Bible, sword of the Spirit to come into the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man

 

 

“(For the choir director. A Psalm of David.) The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.” (Psalms 19:1 NAS)

“1  Then God spoke all these words, saying, 2 “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. 3 “You shall have no other gods before Me.” (Exodus 20:1-3 NAS)

“thus says the Lord GOD, “It shall not stand nor shall it come to pass.” (Isaiah 7:7 NAS)

“Then the LORD stretched out His hand and touched my mouth, and the LORD said to me, “Behold, I have put My words in your mouth.” (Jeremiah 1:9 NAS)

“”Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works.” (John 14:10 NAS)

“And take THE HELMET OF SALVATION, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (Ephesians 6:17 NAS)

“He said also, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” Then Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.” (Exodus 3:6 NAS)

“And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding, in order that we might know Him who is true, and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.” (1 John 5:20 NAS)

“”Worthy art Thou, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for Thou didst create all things, and because of Thy will they existed, and were created.”” (Revelation 4:11 NAS)

“2 God spoke further to Moses and said to him, “I am the LORD; 3 and I appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as God Almighty, but [by] My name, LORD, I did not make Myself known to them.” (Exodus 6:2-3 NAS)

“13 “And you say, ’What does God know? Can He judge through the thick darkness? 14 ’Clouds are a hiding place for Him, so that He cannot see; And He walks on the vault of heaven.’” (Job 22:13-14 NAS)

“5 Then the Levites, Jeshua, Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabneiah, Sherebiah, Hodiah, Shebaniah, [and] Pethahiah, said, “Arise, bless the LORD your God forever and ever! O may Thy glorious name be blessed And exalted above all blessing and praise! 6 “Thou alone art the LORD. Thou hast made the heavens, The heaven of heavens with all their host, The earth and all that is on it, The seas and all that is in them. Thou dost give life to all of them And the heavenly host bows down before Thee. 7 “Thou art the LORD God, Who chose Abram And brought him out from Ur of the Chaldees, And gave him the name Abraham.” (Nehemiah 9:5-7 NAS)

“7  “Hear, O My people, and I will speak; O Israel, I will testify against you; I am God, your God. 8 “I do not reprove you for your sacrifices, And your burnt offerings are continually before Me. 9 “I shall take no young bull out of your house, Nor male goats out of your folds. 10 “For every beast of the forest is Mine, The cattle on a thousand hills. 11 “I know every bird of the mountains, And everything that moves in the field is Mine. 12 “If I were hungry, I would not tell you; For the world is Mine, and all it contains. 13 “Shall I eat the flesh of bulls, Or drink the blood of male goats? 14 “Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, And pay your vows to the Most High; 15 And call upon Me in the day of trouble; I shall rescue you, and you will honor Me.” 16  But to the wicked God says, “What right have you to tell of My statutes, And to take My covenant in your mouth? 17 “For you hate discipline, And you cast My words behind you.” (Psalms 50:7-17 NAS)

“11 And He gave some [as] apostles, and some [as] prophets, and some [as] evangelists, and some [as] pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fulness of Christ. 14 As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming;” (Ephesians 4:11-14 NAS)

“And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:1 NAS)

“9 but just as it is written, “THINGS WHICH EYE HAS NOT SEEN AND EAR HAS NOT HEARD, AND [which] HAVE NOT ENTERED THE HEART OF MAN, ALL THAT GOD HAS PREPARED FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM.” 10 For to us God revealed [them] through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:9-10 NAS)

“14 But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. 15 But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no man. 16 For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, THAT HE SHOULD INSTRUCT HIM? But we have the mind of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 2:14-16 NAS)

“Who has directed the Spirit of the LORD, Or as His counselor has informed Him?” (Isaiah 40:13 NAS)

“5 which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit; 6 [to be specific], that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel,” (Ephesians 3:5-6 NAS)

“that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and [attaining] to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, [resulting] in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, [that is,] Christ [Himself],” (Colossians 2:2 NAS)

“Do not speak in the hearing of a fool, For he will despise the wisdom of your words.” (Proverbs 23:9 NAS)

“1  Now these are the last words of David. David the son of Jesse declares, And the man who was raised on high declares, The anointed of the God of Jacob, And the sweet psalmist of Israel, 2 “The Spirit of the LORD spoke by me, And His word was on my tongue.” (2 Samuel 23:1-2 NAS)

“”Brethren, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit foretold by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus.” (Acts 1:16 NAS)

“And when they did not agree with one another, they [began] leaving after Paul had spoken one [parting] word, “The Holy Spirit rightly spoke through Isaiah the prophet to your fathers,” (Acts 28:25 NAS)

“seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow.” (1 Peter 1:11 NAS)

“20 But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is [a matter] of one’s own interpretation, 21 for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.” (2 Peter 1:20-21 NAS)

“”But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.” (John 14:26 NAS)

“16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17 NAS)

“And for this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received from us the word of God’s message, you accepted [it] not [as] the word of men, but [for] what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe.” (1 Thessalonians 2:13 NAS)

“For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” (Romans 15:4 NAS)

“Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.” (1 Corinthians 10:11 NAS)

“49  Remember the word to Thy servant, In which Thou hast made me hope. 50  This is my comfort in my affliction, That Thy word has revived me.” (Psalms 119:49-50 NAS)

“7 “The beginning of wisdom [is:] Acquire wisdom; And with all your acquiring, get understanding. 8 “Prize her, and she will exalt you; She will honor you if you embrace her. 9 “She will place on your head a garland of grace; She will present you with a crown of beauty.”” (Proverbs 4:7-9 NAS)

“The mind of the intelligent seeks knowledge, But the mouth of fools feeds on folly.” (Proverbs 15:14 NAS)

“”And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit, and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.”” (Matthew 13:23 NAS)

“But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.” (Hebrews 5:14 NAS)

“And as for these four youths, God gave them knowledge and intelligence in every http://of literature and wisdom; Daniel even understood all [kinds of] visions and dreams.” (Daniel 1:17 NAS)

“There is no wisdom and no understanding And no counsel against the LORD.” (Proverbs 21:30 NAS)

“Listen to counsel and accept discipline, That you may be wise the rest of your days.” (Proverbs 19:20 NAS)

“7 Consider what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything. 8  Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, descendant of David, according to my gospel, 9 for which I suffer hardship even to imprisonment as a criminal; but the word of God is not imprisoned. 10 For this reason I endure all things for the sake of those who are chosen, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus [and] with [it] eternal glory.” (2 Timothy 2:7-10 NAS)

“even as Thou gavest Him authority over all mankind, that to all whom Thou hast given Him, He may give eternal life.” (John 17:2 NAS)

“And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding, in order that we might know Him who is true, and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.” (1 John 5:20 NAS)

“2 for kings and all who are in authority, in order that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. 3 This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:2-4 NAS)

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Comparative Study Bible NIV_KJV_NASB_AMP

Comparative Study Bible NIV_KJV_NASB_AMP

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Preceding articles:

Coming to understanding from sayings written long ago

Bibel, Schwert des Geistes, in die Einheit des Glaubens und der Erkenntnis des Sohnes Gottes

Bijbel, zwaard van de Geest in de eenheid van het geloof en van de kennis van de Zoon van God om tot een volkomen mens te komen

Bible, épée de l’Esprit à venir dans l’unité de la foi et de la connaissance du Fils de Dieu

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Additional literature:

  1. Fools despise wisdom and instruction
  2. Looking for wisdom not departing from God’s Word
  3. Words to inspire and to give wisdom
  4. Eternal Word that tells everything
  5. Hearing words to accept
  6. Genuine message of salvation
  7. God who knows the heart
  8. Bible, God speaking words profitable for doctrine, for reproof and for correction
  9. Bible, helmet of health, salvation and sword of the spirit
  10. Bible, helmet of salvation, God’s Words put in the mouth of prophets for perfecting, to reprove and correct
  11. No prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation
  12. Bible, God’s Word to edify (ERV)
  13. Looking for wisdom not departing from God’s Word
  14. The holy spirit will bring back to your minds all the things told
  15. True God giving His Word for getting wisdom
  16. Bric-a-brac of the Bible
  17. We should use the Bible every day
  18. Feed Your Faith Daily
  19. May reading the Bible provoke us into action to set our feet on the narrow way

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A true sermon is a real deed.

Those who preach may never forget that not there words should resound but the Words of God should enlighten the people.
Though the speaker may allow others to see the weakness of weak imperfect man, our incompleteness and how in our inadequacy we can try to make ourselves better, trying to become beloved children of God.
Each of us has to share our experiences and our knowledge so that everybody can be helped and grow, feeling that we all are there to help each other to understand the Word of God and find hope in the promises of God.

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To remember:

  • Christ himself existed not to present us with the supreme spiritual spectacle of history
  • Christ himself existed to achieve the critical thing in history.
  • Gospel = act of God
  • Gospel calls for an act + inspires it
  • Gospel preaching => “function” of the great act
  • true sermon = real deed
  • sermon = preacher’s personality into an act <= chief form of Christian life and practice

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  • The Word of God (thisdaywithgod.wordpress.com)
    it is when we plant God’s Word into our heart. If our hearts are ready and receptive, the spiritual seed will flourish and be a treasure of great value.
  • Assembling Together, Fellowship and the Apostate Church (endtimesprophecyreport.wordpress.com)
    IN the times in which we live, one is sometimes tempted to forsake the “assembling of ourselves together.” This goes hand-in-hand with the difficulty of finding a church which sticks strictly to the Word of God.As opposed to finding plenty of churches which claim to stick to the Bible but who insert tons of their own doctrines, advice, speculation, etc.Almost inevitably, a church will be recommended, visited and evaluated. Almost as inevitable, it will be found wanting in the very basics of what a Christian church should be.
    +We are to preach the gospel.  The Holy Spirit will lead the person to the Lord–not us.  Then, that person will either accept or reject the free gift of eternal salvation.  Other than preaching the gospel (a very short and concise message), we really have nothing to do with it.

    The latest craze from the apostate Church is that preaching the gospel is no longer enough; that instead of preaching the gospel, man should insert himself between the Holy Spirit and the possible convert.  The “convert” should be “discipled” in the fables of man; that prideful man does a better job of “schooling” the “convert’ than the Holy Spirit.

    This is the wide road to further apostasy.

  • Live in the Word of God (vineandbranchworldministries.com)
    There is nothing more important to your health, happiness, business and professional life than the Word of God, it is not what I say that is important, but what the Word teaches you on how to live and live a full and complete life and when that living is finished and you die, you will die empty because you lived in the Word and by the Word and that Word of truth set you Free!
  • RCCG Open Heavens Daily Devotional, Date: Monday 3rd November 2014, Theme: ” The Word” -By Pastor E.A Adeboye “ (prayerupdates.org)
    The word of God is God communicating with us and the word of God is God revealed to us. In it we see His nature and His character. The word of God is forever settled in heaven. The word of God is a living spirit (John 6:63). The word of God reveals the mind of God and therefore His will to us. What can man do without the word of God? Nothing! It is the word of God that gives us the means of salvation from sin. It confronts us with the reality of our fallen state, the doom of sinners and the way out through the love and mercy of God. It is the same word that serves as our compass on our journey to Heaven (Acts 20:32). The word of God also reveals God’s provision for our successful and victorious living here on earth, and how to harness His promises in our lives.
  • Open Heavens Daily Devotional. Monday 3 November 2014. Theme : the Word. (thelivingtruthblog.wordpress.com)
    For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the
    heart. Hebrews 4 : 12.

memoirandremains

For this, therefore, I say that Christ Himself existed not to present us with the supreme spiritual spectacle of history, but to achieve the critical thing in history. The Gospel is an act of God,
gathered in a point but thrilling through history, and it calls for an act, and inspires it. Its preaching must therefore be an act, a “function” of the great act. A true sermon is a real deed. It puts the preacher’s personality into an act. That is his chief form of Christian life and practice. And one of his great difficulties is that he has to multiply words about what is essentially a deed. If you remember what men of affairs think about the people who make set speeches in committee you will realize how the preacher loses power whose sermons are felt to be productions, or lessons, or speeches, rather than real acts of…

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Writers needed to preach to non-believers

Growing Islamisation

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

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

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

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

Open-air preaching (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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

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

No good answers by clergymen for searching people

No Preaching sign in Australia

No Preaching sign in Australia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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

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

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

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

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

Need of human example

In The Swinging Doors is written:

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

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

No one willing to come down

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

None will venture to ascend their hill.

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

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

Given task

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

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

says the writer of Words From There.

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

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

Servants for God

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

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

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

Short time to stand at the side

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

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

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

Messengers with wrong motives

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

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

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

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

Poisoned and mislead

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

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

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

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

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

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

Unlearned men

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

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

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

Right to read and to interpret

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

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

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

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

Not staying in own cocoon

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

Thomas Manton asked

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

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

Charles Haddon Spurgeon by Alexander Melville.jpg

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

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

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

A Privilege to be taken seriously

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

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

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

People wanting to know God

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

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

A W Tozer.jpg

Aiden Wilson Tozer

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

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

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

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

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

Simply taking up the task given by Christ

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

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

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

You to can play your role

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

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

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

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

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

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

Declaring Good News

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sharing and blessings for all

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

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

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

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

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

May your time spent here be blessed.

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

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Find to read:

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

+++

Additional reading:

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

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  • 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.

The Genre of the Gospels

We not only have to look at the Gospels as historical documents and eye witnesses to the events. The main part of the writers was to give an idea who Jesus was, what his teaching comprehended and to teach the world the importance of following those teachings of their master teacher. As Phillip J. Long writes, the Gospels should best be described as historical-theological documents.

.

For the writers it was perhaps less important to give a historical view about the events, and therefore the chronological part of their writings was not as important as the part of giving a picture of who Jesus was and what the essence of his teaching was.

+++
  • Surprise! It’s Possible Jesus Never Existed (awaypoint.wordpress.com)
    Most antiquities scholars think that the New Testament gospels are “mythologized history.”  In other words, based on the evidence available they think that around the start of the first century a controversial Jewish rabbi named Yeshua ben Yosef gathered a following and his life and teachings provided the seed that grew into Christianity. At the same time, these scholars acknowledge that many Bible stories like the virgin birth, miracles, resurrection, and women at the tomb borrow and rework mythic themes that were common in the Ancient Near East, much the way that screenwriters base new movies on old familiar tropes or plot elements. In this view, a “historical Jesus” became mythologized.
    +
    For a variety of reasons, the practice of pseudonymous writing was common at the time and many contemporary documents are “signed” by famous figures.  The same is true of the New Testament epistles except for a handful of letters from Paul (6 out of 13) which are broadly thought to be genuine.  But even the gospel stories don’t actually say, “I was there.” Rather, they claim the existence of other witnesses, a phenomenon familiar to anyone who has heard the phrase, my aunt knew someone who . . .
  • Did the historical Jesus exist?: 5 Reasons to suspect Jesus never existed (sott.net)
    For over 200 years, a wide ranging array of theologians and historians – most of them Christian – analyzed ancient texts, both those that made it into the Bible and those that didn’t, in attempts to excavate the man behind the myth. Several current or recent bestsellers take this approach, distilling the scholarship for a popular audience. Familiar titles include Zealot by Reza Aslan and How Jesus Became God by Bart Ehrman.
    +
    More academic arguments in support of the Jesus Myth theory can be found in the writings of Richard Carrier and Robert Price. Carrier, who has a Ph.D. in ancient history uses the tools of his trade to show, among other things, how Christianity might have gotten off the ground without a miracle. Price, by contrast, writes from the perspective of a theologian whose biblical scholarship ultimately formed the basis for his skepticism. It is interesting to note that some of the harshest debunkers of fringe Jesus myth theories like those from Zeitgeist or Joseph Atwill (who tries to argue that the Romans invented Jesus) are from serious Mythicists like Fitzgerald, Carrier and Price.
  • Jesus Did Not Speak in Parables – the Evidence (vridar.org)
    In The Five Gospels Robert Funk, Roy Hoover and the Jesus Seminar confidently point to the triadic structure (groups of threes) as well as the repetitions and catchwords — all characteristics of oral sayings – in the Parable of the Sower (Mark 4) to assert that this parable most likely originated as the very words of Jesus himself. The same year (1993) saw Barry Henaut’s publication, Oral Tradition and the Gospels: The Problem of Mark 4, that comprehensively demolished the claim that triadic structures, repetitions and mnemonic catchwords are unique to oral communications and demonstrated that the same features were also characteristic of ancient literary compositions that were written to be read aloud to audiences.
  • Comparing Paul’s Epistles to Augustine’s Letters (vridar.org)
    Reacting to Dr. Richard Carrier’s recent article over at The Bible and Interpretation website, the beloved Doctor of Whoville, James McGrath has offered up yet another dog’s breakfast of red herrings and dead horses.
    +
    There is no serious doubt that Augustine thought that Jesus had lived as a real human being. And yet if you read his letters, you will find far more places where Augustine doesn’t refer to Jesus/Christ at all, much less in a way that makes unambiguous that he viewed him as a historical figure, than places where he does. One can make the same point with most ancient correspondence. (emphasis mine)
  • Christian identity comes from Holy Spirit, not ‘theology degrees’ (catholicnewsagency.com)
    Jesus was not a “commonplace preacher,” the Holy Father said, because his “authority” came from a “special anointing of the Holy Spirit.” Jesus is the “Son of God, anointed and sent out” to “bring salvation, to bring freedom.” Pope Francis added that there were those who were “scandalized” by his style of preaching.
    +
    Saint Paul did not preach because he took a course at a pontifical university, such as the Lateran or the Gregorian, Pope Francis said. The source of his preaching was “the Holy Spirit,” not human wisdom.A person might have five theology degrees, the Holy Father said, but not have the Spirit of God. “Perhaps you will be a great theologian, but you are not a Christian, because you do not have the Spirit of God! That which gives authority, that which gives you your identity and the Holy Spirit, the anointing of the Holy Spirit.”“Paul preached with the anointing of the Holy Spirit,” the Pope said, “expressing spiritual things of the Spirit, in spiritual terms. Man, left to his own devises, cannot comprehend the things of the Spirit of God. Man alone cannot understand this!”
  • Answer Number 2: Jeannie’s Question When Did Jesus Know (pattyperkowski.com)
    Most scholars believe that the Gospel of Mark was written by a second-generation Christian and Mark’s material was dictated to him by St. Peter, who later compiled it into his, (Mark’s), gospel.  He seems to not be from the area, because much of the geography was wrong, but that does not take away from the importance of the message.

Reading Acts

Various explanations of the possible literary genre of the four gospels have been offered.  Most Christians approach the gospels as biographies of Jesus.  The do have some biography-like elements, but they are not biographies by the standards of the modern world. Only two show any interest in his birth, only one story occurs before his public ministry, and the majority of the material comes from the last week of Jesus’ life.  Most biographical questions are left unanswered.

A few scholars have suggested that the gospels are patterned after Greco-Roman Aretalogies.   This is a “divine man” biography, the history of a famous hero that has been built up to make him a god-like person (a biography of a god-like person, Julius Caesar, for example.) The Greek word aretai means “mighty deeds.”  Aretalogies are the records of the mighty deeds of a god or hero.  An example from the second century is…

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How long to wait before bringing religiousness and spirituality in practice

Praying people

Marc Minter thinks most churchgoers would fully acknowledge “Prayer is essential in the life of every Christian“.  Most churchgoers would fully acknowledge this as a reality, but some may be embarrassed to answer any questions regarding the frequency, intentionality, or purpose of their own prayers.  In public you would not find many Christians praying any more. The only ones you see on the streets, parking spaces, stations or airports, praying are Muslims. It looks like they are the only ones who are not afraid to pray in public.

Luke tells us that Jesus said people ought to “always pray and not lose heart” (Luke 18:1), but we do not seem to see many people pray and openly confess their love for God.

Responsible churchgoers

I would not agree with Marc Linter about the fact that most churchgoers would accept some responsibility for evangelism generally. Perhaps they might think there should be some evangelism, but nobody dares to take the steps to go out, except the Jehovah Witnesses and the Mormons, though these can be seen less than in the 1960ies and 1970ies.

I wonder where those Christians would like to take their tasks up, Jesus has given them. I must admit that for me it is also very frustrating to notice that also I can not get more Christadelphians to come out to preach or to join this internet magazine about spiritual and religious lifestyle. I wonder where those evangelists stay? Where are those Christians to take up their voice in the name of the Most High? Where are those willing to preach about the coming Kingdom of God? Even to find people who would like to help others to find ways to look at life and to understand the human way of thinking are difficult to find. Up to now I did not find any writer who presented himself or herself to come to write for Stepping Toes about the history of humankind and of philosophy or to shed a light on the archaeology or write about Christian history or to write about different religions. This are important subjects to know more and to create more understanding? But who wants to share his or her knowledge?

Requirement to participate in personal evangelism

I do agree with Marc Minter that personal evangelism and the clear requirement of every Christian to participate, would cause a bit of discomfort to say the least. Today many are afraid to give sight of their opinion or do not like that others have other ideas than they. Creating an internet magazine where the authors do accept that other writers may have other insights and are willing others also to show the different views, is not an easy choice. But we do believe in an open mind and are willing to admit we can not know everything. Lots of things are also untold in the Scriptures or are left open. We do believe the things we can not know for sure should not be a burden of faith, and can be interpreted à volonté. Who is going to decide it is this or that way? We just will have to wait until the end-times, to hear Jesus explaining everything and making all clear. We better trust him and wait for his return.

Vasily Perov's painting illustrates clandestin...

Vasily Perov’s painting illustrates clandestine meetings of Christians in pagan Kiev. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the mean time we should try to help each other to get insight. It is a matter of brotherly love. Prayer and evangelism should mark the lives of every Christian, and no less than Jesus Himself has commanded his followers thus. In the previous articles you could already see that Jesus provided examples of prayer (Luke 5:16; 6:12; 9:28; Matthew 19:13; John 11:41-42) You could also read that prayer is an intimate connection with an imminent Counsellor and Omnipotent Provider. From Scriptures we also got to know that we must ask guidance and knowledge. But in the examples is also given that we must pray we may have and give love. Part of this love is the sharing of knowledge and helping each other to come to the truth.

Regarding evangelism, Marc Minter writes:

Jesus commissions all who would follow him to “make disciples” of all people groups everywhere (Matthew 28:19).  While some may attempt to distinguish the group described by terms like believer and disciple, I find no reason at all in Scripture to do so.  In fact, the two appear to be synonymous when referring to one’s relationship to Christ (Acts 9:26; John 8:31).  Therefore, the commission given by Christ to all His followers at least includes evangelism.  Discipleship may refer to much more than conversion, but no one would rationally argue that it refers to less. {Jesus, Prayer & Evangelism}

Action of discipleship

Christians should be so much more aware that discipleship in Christ should really mean following the teachings of Christ Jesus. Not only being aware of the Commandments of Christ, but living according them. Knowing that Jesus is our mediator between God and man we should trust this barrister and follow his counsel. Jesus planted the seeds and wants us also to plant seeds in the knowledge that we also shall have to give them water.  We should water the world by spreading the Good News and by relating our live and the live of others to the World of God.

Christ followers may tell others of the good news, and rely upon God to give the growth; that is they rely upon the Spirit of God to transform the soul of sinners (John  3:3).  This then is where evangelism and prayer intersect, and again Christ affords both instruction and example. {Jesus, Prayer & Evangelism}

Unity and estimation of the value or worth of a person or thing

It is not because we may have different opinions, prevailing or popular feeling or view, about certain matters that there would not be unity in faith or unity in believe.  Jesus asked the Father to bring unity of belief in the truth of Christ’s person and work to all those that the Father gives the Son. When Jesus desired that the people God would draw and would give to him, he hoped God would listen to his wishes and bring all those in Christ to be with him where Jesus is, in order that they may behold his glory, which Jehovah God has given his son Jeshua, Jesus Christ the Messiah.

““father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am; so that they may see my glory, which you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.” (John 17:24 CJB)

We should know that it is God Who allows people to come to Him. We may help to get people to know God, but we shall not be able to make them fully accept the Most High. It will be up to them to make the choice and to follow the call from God. Are task is just one of helping Jesus and be an instrument in the Hands of God.

Doing yourself

We may not leave everything in the hands of others. In case we are calling ourselves Christian, we should show the world that we are followers of Christ. We can not leave it to wait, because we should know the end-times are near, and out of brotherly love we should like to have everybody be saved. Therefore we should now that Now is the right time to witness to someone. Postponement about preaching is something which is not in accordance with the commandments of Christ.

What does a Christian need to know before witnessing or evangelizing?  Must a Christian wait to witness to someone until he or she is burdened or compelled by some inward sensation?

asks Marc Minter, being aware that this question may be phrased in numerous ways and yet ask basically the same thing. He continues:

I think asking and answering three larger questions will help us answer these and others more definitively, as well as guide our understanding of evangelism or witnessing in general. {Should a believer wait to have a “burden” before witnessing?}

Being religious and spiritual demands action of evangelion

Many may say they are religious and several people claim to be spiritual. But of those who are religious and spirituality minded are willing to find the real True Creator God? And of those who found God are willing to share their experiences and are willing to share their love for God and for God His creation?

Evangelism comes from the word evangel, which is a transliteration of the Greek word euangelion, meaning good message.  The message called good is that singularly wonderful message of how God promised and performed all that was necessary to save sinners in the person and work of Christ.  Therefore, evangelism is the activity of proclaiming or telling of that great message. {Should a believer wait to have a “burden” before witnessing?}

But how many are seeing and knowing that great message? How many are prepared to awaken to that Good News and alert the world of the coming Kingdom of God? Only by bringing in practice the spreading of the Good News a person can show his or her full appreciation for that Marvellous Message of which the whole world should be conscious.

Willingness to attest

Evangelism is the willingness to attest euangelion, meaning good message. It is the willingness of telling of the Gospel (the good message of salvation through Christ). This telling should be our witnessing or testifying to the trustworthiness of that message which we do believe came a reality by the becoming flesh of the Word of God, about two millennia ago.

“The Word was in the beginning, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a God.” (The New Testament in An Improved Version)

“The Word was to His essence absolute deity” (Kenneth S. Wuest’s “The New Testament) and we should let It resound all over the world.

“In the beginning the Word having been and the Word having been unto God and God having been the Word he having been, in the beginning, unto God all through his hand became: and without him not even one being whatever became.” (Yah Chanan, John 1:1-3, Aramaic New Covenant;  ANCJ)

Jesus to look at as the fulfilment of God His Words and promises

Jesus coming into this world is the fulfilment of the words spoken by God, in the Garden of Eden, before Abraham existed. For ages God gave His Word to the world, but now His Word was presented by His own son to all people in the world.

Today everybody should receive the opportunity to hear words of Christ Jesus the Messiah who made the Words of God more understandable and known to all.

In which way are you willing to have that Word of God resound in the world?

We have heard Jesus his words and can listen to his parables, which should give us an understanding of the Work and Way of Thinking of The Supreme Being, the Only One God, our Father and the Father of Jesus Christ.

Deserters of the Faith of Jesus

Sculpture - head of Jesus Christ

Sculpture – head of Jesus Christ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Often I am amazed how quickly the so called “Newborn Christians” are deserting Him who called them by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel. Lots of worldly ideas became intermingled and many go looking by other religions to find their thing. Our believe in God the Father as the One who raised Jesus from the dead should make that we also believe that we will be able to look forward to such a moment that we shall be raised from the dead. This should make us so happy and so full of expectations that we should not be able to stay quiet about that Good News which is given to us by Jesus Christ and his apostles.

The apostle Paul had good reason to remind the Galatians of this. The resurrection was proof of God’s complete satisfaction with the work of Christ for our salvation. Apparently, the Galatians were not wholly satisfied with the Saviour‘s work, because they were trying to improve on it by adding their own efforts at law-keeping. Paul was called by the risen Christ, in contrast to the twelve apostles, who were called by the Lord Jesus during His earthly ministry. This calling of somebody who was not prepared to come to Jesus when he was alive, should also give us hope that we, who could not see Jesus, can be called and still follow Jesus. Like the apostle Paul became a worker for Jesus his message, we also can become workers and messengers of that Good News.

Like Paul was amazed that the Galatians should so suddenly surrender the truth of the gospel, and he solemnly labelled their action as deserting God for a false gospel, we also should let others know when they go astray. When people, after God called them, are putting themselves under the curse of the law we should try to help them to stay on the right track. It is our duty to help those around us. When we are prepared to help them and to give them advice, we bring our unconditional love for them in practice. We should try to bring people to accept the true gospel and than should take care that they would not abandon it for a different gospel which is not good news at all.

Coming forward independent of man

When we notice a perverted message, a mixture of grace and law, or teachings which are disturbing us because they want to distort the gospel of Christ, than we should come to witness, even when we do have to step on the toes of somebody. Therefore those who found the love of God, believe in the salvation by Christ, should come forward and let their voice bring the Good News all over the world.

We at the Belgian Ecclesia would love to give those who are willing to help spread the Good News, a place for their voice.
You too can became a co-author on this internet blog or internet lifestyle magazine. When you are willing to let others see the words that come not as such from you or any other man, but which you received through a revelation of יהושע Messiah, you could be the person to help with us spread the Good News.

In case you want to reveal God His Son in you, like we want to reveal Christ in us so that we together might bring him, the Good News, to the gentiles, to those who have not yet found the salvation of Christ. Like Paul demonstrated his independence of other men in connection with his gospel, we also do not have to have a worldly connection to one or the other denomination to be saved or to be a messenger in the name of Christ. He is it who should be our cornerstone, and not a specific organisation or church of the world. Our Church should be the Church of God under the guidance of our master teacher Jesus Christ.

And as such people may be surprised that we do dare to refer to different websites from totally different denominations. Some people let us already know that they are chocked that we mention writings from this or that denomination, or that we quote from people who are from opposing denominations. But we consider Jesus the head of the Church, and it is for him that we want to be instruments in the Hand of his Father, our only One God.

The Four Evangelists

The Four Evangelists (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After his conversion, Paul did not immediately confer with human leaders, nor did he go up to Jerusalem where the other apostles were. Instead, he went to Arabia, then returned again to Damascus. His determination to avoid Jerusalem was not out of disrespect for his fellow-apostles; it was rather because he had been commissioned by the risen lord himself and given a unique ministry to the Gentiles (Galatians 2:8). Hence his gospel and his service needed no human authorization. He was independent of man altogether.

We on this platform also want to be independent of a human organisation, though we do agree we need some human organisation and official statue. We do have to apply to the laws of Belgium, Europe and Internationally. As such we do take on a non-profit position and have a community on this earth. But God His Laws are the most high, and are the ones we want to follow in the first place, and we want also others to get to know them.
The authors on this site, who all write from their own vision and keep their own responsibility, are not paid for their work, nor are those working at the office in Belgium. Though any organisation has its legal obligations and has to find accommodation somewhere, that is ‘are connected’ to the world, because no matter what happens we still have to live in this world. We are thankful for the contribution of the Christadelphian Bible Mission to cover part of our many costs, like paperwork and printing material, postage, copyrights, internet costs, a.o..

Passing on the message

Like Paul has been the recipient of a message and he had also passed that message along to many others, we should be prepared to go out in the world like the early Christians did.  We now do have the modern means and can make use of the internet to speak of that message concerning Christ and his work that was ‘according to the Scriptures.’  The apostle Peter refers to the “good news” that was preached and received or believed, thus resulting in “the salvation of souls”.

“and you are receiving what your trust is aiming at, namely, your deliverance.” (1 Peter 1:9 CJB)

“it was revealed to them that their service when they spoke about these things was not for their own benefit, but for yours. and these same things have now been proclaimed to you by those who communicated the good news to you through the Ruach haKodesh sent from heaven. even angels long to look into these things!” (1 Peter 1:12 CJB)

“but the word of ADONAI lasts forever. moreover, this word is the good news which has been proclaimed to you.” (1 Peter 1:25 CJB)

Transmitter of the Gospel or good news

We are convinced that more than one person has to transmit the Gospel or good news. We are aware that our role of witnessing is to transmit or communicate the message which Jesus made so clear.

May we also say that:

Successful communication of the Gospel, then, is nothing more and certainly not less than accurate communication of the content of that pre-eminent message.  In other words, whether one believes the message upon hearing it has nothing whatever to do with the role of the evangelist. {Should a believer wait to have a “burden” before witnessing?}

Goals to set forward

Looking at reactions we get in real life or by e-mails, there is no doubt that some perceive our ideas and goals as ridiculous, not feasible or too rigid. I do agree I may have set high goals, but as a believer in Christ Jesus, I am not ashamed to tackle this which might seem not practicable. Either just a handful may join efforts to bring the message of the Good News or some others would also see the importance of bringing the good News and would not mind joining hands with us, who might be idealistic and having the hope in something which is impossible for many.

Do you want to look with us at the chief goal of everything in life?

Privileged people

The Christian is privileged to participate in God’s work of glorifying Himself in the salvation of sinners.

Please, let me end with the words of Marc Minter in his article Should a believer wait to have a “burden” before witnessing?:

Thanks be to God that He has given Christians any part to play at all!

So, evangelism is telling people of the message of Jesus Christ’s redeeming work, and the witness’s role is simply to transmit that message accurately and regularly.  The ultimate purpose of witnessing is to bring glory to God in an accurate proclamation of what He has done in revealing Himself through the Gospel.

Because these are true, it seems easy to answer the questions listed at the beginning.

Should a believer wait to have a “burden” before witnessing?  No!  

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Preceding articles:

Looking for True Spirituality 1 Intro

Looking for True Spirituality 2 Not restricted to an elite

Looking for True Spirituality 3 Mind of Christ

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

Looking for True Spirituality 5 Fruitage of the Spirit

Looking for True Spirituality 6 Spirituality and Prayer

Looking for True Spirituality 7 Preaching of the Good News

Looking for True Spirituality 8 Measuring Up

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

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Additional reading:

  1. יהוה , YHWH and Love: Four-letter words
  2. The radiance of God’s glory and the counsellor
  3. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love
  4. One mediator
  5. Salvation, trust and action in Jesus #3 as a Christian
  6. The Law of Christ: Law of Love
  7. Christ’s ethical teaching
  8. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  9. A Living Faith #9 Our Manner of Life
  10. Our relationship with God, Jesus and each other
  11. A call easy to understand
  12. Belief of the things that God has promised
  13. Would You Run?
  14. Breathing and growing with no heir
  15. Determine the drive
  16. Compassion and Discipline
  17. Unconditional love
  18. Unarmed truth and unconditional love
  19. The first on the list of the concerns of the saint
  20. Digging in words, theories and artefacts
  21. Exceeding Great and Precious Promise
  22. The builder of the Kingdom
  23. Kingdom of God what will it be like
  24. The hands of God’s wrath
  25. Holiness and expression of worship coming from inside
  26. Some one or something to fear #7 Not afraid for Gods Name
  27. Rejoice even though bound to grieve
  28. Those who make peace should plant peace like a seed
  29. Let me saw beliefseeds
  30. Looking forward to God’s faithfulness
  31. Bringing Good News into the world
  32. The Involvement of true discipleship
  33. Testify of the things heard
  34. Proclaiming shalom, bringing good news of good things, announcing salvation
  35. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #2 Witnessing
  36. Obstacles to effective evangelism
  37. A Voice to be heard
  38. Creator and Blogger God 4 Expounding voice
  39. Blogging for Jesus…
  40. Preaching to an unbelieving world
  41. Words to push and pull
  42. Good or bad preacher
  43. Learn how to go out into the world and proclaim the Good News of the coming Kingdom
  44. How should we preach?
  45. Breathing to teach
  46. Bringing Good News into the world
  47. Jehovah’s Witnesses not only group that preach the good news
  48. Holland Week of billing
  49. Trying to get the youth inspired
  50. When discouraged facing opposition
  51. Messengers of Jesus will be hated to the end of time
  52. Who are you going to reach out to today
  53. Praise the God with His Name
  54. Agape, a love to share with others from the Fruit of the Spirit
  55. The Spirit of God brings love, hope and freedom
  56. Holiness and expression of worship coming from inside
  57. Belonging to or being judged by
  58. Not all will inherit the Kingdom
  59. Knowing where to go to
  60. United people under Christ
  61. Fellowship
  62. Discipleship way of life on the narrow way to everlasting life
  63. Pastorpreneur Warren
  64. Catholicism, Anabaptism and Crisis of Christianity
  65. Which Christians Actually Evangelize

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  • Renew (womenatthewellfbco.com)
    It feels so refreshing to start anew!  What better time to do that than the New Year?  Why is it that we crave renewal and how on Earth do we attain it?
    +
    I daily read the Bible and pray.  Each week, I participate in some form of ministry or corporate worship, or Bible study.  However, these activities can become routine, and lack vitality, lack enthusiasm, when I have been at them for awhile, or a long time.
  • 2014: Set a standard, early (jeremycainbiblestudies.wordpress.com)
    If you would just begin to set a standard early on this year spiritually in your prayer, bible study and reading, and service then you will find that when it comes November you’re not going to be wondering how did this year pass you by and you still feel no closer to God.  Think of the discipline and strength you would built up by the end of this year if you just begin right now, right this day, praying just one hour a day, every day.
  • Why I Am a Christian. (crawfordgarrett.wordpress.com)
    I have to admit that it’s not always the most simple and straightforward answer to give, because there are many reasons that have led to my faith in Christ.  However, I guess the first place to start is with my parents.  I am a Christian because of my parents.  There may be nothing remarkable about that, and often times I, or many other Christians, would not like to admit that truth.  I am a Christian because my parents are Christians, and that’s what they raised me to believe, just like Jesus was a Jew because His parents were Jews.
  • My Prayer for 2014 (planetsellas.wordpress.com)
    I don’t deserve anything from God. I have repeatedly broken his laws; I am a rebel.
    +
    Lord, I pray that you show me how I can spread your gospel and give honor and praise to your name. I want more people to know you and love you, Lord.  God, I really want to lead someone to Christ this year. A friend, a family member, or a complete stranger. I want to do this not so that I may boast or get any glory–kill the pride in me. No, Lord I want to do so that you may be glorified.
  • Living Out the Gospel in 2014 (craighamlin.wordpress.com)
    Whatever your resolutions are for 2014, I want to encourage you to make one overarching commitment for everyday in 2014: to live out the Gospel of Jesus Christ for the glory of God.The Gospel is the saving message that Jesus Christ died for your sin, He was buried and that He was raised from the dead according to the Scriptures (1 Cor. 15:3-4). However, the Gospel goes far beyond that to the transformation of every area of life. The Gospel penetrates our attitudes, actions, and dictates the affairs of life. The Gospel is not just a message, it is the transforming power of Christ to make us more like Him. God’s grace working through faith and empowered by the Holy Spirit makes it possible to live for Christ. Therefore, God saves us to live for Him and shine as lights in a dark world. Our commitment everyday must be to live out the gospel for the glory of God.
  • Christ didn’t come to help us, He came to Include us (melwild.wordpress.com)
    a surprising few resonate so much to the more important fact that the Father’s plan was to substitute Christ for us and place us in Him. I think this is unfortunate.
  • Jesus Christ was an Anarchist (blacksupremacylovenunity.wordpress.com) > Jesus Christ was an Anarchist
    Jesus came along to lead his followers out of this ungodly Roman system, preaching an alternative form of government. He spoke of a jurisdiction outside of the Roman state, based on the perfect law of freedom, outside the tyranny of men who would rule over their brothers and neighbors. He unified the early Christian church in a system of charity, hope and respect for the rights of each other, requiring that each person love thy neighbor as thy self in a system of mutual, not governmental support.
    +
    Jesus was showing a way to untangle people from the captivity of the social contracts they had made with the state of Rome and Judea, and the tribute and obligations they had become snared by. He proclaimed to call no man “Father”, as they called their Roman benefactors, but stated that “thou Father art in heaven.” The perfect law of freedom indicated that man’s unalienable rights stemmed from God and nature, and not governments of men. This was a system of anarchy, by strict definition, without the complex system of tribute that led to the decadence and decline of society, and the corruptible force of the state to back it up.The early Christian church was not persecuted for their belief in a different God or a Kingdom in Heaven, but for their opting out of the mutual taxation system and seeking to live apart from the kings and overlords, the gods many, who demanded their tribute.
    +Today, most of us find ourselves under slothful tribute to an emperor and a system that is not for our benefit. We have coveted our neighbor’s goods in a vain pursuit of “free” health care, education, welfare, unemployment benefits, social security and government protection. We have traded our inalienable God-given rights through social contracts both implied and explicit. Our churches are not ordained by God, but are 501(c)(3) corporations granted status by the state.As we head into what is certainly going to be a volatile 2014, we are going to need to dig down deep and find that anarchist in all of us, with a little more loving thy neighbor as thy self to boot. Happy New Year!
  • Change Your Village (elderyvesjohnson.wordpress.com)
    This week you might meet someone new and probably see some old friends and acquaintances.  Do they know Who you belong to?  Do they know the wonderful life you now enjoy?  If so, are you sharing this great gift with them?
    +
    It’s true Christians need to be encouraged and challenged.  Yet, unbelievers will not be knocking down the church door to learn about Christ. It can happen but I don’t think it will on a large-scale.  Why would they want to learn about Christ if His followers won’t even talk to them?
    +
    You should follow Jesus’ words, not those belonging to naysayers and unbelievers. You have been strategically positioned in your family, circle of friends, neighborhood, job, school, etc., to show, teach and talk about the goodness of Christ to those individual.  They need to know about the opportunity for salvation.  Who will tell them?  If not you, then who?
  • Fanatic hindu who hated christians is an evidence of Jesus (pciniraj.wordpress.com)
    I never liked Christian missionaries. I used to speak against Christianity and was organising people near the temples against the evangelism activites.“But Lord Jesus mightly fighting for His children, if anybody persecuting Christians, for which I am a clear evidence”, now I am witnessing this every corner to corner by holding the Holy Bible in one hand and showing my terrific stomach to the public. “I was an enemy of Christians, but Jesus Christ loved me, made me alive and saved me from sin and death. Now I am His servant”. This is my testimony.
  • Pouring Into Others (comeawake.org)
    If you are a Christian, you are a disciple of Christ. You know Him, but what have you done to make Him known to others? And I’m not just talking about evangelism. I’m talking about how you can use your time, your energy and most importantly, your knowledge about who Christ is to help out a fellow brother or sister.The purpose of our lives is simply this: To know Christ, and to make Him known.

Looking for True Spirituality 6 Spirituality and Prayer

Spirituality and Prayer

File:Jan Luyken's Jesus 25. Christ Prays in the Garden. Phillip Medhurst Collection.jpg

A an etching by Jan Luyken from the Phillip Medhurst Collection of Bible illustrations housed at Belgrave Hall, Leicester, England (The Kevin Victor Freestone Bequest). Photo by Philip De Vere.

The Gospel accounts show that Jesus often turned to God in prayer.

35 Early in the morning, while it was still dark, he got up and went outside and left for an isolated place, and there he began praying.+ (Mark 1:35)

23 After sending the crowds away, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray.+ When evening came, he was there alone. (Matthew 14:23)

16 However, he often went into the desolate areas to pray. (Luke 5:16)

During his life on earth,* Christ offered up supplications and also petitions, with strong outcries and tears,+ to the One who was able to save him out of death, and he was favorably heard for his godly fear. (Hebrews 5:7)

32 So they came to a spot named Geth·sem′a·ne, and he said to his disciples: “Sit down here while I pray.”+ (Mark 14:32)

41 And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw away, and he bent his knees and began to pray, 42 saying: “Father, if you want to, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, let, not my will, but yours take place.”+(Luke 22:41-42)

Jesus did not want his will to become accomplished, but wanted that his Father His Wish would become true. Jesus was afraid and suffered but he put himself at the site. He knew that he could not do a single thing without his Father in heaven, who is the Only One God. It was more important that the Will of the Only One God Who is One, would become accomplished, even when it would cost Jesus his life. Without God Jesus was nothing like we are nothing without our heavenly Father.

30 I cannot do a single thing of my own initiative. Just as I hear, I judge, and my judgment is righteous+ because I seek, not my own will, but the will of him who sent me.+ (John 5:30)

34 Jesus said to them: “My food is to do the will of him who sent me+ and to finish his work.+ (John 4:34)

38 for I have come down from heaven+ to do, not my own will, but the will of him who sent me.+ (John 6:38)

39 And going a little way forward, he fell facedown, praying:+ “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup+ pass away from me. Yet, not as I will, but as you will.”+ (Matthew 26:39)

36 And he said: “Abba,* Father,+ all things are possible for you; remove this cup from me. Yet, not what I want, but what you want.”+ (Mark 14:36)

Jesus was placed by his Father in the womb of his mother, and as such came from the Father above, from heaven. But he was not created to do his own will but to do the will of his Father.

38 for I have come down from heaven+ to do, not my own will, but the will of him who sent me.+ (John 6:38)

During his ministry on earth, Jesus deliberately set aside time to pray. The disciple Matthew wrote:

“Having sent the crowds away, [Jesus] went up into the mountain by himself to pray.” (Matthew 14:23)

File:Ilyas Basim Khuri Bazzi Rahib - Jesus Prays in Gethsemane - Walters W59274A - Full Page.jpg

Jesus Prays in Gethsemane – 1684, Ilyas Basim Khuri Bazzi Rahib

From such moments spent in quiet communication with his heavenly Father, Jesus gained strength.

36 Then Jesus came with them to the spot called Geth·sem′a·ne,+ and he said to the disciples: “Sit down here while I go over there and pray.”+ 37 And taking along Peter and the two sons of Zeb′e·dee, he began to feel grieved and to be greatly troubled.+ 38 Then he said to them: “I am* deeply grieved, even to death. Stay here and keep on the watch with me.”+ 39 And going a little way forward, he fell facedown, praying:+ “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup+ pass away from me. Yet, not as I will, but as you will.”+

40 He returned to the disciples and found them sleeping, and he said to Peter: “Could you not so much as keep on the watch for one hour with me?+41 Keep on the watch+ and pray continually,+ so that you may not enter into temptation.+ The spirit, of course, is eager,* but the flesh is weak.”+42 Again, a second time, he went off and prayed: “My Father, if it is not possible for this to pass away unless I drink it, let your will take place.”+43 And he came again and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. 44 So leaving them, he again went off and prayed for a third time, saying once more the same thing. (Matthew 26:36-44)

Today, spiritually-minded people likewise look for opportunities to communicate with God, knowing that this will strengthen their relationship with the Creator and help them to become more Christlike in their thinking.

Jesus often spent extended periods of time in prayer. (John 17:1-26) For instance, before he chose the 12 men who would become his apostles, Jesus “went out into the mountain to pray, and he continued the whole night in prayer to God.” (Luke 6:12) Although not necessarily spending the whole night in prayer, those who are spiritually-minded follow Jesus’ example. Before making major decisions in life, they take ample time to pray to God, seeking the direction of the holy spirit in making choices that will deepen their spirituality.

In his prayers, Jesus also showed the depth of feeling that we ought to imitate in our prayers. Note what Luke recorded about the way Jesus prayed on the evening before he died.

“Getting into an agony he continued praying more earnestly; and his sweat became as drops of blood falling to the ground.” (Luke 22:44)

Jesus had prayed earnestly before, but on this occasion, faced with the most severe test of his earthly life, he prayed “more earnestly”—and his prayer was answered.

During his life on earth,* Christ offered up supplications and also petitions, with strong outcries and tears,+ to the One who was able to save him out of death, and he was favorably heard for his godly fear. (Hebrews 5:7)

Spiritually-minded people follow Jesus’ example. When faced with trials that are particularly severe, they pray “more earnestly” to God for holy spirit, guidance, and support.

Since Jesus was clearly a man of prayer, it is not surprising that his disciples wanted to imitate him in this regard. Therefore, they asked him:

“Lord, teach us how to pray.” (Luke 11:1)

Similarly today, those who value spiritual matters and want to be guided by God’s holy spirit follow Jesus’ example in how they pray to God. True spirituality and prayer go hand in hand.

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Preceding articles:

Looking for True Spirituality 1 Intro

Looking for True Spirituality 2 Not restricted to an elite

Looking for True Spirituality 3 Mind of Christ

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

Looking for True Spirituality 5 Fruitage of the Spirit

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

Next: Looking for True Spirituality 7 Preaching of the Good News

Dutch version of this article / De Nederlandse versie van dit artikel:

Op zoek naar spiritualiteit 6 Spiritualiteit en gebed

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Additional reading:

  1. Wishing to do the will of God
  2. For the Will of Him who is greater than Jesus
  3. Our relationship with God, Jesus and each other
  4. Observing the commandments and becoming doers of the Word
  5. Golden rule for understanding in spiritual matters obedience
  6. Happy who’s delight is only in the law of Jehovah
  7. Rest thy delight on Jehovah
  8. Genuine prayer
  9. He who kneels before God can stand before anyone!
  10. Prayer, important aspect in our life
  11. Being sure of their deliverance
  12. People who know how to pray to move God to take hold of our affairs in a mighty way
  13. 7000 to 20000 words spoken each day
  14. Walking alone?
  15. Listening and Praying to the Father
  16. Prayer, important aspect in our life
  17. Worship and worshipping
  18. Genuine prayer
  19. Praise and give thanks to God the Most Highest
  20. Praise the God with His Name
  21. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #5 To meditate and Transform
  22. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #1 Listening Sovereign Maker
  23. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #2 Witnessing
  24. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #3 Callers upon God
  25. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #6 Prayer #4 Attitude
  26. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #7 Prayer #5 Listening Ear
  27. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #8 Prayer #6 Communication and manifestation
  28. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #9 Prayer #7 Reason to pray
  29. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #10 Prayer #8 Condition
  30. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #11 Prayer #9 Making the Name Holy
  31. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #12 Prayer #10 Talk to A Friend
  32. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #13 Prayer #11 Name to be set apart
  33. Does God hear prayer?
  34. Does God answer prayer?

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  • Honesty in prayer (Pinocchio had an advantage) (lifeonthefrontporch.wordpress.com)
    I can tell lies and get away with it or not even know it. In the same way I can pray with great sincerity but not be honest with God.
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    Other times in prayer, I limit God because I only believe half the truth. It’s time to become fully honest, and become more effective in my prayer
  • Morning Prayer 12.28.13: The Holy Innocents (dailyoffice.org)
    Lord, make us instruments of your peace. Where there is hatred, let us sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is discord, union; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy. Grant that we may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.
  • June 17 – My God Still Answers Prayers (phidevotion.wordpress.com)
    Every event that happens in the scripture was because of intensive prayer. Prayer is one of the most important avenues to experience spirituality. When you pray carnality dies. Our answers are tied to bearing fruits. God cares for every fruitful believer. Love God and prove the sincerity of your love by doing what He commands. Through Him we both have access by one Spirit the Father (Eph. 2:18), those who come to God encounter no “KEEP OUT” signs.
  • Bible Study on Importunate Prayer (christianresourceministry.com)
    Jesus says that if an unjust judge gives in because of persistence how much more so will God bring about justice for us, especially for those who persist day and night.
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    Christ is praying in the garden so fervently that His sweat was like drops of blood. This is a wrestle of strength to believe by faith. This is not a prayer life that only half believes, but one that consumes the will and emotions.
  • Day 2 – The Unimaginable (believe2day.com)
    God has already deposited the necessary power within you for God-sized dreams, it simply needs to be released.
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    But, in order for the unimaginable to manifest, we need to let God erase the negative affects of our past in order to release brand new realities into our future.  The past must be forgiven and left behind in order to make room for tomorrow’s dreams.
  • Luke 22 (zachscripturestudy.com)
    Jesus finishes praying and finds His Apostles sleeping, when they were supposed to keep lookout. Jesus tells them that they will need to pray,
  • “555 Days of Prayer to Save America” Planners Say “We Seek a God-Fearing Nation and World” (prweb.com)
    “We have a society that is ruled by a shadow power. It pits rich against poor, women against men, young against old, races against each other, different sexual preferences against each other. Wow, we sure are against each other, and we haven’t been united, truly, since the terror attacks of 911,” said Berry.

    “I believe that the power keeps us undereducated and misinformed, for the sake of control. That power has set itself up against God, Almighty, for the sake of unrestrained power itself.

  • No More Time to Pray (phenum01.com)
    We must study all the teachings and examples of the Lord. In the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus was facing the most difficult experience of His walk on planet Earth. He prayed passionately, entreating the heavenly Father three times to change the circumstances that were before Him. Not six. Not twelve. Three (Matthew 26:36-46).
  • Prayer – Wisdom protects the promise (afruitinseason.wordpress.com)
    God is generous and loving, wanting to shower you with intelligent blessings. Once the wisdom is in place we are safe to receive the measure of “Shalom” appropriate for our growth and personal situation. Wisdom adds, like sonship, the necessary component of discipleship. The promise says “Yes.”
  • On the Rosary and the Queen of Heaven as the spirit over Catholicism (examiner.com)
    The Rosary is repetitive and so causes a “trance-like state” but one whereby a person is not better suited for prayer or Biblical “meditation” (which is contemplating YHVH and His word) but New Age, mystical meditation which is emptying one’s mind, one’s self so that someone or, rather, something else can take over.

Catholicism, Anabaptism and Crisis of Christianity

Coming to an end

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

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

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

Danger for the grip of the Roman Church

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

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

Bischof Ulfilas erklärt den Goten das Evangelium.jpg

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

 

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

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

Call to read the Bible

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Disparities unmasked

Roman Forum and surroundings

Roman Forum and surroundings (Photo credit: KayYen)

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

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

Evangelical movement

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

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

More important to follow the Words of the Bible

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

“You cannot serve two masters”.

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

“You cannot serve God and mammon”.

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

Into the waters

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

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

A 15th-century Mass

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

Global responsibility to preach in biting climate

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

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

Gavin Finley MD of Endtime Pilgrim organisation writes:

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

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

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

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

Alice Bailey & Djwhal Khul are convinced that:

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

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

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

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

Rick Warren may said:

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

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

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

The one to follow

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

Western culture slowly emerging from the Christendom era

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

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

Consumerism and peace

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

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

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

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

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

The course to steer

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

Dixie Building

Dixie Building (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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

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

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

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

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

A Book available for everyone to get insight

Bible

Bible (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mick Turner in The Death of Sunday Christianity writes:

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

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

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

Mick Turner continues:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Robin Meyers says:

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

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

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

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

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

Finding a path to meet other believers in Christ

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

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

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Please do find to read:

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

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Additional reading in Dutch:

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

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

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

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

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

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