Human nature designed for love

GOD DESIGNED HUMAN NATURE FOR LOVE 

By Jesse Morrell
Everything God created has a function and a design.

God created human nature.

Therefore, human nature has a proper function and a design.

What is the proper function that human nature was designed by God for?

“For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves”

Romans 2:14

The proper function of a thing is determined by its design.

When a thing operates according to its design, it functions properly and orderly.

When it malfunctions, it violates its design and is in a state of disorder.

Our moral obligations (how we should function properly) are according to the design of our human nature.

We were created to love God and love our neighbor. We were designed for love. Love is our proper function.

A holy man is simply a man who lives according to his true human nature – the way God designed mankind to live.

Sin is a malfunction – a violation of our design.

Sin has damaging affects upon our soul, heart, mind, and body precisely because it is a violation of our design.

Our world is in a state of disorder because men choose by their free will to violate their God given nature, just like Adam and Eve did.

“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection [ἄστοργος: inhuman, unloving], trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.”

2 Timothy 3:1-5

Emphasis: without natural affection [ἄστοργος: inhuman, unloving]

It’s natural and human to be loving.

It is unnatural and inhuman to be unloving.

Human nature was designed by God for love.

October month of witches and spirits

October month and old religions

This week in many regions of the world attention is given to witch culture and spirits, non-corporeal substances contrasted with the material body. We come in a period when it becomes earlier darker and people love to tell ghost stories and look into the matter of incorporeal or immaterial beings, such as demons or deities. Several people love to come in contact with wandering spirits, daemon sprites, supernatural legendary creatures or ghosts.

The prince thanking the Water sprite, from The Princess Nobody by Andrew Lang

In our regions there came a time (Middle Ages) those who practised the Old Religion and worked with herbs and charms were largely ignored by the church and the Inquisition. After the scourge of the Black Death, witchcraft trials began to increase steadily throughout the 14th and 15th centuries.

Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, the figure of the European witch was interpreted and reinterpreted in numerous ways, depending on the orientations of the scholars involved. They described her (typically) as variously an antisocial practitioner of malevolent magic; as a pro-social healer, midwife, and magician condemned by churches and universities; as a victim of mental illness or of accidental poisoning by mind-altering plants; or as a deliberate user of mind-altering plants who sought a shamanic “soul flight.”

Alleged murders by witchcraft and subsequent trials for witchcraft have not disappeared from the world scene, and the fear of cursing, hexing, and causing death by witchcraft remains very powerful in many nations. Black Magic murders have taken place in different states and times.

But some practices intrigued people and the will to know what happens when a person dies made that those intrigued found enough people who were willing to still their hunger to the unknown. fortune tellers always have found popularity and spiritists found always a groups of interested people to come together in private houses to have a special experience with a medium.

The unknown before and after life and Voodoo

Because of the attractive element of the unknown concerning before and after life, plus about the influences on our health, churches made use of the popular ideas of spirits and healing powers. Even in the 20th and 21st century some faith healing is performed in services conducted by the clergy of Christendom and there are communities which celebrate witch nights and halloween. The Noite Meiga (Witch‘s Night), held the last Saturday of August in the municipality Sarria which stands out in the Camino de Santiago for being the population centre with the largest offering of services, is also quite a spectacle and a grand feast in the so called Roman Catholic country of Italy. In many countries where they had negro slaves the pagan rituals and witchcraft melted into the Catholic traditions.

The spiritual practices and beliefs of those enslaved people from Africa and the Caribbean blended. Voodoo became a fusion of their religions which also incorporated Catholicism. {Voodoo in New Orleans}

In countries like Haiti the official religion along with Roman Catholicism is Voodoo, but they are both so interwoven you may find also in the Catholic Church in Haiti voodoo rites.

“In churches, there’s a lot of syncretism (or the combination of multiple religions),”

says David Vanderpool, a missionary and doctor in Haiti.
Vanderpool is the founder and CEO of LiveBeyond, a faith-based, humanitarian organization bringing medical and maternal health care, clean water, education, orphan care, community development and the gospel of Jesus Christ to the oppressed in Thomazeau, Haiti.

“Voodoo is the culture, the way they think. They view the world through a lens of voodoo, and it colours what they do, what they see. They bring it unwittingly into the church, and see mainstream denominations as no different from voodoo.”

Many do not see that they have elements of satanic worship which can be traced to colonization when the French demanded African slaves convert to Catholicism. Rather than fully converting, the slaves named their idols after saints, and the worship of the demons was incorporated into the church.

“The term voodoo,”

says Encyclopædia Britannica,

“is derived from the word vodun, which denotes a god, or spirit, in the language of the Fon people of Benin (formerly Dahomey).”

The most common depiction of the loa Erzulie Dantor is derived from this variant of the sacred icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa.

In Voodoo they may well tell there is only one god, one Supreme Being who created the universe, and this may link back to the Creator Deity in which the people of Israel also believed. The people who like to practice ‘Voodo art’ say this god elevated earthly beings to spirits known as the Lwa or Loa to run the day to day affairs of the world. It is this taking charge of nature and human nature which is in conflict with Bible teaching. For them there is for instance lwas of the winds, love and fisherman. {Voodoo in New Orleans}

They tell they can be master over demons who actively deceive mankind by means of spiritism, which can involve such things as magic spells, voodoo, and spirit mediums. (Deuteronomy 18:10-13; 2 Chronicles 33:6).

Wanting to get in touch with demons and spirits

This particular time of year many are proud to “get in touch with the demons” directly or through a human medium. This is called spiritism about which the Bible tells us we have to abstain from it. Voodoo, witchcraft, magic, fortune-telling, and inquiring of the dead are all forms of spiritism.

The Bible condemns these things, saying:

“There should not be found in you anyone . . . who employs divination, a practicer of magic or anyone who looks for omens or a sorcerer, or one who binds others with a spell or anyone who consults a spirit medium or a professional foreteller of events or anyone who inquires of the dead. For everybody doing these things is something detestable to Jehovah.”—Deuteronomy 18:10-12.

Among non-Christian religions there are voodoo priests, witch doctors, medicine men, and others who also do healing and incantation; they often employ magic and divination. Some “psychic healers” say that their cures have nothing to do with religion.

Coming closer to for many special days to remember spirits, spiritual beings and the dead many want to convince others that

The spirit world is concerned with each and every one of us.

and say that

Our guardian angels take no pleasure seeing us struggle, since they have all been there before. Even though, they comprehend that most times we need the suffering presented to us. But within the confines of letting us survive and learn from our trials, the spirit world actively guides and helps us {How we are assisted during our Trials by the Spirit World}

In the upcoming writings we shall show that there is no such spirit world and that we are not looked after by a spirit world. We also shall show that there is no such thing as a process of reincarnation, which others may confirm may be complex even after birth.  {How we are assisted during our Trials by the Spirit World}

Communicating spirits

It is not because our spirits (our minds) can communicate directly with other people that they would connect with other non-materialistic beings, called “spirits”. In our dreams, our thinking we certainly may learn a lot, but this does not mean that  during our slumber, we learn many valuable lessons from spirits and would “have various conversations with other spirits”. {How we are assisted during our Trials by the Spirit World}  No body was ever able to retain exact memories of such encounters. But some  awaken with general ideas and feelings, which is only because they are fed by such ideas.

If we search for the answer it will come, not because

The spirit world wishes to supply us with all of the tools and inspirations required to prosper while we live on earth. They fully realize the day-to-day problems we encounter, complications which hinder our ability to absorb the lessons we should learn. {How we are assisted during our Trials by the Spirit World}

It is not the spirit world which gently pushes us to the correct solution, but each person is created in the image of God and has an inner feeling implanted by the Supreme Being. We have to listen to our conscience, that governor of our behaviour, with years of experience in many lives, and perform our deeds with moral clarity.

Pagan Samhain and Halloween

Some people bring as excuse that they are unaware of the pagan origins of Halloween symbols, decorations, and customs, most of which are related to supernatural beings and occult forces. In many places meetings are given and people are called to witness a witch meeting or even a black mass. Thousands of Wiccans (practitioners of witchcraft), who follow ancient Celtic rituals, still call Halloween by the ancient name Samhain and consider it to be the most sacred night of the year.

“Christians ‘don’t realize it, but they’re celebrating our holiday with us. . . . We like it,’”

stated the newspaper USA Today when quoting a professed witch.

In shops we can find all sorts of costumes and in magazines articles about spirits which find their way to many homes.

Christians may not forget that celebrations like Halloween are in conflict with Bible teachings. The Bible warns:

“There must never be anyone among you who . . . practices divination, who is soothsayer, augur or sorcerer, who uses charms, consults ghosts or spirits, or calls up the dead.” (Deuteronomy 18:10, 11, The Jerusalem Bible)

10 There should not be found in you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire,+ anyone who employs divination,+ anyone practicing magic,+ anyone who looks for omens,+ a sorcerer,+ 11 anyone binding others with a spell, anyone who consults a spirit medium+ or a fortune-teller,+ or anyone who inquires of the dead.+ (Deuteronomy 18:10, 11, NWT)

see also

Leviticus 19:31:

31 “‘Do not turn to the spirit mediums,+ and do not consult fortune-tellers+ so as to become unclean by them. I am Jehovah your God.

Galatians 5:19-21:

19 Now the works of the flesh are plainly seen, and they are sexual immorality,*+ uncleanness, brazen conduct,*+ 20 idolatry, spiritism,*+ hostility, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, dissensions, divisions, sects, 21 envy, drunkenness,+ wild parties,* and things like these.+ I am forewarning you about these things, the same way I already warned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit God’s Kingdom.+

Human Autumn traditions

We are living in this world were there are lots of traditions going on, but that does not mean we do have to take part in those traditional activities or do not have to let others know we do not want to take part in such activities.

From within our heart comes our feeling, which should in accordance to the Will of God. A copper-based alloy may deform in colour and so our being when it has a brazen conduct or “shameless conduct.” We should not be proud of a conduct which is not in line with the teachings of Christ and with the commandments of the Most High Almighty God. We have to cause ourselves and others to move in a certain direction, which is in line with the wishes of God. We do have to comport (oneself) in a specified way which is indicated in the Words of God and which everybody can find. We have to bear or conduct (oneself) in the Christian way, being in agreement, harmony, or conformity with the Word of God.

Mark 7:21, 22: 21 For from inside, out of the heart of men,+ come injurious reasonings, sexual immorality,* thefts, murders, 22 acts of adultery, greed, acts of wickedness, deceit, brazen conduct,* an envious eye, blasphemy, haughtiness, and unreasonableness.

The Bible warns us that people will go away from that Word of God and would prefer to do the things most people do.

Jude 4: My reason is that certain men have slipped in among you who were long ago appointed to this judgment by the Scriptures; they are ungodly men who turn the undeserved kindness of our God into an excuse for brazen conduct*+ and who prove false to our only owner* and Lord, Jesus Christ.+

Let us take that warning to heart that such people are not real lovers of God but they are ungodly or “wicked men” (UKJV).

They turn the grace of our God into uncontrollable lust and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. (Jude 4:4 ISV)

We may not make the mercy of God an excuse for profligacy.

Those who like to participate in the October festivities of drinking lots of alcohol [The Oktober Fest: world’s largest Volksfest (beer festival and travelling funfair)], witch gatherings, Celtic Autumn meetings, Halloween celebrations, should know that many will follow their licentiousness, following their indulgences and because of them, carrying out every impurity with rapacity, the way of truth will be reviled or blasphemed.

Ephesians 4:19: 19 Having gone past all moral sense, they gave themselves over to brazen conduct*+ to practice every sort of uncleanness with greediness.

2 Peter 2:2: Furthermore, many will follow their brazen conduct,*+ and because of them the way of the truth will be spoken of abusively.+

Reincarnation, spirits and spiritism

Many spiritists believe in reincarnation. One spiritist publication states:

Reincarnation is the only doctrine that measures up to our idea of divine justice; it is the only doctrine that can explain the future and strengthen our hopes.”

Spiritists explain that at death the soul, or “incarnated spirit,” leaves the body—like a butterfly emerging from its cocoon. They believe that these spirits are later reincarnated as humans in order to purge sins committed in an earlier life. But there is no recollection of those earlier sins.

“God considered it convenient that a veil be cast over the past,”

says The Gospel According to Spiritism.

“To deny reincarnation is also to deny the words of Christ,”

wrote Allan Kardec. But Jesus never preached incarnation. He knew that for God “reincarnation” is an atrocity and no human being should be busy with this at all. All Christians should see that the Bible tells clearly that at death our life comes to and end and than it is finished with us. Than we shall not be able to think or to do anything.
The sent one from God came to tell that there is hope for the living souls who believe in God and live according His Laws. For him it was clear that he could fulfil the promise made in the Garden of Eden and be the Messiah, bringing grace over mankind. For that reason Jesus taught the resurrection of the dead.

Persons coming out of the dead

During his earthly ministry, the Jewish Nazarene did some spectacular miracles. He also resurrected three people — the son of a widow in Nain, the daughter of the presiding officer of a synagogue, and his close friend Lazarus. (Mark 5:22-24, 35-43; Luke 7:11-15; John 11:1-44) They had been in the grave and had come back to life but had nothing to tell about some other world down in the earth or at some other place. Later they died again and their body decayed like any other body shall do when life goes out of it.

The world of the dead may be mysterious for us and many may be attracted to come to know “what is over there”. Some people, like witches may make use of that situation and present others some rites of passage.

In order to assist a soul cross over at the time of death, those of the Wicca (and those not of the Wicca – but other witchcraft traditions) have a number of rituals called “Crossings.” {Rite of Passage}

Witches, covens and their rites

Witch Riding Backwards On A Goat

Witch Riding Backwards On A Goat (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The witches their coven or or covan, which is a gathering or community of witches, much like a congregation in Christian parlance, may present in the continuation of the Witch-Cult and may try others to believe certain herbs can give them special powers and with certain rites they also can come in contact with pieces of the soul that went on or could be left behind and which are prevented from passing on to the next level. Many wiccans feel it is their duty to help these spirits when they are able to assist with passage and transition.

According to the U.S. Census, the number of individuals professing to be Wiccans rose from the 8,000 reported in 1990 to 134,000 self-proclaimed witches in 2001. A study released in November 2001 by the Graduate Center of the City University of New York found that the number of adults who subscribe to a pagan religion was more than 140,000. {Wicca;Gale Encyclopedia of the Unusual and Unexplained, 2003}

Those who follow Wicca, the craft of the wise, maintain that their faith qualifies as a true pagan religion with its beliefs and practices rooted in the processes of nature. {Wicca;Gale Encyclopedia of the Unusual and Unexplained, 2003}

Because of Wicca’s rapid growth, however, some adherents now seek more formal organizational plans and credentialing of leaders (priests and priestesses), a trend resisted by those Witches who hold individual and small-group practice and experience to be primary. Wiccans often identify with a particular “tradition”—a school of teaching or an initiatory lineage—but the boundaries between traditions are loosely drawn, and new traditions are constantly being created. {Wicca; Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology, 2001,The Gale Group Inc.}

Estimates of the number of Wiccans in North America in 2000 ranged from 300,000 to the low millions. Sociological studies of Wicca show its followers as tending to be younger and better-educated than the population overall. {Wicca; Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology, 2001,The Gale Group Inc.}

Mmanifestations and phenomena

According to some sources wiccans do not believe that there is anything supernatural about the manifestations and phenomena associated with this extrasensory area of the mind, but others play with phenomena which are very curious. For them it are psychic powers which lie dormant in everyone, to a greater or lesser degree, and their disciplines are designed to develop these to the fullest.

Wicca conceives of spirit as part of the universal creative principle, existing as a thought form. In keeping with its transcendental nature, Wicca views spirit as the convenient expression for a certain kind of matter, which is thought to contain a dynamic energy of its own. This energy is capable of being transmitted by means of mental activity and can be used to transmute other forms of energy into matter. {Wicca;Gale Encyclopedia of the Unusual and Unexplained, 2003}

Working with the Dead

The covens are usually jointly led by a High Priestess and a High Priest, though some are led by only one or the other. In more recent forms of neopagan witchcraft, covens are sometimes run as democracies with a rotating leadership. In the group all try to get control over the elements, how to “whistle up the wind” and call the rain, etc. {Council Cup} They also set out meals for those who are “gone from this world”.  They have a “Dumb Supper” which is a form of group necromancy where they think

the spirits of the dearly departed are set out a special meal (and a meal for yourself too) and is partaken of in silence in order to commune with our dearly departed. {Necromancy and the Dumb Supper}

In some covens, necromancy rituals are performed for 13 nights in a row to summon the appropriate and correct spirits. {Necromancy and the Dumb Supper}

For the wiccans it is a form of working with the Dead{Necromancy and the Dumb Supper} but according God’s Word the dead do know nothing and can do nothing because they are nothing but dust. The idea that a spirit part of humans survives at death and can communicate with the living in not according to God’s Word.

The death, dead people, wicked people, demons and spirits

Jehovah was the first to speak of death. He warned that Adam and Eve would die if they disobeyed him. (Genesis 2:17) What did that mean? Jehovah explained:

“Dust you are and to dust you will return.” (Genesis 3:19)

At death the body disintegrates; it goes back to the dust. Life ceases.

In the Holy Scriptures demons and spirits are mentioned. As an adult, Jesus encountered “wicked spirit creatures”. We are even told that they recognized Jesus and addressed him as the “Son of God.” Jesus likewise knew who they were. They were not spirits of dead humans. Rather, Jesus identified them as “demons,” or unclean spirits, people who were ill in their head, or had a disease. — Matthew 8:29-31; 10:8; Mark 5:8.

When there is spoken of Tartarus it is not a particular location, but a condition. Those whose breath goes out of their body are considered death by the Holy Scriptures. As soon as the brain does not function any more, life is gone out of a person and that person is belonging to the dead. The chief function of the body is to carry the brain around. Even the sick persons or the “possessed” or “demons” can no longer materialize and do not have any power or influence over minds and lives. It are the ideas of people which can continue to hover in the minds of folks. Those ideas can continue to grow in our mind and bring us unto other ideas. But it are not persons or some spiritual beings which do that.

The Bible tells us that

“The living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing at all . . . Their love and their hate and their jealousy [all of which they felt while alive] have already perished.” (Ecclesiastes 9:5, 6)

Yes, the Bible teaches that the dead are just that—dead!
They cannot think, act, or even worship God.

“The dead do not praise [God]; nor do any who go down into the silence of death,” says Psalm 115:17.

When the breath goes out of our body we shall not be able to speak any more but also not be able to think or do anything. Everything shall be finished and nobody shall be able to contact us again. Then it is too late for us to do something to others and too late for others to do something for us.

The living and the dead

The living “are conscious”, but dead or not conscious any more. When living on this earth we can do things and shall have to sweat, but once we die it is all finished and we shall not feel anything any more. Having paid for our sins there shall be no need any more to suffer for what we have done wrong and we shall land up were everybody of this world will end, the grave (hell, sheol, sepulchre). Even if we would have lots of money or many titles, we shall not being able to escape death and to become something again.

Genesis 3:19: 19 In the sweat of your face you will eat bread* until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken.+ For dust you are and to dust you will return.”+

Psalm 104:29: 29 When you hide your face, they are disturbed. If you take away their spirit, they die and return to the dust.+

Ecclesiastes 3:20: 20 All are going to the same place.+ They all come from the dust,+ and they all are returning to the dust.+

Ecclesiastes 12:7: Then the dust returns to the earth,+ just as it was, and the spirit* returns to the true God who gave it.+

Job 34:14, 15: 14 If he fixes his attention* on them, If he gathers their spirit and breath to himself,+ 15 All humans* would perish together, And mankind would return to the dust.+

Psalm 146:3, 4: Do not put your trust in princes* Nor in a son of man, who cannot bring salvation. His spirit* goes out, he returns to the ground;+ On that very day his thoughts perish.+

Ecclesiastes 3:19, 20:19 for there is an outcome* for humans and an outcome for animals; they all have the same outcome.+ As the one dies, so the other dies; and they all have but one spirit.+ So man has no superiority over animals, for everything is futile. 20 All are going to the same place.+ They all come from the dust,+ and they all are returning to the dust.+

For our own welfare

For our own welfare, Jehovah warns us against all forms of spiritism. He loves and cares for people, and he knows that those who get involved with demons or spiritism are bound to suffer.

Jehovah God’s Law to the nation of Israel also said:

“There should not be found in you anyone . . . who consults a spirit medium or . . . inquires of the dead. For whoever does these things is detestable to Jehovah.” (Deuteronomy 18:10-12)

The Bible also states that those who practice spiritism in any of its forms “will not inherit God’s Kingdom.”— Galatians 5:19-21.

Those who believe in god and believe in God His son, Jesus Christ, will have something positive to look forward, but it will not come to them straight ahead when they die. they shall be in the grave feeling and knowing of nothing, like they were before born. But there shall come a time that Jesus shall return to call the living and the dead together, to judge them and to open the gates to the Kingdom of God for all who lived according the Will of God.

+

Preceding articles:

Being Religious and Spiritual 1 Immateriality and Spiritual experience

Being Religious and Spiritual 5 Gnostic influences

Being Religious and Spiritual 6 Romantici, utopists and transcendentalists

Being Religious and Spiritual 7 Transcendence to become one

Science, belief, denial and visibility 2

The Importance of the Prophetic

Autumn traditions for 2014 – 2 Summersend and mansend

Autumn traditions for 2014 – 3 Black Mass, Horror spectacles and pure puritans

Autumn traditions for 2014 – 4 Blasphemy and ridiculing faith in God

Reaction on the worship of devils in the Kingdom of Essex

All Saints’ Day

All Souls’ Day

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Additional reading:

  1. Religions and Mainliners
  2. 2014 Religion
  3. Bible sayings about God
  4. Human Nature: What does the Bible teach?
  5. Your life the sum total of all your choices
  6. A Living Faith #9 Our Manner of Life
  7. Dying or not
  8. Biblical Ambiguity on Death?
  9. Bible sayings on the situation and place for the dead
  10. What happens when we die?
  11. Ontbinding
  12. Souls and Religions with Nirvana and light
  13. Immortality, eternality – onsterfelijkheid, eeuwigheid
  14. Decomposition, decay – vergaan, afsterven, ontbinding
  15. Where does Satan lives?
  16. What is life?
  17. The business of this life
  18. The chief function of the body is to carry the brain around
  19. Fear and protection
  20. Fragments from the Book of Job #1: chapters 1-12
  21. Fragments from the Book of Job #2: chapters 12-20
  22. Fragments from the Book of Job #3: chapters 21-26
  23. Fragments from the Book of Job #4: chapters 27-31
  24. Fragments from the Book of Job #5: chapters 32-37
  25. Fragments from the Book of Job #6: chapters 38-42
  26. Self inflicted misery #6 Paying by death
  27. The Soul confronted with Death
  28. Phoenicians sacrificed infants
  29. Doctrine and Conduct Cause and Effect
  30. Faith antithesis of rationality
  31. Wishing to do the will of God
  32. This month’s survey question: Heaven and Hell
  33. Sheol, Sheool, Sjeool, Hades, Hell, Grave, Tomb, Sepulchre
  34. Departed Souls Await Judgment
  35. Two states of existence before God
  36. A time for everything
  37. We will all be changed
  38. The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ
  39. The one who makes us well and gives life
  40. Necessity of a revelation of creation 4 Getting understanding by Word of God 2

+++

Further reading:

  1. Witchcraft
  2. Witchcraft in Europe, 1450 to 1789
  3. Wiccan, wicca (masc., “wizard”) and wicce (fem., “witch”)
  4. Witchcraft Trials
  5. How Meditation Changes Our Brains
  6. Where is the great Beyond?
  7. My kind of Halloween!
  8. He who goes to a medium should go with a clean inner life!
  9. Voodoo!
  10. What is Vodou?
  11. Voodoo in New Orleans
  12. Voodoo Queen
  13. Devil’s Seed
  14. Things that went BUMP! in the night in15th century Poland
  15. Really?
  16. Adsense Arbitrage Voodoo Review – Hot Or Not?
  17. Voodoo head dies…
  18. Leader Of Haitian Vodou Religion, Max Beauvoir, Dead At 79
  19. Voodoo practitioners mourn the death of leader Max Beauvoir
  20. Old time relijun
  21. Dispelling the myths of Voodoo
  22. New Orleans Experience – Day One!
  23. The Spooky Cemeteries of South Louisiana
  24. 31 Days of Voodoo at Voodoo Farm
  25. The Left-Hand Path, Magic, and Voodoo
  26. Using Creative Arts to Train Haitian Spiritual Leaders on Therapy for “Crooked” Thoughts
  27. Voodoo in Blue
  28. Walker Wednesday – 30/09/15
  29. Voodoo Village: South Africa
  30. An African Village where Dead Children are Made into Voodoo Dolls
  31. Papa Legba
  32. Hollywood Has Zombies all Wrong
  33. The Dark Side of Grace by M.L. Cooper
  34. Voodoo Village: Haiti
  35. Satanic ‘Zombified’ Religion Making Inroads in United States — Charisma News
  36. Soul food with a Voodoo touch
  37. Dirty Hands and Green Thumbs
  38. The Harley Quinn Voodoo String Doll Key Chain Handmade
  39. Jack Sparrow Voodoo String Doll Key Chain Handmade Pirates
  40. Rudimentary Chucky Voodoo String Doll Keychain
  41. Spiritists: When You Sleep You are Being Assisted in Your Quest to Become a Better Spiritist
  42. NDE’s – What people were told
  43. Bronwen’s Two NDE’s and her discoveries
  44. The Life Beyond the Veil – A book Psychographed by an English Reverend – G. Vale Owen
  45. A Course on How to Give Passes
  46. Why we should gladly suffer through our trials here on earth
  47. Want to know the Other Side of the NDE Judgment Experience – Swedenborg has examples
  48. Divine Providence Constantly Makes Sure We See What is True
  49. Mediumship
  50. Dreams and how the Spirit World Assists Us
  51. Spirit court
  52. Spirits, the Dearly Departed … and Reincarnation
  53. Rite of Passage
  54. Incarnation – Necessary for the Progression of the Spirit
  55. Gold Finch [Carduelis Tristis] Symbolic Meaning
  56. Stories of Spirit…Cleaning House [unwanted spirits activity]
  57. Business or Personal Journalling with the Tarot
  58. Seth Speaks: the eternal validity of the soul
  59. The Fox Sisters
  60. Demons and the Unexplained: Demonic Mysteries
  61. Demons USA: Demons in Everyday Life
  62. End Times Quote: Don’t Hang Around Demons
  63. DEMONS: Don't hang around demons.
  64. Exorcism: 10 Observations on Casting Out Demons
  65. Halloween 2014 Quotes: Halloween is Satanic and Demonic
  66. Our Fractal Nature – physics spinning
  67. “P” Poison Has Its Uses #atozchallenge
  68. Grave Silence #art #horrorweek #horror
  69. Reflections #horror #flashfiction #PEN
  70. A Forgotten Life the conclusion Atom
  71. Part One the domino effect
  72. Part Two Strangers
  73. Regret: ‘The Lives We Live’ A Reality Show – 5th Dismissal
  74. Beneath the Tree #2 #Christmas #children #abuse #poetry
  75. Interesting-stuff
  76. Yom Kippur 5776 ~ The Day of Atonement
  77. Submission
  78. The Commands of Yeshua ~ Part 28
  79. CASTING OUT DEMONS: More are familiar with Hollywood rituals than the Bible.
  80. Exposition on Romans 1
  81. Exposition on Romans 2
  82. Departed Souls Await Judgment
  83. The Soul is Not Dead
  84. The “Living” Word
  85. The Whole Point
  86. Created For Responsibility
  87. No More Me but Thee Lord!

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Epicurus’ Problem of Evil

In the philosophy of religion, an ancient discipline, being found in the earliest known manuscripts concerning philosophy, the problem of evil is the question of how to reconcile the existence of evil with that of a deity who is, in either absolute or relative terms, omnipotent, having the quality of having unlimited power with the capacity to know everything and this even in a state of omniscience or ubiquity, the property of being present everywhere, and omnibenevolent (from Latin omni– meaning “all”, and benevolent, meaning “good”) (see theism).

All About Evil

All About Evil (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lots of people have already spend lots of words and time to discussions about the existence in this world and the position of or no position of a deity in this matter.

We may have logic, reason or moral intuition, not derived from purported supernatural revelation or guidance (which is the source of religious ethics), seeing what happens in the world every day. Strangely enough as long as everything goes all right people do not need a god or say they do not believe in God. But as soon as something bad happens they all seem to blame that God Which they say does not exist.

They overlook the fact that through logic and reason, human beings are capable of deriving normative principles of behaviour.

For humanists it is clear that we do have a universal morality based on the commonality of human nature, and that knowledge of right and wrong is based on our best understanding of our individual and joint interests, rather than stemming from a transcendental or arbitrarily local source, therefore rejecting faith completely as a basis for action. When there is some wrong in the world this does not have to come from any supernatural power. No god or not the God has to be called responsible for the wrong-going in this world. Most humanists look for viable individual, social and political principles of conduct.

People who do not believe in God do not exclude our secular ethics, secular beliefs as a matter of influence on good and bad in our environment. Most thinkers are aware that lots of evil that comes over man comes over the human beings by their own fault.

Though lots of people do ask if there is a God willing to prevent evil, but not able? In case, they think, this god is not omnipotent. That is also what the Greek philosopher Epicurus thought. He wrote a riddle which turns out to be loaded with a couple of erroneous presuppositions.

He also questioned:

Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?

The problem with a lot of thinkers is that they assume that God must do so in exactly the way we think he ought to, and if he doesn’t, we’re going to get all uppity and tell him that he doesn’t exist.

Portrait of Epicurus, founder of the Epicurean...

Portrait of Epicurus, founder of the Epicurean school. Roman copy after a lost Hellenistic original. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

According to Epicurus we do have a a mental perception of our nature which is usually ridiculous. Man having created gods who live eternal lives of contentment in the void of the universe and have no concern with men. There are no rewards or punishments after death; death is extinction, according to him. Dying might reasonably — though mistakenly, he feels — seem a cause for fear; to fear death itself, however, is absurd, since it brings nothing in its wake.

Because we are confronted with elements and with problems we can not cope with, we consider that God to be responsible that He has not given us enough power to avoid such problems and all that suffering it brings with it. We take such an attitude that we blame Him to be responsible for all the badness that comes over this earth. We consider Him responsible and point our finger at Him, finding that He ought to deal with evil. Funny thing is also that most people give the impression that they know just how He ought to do deal with it.

Epicurus continues:

If God exists, then God is omnipotent, omniscient, and morally perfect.
If God is omnipotent, then God has the power to eliminate all evil.
If God is omniscient, then God knows when evil exists.
If God is morally perfect, then God has the desire to eliminate all evil.
Evil exists.
If evil exists and God exists, then either God doesn’t have the power to eliminate all evil, or doesn’t know when evil exists, or doesn’t have the desire to eliminate all evil.
Therefore, God doesn’t exist.

Epicurus does seem to forget that The God can really eliminate all evil, but Epicurus does not question why He allows it to exist. He also in several of his texts gives the impression that God would not know that evil exists, but the Word of God, given to us with the Holy Scriptures let us know very well that God is conscious about the existing evil, but also how evil is in man.

When we look in the Bible, we can get a good impression of what evil is, how it came into being and why there is still evil in this world. All the answers are in the Scriptures. Evil is defined by God as being that which is opposite to him. The “Satan” is any adversary or any person working against the Divine Creator. In every person there is a satan, or a character of opposition or adversary, against the “I am” the own personality and against the “I Am Who I Am” the Divine Superior God in Whose image we are created.

Most people when they look at evil in this world want God to solve it because they have come aware that human is worthless in solving it all. They hope that God can deal with all the problems in this world, the evil the suffering, in such a way that will give them a problem-less world, with no bad things in it. But they themselves would not like to be changed. Because God offers them a world with less problems. He does give the world advice to avoid problems and suffering.But the world does not want to know.

Blaming God is all-right but listening to Him?

Epicureanism afforded a role to gods, they were not thought to be involved in the universe in any way, and it rejected outright the idea of an afterlife. That last bit made it not so loved by many people who loved to have something to look forward to after they had to endure this life full of misery.

English: Ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus, d...

Ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus, depicted in the Nuremberg Chronicle (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The disdain with which Epicureanism was treated has led to it being misconceived to this day. Epicureanism is still thought of as a commitment to sensual pleasure, to fast living. Though Epicurus did conceive of pleasure as the highest good, his conception of pleasure was far from hedonistic: all that Epicurus sought was a peaceful life free from discomfort and distress. Though for many religious people it seemed so wrong to enjoy life. They all forgot that this is also something God would love His people, to have joy of this world and to live nicely. But for God the nice living does not come undeserved or without any action of man himself. We all have to grow up, have to learn, have to think about matters, have to make decisions, have to act and to react, and by the actions we do take we shall have to bear the consequences of our actions.

Many do think if God is omnipotent He would not allow evil to be, but why not?

There have been many attempts to defend God‘s goodness in view of the existence of evil. They are common to monotheistic religions based on the Abrahamic tradition, namely Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, as these all suffer from the problem of evil.

In short, the problem of evil occurs when specific attributes are ascribed to God:

David Hume argued:

“Why is there any misery at all in the world? Not by chance surely. From some cause then. Is it from the intention of the Deity? But he is perfectly benevolent. Is it contrary to his intention? But he is almighty. Nothing can shake the solidity of this reasoning, so short, so clear, so decisive; except we assert, that these subjects exceed all human capacity”

We would not say that “Free will is assumed to be a greater good than the evil that it causes”, but with free will or free choice human beings have most in their hands. We also would not say that free will is needed by God to serve some purpose. It is a free gift from God, which can be used by people like they want. But they also can leave it for what it is, and God cannot be called responsible for that.

It is true God could have created humans such that they would always freely choose the good. This He did not do and therefore many call Him ultimately responsible and blameworthy for any evil act which humans perform. This gives the indication that they preferred the God having created human beings who only would follow His Will and only could do what He wanted.

Humans must be free to commit actions which would qualify as “evil” as well as “good” in our argument, in order to have free will. When they only would be made to have restriction, only doing the Will of God, they would be like robots or machines not able to think and act for themselves. Those who want God having to have created beings which only could do good, should wonder if such a being uberhaut has any free will or free choice to do something. In this case, all humans born without this capability, possess no free will. Should then all human beings all be the same? Because what is going to determine that one person is going to do this or an other job, having an advantage of strength, size, or skill. This are factors now determined by the choices being made by that person. The development of a human being depends on how he or she wants to use his or her free will. Are then the potentially smaller, weaker, or less skilled persons than victims? Would a difference in capability also not be part of evil or part of the good?

In case all would do the same job and would be totally the same that would place God in a worse light than now. This would put God in the position of denying free will to someone regardless of God’s position on an action, whether God intervenes, or not.

People limiting God by not allowing Him to let nature develop and have what we call natural disasters, such as hurricanes, tsunamis, and earthquakes, do not want to see the necessity of certain developments in nature, or they would not want nature to evolve. Natural disasters are not to be defined as evil. The fact that they occur, and that God does not prevent them or the deaths and suffering they cause, people should question if those people were living at areas provided by God to live. Often people do want to take parts from nature to house themselves, whilst they were provided for the animals or as natural buffer. A lot of people just think they are master of nature and can decide where they may live and where animals may not live. Now lots of people do not take enough account of nature and ignore the laws of nature. By not showing any respect for nature and its laws they do have to bear the consequences of their bad behaviour against the universe.

God is not unaware of people’s suffering, but He has given them on their demand, what too many do forget, the right to decide for themselves what they want to do, which way to go and how to behave. He is not therefore not omniscient; or He is therefore not unable to do anything, and therefore not omnipotent. Some may find it not right that He does not want to intervene. Because He is unwilling to intervene they do find Him not omnibenevolent. The latter word being primarily used as a technical term within academic literature on the philosophy of religion, mainly in context of the problem of evil and theodical responses to such. Although even in said contexts the phrases “perfect goodness” or “moral perfection” are often preferred because of the difficulties in defining what exactly constitutes ‘infinite benevolence’.

For many God not showing directly infinitely compassion makes Him not worthy to be called a Omnibenevolent Deity. But is it not like any parent who has his children doing things and when something did something wrong and therefore got himself or herself in problems tells them that if they did not want to listen had to learn from what happened to them because they were not willing to listen to what the father said beforehand.

Belief in a God’s omnibenevolence is an essential foundation in traditional Christianity; this can be seen in Scriptures such as Psalms 18:30:

“(18:31) “as for god, his way is perfect, the word of ADONAI has been tested by fire; he shields all who take refuge in him.” (Psalms 18:30 CJB)

According to the Bible Jehovah, the Elohim is The Rock Whose work is perfect, for all His ways are justice. (Deuteronomy 32:4) Too many people are forgetting that This God of faithfulness and without iniquity is Just and right, having a perfect law which restores the soul. The people should remember they are nothing without God and that His testimony is sure, making wise the simple.

“(19:8) the torah of ADONAI is perfect, restoring the inner person. the instruction of ADONAI is sure, making wise the thoughtless.” (Psalms 19:7 CJB)

Jehovah is righteous in all His ways, and gracious in all His works (Psalms 145:17). It is not because we do not understand why certain things happen in nature, earthquakes, flows of water, etc. that they do not have the right purpose or are meant for the better, because we do not see straight ahead the good results.

Too many people do believe their way of thinking is the best. Often they consider others their idea less good than their own. And most people consider it impossible that there could be a Supreme Being which nobody can see or feel, would be even better and more knowledgeable than they. For them it is difficult to accept that great and marvellous would the works of that One God, the Almighty and that His ways would be righteous and true (Revelation 15:3 )

Many ancient authorities read nations:

“who would not fear you, king of the nations? for it is your due! —since among all the wise of the nations and among all their royalty, there is no one like you.” (Jeremiah 10:7 CJB)

This understanding is evident in the following statement by the First Vatican Council

The Holy, Catholic, Apostolic and Roman Church believes and acknowledges that there is one true and living God, Creator and Lord of Heaven and earth, almighty, eternal, immeasurable, incomprehensible, infinite in will, understanding and every perfection. Since He is one, singular, completely simple and unchangeable spiritual substance, He must be declared to be in reality and in essence, distinct from the world, supremely happy in Himself and from Himself, and inexpressibly loftier than anything besides Himself which either exists or can be imagined. {“First Vatican Council”. dailycatholic.org. Retrieved 2008-05-02.}

Notice how also the Catholic Church agrees that The God of gods “is one, singular”, but also an “unchangeable spiritual substance”. According to the Bible God is a Spirit, Who was, is and ever shall be the same. so He did not became one moment a man who could be seen and be tempted, because God can not be seen and can not be tempted. God His divine qualities are consistent.It is only those who want to believe in the human doctrine of the trinity who can see inconsistency, which would be normal because God and Jesus are two totally different characters.

God contains within himself the cause of himself. Being self-sufficient, having within Himself the sufficient reason for His own existence, He also has given others, His creation, the ability to be and to have cause for existence. It is not that God would be without emotion or is “impassible”, because in the Bible lots of times is given an indication how God feels and is given an idea of His emotions.

All things came into being through Him, and without Him not one thing came into being. The aorist tense implies that everything that exists (other than God) came into being at some time in the past. This verse carries the weighty metaphysical implication that there are no eternal entities apart from God, eternal either in the sense of existing atemporally or of existing sempiternally. Rather everything that exists, with the exception of God Himself, is the product of temporal becoming.

We also should come to understand that everything is as such also temporarily. The badness we see now can turn out something good in the future. And in the end we do know that God shall provide the best for every creature, man, animal, plant, in His Kingdom.

Human beings should know that there is nothing God needs from us and that there is nothing we can do to improve on God. God is sufficient unto Himself. Human Beings should know that the “end purpose of all things” is God. God loves mankind but like any father who loves his children it does not have to mean he does not allow bad things to come over them. Lots of people do not seem to notice how He His caring for those who suffer, His desire to be in communion with us. The “grand object” of Scripture is God’s saving purpose worked out in human history.

We should come to understand that every journey is a process, from beginning to end, by which we have choices and can have faith in some things some ones and/or in Some One, whereby the energy in the beginning can be matter and be the product of Faith. When there is faith in the One God matters can become clear, and than we can understand cause of pain and how we can live wit it.

All those who are willing to find the one, and Only True God, by seeking Him, shall find assurance, even when they do suffer, that God shall be prepared to listen to them and to be near to them. When you seek, the One and Only True God, with an honest, open heart, and with humility, you shall be able to come to understand lots of things. God wants to enter your life. He shall give you insight.

Many may say

“Where is God when a child cries from hunger, fear, loneliness?”
“Where is God when a young mother dies of breast cancer?”
“Where is God when we cry out in the night?” {Where Is God?}

People may not forget that always God is here waiting for us to reach out, to invite Him into our lives. He has given us the world to live in and to develop. He has given us the taks to name the animals and the plants, but he did not ask us to destroy His creation by our selfishness and by polluting “our Earth”. God is love. God does not hate. God does not kill. God does not make war, God has never given any man the authority to kill another man in his name.  That is man again, doing the evil that men do for their own evil reasons.
God is waiting for us “in our hearts, if only we would call.”

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Preceding articles:

  1. Does God stands behind all evil on earth
  2. Is God behind all suffering here on earth
  3. I Can’t Believe That … (2) God would allow children to suffer
  4. Why God permits evil
  5. Evil Never Ceases
  6. Pain, sanctification and salvation
  7. From Despair to Victory

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Additional reading:

  1. Epicurus and the problem of evil
  2. Satan the evil within
  3. It is a free will choice
  4. National Natural Disaster and Bible Prophecy
  5. Tragic coach crash in the Swiss Alps
  6. Facing disaster fatigue
  7. Profitable disasters
  8. Reacting to Disasters
  9. From pain to purpose
  10. Bad things no punishment from God
  11. Doubting the reality, genuineness and effectiveness of God’s love
  12. We are ourselves responsible
  13. I said God it hurts
  14. Dealing with worries in our lives
  15. I Only hope we find God again before it is too late !
  16. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #1 Listening Sovereign Maker
  17. Faith Over Fear
  18. Faith because of the questions
  19. Trust God to shelter, safety and security
  20. God is my refuge and my fortress in Him I will trust

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  • What Role Did Psychology Play? (psychologytoday.com)
  • Happiness (todayssigns.wordpress.com)
    Not understanding that has to be the main reason for why criticism of hedonism involves pursuit of pleasure as an end in itself. Any student of Epicurus knows that happiness results as a byproduct of pleasurable activities. Any student properly schooled in American history knows that “the pursuit of happiness was included in the basic philosophy upon which America was founded. Think of this the next time someone tells you America was founded as a Christian nation. We are a nation of hedonists very ignorant of how to apply that fact.
  • Letter: Whose ‘right’ should we follow? (norwichbulletin.com)

    Whose right and wrong? That of the American Atheists Inc.? Mine? How about ISIS? If you throw away the “whims of some bronze age mythological figure,” whose whims rule the day?

    As for leaving religion in the history books, isn’t that what we’ve done as least as far as the schools go? How’s that working?

  • What is Morality? (seesharppress.wordpress.com) > What is Morality?
    The Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry defines morality as “Morality is the distinction between right and wrong. It is the determination of what should be done and what should not be done. Morals deal with behaviours as well as motives. There is a great deal of discussion on what is the source of morals and whether or not they are objective. Biblically, morals are derived from God’s character and revealed to us through the Scriptures”
  • Above the Gray: How We Approach Ethics As An Organization (prsay.prsa.org)
    As a Society, we represent the very largest and smallest of enterprises worldwide. Issues such as transparency, privacy and personal identity are now far more challenging, thereby increasing our responsibility as public relations professionals. Transparency is part of the larger conversation around ethics, which frames it with other such conventions as truth, accuracy, fairness and a responsibility to the public. While it’s tempting to think of ethics as the domain of philosophers debating theoretical concepts, the reality is that we all face ethical decisions every day, and they are almost never black and white.
  • Is SEO Immoral? (moz.com)
    By learning and manipulating the system to accomplish its goal, SEO makes it more likely that you will come upon a target that is irrelevant.
  • Epicurus’ Problem of Evil (keskyisnotbusy.wordpress.com)
  • Jesus Was Tortured And Killed, Today Most Christians Are Highly Supportive Of Torture (blacklistednews.com)
    Let’s get this straight, Jesus who was interrogated, tortured and then killed has modern followers who actually support government sanctioned torture. If they are Christians and are familiar with his history then they would know what happened and reject such savage methods. Today so-called terrorists are picked up on the street and hurt severely without even being put before a judge and jury. These people are the antithesis of Jesus and have nothing in common with him.
  • ▶ Nullification The Rightful Remedy – YouTube (chasvoice.blogspot.com)

Equal?

Created in the image of the Originator each human being has the same value and the same rights for God. Only Jesus, who was lower than the angels has been placed higher to become a mediator between man and God. All other creations are under Jesus Christ and should become part of the Body of Christ, fully respecting each other and giving each other equal chances.

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Find also related articles:

  1. Image of God
  2. We all are changed into the same image from glory to glory
  3. Cosmos creator and human destiny
  4. Human Nature: What does the Bible teach?
  5. The Conditionality of Citizenship
  6. Jesus and his God
  7. Parts of the body of Christ
  8. What part of the Body am I?

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  • Equal Partnership Between Men & Women (allboutthefamily.wordpress.com)
    Equality doesn’t mean that we are all the same robotic like humans. We each have different personalities, divine natures, but we are equal in nature. No one gender is better than the other. Our Heavenly Father has the same amount of love for all people.
    +
    faith, repentance, baptism, and the gift of the Holy Ghost are requirements for all of God’s children, regardless of gender. The same is true of temple covenants and blessings. Our Father’s work and glory is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of His children (see Moses 1:39). He loves us all equally, and His greatest gift, the gift of eternal life, is available to all.
    +
    In our marriages and relationships, having an equal partnership is essential. Both members of the couple will bring together their strengths and weaknesses. It is in an equal partnership that will make this relationship work!
  • Thomas Boston on the Law and the Christian (reformedreader.wordpress.com)
    To be delivered from the law as it is the covenant of works, is no more but to be delivered from the covenant of works.  And the asserting, that believers are delivered from the law as it is a covenant of works, doth necessarily import, that they are under the law, in some other respects thereto contradistinguished.
  • Mormon Church Back in Marriage Equality Fight in Hawaii – Advocate.com (prgnewshawaii.com)
    Mormon Church Back in Marriage Equality Fight in Hawaii Advocate.com After backing away from fighting marriage equality for a while, the Mormon Church is once again active on this issue, coming out in opposition to the equal marriage bill pending…
  • IL Bishop: Praying for Marriage Equality Is Blasphemy (bilerico.com)
    Thomas Paprocki, the infamously homophobic Catholic bishop of Springfield, Illinois, got his cassock in a bunch earlier this week when he heard that a group of pro-LGBT Catholics planned to pray the rosary for marriage equality inside the city’s cathedral after rallying at the state capitol.As soon as Paprocki got wind of plans by members of the Rainbow Sash Movement to pray for marriage equality before the 5:15 p.m. mass on Tuesday, he issued a statement calling such prayers “blasphemous” and warning that anyone who attempted to enter the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception while wearing a rainbow sash or otherwise identified themselves as a pro-equality Catholic would be blocked from entering and turned away. Anyone who prayed for same-sex marriage inside the cathedral would be asked to leave.
  • With celebrations, NJ has 1st gay marriages (bigstory.ap.org)
    Gov. Chris Christie dropped his fight against gay marriage in New Jersey on Monday, framing the decision in a pragmatic way: No point in fighting a losing battle.Just hours after gay couples began exchanging vows with the blessing of New Jersey’s Supreme Court, Christie announced he was withdrawing his appeal to the high court.
  • Monday Moments- Thank You (ducc3d.wordpress.com)
    I was reminded of the true freedom that comes from the Lord, and the many ways we have become accustomed with living in bondage rather than true freedom.  Bondage is anything that hinders us from living up to the potential that God has invested in us.
  • Stand Up (junosalter.wordpress.com)
    Discrimination has been prevalent throughout the world since the genesis of society. In fact, discrimination is a deterrent; that is, people are unable to confidently be themselves due to the prejudiced opinions of others. Jews cowered in claustrophobic confinements because of the genocide that had catalyzed from Hitler and the Nazi Party’s disgust of the Jews. Concentration camps were built where the unluckiest of the Jewish victims were detained, forced to provide manual labor and await their execution. Discrimination brought about fear, suffering, bitterness, and the death of approximately six million Jews.                 Racism was one of the biggest, most long-lasting types of discrimination in America. African Americans were treated as inferiors, with the majority of society against the idea of African Americans exercising their rights. The Jim Crow laws included an unjust set of rules that enforced racial segregation. The colored were considered, “separate, but equal,” (Plessy V. Fergeuson) but what’s equal about that?

Dizzydaisydoo

This is a big, controversial issue, which really isn’t all that hard to sort out, but it seems to be a breaking point way too often in the modern church.

Are men and women a) equal in the full definition of the word, or b) are they equal with different roles, or c) are they not equal?  (okay, it’s definitely not c.) If you think it is, you really need to re-read the Bible.)

The simple answer is a).

We are all created equal, in God’s image, no one person is greater than another (Genesis 1 & 2).  When Eve is created from Adam’s rib in Genesis 2:18-25, she is called his helper.  In Hebrew, this word is ezer, which is a far more complex word than our modern English concept of helper- rather than being a sidekick or servant, when it is used, ezer usually refers to God…

View original post 1,074 more words

Caricaturing and disapproving sceptics, religious critics and figured out ethics

Since 1872 when the UK Parliament authorised public meetings, very Sunday, Londoners gather at ‘Speaker’s Corner’ in Hyde Park to talk, debate and preach about whatever they choose.

In the 1970ies wherever you went in London you could find street corner preachers of which some also presented themselves as prophets. They where full of fire and let their spirit go over many listeners and curious onlookers.  Often they acted as if they were deeply concerned about the fate of souls. With those who disagreed with they were willing to show their way of thinking was right.

The street corner preachers are gone, but today we have the online preachers. Their attitude does seem to be quite similar like their old colleague’s. John Blake from CNN does find you can tell that those contemporary street corner preachers relish the prospect of eternal torment for their online enemies.

Some don’t even try to hide their true motives:

“I hope you like worms because you will have your own personal worm to feed off your fat drippings in hell for all eternity…”

That’s what a commenter called “HeavenSent” said to another following an article on evangelical Pastor Rick Warren. HeavenSent ended his malediction with one word: “Amen.”

Okay, so that’s the wrong way to argue about religion online if you’re a street corner prophet. Now, here’s the right way:

Not everyone who disagrees with you deserves eternal torment. People rarely listen to someone who is in perpetual attack mode.

MSN Classic sign-in screen

MSN Classic sign-in screen (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When I had my MSN blog and reacted on several MSN Groups I encountered often very unchristian attitudes and even got several viruses especially send to my mailbox. Some reactors or so called Christians would not have hesitated to put shit in my mailbox. It was incredible how some people who I did not know personally, and who did not really knew me, reacted and called me all sorts of names. Those Christian shouters were all the time Trinitarians defending their belief as the only one belief. Non-trinitarians were called heretics and even nonbelievers, though according to me everybody does belief something.

 

The first page of the Nicomachean Ethics in Gr...

The first page of the Nicomachean Ethics in Greek and Latin, from a 1566 edition (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Aristotle who could not be called ‘a believer’ in his Nicomachean Ethics believed already that people could study ethics and by doing so could become good, and in so doing become a virtuous, flourishing, fulfilled, happy human being.
The agnostic as a person who claims, with respect to any particular question, that the answer cannot be known with certainty, may have an open mind about religious belief, especially the existence of God, but often believes that because there is no reference to any concept of gods or the supernatural that it does not mean there would be not such special power or not something after death.

The humanist, who wants to take a philosophical position that stresses the autonomy of human reason in contradistinction to the authority of the Church, may believe that moral values follow on from human nature and experience in some way. Most humanists would agree or believe that people should work together to improve the quality of life for all and make it more equitable. According to some, humanism is a full philosophy, “life stance” or worldview, rather than being about one aspect of religion, knowledge, or politics.

With many who say they are “non-religious” we can find the believe in humanity. Many of them look for the way and sense of life. Even when they reject the idea of any supernatural agency, they are aware of the universe and the placing of the human being in the whole ‘creation‘. They also belief we should look for ways to make the best out of the world.

Sceptics as either doubter, cynic or a person who believes the worst about people or the outcome of events, perhaps may swear that they do not believe in anything, but already by swearing they confess a certain believe. It is their belief that there is doubt about all the many religious sayings, myths, supernatural or “paranormal” beliefs. More than one cynic believes that people always act selfishly and that people are malformed by their upbringing and cultural environment..

 Organizers of the “Open Hearts, Open Minds” conference at an Oct. 15 press conference: from left, Frances Kissling of the University of Pennsylvania, Peter Singer of Princeton, Jennifer Miller of Bioethics International, and Charles Camosy of Fordham.

Organizers of the “Open Hearts, Open Minds” conference at an Oct. 15 press conference: from left, Frances Kissling of the University of Pennsylvania, Peter Singer of Princeton, Jennifer Miller of Bioethics International, and Charles Camosy of Fordham.

Charles Camosy, who teaches Christian ethics at Fordham University in New York City may find those who give criticism, those who go against somebody his thoughts, are justified to do so, and we should understand that they sometimes react in ways we would not expect. His academic work focuses in biomedical ethics, but he is also very interested in the confluence of ethics, theology and politics in our public sphere more broadly.

In his work the Roman Catholic got confronted with many opinions. He did not mind to look at discussable subjects, like we would like to tackle on this platform. As such he has spent considerable time working to find ways to dial down the polarization in our public sphere and fruitfully engage difficult issues like abortion, euthanasia, treatment of non-human animals, and health care distribution.

According to him and us, the key of understanding and ability to talk about such subjects is to be open for an other opinion and to have

intellectual solidarity with those who think differently.

In his second book Camosy engages the first sustained and fruitful conversation between Peter Singer and Christian ethics — and once again considers a wide variety of bioethical and social issues. As a non-typical Catholic moral theologian he questions how Singer can push Catholic ethics to greater depth and how Catholic ethics can push Peter Singer to greater depth. For example, on the issue of abortion, the differences appear insurmountable. Singer not only holds that abortion can be morally licit but also infanticide.

In Camosy his work he points out several areas of commonality, and that is what many Christians overlook. Being part of the same body, the Body of Christ, using the same book as their base, the Bible, they should have more things in common or otherwise it would be clear that they are not following their so called teacher Jesus of Nazareth.

Camosy says that online discussions about religion are difficult because they are not in person. Tone and nuance gets lost online.

“You can’t look them in the face,” he said. “You can’t shake their hand or give a hug. You find it very difficult to have that sort of embodied trust.”

According to John Blake who witnessed some of the nastiest religious arguments online

It’s too bad that many of the exchanges between atheists and people of faith in our comments section don’t follow the same script.

He gets the source of frustration for some atheists.

They have longed been caricatured by people of faith as moral degenerates who don’t care about morality. Some of them, in turn, have caricatured people of faith as weak-minded hypocrites who believe in fairy tales.

Whatever a person may believe or how he may look at those who believe certain things, he should know that everybody may have a field in which he may know a lot. We should know that we can not know everything and can not have enough knowledge in the many fields of science. For many it is difficult to accept that there is a limit to knowledge also for themselves.

To debate about religion should not mean to go to war against those who think differently. In case we are interested in religion we may encounter some extreme interpretations and reactions, knowing that many thoughts come from the emotional heart.

In interviews after the Rutgers event, Singer and Camosy each gave the same answer: dogmatism. Camosy elaborates:

Furthermore, I think most disagreement comes – not from differences in evidence in argument – but because of social or emotive reasons. Someone is turned off by a group of people who hold a particular view, or part of their self-identity comes from not being like another group, and thus the arguments are built on top of that first principle as to why such a group holds mistaken views. And so on.

James Goodrich writes:

We would be naïve to think that there aren’t overly dogmatic persons or those who define themselves by their opposition in both camps. Given this thought, could it be the case that we ourselves, in some sense, are responsible for a lack of ethical progress? Could progress be made if we all were all actually able to sit down together with open minds and our best arguments? I think it’s not irrational to be hopeful. It is unlikely that we can completely do away with some level of dogmatism, but if the reason disagreement persists is in part due to social reasons, then perhaps given enough time progress is indeed obtainable.

We might come to find, at least with respect to ethics, that religious and secular thinkers really did just start from different places at the base of the mountain and will someday meet at the peak.

According to it’s probably one of the most intractable and complex questions in philosophy to know how free will, determinism and moral responsibility work together. Those who call themselves Christians should have a certain moral and an attitude to all people who are according the Bible created in the image of God and part of His Masterwork. Of those who call themselves children of the Creator God you would expect moral responsibility.

Charles Camosy

our will needs to be, at some important juncture, determined by something we identify with as ‘us’.  What specific kinds of things might these be?  Well, the normal things you might imagine: our interests, goals, values, moral convictions, characters, motivations, processes of deliberation, etc.  (And additionally, these things need to be left up to us and not ultimately determined by some other mind with their own interests, goals, etc… among a few other clauses which space won’t permit.)

In many religious groups though, we may find that the disagreements there are should not always be such a terrible stumbling block. Lots of time many similarities can be found, or little details which are not as important to the outcome, they may think.

As children of God we should respect the other creations of God, and accept that they may have their own interests and their own believes. We should imagine a multitude of possibilities in this world, or models of the way the world could be. We also should accept that not everybody wants to choose the same things or the same order. We should leave them the liberty to choose freely,

pick between them based on our personal interests and values a la Hume.

When defining free will simply (and crudely) as “an uncaused will” or “caused by nothing but ‘myself’”, you get the kinds of tensions that keep some determinists up at night.  However, why define it this way?  Why not define it differently?

We all have a very real experience of free will, of choosing between live ‘options’, and of being morally ‘responsible’.  There is a very real phenomena I seem to be pointing at with these words that begs an explanation.  So it seems that there are really two separate kinds of free wills, or ways in which we use the term free will.  Specifically, ‘free will’ can refer to 1) a concept or definition or 2) a phenomena we experience.

Cupido

To understand this think of “Love”.  Love is an very real and powerful emotion, yet there are a thousand definitions and understandings of what it is and causes it.  Psychologists, sociologists, evolutionary biologists, and theologians all understand the term differently and operate on different academic definitions.  So in the first way we could, for instance, simply define “love” as “mutually altruistic pair emotional and social bonding” and then work off of that definition.  Then, in contrast, I could ask: What is this phenomena over here in front of me that we all experience and often call ‘love’? And, further, why accept this definition of ‘love’ as opposed to some other?  How should we define this phenomena and what characterizes it?

When we do have the capacity to take things in perspective we should try to understand others’ differing interests. Out of our love for the creation we should feel empathy and show understanding, trying also to learn from the other person his ideas, intelligence or sense. Each of us should know that it is not because we might have a strong personal opinion or interpretation of a subject that the other opinion could not be right as well or could not receive our sympathy as well. Though sometimes there may be a close similarity in appearance or quality; inherent likeness, we should be wiling to see. It just demands a free spirit who puts away the selfishness of the ego, liking its own ideas.

We better should look for the quality of fitting or working harmoniously with one another, trying to find ways to make this living space a better space for every one, whatever they may like or whatever opinion they would like to hold on.

Like we should treat kids we should take the right attitude to people around us. We should look at them with investigating minds, not condemning the situations or actions straight ahead. We should look for harmony between things, ideas, and where we see something going right or wrong we should mention the good things first.

Moral blame and praise (very different from punishment and rewards, btw), holding people accountable for their actions, and other moral considerations daily effect how we think about our choices and make our decisions.

Holding people morally responsible, promoting moral values, etc still has tangible and valuable effects on peoples’ conscious and subconscious deliberations and life choices.

agrees , but he also thinks

Even if ‘free will’, crudely defined, creates problems for moral responsibility, again, who cares?

Those who are aware of the Higher Being and belief that we live in a temporary system, should care, and try to come to good alternatives.

may believe that in the 3000 yr old tradition of Philosophy, the discussion about God and ethics was pretty much finished with Plato in the Euthyphro Dialogue. The question about what ‘right’, ‘good’, and other moral terms actually are may still be on many tongues. We as citizens should listen to the worldly lawmakers, but should always put the Most Important  and Most High Lawmaker in the first place.
Paul Chiariello who is currently studying for his PhD in Philosophy at Yale University and who is also the assistant coordinator and webmaster at the Humanist Chaplaincy at Rutgers University, gives a good answer:

So like ideal teachers, parents and legislators, God instead commands and loves what is already right and good, independent of his commanding/loving it.  God has, in a sense, figured out ethics already (being omniscient and whatnot) and then tells us about it.

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Please do find to read:

  1. To mean, to think, outing your opinion, conviction, belief – Menen, mening, overtuiging, opinie, geloof
  2. Being prudent – zorgvuldig zijn
  3. Choices
  4. Choosing your attitudes
  5. Not the circumstances in which we are placed constitutes our comfort
  6. The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands
  7. Our stance against certain religions and immigrating people
  8. Attitude to others important for reaching them
  9. How us to behave
  10. Not liking your Christians
  11. Who are the honest ones?
  12. Greatest single cause of atheism
  13. What’s church for, anyway? (by Marcus Ampe)
  14. Act as if everything you think, say and do determines your entire life
  15. How we think shows through in how we act
  16. Raise a standard to which the wise and honest can repair
  17. If you want to go far in life
  18. People should know what you stand for
  19. The manager and Word of God
  20. Remember that who you’re being is just as important as what you’re doing
  21. A learning process for each of us
  22. Are Christadelphians so Old Fashioned?
  23. Feed Your Faith Daily
  24. Followers with deepening
  25. Determined To Stick With Truth.
  26. Unconditional love
  27. Life and attitude of a Christian
  28. We have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace
  29. Work with joy and pray with love
  30. Abhor evil. Adhere to goodness
  31. Act as if everything you think, say and do determines your entire life
  32. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  33. A Living Faith #4 Effort
  34. A Living Faith #6 Sacrifice
  35. A Living Faith #9 Our Manner of Life
  36. It is free will choice
  37. Our relationship with God, Jesus and each other
  38. Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience
  39. You only lose energy when life becomes dull in your mind
  40. Ask Grace to go forward
  41. Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal
  42. Spread love everywhere you go
  43. Don’t wait to catch a healthy attitude
  44. Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap
  45. Finish each day and be done with it
  46. Christadelphian people

Those who understand Dutch can also find:

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

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Additional reading:

  1. What’s church for, anyway? (by )
  2. Four Reasons Why Determinism is Irrelevant to Ethics & Free Will
  3. Christian ethics and Peter Singer
  4. Peter Singer & Christian Ethics
  5. Seeking common ground
  6. A Quick Report from ‘Christian Ethics Engages Peter Singer’ this Past Week at Oxford
  7. Euthyphro’s Dilemma: Why Atheists & Theists are Stuck in the Same Ethical Boat
  8. Are We Climbing the Same Mountain? Secular-Religious Ethical Disagreement and the Peter Singer & Charles Camosy Discussion
  9. You Blind Guides! You Strain Out a Gnat But Swallow a Camel
  10. “A healthy attitude is contagious but don’t wait to catch it from others. Be a carrier.” — Tom Stoppard
  11. Cultivating A Gospel Shaped Attitude
  12. Relationship with God
  13. You are not limited to who is in charge
  14. 3 Characteristics Of A Person Called To Bless
  15. Life’s Healing Choices: Chapter 5 – The Transformation Choice
  16. The Yes Face
  17. Leading neuroscientist: Religious fundamentalism may be a ‘mental illness’ that can be ‘cured’

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  • Debating with theologians and preachers and their somewhat constricted views…. (healingfromcomplextraumaandptsd.wordpress.com)
    41,000 denominations of Christianity in the world. Wow.

    That’s a lot of people, getting a lot of what God wanted us to know – wrong, and who knows who is right???

    I’ve put my very un-theologically sound views in there, which surprisingly has been welcomed by some – but I think hey – if they are all arguing with each other and getting a little personal with each other in some of their opinion, I might as well interject with some psychology based opinion too. Of which some have agreed with, men included.
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    I have no desire to be a preacher, no desire to lead in Church, in fact I can’t think of anything worse for me. But, I don’t see a compelling argument either way and all the theologians can’t get it right and agree.

    But, I do like seeing all their views and thinking about them and seeing some of their confusion, some of their rigid religious beliefs and some of their..well… silly arguments.

    Cognitive distortions are responsible for some of it, religious idolatry responsible for some of it, narcissism some of it, ego some of it, doctrine some of it, peer pressure some of it and some is just well…stupid.

  • #PreachersofLA: As Real as It Gets (themisinterpreted.com)
    What frightens us is that we’re not seeing something that is false, but something that is very real. A mirror is up and if we don’t like what we see then maybe we should begin to do some internal soul searching. The sooner we own up to that, the sooner we can face the realities that there are significant flaws and brokenness within our Christian leadership (and community). This show represents what we have nurtured and fed for decades. We have supported, encouraged and enabled
    arrogance,
    entitlement,
    a misplaced rationalization of prosperity,
    egoism,
    narcissism,
    sexism,
    position worship,
    emotional & spiritual manipulation
    et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.
  • Why can’t I warm to street preaching? (christiantoday.com)
    Street preaching was encouraged as Biblical practise when Jesus came to Earth and has been since.

    Those who are brave enough to take to the streets are therefore following the footsteps of Jesus and spreading the word of the Gospel as we are asked.

    Even so, I cannot help but think that street speakers actually scare the public away from Christianity. We’ve all seen the eye-rolling of passers-by and it gets me wondering about the effect street preachers actually have on religious conversion.

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    There is certainly an argument that we must take the Word to the street because most people avoid Churches and religious buildings entirely. But I wonder whether the public aren’t encountering the right kind of street evangelism?

    Some evangelists preach discreetly in the streets by framing unintimidating picture boards for example, or by engaging in casual conversations. Others perform Christian music busker-style. These methods may be better suited to today’s society. After all, Jesus introduced street preaching over 2,000 years ago and modern society has changed profoundly.

  • Moderates, good deeds and religious fanaticism (samizdata.net)

    John Stephenson argues for the need to ask religious moderates about the motivations behind their actions. Are moderates – seeing faith as virtuous – tacitly defending fundamentalists (who are the genuinely committed believers), allowing them to become the “tail that wags the dog”? Moreover are religious moderates actually engaged in religion because they are “humanists in disguise”?

    One of the problems with engaging religious folk in conversation is the fact that, before falling victim to the charge of being “angry” or “strident”, we find that the rules of discourse and logic are warped and violated beyond recognition. Find me a religious fanatic who doesn’t endorse his faith through the actions supposedly committed in its name and you will have probably found me a liar.
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    The fact that what we perceive as a sense of morality is innate within humanity as opposed to religion is evident by virtue of the cherry-picking so commonplace among moderate believers. Among casual Church of England Christians for example, the Sermon on the Mount may be advocated yet the more abhorrent elements of Deuteronomy or Leviticus will be ignored. I suspect that a large proportion of these individuals are religious in name alone and that, for the most part, their attendance comes as a result of habit or an intrinsically vague idea that to attend church constitutes as a “good thing”. These people have often given very little thought to the doctrine their religion entails, but understand church to be a place of warmth and community – things that most of us are drawn to.

  • Can Faith Ever Be Rational? (ronmurp.net)
    When the question, is it rational, is asked of faith, the method by which a belief is maintained, then no, faith is not rational at all. Faith is the antithesis of rationality. Faith is what you use when you want to believe something, or are otherwise driven to hold a belief, when there is no reaason or evidence to support the belief. And faith can result in belief in spite of counter evidence and reason.

    When the question is asked it may be asked of faith, the system of belief, such as Christianity or Islam. So, can Christianity be rational? Can Islam be rational? Well, they can contain elements of reason, rationality, in the arguments put forward to support them, but that does not make them consequentially rational.

  • “Nicomachean Ethics” by Aristotle (noneedtomindme.wordpress.com)
    In the passage, “Nicomachean Ethics”, by Aristotle, he explains about good and evil are the main contributions to our happiness, it crafts our character, and our virtues. I totally agree with his concept, because our virtues can help distinguish other relationships, and help relate to other people’s intention and emotions.
  • Political Correctness and “Bashing” (fggam.org)
    The adverse impact of “political correctness” on American culture cannot be overstated. Its sinister influence has been monumental and subversive in the extent to which it has reshaped American values, literally driving the population farther away from its Christian moorings, and redirecting civilization toward hedonism, socialism, atheism, humanism, and a host of other anti-Christian philosophies.
    +
    It is ever the case that error and falsehood are self-contradictory, and typically guilty of the same malady it imagines in others. Observe that those who express their disdain for “bashing” do not hesitate to bash the ones they accuse of bashing, and to do so publicly. They openly express to others (people who have no real connection to the matter) their rejection of and dislike for specific persons and groups who have had the unmitigated gall to express disapproval of a false religion or an immoral action.
  • John C. Richards Jr. Cuts Through the Focus on the Prosperity Gospel to Expose a Better Way for the Church (blackchristiannews.com)
    The pulpit has always been sacred space for the African American community.
    +
    The pulpit was reserved for the pastor. A sacred space for someone who recognized the sacred duty. Like Moses’ encounter at the burning bush, a preacher was to recognize they were standing on holy ground. As God’s mouthpiece, the preacher would deliver a message that was to deliver the people of God from bondage and sin. Recognizing this, the preacher’s accompanying humility-laden approach to sermonizing would cause others to grow deeper in their faith. As John Wesley puts it, the preacher’s duty was to “catch on fire” so “others will love to come and watch you burn.” Have we doused the fire in the Black church? Have we grabbed our extinguishers labeled “prosperity,” “tradition,” and “justice,” and forgotten about the Gospel? Do we just run across the pulpit as a shortcut to our next destination? Have preachers forgotten about that sacred space?
  • Does God Exist? (crain207.wordpress.com)
    I’ve often thought on that long-ago neighbor’s sad statement of belief. I’ve wondered if he only wanted to get rid of a visiting preacher, if deep down he still believed but responded in shock-the-preacher fashion because the parson on his porch reminded him of wounds he felt he received in church.
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    I often think of Hebrews 11:6: “Without faith it is impossible to please God; for he who comes to God must believe that God exists and rewards those who search for him.”
  • Preachers Of LA’s Bishop McClendon Says He Was Set Up (rhythmraveradio.wordpress.com)
    The new reality series on Oxygen’s ‘Preacher’s of LA’ has caused quite a sir, especially when two of the ministers on the show , Bishop Clarence McClendon and Deitrick Haddon got into an argument .