, but bring them further from the truth and the Will of God. Many coming up for their own modernised denomination are often not aware that they could be offending the God of Israel as they journey on.

Rick Warren may said:

“I could take you today to a million villages … they got a church. Or they got a synagogue. They got something. They got a house of worship. The church is the biggest organization in the world…. And I came up with a thing called the P.E.A.C.E. Plan. When Jesus sent the disciples out, he said, ‘When you go into a village, you find the man of peace.’ Now this person doesn’t have to be a Christian…. You find the person of peace, and then you begin to do the P.E.A.C.E. Plan … Now why am I telling this to you? Because we’re going public with it this next year in 2006…. And I believe it will change the world.”

but the Church of God is totally something different than the church of men. For us it should be the most important priority to belong to the Church of God and not to the favoured church of men. It is high time to react to the changing times while living faithfully, communally, and missionally in a world that grows increasingly indifferent and even hostile towards what Christianity should be.

In his book The Naked Anabaptist, Stuart Murray offers seven core convictions of “stripped down” Anabaptism.  Not exhaustive nor entirely unique to Anabaptism they could provide a helpful focus for understanding what the Anabaptist tradition offers to the wider Church.

The one to follow

Our example, teacher, friend, redeemer Jesus Christ, the focal point of God’s revelation, should be the one who as Christians should follow. We should remember what God said about this Nazarene Jew and what this young man said about his heavenly Father, his relationship with the Most High and with others.  We are committed to a Jesus-centered approach to the Bible, and to the community of faith as the primary context in which we read the Bible and discern and apply its implications for discipleship.

Western culture slowly emerging from the Christendom era

In Forks in the Narrow Road is said that Western culture is slowly emerging from the Christendom era, when church and state jointly presided over a society in which almost all were assumed to be Christian. But that is a typical American point of view, because there are stronger religions in the East where more unity in the group can be found than by Christians.

Whatever its positive contributions on values and institutions, Christendom seriously distorted the gospel, marginalized Jesus, and has left the churches ill equipped for mission in a post-Christendom culture.  As we reflect on this, we are committed to learning from the experience and perspectives of movements such as Anabaptism that rejected standard Christendom assumptions and pursued alternative ways of thinking and behaving.

Consumerism and peace

Today people want to have a higher place than somebody else in the community. Consumerism rules the world. The rule of division and dominion hold sway in this world of heartburning, where jealousy is encouraged. People cheer when somebody can come in the picture with something special and many idols are worshipped like gods. Some churches in the United States even say it is a gift of God to receive higher positions in life and to get more money, when people will give enough tithing or many offerings in their church. Status, wealth, and force are put in the picture and framed as only possible when people take care much of their church and are willing to give enough to their pastor or minister. Such frequent association of the church with status, wealth, and force is inappropriate for followers of Jesus and damages our witness.  We are committed to exploring ways of being good news to the poor, powerless, and persecuted, aware that such discipleship may attract opposition, resulting in suffering and sometimes ultimately martyrdom. Americans nor others simply cannot ignore the call here. They cannot sit around and do nothing while the world descends into nuclear anarchy and destruction. They must do what they can to further the cause of peace and security in the world. They can support their country by showing their Christian attitude and getting people to understand the Word of God, supporting Gospel and humanitarian missions overseas as well.

Churches are called to be committed communities of discipleship and mission, places of friendship, mutual accountability, and multivoiced worship.  As we eat together, sharing bread and wine, we sustain hope as we seek God’s kingdom together.  We are committed to nurturing and developing such churches, in which young and old are valued, leadership is consultative, roles are related to gifts rather than gender, and baptism is for believers.

This adult baptism is an important sign for the people around us. It may not be the end-mark, like it is for many contemporary believers, but should be a beginning on the road to the Kingdom of God. It should also be a mark of being “under God”, confirming one is willing to give himself totally to the Divine Creator. Following Christ and wanting to become like him, also being “under Christ” one is charged with bringing God’s just peace upon earth. This may not always be possible in the midst of a raging of nations against Israel and against the coming Messiah. But where it is not possible to bring a political peace then Christians have another arena in which to work. In the Spirit of grace the Gospel outreach in the local areas and overseas missions brings peace to individual hearts one soul at a time. And the coming Kingdom of Messiah will bring the “peace on earth” that men of good will have always longed for.

Peace is at the heart of the gospel.  As followers of Jesus in a divided and violent world, we are committed to finding nonviolent alternatives and to learning how to make peace between individuals, within and among churches, in society, and between nations.

With the idea of non-violence, sharing the love of Christ and the love of God, those loving the Word of God should show their love for that Word and their admiration for Christ and his Father to the world. Graciously, God will be prepared to come closer to those who love Him and will be willing to give them helpful tools for finding their way. Many may have no idea where they are going and may perhaps not see the road ahead of them. Nobody can know for certain where it will end, except that we may be sure that one day Christ Jesus will come back to this earth to judge the living and the dead, and then it will be too late to change of course. It is now and today that we have to stay on tangent and work on our spiritual life.

The course to steer

Lots of people are following their denomination without looking deep in their heart and into the Word of God, the Holy Scriptures. They may think they are following God’s Will, but do not really check it with the Guide God has given the world. Some may know that they perhaps do not follow or live according the Will and the commandments of God. They may wonder if the believe that the desire to please him or Him does in fact pleases God the Father. Real Christians should hope that they will never do anything against the commandments of Christ and nothing against the commandments of God.

Dixie Building

Dixie Building (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Unfortunately, it appears that many American Christians are unaware of their sacred calling. Lots of them shout high with their so called Judean Christian values, but they do not see they went far away of those rules and values themselves. Many are drifting off into forgetfulness. They are not interested in America’s peace role in the world. And they are also ignoring the call of the Great Commission. The Gospel is not supposed to stay just in Main Street, USA. American evangelicals have a responsibility to take the Good News into all the world. The Christian Church is a global company. In fact it went global on the day it began 2,000 years ago. It went global on the Day of Pentecost.

Since that day when the apostles became gifted with the Spirit, and could much more than they ever thought they could accomplish, by the Power of God. But already in their time the people wanting to follow Christ also wanted to follow their own ideas, and false teachings soon crept in. By the years we found that a group wanted to exclude themselves from the other followers of the Way, by declaring themselves the only one true Universal Catholic Church. It took many centuries before Protestants came in the picture to, in their turn, also make many divisions and subdivisions, creating many churches or countless denominations torn asunder by harsh wars of words and weapons.  The religious world could find in that Christian world many groups and individuals claiming exclusive access to the “truth.”

It’s a reality that is not only saddening and confusing but scary.  Terrifying questions creep into the mind.

“How can I be sure I am actually following the truth?  What if they’re right and I’m wrong?  Am I believing a lie?  Am I some kind of heretic?  Am I going to hell?  Is my faith real if I have doubts?  Who is God really? “

We would advice you to have a look at the only place which can bring full answers. But to see the right answer you should have to be strong enough to put all the things you have previously learned aside. It is a matter of daring to put away dogmatic teachings, by that we mean, not returning to come back to those things they told you just to believe because we can not understand it, for example the immaculate conception, the pre-existence of Christ, the godhead of Christ, the Trinity and some other human church teachings. By daring to tackle the Word like the scribes and Bible-translators made it accessible for us to read it in our own language or in a language we can understand, to take it like it is written black on white, taking the words for what they mean, we shall be able to find the Truth.

A Book available for everyone to get insight

Bible

Bible (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

Going through the Holy Scriptures from beginning to end may bring you in a terrifying state to be in, suddenly having your eyes opened and seeing where your denomination might have gone wrong.

This is especially true if the deep seeded roots of the faith you grew up with are the ones you begin to question.  It’s stressful, painful, and extremely difficult.  It feels as if you’re toeing the edge of the narrow road peering off a cliff of uncertainty.  But there’s good news.  You’re still on the narrow road.  In 1st Peter we read, “In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.  These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith.”  Trials of the mind and spirit are just as real as trials of the body.

knows also a North Carolina native that grew up in a family of school teachers and is currently pursuing a M.A. in Teaching at Kennesaw State University.

He may have a B.A. in Biblical Studies and can be (should be) proud of it, but people should know that God does not want everybody going to a Biblical college to understand God His Word. He provided enough words to get insight in Who God is and what He wants from us. We do not need a special university course to get to know God. We also should not follow blindly those who have a theology degree. People have too much trusted those educated people who went on to study more the philosophy than the Word of God.

By following the more popular but wrong ideas the church has gone astray and made people confused so much that they started loosing interest and by seeing what all those preachers said and did, they also lost trust in them and left church.

Current travail of the institutional Church may also bring a positive note

Many view this as a negative trend and in some respects perhaps it is. On the other hand, we firmly believe that something highly positive and creative can be birthed out of the current travail of the institutional Church.

Robin Meyer speaks clearly regarding the current situation of the church and its seeming inability or unwillingness to feed those very people who are so spiritually hungry.

There is a deep hunger for wisdom in our time, but the church offers up little more than sugary nostalgia with a dash of fear. There is a yearning for redemption, healing, and wholeness that is palpable, a shift in human consciousness that is widely recognized – except, it seems, in most churches.

Mick Turner in The Death of Sunday Christianity writes:

Strangely, we have come to a moment in human history when the message of the Sermon on the Mount could indeed save us, but it can no longer be heard above the din of dueling doctrines.
Consider this: there is not a single word in that sermon about what to believe, only words about what to do. It is a behavioral manifesto, not a propositional one. Yet three centuries later, when the Nicene Creed became the official oath of Christendom, there was not a single word in it about what to do, only words about what to believe!

Doctrine can do no more than guide our thoughts in one direction or another. It has no transformative power of its own, however. Today’s church is by and large an impotent institution and the sooner we get our minds around that salient fact the better. Only when we confront the reality of the situation the postmodern church finds itself in can we begin to make plans for any kind of effective, beneficial, transformational, and lasting change. Until we come to grips with the enormity of our problems, we are only whistling in the wind.

Therefore let us put away all doctrine and go to the main source, the Book of books, the Word of God which is handed over by the many men of God, prophets, kings of Israel, apostles and scribes.

Mick Turner continues:

Over the course of the centuries since Christ walked the earth, we have gone about domesticating Jesus and his mission. In the process of doing so, we have lost something very important – in fact, the very source of the church’s life. By taming Jesus and toning down the revolutionary character of what he is calling for, we have lost contact with the vine. And the Master told us quite clearly what happens when such a thing occurs. Branches die when they are severed from the vine.

Many may have settled for a weak-kneed, timid imposter of a church.

At the heart of the church is a fabrication, a weak-kneed imposter of a Saviour that is a far cry from the revolutionary firebrand that set his world ablaze 2,000 years ago. Instead of the radical, world-changing Jesus, we have settled for a much safer version – a version that, in the words of Brian McLaren, is a:

…..popular and domesticated Jesus, who has become little more than a chrome-plated hood ornament on the guzzling Hummer of Western civilization…

When in much of the church today, the metaphors speak of individual salvation and the specific promises that accompany it and do not give attention to the discipleship as transformation through an alternative community and reversal of conventional wisdom, it is no wonder people do not feel the urge to belong to a group of believers any more. Nor reason of brotherhood is given any more. the whole world is focussed on individuality and personal richness, not of spiritual wealth but material wealth. The first followers of Jesus trusted Jesus enough to become instruments of radical change and where even prepared to leave worldly goods behind to go out into the world and to preach the Word of God.

Today, worshippers of Christ agree to believe things about him in order to receive the benefits promised by the institution, not by Jesus….

Robin Meyers says:

Christianity as a belief system requires nothing but acquiescence. Christianity as a way of life, as a path to follow, requires a second birth, the conquest of ego, and new eyes with which to see the world.

According to some the church as we have known it, both in terms of actual numbers and cultural impact, is dead. It would be nice to see that the era of “Christendom” is over and that the world of “Christianity” may blossom again. Old forms of a tradition should be removed so that room can be given for something new and refreshing to be created or better to be recreated. Perhaps we may face a new reform of the Reformation movement. The sooner we come to grips with this reality, the sooner we can get on with the business of birthing its successor.

Frost, an Australian Christian writer and professor, sounds a more positive tone when he says:

….there are other voices that express real hope – not in the reconstitution of Christendom, but in the idea that the end of this epoch actually spells the beginning of a new flowering of Christianity. The death of Christendom removes the final props that have supported the culturally respectable, mainstream, suburban version of Christianity. This is a Christianity expressed by the “Sunday Christian” phenomenon wherein church attendance has very little effect on the lifestyles or values or priorities expressed from Monday to Saturday. This version of Christianity is a façade, a method for practitioners to appear like fine, upstanding citizens without allowing the claims and teachings of Jesus to bite very hard in everyday life. With the death of Christendom the game is up. There’s less and less reason for such upstanding citizens to join with the Christian community for the sake of respectability or acceptance. The church in fewer and fewer situations represents the best vehicle for public service or citizenship, leaving only the faithful behind to rediscover the Christian experience as it was intended: a radical, subversive, compassionate community of followers of Jesus.

Real Christianity is one that should go deep into the bones. It is a believe which forms the character and show others that its faith is alive, kicking and working, because a faith without works is dead. (James 2:26)

Finding a path to meet other believers in Christ

We can only hope that those who flee the traditional churches and might be disillusioned with Christianity and the church would find ways not to loose their interest in the Word of God. We express our hope that they shall not be disillusioned about God or about Jesus, or at least would like to see that they can come on the path of not letting Christendom and church put false ideas about God in front of them.

We should set ourselves apart from the traditional world and keep firm in our faith in only One God. Refused to participate in pagan ceremonies we may look strange and even be dubbed as atheists. Though it is much better not to fear human beings but to fear God and to keep to His Commandments. When we have to abstain from much of the community life — the pagan festivals, the public amusements which to Christians were shot through and through with pagan beliefs, practices, and immoralities — we may be derided as haters of the human race. But at the end of times, we do know, all be judged according to their deeds. By Christ all in the world can be saved, but to be able to go through the small gate and to enter the Kingdom of God,each individual shall have to proof he or she is worthy to enter that Kingdom of God where world-peace shall be for ever.
Let make sure that we can be partakers of that eternal pleasure and follow the lessons presented in the Holy Scriptures to ‘set us apart‘ or to make us ‘holy‘.

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Please do find to read:

  1. The Word being a quality or aspect of God Himself
  2. For those who have not the rudiments of an historical sense
  3. Compromise and accomodation
  4. Preexistence in the Divine purpose and Trinity
  5. How did the Trinity Doctrine Develop 
  6. Altered to fit a Trinity
  7. Should You Believe in the Trinity?
  8. First Century of Christianity
  9. Derided as haters of the human race
  10. Position and power
  11. Minimizing the power of God’s Force the Holy Spirit
  12. Raising digression
  13. Hellenistic influences
  14. Politics and power first priority #1
  15. Politics and power first priority #2
  16. Politics and power first priority #3 Elevation of Mary and the Holy Spirit
  17. Gutenberg’s presses, bible translators, reformation and the emergence of pilgrim separatists and English puritans during the 1500’s
  18. Gateway Films classic “God’s Outlaw”, a biography of the English Bible translator William Tyndale.
  19. Men of faith
  20. Migrants to the West #1
  21. Migrants to the West #2
  22. Migrants to the West #3
  23. Migrants to the West #4
  24. Migrants to the West #5
  25. Migrants to the West #6
  26. Migrants to the West #7
  27. Migrants to the West #8
  28. Migrants to the West #9
  29. Built on or Belonging to Jewish tradition #1 Christian Reform
  30. Built on or Belonging to Jewish tradition #2 Roots of Jewishness
  31. Built on or Belonging to Jewish tradition #3 Of the earth or of God
  32. Built on or Belonging to Jewish tradition #4 Mozaic and Noachide laws
  33. Looking to the East and the West for Truth
  34. Materialism, would be life, and aspirations
  35. Who Are Jehovah’s Witnesses?
  36. The History of Jehovah’s Witnesses (Part 1) as presented by the Jehovah Witnesses themselves
  37. The History of Jehovah’s Witnesses (Part 2) as presented by the Jehovah Witnesses themselves
  38. Why You Can Trust the Biblical Gospels
  39. The Bible Really Is God’s Inspired Word
  40. Bible Word of God, inspired and infallible
  41. Teaching Holy Scriptures in Schools
  42. Separation of church and state
  43. Manifests for believers #3 Catholic versus Protestant
  44. Christian values and voting not just a game
  45. Palestine, Israel, God’s people and democracy
  46. Faith related boycotts
  47. Right to be in the surroundings
  48. Today’s Puritans and America’s role as global peacemaker
  49. Re-Creating Community
  50. Community of believers
  51. Mission From the Margins: Anabaptism and the Crisis of Christianity
  52. Catholic Church’s demise – Roman Catholic Church Being Deconstructed – Declared Criminal
  53. The Death of Sunday Christianity
  54. Disillusioned with Christianity and the church
  55. Christianity gone haywire, and going down
  56. Bumpy road to success
  57. Victims and Seekers of Peace
  58. Things That Must Shortly Take Place
  59. Not all christians are followers of a Greco-Roman culture
  60. One Mediator between God and man
  61. Our relationship with God, Jesus and each other
  62. Follower of Jesus part of a cult or a Christian
  63. Salvation, trust and action in Jesus #3 as a Christian
  64. United people under Christ
  65. Life is too precious
  66. Slave for people and God
  67. Discipleship way of life on the narrow way to everlasting life
  68. The Involvement of true discipleship
  69. Observing the commandments and becoming doers of the Word
  70. Brothers in Christ
  71. Faith and works
  72. The Ecclesia in the churchsystem

++

Additional reading in Dutch:

  1. Eerste Eeuw van het Christendom (en daarop volgende hoofdstukken) (and other chapters in Dutch on Bible Students about the history of Christianity)
  2. Broeders en Zusters in Christus door de eeuwen heen #1 Abraham de aartsvader
  3. Broeders en Zusters in Christus door de eeuwen heen #2 Broeders
  4. Broeders en Zusters in Christus door de eeuwen heen #3 De Weg
  5. Broeders en Zusters in Christus door de eeuwen heen #4 Volgelingen van Jezus
  6. Broeders en Zusters in Christus door de eeuwen heen #5 Apologeten
  7. Broeders en Zusters in Christus door de eeuwen heen #6 Constantijn de Grote
  8. Broeders en Zusters in Christus door de eeuwen heen #7 Afstandelijken, donatisten en arianisten
  9. Broeders en Zusters in Christus door de eeuwen heen #8 Concilie van Constantinopel
  10. Broeders en Zusters in Christus door de eeuwen heen #9 Controverse betreft doop
  11. Broeders en Zusters in Christus door de eeuwen heen #10 De Inquisitie
  12. Broeders en Zusters in Christus door de eeuwen heen #11 Vredelievende waarheidzoekers
  13. Broeders en Zusters in Christus door de eeuwen heen #12 Anabaptisten
  14. Broeders en Zusters in Christus door de eeuwen heen #13 Hutterieten of Hutteriaanse Broeders, Boheemse Broeders en Broederschap van eenheid

+++

  • TGC and Anabaptism – What Do We Do With It? (abnormalanabaptist.wordpress.com)
    While I agree it’s really encouraging to have a group of fellow Christians come out and say that, even in disagreement, they are willing to listen and learn from those with whom they disagree, it is our response to that revelation that gets to me.  I hear a lot of Anabaptists basically stating, perhaps not in so many words, “glad they finally see the light”.  And suddenly, it hits me: we’re just as guilty as they are.
  • The Church at the Intersection of Anabaptism and Evangelicalism (pietistschoolman.com)
    I’ve known many evangelicals who find something reinvigorating about the Anabaptist impulse, and it’s generally because (like Boyd) they’ve grown disenchanted by the fusion of faith and politics; searching for a Christ who is Victor but not warlike, they read John Howard Yoder and decide to try on Anabaptism.
    +
    After describing the nature of these “house churches,” Boyd affirms that it is possible to reconcile the Anabaptist understanding of ecclesiology with the evangelical phenomenon of the megachurch:

    …we don’t have to chose between embracing the church as community, on the one hand, and holding a large weekend gathering, on the other. There’s nothing intrinsically anti-kingdom about large gatherings. After all, large crowds flocked to Jesus, and the early Christians in Jerusalem met in large groups in “Solomon’s porch” (Acts 5:16-19). The key, however, is to always remind people that the primary expression of church is not the large group, but the smaller communities that come together in houses to share life, study the word, worship and minister together.

  • Christianity vs. Catholicism (briegonda.wordpress.com)
    One of the main things that I find myself explaining is the difference between Christianity and Catholicism. Is there really a define difference? The answer is yes. Being a Christian my entire life has allowed me to explore the differences and it has allowed me to have a not-so-close-minded view.Many people ask me if I’m very religious and I think this is one of the most evident differences. Catholicism focuses on strict guidelines such as confession and they use those guidelines to determine the level of religion. In Christianity, however, religion isn’t as guideline oriented. A relationship with God is the most recognized determining factor. So to answer the question of if I’m very religious, I would say, no. I have a strong relationship with God.
  • The Marketing Of Catholicism (mundabor.wordpress.com)
    One of the main concerns of the Church in the last 50 years – and I mean, even from good, orthodox priests and laymen – seems to be to make the message of Christianity attractive, or easy to digest, or such that it would appear an improvement in one’s quality of life. The idea seems to be that the world out there lures souls with the promise of fun and joy, and a list of prohibitions isn’t really the best way to attract people to give Christianity their serious consideration.
  • Catholicism: change and continuity (jessicahof.wordpress.com)
    Nothing in what I have written convicts, or even implies, that those who disagreed with John XXIII were dinosaurs or fuddie-duddies, and in thinking that the Church needed to come to terms with the modern world, John XXIII was no aligning himself with either liberalism or conservatism; he was seeking to take the mind of the church on the challenges facing it.  The idea that had it not taken place, ordinary Catholics in the pew would have somehow been hermetically-sealed off from the changes taking place in Western society in the sixties and seventies is fanciful. The Anglican and Protestant churches had no Vatican II, and what quiavideruntoculi says about vocations in the Catholic Church was true there too. All churches in the West were hit by the cultural revolution of the sixties and seventies; it would not have mattered whether there had been a Vatican II or not, Catholics would have been as exposed to these changes as those Christians in churches which had no Vatican II.
  • Lunchtime Conversations: Post-Christendom (lcileeds.wordpress.com)
    The end of Christendom where the Christian story was known and the church was central invites Christians in western culture to embrace marginality and discover fresh ways of being church and engaging in mission. While the transition from modernity to postmodernity has received a huge amount of attention the shift from Christendom to post-Christendom has not yet been fully explored.
  • Announcing a New Issue of The Covenant Quarterly on Pietism (pietistschoolman.com)
    revivalists have taken the Pietist emphasis on regeneration, or new birth, and featured it as the focus of evangelism and missionary work. While numbers of converts can be an encouraging feature, when the threshold experience becomes the focus of the evangelist or the missionary or the pastor or the parent, the genius of Pietism is profaned. Pietism was not a conversion movement in the sense of initial decision but an inward renewal movement in the sense of discipleship. Its aim was complete conversion from the inside out.
  • thoughts on the death of the Church (emwartick.wordpress.com)
    The Church is dying.  It’s terminally ill.  Perhaps it’s already dead.

    Or so I’ve heard.  I’ve heard it from professors, from church leaders, from sociologists.  Attendance is dwindling, buildings are closing, and members are getting older.  There are “not enough” 20-somethings, families with children, ethnic minorities, people who tithe, fill-in-the-blank.  Expectations are too high or too low or too vague or too specific and this, I am told, is killing the Church.

  • Wicked Popes! (christianspooksite.wordpress.com)
    Papal power was maintained by the Inquisition. The Inquisition, called the “Holy Office,” was instituted by Pope Innocent III, and perfected under the second following Pope, Gregory IX. It was the “Church Court for Detection and Punishment of Heretics.” Under it, everyone was required to inform against Heretics. Anyone suspected, was liable to torture, without knowing the name of his accuser. The proceedings were secret. The Inquisitor pronounced sentence, and the victim was turned over to Civil Authorities to be imprisoned for life — or to be burned! The victim’s property was confiscated, and divided between the Church and the State.
  • Rethinking Scripture (garretmenges.wordpress.com)
    A brief survey of the history of the LXX raises some questions about the way we view Scripture today. For example, is the LXX inspired Scripture even though it’s a translation of a more original textual tradition? If not, then are the fragments that have made it into our NT inspired? Were the scribes who translated Isaiah, for example, quickly taken up in the Spirit while contemplating how to translate the Hebrew word for “young woman” only to have the Spirit leave them shortly after the translation of that single verse?