God isn’t dead though for many He is not relevant

In the 1960ies we often heard it said that God was dead.

Friedrich Nietzsche and his mother.

Friedrich Nietzsche and his mother. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Carl Ludwig Nietzsche, was appointed pastor at Röcken by order of King Friedrich Wilhelm IV of Prussia, after whom Friedrich Nietzsche was named. Before Friedrich Nietzsche’s fifth birthday his father died in 1849. He was left to live in a household consisting of five women: his mother, Franziska, his younger sister, Elisabeth, his maternal grandmother, and two aunts.

Friedrich Wilhelm Ritschl (1806–1876)

Friedrich Wilhelm Ritschl (1806–1876) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After attending a private preparatory school, the Domgymnasium, he was admitted to Schulpforta, Germany’s leading Protestant boarding school. Having graduated in 1864, he went to the University of Bonn to study theology and classical philology.  Influenced by the textual criticism of the English and German classicists Richard Bentley and Gottfried Hermann, F.W. Ritschl, in full Friedrich Wilhelm Ritschl became a classical scholar remembered for his work on Plautus and as the founder of the Bonn school of classical scholarship. It was under the tutelage of Ritschl in Leipzig that he further developed and became the only student ever to publish in Ritschl’s journal, Rheinisches Museum (“Rhenish Museum”). Ritschl assured the University of Basel that he had never seen anyone like Nietzsche in 40 years of teaching and that his talents were limitless and as such would be the best candidate to receive a professorship in classical philology that fell vacant in 1869 in Basel, Switzerland.

English: Portrait of Friedrich Nietzsche, 1882...

English: Portrait of Friedrich Nietzsche, 1882; One of five photographies by photographer Gustav Schultze, Naumburg, taken early September 1882. Public domain due to age of photography. Scan processed by Anton (2005)  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In his mature writings Nietzsche was preoccupied by the origin and function of values in human life.With his protestant background one can wonder if his expression “God is dead” was not misinterpreted.

Many people seem to assume that this implies God was once a living creature, and he has since passed away. But this is a misconception. Nietzsche was an atheist, and thus never believed that a God existed in any form except as a figment of the human imagination. {Nietzsche: God is Dead (Part 1)}

Though we do find this man writing a lot about God and looking at the Judeo-Christian tradition, which according to him made suffering tolerable by interpreting it as God’s intention and as an occasion for atonement. For him this clinging to a flattering doctrine of personal immortality, could also seen as man having created its god to feel safe and sure, but those who did not believe in a god or God also tried to cling to an other “true” world, also offering symptoms of a declining life, or life in distress.

But for Nietzsche when there  is no god man also has not need of a god and man did not have to create a “slave” and “master” world, but should be himself the master. Facing the gut (“good”), schlecht (“bad”), and böse (“evil”) was something we made up ourselves as a nonmoral reference to those who were privileged, the masters, as opposed to those who were base, the slaves. For him his generation had come in a timespan where religious and philosophical absolutes had dissolved in the emergence of 19th-century positivism.

With the collapse of metaphysical and theological foundations and sanctions for traditional morality only a pervasive sense of purposelessness and meaninglessness would remain. And the triumph of meaninglessness is the triumph of nihilism: “God is dead.” Nietzsche thought, however, that most people could not accept the eclipse of the ascetic ideal and the intrinsic meaninglessness of existence but would seek supplanting absolutes to invest life with meaning.{ on Friedrich Nietzsche in the Encyclopaedia Britannica}

Many do forget that as a thinker it might well be that Nietzsche also had come into conflict with the trinitarian thought and the sayings in the Scripture that there is only One true God Who is One and an eternal Spirit, not having bones, flesh or blood, whilst so many people around him worshipped a god with flesh, bones and blood who was born and who died. All such contradictions with what is written in the Old and the New Testament could have muddled his mind.

Eventually the faithful get so worried about the well-being of God, that they build an armour to protect him. {What did Nietzsche mean by God is dead?}

When Nietzsche like others would have thought of that in such saying, he also could see the first sign that people were losing faith in God, also noticing around him how many people had lost faith in Him and did not trust God to take care of himself and able to endanger their safety.

The wannabe-philosopher of Finnish origin continues

Still at first, God is safe inside the armour and people continue to worship him. Over time though, God gets pissed off at the whole situation and leaves, or simply suffocates, leaving the armour for people to worship. People keep worshipping the hollow armour, and religion becomes a meaningless ritual with no substance to it. This is what “God is dead, and we have killed him” means. {What did Nietzsche mean by God is dead?}

An “Autobiographical” philosopher also looks at the German philosopher, extremely critical of Christianity, but sees, like us, that we may not just take it as a sort of atheist statement which would be the “ultimate truth”. For Gabriel J. Mitchell

“God is Dead” simply means “The Christian god is becoming increasingly irrelevant to philosophy and culture”.  {What Nietzsche Meant by “God is Dead”}

Mitchell writes:

In popular culture the phrase is often mistaken as an anti-Christian statement. Some sort of declaration of Atheism. This is most obviously manifested in Christian content like the film God’s Not Dead. In the movie, a disgruntled atheist professor demands his students declare the death of God and embrace atheism. {What Nietzsche Meant by “God is Dead”}

With his background and his protestant family it would be strange that with his pretty bold statement that would be going against his own family’s belief and bring a serious anti-Christian message.
The saying „Gott ist tot“ or “God is dead” also known as “the death of God” first appeared in Nietzsche’s 1882 collection “Die fröhliche Wissenschaft” or “The Joyful Wisdom” also known as The Gay Science,  also translated as “The Joyful Pursuit of Knowledge and Understanding”. The German Wissenschaft never indicates “Weisheit” or “wisdom”, but concerns any rigorous practice of a poised, controlled, and disciplined quest for knowledge, typically translated as “science”. Nietzsche speaks about “what if” which does not mean “it is”.

As such Nietzsche writes

What if some day or night a demon were to steal after you into your loneliest loneliness and say to you: ‘This life as you now live it and have lived it, you will have to live once more and innumerable times more’ […] Would you not throw yourself down and gnash your teeth and curse the demon who spoke thus? Or have you once experienced a tremendous moment when you would have answered him: ‘You are a god and never have I heard anything more divine.’ — [The Joyful Wisdom §341]

Buddha in Sarnath Museum (Dhammajak Mutra).jpg

A statue of the Buddha from Sarnath, 4th century CE

A demon or sick person often is seen as a mad person or some one not by his senses. That mad man also can look at different deities and ascetics and sages like Gautama Buddha, probably a very attractive figure for Nietzsche because of all the philosophic thoughts of that teacher who lived in northern India sometime between the 6th and 4th centuries before the Common Era.

We find the first occurrence of the famous formulation “God is dead,” first in section 108.

After Buddha was dead, people
showed his shadow for centuries afterwards in a
cave,—an immense frightful shadow. God is dead:
but as the human race is constituted, there will
perhaps be caves for millenniums yet, in which
people will show his shadow.—And we—we have
still to overcome his shadow! {— §108}

FW82.jpg

The Joyful Wisdom or The Gay Science, first published in 1882 and followed by a second edition, which was published after the completion of Thus Spoke Zarathustra and Beyond Good and Evil, in 1887.

Section 125 depicts the parable of the madman who is searching for God. He accuses us all of being the murderers of God.

“‘Where is God?’ he cried; ‘I will tell you. We have killed him—you and I. All of us are his murderers…”

God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us? What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it? {Nietzsche, The Gay Science, Section 125, tr. Walter Kaufmann}

Mitchell explains

The line is part of The Parable of the Madman a section from Nietzsche’s The Gay Science. It depicts a maddened individual running around a village asking where he can find God only to declare that God must be dead. In his ever creative style Nietzsche is using this madman as an outlet to explore an idea. Particularly he’s interested in the shifting values of European culture during his lifetime. {What Nietzsche Meant by “God is Dead”}

More and more people took distance from religion, most people confusing God with Church. Having found so many lies in church they considered “God” also being a “fat lie”. Though many wondered what their life was to be and if there was nothing behind it or something hidden for them.

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel also had pondered the death of God, first in his Phenomenology of Spirit where he considers the death of God to

‘not [be] seen as anything but an easily recognized part of the usual Christian cycle of redemption’

But there some thought Jesus Christ to be the God, and when Jesus is God and Jesus died than really God would have died. Naturally Jesus is not God, because God is a Spirit Who has no beginning and not end and to Whom man can do nothing. In case Jesus is God and has died God would be dead and this did hurt Hegel, who writes about the great pain of knowing that God is dead

‘The pure concept, however, or infinity, as the abyss of nothingness in which all being sinks, must characterize the infinite pain, which previously was only in culture historically and as the feeling on which rests modern religion, the feeling that God Himself is dead, (the feeling which was uttered by Pascal, though only empirically, in his saying: Nature is such that it marks everywhere, both in and outside of man, a lost God), purely as a phase, but also as no more than just a phase, of the highest idea.’.

Nietzsche recognizes the crisis that the death of God represents for existing moral assumptions:

“When one gives up the Christian faith, one pulls the right to Christian morality out from under one’s feet. This morality is by no means self-evident… By breaking one main concept out of Christianity, the faith in God, one breaks the whole: nothing necessary remains in one’s hands.”

Nietzsche saw how man went away from the faith in God and by doing so was looking for new answers or better answers than the churches could give. When not any more believing in the beautiful masterly concept of creation by the Divine Maker belief of cosmic or physical order also fell to the ground.

Nietzsche saw Europe was slowly transitioning into a sort of cultural Nihilism. As advancements in science and technology lead to more and more questioning of the status quo, Philosophical values were beginning to shift. What Nietzsche is getting at here isn’t a declaration of the truth value of Christianity. In fact truth is a topic Nietzsche is extremely critical of. Instead he’s pointing out the weakening of Christian influences on society. {What Nietzsche Meant by “God is Dead”}

Clearly the church was loosing its grip on the citizens. The ability to have the Bible in print and available to lots of people, made them also aware that for years those churches had lied about many things. Those who really went to study the Scriptures where confronted with many things the church said which were not written at all in the Bible.
An other problem arose by the growing knowledge and advancement in the sciences. Several people wanted to play for god themselves.

Later on people can take a look inside the armour and see there is no God there, and say God never existed in the first place. Whether or not God actually exists or existed at any point as an entity in the universe is not as relevant as the fact that there is an inherent need in most people to have faith in God. That in itself does change how people behave, hopefully for the better.

To put this hollow armour analogy in a more abstract way, is that at first people had a genuine faith in God whether or not this faith was reciprocated by an actual God. Over the course of time this genuine God was replaced by a man-made image of God. Man got rid of the real thing in favour of a man-made facsimile. I suppose the underlying motivation is that if man made God, man can also control him. {What did Nietzsche mean by God is dead?}

Seeing how man went away from God Nietzsche probably was very well aware that this could bring man in trouble.

Given Nietzsche’s strong animosity towards religion, you would think people realizing that ‘God is Dead’ would make him happy. After all, Nietzsche was dedicated in his quest to try and rid the individual of dogmatic and supernatural beliefs. Surely, people disregarding religion would be a comforting sight to Nietzsche. But this was not the case. Nietzsche was deeply troubled by the lack of a God, he feared that this may lead to the destruction of our society. {Nietzsche: God is Dead (Part 1)}

The end of Christianity for Europe might bring desolation and chaos. Churches had fostered on human dogma‘s and now people had come to see how different they are to Biblical dogma’s. But when one finds that a church has lied so much would one go for an other church and not face the same problem? Mankind always have nuzzled dogmatic beliefs that are widely held and accepted by society and do not want to do away with so many traditions.

Many of these beliefs go unquestioned, and thus we live in a sort of ‘herd’ similar to sheep (the term sheeple is probably the best representation of this). By overcoming the herd perspective, a man can free himself and achieve new heights. {Nietzsche: The Ubermensch (Part 2)}

When there is no God or when man himself is god, then man may be the master of everything (does he think). When there is no God,like so many think, then man loves to be as a god being the super being or Ubermensch, to which nothing is to small or to big and everything can be made possible. When it is not possible to do something today than it will be possible tomorrow or in the future, so why worry?

The Ubermensch is supposed to act as the answer to the problem of nihilism. Since God is dead, that means there is no objective truth or morality. Thus, an Ubermensch acts as his own ‘God’, abandoning the herd instinct and determining his own morality. He is neither slave nor master, as he does not impose his will on others. He is a master of self-discipline. He must be willing to embrace suffering and learn from it. In a way, the Ubermensch is the next step in human evolution. It’s a new intuition, perspective, and greatness for mankind. {Nietzsche: The Ubermensch (Part 2)}

For sure, man has to take a long way before he shall reach such a state. He also seems to forget that is what the Word of God demands from man, that man work at themselves transforming their character to an ideal being without faults. Only problem that than poses, is to know what would be faults, and what would be the right things to strive for. For a Bible Student no such problems arise because he can find all answers in the Bible. But those who do not want to take a serious look at that Library of ancient works, still many questions shall stay unanswered.

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Additional reading

  1. Today’s thought “Ability to see that God is not dead” (May 12)
  2. Inner feeling, morality and Inter-connection with creation
  3. Christian values and voting not just a game
  4. 3rd question: Does there exist a Divine Creator
  5. Is there no ‘proof’ for God? (And why that statement is not as smart as you might think.)

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Further reading

  1. Moral Collapse Didn’t Begin Yesterday. Occult Paris
  2. Everything and Nothing
  3. No Lives Matter
  4. The Nil God
  5. Wake up; There is no God
  6. The death of God (and politics?)
  7. Because God is not efficient in revealing himself to us, He must not exist.
  8. With God vs Without
  9. God
  10. O God…
  11. Lunch n’ Bats
  12. Collecting our thoughts: opening prayer
  13. A walk on the sea
  14. The End of the World
  15. A Defense of Religion (From an Atheist)
  16. Seraphim Rose: “large numbers of Catholics and Protestants are hardly to be distinguished from unbelievers “
  17. On Nihilism
  18. Dostoyevsky’s Übermensch in Crime & Punishment
  19. God’s Heartbreak
  20. Can You Be A Happy Nihilist?
  21. Ep. 48 – Calvin Warren and Frank Wilderson III on Antiblackness, Nihilism, and Politics
  22. The New Nihilism
  23. A Journey Toward A Theory Of Stupidity 3 | The Grandfather Of Stupidology Part 1
  24. The Weaponisation Of Popular Culture
  25. Chapter 6
  26. What We Can Gain From Detachment
  27. Nietzsche and Buddhism
  28. Buddhism, Nietzsche, Jung, Christianity, and Plato: Religious and Philosophical Themes in Westworld
  29. Identification
  30. Who I am and why I’m here
  31. Übermensch
  32. Nietzsche #7 – Der Übermensch
  33. Nietzsche: Eternal Recurrence (Part 3)
  34. Nietzsche, a philosophical biography (Rüdiger Safranski, 2000)
  35. Übermensch by Mathew Babaoye
  36. Editorial 23: Frank Castle, Ubermensch
  37. How to become Superman: Nietzsche’s overwhelming concept and questions to ask yourself
  38. The Ubermensch as an Archetype

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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}

++

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 1:1-7 Help from God our Maker

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful.(1:1)

الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ

All praise unto Allah, the Lord of all the worlds.(1:2)

الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

The Compassionate, the Merciful.(1:3)

مَالِكِ يَوْمِ الدِّينِ

Sovereign of the Day of Requital.(1:4)

Fatiha

Fatiha (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Surah al-Fatiha may be known under various names. According to the tradition the prophet Muhammad referred to this surah as ‘The Mother of the Book’ (Ummu’l-Kitab) because it is the essence of the Qur’an. In a certain way that what is said in this surah is also the essence of the Hebrew and Christian Bible. In those scriptures the Word of God requires to come to recognise the Only One God, to praise Him and to show gratitude for the Divine Creator of heaven and earth.

According to a report by Abu Hurayra, Allah the Almighty speaks with His servant in Surah al-Fatiha:

“Allah the Almighty has said: ‘I have divided Surah al-Fatiha between Myself and My servant into two halves, and My servant shall have what he has asked for. When the servant says,

“All praise and gratitude are for Allah, the Lord of the worlds”

الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds.(1:2)

All the praises and thanks be to Allāh, the Lord of the ‘Alamīn (mankind, jinns and all that exists). (Al-Fatihah 1:2)

إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ

Thee do we serve and Thee do we beseech for help.(1:5)

You (Alone) we worship, and You (Alone) we ask for help (for each and everything). (Al-Fatihah 1:5)

In the Hebrew Bible, the Christian Bible and the Quran the core is that we should only worship this Most High Creator and from Him alone should we seek help.

أَمْ حَسِبْتُمْ أَنْ تَدْخُلُوا الْجَنَّةَ وَلَمَّا يَأْتِكُمْ مَثَلُ الَّذِينَ خَلَوْا مِنْ قَبْلِكُمْ ۖ مَسَّتْهُمُ الْبَأْسَاءُ وَالضَّرَّاءُ وَزُلْزِلُوا حَتَّىٰ يَقُولَ الرَّسُولُ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مَعَهُ مَتَىٰ نَصْرُ اللَّهِ ۗ أَلَا إِنَّ نَصْرَ اللَّهِ قَرِيبٌ

Or do you think that you would enter the garden while yet the state of those who have passed away before you has not come upon you; distress and affliction befell them and they were shaken violently, so that the Apostle and those who believed with him said: When will the help of Allah come? Now surely the help of Allah is nigh!(2:214)

بَلِ اللَّهُ مَوْلَاكُمْ ۖ وَهُوَ خَيْرُ النَّاصِرِينَ

Nay! Allah is your Patron and He is the best of the helpers.(3:150)

لَيْسَ بِأَمَانِيِّكُمْ وَلَا أَمَانِيِّ أَهْلِ الْكِتَابِ ۗ مَنْ يَعْمَلْ سُوءًا يُجْزَ بِهِ وَلَا يَجِدْ لَهُ مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ وَلِيًّا وَلَا نَصِيرًا

(This) shall not be in accordance with your vain desires nor in accordance with the vain desires of the followers of the Book; whoever does evil, he shall be requited with it, and besides Allah he will find for himself neither a guardian nor a helper.(4:123)

فَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ فَيُوَفِّيهِمْ أُجُورَهُمْ وَيَزِيدُهُمْ مِنْ فَضْلِهِ ۖ وَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ اسْتَنْكَفُوا وَاسْتَكْبَرُوا فَيُعَذِّبُهُمْ عَذَابًا أَلِيمًا وَلَا يَجِدُونَ لَهُمْ مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ وَلِيًّا وَلَا نَصِيرًا

Then as for those who believe and do good, He will pay them fully their rewards and give them more out of His grace; and as for those who disdain and are proud, He will chastise them with a painful chastisement. And they shall not find for themselves besides Allah a guardian or a helper. (4:173)

قَالَ مُوسَىٰ لِقَوْمِهِ اسْتَعِينُوا بِاللَّهِ وَاصْبِرُوا ۖ إِنَّ الْأَرْضَ لِلَّهِ يُورِثُهَا مَنْ يَشَاءُ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ ۖ وَالْعَاقِبَةُ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ

Musa said to his people: Ask help from Allah and be patient; surely the land is Allah’s; He causes such of His servants to inherit it as He pleases, and the end is for those who guard (against evil).(7:128)

وَالَّذِينَ تَدْعُونَ مِنْ دُونِهِ لَا يَسْتَطِيعُونَ نَصْرَكُمْ وَلَا أَنْفُسَهُمْ يَنْصُرُونَ

And those whom you call upon besides Him are not able to help you, nor can they help themselves.(7:197)

وَإِنْ جَنَحُوا لِلسَّلْمِ فَاجْنَحْ لَهَا وَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللَّهِ ۚ إِنَّهُ هُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ

And if they incline to peace, then incline to it and trust in Allah; surely He is the Hearing, the Knowing.(8:61)

وَإِنْ يُرِيدُوا أَنْ يَخْدَعُوكَ فَإِنَّ حَسْبَكَ اللَّهُ ۚ هُوَ الَّذِي أَيَّدَكَ بِنَصْرِهِ وَبِالْمُؤْمِنِينَ

And if they intend to deceive you– then surely Allah is sufficient for you; He it is Who strengthened you with His help and with the believers(8:62)

وَيَا قَوْمِ مَنْ يَنْصُرُنِي مِنَ اللَّهِ إِنْ طَرَدْتُهُمْ ۚ أَفَلَا تَذَكَّرُونَ

And, O my people! who will help me against Allah if I drive them away? Will you not then mind?(11:30)

وَلَا تَرْكَنُوا إِلَى الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا فَتَمَسَّكُمُ النَّارُ وَمَا لَكُمْ مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ مِنْ أَوْلِيَاءَ ثُمَّ لَا تُنْصَرُونَ

And do not incline to those who are unjust, lest the fire touch you, and you have no guardians besides Allah, then you shall not be helped.(11:113)

وَجَاءُوا عَلَىٰ قَمِيصِهِ بِدَمٍ كَذِبٍ ۚ قَالَ بَلْ سَوَّلَتْ لَكُمْ أَنْفُسُكُمْ أَمْرًا ۖ فَصَبْرٌ جَمِيلٌ ۖ وَاللَّهُ الْمُسْتَعَانُ عَلَىٰ مَا تَصِفُونَ

And they brought his shirt with false blood upon it. He said: Nay, your souls have made the matter light for you, but patience is good and Allah is He Whose help is sought for against what you describe.(12:18)

“فالآن اذهب وانا اكون مع فمك وأعلمك ما تتكلم به.” (خروج 4:12 Arabic)

“فقال لا يخلصك الرب.من اين اخلّصك.أمن البيدر او من المعصرة.” (2 ملوك 6:27 Arabic)

“فحلّ الروح على عماساي راس الثوالث فقال لك نحن يا داود ومعك نحن يا ابن يسّى.سلام سلام لك وسلام لمساعديك.لان الهك معينك.فقبلهم داود وجعلهم رؤوس الجيوش.” (1 اخبار 12:18 Arabic)

“وان ذهبت انت فاعمل وتشدد للقتال لان الله يسقطك امام العدو لان عند الله قوة للمساعدة وللاسقاط.” (2 اخبار 25:8 Arabic)

“معه ذراع بشر ومعنا الرب الهنا ليساعدنا ويحارب حروبنا.فاستند الشعب على كلام حزقيا ملك يهوذا” (2 اخبار 32:8 Arabic)

“(33:21) ‎لانه به تفرح قلوبنا لاننا على اسمه القدوس اتكلنا‎ .” (مزامير 33:20 Arabic)

“(41:1) لامام المغنين.مزمور لداود‎ .‎طوبى للذي ينظر الى المسكين.في يوم الشر ينجيه الرب‎ .” (مزامير 40:17 Arabic)

“9  (115:10) ‎يا بيت هرون اتكلوا على الرب.هو معينهم ومجنهم‎ . 10 (115:11) ‎يا متقي الرب اتكلوا على الرب.هو معينهم ومجنهم‎ . 11 (115:12) ‎الرب قد ذكرنا فيبارك.يبارك بيت اسرائيل يبارك بيت هرون‎ .” (مزامير 115:9-11 Arabic)

“1  (121:2) ‎معونتي من عند الرب صانع السموات والارض‎ . 2 (121:3) ‎لا يدع رجلك تزل.لا ينعس حافظك‎ .” (مزامير 121:1-2 Arabic)

“ولكن التي هي بالحقيقة ارملة ووحيدة فقد ألقت رجاءها على الله وهي تواظب الطلبات والصلوات ليلا ونهارا.” (1 تيموثاوس 5:5 Arabic)

“Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt speak.” (Exodus 4:12 ASV)

“And he said, {1} If Jehovah do not help thee, whence shall I help thee? out of the threshing-floor, or out of the winepress? {1) Or [Nay, let Jehovah help thee!]}” (2 Kings 6:27 ASV)

“Then the Spirit {1} came upon Amasai, who was chief of the {2} thirty, [and he said], Thine are we, David, and on thy side, thou son of Jesse: peace, peace be unto thee, and peace be to thy helpers; for thy God helpeth thee. Then David received them, and made them captains of the band. {1) Heb [clothed] 2) Another reading is [captains]}” (1 Chronicles 12:18 ASV)

“But {1} if thou wilt go, do [valiantly], be strong for the battle: God will cast thee down before the enemy; for God hath power to help, and to cast down. {1) Or [go thou]}” (2 Chronicles 25:8 ASV)

“with him is an arm of flesh; but with us is Jehovah our God to help us, and to fight our battles. And the people rested themselves upon the words of Hezekiah king of Judah.” (2 Chronicles 32:8 ASV)

“Our soul hath waited for Jehovah: He is our help and our shield.” (Psalms 33:20 ASV)

“But I am poor and needy; [Yet] the Lord thinketh upon me: Thou art my help and my deliverer; Make no tarrying, O my God.” (Psalms 40:17 ASV)

“9  O Israel, trust thou in Jehovah: He is their help and their shield. 10 O house of Aaron, trust ye in Jehovah: He is their help and their shield. 11 Ye that fear Jehovah, trust in Jehovah: He is their help and their shield.” (Psalms 115:9-11 ASV)

“1  «A Song of Ascents.» I will lift up mine eyes unto the mountains: From whence shall my help come? 2 My help [cometh] from Jehovah, Who made heaven and earth.” (Psalms 121:1-2 ASV)

“Now she that is a widow indeed, and desolate, hath her hope set on God, and continueth in supplications and prayers night and day.” (1 Timothy 5:5 ASV)

For most Muslims everything begins with Surah  al-Fatiha which is considered a Divine treasure.

There is a close relationship between “Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim” and al-Fatiha. “Bismillah” is in a sense a verse from al-Fatiha. This is why many of the Islamic scholars classify “Bismillah” as one of the seven verses of Surah al-Fatiha.” There is a kind of poetical harmony between “Bismillah” and al-Fatiha. “Bismillah” begins in the Name of Allah. In the same way that we begin reciting of the Qur’an in the Name of Allah, we also begin the recitation of al-Fatiha proclaiming “Bismillah.” Indeed, any deeds or tasks that begin without reciting the Name of Allah are incomplete. {North East Islamic Community Center }

Bismillah in Persian calligraphy

Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim or Basmala also known by its opening utterance Bismillah (Arabic: بسم الله‎, “In the name of God”) is the Islamic opening phrase “b-ismi-llāhi r-raḥmāni r-raḥīmi“, often translated as “In the name of God, the Most Gracious [Rahman (The Compassionate or The Beneficent)], the Most Merciful [Rahim]“. The Most-Powerful or the Almighty we should know as The Compassionate or The Beneficent Who is there for us to help us. Several Muslims may find difficulty by Arabic-speaking Trintiarian Christians who also use the name “Basmala” to refer to the Christian liturgical often trintiarian formula, (but which not always has to be taken under that dogmatic tradition)  “In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit” (باسم الآب والابن والروح القدس bismi-l-’ābi wa-l-ibni wa-r-rūḥi l-qudusi) from Matthew 28:19. In several Islamic countries the majority of Christians they encounter are Roman Catholics, which makes that those Muslims came to believe that all Christians do believe like those Catholics. We only can hope they (Muslims and trintiarian Christians) do come to see that there are lots of Christians who do not adhere trinitarian and other dogma‘s which are unscriptural.

As we noticed already in the previous writings, the Muslims think they use an actually an idiom, an expression that really doesn’t make much sense on a literal word-by-word basis, but the call to do something “In the name of Allah” is a very important call of the Most High Elohim. Saying ” In the name of” indicates that one is submitting to, honoring or glorifying that which is referred to, in remembrance of the Name of the most High.

What a lot of people seem to forget is that only by Allah, God of gods, is our salvation. As the Most High Maker of everything He is the One Who can give us the most precious hope and the best help we can get. No man can be more pure and helpful than this Divine Creator. He is the Only One Who can approach every soul (being) on this earth at any time, by His Voice, with His Word, but also with His Sword. This Maker of heaven and earth can make or brake us. Those who do not recognise the Maker of all things, should be considered the poor ones of this universe. We all should come to know the Maker and Master of all things.

“أالانسان ابرّ من الله ام الرجل اطهر من خالقه.” (ايوب 4:17 Arabic)

“أحمل معرفتي من بعيد وأنسب برا لصانعي.” (ايوب 36:3 Arabic)

“(95:7) ‎لانه هو الهنا ونحن شعب مرعاه وغنم يده.اليوم ان سمعتم صوته” (مزامير 95:6 Arabic)

“(115:16) ‎السموات سموات للرب.اما الارض فاعطاها لبني آدم‎ .” (مزامير 115:15 Arabic)

“(121:3) ‎لا يدع رجلك تزل.لا ينعس حافظك‎ .” (مزامير 121:2 Arabic)

“(125:1) ترنيمة المصاعد‎ .‎المتوكلون على الرب مثل جبل صهيون الذي لا يتزعزع بل يسكن الى الدهر.” (مزامير 124:8 Arabic)

“(135:1) هللويا.سبحوا اسم الرب.سبحوا يا عبيد الرب” (مزامير 134:3 Arabic)

“(146:7) ‎المجري حكما للمظلومين المعطي خبزا للجياع.الرب يطلق الاسرى.” (مزامير 146:6 Arabic)

“ظالم الفقير يعير خالقه ويمجده راحم المسكين.” (امثال 14:31 Arabic)

“المستهزئ بالفقير يعيّر خالقه.الفرحان ببلية لا يتبرأ.” (امثال 17:5 Arabic)

“الغني والفقير يتلاقيان.صانعهما كليهما الرب.” (امثال 22:2 Arabic)

“كما انك لست تعلم ما هي طريق الريح ولا كيف العظام في بطن الحبلى كذلك لا تعلم اعمال الله الذي يصنع الجميع.” (جامعة 11:5 Arabic)

“في ذلك اليوم يلتفت الانسان الى صانعه وتنظر عيناه الى قدوس اسرائيل.” (اشعياء 17:7 Arabic)

“ليس كهذه نصيب يعقوب.لانه مصور الجميع واسرائيل قضيب ميراثه.رب الجنود اسمه” (ارميا 10:16 Arabic)

“ليس كهذه نصيب يعقوب لانه مصوّر الجميع وقضيب ميراثه رب الجنود اسمه.” (ارميا 51:19 Arabic)

“Shall mortal man {1} be more just than God? Shall a man {2} be more pure than his Maker? {1) Or [be just before God] 2) Or [be pure before his Maker]}” (Job 4:17 ASV)

“I will fetch my knowledge from afar, And will ascribe righteousness to my Maker.” (Job 36:3 ASV)

“Oh come, let us worship and bow down; Let us kneel before Jehovah our Maker:” (Psalms 95:6 ASV)

“Blessed are ye of Jehovah, Who made heaven and earth.” (Psalms 115:15 ASV)

“My help [cometh] from Jehovah, Who made heaven and earth.” (Psalms 121:2 ASV)

“Our help is in the name of Jehovah, Who made heaven and earth.” (Psalms 124:8 ASV)

“Jehovah bless thee out of Zion; Even he that made heaven and earth.” (Psalms 134:3 ASV)

“Who made heaven and earth, The sea, and all that in them is; Who keepeth truth for ever;” (Psalms 146:6 ASV)

“He that oppresseth the poor reproacheth his Maker; But he that hath mercy on the needy honoreth him.” (Proverbs 14:31 ASV)

“Whoso mocketh the poor reproacheth his Maker; [And] he that is glad at calamity shall not be unpunished.” (Proverbs 17:5 ASV)

“The rich and the poor meet together: Jehovah is the maker of them all.” (Proverbs 22:2 ASV)

“As thou knowest not what is the way of the {1} wind, [nor] how the bones [do grow] in the womb of her that is with child; even so thou knowest not the work of God who doeth all. {1) Or [spirit]}” (Ecclesiastes 11:5 ASV)

“In that day shall men look unto their Maker, and their eyes shall have respect to the Holy One of Israel.” (Isaiah 17:7 ASV)

“The portion of Jacob is not like these; for he is the former of all things; and Israel is the tribe of his inheritance: Jehovah of hosts is his name.” (Jeremiah 10:16 ASV)

“The portion of Jacob is not like these; for he is the former of all things; and [Israel] is the tribe of his inheritance: Jehovah of hosts is his name.” (Jeremiah 51:19 ASV)

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Preceding articles:

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

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

Find the introduction to this series:

Public not informed enough about Jihad terrorism in Belgium

 Quran versus older Holy Writings of Divine Creator

Why is it that Christians don’t understand Muslims and Muslims do not understand Christians?

Dutch version / Nederlandstalige versie:

Al-Fatiha [De Opening] Surah 1: 1-7 Hulp van God onze Schepper

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Please do find also to read:

  1. Only One God
  2. God is One
  3. God of gods
  4. God’s salvation
  5. Hope
  6. Without God no purpose, no goal, no hope
  7. Hope for the future
  8. Looking for blessed hope
  9. God my fence, my hope for the future
  10. When feeling sad, not sure of there being a Divine Creator
  11. When discouraged facing opposition
  12. The soul has no rainbow if the eyes have no tears

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Further reading:

  1. The poetic phrase Bismillah al rahman al rahim
  2. What’s an Anti-Trinitarian?
  3. On the Form of the Divine Name Jehovah
  4. The Divine Name—Its Use and Its Meaning
  5. What Has God Been Doing to Help Us?
  6. Creation Reveals the Living God
  7. Jehovah’s Message
  8. The Lie That Made God a Mystery
  9. The Lie That Made God Nameless
  10. Jesus, The Literal Only-Begotten Son Of God!

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  • Invitation to a Good Tidings (slideshare.net)
  • What Does Qur’an Command? – Part Three (haveyoumetislam.wordpress.com)
    Only Allah can allow and remove harm or good to you  (6:17)Allah is the Greatest Witness between people (6:19)
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    Do not insult others’ gods/idols (6:108)
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    Invoke Allah by His Holy Names (7:180)
  • HM: Be courageous for the sake of Allah (bt.com.bn)
    “What is essential for us to remember is that the intention behind the deed must not be for any other reasons, it must be completely dedicated towards helping and preserving the sanctity of His religion only,” the monarch said in a titah to mark the Islamic new year.
  • Islam And Planning By Imam Murtadha Gusau (abusidiqu.com)
    We seek refuge with Allah from our soul’s evils and our wrong doings. He whom Allah guides, no one can misguide; and he whom He misguides, no one can guide.
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    Some Muslims fail to plan their actions; therefore the outcomes of such actions are different from what they had in mind when they started. These Muslims work on the basis of the “Baraka (Blessing) syndrome,” or “Insha-Allah, or everything will be fine,” or “Allah will be with us”or“with the prayer (Du’a), everything is going to be alright”, etc. This new phenomenon, although it is true, is exploited by the defeated Muslims, who always look west and the seculars who reject Islam as a way of life, or those Muslims who doesn’t want to be associated with anything Islam or Muslims. They attack Islam and Muslims and accuse it of being the source of backwardness in the Muslim world.
  • why do we pray (religiousforums.com)
    I have came across a reply saying that why would God want us to pray and praise Him? It seemed like stating that if God exists, He doesn’t need us.I agree with that 100 percent. Allah doesn’t need us. But we need Him.Speaking about psychology, people always tend to follow people they praise.. They have aspirational people who they talk good about. They view them very successful and talk good about them all the time. Sometimes it goes over the limits and tend to do every single thing that person does. They try to follow their footsteps.As I see it, that is why we worship Allah. It is for our benefit for we are more likely to follow the commandments when we do that. Allah doesn’t only give us commendments. He also gives us a way to do so.I see prayers and praising important because they help us in following the commandments that Allah gave us rather than following the “evil” desires.
  • The best decision making skill ever (muslim-women-exposed.blogspot.com)
    Have you ever been at a place in your life when you have to make an important decision and the outcome could go either way? I’m sure all of you know those moments, moments when you wish you paid more attention to decision making skills; Moments when you know that following your whims and desires just won’t do it; Moments when other people may give you advice till they are blue in the face, but you know in the end that you are going to have to decide by yourself, and the decisions you make is something that you will have to live with.
  • Between Two Inshaa’Allahs…. (yassarnalquran.wordpress.com)
    There is a great deal of similarity and difference in the Inshaa’Allahs uttered by two great Prophets of Allah, Prophet Moosa and Prophet Ismaeel (May Allah’s peace and mercy be upon them)Through their stories, let us try to learn a basic fact that nothing in the world can happen without the permission and will of Allah, Inshaa’Allah…..
  • Seeking Refuge, Saying the Basmala, and Saying Ameen During Recitation of the Qur’an (seekersguidance.org)
    The seeking refuge (ta`awwudh) from ​Satan​–which is a turning to Allah, and seeking His protection and presence–is only done at the beginning of one’s recitation. ​ Allah Most High says, “When you recite the Qur’an, seek refuge from the Satan the Outcast.” [Qur’an, 16.98]
  • Allah is Today’s Religious topic of the Day (08/23/14) (poetsareangels.com)
    Allah is the pivot of the Muslim faith. The QUR’AN constantly preaches Allahs reality, his inaccessible mystery, his”beautiful” names, and his actions on behalf of his creatures. Three themes preponderate: (1) Allah is creator, judge, and rewarder; (2) he is unique: (wahid) and inherently one (ahad); and (3) he is omnipotent and all-merciful. God is the “Lord of the Worlds,” the most high, “nothing is like unto him,” and this in itself is to the believer a request to adore Allah as protector and to glorify his powers. God, moreover, is most compassionate, the originator of what is good and beautiful in the world; he “loves those who do good” (Qur’an 2:195), and is “closer than the jugular vein” (Qur’an 50:16). In SUFISM, he is the beloved with whom the mystic seeks union.
  • Through Surah al Kahf and Throughout our life! (yassarnalquran.wordpress.com)
    Every week the regular reader is reminded that everything in this world happens with the knowledge and permission of Allah. Without the Will of Allah, nothing happens!Muslims are enjoined to say MaaShaaAllah and InShaaAllah in their day to day life. When making a plan, say Inshaa’Allah. If Allah wills, it will happen. Upon witnessing something pleasant or unpleasant, say MaaShaa’Allah. What Allah willed, has happened/What Allah wills, will happen! If you say these phrases by truly understanding its meaning and significance, then you will definitely feel a kind of closeness with your Lord, with Whose help, support, knowledge and permission everything happens!
    +In a beautiful hadeeth narrated by Abu Hurairah (radhiyallahu anhu) and mentioned in Sahih Muslim, the Prophet Muhammad (sal-lal-laahu-alaihi-wa-sallam) said:“A strong believer is better and is more lovable to Allah than a weak believer, and there is good in everyone, (but) cherish that which gives you benefit (in the Hereafter) and seek help from Allah and do not lose heart, and if anything (in the form of trouble) comes to you, don’t say: If I had not done that, it would not have happened so and so, but say: Allah did that what He had ordained to do, for your ” if” opens the (gate) of the doings of Satan”. (Read the Arabic text here)
  • None can withhold the Mercy of Allah
    (There is no god (worthy of worship) except Allah alone, with no partner or associate. To Him be praise and dominion, and He is able to do all things. O Allah, there is none who can withhold what You give, and none can give what You withhold, and and good fortune and richness in anything cannot benefit one against Your will.)

Reply to questions concerning The Bride of Christ

What or who is the Bride of Christ?  How is The church the bride, body and temple?

Thank you for your questions,

What we normally expect as questions, in your case, would appear to be statements so you will appreciate I am somewhat at a loss as to knowing what answer might be appropriate.

If they are meant as statements, you are of course correct. I therefore will just supply the scriptures that support your statements.

Detail of The Body of the Dead Christ in the Tomb

Detail of The Body of the Dead Christ in the Tomb (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bride

John 3:29 He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled.

Revelation 19:7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.

8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.

Revelation 21:2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

9 And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife.

10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,

11 Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;

Romans 7:4 Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.

2Corinthians 11:2 For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.

Ephesians 5: 31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.

32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

Body

1Corinthians12:12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.

27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.

Romans 12:5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.

Ephesians 1:23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

Ephesians 4:12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

Ephesians 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.

Ephesians 5:30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.

Colossians 1:24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:

Temple

1Corinthians 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

1Corinthians 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

2 Corinthians 6:16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

Ephesians 2:21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:

22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

2Thessalonians 2:4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

1Peter 2:5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

1John 4:12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.

15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.

16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

Revelation 3:12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.

It does occur to me that you might be saying that a particular church is the Bride, Body and Temple of Christ.  The difficulty is that with so many to choose from how do we distinguish the true from the counterfeit?

This is, as you are no doubt aware, the purpose of this website, to point out to people that the Bible is the plumb line, so to speak, against which all church doctrine and teaching is to be measured  so that we might not be deceived as Paul warns the Ephesians.

Ephesians 4:14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

I hope you have found this helpful.

God bless!
Glenn Smith,
www.thisisyourbible.com,

Find in this series:

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

 Marriage of Jesus 2 Standard writings about Jesus

 Marriage of Jesus 3 Listening women

 Marriage of Jesus 4 Place of the woman

 Marriage of Jesus 5 Papyrus fragment  in Egyptian Coptic

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

 Marriage of Jesus 7 Impaled

 Marriage of Jesus 8 Wife of Yahweh

Marriage of Jesus 9 Reason for a new marriage

Marriage of Jesus 10 Old and New Covenant

The Bride New Jerusalem

A royal wedding due to take place

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Additional reading:

  1. Science, 2013 word of the year, and Scepticism
  2. People Seeking for God 2 Human interpretations
  3. People Seeking for God 3 Laws and directions
  4. Being Religious and Spiritual 2 Religiosity and spiritual life
  5. Being Religious and Spiritual 3 Philosophers, Avicennism and the spiritual
  6. Being Religious and Spiritual 4 Philosophical, religious and spiritual people
  7. Being Religious and Spiritual 5 Gnostic influences
  8. Being Religious and Spiritual 6 Romantici, utopists and transcendentalists
  9. Van Til interacting with Bavinck and Calvin on Natural Theology
  10. Many forgot how Christ should be our anchor and our focus
  11. A new Jerusalem
  12. Members of the ecclesia uniting and seeking God’s help in tribulation
  13. Gaining Christ, trusting Jehovah
  14. United people under Christ
  15. Priority to form a loving brotherhood
  16. Disciple of Christ counting lives and friends dear to them
  17. Something Most False Christians Have In Common

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Also of interest:

  1. A people for his Name
  2. church oh church1
  3. Want to Argue About Creeds? I Don’t
  4. Revelation 19. The Wedding Feast Of The Lamb. The Rider On The White Horse. The Marriage Of The Lamb. God. The Marriage Supper Of The Lamb.
  5. Revelation’s Rapture!

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  • Becoming the Bride of Christ (treasuresoflove1.wordpress.com)
    The imagery and symbolism of marriage is applied to Christ and the body of believers known as the church. These are those who have trusted in Jesus Christ as their personal savior and have received eternal life. In the New Testament, Christ, the Bridegroom, has sacrificially and lovingly chosen the church to be His bride (Ephesians 5:25-27). Just as there was a betrothal period in biblical times during which the bride and groom were separated until the wedding, so is the bride of Christ separate from her Bridegroom during the church age. Her responsibility during the betrothal period is to be faithful to Him (2 Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 5:24). At the Second Coming of Christ, the church will be united with the Bridegroom, the official “wedding ceremony” will take place and, with it, the eternal union of Christ and His bride will be actualized (Revelation 19:7-9; 21:1-2).
  • Jesus Christ……His Bride…..and the Hebrew Wedding Traditions (shoutingthemessage.wordpress.com)
    The believers in Jesus Christ (whether Jews or Gentiles) were bought with a great price.  He loved us so very much that He was willing to die for us.  We are His.  In return…….we adore Him with a great abiding love.  Jesus is everything to His bride.  She waits for Him to return to her and take her with Him to dwell forever.  She prepares herself and adorns herself with purity and holiness.  Her eyes see no other but Jesus.  She is faithful to her love!  How beautiful it will be when Jesus Christ returns in the clouds and calls her to come up to Him!  The Lord and His Bride will enjoy the Marriage Supper and celebrate their wedding for seven years.  What joy!
  • Third Jewish Temple: The Temple of God? (endtimesprophecyreport.wordpress.com)
    A popular teaching that has taken hold in the end times church–especially in the English-speaking world–is that the Jews will rebuild their temple in Jerusalem. This Third Temple will to be rebuilt on the Temple Mount.
    +
    Third Jewish Temple: Temple of God, part 2 | End Times Prophecy Report
    +
    End Times Prophecy Headlines: April 7, 2014 | End Times Prophecy Report
  • 1 Corinthians 1:9 (shilohbaptistchurchportroyal.wordpress.com)
    By baptism Christians are dedicated and devoted to Christ, and are under strict obligations to be holy. But in the true church of God are all who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, and who call upon him as God manifest in the flesh, for all the blessings of salvation; who acknowledge and obey him as their Lord, and as Lord of all; it includes no other persons.
  • A Straight Path Never Leads Anywhere Except To The Objective (sobeautifulmi.com)
    The imagery of marriage is often used in the Holy Scriptures to describe our union with God. In the Book of Esther, the opening chapters describe the path that Esther walked and how she was chosen to be Queen, receiving the full benefits of the Kingdom. Spiritually, this is an experience that we can have, which will move us beyond the commonplace into the fullness of Christ.
  • Must I be baptised in water to be a member of the church? (idfables4unity.wordpress.com)
    “Membership” in the Bible is always associated with a living body which has a head. Thus there are two kinds of scriptural members:
    +
    This church is Christ’s church, it is not my church,It is not our church, it is His Body

    Where all His saved ones are joined as members.

    This church was made for Christ, the Head.

    (I Corinthians 12; Ephesians 1:22,23)

  • The Church (part 2 of 3) (theresaboudreau.wordpress.com)
    God knows there is too much trash talking the church. This message is not intended to be another conversation about everything that is wrong in the church or to cast judgment on Christians. However, it is intended to be a trumpet sounding an alarm to awaken believers who think the status quo is okay. The status quo is not okay. There is rampant sin in the church; lies and deception in the church; doctrinal error in the church; greed for gain in the church; divisions and discord in the church. But the biggest problem is hypocrisy which is the perpetual disconnect between what believers profess and what they practice. Consequently, people in the world are turned off by the church.

Science, 2013 word of the year, and Scepticism

Since Stepping Toes was placed from Xanga onto WordPress we had a look at the relationship or coexistence of Science and the Bible.

America’s leading publisher of dictionaries, Merriam-Webster, chose “science” as its 2013 word of the year. Merriam-Webster’s editors cited a 176-percent increase in searches for the word and cited

“heated debates about ‘phony’ science, or whether science held all the answers.”

In the United States we also could notice many bloggers went on about Creationism and ideas from scientists and what would be possibly been written in the Bible. We can not deny we find it strange that such an industrious and very developed country can have so many people who are sceptical about key tenets of scientific orthodoxy. On such issues as human evolution, the formation and age of the universe and, more recently, climate change, many Americans reject the dominant views of the scientific community.

In a 2008 survey of Floridians by the Tampa Bay Times, only 22 percent of respondents said public schools should teach an evolution-only curriculum, and 50 percent wanted only faith-based theories, such as creationism or intelligent design taught. {Science and Skepticism: Amid a Push for More STEM Training, Many Reject Key Elements of Science}

On Christadelphian World I discussed already the strange evolution we can see in the U.S.A. of people ignoring how the world evolved and how we have proof certain animals existed. There I also mentioned the Pew Research Center poll from 2009 which found fewer than a third of those sampled accepted the idea that humans evolved through natural processes, while 31 percent rejected the theory of evolution outright.

Top climate scientists issued a report in September saying the evidence that climate change is a real, man-made threat is as convincing as the evidence that cigarettes cause fatal illnesses. Yet a Pew poll from earlier that year found only 42 percent of respondents believed the earth is warming mostly as a result of human activities that produce greenhouse gases.

Some scientists and cultural critics see a dangerous trend at work. Science journalist Michael Specter wrote a book called “Denialism: How Irrational Thinking Hinders Scientific Progress, Harms the Planet, and Threatens Our Lives,” criticized such disparate tendencies as claims that vaccinations cause autism, bans on genetically modified foods and the embrace of supposed herbal treatments over traditional medicine. { in Science and Skepticism: Amid a Push for More STEM Training, Many Reject Key Elements of Science p2}

What most people could see is that it does not originate in the classroom, but that most children get their conservative and creationist ideas imprinted at home.  We also can see that certain people can find themselves at ease by a certain political party because it brings so fervently those conservative ideas which although seem not to do anything with reality can bring people a very strong mood, active to out their voice loudly of what they believe everybody should believe.

A poll in 2011 found that roughly 50 percent of those identifying themselves with the tea party rejected the science behind both evolution and global warming.

from The Ledger tells us that The Ledger requested Gov. Scott, who is aligned with the conservative tea party political group, his personal views on evolution, the Big Bang theory, the age of the universe and human-caused global warming.

The governor said:

“We don’t need a lot more anthropologists in the state.”

but did not answer the questions. Instead, a spokesman emailed a general statement reading in part:

“In order to grow more opportunities for Florida families to succeed, we must invest in programs that will diversify our economy and create jobs for future generations. Governor Scott has been a consistent advocate for STEM education as a path for Florida students finding great jobs.”

Those conservative Americans let it look like believers may not believe anything what science present to humankind, because otherwise they would deny that they could be a “a walking miracle”. They started doing like the Muslims which always say ‘Inshallah’ ‘If God wants it’ and say “it’s God’s will.”

I shall not deny that it will be God his Will when he lets something happen. But when something happens it is not because God wants it to happen that way. We can wonder if God wanted the Holocaust to happen. Though He might have let it happen because it bringing a good lesson to the people of God. Though God has given the world to man. In case He would intervene every time, it would not exactly given to man to do like he wants. Than God could again be accused of what He was accused in the Garden of Eden, namely having the sole Power to rule the universe and giving man no right to think and handle for himself.

Carol Murray (62) of Winter Haven roundly rejects the notion that humans evolved over millennia from ape-like ancestors. The theory of evolution, developed over a century and a half by scientists through observation and research, has consensus acceptance in the scientific world and is part of the required science curriculum in Florida’s public schools.

“On the one hand, you’ve got kids going to Sunday school, and they’re telling them that God created them, and then they go back to public school and they’re being taught that man evolved from an ape,”

Murray said. “No wonder the kids have problems.” {Science and Skepticism: Amid a Push for More STEM Training, Many Reject Key Elements of Science p2}

I think the problem lies more in the hands of the parents who can not explain enough people might have different opinions and can themselves not accept that others might have an other opinion. In case several opinions may exist next to each other they will not create so much confusion. Than every person shall be able to feel more at ease to find they have an other idea, but which many others would also agree with.

An other problem is that many people consider that the first man and woman looked the same as we do now. This concept of having a Caucasian Adam and Eve and a Caucasian, instead of a Palestinian Jesus, is distorting historical reality. A few years ago there was a heavy reaction when there was placed a brown baby Jesus in a Belgian manger. Lots of people could not accept that Jeshua from Nazareth, better known today as Jesus Christ, was brown skinned. In most countries the Christmas scenery is almost always placed in a European environment with fir trees and snow, having nothing to do with the place nor the time that Jesus was born.

Academic figures say scepticism toward science reflects misunderstandings about how science works and confusion about the way scientists use such terms as “theory” and “hypothesis.”

Russell Betts, dean of the College of Science at Illinois Institute of Technology, said hostility toward science often comes down to questions of “thinking versus believing.” Whereas science ideally is a dispassionate quest for understanding, Betts said those who attack scientific theories usually have differing agendas.

“The general public often takes scientists’ willingness to change their viewpoint as a weakness, as if that means they are fundamentally not reliable,” Betts said. “But science doesn’t claim to be absolute.

“It’s always open to change as new and better results become available. Largely, these changes are incremental; but sometimes, there’s a paradigm shift, often dramatic, as new evidence becomes available. Versus belief, which is what it is — unchangeable. That’s one of its characteristics.” {Science and Skepticism: Amid a Push for More STEM Training, Many Reject Key Elements of Science p4-5}

Young-Earth Creationism: The Flintstones for G...

Young-Earth Creationism: The Flintstones for Grownups (Photo credit: PatinaLatina)

As a teacher I, by the years also noticed that many children and parents did not like it when others got to say how things where. They did not want to listen to others and where not interested in details or broader information. You can see that in the latest generations, just looking at the headlines or Tweeter messages, but not going further to click and look at the tweeted article.

Cottle, the FSU professor, said reactions against science reflect a more general backlash against intellectualism in America.

Scientists say the absence of complete proof does not disprove a scientific theory, whether it’s evolution or another matter. Cottle said a lack of absolute certainty is part of science, but he said scientists get defensive when sceptics cite uncertainties as proof the entire theory is wrong.

“When scientists feel that they are being attacked from the outside, they tend to get into a mode where they deny that there are open questions,” Cottle said. “In all our science, we have open questions. …

“I think it’s just one aspect of a broader problem — that we have lost respect for expertise. The idea that somebody else might be an expert and you should listen to them is simply not in vogue.” {Science and Skepticism: Amid a Push for More STEM Training, Many Reject Key Elements of Science p6}

“The big mistake scientists make is when they’re being attacked by somebody from the outside that they don’t feel is informed, a politician or somebody else, they can throw their back up and say, ‘No, no, all the questions are answered,’ when in fact that’s not true. I see it in evolution all the time.”

The other great great problem is that several people do want to see the Bible as a literal text and do not understand the descriptive and idiomatic language of it.

In the world we can find many Christians who regard the Bible as a literally accurate description of history. They see a direct conflict to their faith in what are now accepted as scientific truths and do not want to accept that the universe and the earth might be billions of years old and had primitive life forms which evolved through natural selection over millennia to become modern animals and humans. they do not want to see the changes which have been taken place by the years, though if they would look in their own family they could already see great changes of length and form by their own children opposite their ancestors.

A poll by the Pew Research Center from 2009 found that 55 percent of evangelical Protestants said humans have existed in their present form since time began, and only 10 percent of them said evolution has occurred through natural processes.

The poll found that 26 percent of mainline Protestants and 27 percent of Catholics agreed that humans have always existed in their present form. Only 11 percent of Americans with no religious affiliation shared that outlook, the Pew Research Center reported.  {Science and Skepticism: Amid a Push for More STEM Training, Many Reject Key Elements of Science p7}

Like Gaylord Paul Garcia writes in his blog: Yes, Science and Religion can Coexist:

Science and religion are publicly viewed as two different entities that will never reach a connection point where both will agree. They will never harmonize with each other because it has been a withstanding public truth that these two groups see each other’s views as either fantasy or fiction.

But I do not agree with what he considers to be the popular belief, that science and religion are ultimately incompatible – they cannot coexist. He himself knows that such is misguided.

Whether firm believers of this public truth decide to stay loyal to this belief, the truth is science and religion can coexist, it has coexisted, it coexists now, and it will continue to coexist in the future. {Yes, Science and Religion can Coexist}

The belief that the universe has an Author Who created everything, Who is all-knowing, and Who has everything planned for us, does not have to mean that He would not have given man the ability to think for themselves and to find many things out how the world was created and developed. It is wrong to think that scientist would work against the Creator or not believe in a or The Creator. It is not because a person believes in the Big Bang that he can not accept that the Cause of that Big Bang was a Divine Creator. To have something happening there should come something in action by something. That something could be that Eternal Spirit who also let the world know that He was and is the causer of everything “I am Who is”, “I am The Being”. Without The Being there can not exist a being or something that is.

Problem with several scientists and many atheists is that they have a generalised idea about Christians and never came to read what the Bible says and compared it what several churches made of it. When they would have done such a study they would have come to see that there are many churches who teaches other ideas than presented in the Bible.

Many Christians, in their turn, may forget that the Divine Creator is the One Who gives knowledge to man and Who has given also scientists the possibility to use their brains properly.

The 18 years old, undergrad at American University, Gaylord Paul Garcia, let us known what Abdus Salam, a physicist born in Pakistan thinks about this situation.

His father was an official for the department of education and because of that, schooling became a major factor in his life. Abdus Salam got his PhD in theoretical physics from Cambridge University at the young age of twenty-five years old. From then on, he received a Nobel Prize in physics for his work – Unification of Fundamental Forces – and created the International Center for Theoretical Physics. What is important of his work is that all of his scientific work has been epitomized by a quote from the Quran. The Quote is from Allah, that says,

“Thou seest not, in the creation of the All-merciful any imperfection, Return thy gaze, seest thou any fissure. Then Return thy gaze, again and again. Thy gaze, Comes back to thee dazzled, aweary.”

As said by Abdus Salam, his religious spirit made him understand that there is a divine creator that created these unique systems and they are were created for a reason. He understood that this knowledge is for him to share to those who did not know about their workings. {Yes, Science and Religion can Coexist}

People should understand that the Most High has given different gifts to different people. We should trust the Creator and accept that He knows best whom may have which knowledge and whom might be the best one to share the knowledge with others. We all can not have the same knowledge about all the subjects this world has to offer; So there shall be people who are better in mathematics, geography, history, archaeology, anthropology, physics or an other subject we need to put all things together and to let this world turn reasonably well.

We do need chaos. God is a god of order. We should be pleased we can deserve somewhere a place in that universe created by the Almighty God.

Like Abdus, we should trust Allah, God, the Elohim Hashem Jehovah, and be pleased that we can find so many people who are willing to   contribute to the people who are less fortunate. Like he did knew what his role was in life, we should come to get to know our position and be satisfied we can play a role, be it different, in this community.

Abdus Salam did not lose his morals because of his faith and religion.

That despite the amount of knowledge or truths people attain, they are grounded by their faith and it keeps their ethics straight. Like Abdus Salam, he used and shared his knowledge to those people who are less fortunate because of his faith. Hence, science and religion in perfect harmony advances the human race in peace, while science without religion or religion without science may not produce something to that effect. In the words of Albert Einstein himself, “Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.” {Yes, Science and Religion can Coexist}

In our trust in Jehovah we should share our knowledge and be content others have the willingness to share their knowledge about subjects we know less. Like he shared his knowledge to those people who are less fortunate because of his faith we should be sharing our knowledge and have others also to see that science and religion in perfect harmony advances the human race in peace, while science without religion or religion without science may not produce something to that effect. In the words of Albert Einstein himself,

“Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.”

It is wrong to think a Christian might not have critical thinking. Religious and scientific descriptions of the world do not in essence require a certain leap of faith. they only need a clear investigating and wondering mind.

Granger, a former Marine who works for a building-supply company, makes a good point when he considers science essential to progress and generally accepts the determinations of scientists.

“If somebody were to truly disregard science and evolution, that would limit what kind of advancements can be made with medicine and understanding the way the human body works,” he said. {Science and Skepticism: Amid a Push for More STEM Training, Many Reject Key Elements of Science p9}

Therefore it would be best for schools to include alternatives,

not just one (theory), and they should get into discussions of it and not just say that theory is it,”

Geraldine Watson of Bartow said. At 78 she teaches a Sunday school class once a month at St. James African Methodist Episcopal Church in Bartow, and she regards the passages in the book of Genesis as literally true.

The Florida Department of Education, which sets the curriculum standards for public schools, does not include those alternative theories in its science benchmarks. Biblically based narratives are incorporated into science teaching at some private, religiously affiliated schools, such as Lakeland Christian School.

Lithia resident Jonathan Smith, vice president of Florida Citizens for Science, said some Americans are illogical in rejecting certain elements of science while accepting the rest.

“You don’t hear people talking about, ‘We don’t believe in gravity; we don’t believe in germ theory,’ or stuff like that,” Smith said. “But evolution probably conflicts with people’s religious beliefs, and so does climate change. …

“We use our cell phones, we drive in our computerized cars, we rely on antibiotics — anything science can provide for us, as long as it’s convenient. If it’s anything that might alter your view of the world, particularly from a religious perspective, they reject it.”  {Science and Skepticism: Amid a Push for More STEM Training, Many Reject Key Elements of Science p10}

Dewey Funkhouser correctly says:

Religion is probably the largest business in America and the Bible thumpers want to bad mouth science as much as possible. So-called religion has done more to set America Back than any other thing. If you think the Tea Party movement hasn’t hurt America, you must be a kook.

We should be very careful before we accuse the schools of brainwashing the children. The schools should give a wide or broad margin of subjects and should teach the children the necessary things they should get to know, based on facts and science. Schools and educational programs do have the task to prepare people to stand strong in the world-community, being able to investigate and think for themselves. They should prepare them to compete in life, the world economy, college and anywhere else in life.

Schools in democratic countries also should learn that no religion may be allowed to oppress anyone, and that everyone should be allowed to believe and adhere whatever they want. Freedom of thought should be in the first line of duty.

Let us always remind:

“To think without believing disregards many possibilities, but to believe without thinking disregards more certainties.”

Religion and science are not mutually exclusive, to the contrary. Those who are Christian should not be afraid of science when they are standing straight in their shoes. When our Christian faith is strong enough and we are willing to use our heads properly, we shall get to find out how things really work and we shall overcome our challenges without fearing us.

Don Gifford says it nicely:

You should have enough faith in godless humanistic doctrine not to fear me. If we can agree to respect each others rights we can get along just fine and our children will be all the better for it.

Yes, Science and Religion can Coexist notes:

The greatest thinkers and contributors of science have been men and women of faith. The bible or other religious texts should not ever be taken literally as it is not based on scientific evidence. However, religion should not be brushed off. Religion in itself is a way of discovering meaning and purpose, to ignore it means to ignore morals and ethics. To most people, to have religion is to be grounded and a way to not forget to be selfless. Likewise, science is also not optional. Science explains to us the physical universe and how it functions and come about.

The last few weeks people could find a lot on

the much-ballyhooed debate between Ken Ham and Bill Nye on creationism versus evolution (“Ham on Nye”), which only served the purpose of giving Ham’s ridiculous beliefs attention they did not deserve. And, it got Ham enough money from donors an taxpayers to complete his theme park. {How to Debate a Christian Apologist}

A writer/virtual assistant living in the Philippines writes:

I believe, as a scientist, if you go into science with unshakable, preconceived notions of what is and what should be (creationism), when you insist that only one theory, one thesis is correct, then you’re not being a good scientist. {Science, As a Christian – My Thoughts on the Bill Nye/Ken Ham Debate}

as a Christian, it goes against one of our main virtues: humility. Even with the Bible, we cannot assume to know exactly what’s God’s plan is and how he created the universe. He leaves clues and we follow the clues. We can’t just insist that just because it’s in the Bible it’s fact. {Science, As a Christian – My Thoughts on the Bill Nye/Ken Ham Debate}

We never may forget that:

God uses science as a tool for us to appreciate the glory of his creation, not to exclude or persecute. And that regardless of whether the universe is young or old, humanity hasn’t existed long enough for us to understand and appreciate it.

All the complexities and inconsistencies that we see serve a purpose we do not understand but can only attempt to comprehend. After all, life’s much more fun if we have a few surprises. {Science, As a Christian – My Thoughts on the Bill Nye/Ken Ham Debate}

Science seems to deal often with objects, such as quarks and black holes, that have not been directly detected.

Since multiple universes are strongly suggested by modern cosmology, they must be considered when we debate theological questions. As long as they are not ruled out, they cannot be used as a god-of-the-gaps argument for the necessity of a creator. What’s more, other universes are in principle detectable by their effects on the cosmic microwave background. {How to Debate a Christian Apologist}

Atheists as well as Theists do have to recognise that both have their dogma‘s. Both are”believers“, be it in having a god or gods or not existing gods or not having a Divine Creator God.

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This article is made possible by using material from a.o. who can be reached at gary.white@theledger.com or 863-802-7518. He blogs about tourism at http://tourism.blogs.theledger.com and about books at http://ledgerlit.blogs.theledger.com.

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Please do find also to read:

  1. Bible and Science: Scientific Facts and Theories
  2. Reconciling Science and Religion
  3. Bible containing scientific information
  4. The mythical conflict of science and Scripture (1)
  5. The mythical conflict of science and Scripture (2)
  6. Science and the Bible—Do They Really Contradict Each Other?
  7. Are Science and the Bible Compatible?
  8. Science and Religion Harmonized (Once and For All…)
  9. Book Review: Ann Gauger, Douglas Axe & Casey Luskin, Science & Human Origins. Seattle: Discovery Institute Press, 2012.124pp.
  10. God’s design in the creation of the world
  11. Cosmos creator and human destiny
  12. Incomplete without the mind of God
  13. Belief of the things that God has promised
  14. The Metaphorical language of the Bible
  15. Stand Up

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In Dutch:

  1. Wetenschappers, filosofen hun zeggen, geloven en waarheden

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Map of the world, showing percentage by countr...

Map of the world, showing percentage by country who believe religion is important (2002). Data by the Pew Research Center. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • GOP is increasingly anti-science on climate change, evolution: Editorial (nj.com)ed0103editAbox.jpg
    Forty-eight percent of Republicans now say they believe that humans evolved over time, either with or without help from a supreme being. The numbers of Democrats and independents who believe in evolution, meanwhile, have held steady, and reflect the population as a whole: Six in 10 Americans believe that humans have evolved.

    One can simultaneously believe that God created life, and set in motion the process of evolution that Charles Darwin described — even Darwin made that point. But to flat-out deny the undoubted changes that scientists have found in the study of fossils and life forms is just ignorance.

  • Public, Private Schools Diverge in Handling of Biology, Cosmology (theledger.com)
    Wasemann said he knows a certain segment of his students — and their parents — reject the prevailing scientific theory that modern humans evolved from lower life forms. Aside from the fact that evolution is crucial to a scientific understanding of the world, Wasemann tells his students, it’s also a subject required for high school science teaching under the Sunshine State Standards, the Florida Department of Education’s curriculum guidelines.

    That means it must be included on the exam that comes at the end of the term.

  • Republicans Reject Evolution in Favor of Devolution (planetpov.com)
    Many religious people expressed a belief in evolution, seeing God’s hand in it. Science and religion can indeed coexist for some but unfortunately, not for the extremists. 64% of White Evangelist Protestants (and 50% of Black Evangelist Protestants) don’t believe in evolution.

    The political breakdown…and breakdown may be the right word when one considers the deterioration in Republicans’ belief in science…is most interesting. In 2009, when Pew held a similar poll,  In 2009, 54% of Republicans and 64% of Democrats supported evolution. In this week’s poll, those numbers have changed to 43% of Republicans and 67% of Democrats.

    So in just four years, there are almost 20% more Republicans disbelieving evolution, the 10% gap with Democrats in 2009 has ballooned more than double to a 24% gap (meanwhile, there was a gradual increase of 3% more Democrats believing in evolution).

     

  • Conservatives (including Christian conservatives) aren’t anti-science as much as they’re anti-hectoring and unpersuaded by naked appeals to authority delivered with maximum condescension (climber.wordpress.com)
    First, let’s be clear that there’s very little quality scientific education in the United States (and that applies to liberal citizens as much as conservative).
    +
    Second, daily life teaches us that public scientific declarations are uncertain, debatable, and often wrong. Parents, for example, get bombarded with competing theories over their child’s intellectual and emotional growth, their diet, and their physical health — with incompatible opinions delivered at high volume and with absolute certainty. When it comes to our own diets, how many competing scientific voices are screaming for our attention? And that of course doesn’t count every other aspect of life where scientific certainty shifts, changes, is hotly debated, then changes again.
    +
    Of course, one can be Christian and understand that evolution could be one method of God’s creation, and one can be conservative and completely buy the “consensus” arguments surrounding global warming, but the debate has not been fought on those terms, and the other side has made effectively zero effort to meet Christians and conservatives where they are to make the consensus case.
  • A Move Is Afoot to Keep Climate Science Out of Classrooms (scientificamerican.com)
    For decades objections to the theory of evolution have bedeviled individual teachers, school boards, state boards of education and state legislatures. Educators fought to keep evolution in science classes and creationism out. We resisted intelligent design, the notion that natural selection alone cannot explain the complexity of life-forms, which served as a way of getting creationism through the back door. We are now fighting legislation that encourages teachers to teach the “evidence against evolution”—facts found only in the creationist literature.

    The consequences of antievolutionism are felt in many American schools: evolution is not taught or is taught poorly. Yet evolution is one of the most important ideas in human intellectual history, and students have a right to learn it.
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    Some political conservatives claim that global warming is a liberal plot to increase the power of the federal government, which if it reduces our reliance on greenhouse gas–producing fossil fuels, will jeopardize national security and threaten our individual freedoms. Some libertarians believe that policies such as carbon taxes are a socialist plot intended to cripple capitalism. True, some political and economic views cannot accommodate policies associated with combating climate change, but we should not let the ideologies of some prevent or distort the education of the many.

  • [Review] Reality Check: How Science Deniers Threaten Our Future, by Donald R. Prothero (kestalusrealm.wordpress.com)
    Reality Check goes in-depth into antiscience in general, as well as specific varieties of science-rejection.

    Prothero’s book begins a discussion of antiscience, its strategies and its tactics, moving to a description of science and it’s fundamental importance in our modern world, insights into its process and thinking, and then an expose of scientists who’ve betrayed professional integrity as paid shills of those with a vested interest in attacking science on financial and political grounds.

  • Creationism vs. Evolution: Where Does Islam Stand? (meditationsofamuslimah.wordpress.com)
    Muslims believe in a Creator, God, who created the universe. But on the other hand, most Muslim scholars do not throw out the entire theory of evolution, but do clearly discard the well-known piece that claims humans have evolved from apes (or ape-like creatures), as well as ideas that one species can evolve into another.
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    Regarding dinosaurs, Muslims generally believe that if science and fossil records prove that the earth is billions of years old, then it must be true. This is not a contradiction to Islamic belief, because Muslims believe that when God created the universe in “6 days,” this mention of time does not mean 6 earth days. God cannot be restricted to time as we on earth know it. In fact, the Quran specifically states that sometimes God’s “days” does not mean earth days, but can mean other periods of time such as thousands or tens of thousands of years. So we don’t know what actual unit of time it took, but 6 days most likely refers to 6 distinct phases of creation. In this view, it is permissible to believe that the dinosaurs were created along with other animals, and may or may not have gone extinct before humans were created.
  • Creationists Can’t Be Scientists (huffingtonpost.com)
    William Saletan sees creationism as “harmless” because scientists who espouse it can “compartmentalize” their beliefs. He recognizes its absurdity, but writes that, “You can be a perfectly good satellite engineer while believing total nonsense about the origins of life.” But creationism is part of the larger crusade within the religious right to make “biblical literalism” Christian doctrine and federal law. To espouse it is to preclude practicing science. Saletan believes that a distinction between historical science and modern science is what exculpates the creationist:
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    What should make us terrified of the creationist movement is this political mobilization. The movement is deeply intertwined with right-wing fundamentalism. Among the terrors Ham worries about are abortion and gay marriage.  Across the country creationism has tried to force itself into science curriculums, with political maneuvering and outright lies. But Saletan glosses over this concern, mentioning only briefly that seeing creationism as harmless “doesn’t mean we should teach creationism in schools or pretend it’s a scientific theory.” I agree we shouldn’t, but the creationist movement is trying to do exactly that.
  • Religious and scientific communities may be less combative than commonly portrayed (psypost.org)
    The NSB 2014 Science Indicators study, released earlier this month, found that roughly seven in 10 Americans believe that the effects of scientific research are more positive than negative for society — a number that has remained roughly the same since 1979.

    Other recent surveys show a partisan political gap, however, in views on scientific topics such as evolution and climate change.

    Between 2009 and 2013, the gap between Republicans and Democrats on the question of evolution grew by 11 percentage points, said Cary Funk of the Pew Research Center. “There had been a partisan gap before, but the size of the gap is now bigger. And what happened is that fewer Republicans said humans and other living things evolved over time.”

  • Why Climate Change Skeptics & Evolution Deniers Joined Forces (motherjones.com)
    anti-evolutionists and climate deniers were both getting dumped on so much by the scientific community that they sort of naturally joined forces. And that makes sense: We know that in general, people gather their issue stances in bunches, because those stances travel together in a group (often under the aegis of a political party).But there’s also the “declining trust in science” theory, according to which political conservatives have, in general, become distrustful of the scientific community (we have data showing this is the case), and this has infected how they think about several different politicized scientific issues. And who knows: Perhaps the distrust started with the evolution issue. It is easy to imagine how a Christian conservative who thinks liberal scientists are full of it on evolution would naturally distrust said scientists on other issues as well.
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People Seeking for God 3 Laws and directions

As Byron ‘FLi’ Walker writes in Why We Need God most people looking for answers in their life find no deep or lasting fulfilment in their commitment to their leisure time to nature, art, music, and so on. He reminds us that humans have an inborn spiritual yearning which comes as no surprise to Bible readers. Those who regularly read the Bible have encountered enough places in those Scriptures where signs are given why and how we are to find ourselves in this world. In the Book of books, the Bible or Holy Scriptures it is written how Jehovah God, the Creator of heaven and earth, although His creation turned against Him, still wants to have a good relationship with them.KJV Bible

From the moment we do come on this earth we do feel the need to be connected with someone else and to have communication with those around us. also with the first humans there was already a communication going on with their Maker. God spoke with them regularly, allowing them to establish a spiritual relationship with Him. (Genesis 3:8-10) Children do have the need to speak with their parents. We do have our earthly parents but also an heavenly Father. As Creator of the universe, giving us life, placing us in His creation, He did not design us to live independently of Him. Made in the image of God, we also do have feelings but also needs. Like the Creator wanted to communicate with His creation we also do have a need to communicate with our Maker. The Bible refers to this need frequently.

Bible Study 2

Bible Study 2 (Photo credit: DrGBB)

We who want to live ‘godly lives’ can actually be deceiving ourselves into thinking that we are doing all the right things. Those who have found God already also may think they love God and may think that they are serving Him. But when they love Him, do they have a good relation with Him and do they communicate often with Him? Lots of people may think because they go to mass every Sunday they have done their bit of religiousness. They should know there is more to it than just attending all the functions on Sundays and midweek. What we love is revealed by what we find time to do in our daily life. By our very actions we tell God how much we love Him. We may be fooling ourselves. How much time do we spend thinking about God, reading His Word, caring for others and doing things just to please Him? When we have free time, what do we do with it? Do we turn to Bible reading and study, or do we turn to diversions such as computer activities, entertainment, or hobbies? When we say we do love God, Who do we want to take as our God? Those who are looking for some Special Being behind everything around us, are they willing to open their mind to the different ideas? Are they and we, willing to take in more research and knowledge, to have us spiritually growing? And in which we do we want to be connected to whom? When we look at the Old Testament we can find the importance placed on One Supreme Being but also on the hope for two things, one a man who is going to bring salvation and secondly a reign which shall be governed at first by that man. He will become at first the messenger of God bringing the Good News. He would suffer and find his life come to an end but than he would be taken out of the dead by God and made a mediator between God and man, restoring the broken relationship with the Creator. Therefore when we look for God we also should look for that one man who is called the restorer of faith and has taken in the place at the right hand of God to be the mediator between man and God. Clearly, that means it is somebody else than God. Meaning we have to find that person also to be able to speak with him or to ask things in his name to the One Who is called the Most High. The promised Saviour is Jeshua from the tribe of King David, better know today as Jesus Christ. When we do find him or get to know him, he can lead us to his Father, Who is the Most High Elohim Hashem Jehovah, the God of gods and all things. When we are prepared to become a disciple of Christ we can listen to his teachings and take them at heart. He made so many things clear, that we have made it so much easier to understand when we listen to his teachings.  Jesus also told his followers to continually seek to increase in knowledge and understanding. From him we got to know that this search in his Father’s Words is essential to get to know his Father fully well. Without taking the Words of Jesus his Father at heart it shall be impossible to find God. God’s Truth invites … indeed, it welcomes … investigation, we said already in the previous chapter. So when encountering a different view, we should seize the opportunity at least to understand the evidence provided. We can always learn something, and if we’re wise, we may need to adjust our own views accordingly.

On August 25, 325, the Council of Nicaea, the first ecumenical debate held by the early Christian church, concluded with the establishment of the doctrine of the Holy Trinity. Convened by Roman Emperor Constantine I in May, the council also deemed the Arian belief of Christ as inferior to God as heretical, thus resolving an early church crisis. From that time onwards the church went astray and even more different teachings saw light, confusing lots of people. This event early in Christendom brought darkness in the eyes of the people. It made them going further away from God.  It took also the people away from seeing the truth of the man of flesh and bones, who said to his disciples he was not a spirit. Those disciples knew very well that God is Spirit and can not be seen by man or they would die. They knew they had seen Jesus. Some even had seen a dove and heard the voice from above, in heaven, saying that this man was His (God’s) beloved son.

In the 4th century men tried to get people far away form that idea of a man being able to follow God, not doing his own will but only the Will of God. They wanted and still want to have people believe that it is impossible for any human being to love God so much that they would like to do only His will and not theirs. Hearing of such impossibility that also has taken lots of people of their hope to become like Christ and to do the Will of God. We only can say the Roman emperor succeeded partly in what he wanted to get, having people adhering to the world more than to the Law of God.

The Arians and all those who preferred to believe in the One True and Only One God Who is One, were persecuted for their belief that Jesus is not coequal with his Father. All Christians were forced to believe that Jesus is not inferior to God or be considered heretics. Many found their life being ended at the stake or tortured until they stopped breathing and lost their life. Even in our age of tolerance today, those who reject the divinity of Christ are considered to be non-Christians by mainstream Christendom. Though in Christianity, through the times there have always been serious lovers of God who kept studying the Torah, the Old and the New Testament books of what is considered to be the canonic Bible today.

From the 4th century onwards a fog-curtain was pulled down by which a person who said “I am” was considered to be God. Those who were called “Jesus,” “Joshua,” “Chesu, “Jezus“, “Yashua” had to be God, this meaning that in the time when Jeshua te Nazarene was preaching, the other Jesus who was taught of to be the Messiah because he revolted against the Romans, there were and there are still many gods walking on this earth who should also be the God. This is naturally impossible and is no good way to look for The True God. In case people do want to find the True One and Only One God they should take away such false teachings or prescriptions. They should have to take the Words of the Bible, like they are written, black on white, without any dogmatic background teachings.

As long as people keep continue to hold fast on those dogmatic teachings of the many churches which came into existence after the Roman Catholic Church every time expelled those who did not agree with their power, it would be not easy to see through the fog. To find clarity we do have to believe God wants us to find Him and that He does not make it especially difficult, so that only theologians could find him. The Divine Creator took care that every body = all human beings, could come to know Him Who is responsible for their being. He is the Most High Elohim, the most powerful Authority, who has given mankind the most reliable set of unchanging guidelines, the Book of instructions, wisdom and answer to life’s question. The World shall not be able to find any book more reliable than this Book of books, which is the infallible Holy Word of God – The Bible! In the Bible humankind receives all the guidelines, the directions and laws they need at the time given. Certain things changed because the time and the people had changed. When we look at all the prophecies we also can notice some did not come into accomplishment. But we may be sure that like the previous prophecies became reality, the ones still to come, like World War III or Armageddon, the End-times, another thousand years after the Big Battle, shall happen when God considers it time to happen. Whatever shall happen, God did not want His people to stand in the cold and He assured them of a better time to come.

Those who are willing to believe in the One God and look forward to the return of His son, may find peace in the hope God has given the world. In the mean time people will have to come to know Who God is, what His Will is, what His Laws are and why we better keep to the Law of God, instead of trying to make better laws than Him. When we are willing to follow His directions and to listen to His Voice we shall get to know Him better. By keeping to His Law we also shall be able to make a safer life and a better way to live for our selves and for those around us.

Michelle Yee and many others know they can be a beloved daughter or son of the Most High King, when she writes:

It may not always be easy reading, understanding and interpreting it, but if you are diligent enough to read it than pray for wisdom to understand it, the revelation would come to you sooner or later. Either God will reveal it to you personally in spirit, or he will teach you through life experience, or perhaps God will reveal it to you through your pastor or someone else…. If you desire to seek God, you shall find him, if you seek him with all your heart… Seek him in prayer and seek in His word, eventually you’ll find Him… {Jeremiah 29:12}”

(11)  ‘For I know the plans I am planning for you,’ declares יהוה {Jehovah}, ‘plans of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and an expectancy.  (12)  ‘Then you shall call on Me, and shall come and pray to Me, and I shall listen to you.  (13)  ‘And you shall seek Me, and shall find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart1. Footnote: 1Dt. 4:29, Joel 2:12.  (14)  ‘And I shall be found by you,’ declares יהוה {Jehovah}, ‘and I shall turn back your captivity, and shall gather you from all the gentiles and from all the places where I have driven you, declares יהוה {Jehovah}. And I shall bring you back to the place from which I have exiled you.’” (Jeremiah 29:11-14 The Scriptures 1998+)

From here we should go out and seek the Most High, Creator of all things, who we want to have as our Only One God. We do not need pictures or statues, special buildings or constructions to remind us of Him or to find Him. Those who are willing to look for Him, God shall be willing to let Him be found by them. We do have to look for Him. We do have to search after Him, with all our heart and with all our soul (= our whole being). We should not let us be frightened by those who mock at us or by those who laugh with us.  When others who joke with us bring us in oppression, and all these things have come on you, in the latter days we shall be able to come in front of our God, and listen to His Voice. Looking for God may be like looking for a treasure. And the treasure hunt map God has provided in the Bible.

Today we may already be sure that He is a merciful God Who does us want to know Him and not want to fail us, neither destroy us, nor forget the covenant of our forefathers which He swore to them. For ask now of the days that are past, which were before you, since the day that God created man on the earth, and from the one end of the sky to the other, whether there has been anything as this great thing is, or has been heard like it?

” (29)  “But from there you shall seek יהוה {Jehovah} your Elohim, and shall find, when you search for Him with all your heart1 and with all your being. Footnote: 1Jer. 29:13.  (30)  “In your distress, when all these words shall come upon you in the latter days, then you shall return to יהוה {Jehovah} your Elohim and shall obey His voice.  (31)  “For יהוה {Jehovah} your Elohim is a compassionate ?l, He does not forsake you, nor destroy you, nor forget the covenant of your fathers which He swore to them.” (Deuteronomy 4:29-31 The Scriptures 1998+)

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Preceding articles:

Finding God amid all the religious externals

Seeing or not seeing and willingness to find God

People Seeking for God 1 Looking for answers

People Seeking for God 2 Human interpretations

To be continued:

 People Seeking for God 4 Biblical terms

People Seeking for God 5 Bread of life

People Seeking for God 6 Strategy

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Please find also to read:

  1. Did the Inspirator exist
  2. God, Creation and the Bible Hope
  3. God’s design in the creation of the world
  4. God is One
  5. Only One God
  6. God of gods
  7. The one who makes us well and gives life
  8. The Divine name of the Creator
  9. Sayings around God
  10. Full authority belongs to God
  11. Pre-existence of Christ
  12. The Trinity – the truth
  13. Why believing the Bible
  14. Bible basic intro
  15. Who Wrote the Bible?
  16. The Bible: God’s Word or pious myth?
  17. Of the many books Only the Bible can transform
  18. Bible Word from God
  19. Pure Words and Testimonies full of Breath of the Most High
  20. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #4 Words in Scripture
  21. Creator and Blogger God 10 A Blog of a Book 4 Listening to the Blogger
  22. Creator and Blogger God 12 Old and New Blog 2 Blog for every day
  23. Bible a guide – Bijbel als gids
  24. Bible guide Taking the Bible as a lead
  25. Statutes given unto us
  26. Absolute Basics to Reading the Bible
  27. Digging in words, theories and artefacts
  28. Bible Translating and Concordance Making
  29. The Metaphorical language of the Bible
  30. Finding and Understanding Words and Meanings
  31. Out of Context: How to Avoid Misinterpreting the Bible
  32. Which View is Right?
  33. Bible in the first place #1/3
  34. Bible in the first place #2/3
  35. Bible in the first place #3/3
  36. Missional hermeneutics 1/5
  37. Missional hermeneutics 2/5
  38. Missional hermeneutics 3/5
  39. Missional hermeneutics 4/5
  40. Missional hermeneutics 5/5
  41. Bric-a-brac of the Bible
  42. Unsure about relevance Bible
  43. Appointed to be read
  44. Youth has difficulty Bible Reading
  45. Learn to read the Bible effectively
  46. We should use the Bible every day
  47. A Bible Falling Apart Belongs to Someone who isn’t
  48. The Bible is a today book
  49. Bible for you and for life
  50. Bible like puddle of water
  51. Cell phone vs. Bible
  52. How to look for and how to handle the Truth
  53. The truth is very plain to see and God can be clearly seen
  54. Relapse plan
  55. Having Truth Decay?
  56. Jesus is the Son of God but Not God the Son
  57. Our relationship with God, Jesus and eachother
  58. One mediator
  59. Discipleship way of life on the narrow way to everlasting life
  60. Politics and power first priority #1
  61. Politics and power first priority #2
  62. Politics and power first priority #3 Elevation of Mary and the Holy Spirit
  63. Many churches
  64. Prophets making excuses
  65. God is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him
  66. Hope
  67. True Hope
  68. Working of the hope
  69. Fear knocked at the door
  70. Getting to know the Truth

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Additional reading:

  1. If the Father is the “only true God” (John 17:3) , does that mean that Jesus is a false god?
  2. Some common misconceptions about the truth
  3. Trinity a false doctrine of a false church
  4. Is Jesus God?
  5. Is God an Impersonal Force?
  6. Massacre of children leaves many asking, ‘Where’s God?’
  7. Do You Allow God to Speak to You Every Day?
  8. Why We Need God

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  • Friday Devotional: Check Your Spirit (divinefaithfulness.wordpress.com)
    Living in complacency is not where God has called us to live. I sure have camped out there more times than I care to admit, though. Thinking that I didn’t need to go to church because I simply didn’t need to, saying that I loved God was good enough. Thinking that I didn’t need friends who loved God, that my old friends were just fine because they weren’t going to challenge me to live differently. Living in sin because, God will just forgive me anyway. Like it was all just no big deal. Ever been there, too?
  • A Sermon: Reading the Bible Together (davidswanson.wordpress.com)
    As a church we say that, “We desire to listen and submit to the Scripture, God’s revealed Word for His beloved children.” There are at least two important assumptions within this statement. The first is that God reveals himself through the Bible. God, being God, is so different from us that anything we know about God must be revealed by God. And though we don’t believe God has showed us everything about himself, as Christians we believe he has revealed enough for us to know him and experience his love and salvation. He has done this most importantly through his son.
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    It’s one thing to acknowledge the Holy Spirit’s role in the Bible’s writing and even our understanding. But when it comes to applying – to submitting – we act as though this is up to us, on our shoulders. But it’s not and this is why even a hard word – submit – a word few of us like, is a good word. For it is God who gives us the wisdom, strength, and stamina to live new and better lives in response to the Bible.
  • Real Truth never changes….. (wepresson.wordpress.com)
    In a world that seeks change there are some things that never change and
    it’s a good thing they don’t. Yes, there are absolute truths we can count on. The key is
    that they can only come from a Source that cannot be in error. Did you catch that?
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    And God promises to protect it down through the ages so that everyone has a chance to hear His truths and trust in His Son, our Savior, Jesus.
  • Advice from someone who knows. (commutewithchrist.com)
    We usually seek advice from people who have been in a similar situation or have knowledge of something that we don’t. But how often so we seek it from God? He’s written an entire book on how to live our lives. The Bible. It’s quite incredible that not many people seek it out given that in some shape or form it can give us direction and advice on everything we face in this life. It may not be the advice or guidance we want to hear but it’s in there. Work, relationships and money. These are the topics in our lives that we spend the most time thinking and worrying about.
  • The Word of God is perfect! (jooch1986.wordpress.com)
    all men have no excuse for not knowing Him or seeking Him.
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    Many people see the Scriptures as burdensome and full of rules.  Of course it will appear this way to those who do not know God and do not understand that His “yoke is easy and [His] burden is light (Matt. 11:30).  But really, the Word of God, or just decrees or whatever you want to call them are “more to be desired…than…even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey” (v. 10).  These are the words that show us the Way to eternal life with the perfect Creator of the universe who is all good, and in whom “there is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5).
  • Intellectual Discipleship? Faithful Thinking for Faithful Living (pjcockrell.wordpress.com)
    The biblical master narrative serves as a framework for the cognitive principles that allow the formation of an authentically Christian worldview. Many Christians rush to develop what they will call a “Christian worldview” by arranging isolated Christian truths, doctrines, and convictions in order to create formulas for Christian thinking.
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    A God-centered worldview brings every issue, question, and cultural concern into submission to all that the Bible reveals, and it frames all understanding within the ultimate purpose of bringing greater glory to God. This task of bringing every thought captive to Christ requires more than episodic Christian thinking and is to be understood as the task of the church, and not merely the concern of individual believers. The recovery of the Christian mind and the development of a comprehensive Christian worldview will require the deepest theological reflection, the most consecrated application of scholarship, the most sensitive commitment to compassion, and the courage to face all questions without fear.
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    Christian faithfulness requires the conscious development of a worldview that begins and ends with God at its center. We are only able to think as Christians because we belong to Christ; and the Christian worldview is, in the end, nothing more than seeking to think as Christ would have us to think, in order to be who Christ would call us to be.
  • Communication with our Father (eviej13.wordpress.com)
    The ability to communicate is often taken for granted and we just expect people to know what we want from them. Although God Does know what we want from Him, there is still nothing more important than our communication with Him.
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    Reading the Bible can help us sort through all the craziness to see what’s really important. It can bring about peace in our lives rather than allowing us to wallow in our confusion.
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    Nothing should become more important than getting into the Word and the Word into us. We will suffer the spiritual consequences of not feeding on the Word of God as we would suffer the physical consequences of not having a regular meal.
  • Psalm 78 as a Microcosm of the Bible (blogforthelordjesuschristianleaders.wordpress.com)
    Psalm 78 is a microcosm of the entire Bible in that it was written in ancient times, chronicling the works of the Lord in the face of the faithlessness of man, that all succeeding generations might learn from this written record that God is good and that there reward in obeying Him.
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     A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.
  • What is the Bible and what are we supposed to do with it? (theway21stcentury.wordpress.com)
    Christians often use terms like inerrant, infallible, authoritative and inspired, but not all of these are Biblical terms, and not all of them represent clear Biblical concepts. We should be willing to modify or deepen our understanding based on the best in information we have.
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    Most christians belief that Jesus was (and is) God incarnate (i.e. in a human body), and that he was at once fully God and fully human. Enns suggests we perhaps should also consider the Bible as both a human and divine document, in that it is fully grounded in the language, culture and thought forms of its day, yet it is also God’s means of revealing himself to the world.But instead of presuming we know how ‘God’s word’ ought to be, we should study and learn how it actually is …. and so learn more about God’s character.
  • The Greatest Gift: A Defense (triggermanblog.wordpress.com)
    Probably the greatest gift that I have ever received, from anyone, was the first Bible I was old enough to read.
    Oh, I was given story bibles with those smiling pictures and happy tales of when God did great things for those men, and women, of old. But I always knew that I wasn’t getting the whole picture, it was like I was getting spoon-fed some rhetoric, choice tales about God being my “buddy”if I would just put on a smile and believe. So, when I finally got my first “real” Bible, I was excited to be able to get to the real story, not the smiling faces and happy tales that were glossy and inspiring to me as a happy child, I wanted something more to understand the psychology of this God who was recorded as doing these great things.
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Being Religious and Spiritual 6 Romantici, utopists and transcendentalists

Hagia Sophia ; Empress Zoë mosaic : Christ Pan...

Hagia Sophia ; Empress Zoë mosaic : Christ Pantocrator; Istanbul, Turkey (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the previous chapter we have seen that already in the time of the apostles there where teachers who took the focus on Christ Jesus, the Messiah his offering and our personal relationship to our own person, the people around us, Jesus and the Father of Jesus, the Only One God, away. By concentrating more on the institute of the church and putting dogmatic teachings as the obligatory string for the community, the self-development and the role of free choice became a minor point to the acceptance and following of the church doctrines and ceremonials.

By the years there were many influences of several theologians who at their turn looked at different philosophers. More interested in the retrieving of power, the real spiritual matters were often put aside or forgotten. Though in that world of many fraternities there were also people who were greatly respected and widely sought after masters who went out into the hills to escape the hustle and bustle of society. some took refuge in a shed in the countryside, others took up residence in a cave, far away from the clergy their institutions.

Several devout people wanted to escape the authoritarian church and did find Christ had liberated us instead of bringing new chains in to the world.

There are many spiritual traditions, each of which has its own unique language and concepts concerning the nature of the ultimate, the path that must be followed to experience the ultimate, how spiritual realizations are confirmed, the nature of spiritual enlightenment, and the implications of spiritual understanding for ordinary human life.

Lots of people spend their whole lives trying to become an idealized version of themselves that they want to be or of that what their church pictures them that they should become. Not having a found foundation, this causes many to  rebel against their natural chaotic states. Not finding enough background or trustworthy teaching they put endless amounts of energy into maintaining stability, and trying to mold their lives into an ordered state that they themselves find pleasing. In short, what we’re fighting against isn’t poverty, starvation, instability, unhappiness.  Mostly they are fighting against entropy; the tendency for ordered systems to degrade into a chaotic state. They may have lots of energy but can not centralise it, not able to pattern it or organise it they seem to be lost in their own world of chaotic thinking. They may receive lots of information from their church, magazines, but do not manage to channel it in accordance with what they can find in the Bible or other sacred books.

Most people are taking their life, their very essence, for granted as though it’s some permanent guarantee and all others have to fit to their life. Having to adapt to others seem too awkward.

It are always the others who cause pain and make our experiences so difficult.

do think many who are confronted with the feelings of inadequacy, loss of perspective.
They also consider others talking to them as a nuisance. Many do find it an infringement on the privacy when other question their sayings or their actions. Certainly today lots of people consider it their right to say whatever awful words or to insult others who dare to come too close to their own personality. Not many do want to hear the voices of others, and the least of institutions or of those who seem to represent institutions or organisations. Luckily there might be others who are hearing the voices of the people who question their actions, but some might loose than the essence of what it is they are trying to do.

Ralph Waldo Emerson Español: Ralph Waldo Emers...

Ralph Waldo Emerson (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Wondering what the self is doing demands the question what it would like to do and why it wants to do what. Whilst our society loves ego tripping the spiritual minded person just wants to strip himself or herself from his/her ego. Trying to get into the deeper self it should not be done from some sort of self passion or love for the ego, because then the person would turn round in circles staying in the dark. Like the American essayist, lecturer, and poet Ralph Waldo Emerson wanted to find himself outside the traditional religion that had coursed throughout his family for generations, many today are also looking for the self and a place of the self out of the classical or traditional church. This at a time were other just want to strengthen the feeling of being part of a church which wants to hold to tradition and to the old values they remember from their grand grand parents. They forget that perhaps their ancestors just reacted against the corrupted society and its institutions — particularly organized religion and political parties. Strangely enough are there people like Sarah Paling crying we should return to the values of the Pilgrims and the founders of the United States of America.  As a trinitarian either she overlooks or she does not want to see that it were just those people who fled the European ties of corrupted and false religion. Those who came to settle in the United States tried to find new grounds to start all over again, afresh and liberated from all religious chains, but grounded on the teachings of the book they read regularly. Today there are not many people who really take every day time to read some chapters from the Bible. Some politicians do want to restrict other people and get them to believe the same as they believe. Often they already think that everybody believes in the same god and the same values as they do. Several people want to have their religion to become the state religion — ultimately corrupting the purity of the individual, and that is want the peoeple who fled Europe had felt and would be afraid of finding such a repeating system. The ones who fled Europe had faith that people are at their best when truly “self-reliant” and independent. Today, again as in the time of the gnostics and the church of the 4th and 5th century those who do not want to comply with their believes are considered not to be Christians. Those conservative Christians posing their idea of Christianity onto others are also against the spiritual individu, because that person could be a danger for the group.

But the real spiritual person just wants to become closer to the self and wants to liberate himself or herself from the mass or group. The person looking for spirituality often wants to liberate himself from the person looking for a religion. The spiritual person believes to become at his best when he can be truly “self-reliant” and independent. For them it is also clear that it is only from such real individuals that true community could be formed.

Sensations and perception not necessarily are the basic and most important form of true cognition. The ones who came into the New World had learned to struggle, to battle against all sorts of weather conditions, and got to walk on their own feet, working with their own hands but they also wanted now to speak their own minds.

“A nation of men will for the first time exist, because each believes himself inspired by the Divine Soul which also inspires all men.” {1837 speech “The American Scholar}

Again there was a reaction against the aristocratic social and political norms of the Age of Enlightenment and a reaction against the scientific rationalization of nature. Again people wanted, like some would love to see it again today as well, a form of live where the emotions are again of value in a liberated and radicalised environment. A real spiritual person would love to encounter the inner emotions, because they can be considered as an authentic source of aesthetic experience. In romanticism there was placed such new emphasis on such emotions as apprehension, horror and terror, and awe and now with transcendentalism liberal thinkers, “agreeing in nothing but their liberality” {Gura, Philip F. American Transcendentalism: A History. New York: Hill and Wang, 2007: 5. ISBN 0-8090-3477-8} could find unity of willing persons to exchange ideas without having to give up their freedom to think differently than the majority, but recognising where in the differences there were/are also like-minded men and women.

Along with Andrews Norton, William Ellery Channing (April 7, 1780 – October 2, 1842) was the foremost Unitarian preacher in the United States in the early nineteenth century

Rooted in English and German Romanticism, the Biblical criticism of Herder and Schleiermacher, and the scepticism of Hume, and the transcendental philosophy of Immanuel Kant (and of German Idealism more generally), the transcedentalists movement, intimately familiar with the English Romantics, might have been an American outgrowth of Romanticism. From Unitarianism the transcendentalists took a concern for self-culture, a sense of moral seriousness, a neo-Platonic concept of piety, a tendency toward individualism, a belief in the importance of literature, and an interest in moral reform. They looked to certain Unitarians as mentors, especially the great Boston preacher William Ellery Channing. Theology was in crisis during Channing’s prime. Almost from the beginning there were two warring parties in New England. The Calvinists believed in a jealous God, the depravity of mankind, and the absence of free will. The anti-Calvinists believed in a merciful God, the potential redemption of all mankind, and the existence of free will. As the 19th century proceeded, the fight between the parties sharpened. Channing, after much deliberation, sided with the anti-Calvinists. Channing’s religion and thought were among the chief influences on the New England Transcendentalists, though he never countenanced their views, which he saw as extreme. Transcendentalists came to reject key aspects of the Unitarian worldview, starting with their rational, historical Christian apologetic. Many prominent ministers, reformers, and writers of the 19th century were associated with it, including Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882) who was considered the most thought-provoking American cultural leader of the mid-19th century. In Concord he met a prickly young Harvard graduate who became his disciple, friend, and occasional adversary, Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862). Among his close friends were Bronson Alcott (1799–1888), George Ripley, and Theodore Parker (1810–1860).  Margaret Fuller (1810–1850) and Orestes Brownson (1803–1876) also associated with him.

Emerson spoke out against materialism (the belief that material or physical things—not spiritual—are the most important), formal religion, and slavery. Emerson spoke of slavery in the context of the Fugitive Slave Law (1850), saying, in one of his rare bursts of obscenity (foul language), “I will not obey it, by God.”
He believed in a reality and a knowledge that rose above the everyday reality to which Americans were accustomed. He believed in the honesty of the person. He believed in a spiritual universe ruled by a spiritual Oversoul (the basis of all spiritual existence), with which each individual soul should try to connect.

A spiritual person should look for those values, trying to be honest to himself in the first place, choosing for those thing he really believes in because he does understands them; and not choosing for dogma’s because others accept them and by not accepting them he would not be able to be part of that group or community. Going to search in one self the person should also try to come over or to deal with human losses and failings. In such essays as “Compensation” and “Experience,” Emmerson tried to suggest how to deal with human losses and failings and in such pieces as “Self-reliance,” “Spiritual Laws,” “Nature,” “The Poet,” and “The Over-soul,” he explained the inborn goodness of man, the joys of nature and their spiritual significance, and a universal god (a god that exists everywhere and belongs to all).

English: A collage of photographs from K Stree...

A collage of photographs from K Street and Ralph Waldo Emerson Elementary Schools in Fresno, CA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Various organizations and periodicals gave the Unitarian and transcendental movement shape. The earliest was the so-called “Transcendental Club” (1836–1840), an informal group that met to discuss intellectual and religious topics; also important was the “Saturday Club,” organized much later (1854). Many transcendentalists participated in the utopian communities of Brook Farm (1841–1848; located in West Roxbury, Massachusetts), founded by George Ripley (1802–1880) and his wife, Sophia Dana Ripley (1803–1861), and the short-lived Fruitlands (1843–1844; located in Harvard, Massachusetts), founded by Alcott. A number of transcendentalist ministers established experimental churches to give their religious ideas institutional form. The most important of these churches were three in Boston: Orestes Brownson’s Society for Christian Union and Progress (1836–1841); the Church of the Disciples (founded 1841), pastored by James Freeman Clarke (1810–1888); and Theodore Parker’s Twenty-Eighth Congregational Society (founded 1845–1846). The most famous transcendentalist magazine was the Dial (1840–1844), edited by Fuller and then by Emerson; other major periodicals associated with the movement included the Boston Quarterly Review (1838–1842), edited by Brownson, and the Massachusetts Quarterly Review (1847–1850), edited by Parker. {Dictionary of American History, 2003}

But also in Europe in the 21st century we still can see such a romantic movement going on, or should we perhaps say more an utopist movement like the one political or social reformer, visionary preacher and idealist Marcus Ampe is still dreaming of. He may not be influenced by Asian religions, but the thoughts and ideas he would love to realise are similar as in many of those and older traditions and religions, but very founded on the Torah, the Old and the New Testament, which he considers the most complete guide for the community. For him it is clear that without going into the inner-self, not being in the clear with the self, a person can not come into the clear with God. Those who have (moral)qualms or who did not yet have come to terms with themselves, loving themselves, shall not be able to love others and shall have it difficult to come in front of Christ, loving him and loving his Father, the only One God. Those who have not seen the light in themselves often want to find light in elements of nature and by doing so will create different gods. This can be clearly seen in the writings on many blogs about God and religion. To come to Biblical Truth, people should study the Bible, look at it from the way of thinking in the periods it was written and in the manner of speaking it was written.

The transcendentalists varied in their interpretations of the practical aims of will. Some among the group linked it with utopian social change; Brownson connected it with early socialism, while others considered it an exclusively individualist and idealist project. Emerson believed the latter. In his 1842 lecture “The Transcendentalist“, Emerson suggested that the goal of a purely transcendental outlook on life was impossible to attain in practice:

You will see by this sketch that there is no such thing as a transcendental party; that there is no pure transcendentalist; that we know of no one but prophets and heralds of such a philosophy; that all who by strong bias of nature have leaned to the spiritual side in doctrine, have stopped short of their goal. We have had many harbingers and forerunners; but of a purely spiritual life, history has afforded no example. I mean, we have yet no man who has leaned entirely on his character, and eaten angels’ food; who, trusting to his sentiments, found life made of miracles; who, working for universal aims, found himself fed, he knew not how; clothed, sheltered, and weaponed, he knew not how, and yet it was done by his own hands. …Shall we say, then, that transcendentalism is the Saturnalia or excess of Faith; the presentiment of a faith proper to man in his integrity, excessive only when his imperfect obedience hinders the satisfaction of his wish.

Many churches do not like to have their members to go to deep in their self and questioning the church or community, because this would be seen as a doubting the community and the church as institution. Many churches  or religions impede on the individual coming to individual spiritual development. Any form of religious dogma should be abolished and church should be able to trust on the choice God makes, because it is Him Who calls. The traditional church got afraid that ordinary people could get a simple belief in human moral, in godly and brotherly love and according to the clergy and theologians the common person would not be able to understand the Bible, but that would mean they say God did not make His Words clear for everybody, so He would have not have given everybody the same chance to be saved. God, Who is a God of order and clarity made His Word clear enough for those who are willing to read it and to think about it. In each individual is enough potential and intuitive capacity for discovering spiritual truth. Divinity or having a Godlike character or the state of being divine, lays in man, who is created in the image of God, and nature, and so true religion means seeking the divine in oneself and one’s surroundings. Inward experience was seen as the ultimate path to spiritual satisfaction, and thus the Transcendentalists cultivated a lifestyle that encouraged contemplation, communing with nature, continuing education, and creative expression. Many kept regular journals, which they considered invaluable tools in the process of self-examination.

The spiritual minded person should seek to cultivate the capacity to do good in themselves and others.

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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

Next: Being Religious and Spiritual 7 Transcendence to become one

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Please do read also:

  1. Only One God
  2. God of gods
  3. God is One
  4. Jesus spitting image of his father
  5. Jesus begotten Son of God #8 Found Divinely Created not Incarnated
  6. Jesus begotten Son of God #9 Two millennia ago conceived or begotten
  7. Jesus begotten Son of God #18 Believing in inhuman or human person
  8. Yeshua a man with a special personality
  9. Reasons that Jesus was not God
  10. Not bounded by labels but liberated in Christ
  11. It is a free will choice
  12. A Living Faith #2 State of your faith
  13. Hellenistic influences
  14. The early days of Christianity: Politics and power first priority #1
  15. Politics and power first priority #2
  16. Foundation to go the distance
  17. Re-Creating Community
  18. Leaving the Old World to find better pastures
  19. The imaginational war against Christmas
  20. Nativity scene of the birth of the Bill of Rights
  21. More-Letter-Words
  22. God doesn’t call the qualified
  23. Can we not do what Jesus did?

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Also interesting to read:

  1. The Hermit
  2. Post 4: Entropy pt. 1
  3. Post 5: Sacrifice
  4. Why I chose Emerson

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English: Ralph_Waldo_Emerson_1940_Issue-3c.jpg...

Ralph Waldo Emerson 1940 ssue-3c.(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • Rewriting History – The History of America Mega-Conference: Part Three, “Religious Liberalism” And Those Magnificent Mathers (homeschoolersanonymous.wordpress.com)
    Eidsmoe spoke warmly of early Americans who celebrated Christianity. The Constitutional Convention, he claimed, had mostly Christians in attendance and involved God in their work. He dismissed the deist Founding Fathers in attendance as “outliers”. He discussed the message of 18th century preacher George Whitfield, who did much to unite Americans under a common faith, he claimed.Eidsmoe also smiled upon Benjamin Franklin for praising Christian preaching and social endeavors, suggesting that the Founding Father appreciated Christianity. However, I found his portrait of Franklin to lack nuance. While Franklin did celebrate the Puritan virtues of his upbringing and respect preachers such as George Whitefield, he also referred to himself as a Deist in his 1771 autobiography, embraced Enlightenment ideas, endorsed religious pluralism, and spent time at a London Unitarian congregation.
  • Transcendentalism (womenshistory.answers.com)
    Transcendentalists made a distinction between true reason and a merely analytic understanding. They believed that subjective intuition was at least as reliable a source of truth as empirical investigation. They wanted to base their religion and philosophy on principles that were not related to the physical senses. Transcendentalists were familiar with the ideas of the English Romantics. The movement is sometimes described as a slightly later, American version of Romanticism.
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    What is transcendentalism?
  • “Unitarian Universalism” and “Unity” Churches – similarities and differences (ironicschmoozer.wordpress.com)
    Unitarian Universalism (UUism) has been more of an institution-based movement from the beginning, while Unity has been more of a message-based movement, with an extensive publishing outreach that touches people beyond its churches.  Of note is Unity’s “Daily Word” devotional booklet.
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    Both UUism and Unity affirm goodness in everyone and divine love for all.  Both have a diversity of concepts of the divine in their literature and in their congregations.  However, there are very few UUs who like terms like Father or Lord, and Unity is often comfortable with it.
    UUs include many self-describe Religious Humanists–who are atheists or agnostics and don’t respond to God language.  Most UUs, especially Humanists, disagree with the idea that there is a soul separate from the body.
  • 140/365: When “Spiritual but Not Religious” Is Not Enough (makethreesixtyfive.wordpress.com)
    I had chosen not to be confirmed as a junior high student, and my relationship with the church was tentative, though it provided me with such a network of safety, joy, and service.
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    Lillian explain what I have always known: that faith might be personal, but the community of faith is the most important, valuable part of the church. She writes, “Church is a school for sinners, not a club for saints.” In the end, my sin has always been in my faith, in my disbelief. With all things that you are supposed to “just know”, I have struggled: love, faith, life choices. But Lillian says, “I pitch my tent in the field of mystery, and have yet to nail it down,” which I think is a perfect analogy for the journey I’m on now, in all parts of my life, but particularly with spirituality.
  • Spiritual Fathers (krclynn.org)
    calling earthly men “spiritual fathers”.  I hear these words from the mouths of so many carelessly and I always flinch at the sound of it.  Are we to have mentors and people that we look up to in the church to point us to Christ?  Absolutely!  Do we need men and women of God to give us words of direction and minister to us when we face problems in different areas of our life?  Absolutely!  The problem is that the term “spiritual father” is not found in scripture nor is it supported.
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    Did we forget that Jesus is the head of the church and the chief apostle?  Did we forget that God qualified Jesus as a perfect High Priest, and He became the source of eternal salvation for all those who obey him – Hebrews 5:9.  Although there are more mature Christians than us and have more knowledge of scripture than we do, No Person has no more holiness than the average Christian and is not entitled to be called “these exaggerated names.”
  • Pop culture and spirituality without religion (christiantoday.com)
    Pop artists are fond of provocative religious imagery, but Ted Turnau says that should not be surprising for Christians and rather than getting offended, they should be looking for ways to come alongside today’s secularised pop stars to help them use such religious imagery appropriately.
  • Want to Argue About Creeds? I Don’t (theresauuco.wordpress.com)
    Unitarian Universalists are fond of saying that we believe in “deeds not creeds.”  Almost every Sunday I start the worship service by welcoming visitors telling them that we value diversity of all types. Our congregations include people who self-identify as Christians, Pagans,  Humanists, Agnostics, Jews, Atheists, Buddhists, Muslims, Spiritualists, and pretty much everything else.  I say that what matters most is how we treat other people and how we care for this planet of ours.  That is another way of saying “deeds not creeds.” Our faith tradition has a long history of respect for the individual right of conscience.  Believe whatever makes sense to you about God and what happens after we die, but let’s see if we can get together and try to make our own lives and this world a better place.  We can discuss differing theological beliefs. I love hearing what others believe about the big issues, and I like to talk about my own, always evolving, sense of the universe and what this life of ours is all about.  Arguing is pointless, however, and generally serves to increase the distance between people rather than bring them closer together.
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    Unitarian Universalism is changing and we will keep changing; change is in our DNA.  We were formed from the merger of two Christian denominations, both of which date back to the 1700′s in this country.  That history is still part of us, but I don’t think many of our religious ancestors would necessarily recognize us today.  We brought in science and humanism, incorporated wisdom from other  world religions and from the earth centered traditions.  The Transcendentalist also had a huge impact. For those of us who believe in God, revelation is definitely not sealed.  For those of us who believe in the human spirit, change is simply part of life.
  • Is Yoga New Agey? (elephantjournal.com)

    Emerson, one of the foremost minds of 19th century America, was himself heavily influenced by Vedanta, the spiritual teachings of Hinduism, which originated in India. With regard to the concept of karma, for example, he wrote, “You cannot do wrong without suffering wrong.”

    Ralph Waldo was a transcendentalist who read the Bhagavad Gita and considered himself a yogi. (Albeit his lineage was more jnana than hatha; more about knowledge and wisdom than breath and movement.)

    The “new” doesn’t refer to time but rather new as opposed to established Western societal beliefs. The “age” refers to the Aquarian Age (as in, ‘this is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius.’)

  • Can You Be Spiritual and Not Religious? (drcindysimpson.com)
    “I’m spiritual but not religious.”  I hear and read this many times.  What does this phrase mean? For people who do research in the area of religion and spirituality, however, separating the two is very difficult, if not impossible.  For millennia the word religious had about the same meaning as the word spiritual.Today religion is popularly labeled as the doctrine and beliefs of a group.  Spirituality, on the other hand, is individualized and only concerns itself with the relationship of that person to the sacred or transcendent (Koenig, 2005, pp. 44-45). Yet current research finds that at least 74% of people do not make a distinction between religion and spirituality.  How then can we best define the relationship between the two?
  • Transcendentalism vs. Puritanism: The Enduring Relevance of Competing Ideologies in Modern American Society (theiridescentbubble.com)
    Transcendentalism and Puritanism share an enduring relativity embedded in modern American individualism. Transcendentalists like Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau espoused the tenants of a quasi-religion governed by individuality and nature while Puritans like Jonathan Edwards, though influenced by the academics of free thinking, knelt at the altar of altruism governed by an angry God. While we indeed have deep roots within Puritanism as a nation, we are equally influenced by the individualism that is Transcendentalism. In reflecting upon the condition of modern American society, it seems clear that the divisions that separate these two distinct ideologies, their seeds planted during the time of our foundation, still frame the divisions we face as a collective people today.
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    the exploration of the core tenants of Transcendentalism sheds the greatest light on that which differentiates it from its Puritan opposition.  It is a form of philosophical idealism that calls upon the individual to rise above the animalistic impulses in life, as well as the cultural restrictions imposed upon the individual.  In Transcendentalism, God is a life force found in everything which negates the necessity of churches or holy places.  God is found in both nature and human nature; he is a “light” in everyone.  As a rule, one must ruminate over and nourish the inner light to keep it alive and healthy.  Everyone is in possession of intuition or an inherent understanding of right and wrong but culture and society tend to corrupt the intuition.  To actualize the authority of our intuition, we must learn, think, and reflect.  Further, neither our past nor our future should limit the present.  We must live close to nature because it is our greatest teacher and our connection to God.  Individualism is that the very heart of Transcendentalism and self-empowerment is borne of the defiance of social conventions – even God is not the ultimate authority.  To the Transcendentalist, evil is not the opposite of good, it is simply the absence of good, but good is thought to be more powerful.  Finally, all things are encompassed and contained by the Oversoul, which has spiritual power.