A world with or without religion

Last week Europe was shaken like the world got a shock in 2001.

European newspapers could fill their pages with the recent and potential terrorist attacks in France. Analysts, experts, and commentators take time and space to discuss and debate the facts, often with skewed and confused perspectives on Islam, and offer a variety of political and emotional responses.

Since the Wednesday January 7 terrorist attacks on the satirical magazine, there has been not only a sharp increase in anti-Muslim attacks in France, but in many countries, again lots of people are saying that it would be better not having any religion and than we would have more peace. Those claiming it would be better without religions do seem to forget it is not the religions which brings the fighting under people. In case there was no religion and in case people had no faith in certain higher values than life provides at the moment, it even could be that there would be more fighting going on in the world.

Would people seriously think that there would not have any terrorist attacks against the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo or against the Jewish supermarket in Paris, when it would not have been Jewish but would have been part of a certain political group or certain chain?

Eurobarometer Poll 2005 Percentage of those wh...

Eurobarometer Poll 2005 Percentage of those who agreed to the statement that “there isn’t any sort of God, spirit, or life force”. Colour enhanced from the original: contrast -0.5; gamma 0.7. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When you take away religion you still have people who can think differently over certain matters. Atheism would not guarantee that they all would agree with each other. Having no religion shall not take away the differences in political thinking and shall still give, and perhaps even more, reason to disagree and react heavenly to other political parties. Have a look at how many different political opinions and how many different political parties there are in the world.

Interior Ministries would have much more work with different opposing groups, who would not mind to try to get rid of the others, no matter at what cost, because they would know a human life having no value when it is done with.So, by taking care of other opinions they shall be happy to be the only ruler and would not fear anything but the strongest human being, and therefore shall try to do everything to become the strongest themselves.

Now with ethics still playing a role and with people led by their faith to organise their life, people shall feel restricted in what they are allowed to do or in what can be done. With not ethics their shall be no boundaries.  For those who think when people do not belief in The God or any gods, the world would be safe of fightings, I would like to tell them that atheism in a certain way is also a religion and when it can not be considered like that it is at least also a faith.

In atheism there are also many thoughts, like there are many denominations in Christendom or in any other religion.

When there would not exist religion people would, as they did, find it out. It is true there would not be Islamophobia or Judaism fear, but still homophobia, racism would still exist. Even having no gods around people would create themselves high persons and idols, like they still do today. Even people who do not believe in God or gods call their idol ‘god’. Just look at the titles they give in the world of sport and how many gods can not be found under the footballers, tennis players and boxers.

Please also do not forget that ‘god’ is a tittle, meaning a higher person or being an important person. In the Bible we do find several called god. Angels are called god in the Holy Scriptures, but also Pharaoh, Moses, Apollo, Zeus and others. Some even think because Thomas at one point says “my god” think he is taking Jesus as his god and as God. Those readers do not see or hear the “and” before “my god” and do not understand Thomas is speaking to one person about that one person and about an other person, the God of Jesus, the God of Abraham, Who is the God of gods.

In this world when there would be no religion we also would see various god-men around the world, with whatever title the people then would give them or whatever word may be used in their language to denote such a figure. Everywhere in the world of religious and non-religious people we can find human beings who seem to be having this delusion that they have special powers or abilities that promote them to a pedestal that is higher than that of us mere mortals.

thinks that’s what makes them excel in their line of business. He also thinks it is good to have faith in a guide/teacher/guru and have a direction in life. I also believe it is very important that children have a good example they can look up at and follow. Teachers or educators or leaders in a youth or adult movement have helped many a men realize their potential (in movies, mythology, and real life).

Throughout the ages the world has seen many inspirational teachers, gurus, masters of with, inspirational thinkers, who stimulated others to think for themselves and to make a real quest in life.

Every age has got its master or people where others looked at or wanted to follow. Jeshua, the Nazarene (also called the Christ) was also such a man who got a lot of followers though others did not like that at all. Mahatma Gandhi and Luther King also were preachers of peace who did not want to create a new religion, like Jesus did not want to do that.

India has always been a very fruitful region for spiritual leaders. Also in this century a new special guru has found attention.

Gurmeet Ram Rahim Insan, as he calls himself (you can’t miss the mass appeal there) happens to be this socio-religious (and I think political as well) leader in India that has a huge following. His ‘fans’ claim that he is a do gooder who is trying to rid youth of the nation from the evil clutches of drugs. He carries out blood donation drives, and his many followers unquestioningly tread on the path illuminated by him. Why should anybody have a problem with such a man who is working for the society? {The God Complex & An Exercise in Absurdity}

This man who is born Gregory House frequently referred to overt acts of philanthropy and generosity as underlying symptoms of a disease.

In his vitriolic style, he mocked people for having the “God Complex”, while it can be debated that he had one too. {The God Complex & An Exercise in Absurdity}…

But then, he decides to make a movie and star in it as a (super)hero. The promotional trailers of MSG-Messenger of God are on the telly and some people like me who are on a highway to hell by India’s religious standards are having a good laugh. His fans have come out all guns  blazing on various social media platforms, silencing the detractors and rooting for their babaji. They counter the arguments by asking questions that are only beaten in absurdity by the movie itself. {The God Complex & An Exercise in Absurdity}

We also love to live a moving picture show, loving to see a better world for us than we can find in this real world. Have a look at Facebook, and you will understand what I mean. There you can find a beautiful example how people present themselves differently than they really are. Also there they love to show others how they can interact and build themselves an empire of friends and activities wherewith they can show off.

Those supporting the movie (most of whom are followers of the baba) innocently question that when other movies can show miraculous escapes and stunt scenes, why can’t Gurmeet Ram Rahim’s movie show him performing miracles?

Second. more important question is that when other movies get away with questioning religion in the name of ‘freedom of expression’, shouldn’t the makers of MSG be allowed to have their freedom too?

The last few days it was all about that freedom in Europe. Having received a big slap in the face we had to cry out loud our anguish at our hurt community. In which way were we to be pushed or to be allowed to go? Where is it that we want to go with our society and ow do want propaganda, brainwashing, infiltration allow our lives to direct?

After the Great War, lots of people thought never such a cruelty would come over them again, but soon World War II was on their doorstep. After that calamity the West soon recovered and thought it was now safe. But on September 11, 2001 the dream of the Western World was demolished by the crash of three air-planes. The material world of successful accomplishments could experience the deadliest attack ever launched on American soil, leaving them asking again:

Why did God permit such a thing to happen?

and

How can human beings be capable of such diabolical savagery in the name of religion?

2015 January 11 in remembrance of 2001 September 11 again an Islamic terrorist act on symbols of the Western society and its freedom - Attack on Charlie Hebdo mazazine in Paris, France

2015 January 7 in remembrance of 2001 September 11 again an Islamic terrorist act on symbols of the Western society and its freedom – Attack on Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris, France

On Wednesday January 7, 2015 it was again of the same sort. Once more the West was attacked, fired in the middle of their weak heart.  Again there were people who said it was done in the name of their god, though in the Abrahamic religions there is no such God who would agree with such violence. Others said it was the fault of the religions, but they seem to forget in case there were no religions there still would be other groups fighting each other.

Lots of people do accept opposition from one or the other side but not from certain other sides. But also to be questioned is how much and in which way do we want to accept opposition.

In case there where no religions and no people believing in The God, a god or gods, they would have favouritisms for certain civic believes or political ideas.

Already from the beginning of mankind people sought ways to live with others and to form communities. Therefore different systems where thought of. The different opinions how to make the best of life would also trigger differences to have people arguing and even coming to fight with each other. Economical and political factors would be there to have people coming against each other and even being prepared to kill others for it. History can proof that.

To say therefore that religions are the cause of such misery is doing injustice to those religious people. Most of them look for ways to come at peace with each other in respect of certain values which they consider very important for making a good working human society. They mostly have ethics which they want to give priority to material or personal gain.

What we see from those who claim to be fighting for Allah is that they mostly do not follow the Words of that Allah and even do not mind killing other followers of that God. Boko Haram and ISIS are very good examples of that letting the world see that they are not afraid to rape and kill children, women and men, who also believe in their God. those jihadists also have no scruples to bomb mosques, temples of worship for Allah, and to burn Holy Scriptures like the Quran.

Those people who terrorise others misuse religion to bring more reason to frighten others for what they are doing. The jihad-fighters want people to believe that the Quran justifies their actions. Others do want to believe them and do want to believe others

Islam’s “victorious-with-terror” prophet (Hadith, Bukhari 2977) commands Muslims to mimic his example (Qur’an Sura 33:21) by ruthlessly pursuing non-Muslims (Sura 4:104, 48:29) to “terrorize” them (Sura 3:151, 8:12, 8:57-60), to “siege and slay them” (Sura 4:89, 33:57-61), to “murder” and to maim (Sura 5:33; Hadith, Tabari 9:69) in order that they be “subdued” and “destroyed” by Allah at the hands of Muslims for the cause of Islam (Sura 2:244, 4:76, 8:39, 9:14, 29-30, 9:38-39, 9:111, 61:10-12). Yet when the light of truth is shone upon the horror that is Islam the willingly ignorant still choose to remain in the dark, for to expose pure evil is to expose a monster they’d rather not see … {The Ghost Of Charlie Hebdo And The Purple Beret}

Many do not want to show true respect for those who believe in certain values and in certain elements which are above our human intellect, like spiritual beings and The God of gods.

Pope Francis I, who has urged Muslim leaders in particular to speak out against Islamic extremism, went a step further when asked by a French journalist about whether there were limits when freedom of expression meets freedom of religion. The leader of the Roman Catholics insisted that it was an “aberration” to kill in the name of God and said religion can never be used to justify violence.
But he said there was a limit to free speech when it concerned offending someone’s religious beliefs.

“There are so many people who speak badly about religions or other religions, who make fun of them, who make a game out of the religions of others,”

he said.

Religious or not, we all should see what happens in the context, of how human beings act. We should see that even without religions we would have agitators and “provocateurs”. They often are not interested in ethics and what a majority wants. They want to push their believes and their wants on others. They just want to have power over the rest of the world.

In the wake of the Paris attacks, the Vatican has sought to downplay reports that it is a potential target for Islamic extremists, saying it is being vigilant but has received no specific threat. Francis I said he was concerned primarily for the faithful, and said he had spoken to Vatican security officials who are taking “prudent and secure measures.”

In many countries it is the unbalance of one group opposite the other that creates problems. In France for example we can see that 5 million Muslims account for 10 to 12 percent of the country’s total population (the largest Muslim population in Europe) and Jews (478,000) are outnumbered by its Muslims 10 to 1. The extreme right party National Front receiving 4,712,461 votes in the 2014 European Parliament election, finishing first with 24.86% of the vote and 24 of France’s 74 seats, should give a clear sign of the danger that could come up to France even when those Jews would not be religious Jews and the Muslims would not exist but still be from foreign origin. The Algerians, Moroccans a.o. North Africans and Turkish people would face the same danger as now with their own religions.

Reburied in Har HaMenuchot cemetery in Jerusalem the Jewish cell phone salesman Ilan Halimi got a garden named after him in Paris where he was kidnapped on 21 January 2006 by a group called the Gang of Barbarians and subsequently tortured, over a period of three weeks, resulting in his death.

Without religions we also would have headlines about the hatred between people and could find articles about unspeakable murders like the one of the French Jewish man of Moroccan descent Ilan Halimi in 2006 which heralded a sharp turn back to Europe’s most notorious hatred, at the hands of its newest population. More than 1,000 people marched through the streets of Paris, demanding justice for Halimi, on Sunday February 26, 2006. Initially buried in the Cimetière parisien de Pantin near Paris his funeral in Paris drew a large Jewish crowd. It could not stop the violence against Judaic people. There have been thousands of attacks on French Jews and Jewish sites in the years since Halimi was killed.

We should know that not only

nationalism is a foundational aspect of French life. Old nationalist allegiances have made it hard for well-meaning Muslim immigrants to integrate into society, as they have no direct ties to Metropolitan France. They live largely among themselves in banlieues, whose customs and norms closely resemble those of the inhabitants’ countries of origin—not those of their new home. {The Existential Necessity of Zionism After Paris: a commentary Editorial}

America’s premier monthly magazine of opinion and a pivotal voice in American intellectual life “Commentary” does see the problem of our European community. Also when there would be no religions we would have people from all sorts of places in the world gathered in our regions. After the second world war we had great dreams of a united world. In the postwar age we needed workforce to build up the country again and invited people from other continents to work for us. The doctrine of multiculturalism, the idée fixe of postwar Europe, has not only a strange relationship with French nationalism:

Though it would seem nationalism’s ideological opposite, multiculturalism offers rosy-cheeked cover to France’s deep unwillingness to allow anyone without centuries-old roots to become “French.” Nominally, according to the postmodern ideal of multiculturalism, no one culture is more virtuous than another.

And so the anti-Western, anti-Semitic Islamism practiced by France’s most dangerous citizens is not to be vilified, but rather understood and, ultimately, tolerated. As a matter of daily reality, however, multiculturalism allows the French to keep the Muslims separate—and unequal. And it allows some in France to entertain the belief that Jews, too, can never be French. {The Existential Necessity of Zionism After Paris: a commentary Editorial}

Several may wonder now what France and its neighbour countries are going to do now they seem to be caught between the deadly reality of radical Islam and the potential manifestation of a neo-fascist revival. In case there would have been no religion there was still the matter of all those ‘foreigners’ and all those ‘coloured’ living in Europe, the same as in America you could find immigrants and coloured people.

In Europe we notice that there has come a certain pressure on many, who have seen in the economical crisis and the political evolution a similar situation as in the 1930s. Therefore many religious as well as non-treligious Jews have chosen to go to their promised Holy Land. Last year, a record-high 7,000 French Jews immigrated to the Jewish state — more than double the year before. The Jewish Agency, which oversees immigration of Jews to Israel, now estimates that some 15,000 French Jews will make aliyah in 2015.

In case there would have been no thought or no idea of a god or gods and no religions, people would have invented something to classify the different groups and ideas between the many different folks. Those classification would be there like we already classify the continents with different names and can find in each of them a multitude of political parties, which have nothing to do with religion. We can see between those political parties there are also battles going on the same as their is competition between economical forces.

With or without God, people would find enough time, arguments, money and weaponry to make their differences hard.

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You may also find to read:

  1. About what happened in France: , Being Charlie 2, Being Charlie 3, Being Charlie 4, Being Charlie 5, Being Charlie 6, Being Charlie 7, Being Charlie 8, Being Charlie 9, Being Charlie 10, It’s beautiful to watch the spread of #JeSuisCharlie across the world, Where do we stand in the backdrop of Charlie Hebdo Massacre ?, Charlie Hebdo, offensive satire and why ‘Freedom of Speech’ needs more discussion
  2. 2013 Lifestyle, religiously and spiritualy
  3. Religious Practices around the world
  4. Are you religious, spiritual, or do you belong to a religion, having a faith or interfaith
  5. Faith because of the questions
  6. Looking to the East and the West for Truth
  7. Science, belief, denial and visibility 1
  8. Science and God’s existence
  9. Exceptionalism and Restricting Laws
  10. Economic crisis danger for the rise of political extremism
  11. Zionism comments and the place of Jerusalem in the world
  12. Anti-Semitism ‘on the rise’ in Europe
  13. Immigration consternation
  14. Green Claims in Europe
  15. Arson attack carried out on Stevenage Central Mosque
  16. Religion, fundamentalism and murder
  17. Christian fundamentalism as dangerous as Muslim fundamentalism
  18. Muslim Grooming (Rape) Gangs and Sharia
  19. ISIS, Mosul Dam and threatening lives of those who want to live in freedom
  20. Condemning QSIS or the self-claimed Islamic state ruler, al- Baghdadi their extremist ideologies and to clarify the true teachings of Islam
  21. Europe and much-vaunted bastions of multiculturalism becoming No God Zones
  22. Subcutaneous power for humanity 5 Loneliness, Virtual and real friends
  23. Do we have to be an anarchist to react
  24. Apartheid or Apartness #1 Suppression and Apartness
  25. Occupy South African Embassies
  26. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  27. Morality, values and Developing right choices
  28. Classes of people and Cronyism
  29. Economics and Degradation
  30. How do you define religion?
  31. Atheists, deists, and sleepers
  32. Where is the edge
  33. Materialism, would be life, and aspirations
  34. Misleading world, stress, technique, superficiality, past, future and positivism
  35. Why Think There Is a God? (3): Why Is It Wrong?
  36. Christian values and voting not just a game
  37. Sharing a common security and a common set of values
  38. Not true or True Catholicism and True Islam
  39. Leaving the Old World to find better pastures
  40. Migrants to the West #1
  41. Migrants to the West #2
  42. Migrants to the West #3
  43. Migrants to the West #5
  44. Migrants to the West #6
  45. Migrants to the West #8 Welbeing
  46. Migrants to the West #10 Religious freedom
  47. Economic crisis danger for the rise of political extremism
  48. Quran versus older Holy Writings of Divine Creator
  49. Quran can convert to Christianity
  50. Liberal and evangelical Christians
  51. With Positive Attitude
  52. Stand Up
  53. Helping against or causing more homophobia
  54. Reflect on how much idolizing happens
  55. Martin Luther King’s Dream Today

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Additional reading

  1. Pope on Charlie Hebdo: There are limits to freedom of expression when faith is insulted
  2. Krauthammer: Obama: Charlie who?
  3. Of tweets, twits and the factually deficient
  4. Pope Says He’d Punch Someone Who Insulted His Mother
  5. Invention of religion

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  • What the Charlie Hebdo terrorists have won so far (bangordailynews.com)
    Although French police have hunted down and killed the suspects in Wednesday’s Charlie Hebdo attack, the terrorists have, on at least two levels, already won: They’ve scared a number of powerful news organizations into submission, and they’ve stoked European Islamophobia, whose rise will help militant Islamists recruit more supporters.
  • Anti-Islam Rallies Growing in Germany (guardianlv.com)
    After the attack on the Charlie Hebdo newspaper offices in France last week, anti-Islam rallies in Germany are seen to be growing rapidly. The rallies are being held by a group known as Pegida, which means in English: Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the Occident.Pegida is a right wing organization in Germany that is holding protests in various cities to fight against the growing influence of Islam in the everyday life of the country. The organization claims that the influence of Islam is slowly destroying the European culture. They also are against certain immigration practices, asylum seekers, and they want the “protection of Judeo-Christian culture” for the Western world.Although the protests in Germany have been taking place for some time, the number of attendees has been rather small in the past. On October 20 of last year, the first rally only had about 350 people present. At a meeting on January 5, there were 18,000 protestors there. Once the killings at the Charlie Hebdo newspaper offices had taken place, the number of participants has grown greatly.
  • Hypocrisy Abounds: Free Speech as Cover for Islamophobia (truthdig.com)
    A magazine that most people outside France had never heard of before Jan. 7 now has legions of followers and fans around the world. The dominant narrative that has emerged from the horrific massacre of 10 staffers of Charlie Hebdo (plus police officers and hostages) is that the very foundation of freedom itself was attacked last week in Paris, and that the best way to fight Islamic fundamentalism is to uphold the ethos of Charlie Hebdo’s irreverence and satire. After all, in seeing their own values embodied in Charlie Hebdo, holders of “Je Suis Charlie” signsseem to be positioning themselves on the “right” side of freedom and democracy.
  • Anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant rallies grow in Europe (thestar.com)

    A grassroots anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant movement is continuing to move across Europe in wake of the terror attacks that hit Paris last week.

    A crowd of nearly 25,000 attended an anti-Muslim rally in Dresden on Monday. For the last several months, the German group Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West, or PEGIDA, has been holding the demonstrations, calling for stricter controls on asylum rules and tighter immigration policies.

    Germany, along with northern European countries, is experiencing massive influxes of migrants from conflict zones in the Middle East and North Africa. Vast numbers of Syrians, Afghans, Iraqis and others caught up in war, persecution and poverty are all trying to settle in wealthier European countries to begin new lives.

  • A dying Western culture is the problem (thecommentator.com)
    The German Chancellor Angela Merkel said: “We need to say that right-wing extremism and anti-Semitism should not be allowed any place in our society.” That was the German Chancellor’s response to Pegida, the burgeoning movement in Germany against what its supporters see as the relentless Islamisation of Europe.Ms Merkel’s comment was a politician’s slur. The problem for Angela Merkel is that it’s not Pegida that is anti-Semitic, but large numbers of Europe’s Muslims. This is a truth that the EU political establishment refuses to acknowledge, even when its own bureaucrats produce the hard evidence.For example, a 2003 European Union study on anti-Semitism found that Europe’s anti-Semites were not the usual stereotypical suspects (white, skin-headed Nazis), but Muslim gangs. The report was suppressed — Europe’s PC politicians did not like the findings — and only became public when details were leaked to the Jerusalem Post.But who needs a study to show who the anti-Semites are? You can hear it and see it on Europe’s streets.
  • ‘Charlie Hebdo’: why jihad came to Paris (irishtimes.com)
    Nearly 1,300 years have passed since Charles Martel turned back the Islamic invasion at Tours, and there was a historic resonance to the policeman’s words.
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    Amid the blur of stained glass, incense and candles inside the cathedral, Fr Emmanuel Da alluded to the atrocity. “Whatever his religion, whatever his culture, a human being is your brother, and violence is a prison,” he preached. “Harming one brother with homicidal violence is harming God. There is no act more repugnant to God than homicide.”
  • Charlie Hebdo Attack Could Induce Spread Of Anti-Muslim Sentiments In Europe (eurasiareview.com)
    Elmas stated that Turkey stands as one of the most exemplary countries in terms of showing that Islam can coexist with the values of democracy, rule of law, etc. Here, Elmas underlined that Turkey should continue to cooperate with the EU and that the two parties would greatly benefit from identifying and acting upon the lowest common denominator between them when it comes to the issue.
  • European Powers Implement Police State Measures in Wake of Charlie Hebdo Attack (gunnyg.wordpress.com)
    Governments throughout Europe have responded to the attacks on Charlie Hebdo in France by moving quickly to push through a raft of anti-democratic measures. They are exploiting the shock and confusion generated by the event in Paris to take actions… European Powers Implement Police State Measures in Wake of Charlie Hebdo Attack
  • Timeline of European terror attacks (seattletimes.com)
    A gun assault on the Paris offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo Wednesday was the deadliest terrorist attack in France’s recent history. Some other terror attacks in Western Europe:

Different writers joined together

From different regions, cultures and religions, some people wanted to share their ideas and loved to be united accepting that everybody has the right to have an other opinion, an other way of live and most of all the freedom of speech.

English: The Company and Magazine Logo of the ...

The Company and Magazine Logo of the Swiss Lifestyle Magazine Black Paper (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Those associated writers are grateful to the founder of the lifestyle magazine Stepping Toes, Marcus Ampe, that they are allowed to share their thoughts on this platform. Mr. Ampe and we do know that there may be many Christadelphians who do not like it that non-christadelphian writings are placed on the same site. The Christadelphians as well as all readers coming along this site do have to understand that by sharing ideas everybody can be brought to consider the different opinions and can be stimulated to do further research themselves.

When we shall publish something on Stepping Toes each writer shall put his signature and shall write in his or her own name. When they write something on Stepping Toes or on our own joint-site it does not mean that all of us agree with the content, nor that the editor would totally agree with what is written in the article. The main reason for publishing the article is to bring an other viewpoint in the picture and to allow to open a debate.

For example, we shall bring some postings about the Sabbath and Mosaic Laws. Much debate is going on about the reason why a Christian should follow or not have to keep to the Jewish and Mosaic Laws. Christadelphians accept that Jesus installed the New Covenant and therefore we do not have to follow all of those Mosaic Laws. Other Christians say we do have to have  a Sabbath service, others say we do have a Sunday service, Christadelphians say every day belongs to God and can be used to hold a service.

In the Christadelphian community there may also be different ideas about certain matters. By having writers from outside talking about those subjects, like tithing, holidays, etc., it can shed a new light on the matter, and give many people reason to think about it, and providing them with several options or with a good solution.

We do hope the readers from this lifestyle magazine will appreciate Marcus Ampe his open-mindedness to allow other voices to express their opinion. We do agree we may reveal other opinions than him and many other Christadelphians, but we do hope the communication or dialogue shall be able to be constructive for both parties, the writers and the readers.

By bringing more authors together on one platform it can generate more readers for each writer, and we do believe that each writer would love to have his or her articles been read.

Dear reader may we ask you to take in mind that all articles presented on this platform, from guest-writers, shall be presenting the ideas of that particular or undersigned writer.

We hope you shall enjoy reading the contributions those readers shall make in the future.
The Team
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Attackers silenced freedom of speech

Warning: Those who like censor could be offended with our open-minded attitude to tackle a problem which we have encountered the last few months.

We do request those who can’t bear open speaking to abandon from reading this article, because they might, perhaps by prejudice or partiality, be offended.

Previous days and years

The last few days there did not seem to have come any opportunity to publish anything on this recently opened website on WordPress.

22102006 AC Distrubitie dag bijeenkomst

Members of our community at a meeting in the Christadelphian ecclesia Brussel-Leuven. – Heverlee, Leuven

The Belgian Christadelphian community has been under attack by a person who lives in the North of Europe and leads a prosperous organisation which tries to bring people all over the world under their spell.

For years now the Belgian Christadelphians had tried to work together with that man and his organisation, with the idea that people should unite in their force to bring people to Christ. It must be told that this guy converts a lot of people to Christianity and gets them baptised under Christ. In previous years he baptised them as Christadelphians, but we came to understand this could be called very doubtful in the present circumstances.

‘Being in’ or ‘Belonging to’ a group

Normally one would think when people are taken into a group, be it for example Anglicans, you would expect such persons baptised in that church would be welcome in any Anglican church and considered as Anglicans. But this man baptising his followers and leading an organisation that calls itself Christadelphian does everything so that their members would not associate with other members of the worldwide community of Christadelphian brothers and sisters.

After loads of correspondence and trials to reconcile the founder of this website, who is also the responsible for the Belgian Christadelphians, and member of the Central Fellowship, with that man and his organisation and the organisation which helps us, the Christadelphian Bible Mission or CBM, in the United Kingdom as in Belgium we came to understand that there is no way to talk reasonably with that man, and the organisation which seems to be blinded by that charismatic figure.

Belgian story

After months of patience, the community of Brethren and Sisters in Christ, under the CBM, came to the conclusion we had to stop trying to come to terms with that man of the North and his organisation. By taking distance from this terrible division we clearly stepped on that man his toes. Probably for that reason he continued even more to twist our words and talked slanderous about Mr. Ampe, calling Marcus Ampe now the cause of all the problems and accusing him of slander. Therefore Marcus Ampe went in to defence and made clear why the Christadelphian community in Belgium could not give any addresses in Belgium of that man his organisation, because they did not allow us to have the addresses where people could come together to study the Bible and to have worship together.

We would have loved to see the different groups of Christadelphians having come together in unity, but because that person and his organisation not willing to share meetings with our members, we just could not help those people who asked us for advice and help.

Not willing to Care

The organisation which has the word “Care” in its name did not seem to care that the very few in Belgium could not have gatherings in unity. It looks like they are more concerned in their own membership and followers who want to say and do everything like they want it to be done. For us this became smelling more like being a cult or sect, which does not wonder us why we often are asked if or are accused of the Christadelphians being a cult. Though normally Christadelphians have no specific worldly leader, or any order of ranking, like you can find in so many Christian organisations or denominations, so no pope, cardinals and bishops. We all consider ourselves under the leadership of Jesus Christ. He is our cornerstone who leads us to his Father. All of those who come to be baptised under the name of Jesus Christ, are considered equal brothers and sisters of Christ.

CIMG0593

Marcus Ampe in 2006

Therefore it is also ridiculous of the organisation to consider that Mr. Ampe from Belgium would have been able to have a worldwide exclusion of the man of the North for the Christadelphian community. He even never disfellowshipped the man of the North, so why should the organisation from the Australian division request Mr. Ampe to restore fellowship in the Christadelphian community. It is to attribute Mr. Ampe with a power no one has in our Christian community. He is well aware of that and never claimed to have such a position or never demanded other Christadelphians not meeting with the Man from the North.

Living in the world obliged to laws and regulations

We do know we are living in this world and as such are bounded to regulations of this world, like having to pay our taxes and to confer other worldly obligations. As such, we also do need a working structure and an office. Mr. Marcus Ampe takes care of those duties in Belgium. For this he also has the responsibility to try to make the daily duties work. He not only has to provide material for the services and make arrangements so that the baptised people can come together; he also has to protect them and to make sure the community or parishes are kept clean of teachings and safe for all members who want to join.

ScreenHunter_35 Feb. 15 10.47

Christadelphia Facebook page not available, or blacked-out on 2014 February 15

Having confronted with the person of the North, trying to jam the Christadelphian movement in Belgium, he felt pressed to undertake action and to defend his actions. For that reason he placed his defence on his religious website Christadelphian World and put notices up on his Facebook and the Christadelphia Facebook page. Being confronted that the truth about this dilemma was put onto the net the accuser felt bitten and wanted to have Marcus Ampe his Facebook close down. We where warned of this request to close down the Facebook account by that man, but the Facebook site of Mr Ampe stayed public. (Though surprise today 15/02/2014 there was a picture of a wounded thumb up saying the page did not exist any-more.)

Black-out of Christadelphian World

Christadelphian World 11 Nov 2013Going further in the attack, we cannot tell if it was the man of the North himself or one of his co-workers, they succeeded to silence Marcus Ampe his voice on Blogger. Incredible, but true, Christadelphian World was silenced under the norm “inappropriate postings”. As soon as Marcus Ampe got to see that his website was obstructed for public viewing he send in a request to Google to reconsider their action. Later that day the main postings seemed to be available to the public again, but all the comments where and are still not visible to the public today (Saturday 15 February 2014).

It is unbelievable that someone could close down a website for reasons which make no serious ground to do such a thing. We do know “truth may hurt one mentally as much as an antiseptic balm may hurt on a wound”, like Vichar Prachar says it so nicely in his article Freedom of Speech and the Right to Offend. Sometimes we come to a point where we do have to bring the dirty linen into the open. First the people in Belgium tried to solve the matter between themselves with the man from the North. Afterwards we brought in the linkman from our British main organisation CBM. Than the CBM linkman tried to bring CBM in reconciliation with the man from the North and the organisation linked with him. Following the Christian rule of have first no witnesses, than two witnesses, then more witnesses from the own community, we did have to bring it more into the open because people from outside our organisation where also affected.

To wash one’s dirty linen in public

We do not like it at all to bring out internal matters, but this situation has ran our of hand and the accuser attacks us with all he can do.

The Belgian Christadelphians have showed patience for more than one year, and tried sincerely to bring all baptised Christadelphian members, be it Amended or non-amended, or from any group linked with one or the other organisation, together.

The Belgian Christadelphian also sincerely tried and still try to spread the Good News of the Gospel, and want to unite all people who would like to follow Jeshua, the Nazarene Jewish rabbi, who is better known in the West as Jesus Christ. He is the Messiah and should be our only mediator between God and man. According to our faith it is Jesus people have to follow and not one or the other organisation. We should all be parts of the body of Christ and feel united as such.

When washing has to be done, those who are made dirty should have to receive the opportunity to be cleansed. We also consider that all things should be made clear and to do so everybody should have the right to speak openly.

The Indian writer says also:

A society that endeavors to consist of an enlightened citizenship will always put Truth central to its constitutional preamble. Our constitutional visionaries took vision from an age old Dharmic saying ‘Satyameva Jayate’ and enshrined it in our Constitution. Yet we have been only paying lip service to the underlying importance this has towards developing an enlightened, civilized and developed society. We have been steadily contorting ‘abuse’ to imply ‘offense’ and ‘hurt’ irrespective whether the hurt or offense is caused by Truth or untruth.

Imposing their will on others

Freedom of Speech (preliminary version)

Freedom of Speech (preliminary version) (Photo credit: cliff1066™)

The person from the North and his organisation do want to have to tell things in the world, want to take on ministerial positions, but do not want to accept the political controversy with it. Those involved in politics should know that they always stand open for criticism. In case they can not endure such criticism they better would withdraw and do other things, but not wanting to take the lead.

In case every politician could silence a website or newspaper when criticism was given on him or her or on the work of the party, or when they told the truth, many websites would face a close-down and many papers would fall in oblivion. But clearly than our world would be in dictatorship. In the West we can not accept that we would be placed under absolute or despotic control or power.

Pointing out such a danger of having being censored, though Marcus Ampe is only a very, very small player on the field, he now had to go into the pen for more than one reason. Such a jamming of his writings and a censoring of the commentators, without him being consulted or having the possibility to keep the postings on the net, are an infringement of freedom of public speech.

Unwanted and dangerous censorship

A good example of how in the past also one certain church wanted to silence other believers. – In “Panegyricae orationes septem” (1596) Henric van Cuyck, a Dutch Bishop, defended the need for censorship. Van Cuyck argued that Johannes Gutenberg’s printing press had resulted in a world infected by “pernicious lies.” He singled out the Talmud and the Qu’ran, and the writings of Martin Luther, Jean Calvin and Erasmus of Rotterdam.

This whole situation seems ridiculous, but we do have to question, in case some organisations can silence ordinary folks, what can be done to silence those who really bring out a voice which can change a country? Such blue-pencil, having done its work, for such a small website should make us all think about the power certain organisations and blog-providers may have. The black-out of Christadelphian World and the censor having brought on by Google on Marcus Ampe his Google+ account should have us all think about the danger of such actions to which the involved persons do seem not to be able to do something against. They even were not consulted or could give any defence for their writing.

We know Marcus Ampe does not take any important position in blogging world, and his writings shall never reach so many people, because the subject he writes about, most people are not interested in. But having him to be silenced, though everybody may come to see his writings are not offensive at all, should make question about the liberty of speaking out freely. When you consider how much spam every day comes into our mailboxes and how many porn sites and websites about violence and with awful words can be seen by many every day on the internet, without them being black-out, we may wonder in what sort of world we have come to live in. Mr. Ampe’s writings are integer and about what is happening in the world as seen from a Christadelphian and Christian viewpoint. If he gets silenced one can wonder why so many others have not been silenced, though they hurt many people, use a much more inappropriate language than Mr. Ampe.
This Marcus Ampe, though coming from the performing world also may not be confused with an other Mr. Marcus, who is an an American pornographic actor who in 2012, was the main person in a syphilis-infection scandal in California when several porn-performers were infected during video production.

Please: Look for yourself

We would like to ask our readers to look for themselves. In case they can (again) view the writings on Christadelphian World, that they let us know if those writings are so offensive or so dangerous as others want the public to believe. Let us also know if the comments are visible again and if in it are used inappropriate words. Our community want to learn, so we do not mind response.

This annoying situation has consumed lots of time of several of our members. We came to the conclusion we shall have to row on our own and shall have to find ways to reach the Belgian public, without help of outsiders.
The Belgian Christadelphians do want to buckle their belt and continue the necessary work of preaching.. We do not mind to make shift with what we may have in our small country. To make the best of it, any help is naturally welcome, spiritual and/or financial support. Mostly we would appreciate already the spiritual support, to encourage us to continue spreading the Word of God.

We shall soon take up again our regular duties and bring the Gospel of the Good News. But this time we were so ‘flappergasted’ (taken by) the bad news, we did have to share it with our regular readers and with those who are interested in what is happening in the religious world in Belgium.

In the time we are

Deutsch: Christadelphian-Gemeindehaus in Esslingen

Christadelphian – Community house in Esslingen (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We do know in what sort of time we probably have come. In the Bible we can find many prophesies and also prophesies about the end-times. A prediction of what shall happen in the world when it comes closer to the end makes us aware we shall have to endure certain attacks, which shall even come from those we considered to be our brothers.
Reading the Bible and finding many answers in it, we also come to know there will be an even greater need for believers to be in harmony and to pray together as our world starts to fall apart. Therefore we would like all those who believe in the Divine Creator, to join hands, preach the Gospel of the Good News and the coming Kingdom of God.

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Please do find

Mr. Ampe his reaction after continued exclusion by the man of the North his continued refusal to allow different Christadelphians meet with each other: No reconciliation possible between CBM and Duncan Heaster from Carelinks

Additional writings by Marcus Ampe concerning the controversial situation in Belgium:

  1. Not words of any organisation should bind you, but the Word of God
  2. Priority to form a loving brotherhood
  3. Disciple of Christ counting lives and friends dear to them
  4. Certain people trying to stem freedom of speech
  5. Censorship possible by a person and his organisation

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Please do find other additional readings:

  1. Belonging to or being judged by
  2. A Voice to be heard
  3. Good or bad preacher
  4. One Mediator between God and man
  5. Follower of Jesus part of a cult or a Christian
  6. Parts of the body of Christ
  7. A small company of Jesus’ footstep follower
  8. Called Christian
  9. Breaking up with a cult
  10. Manifests for believers #5 Christian Union
  11. Making church
  12. When discouraged facing opposition
  13. Fearing the right person
  14. Some one or something to fear #3 Cases, folks and outing
  15. How to look for and how to handle the Truth
  16. Reasons to come to gether
  17. Congregate, to gather, to meet
  18. Meeting – Vergadering
  19. Parish, local church community – Parochie, plaatselijke kerkgemeenschap
  20. The Church, Body of Christ and remnant Israel synonymous
  21. Many churches
  22. Synagogue, Church or Ecclesia for the Christian
  23. Those who call the Christadelphians a cult
  24. Uncovering the Foundations of Faith
  25. What’s church for, anyway?
  26. Rebirth and belonging to a church
  27. Commitment to Christian unity
  28. United people under Christ
  29. Breathing and growing with no heir
  30. Exceptionalism and Restricting Laws
  31. An ecclesia in your neighborhood
  32. Intentions of an Ecclesia
  33. Christadelphians children of God
  34. Christadelphian beliefs
  35. Major Points of Belief
  36. Christadelphian or My Beliefs and the World
  37. What we believe
  38. What Christadelphians teach
  39. Intentions of an Ecclesia
  40. Politics and power first priority #1
  41. A Society pleading poverty
  42. Proclaiming shalom, bringing good news of good things, announcing salvation
    sssh!

    sssh! (Photo credit: Stephen Dagnall)

     

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From other people, denominations and atheists:

  1. A beautiful photo: #leadership at Inspiration Daily Shared publicly  –  13 Feb 2014
  2. Why so religious?
  3. Freedom of speech or political right to communicate one’s opinions and ideas
  4. Universal Declaration of Human Rights
  5. International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
  6. European Convention on Human Rights
  7. American Convention on Human Rights
  8. African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights
  9. Find also more information on libel, slander, obscenity, sedition
  10. Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006
  11. Liberty-human-rights – article 10 – freedom of expression
  12. Freedom Of Speech And Expression inclusive Importance Of Freedom Of Speech And Expression
  13. Freedom of speech, of the press, of association, of assembly and petition
  14. The Paradox of Liberty: the Freedom of speech (re)considered

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A screenshot of the default WordPress theme.

A screenshot of the default WordPress theme. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • On the site of ABC you may find the article Who are the Christadelphians? (blogs.abc.net.au) where a wrong picture is given of our community. Though we do agree like in any denomination you may find very conservative groups but also very progressive groups in our community.+
    “it sounds like Vanessa belonged to an extreme group. Adelaide is not typical of Christadelphians worldwide. I’m a Christadelphian from the UK and I can safely say that those I mix with enjoy a drink, theatre going, football, movies, read lots of novels, wear scarlet – and yes we bring friends home.I’m sorry that Vanessa seems to have had a poor experience of Christadelphians. We’re not all so insular. But yes we believe the Bible and try to follow its principles in our lives. In this messed up world to keep focused on the big picture of the Return of Christ and his kingdom on earth is a certain hope. It’s a true hope – Bible prophecy about the Jews is compelling evidence.” Sarah Joiner
  • Marching not to war (christiantoday.com)
    Britain was virtually alone in recognising the rights of COs and this clause was seen as a major coup for the No Conscription Fellowship and the Fellowship of Reconciliation. The latter was a Christian ecumenical movement which had long campaigned for such recognition.The Fellowship of Reconciliation arose out of a friendship between a German Lutheran and English Quaker. Friedrich Siegmund-Schultz and Henry Theodore Hodgkin met at an ecumenical conference in Switzerland that was disrupted by the onset of war.
  • Cory Bernardi and Freedom of Speech (andrewwhalan.com)
    The problem with that is my explicit and implicit attitude : the only person who should exercise freedom of speech is me and me alone.Which means I can enjoy my moment of free speech. And silence everyone else’s freedom of speech.Which mean freedom of speech is lost in the long run for me and for everyone else.
  • Taking offence and freedom of speech (blogs.spectator.co.uk)
    All religious groups benefit from freedom of speech, because their beliefs have the power to offend others. As our leading article this week sets out, that includes the rather mild and doddery-seeming Church of England, which teaches that personal sin is a serious matter requiring repentance. That’s the sort of thing that can offend people, too, but the Church and other groups benefit from the freedom to say it. Religious groups who argue for curbs on freedom of speech must realise that in the end, this would damage their own freedom too, not just that of others they don’t like.
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    Agrippina:

    The fanatical ideologists need to be defeated, either they accept this free democracy or go and live elsewhere. They have nothing to offer us and we do not want anything from them. Spectator journos should pop out to Tower Hamlets or further north, and see the level of islamification of this green and pleasant land.

  • Silence is the true freedom. (priscillaescamilla28.wordpress.com)
    Silence is power, / the freedom of speech is nothing but a lying blood sucking leach,
  • Free Speech or Regulated Silence? (amresolution.com)
    How did our founders ever manage to establish a republic committed to free speech and the rights of the individual without a Federal Election Commission to regulate that speech and force disclosure of the speaker?
  • What if Freedom Meant Exodus? (pumabydesign001.com) +What if Freedom Meant Exodus?
    With our faith being ridiculed and mocked and a government increasingly hostile to our practicing our faith. We see a rampant increase of sexual immorality and perversion along with an assault on a on our children by forcing them to accept this behavior as normal.We pray for wisdom for our leaders and for God to intercede. But what if God has other plans? What if God were to bring a Moses forth? Would we recognise and welcome him? If he wanted to lead us to a different place, would we go?