Objective views and not closing eyes for certain sayings

The reblog A Progressive Call to Arms caused several very different reactions. Pity some people did not want to react straight on the article and choose other, non public, ways.

English: History of Marxism timeline ---- Own ...

History of Marxism timeline (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We very much appreciated the reaction of “camden41” a retired public school administrator and retired history professor, who took the time to spend a whole article on the writing and an extra one on our reaction. Though perhaps the impression may be given by that author that we do not know our history or do not want to see the “crux of the matter” or to belief Hitler “considered Marxists, Communists and Jews to be traitors.” We are aware of that fact, but that is just what makes us so weary about the president elect. In what way does he want to look at Marxists, Leninist, Communists, Jews, Muslims, refugees, Mexicans, homo’s, transgender and other people?

We also are aware of specific groups who would love abolishing the ever-enlarging systems of hierarchy, control, and environmental destruction necessary to sustain the growth of capital.

We also saw how certain people in the past made use of blackening others to get their goal coming into power. We also are aware that in the past many made use of the chaos and fear to bring others in discredit and to get people on their hand, promising that everything would change by them in power. And once in power they made sure that they could have the highest power for some time, getting rid of those who were standing in their way.

Should we not know when precious experiences in a person his life can make a very dangerous person of him or her, make sure that we look at the previous history of a person and come to look at him or her seriously, not making a joke of him or of his remarks. And Trump made remarks which should make us to think about it.

Should we not be aware where hate can come into existence and how it can grow fast like a virus? Should we not have our eyes opened seeing that people do want to shut out others and that marginalisation has become a favoured thing? Should we not be aware that some might think that marginalisation may be a strategy of protection, so that defence and obstruction cannot wait for the inauguration of an autocrat? Should we do not know what a certain person his sanctuary cities may be and how others may react on it?

Should we also not wonder how long people are going to take it that there may be political domination over them, having the capitalists squeezing workers’ pay packets, keeping individual wages for all blue-workers pretty much flat since a long time, having only a raise for higher level salaries?

These capitalists and their apologists hid the double squeeze behind their effective rhetorical use of issues such as civil rights and affirmative action to invoke in the late 1960s and after the “wages of whiteness”–which any attentive person should have figured wouldn’t pay any better than they did at the close of Reconstruction a hundred years earlier. {W. E. B. DuBois, Black Reconstruction in America, 1860-1880 (1935; repr., New York: Atheneum, 1992); David Roediger, The Wages of Whiteness (New York: Verso, 1991). }

Should we not worry when the president elect, though he might show to be calmed down, still continues in his line of thinking when he announced that Bannon, the controversial executive chairman of Breitbart News, would be his chief strategist, though he denied holding “ethno-nationalist” views?

Does oppression in all of its forms: microaggressions, street harassment, slut shaming, resource hoarding, not feels like hate? And is it not easy to generalise and should politicians not warn people to generalise, instead of generalising themselves?

Conflating oppression and hate is fraught with many more problems than such a seemingly small semantic shift would suggest, and if we are to effectively combat domination it’s imperative that we learn to avoid discussing oppression in terms of hate. {Why We Must Stop Speaking of Oppression as “Hate”}

When looking at our society we should not close our eyes for certain situations. There may be many Christadelphians who think we should not be active in politics, but they forget that does not mean we should close our eyes for what happens in the world or should not comment on it.

Even when we give our opinion we do want to have our readers to make up their mind for themselves and want them to give the opportunity to hear different opinions. Only by being open to other opinions people can come to a better insight and also can come to understand why and how others think differently. That way also people can come to see who can be going on dangerous paths of thinking and as such even can become a danger for the society. Only by exposing such ways of thinking the society can be protected.

It is not by closing our eyes for the things we do not want to hear nor see, that they will not exist. That is what our and our parents generation have clearly felt in the previous century. What happened in the Third Reich could only come so far because so many people did not want to know and did not want to see, because most often they were too much concerned about their own ego and their own well-being.

Today we should learn form the lessons of the past and should be weary of what is possible to come.

In the United States of America during this past year, anti-Semitic imagery proliferated on social media, Jewish journalists were targeted and longstanding anti-Jewish conspiracy theories got a fresh airing. Much of the bias originated with the alt-right, or alternative right, a loose group espousing a provocative and reactionary strain of conservatism. It’s often associated with far right efforts to preserve “white identity,” oppose multiculturalism and defend “Western values.”

There are too many Americans who close their eyes for the reports of anti-Semitic vandalism and other attacks which have risen. As the presidential race intensified, Jews started seeing their names bracketed with a series of parentheses in harassing tweets, signalling that the person had been identified as a Jew. The image became known as the Jewish cowbell and its source was traced to neo-Nazis and white nationalists.

During his run for president, Mr. Trump proposed a temporary ban on Muslim immigration to curb terrorism, claimed Mexican “rapists” were pouring into the country, making that Mexican immigrants also were looked at as perverts and criminals. For the African Americans Trump expressed he has no good eye for those who have “no education” and are “monkeys”. After Donald Trump won the presidential election, handouts where presented in many colleges with texts like “He’s much more likely to abuse you” and “Your kids probably won’t be smart.” Several universities made it clear that those flyer’s hateful propaganda and did not belong at a university.

At several places speeches where given against the Muslims.

LeftOfCenter writes

One of the techniques favored by Right-wingers like Kobach are to demonize strongholds of the Democratic Party. They call these big metropolitan areas, a.k.a. America’s biggest cities, Sanctuary Cities, which is code for ethnically diverse areas that want to relieve tensions between its residents, documented and undocumented. They have vowed to only enforce local laws and won’t do the bidding of Federal immigration agents. Kobach wants to change all that and we know he will do everything he can, likely with the help of the other Kansas notorious K word, the Kochs. So many K’s…KKKoincidence? {Kris Kobach Rumored To Be Attorney General Pick, Would Oversee Deportation Policy}

anonymous-kkkOn television we in Europe could see Americans bringing the fascist greeting, holding out their arms in a Nazi salute, shouting, “Heil the people! Heil victory.”

We also could see several letters mosques had received. In those hate letters the Muslims are called “Children of Satan” and “vile and filthy”.

Clearly the writers of those letters do not know much about Islam and Who they worship, because  they wrote

“You are evil. You worship the devil. But, your day of reckoning has arrived.”

It also called on Muslims to

“pack your bags and get out”.

Authorities were first alerted by the San Jose mosque, which received the letter on Thursday November 24. The other letters were received by the Long Beach and Pomona mosques a few days later and in the latter weeks of November other mosques all over the country were targetted.

Trump will do to Muslims what 'Hitler did to the Jews', letters to California mosques say

Law enforcement agencies across the US have reported 257 anti-Muslim incidents last year, which represents a nearly 67% increase from 2014. The CAIR has said that more than 100 such incidents have taken place since Trump won the country’s presidential elections, Reuters reported. Trump, who campaigned on an anti-immigrant platform, had also pledged to ban the entry of all Muslims into the country for an unspecified period of time if he were voted into power.{Trump will do to Muslims what ‘Hitler did to the Jews’, letters to California mosques say}

The Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR-LA’s executive director Hussam Ayloush said the “irresponsible, hateful rhetoric” of the Trump campaign has fueled

“a level of vulgarity, vile hatred and anger among many self-proclaimed Trump supporters.”

*

  1. A Progressive Anti-Trump View Point With My Rebuttal
  2. To SteppingToes, Read History More
  3. A Time for Treason
  4. Waking Up in Trump’s America, Part 1
  5. Why We Must Stop Speaking of Oppression as “Hate”
  6. U.S. Jews grapple with eruption of anti-Semitism in election year
  7. Racist Flyers on ‘Why White Women Shouldn’t Date Black Men’ Found at Texas University
  8. Kris Kobach Rumored To Be Attorney General Pick, Would Oversee Deportation Policy
  9. Holocaust Museum ‘Deeply Alarmed’ by Nazi Rhetoric at White Nationalist Conference
  10. Trump will do to Muslims what ‘Hitler did to the Jews’, letters to California mosques say
  11. Donald Trump Courts Fury by Bringing Stephen Bannon to the White House
  12. Many Jewish Groups Are Staying Quiet on Stephen Bannon

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Preceding articles

A Progressive Call to Arms

Added commentary to the posting A Progressive Call to Arms

 

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Additional reading

  1. The twist of politics and expression
  2. Migrants to the West #1
  3. Migrants to the West #2
  4. Migrants to the West #7 Religions
  5. Democratic downfall
  6. Classes of people and Cronyism
  7. Capitalism
  8. Capitalism and Inequality
  9. Capitalism downfall
  10. Collision course of socialist and capitalist worlds
  11. Blow to legitimacy of the capitalist system
  12. Increasing wealth gap of immense proportions in the Capitalist World
  13. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #12 Conclusion
  14. The killing of capitalism
  15. Intellectual servility a curse of mankind
  16. What comes after neoliberalism?
  17. Misleading world, stress, technique, superficiality, past, future and positivism
  18. Still Hope though Power generating long train of abuses
  19. The Scensual World – Mission & Vision
  20. Are Christianity and Capitalism Compatible?
  21. The Truth About the Illuminati: Escaping Slavery
  22. Time to consider how to care for our common home
  23. Do we have to be an anarchist to react
  24. Right to be in the surroundings
  25. Capitalism and economic policy and Christian survey

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Further reading

  1. Whatever Happened To The Human Race?
  2. “Please show us that you see us. Please do all you can to stop this.”
  3. Mapping Trump’s Coming War on Immigrant Sanctuary Cities
  4. This is not a guide: Is the Alt-Right white supremacist?
  5. Bernie Sanders: Carrier Took Trump ‘Hostage and Won’
  6. A Call to Action: Women, We Need You
  7. Tribes Redux
  8. In Wake of Electoral Disaster, Democrats Announce Plans to Stick With Status Quo
  9. Why Donald Trump may not be able to close sanctuary cities
  10. Wanted: Presidential ‘Leadership’ In North Dakota (#NODAPL)
  11. Learning Diversity from the U.S. Government
  12. The Triumph of Diversity
  13. The Trump Pinata Preserving the False Obama Messiah
  14. Donald Trump racist? Quit it! He’s not the problem
  15. Majority of fatal attacks on U.S. soil carried out by white supremacists, not terrorists
  16. AP Rules on Writing About the ‘alt-right’
  17. Richard Spencer Says America Was ‘Designed’ for White People, Shouts ‘Hail Trump!’
  18. Jesus’ Great Commission to Our Islamic Siblings
  19. Avenues of Sameness

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Depression, Anxiety, Pressure and megachurches

Big churches with many dreams but also with anxiety

In the church world many say because they are the biggest church they must be the church closest to the truth and the right church.

In the United States of America you may find lots of Mega Churches and Holland is not doing bas getting also more people in churches where all sorts of happenings attire lots of people with entertaining services. In those mega churches we also often find preachers who seem to be obsessed with religious rules and legalism and who try to make their flock afraid of what they do. Everywhere seems to be the devil looking around the corner. They preach about the Satan going to destroy them if they do not turn away from him and come to Jesus.

Those preachers are more obsessed with the sins and shortcomings of others and make it their obsession to point out their faults.

Preachers like Perry Noble, are known more for what he attacked rather than what he built up! But by Noble some change took place after he had taken a sabbatical year.

Perry Noble

To his mega church where he ministered for 12 years for a congregation which drew around 16,000 people every weekend, in 2012 he made it clear to them that he was committed to NewSpring, which he founded, and that he wasn’t leaving to figure out if he’s supposed to stay. His goal was to lead the church for another 20 years until age 60. That is when he wants to pass the baton to the next generation.

“In order for me to lead this church well for the next 20 years, there’s got to be some changes in me,”

he told his congregation in 2012 when he preached his final message before his break.

Layers to be peeled

“I noticed the closer you get to Jesus, he just peels back another layer on your life of something that you’ve got to work on.”

Noble has not shied away from admitting his weaknesses and how “screwed up” he was to his church. He was open about having battled depression just a few years ago.

“I’m not the perfect person but I am trying my best to pursue Jesus,”

he said.

Men of God and Burn out

That pastor may have been very passionate in what he was doing and had to face a burn out. A few thousand years ago, the prophet Jeremiah also suffered burnout. Decades of pronouncing judgement on an unrepentant Israel wore him down. In the book named after him, he begs for release from this horrible work, but God forbids him to leave it. Jeremiah’s battle against burnout reveals who he really is as a leader – a mixture of character traits and weaknesses we can all appreciate.

The man in the old times we can imagine, got very frustrated, having to speak about the bad things people do and having to pronounces only destruction.  Other prophets get to speak of magnificent future events but Jeremiah is confronted with a stubborn people (the Israelites) who could see what God had done already for them, but where not appreciative for it, and were not interested to change their way of living, so that the prophet also could not change his message.

Losing sight and falling in a pit

"The Prophet Jeremiah" (1968)

“The Prophet Jeremiah” (1968) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The great prophet demands to know why God has allowed him to fall into this pit. Years of throwing himself into his work without any results or reward has left him burned out and resentful. The problem, God tells him, is that he has forgotten his calling. Jeremiah must return to the original vision that launched his ministry.

Today, in the churches all over the world we also can find lots of people who have lost sight of the reason why they were called. Many when they were young were really looking for God, but found a stable home, were they could feel at ease by a certain church denomination. In that church they were comforted they could have a living and do not have to worry about their income, nor have to make steps themselves on their own to build places where they could preach and worship God.

To stay fresh and focused, many like to make sure that they have certain getaway rituals. By many ministers the attraction of a growing church, having lots of people coming to listen to them, brings them to put on shows or to present some sort of entertainment which can attract more people. They start losing track of their real purpose and do think it is best for church to have many people joining in. Most of them do prefer to control everything themselves; They forget that the body of Christ is one of many people doing different jobs in that body, the church. they themselves start thinking they have to do it all. They count on themselves (instead of on God) to do everything what is needed to make a big church, to solve the many problems, build products with too many features, and often they can not say ‘no’ to lots of thing of which they should be able to say “no” or “I can not”.

They forget that if they include every decent idea that comes along, they’ll just wind up with a half-[baked] version of their product.

Outside world

Prophet Jeremiah, Russian icon from first quar...

Prophet Jeremiah and the Scriptures – Russian icon from first quarter of 18th cen. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If we say yes to all outside influences, including everyone else’s expectations, opinions, and criticisms, we shall end up with a half-baked, burned-out version of ourself.

Perry Noble made it his goal to catch people doing something wrong and condemn them and perhaps forgot to see the person he himself really was.  Instead of reaching out to them with compassion and a genuine concern he became judging them.

We also have to be careful not to judge others, and we certainly can damn them or threaten them with places of torture for indefinitely. According to the Scriptures no such place exist. The hell being spoken off is just the grave where we all shall end up. Even Jesus, who never sinned landed up in hell for three days.

Faith, Correctness and discussions

Today we may find many who do not like to associate with anyone or any group that does not acknowledge that he or she is completely correct in his or her view and for religious people this concerns also their interpretation of the Scriptures. On the internet but also in real life we see can  hear heavy discussions going on … and, if the other person does not want to think or see just like him he would attack and malign them as often as possible. (Kind of goes against what Jesus said in John 13:34-35)

Perry Noble admits he fell also in such a trap. He also remembers the very first time he ever had to deal with someone who told him they were struggling with anxiety and depression. He did not understand and could not relate-so, he told them what he thought was the typical “Christian” answer to all problems … they should pray more, read their Bible more and memorize more Scripture.

Instead of lessening the load he was unintentionally adding to it.

The person mentioned, their doctor had told them about going on a certain type of anti-depressant, to help out with their struggle, and so they asked his opinion.

He says now:

In a completely illiterate and uneducated manner I told them that people with “weak faith” are the ones that needed such meds, that godly people did not struggle with feelings of anxiety and depression and that taking such medication would essentially be screaming to God, “I don’t trust you.”

Coming through the storm by learning

He himself also got into a terrible state of not seeing any more where he could go. Through a series of situations in his life that needed to be changed, along with some intense and excellent Biblical counselling he was able to come through the storm that had dominated him for so long. From what he learned at his time of depression, many others can also learn. Today he is willing to share his experiences so that others can learn from it and avoid coming into such a mess he came into. For today’s believers it is not made easy either, because they are tossed about by every wind of “doctrine” because so few preachers seem to be preaching absolute Truth and sound doctrine. They also see what lots of those ministers or priest do in their daily life, not according to what they are preaching or demanding that their churchgoers would have to do.
So many people have become so frightened by other people, instead of knowing that human beings can not totally destroy an other person. He might kill him or her, but that will not solve the problem for the killer. For the one killed he might not have pain any more so the worldly problems would be solved.  A Satisfied Spirit does not have to fear. Most people also want to have the right in their hand and want to believe they are right in everything. In case they would be more humble and come to see that not one person can be right in everything, life would be easier. We should give each other much more “the right to be wrong about everything” and allow ourselves also to have mistakes and getting to learn form our mistakes.

> Please do continue reading about Depression and Anxiety, in:

  1. Searching for fulfillment and meaning through own efforts, facing unsatisfaction and depression
  2. Depression Is and When
  3. Anxiety’s Hold
  4. Believe What You Will
  5. When feeling sad, not sure of there being a Divine Creator
  6. Be an encourager
  7. Duty of encouragement

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Additional reading:

  1. When discouraged facing opposition
  2. Words to push and pull
  3. No prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation
  4. Christendom Astray The Devil Not A Personal Super-Natural Being
  5. Satan the evil within
  6. Does God exist?
  7. Our relationship with God, Jesus and each other
  8. Many forgot how Christ should be our anchor and our focus
  9. Jesus Christ being dispatched as the Figurehead of a Religion
  10. Jesus three days in hell
  11. Parts of the body of Christ
  12. The task given to us to love each other
  13. Reasons to come to gether
  14. Testify of the things heard
  15. How should we preach?
  16. Good or bad preacher
  17. Who are you going to reach out to today
  18. Attitude to others important for reaching them
  19. Many churches
  20. Who are the honest ones?
  21. Six Reasons Young Christians Leave Church
  22. Greatest single cause of atheism
  23. What’s church for, anyway? (by Marcus Ampe)
  24. Knowing where to go to
  25. Democratic principles for the church of today
  26. Church is a Hospital for sinners
  27. Jehovah’s Witnesses not only group that preach the good news
  28. God is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him
  29. The Spirit of God brings love, hope and freedom
  30. Love for each other attracting others
  31. Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair
  32. Holiness and expression of worship coming from inside
  33. Doctrine and Conduct Cause and Effect
  34. Being Religious and Spiritual 8 Spiritual, Mystic and not or well religious
  35. Be humble like Christ
  36. Faith and trial
  37. A Living Faith #4 Effort
  38. Caricaturing and disapproving sceptics, religious critics and figured out ethics
  39. Some one or something to fear #3 Cases, folks and outing
  40. Raise a standard to which the wise and honest can repair
  41. If you want to go far in life
  42. Remember that who you’re being is just as important as what you’re doing
  43. We have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace
  44. Abhor evil. Adhere to goodness
  45. Kill the messenger
  46. Work with joy and pray with love
  47. Act as if everything you think, say and do determines your entire life
  48. Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience
  49. You only lose energy when life becomes dull in your mind
  50. No good thing will he withhold
  51. Is the Megachurch the New Liberalism?
  52. Problems attracting and maintaining worshippers

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  1. Should Christians Take Medication for Mental Illness?
  2. 5 Practical Things to Consider Before Taking an Antidepressant
  3. One of the Most Powerful Leadership Principles I’ve Ever Learned
  4. The One Thing That Holds Most Leaders Back
  5. Why Are So Many Churches Hearing So Little of the Bible from Their Preachers?
  6. Preachers of L.A. Dressed to Impress, But Is Jesus Pleased?
  7. #PreachersofLA: As Real as It Gets
  8. Preachers Of LA’s Bishop McClendon Says He Was Set Up
  9. What if Modern Preachers Preached What Jesus was Preaching?
  10. A Plea for Sharp and Polished Preachers…
  11. In Have You Seen the Viral Videos of the ‘Pint-Sized Preachers’ Yet? (theblaze.com) you can see how children can be exploited and which impression some people have about “teaching” and “preaching” and what certain people do call a “sermon”.
  12. TD Jakes Disses Preachers Of LA
  13. Strange Fire Conference: Preachers or Witch Doctors?
  14. church oh church1
  15. Debating with theologians and preachers and their somewhat constricted views….
  16. Can Faith Ever Be Rational?
  17. Political Correctness and “Bashing”
  18. The one religion that’s not part of my spiritual quest
  19. Word Power
  20. The Right To Be Wrong About Everything
  21. A Satisfied Spirit Fears Not

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  • Is the Megachurch the New Liberalism? (blackchristiannews.com)
    The emergence of the megachurch as a model of metropolitan ministry is one of the defining marks of evangelical Christianity in the United States. Megachurches — huge congregations that attract thousands of worshipers — arrived on the scene in the 1970s and quickly became engines of ministry development and energy.
    Over the last 40 years, the megachurch has made its presence known, often dominating the Christian landscape within the nation’s metropolitan regions. The megachurch came into dominance at the same time that massive shopping malls became the landmarks of suburban consumer life. Sociologists can easily trace the rise of megachurches within the context of America’s suburban explosion and the development of the technologies and transportation systems that made both the mall and the megachurch possible.
  • Joel Osteen’s message of hope connects faithful, churches (ocregister.com)
    Osteen, senior pastor of the 50,000-strong Lakewood Church in Houston and nicknamed “the Smiling Preacher” for his toothy grin, travels with a crew of 30. Many in the audience Friday seemed to connect with the preacher’s observations, delivered in a lyrical Texan drawl, his interpretation of Scriptures and most of all, his positive energy.During his sermon, Osteen drew quite a bit from personal experience in his message about “redeeming time,” or making the most of our time in this world. He broke down as he talked about his mother’s valiant and victorious fight against liver cancer. He reminisced about the first time he met Victoria, his wife of 27 years, at a jewelry store while shopping for a watch battery.He told how the tragic death of his father, John Osteen, who founded the church at the back of an old feed store with 90 members, pushed a behind-the scenes guy into the limelight – as a preacher. In the last 15 years, Osteen has grown a congregation of 6,000 to the nation’s largest megachurch.
  • Has the Megachurch Lost Its Luster? (juicyecumenism.com)
    In the future, the 1990s and early 2000s may well be called the “Megachurch Era” by ecclesiastical historians. Suburban commuter culture, television broadcasting, the Internet, the book publishing industry, the rise of self-help gurus, digital media technology, and the contemporary sounds of Jesus People music all provided essential ingredients for enormous churches with a plethora of programs. All that the ingredients needed were men with the vision, initiative, and charisma to muster together like-minded individuals for a common purpose: planting, building, and increasing a congregation (well beyond the previous conceptions of a “large congregation”).
  • Huge Money Stolen From MegaChurch, But That’s Not The OMG Moment (crooksandliars.com)
    The Young Turk’s Cenk Uygur discusses the recent robbery at Joel Osteen’s megachurch, and the incredible amount of money they’re raking in there every single week.
  • How to Run a Megachurch: T.D. Jakes, Marvin Winans, and Others Provide an Inside Look (blackchristiannews.com)
    On just about any Sunday, as many as 10,000 people may fill the pews of Bishop T.D. Jakes’ Dallas-area megachurch. Some believers say he has an uncanny way of connecting with his audience anyway.

    “It doesn’t matter about the size,” says Faith Johnson, a 13-year member. “It’s almost like nobody else is in that church, but me.”
    It takes some help for leaders of the largest megachurches and national ministries to make believers reject the idea that a smaller church is more intimate and personable. A big staff of associate pastors and elders is indispensable.
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    Pastor Matthew Cork knew he’d have to rely more on his leadership when his nearly 6,000-member Friends Church in Yorba Linda, Calif., committed to building 200 schools in India over the next 10 years for dalit children, who are part of the country’s lowest caste. He’s also promoting a book and movie about the number of dalits who end up being trafficked as sex slaves.
    “We have a teaching team, so I’m not teaching every week, which gives me freedom to do some of the other things that I do,” said Cork, who speaks about twice a month at his church. “It’s worked great for me and my schedule.”
  • Fort Lauderdale Megachurch Pastor Resigns Over ‘Moral Failing’ (miami.cbslocal.com)
    “Bob Coy resigned as Senior Pastor of Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale, effective immediately, after confessing to a moral failing in his life…Pastor Bob will be focusing his full attention on his personal relationship with God and his family. The governing board of the church is providing counselors and ministers who will help guide him through the process of full repentance, cleansing and restoration.”+
    “There should have been more accountability at Calvary Chapel,” he says.  “Pastor Bob shouldn’t have been put on such a high pedestal and he should have never had so much power. Whenever there is that, it’s a formula for disaster.”The popular church boasts over 20,000 members, has 10 campuses, and 1,000 employees.“You know he did a lot of good,” said Mitch Guertler a church member. “He helped out a lot of people and I’m just really sad but like he always said up on stage—don’t follow him, follow Christ. So, you know, he’s a sinner like the rest of us and it’s just too bad.”
  • Arguing over trifles while the world burns: Megachurch pays millions to leave nation’s biggest Presbyterian denomination – major rift over ‘Who Jesus is’ (sott.net)
    A California megachurch has voted to officially leave the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), a Christian denomination that is the largest in the nation.Menlo Park Presbyterian Church in Menlo Park, Calif., one of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s largest congregations, made the choice despite facing a $8.89 million cost for the church’s property and membership fees, Religion News Service reported.With 4,000 members, including former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Menlo Park’s decision is a major development in the lifecycle of a denomination that continues to experience ideological infighting over its more liberal stances on controversial issues.
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    In a document published by Menlo Park last year, leaders described their reasons for seeking a split with Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), noting that the church’s “evangelical identity around who Jesus is and our understanding of the authority of scripture are increasingly out of alignment” with the denomination as a whole.

    Specifically, the church expressed concern that many Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) leaders do not believe in the deity of Jesus, nor do they embrace salvation through Christ. These are central tenets of most mainstream Christian churches, leading to a difficult ideological splintering.

  • Amazingly Elaborate Hoax Targets Megachurch Pastor (newser.com)
    Somebody has put a massive amount of work into a hoax claiming that pastor Joel Osteen has renounced his faith and is resigning from the Texas megachurch his father founded, the Houston Chronicle reports. The hoax includes a fake Twitter feed, a YouTube video from “ChristianityNews” containing mockups of news websites trumpeting Osteen’s loss of faith, and a fake website that looks similar to the pastor’s own site.
  • Dallas Megachurch To Encourage ‘Tweeting’ For Jesus During Sermons (dfw.cbslocal.com)
    You could call it “facebooking” for Jesus. One North Texas mega-church could soon be encouraging its congregants to keep their cell-phones on instead of turning them off during Sunday service.
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    “We have a pretty young congregation — the median age is 33 — and so many of them I deal with them on social media as much as I do in presence of them,” says Liberatore. “I just think this is a different way for people to connect with each other, to share their faith — and I think Jesus would make use of it.”
  • Study: Megachurches can trigger false spiritual highs (alanrudnick.org)
    worshipers at megachurches experience a greater release of oxytocin, thought to add to a sense of euphoria. That would lead us to believe that these types of megachurch worship experiences can trigger a false sense of a spiritual high.
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    like a rock concert, there is a degree of psychological multiplication that can be added with a shared emotional experience with light shows, loud music, and a celebrity presence. Perhaps megachurches can add this additional element to worship that causes this “spiritual high”.
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    So, is the spiritual high that Christians experience in worship just a chemical response or is it a part of the worship of God? Does worship in a megachurch lend more to a shared emotional or perceived than other types of Christian styled worship?
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Philosophy hand in hand with spirituality

Experiences and Interest in philosophy and spirituality

I think it is wrong to think philosophy can not go together with spirituality. I also think it is wrong to assume that when a person is interested in philosophy, he would not be interested in the spiritual or the religious.

Expérience

Expérience (Photo credit: Saturne)

The world itself presents itself in a succession of pure experiences which we should see. We can either ignore what is going on in the world or look at it question the what and why’s and how’s. Often the human beings can not qualify these experiences in a way by which all would agree with.

Should we not recognise that those things which come along our way are always felt and undergone by our own self, which was constructed by previous experiences and learnings. In a way this may give us always the way of the subjective choice and subjective sense or experience. Each is simply a pure impression that is made upon us at some point in our life, where we do have a certain education or development which shall obey the laws of our state at the moment.

Experiences and Impressions

Reality appears to us first as an unqualified multitude of original impressions that cannot be compared or ordered in anyway without our previous learnings. Is our experience not mere juxtaposition in space and succession in time; an aggregate of utterly disconnected particulars?
Living in this world we can not do without seeing what is happening around us. We can not merely observe the things, and not bring them into thought-relationships.

The things which happen in our lives shall give us our experiences. Those experiences will create senses and shall be our best teacher, experience being the mother of wisdom. To take on any qualities or relationships whatsoever thought or reason must act upon them. It is the process of thought that attributes qualities to pure experiences and relates some experiences to others to build an understanding of the world.

Conscious or unconscious direction with second nature

Our way of thinking or the process of thought should proceed through certain ways be it our conscious or unconscious direction. Our brain should go on working, considering what happened and analysing everything. Probably it shall order everything, classify it. This using some organic laws of interconnection. These laws are part of the world of thought itself and not completely within our control. Pure experience presents itself in a spontaneously emerging stream and thoughts grow out of that experience making it distinguishable to us and situating it in relationship to the rest of experience.

Some do consider the process of thinking not a human activity. We may say that thoughts emerge out of pure earlier experiences and are dependent on our upbringing or rearing and the language we learned, both becoming a second nature.

Out of body experience

Out of body experience (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Our religious thinking and being should also become such a second nature. From the Bible we can learn that the ‘soul‘ is not an external element in our being. Many Christians and Muslims imagine there are a good and a bad angel sitting on our shoulders and talking to a soul which can go out of our body when we die. For them this human soul is to be a phantom-like inner being that contains our conscience and moral fibre. It is the element which can let us do good or let us do bad, under influence of other spirits called either angels, for the good ones, and devils, like Satan and Lucifer, for the bad ones.

Breath given by Creator

Those people forget that it was God Who blew his breath in the nostrils of the first man and woman, to bring them to life. The Pneuma or spirit in those first human beings was not something separate from them. It was their breathing, their being itself.

The soul is not a specific element as such but the transcription of the inner being and the thinking which happens by ‘electronic actions’ in our brain and by breathing. Without breathing we shall not be able to give oxygen to our brains by which they will not be able to work, and with a non-working brain we are as good as dead.

You could say that the soul is our “background of our being”. This ‘being’ has to be fed to stay alive. And because it is not a material element it has to find its food in the immaterial. therefore we as human beings should also give food to the immaterial elements of our being, our “body and soul”.

God gave breath to all creation, but the difference between man and the other living organisms is that god has given more power to man. He has received the power to think, to make choices, to make decisions, to give names and to handle like he wishes to do. But all his actions will create experiences, be it nice or bad ones. He shall have the choice to learn from them or to continue his life without learning more from those things that overcame him.

Material and immaterial being and understanding

Like the soul in an immaterial thing, our thinking its coming to understand something is an abstract element. Understanding is “an abstraction which the human mind forms by reflecting on its own thoughts and forms of thinking.” This knowing is a natural product of the process of mind and it is bound up in, and limited by, language. {Coleridge}

Coleridge asserted that it is a process that requires no “self” to enact. It is a natural process of the lawful interaction of mental elements, a simple unfolding of the characteristics of the mind in nature. But I do think we do have a responsibility and we do have the choice and power to have the self to come to understanding.

I believe when we do open our mind to different thoughts we can enable ourselves to learn more. I also believe this is one of the tasks God has given His creation in the Garden of Eden. We can only give the plants and animals name and classify them in groups when we do have the knowledge and skill to do so. This would not require that we all have the same certificate of proficiency or that we may excuse ourselves when it is not in our domain.

Given brains and reason

An illustration of the Cartesian theater, wher...

An illustration of the Cartesian theater, where a homonculus sits in a person’s head seeing and hearing everything that he experiences. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Because God has given us brains to use, we should use them. So we should think about matters and question things. This questioning things may fall under philosophy. Today many may say “Reason is a direct product of the reasoning faculty.”, but that is not taking the Creator in mind. He had a reason to place human beings on this earth having a brain to reason. Reason is a direct product of the power of creation, Who Himself is Spirit. God is not a man of flesh and blood, but a Spirit without a beginning and without an end. His breath gave us spirit, making us capable to reason, to become reasonable figures in that Created World.

It is not an “accident” that reason comes to us. Reason is breathed into us by the Creator. Though many may think it is just something what happens accidentally, it is something which is in-breath in our human constitution. It may appear spontaneously without warning or precursor, but it is grounded or part of a growing seed, which can only come into existence when the person is willing to use his brain. It is from all the previous experiences, the teachings a person got, that he or she shall be able to think. Though this would not be possible without the Power of the Most High, the Spirit God. Without Him we are nothing. It is the Holy Spirit Who can give us ‘spirit’ to think about matters and to come to reason. God has implanted ethic thoughts in us. He has created us all in His image, so we all do have certain elements of the Supreme High Being. We do not all have the same elements, but somehow we all received enough elements to become full human being who can think properly and who should be able to find God. The Reason as such becomes Spontaneous Knowing. We all have received the power to get to Knowing. Some may think it is not an understanding that is constructed through any thought process, but they should remember the Creator who build in His creations the possibility to think and to come to conclusions. In our inner being we do have the key to come to understanding. It is the direct and self-authenticating recognition of truth.

Different ways to go giving different opinions

From the beginning of the world mankind questioned the Spirit God and for that reason Jehovah God gave man the possibility to work it out himself. Woman would bear children in pain and would find they all could be different, going their own way or helping each other. All had to make their own decisions and could think their own way. God allowed it to be so.

Because we all went different ways on the paths which lay in front of man, different opinions came into the world, and people could choose between many theses or postulates.

The direct knowing of truth is build in by the Creator and could happen spontaneously and also compulsively. The reasoning faculty is ‘knowing’ itself. It is not a process that leads to knowing. This implies that there is some part of us that simply knows the truth and cannot help but know it. But we are stubborn beings, though we do not want to admit it. We have direct sense impressions – smells, tastes, sensations, sounds and sights – which simply appear in awareness. We don’t call them into being and we cannot alter or avoid the way they present themselves. Ideas and intuitions also – upon their initial appearance – share the same unalterable immediacy of presence.

With this awareness of things, matters and background knowledge, we can hear others and see what others do or create. Seeing what happens in the world we can not ignore the inner language of thought. We can only deny our interpretation of experience, not the fact of having it.

Trying to perceive more knowledge

So we may experience a lot of things in our life, encounter lots of publications and thoughts. By tackling our taste to get more knowledge,we are not going against God His wishes. The opposite I would say. We should learn and we should try to get more knowledge.

With philosophy we may come into the domain of the seekers who search to get more wisdom, knowledge and understanding about reality. Did or do not many philosophers try to get to answers about life and about why and how things are? They do like to offer an explanation of the way things are where spirituality is a description of a position that we as a human being should take in relationship to the way things are.

Trying to become one with self and environment

Experience

Experience (Photo credit: Kaptain Kobold)

In the action of Spirituality a person tries to become One. Bring mind, soul, thinking in unison with his being, material body. By the spiritual action we do want to go to the source from which everything else originates, whilst by the philosophy we want to come to an understanding why and how human being went away from its source and how it can come back to this source again.

While Philosophy is generally in the mental state of consciousness, the mind taking efforts to know, the spiritual would love to come to that Source of knowledge, believing that there exist something more than the material being its consciousness that exist above the mental ranges.

Trying to transcend domain of rationale and intellect

Moral philosophy

Both the philosopher and the spiritualist may be willing to come to knowledge which transcends domain of rationale and intellect. The philosopher not so much concerned by the own individu or individual, person, character, his identity, but preferring to give objective pictures of reality without telling us explicitly (although often they do implicitly) how we should be in relationship to that picture. Even in moral philosophy generally what we get is an explanation of why certain things are right and others wrong. What we don’t get is someone telling us that we should do the right thing. What we do with morality is left in our own hands.

Spirituality resides in higher regions and has much more to do with the own subjective personality. From the subjective point of view the spiritualist tries to go deeper into himself, looking for the realm of truth there and not as such by others. He knows that the soul is in each of us and is inseparable joined together with flesh and blood. In that casing of human flesh there is our way of breathing and thinking, spirit and moral judgment.

Trying to Relate things

We may be interested to see how we can relate to things, and therefore we can look what philosophers do have to say about that. Spirituality wants to go a step further than just knowing how things are related with each other. It tells us how we should be in relationship to the way things are. It can show us how we should react and by knowing what actions we do have to take we also shall be able to choose if we are willing to use such a knowledge to take on an attitude and to build up a religious field. Spiritualities always include philosophical explanations of the world, but those philosophical aspects are the backdrop for the main event which is direct instruction about how to live.

Door to transcendence

Understanding, intellect and the mind is one door to transcendence. From philosophers we can learn a lot, and we should take the opportunity to learn from their writings. But they will never be able to give the full answer. They mostly do not look for The Divine Source. In our normal consciousness people are so caught up with their emotions, sensations and thoughts and their own mind, they get full of themselves in the emptiness of the world. They become so active that there is no room for the Divine. There the spiritual person wants to go against. He wants to have his wondering not taking him to put Him in the chains of life.

No reason to be afraid of philosophy

To see clear
Man thinking on a train journey.

Man thinking on a train journey. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Christians should not be afraid that the philosophy would carry people away from the Divine. When this would happen it is because the person is not prepared to sincerely look for the Divine. Often the person going away from religion is because he does not see clear the difference between philosophy, religion, religiousness and spirituality.

The philosopher may have the love and intellectual search for wisdom. The spiritual minded person knows or believes there is something extra in our life than just the knowledge of the material world. The spiritual person does want to find knowledge to come to wisdom, but understands that wisdom is more that putting all facts together. To come to spirituality there must be more than the willingness to come to understand the own being. Besides the willingness to come to get to know the inner-self there is the love and opening of their hearts for the wisdom and the willingness to have it taking part in the relationship with others.

Sister and brother

We should understand that the religious person may like to look into philosophy and at the same time may look into spirituality. The two approaches can marvelously be like sister (heart) and brother (brain) in the process of coming to the point of Being part of the One on one side and then Becoming part of the big thing on the other side – in being active in life.

Relationship of unity and Oneness

So, I would say, do not mind letting philosophy going hand in hand with spirituality and making a person to become religious in the good sense of the word, finding and loving the Only One Who is One and wants us to be one and worshiping the Right One in a relationship of unity and Oneness.

The only thing a Christian should be careful for is that he does not get carried away with human thinking, but keeps himself concentrated on the sacral and spiritual matters, looking for the Most Important Being making our self being possible to be a being, the Only One God, the Adonai Elohim Hashem Jehovah.

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Preceding articles:

Looking for True Spirituality 1 Intro

Looking for True Spirituality 2 Not restricted to an elite

Looking for True Spirituality 3 Mind of Christ

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

Looking for True Spirituality 5 Fruitage of the Spirit

Looking for True Spirituality 6 Spirituality and Prayer

Looking for True Spirituality 7 Preaching of the Good News

Looking for True Spirituality 8 Measuring Up

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

How long to wait before bringing religiousness and spirituality in practice

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Additional reading:

  1. A concrete picture of what is to come in the future
  2. Migrants to the West #7 Religions
  3. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  4. Women, conservative evangelicals and their counter-offensive
  5. Lying in the senses in matters of love
  6. Our relationship with God, Jesus and each other
  7. Separation from God in death, the antithesis of life
  8. Fragments from the Book of Job #7 Epilogue
  9. Exceeding Great and Precious Promise
  10. Wondering
  11. Believing to understand
  12. Light within
  13. Let tomorrow be sufficient
  14. Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience
  15. Don’t let anyone move you off the foundation of your faith
  16. Know Who goes with us and don’t try to control life
  17. Know by trying
  18. Knowing where to go to
  19. Think hard before you act today
  20. Disappointed expectations
  21. I Only hope we find GOD again before it is too late !
  22. Put on the whole armor of God
  23. Weapons of our warfare
  24. A call easy to understand
  25. Getting of at the fence
  26. Hope as long as you live
  27. A goal is a dream with a plan
  28. Lying in the senses in matters of love
  29. Be humble like Christ
  30. The way God sees us
  31. Two forms of Freedom
  32. Altar everything in life
  33. Duty of encouragement
  34. Establish Priorities
  35. Luck
  36. Joy: Foundation for a Positive Life
  37. Nothing noble in the flesh left to itself
  38. Determined To Stick With Truth.
  39. Created to live in relation with God
  40. God’s promises
  41. Sow and harvests in the garden of your heart
  42. A love not exempting us from trials
  43. Call unto God so that He can answer you
  44. Life in gratitude opens glory of God
  45. Do not be so busy adding up your troubles
  46. Preexistence in the Divine purpose and Trinity
  47. Immortality, eternality – onsterfelijkheid, eeuwigheid
  48. Dying or not
  49. What happens when we die?
  50. Dead and after
  51. Sheol or the grave
  52. Satan the evil within
  53. Soul
  54. Destination of righteous
  55. Destination of the earth
  56. God’s design in the creation of the world
  57. God His reward
  58. Is there an Immortal soul
  59. The Soul not a ghost
  60. The Soul confronted with Death
  61. The soul has no rainbow if the eyes have no tears
  62. Trust God to shelter, safety and security
  63. God wants to be gracious to you
  64. Invitation to all who believe

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Aligned

Humans often worry for the wrong reason. Instead of making themselves sick with worry and stress over things that had happened (the past) or events that will happen (the future) they should get to learn themselves better and those around them, plus trust the One who allowed them to be here on this earth.

The being afraid to give us in the Hand of Somebody much Higher than a human being makes us afraid for losing control. Because the urge to “have control” is often what people make them sick. The egocentricity often creates a negative flow of energy and blinds us. As you say sometimes we should dare to lose our identity, becoming free of forms (and our problem-making mind) and making ourselves able to connect with a Deeper Intelligence that Is One with everything. When we ignite this Intelligence with our awareness, right action happens.

We should trust more what the day brings and take it like it comes, making the best out of it.

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Find also to read:

  1. Coming to the end of the year
  2. Fear knocked at the door
  3. Happy is the person who knows what to remember of the past
  4. Rejoicing in the day
  5. Finish each day and be done with it
  6. A concrete picture of what is to come in the future
  7. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  8. A Living Faith #5 Perseverance
  9. The truth is very plain to see and God can be clearly seen
  10. You God hold the future
  11. Man’s plans prevailed by God’s purpose
  12. Time for global change
  13. Cosmos creator and human destiny
  14. To mean, to think, outing your opinion, conviction, belief – Menen, mening, overtuiging, opinie, geloof
  15. End Times
  16. The Bible is a today book
  17. Bible a guide – Bijbel als gids

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  • How can I feel better – how can I align more??? (joypassiondesire.wordpress.com)“First, by figuring out when you’re not there. That’s easy, You don’t feel good. Next, by identifying what you’re focused upon when you don’t feel good. And usually what you’re doing when you don’t feel good is your saying, “I’m not where I should be.” We can give this to you in such a powerful way.Your desire to be in Alignment with Who-You-Really-Are is so strong that what bothers you most is not being in Alignment with Who-You-Really-Are. So, you just keep saying, “How do I get into Alignment? How do I get into Alignment? How do I get into Alignment. How do I get in the Vortex?
  • Believe the Stars Are Aligned Right Now for Attracting the Life You Desire (talesofmagicality.com)
    Do you believe that one day the stars will align and things will work out?  Do you believe that one day all of your hopes and dreams will come true?  Do you believe that one day you will attract what you’ve wanted for so long?

    If you answered yes to any of these questions, than unfortunately you will not attract your true desires into your life.  By believing that one day these things will happen, you tell the universe that your desire is to always believe that one day these things will happen.

  • On Being Selfish (tutuwoo.wordpress.com)
    I have noticed in many of my readings that people stress because they push themselves too hard. Most of us have been conditioned to put the needs of other’s above our own. We give 110% on the job. We sacrifice for our families. We support our spouses. I’m all for being giving and compassionate, but we must also be mindful of our own needs.
  • The Vital Importance of Inner Alignment – by Owen Waters (jhaines6.wordpress.com)
    Many people in society today work at jobs they don’t like, and find themselves with little or no time for activities that increase the quality of their lives. Such people are being kept out of alignment with their inner selves.

    Traditionally, society has pressured people into conformity. Peer pressure to conform to an immediate social group begins at school because, from an early age, people are taught that they should conform to outside standards.
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    Inner alignment means becoming more of your true self. Your inner being is your true self, and by developing your inner potential, you express more and more of your true self.

  • A self prescribed rant (questionableradioactivity.wordpress.com)
    So egocentrism is a blaming mechanism?

    Not necessarily; although it can be.

     Then why do people keep pointing out my egocentrism despite trying my best to remain utilitarian and unbiased?

    Because we are egocentric, and it is impossible to be entirely without bias. And maybe you seek advice from the wrong people.

  • Perspiring human inspires aspiration. (religionfreespirituality.wordpress.com)
    Being born with understanding abilities the mankind struggles to help one another in preserving independence as way to fulfill conscious satisfaction is aspiration.
    Seeing soul with experiencing sensitivities the individual volunteers to make purposeful presentation in retaining integrity as key to convince nearby public is aspiration.
    Quietly pursue human impulsive aspiration, vastly project human intelligence aspiration, widely publicize human importance aspiration and popularly prioritize human intricate aspiration.

anantakasainlife

When we align ourselves with the present moment, we go with the movement of life. There is no effort or stress involved because we move with the life force of the universe. We let it work through us. We become one with it and let it take us to wherever we are needed. There is no thinking involved.

Thinking muddles the energy field of our body because we put labels and expectations on life, people and circumstances. We personalize every event and make it fit with our mind-made reality. And because we live in a world that is constantly changing, we feel our identity is under threat so we do whatever we can to hold on to it. We make ourselves sick with worry and stress over things that had happened (the past) or events that will happen (the future). Both are outside our control. We want to stop this…

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