Trying to Get Rid of Holy Days for a Long Time

For real Christians it is clear that lovers of God should keep their hands of the many pagan feasts, like Christmas and Easter, which entered the Roman Catholic Church and several protestant churches.

Luckily we may come to see some changes in some protestant churches willing to debate the reason why to keep only to God given holy days.

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To remember

Reformed churches historically opposed to observing man made holy days such as Christmas and Easter.

on the continent left some holy day observance to Christian liberty in some of their confessions < compromise with stubborn people for sake of further Reformation, or because civil magistrates forced them to.

Gisbertus Voetius, (delegate to the Synod of Dordt), relates Dutch Church had been trying to get rid of holy days for a long time, but allowance of holy days by the synod was “imposed from the outside, burdensome to the churches,

In Why are Ecclesiastical Feast Days in our Church Order? Rev. Dr. R. D. Anderson gives

Article 65 – Ecclesiastical feast days
On Christmas Day, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Ascension Day, and at Pentecost the consistory shall call the congregation together for church services. The sacred events which the congregation commemorates in particular on these days shall therein be proclaimed
Already in 1573 we see the topic coming to the floor of the Particular Synod of North Holland, that year held in Enkhuizen.
Also decided in respect of feast days, that in common no feast days are to be held other than Easter (Sunday) and the day thereafter, Pentecost (Sunday) and the day thereafter, Christmas, and similarly New Year’s day and Ascension day.
The churches in South Holland were somewhat stricter. A year later their Synod gathered in Dordrecht
making the following pronouncement:
Respecting the feast days which are in addition to the Sunday: it has been decided to rest content only with the Sunday. Nevertheless, the normal material relating to the birth of Christ shall be handled on the Sunday before Christmas day together with an admonition to the people not to observe Christmas day. If Christmas day falls on a Sunday, the same material shall be preached on that day. It is also permitted to preach on the resurrection and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Easter Sunday and Pentecost Sunday, the which is left to the freedom of the ministers.
That seems clear enough. Behind the scenes, however, there was a political battle going on between the Roman Catholic forces and the Protestants. The celebration of these extra days came right in the middle of all that. It was the sort of thing that got people fired up. The Reformed churches needed to be careful to steer a righteous course between all manner of Roman Catholic superstitions which had become associated with these days and an over zealous extremism which could easily lead to political riots. We see that reflected in the decision of the Particular Synod of South Holland held in Rotterdam a year later:

As much as concerns feast days: The government shall be petitioned that they allow everyone to open his shop and to work 6 days in accordance with the 4th commandment of our Lord. And if the government desires to ordain any others besides the Sunday, the delegated ministers will petition parliament that they inform them in such a way that they may consider how much and how far one can permit in this matter, so that on the one hand people don’t fall into superstition as warned by Paul in Gal. 4, and on the other hand that people will not be led to fight too fiercely against the aforesaid government because of certain feast days.
Three years later a national synod was finally able to be held in Dordrecht. By this time it was slowly becoming clear that the political will to be rid of these extra feast days was weak.
On the 12th of July 1578 the government made a “declaration of religious freedom” in which the various Roman Catholic feast days were made compulsory for protestants. The synod in its response attempted to minimise the damage by steering the churches away from any special ways of celebrating these feast days, and keeping them as “normal” days.
1578 National Synod of Dort {Acta, Rutgers p.253 (art. 75, cap.4,23)}
It was indeed to be desired that the freedom from God to work 6 days be permitted in the church, and that only the Sunday be celebrated. Nevertheless since certain other feast days are maintained by authority of the government, namely, Christmas day and the day thereafter, likewise the day after Easter and the day after Pentecost and in some places new years day and ascension day; the ministers shall do their best to teach the congregation to transform unproductive and harmful idleness into a holy and profitable exercise by sermons especially dealing with the birth and resurrection of Christ, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and suchlike articles of the faith. The ministers of churches in those cities where yet more feast days are observed by authority of the government shall do likewise.
In the meantime all the churches shall work to make the use of all feast days except Christmas day (since Easter and Pentecost fall on Sunday) as normal as possible, and as soon as is fitting to abolish them.
By 1581 the goals of the churches had been reduced. It did not any longer seem possible to be rid of all the extra feast days.

 

Sadly, today, not only are many Reformed churches going back to observing Christmas and Easter, some are even beginning to observe Lent, Good FridayAdvent, etc. as well.

Exploring biblical worship from a Protestant Perspective “The Worship Blog” looks at

How little concern for the idea that what is done in the name of worship in so many churches has no warrant from the mouth of God! {About The Worship Blog}

Meg writes

The Scottish Presbyterians managed to remove observance of any pretended holy days other than the divinely prescribed Lord’s Day in their reformation. Indeed, the Reformed early on seemed ready to precede them in this; but due mostly it seems from desires of magistrates to preserve accustomed holidays, ie. days off for workers and servants, they retained various sets of days. This retained a set of other issues, and to ensure the riotous activities of the old days were not retained, the state churches prescribed that there be services and preaching at those times. {John Calvin and Holy Days}

In 1543–44 Calvin advised the church, that

“the observation of feast days was also to be rejected since it so easily led to superstition.”

“Calvin advised the ministers of Montbéliard to stand firm on these matters of principle but to yield wherever else their consciences would allow”. { Jill Raitt, The Colloquy of Montbéliard Religion and Politics in the Sixteenth Century (New York: Oxford University Press, 1993), 21.}

As an aside — The Reformed church of Montbéliard continued as best they could even when the rulers imposed Lutheran practices. Later, the oppressed Reformed churches of France, ruled by Roman Catholic magistrates which prohibited working on the pretended holy days,

“left unto the prudence of Consistories to Congregate the People, on such Holy-Days, either to hear the word Preached, or to join in common publick Prayers, as they shall find to be most expedient” (2nd Synod of Vitré, 1617).

American Presbyterians were opposed to the religious observation of Christmas and other ‘holy days.’  > Read more: https://www.naphtali.com/articles/chris-coldwell/the-religious-observance-of-christmas-and-holy-days-in-american-presbyterianism/

Read also: http://www.puritanboard.com/showthread.php/91380-Three-Books-on-quot-Christmas-quot-and-a-33-off-Black-Friday-Sale, Comment 25

Framework and vehicle for Christian Scholasticism and loss of confidence

in the December issue of the Spectator questions where Christianity began to lose confidence (as he thinks it now has) that its teachings can offer a sure framework for day-to-day moral reasoning.

Detail of The School of Athens by Raffaello Sa...

Detail of The School of Athens by Raffaello Sanzio, 1509, showing Plato (left) and Aristotle (right) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

According to us all went wrong when the church fathers agreed to Constantine the Great to adapt their faith to the Roman faith and to include their gods in the god of Christianity, creating a three-headed god like in the Roman and Greek culture. They also were very attracted to the philosophers of antiquity. One of the greatest intellectual figures of Western history got his philosophies in the teachings of the false teachers of Christendom.

Aristotle, Greek Aristoteles  (384 bceStagira, Chalcidice, Greece – 322, Chalcis, Euboea) his philosophical and scientific system that became the framework and vehicle for both Christian Scholasticism and medieval Islamic philosophy. Even after the intellectual revolutions of the Renaissance, the Reformation, and the Enlightenment, Aristotelian concepts remained embedded in Western thinking. For him

ethical questions were soluble by the application of logic and common sense that he could advise anyone seeking to determine the ‘right’ course of action to ask themselves what a respected gentleman would recommend; and if still in doubt ask what would be going too far, and would not be going far enough, and thereby locate the mean between them as the appropriate action. The Nichomachean Ethics do not speak to me of an age of aching uncertainty about the rules for human coexistence. From those times, only Pilate’s ‘what is truth?’ calls to us down the ages with a modern ring. {The question Christianity fails to answer: ‘Who is my neighbour?’}

Though he was the the founder of formal logic, devising for it a finished system that for centuries was regarded as the sum of the discipline, the 4th century church leaders did not seem to have much interest to keep everything logical and to keep just to what the words of the Bible said. Though the idea of the homoousios [consubstantial, of the same substance] used by the council of Council of Nicaea in 325, to define the Son’s relationship to the Father was not universally popular, different emanations from God looked much cooler and by transferring the god Zeus into the person of Jeshua corrupting his name to Issou or Jesus (Hail Zeus),they could go with the Roman emperor his ideas and keep the minds at ease, not confronting the Roman merchants with the instructions of followers of Jeshua to their believers not to buy figurines or sculptures to have them as representation of God or gods in their house.

The raising and discussing of doctrinal difficulties became a popular pastime. It also created the possibility for church-fathers to create writings and to gain popularity in certain circles. But because they agreed to certain Roman elements they became in difficulties with the Aristotelian use of deductive reasoning proceeding from self-evident principles or discovered general truths; and syllogistic forms of demonstrative or persuasive arguments. On lie or false teaching made they had to crate an other lie or a doctrine people had to take for truth, with the saying that it is something to difficult to understand for a human mind and therefore Christians had just to believe it as a creed of faith.

writes

Early Christianity strikes me as inheriting much from Aristotle’s ‘think about it: it’s obvious’ approach. The Roman Catholic church added layer upon layer of specific rules, all underwritten by a claim to divine authority — the big ‘Because’ — as handed down by a clear and certain hierarchy of human office-holders. The Reformation at first aimed to replace Roman Catholic certainties with certainties of its own. But in time the Reformation produced so many competing answers to the big ethical questions that in the schisms, sects and splinters — the rival certainties — modern Europe’s sense of one great, shared moral certainty was lost. {The question Christianity fails to answer: ‘Who is my neighbour?’}

The early Christians had already became distressed by heresies and by men who liked to have the pre-eminence over others. This resulted in schism and fragmentation. When the apostles were alive they still could call others to order. They made every effort to rebuke and educate those in error, sometimes with success and sometimes not. Those they could not bring to order or following the teachings of Christ Jesus grew in number and as such more and more people preferred those teachers which allowed them to keep the heathen rituals and to enjoy the human traditions. Still today we see that this is the main reason why many Christians do not want to convert to the truthful Christian groups which only want to keep to Biblical teaching and not to the human doctrines.

Some people are convinced that Aristotle is the most wise man who was keenly attuned to the realm of the divine. They also want to think that the divine the philosopher was talking about would have been the same divine Jesus and other Hebrew prophets were talking about.

He might have thought the divine being the origin of the human and the human at its best approaches the divine.

The latter is a paradoxical truth at the center of human existence {Aristotle’s Key to Christmas}

writes who thinks

the more perfect a human life, the more it stretches beyond the human and almost touches the divine. One who sees deeply into human greatness can as it were see through it, to something beyond. For men can become like gods. Such a profound truth Aristotle saw. {Aristotle’s Key to Christmas}

Aristotle had confidence — though not certitude — that the gods will reward those who become like them, and the followers of Christ asked their disciples to become like Christ. For lots of human beings to become like God would be the most favourable and the climax in their life, the sum-mum. So, having Christ Jesus as their god would be better than the gentiles having their Roman or Greek gods, when they would equal Jesus with the God of Abraham.

All the preaching of the Hebrew prophets and rabbi Jeshua was about becoming one with the God Most High, building up a relation to last in eternity.

In some sense the possibility of God and men becoming friends does enter his mind. It enters his mind as a possibility to be rejected: “when one party is removed to a great distance, as god is, the possibility of friendship ceases” (also from the Nicomachean Ethics). It is not that the notion was inconceivable to him. Rather, there was simply no ground to consider it a real possibility. For God and men to be friends an apparently unbridgeable gap would have to be bridged. For as Aristotle often points out, friends share one life together, and there is nothing for which they so yearn as to be together. {Aristotle’s Key to Christmas}

Such idea makes some Christian philosophers or Christian teachers, also today, placing Aristotle as the visionist who not only could tell what is  truly virtuous and what is mistakenly thought to be so, but also could tell the world what the meaning of Christmas is.

And this, then, is what Aristotle has to say about Christmas, about its deepest meaning.  If men are ever to become more than just somewhat-like the divine, if we are ever (tremble at the words) to live one life with him, and thus be his friends, then something very specific has to happen. And there is no human ground to expect that it ever will. {Aristotle’s Key to Christmas}

As you see, it was thought of that one could live with the gods and to be befriended with the gods and with God. In Ethika Politika speaks about that happening in what he calls the “first Christmas”. With that “first Christmas” he refers to what lots of Christians have taken as the birthday of Christ.

That celebration which is still popular by many Christians and is even seen as a Christian holiday by many non-religious persons is a pagan celebration with lots of figures which have nothing to do at all with the birth of the promised saviour, Jesus Christ, the Messiah.

But we can see or understand why many want to bring Aristotle’s thinking to that pagan celebration and to bring it in Christendom. For man it has always been a question why they lived, why they had to suffer so much and how they could bring an end to suffering and get a better life.

Many have searched for happiness and came to the conclusion it must also have to do with having friendly relationships to living beings and perhaps also to divine beings.

According to John Cuddeback

Aristotle had the key to understanding Christmas. His master achievement was a profound understanding of human happiness. It is as though he grasped as much as can be grasped by human reason alone. {Aristotle’s Key to Christmas}

Men are designed for greatness, a greatness that few ever achieve. True human happiness consists, simply put, in living virtuously. And virtuous living is the fundamental requirement and the necessary context for that deepest of human longings—true friendship. {Aristotle’s Key to Christmas}

gods take an interest in the struggles of men? Here, writing in the Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle is more tentative:

For if the gods have any care for human affairs, as it seems they do, it would be reasonable both that they should delight in that which was best and most akin to them and that they should reward those who love and honor this most, as caring for things that are dear to them.

Remarkably, he has confidence—though not certitude—that the gods will reward those who become like them.

But this is as far as far as it goes. Surely the possibility of God and men entering into some sort of shared life never entered his mind. Right?

This is a subtle matter. In some sense the possibility of God and men becoming friends does enter his mind. It enters his mind as a possibility to be rejected:

“when one party is removed to a great distance, as god is, the possibility of friendship ceases” (also from the Nicomachean Ethics).

It is not that the notion was inconceivable to him. Rather, there was simply no ground to consider it a real possibility. For God and men to be friends an apparently unbridgeable gap would have to be bridged. For as Aristotle often points out, friends share one life together, and there is nothing for which they so yearn as to be together. {Aristotle’s Key to Christmas}

When for Aristotle the happiness meant to become wholesome, the early church argued people could become complete went hey became like Christ, though we do not know if they intentionally would say by that that people could become like God, because they came to take Christ Jesus to be God.

For Aristotle, eudaimonia was about living in accordance with reason; fulfilling our sense of purpose; doing our civic duty; living virtuously; being fully engaged with the world and, especially, experiencing the richness of human love and friendship. {Hugh Mackay, ‘Why we sometimes need to be sad’Happiness, Aristotle & Catholicism}

Today we do not see many Christians who understand that living the life Christ calls us to live as Christians is a very logical exercise. Many Christians do not want to believe Jesus when he says who he is and who is grater than him.

A 22 year old Catholic woman writes

 if He is indeed God, then it is only logical that I need to center my life around Him. {Happiness, Aristotle & Catholicism}

But than she makes a funny remark as if Jesus would not be saying who he is, but than says

On the other hand, if Jesus is not who He says He is, if He is not God, then He’s not a nice man, He’s a dangerous fanatic, and therefore I would do well to avoid centering my life around Him. {Happiness, Aristotle & Catholicism}

what she does not seem to see that Jesus never told lies, because according to the Holy Scriptures, which we take to be the infallible word of God, being from the Most High God of gods Who does not tell lies, Jesus would not have sinned and as such would not have told lies. Jesus tells very clearly how he relates to God and how we like him have to relate to his heavenly Father.

As a Catholic she believes that our hearts are designed for union with God. She has reason to believe that, but she takes the wrong person to be her god. She has to be in union with her brothers and sisters in Christ and with Christ in union with God, like Jesus was in union with his heavenly Father. This will not make us to become Christ nor to become God, like Jesus was also not God, though one with God like we have to be one with Him.

This unity is the purpose of our existence that is inscribed into us; to love God and to be loved by God.

St. Augustine said,

“You have made us for Yourself, oh Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in You”

And so, when we live in a way that we were designed to live, we experience a pervading joy and peace that the world cannot give. St. Catherine of Siena said,

“Be who God meant you to be, and you will set the world on fire.”

In other words, to be fully alive is to be who we are meant to be. {Happiness, Aristotle & Catholicism}

These days in darker times of the year man tries to look at light and hopes to find in it happiness. He has taken the day of the goddess of light as the day to celebrate and present a Santa Claus, who has taken the place of Christ and the place of God. Man has become so materialistic and thinking happiness lays in the material goods one can get, that he is blinded not seeing the light of Christ and the Way to God.

All those false teachings were many became victim of give them a false hope of their spirit leaving their body and going to a sort heaven where they shall be able to find happiness. They do forget that Christ Jesus came to safe us and liberated us already some two thousand years ago from the penalty of death. thanks to him we are able to receive here already lots of happiness and hope in a marvellous new world here on earth.

Christian joy is living in accordance with reason, in a way that fulfills our sense of purpose, living virtuously, being fully engaged with the world and experiencing the richness of love and friendship with God.  {Happiness, Aristotle & Catholicism}

A reason that follows with reason the words form the most sacred Book of books, the Bible and not from human dogmatic teachings and philosophies.

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Preceding

Focus on outward appearances

Marriage of Jesus 7 Impaled

Roman, Aztec and other rites still influencing us today

Irminsul, dies natalis solis invicti, birthday of light, Christmas and Saturnalia

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Additional reading

  1. Integrity of the fellowship
  2. Gainsayers In Apostolic Days
  3. Nazarene Commentary Luke 3:18-20 – John’s Teaching and Imprisonment
  4. Matthew 1:1-17 The Genealogy of Jesus Christ
  5. Politics and power first priority #2
  6. Politics and power first priority #3 Elevation of Mary and the Holy Spirit
  7. Altered to fit a Trinity
  8. Spelling Yahshuah (יהשע) vs Hebrew using Yehoshuah (יהושע)
  9. Americans really thinking the Messiah Christ had an English name
  10. Experiencing God
  11. A Living Faith #10: Our manner of Life #2
  12. Focussing on oneness with Jesus like Jesus is one with God

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Further related articles

  1. In the Family Way or Aristotle’s Ethics
  2. What Aristotle Says About Christmas
  3. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
  4. Deterring Determinism: The Freedom of Mankind
  5. 3 Quotes, 3 Days Challenge: Round 2
  6. The Birth of Science
  7. The Good Life: You Scratch My Back and I’ll Scratch Yours
  8. Four-Part Epilogue
  9. Aristotle’s Poetics and Sophocles’s Oedipus
  10. Interrogation
  11. Happiness, Aristotle & Catholicism
  12. Imagination defines humanity
  13. Some Thoughts about Two Old Guys
  14. Happy Holidays
  15. The Smiths’ Christmas Letter
  16. A really lovely yet simple day
  17. Out with the old, in with the new
  18. Solving the Unwanted Gift Dilemma – With Love
  19. Christmas Party 2015
  20. It could only  happen at christmas
  21. Deconstructing Christmas
  22. This Christmas
  23. Tales of Christmas
  24. Christmastime
  25. Twelve days of Christmas
  26. One Last Look at Christmas, 2015
  27. Attachment and Holidays
  28. Prepare the Way for Christ
  29. grandchildren, love, and being a “gift-hero”
  30. Where is My Christmas Joy
  31. Not ‘Feeling’ Christmas This Year?

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Winter Solstice 2015: Shortest Day Of The Year Celebrated As Pagan Yule

Having natural bodies and hoping to get spiritual bodies in this system of things we do have to live in this world but that does not mean we have to live according to this world or according to man’s system.

Most parents get confronted more with life questions as soon as they get children and when those go to the primary school they are questioned even more about life and religious matters.

English: Santa Claus with a little girl Espera...

Santa Claus with a little girl (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When those schools celebrate the pagan festivals and have the children dress up and parade with Halloween and when Saint Nicholas is celebrated begin December and afterwards the Christmas tree is put up in class and Santa Claus becomes the subject of the day, parents have to be strong not to go against those worldly fashions in the wrong way but have to deal with it diplomatic.

Though they should not be afraid to make it very clear to their child what is pagan and contrary to the Will of God. Such pagan festivals are the time of the year to show the right way to children and grandchildren. Such occasions we may not miss to witness about the Gospel of the real Good Tidings and how we have to prepare ourselves to a much better world than this one.

We have to show our children and/or grandchildren how we have a much more precious gift than all the material gadgets this world is offering our greedy consumer eyes.

Male and female essences shall receive their righteous place in a new universe and shall come to to operate fully as renewed beings, but only those who are justified and shall be allowed by the God given judge, Jeshua, the master teacher and saviour Jesus Christ. On him we should put our hope and look forward to receive him as our most important gift of the year.

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To remember

English: Illumination of Earth by Sun on the d...

Illumination of Earth by Sun on the day of winter solstice on northern hemisphere. A view to eastern-hemisphere showing noon in Central European time zone (ignoring DST) on the day of winter solstice (on northern hemisphere – this is summer solstice on southern hemisphere). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • In 2015, the winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere will begin on Dec. 22 at 4:48 a.m. UTC. To calculate the turning point in your time zone, click here.
  • Officially first day of winter > winter solstice > North Pole tilted 23.5 degrees away from sun => longest night of the year => days get progressively longer after winter solstice until summer solstice.
  • winter solstice celebrated by many people around the world as beginning of return of the sun = darkness turning into light.
  • Talmud > winter solstice = “Tekufat Tevet” ==== [Teḳufat Nisan, the vernal equinox (March 21) Teḳufat Tammuz, the summer solstice (June 21), Teḳufat Tishri, the autumnal equinox (Sept. 23), Teḳufat Ṭebet, the winter solstice (Dec. 22), when the sun enters Capricornus; this is the beginning of winter, or “‘et ha-ḥoref”(stripping-time), when the night is the longest during the year. Each teḳufah, according to Samuel Yarḥinai, marks the beginning of a period of 91 days and 7½ hours.]
  • China, Dongzhi Festival >Winter Solstice celebrated by families getting together + eating special festive food.
  • Until 16th century winter months = time of famine in northern Europe =>Most cattle slaughtered = wouldn’t have to be fed during the winter => solstice time fresh meat plentiful => merriment + feasting.
  • pre-Christian Scandinavia > Feast of Juul, or Yule 12 days celebrating rebirth of sun god and giving rise to the custom of burning a Yule log.
  • ancient Rome winter solstice celebrated at Feast of Saturnalia > honouring Saturn, god of agricultural bounty > characterized by feasting, debauchery + gift-giving = With Emperor Constantine’s conversion to Christianity => customs absorbed into Christmas celebrations. >>> Emperor Constantine appropriated Pagan holidays for Christian ones ostensibly to make them more palatable to his people who had been Pagan for generations.
  • winter solstice in ancient ruins of Stonehenge, England > Thousands of druids + pagans gather there to chant, dance + sing while waiting to see spectacular sunrise.
  • solstices chance to still ourselves inside, to behold the glory of the cosmos, + to take a breath with the Sacred.
  • connecting with natural world (honouring sacred immanent in all things) => establish resonance with seasons
  • Ritual helps to shift our consciousness => reflect outer world inside our inner landscape
  • daughter  of 4 wants practically everything she sees toy and clothes-wise => real historic figure St. Niklaus who would bring gifts to children at Yule-time.
  • Christmas only been celebrated in the US since about the 1800s > In it’s current manifestation = more like a holiday invented by toy manufacturers to increase their profits.
  • the writer of the article underneath believes that the dying god, the male esssence, is sacrificed (or dies in the winter) and goes into the Mother (Earth) for the winter in order to be reborn again in the spring => thinking of a figure like The Green Man.
  • Incidentally a full moon this year on the Winter Solstice

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Preceding

Holidays, holy days and traditions

Focus on outward appearances

Autumn traditions for 2014 – 1: Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet

Traditionalists Vow to Fight Charges of Racism in Netherlands

The imaginational war against Christmas

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Additional reading

  1. Politics and power first priority #1
  2. Eostre, Easter, White god, chocolate eggs, Easter bunnies and metaphorical resurrection
  3. Jesus begotten Son of God #1 Christmas and Christians
  4. Solstice, Saturnalia and Christmas-stress
  5. Christmas customs – Are They Christian?
  6. Christmas in Ancient Rome (AKA Saturnalia)
  7. The Advent of the saviour to Roman oppression
  8. Christmas trees
  9. Manna from Sint Nicholas
  10. Ignorance of Today’s Youth (and Adults)
  11. Sancta Claus is not God
  12. Brits believe Santa present at Jesus’ birth, new poll reveals
  13. Wishing lanterns and Christmas
  14. Christmas in the 1950s
  15. Continued nostalgic Christmas memories
  16. The Proper Place of Excess
  17. Looking for the consummation of presents
  18. One can buy a lot in the supermarket, but not hope
  19. Objects around the birth and death of Jesus

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Further reading

  1. Winter is Coming!
  2. The Dark Side
  3. Darkness to Light
  4. Winter Solstice
  5. Winter Solstice by Luna Beam
  6. Long nights’s moon
  7. Winter Solstice and Yule
  8. Yule
  9. Personal Festival of Lights
  10. Celebrating the Winter Solstice….
  11. Great Yule: The ancient and present holiday
  12. Winter Solstice Festival
  13. The Yule Countdown
  14. In Praise of the Invincible Light
  15. Hail the Return of the Sun
  16. Yule is upon us!
  17. Yule Fillable Ornament Magick
  18. Yuletide Tunes
  19. Saturnalia
  20. Christmas
  21. Christmas is Pagan!
  22. From Sukkot to Saturnalia: The Attack on Christmas in Sixteenth-Century..
  23. By Jove! It’s Christmas: Did the First Christian Roman Emperor Appropriate..
  24. Christmas is Tammuz’s Birthday?
  25. War On Christmas Memes: Saturnalia
  26. War On Christmas Memes: The Yule Tree
  27. A Little history on the holly tree
  28. How to bring some real Christmas spirits into your Yule-tide
  29. Santa Claus, Krampus,The Wild Hunt and Me.
  30. Christmas, the Weridest Holiday of the Year; Part one
  31. Christmas — Who gives a rip HOW we came up with the date we use?!?
  32. Christmas: it’s all about money, not messiahs.
  33. Jan 17 – Antony of Egypt
  34. Tanguyan
  35. Christmas Day Reads
  36. Cheers to Hot Cocoa and Peppermint Schnapps
  37. Set to Purpose
  38. Yule 2015#18
  39. Merry Yule!
  40. Online Winter Solstice / Yule Ritual by Spirit’s Edge Shamonial Temple
  41. Yule, Light, and rare events
  42. Following the Yule Star
  43. Cranberry & Hazelnut Peppermint Honey Cake: Hail To The Mothers!

 

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Mystic Myrelle

“Something in us needs to know that at the end of the longest night, there will be light.”

  • HuffPost Religion EditorsThe Huffington Post
12/16/2015 02:35 pm ET

In 2015, the winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere will begin on Dec. 22 at 4:48 a.m. UTC. To calculate the turning point in your time zone, click here.

Officially the first day of winter, the winter solstice occurs when the North Pole is tilted 23.5 degrees away from the sun. This is the longest night of the year, meaning that despite the cold winter, the days get progressively longer after thewinter solstice until the summer solstice in 2016.

The winter solstice is celebrated by many people around the world as the beginning of the return of the sun, and darkness turning into light. The Talmud recognizes the winter solstice as “Tekufat Tevet.” In China, the Dongzhi Festival is…

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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

++

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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Being Religious and Spiritual 8 Spiritual, Mystic and not or well religious

Today lots of youngsters their understanding of their faith is the faith that was “once for all entrusted.” This makes that often the “spiritual but not religious” group can be the most difficult to work with, primarily because they believe they have found a personalized expression of faith. But their faith was not placed in a seed that could grow in fertilized ground.

This painting is on display at the Kunsthistor...

Religious men and their actions because of their faith- Painting is on display at the Kunsthistorisches Museum (Museum of Art History) in Vienna, Austria (site). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Church should bring in the fertilisation for its members to grow, be it slow but strong.

Much has been made about the growth of “nones” in the past few years, the group who consistently checks “none” on surveys about religious faith. As with all surveys, how questions are shaped determines how good the data is. If a question is multiple choice, the answers must fit within the parameters of the possible responses. For example: What is your faith? a. Christian b. Buddhism c. Islam d. Judaism e. Hindu f. none.

Clearly, that’s a poor question. It assumes the five major faiths are the primary conduits for the transmission of religious frameworks. While I believe that is largely true, there are other factors at work culturally right now. What does none or spiritual but not religious really mean?

writes a teacher of a Teaching World Religions summer term. {Spiritual but not Religious, or A Disconnect on the Faith Divide}

In such courses about world religions or religion tous-court, you can see that lots of people want to restrict their idea about their god on others. They may say

I just believe in God

But then we should ask which God? Most people do take only a story from the four Gospels, one that is canonized by Church Councils, propagated by ministers and missionaries, and communicated to them through Christian denominational speakers. They are brought up with the religious concepts of their family idea and than they believe that their story is just one wherein they simply believe in God.

Vermeer The Allegory of the Faith

Vermeer The Allegory of the Faith (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The radical individualism and consumerism in our culture makes a personalized faith seem perfectly normal. In Belgium, which is considered to be a Roman Catholic Country (though only 6% of the population still go sometimes to mass whilst 25% of the population visits the mosque very regularly), when you would ask what they believe and whom they think Jesus or God is, you would find very individual interpretations of the person Jesus, which some Catholics say is the son of God and do not believe he is God, though the godhead of Jesus is part of the Trinitarian dogma of the Catholic Church. But most Belgians want to believe their own thing and do not bother what the church may say. Lots call themselves Catholic or Christian (meaning the same for them) but do not follow the rules of the Pope and their church, not bothering to use preservatives or having abortions, having sexual relations than the own ‘regular’ partner, etc. Their religious life is standing far away from a spiritual life and from church life. The church is mostly only used to have a child baptism, a first and second communion, a wedding service and a funeral. That is what church stands for in Belgium, when they are not talking about all the abuses in that church.

According to some

All the new Christian categories — Christ follower, Jesus follower, follower of the Way (hell, just pick one)—are all concepts that are used intentionally to avoid the unhappy conclusion that the follower is really a Christian, but a Christian who doesn’t like the Christian tradition or church or some doctrine. Better to own the word Christian than have me interrogate you only to discover that you are actually a Christian. At that point, I think you’re dishonest, disingenuous, ignorant, narcissistic, or confused. None of those are good. {Spiritual but not Religious, or A Disconnect on the Faith Divide}

Wherever you may look you shall see that many of your spiritual but not religious acquaintances have no genuine framework for their faith. Lots of the people who say they are religious or spiritual, are mostly enjoying some trend which is popular at the moment, and go from one fling into the other, but never stick to one ‘faith‘ for a long time.

The writer of The Parish believes that it’s a completely self-serving construct that allows them to believe, in the words of Christian Smith,

“God loves me and wants me to be happy.”

What that requires is no commitment to a larger tradition, and a radical internalizing of metaphysical assumptions, all of which are exempt from criticism.

Do you pray? Yes. Do you attend worship services? No. Do you have a sacred text? No. Will you go to heaven? Yes. What will it be like? It will be what I make it. How do you know there is a God? I just do. What’s he or she like? He loves me. He’s kind and forgiving and gracious. Why should he be those things and not angry, vengeful and capricious? He’s not. How can you know this? What tradition taught you this? I have no tradition. I just know this. I’m not a religious person, just spiritual.

Faith

Faith (Photo credit: sspantherss)

Often when you will present students of religion or people on the street and you

talk about all the Saturnalia and pagan syncretism you like, talk about substituting one pagan holiday for a Christian one, talk about borrowed symbols and commercialism, talk all you want about it; at its core, theologically (for Christians), Christmas is the coming of Messiah, and therefore, a religious high, holy day. It’s a celebration day, much like Easter (another holiday about which I’m weary of hearing stories of syncretism. One thing is clear, however it started, the Christian narrative won.), not a fast day like Good Friday. It is, by my estimation, the second most important day on the church calendar, following Easter, of course. {Christian Identity, or Can Baby Jesus Get Some Love?}

The great church institutions by the years have mixed their theology with philosophical and pagan teachings so that that more became  “great pagan institutions” which allegedly “pickle” children’s brains by pouring “paganism” into them. We can see a society in decline where parents do not to set any more good religious examples for their children. It is time they will concern themselves with their offspring’s spiritual state, and again “plead God’s promises” to their children. We should long to do well by our children and grandchildren, striving to raise them well and encouraging other parents to do the same.  Parents should come to teach their children spirituality again. That spirituality must also include empathy, humanity, and critical thinking. Piety without these elements can devolve into fanaticism, with unsettling results.

Lots of people may know that lots of elements in their celebrations are from pagan celebrations, but they do not want to change their similar manner of celebrating what they want to place on that day the heathen use for their celebration. It does not matter for them that Jesus was a Jew who is not born on the 25th of December (Christmas-day); It is just a lovely time for them to be together and have everybody having a good time, giving each other presents and enjoying some nice food. Why should they change the tradition of their forefathers? And why should churches abandon such a festivals when those are the few occasions that they can get some people in their churches and get some more money in the till?

Almost all American and European forms of Christianity are first cultural, traditional and secondly theological. In the capitalist countries the people are more concerned with their material wealth than their spiritual wealth. Europeans like

Americans are largely shaped by consumerism, individualism, and materialism, the three idols of the market that serve to make all of us mini-narcissists. {Christian Identity, or Can Baby Jesus Get Some Love?}

They want to enjoy their life with good food and lovely goods for their enjoyment. Fairy tales and mythical stories, ‘little lies for fun’ seem to be harmless for them and to create the mysterious atmosphere which attracts them and their children. The unknown and mysterious has always been an attraction.

The Knights of Columbus exhibiting their group identity in American society

In the United States some Christians do not want to know about the ‘unknown’ and do think the bible has to be take literally on all fronts. Their creationist and revisionist education might leave children ill-prepared to integrate into American society, and failed to grasp that some children might reject their fundamentalist upbringing altogether. For this reason it is important that God-loving people make it clear how we do have to interpret and follow the Bible. God loving people should be challenging historical revisionism. By remembering that history encompasses many narratives, not just one. By demanding accuracy in home school curricula. By reaching out to current and former home-schoolers and making accurate information available to them. And finally, by educating ourselves on the past and recognizing its impact on the present. Home-schooling and schooling at the church (Sunday school, Bible Study or Children’s Bible class) are powerful, useful tools. It represents a democratic approach to educational progress, innovation, and creativity. It allows a child’s learning environment to be tailored to individual and personal needs. When home-schooling or Sunday-school is done responsibly, it can be amazing. We should oppose irresponsible home-schooling or church training, where the educational method is used to create or hide abuse, isolation, and neglect, and where the child is not educated to go and search, to explore the world and to explore the Bible. They should train the children to read and study the Bible thoroughly and to go deeper into their own soul, learning them to meditate about everything they learn, be it in their daily school or at the church. The trainees at the church should make sure that social contact outside of church, family, and the home-school umbrella group is provided so that children do get to know the outside world and are aware of the world its ideas and way of living. Only by growing up in a church which is open to what is happening in the world the children would not become what we can call socially retarded to use the pedagogical technical term.

In certain developed countries we see a growing tendency to protect church life and to get the children away from what is really happening in the world. The religious sheltering of such a childhood in recent years has come more extreme and miserable by greater institutions and international homeschool conglomerate cults. Those groups not only present childish stories in which all do have to believe and activities everybody has to follow with the right dress-code, otherwise they are considered to be against the group. More attention is given to the outside appearance of the persons gathering than on the inner spirit. Often it is all about the creationist teaching and opposing scientists, not willing to see archaeologist their findings, which are all considered as contra-actions of the evil world.

They often try to drive home to their ‘trainees’ (typically 16-18 years old) that no matter what adversity or difficulty they are facing, either physical, mental, or spiritual, all they need to do is cry out to God and He will get them through it. But they forget that we did have received the responsibility to become resourceful fellows who should try to grow from the understanding of the Scriptural knowledge and use it in their daily life. To be able to stand strong in that daily life there should be a good relationship with the Supreme Being.

Most people are not interested in a good relation with their god, but with themselves. It has become already very difficult to build up a good relationship with one partner in this world which can be seen and touched. So who would try to have a good relationship with somebody who can not be seen nor touched, and who nobody has ever seen, or when it is Jesus who is already long ‘dead and forgotten’?

Dr. Tom Kennedy does find that correct religion, like bones, provides the proper structure for spirituality.  Spirituality grows in distorted ways without religion.

Imagine reaching over and grabbing the child’s head.  Then imagine lifting up the skeleton out of the imaginary child.  What would happen?  Spirituality would collapse to the floor. {Can You Be Spiritual and Not Religious?}

Religion, like bones, also provides much of the immune system for spirituality.

It helps to fight toxic influences that may corrupt one’s spirituality.  Two of the most toxic influences are the individual’s own selfishness and the willingness to let other people control one’s spirituality.  Of course, if religion itself becomes corrupt, one’s spirituality also becomes corrupt. {Can You Be Spiritual and Not Religious?}

Like the religion can be corrupted we should know that spirituality is not always so ‘clean’ as it may seem.

Many people think of spirituality as perfect and incorruptible.  Unfortunately, that is not true.  Non-religious spirituality emphasizes special experiences, something you feel.  If there are no feelings to this kind of spirituality, people would not pursue it. I have heard of many strange experiences that were labeled ‘spiritual’ just because there was a burst of pleasant feeling involved. {Can You Be Spiritual and Not Religious?}

03.365 (02.08.2009) Faith

Faith in words from a Book of books (Photo credit: hannahclark)

Religion in the Bible is a catalyst for our relationship with God, to Whom we have to bring a spirit which is pure and not hiding things for God Who sees everything, so that would be useless to hide something for Him. Our state of mind we do have to build ourselves. Others may help us but they can not do it for us or make it work for us. We ourselves our responsible for the way we want to think and the way we want to use the knowledge we receive by the years.

Jesus died on the wooden stake to make God’s religion and spirituality alive, dynamic and interactive with each other. He opened the way for humankind to come directly to the Creator God. Today Jesus sits at the right hand of God to be the mediator between God and man. by the brothers and sisters in the church we should be exhorted therefore, first of all, that supplications, prayers, intercessions, thanksgivings, be made not only for ourselves but for all men. We should know we live in a world where there are kings, presidents and members of parliament who have to make decisions for the community. So we better also pray for them that they may make the right decisions. Yes we should have our thoughts also at all that are in high place and pray for them and for that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and gravity.
Each of us should look to find in himself or herself the way to become acceptable in the eyes of God. He that provided the human Saviour, who could understand his fellow man, who wanted that all men should be saved, and will come to the knowledge of the truth.  For there is one God, one mediator also between God and men, himself man, Christ Jesus,  who gave himself a ransom for all; the testimony to be borne in its own times;  where-unto several people like the apostles and religious men were and are appointed a preacher and a teacher of the Gentiles or those who are not in the faith in Christ Jesus, in faith and truth.

” I Beseech you, therefore, first of all to offer to God, petitions, prayers, supplications, and thanksgiving for all men,  (2)  For kings and for all in authority; that we may live a quiet and peaceable life, in all purity and Godliness.  (3)  For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour:  (4)  Who desires all men to be saved and to return to the knowledge of the truth.  (5)  For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;  (6)  Who gave himself a ransom for all, a testimony which came in due time.  (7)  For that testimony I was appointed a preacher and an apostle; I tell the truth and I lie not; and I became the teacher of the Gentiles in a true faith.  (8)  I wish, therefore, that men pray everywhere, lifting up their holy hands, without anger and doubting thoughts.” (1Ti 2:1-8 Lamsa NT)

Religion, Catholic Community

Religion, Catholic Community having prayers and meditation together at a meeting (Photo credit: Parker Knight)

Lifting up the hands or going in prayer can be done on our own. But to come to a good prayer we better also do come close to ourselves. Be it also becoming in a more concrete relationship the world can offer. Away from the materialisation of things we can come in a transcendent form.

Where Transcendentalists assert their natural right to an individual relationship with God, defined only by one’s own will and a communing with nature, Puritans “sought both individual and corporate conformity to the teaching of the Bible, with moral purity pursued both down to the smallest detail, as well as ecclesiastical purity to the highest level. They believed that man existed for the glory of God, that his first concern in life was to do God’s Will and so to receive future happiness”. Puritans were largely responsible for amendments that mandated public education inspired by their belief that children could only conform properly to biblical and legal tenants if they could read them for themselves.

To come to the Truth, each person has to make the free choice to study the matter. Without reading the Bible and without the will to think about what is written a person shall not come to the Truth. No matter how he may be active in doing things for his church, how religious he  or she may look for the outsiders, when their is no burning spirit in the soul of that person, no willingness to go deep in him or herself, there shall not come an opening to the real faith Jesus had in front of his eyes.

Jesus was also brought up in a world full of traditions. He was a boy living in a Jewish cult and learned from the Torah, which was his guide. He looked at the different religious groups and dared to question them. He looked at the way they interpreted the Holy Scriptures, how they lived their faith and how they were are were not prepared to go into the mystics of faith.

In most spiritual traditions, mysticism lies at the heart of spirituality. ‘‘Mysticism’’ refers to transcendent, contemplative experiences that enhance spiritual understanding. Mystical experiences can occur during intentional practices designed to create openings for transcendent experiences, such as Christian contemplative prayer, Zen meditation, movement or dance meditation or Sufi dance; or they can occur in the process of living a lifestyle that is conducive to transcendent experiences, as in contemplative gardening. In either case, contemplative or transcendent knowing is associated with spiritual experience.

‘‘Transcendence’’ refers to contemplative knowing that occurs outside the boundaries of verbal thought (Wilber). Although transcendence can refer to increasingly abstract thought, contemplative transcendence involves transcending thought itself. Mystical experiences of transcendence can be brought into thought, but they do not originate in thought or sensory perception.

The spiritual person can become a transcendental person, going into mystical contemplative experiences. He either may become religious with it or stay out of religion. But this kind of spirituality, set apart from religion would be weak and might be directionless, or worse, narcissistic.  Jesus wanted us to have a vibrant faith that focuses on his Father and he wants us to use the teachings of the Bible to shape both our religion and our spiritual interactions with him and God. Our spirit has to become connected intimately with Jesus, God but also with our brethren and sisters in the community, plus feeling a love for the full creation of the Supreme Being, Jehovah God. This includes a good relationship with the animals, plants and all sorts of people, no matter which religion they may belong to. A good Christian should be a good follower of Christ, sharing the same love Jesus had for all people, no matter what they had done or how they felt about him. Jesus loved also his enemies, so we should do likewise.

Our religious and spiritual practices should focus on that relationship with creation. The spiritual practices should not merely be productive in a narrow sense but should be disciplined, creative and committed. The regularity of a spiritual discipline like meditation may give shape to what may otherwise be a fragmented life. as such it can enrich the religious life. Over time meditation may facilitate a growing freedom from destructive energies that inhibit healthy relationships. Such a growth in inner freedom makes us more available and effective as compassionate presences in the world.

As the great traditions emphasise, spirituality is actually concerned with cultivating a “spiritual life” rather than simply with undertaking practices isolated from commitment. It offers a “value-added” factor to personal and professional lives. So, for example, in a variety of social contexts spirituality is believed to add two vital things.

  • First, it saves us from being purely results-orientated. Thus, in health care it offers more than a medicalised, cure-focused model and in education it suggests that a holistic approach to intellectual, moral and social development is as vital as acquiring employable skills.
  • Second, spirituality expands ethical behaviour by moving it beyond right or wrong actions to a question of identity – we are to be ethical people rather than simply to “do” ethical things. Character formation and the cultivation of virtue then become central concerns.

Current evidence suggests a growing diversity of new forms of spirituality as well as creative reinventions of the great traditions. The language of spirituality continues to expand into ever more professional and social worlds – for example urban planning and architecture, the corporate world, sport and law. Most strikingly there are recent signs of its emergence in two contexts that have been especially open to public criticism – commerce and politics. Equally, the Internet is increasingly used to expand access to spiritual wisdom. So, on current evidence, spirituality appears to be less of a fad than an instinctive desire to find a deeper level of values to live by. As such, it seems likely not only to survive but to develop further into many new forms. {Is spirituality a passing trend?}

Church HDR

Church HDR (Photo credit: I_am_Allan)

The church community should not be afraid of those people who also want to be spiritual people. Every religious person in a way should be a spiritual person. Faith without works is dead. Each person believing in Jesus should know he should undertake efforts to understand those teachings, knowing the Torah and following the commandments of Christ and the commandments of God. Each follower of Christ should not only go out in the world on his own, no he should make efforts to meet regularly with other like minded people, considering them as his brothers and sisters in Christ. Gathering together they should ‘make church‘ and be united in the religion of the Body of Christ. In that Body or Church they should undertake actions, like reading the Bible, exhorting each other and Breaking bread with each other. This would mean they are have do do religious actions and to be religious in the tradition of the faith of Christ Jesus. But without their pure heart they would not be honest to the others in that community. So first of all each individual has to purify himself or herself, to which she or he can use meditation or spiritual exercise.

Religion and spirituality are complementary and should go together, uniting each of us in the name of Christ.

Bible School, USA

Christadelphian Bible school meeting.
United brethren and sisters in Christ.

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Preceding articles:

Being Religious and Spiritual 1 Immateriality and Spiritual experience

Being Religious and Spiritual 2 Religiosity and spiritual life

Being Religious and Spiritual 3 Philosophers, Avicennism and the spiritual

Being Religious and Spiritual 4 Philosophical, religious and spiritual people

Being Religious and Spiritual 5 Gnostic influences

Being Religious and Spiritual 6 Romantici, utopists and transcendentalists

Being Religious and Spiritual 7 Transcendence to become one

Next: Points to remember of philosophy versus spirituality and religion

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Find also to read:

  1. Human nature
  2. “Who is The Most High” ? Who is thee Eternal? Who is Yehovah? Who is God?
  3. Only One God
  4. God’s design in the creation of theworld
  5. God Helper and Deliverer
  6. Gods hope and our hope
  7. God’s Will for Us – Gods Wil voor ons 
  8. Gods hope and our hope
  9. God’s measure not our measure
  10. God’s promises
  11. Gods Salvation
  12. Full authority belongs to God
  13. Preexistence in the Divine purpose and Trinity
  14. Jesus Messiah
  15. Servant of his Father
  16. Incomplete without the mind of God
  17. Our relationship with God, Jesus and each other
  18. Faith
  19. A Living Faith #1 Substance of things hoped for
  20. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  21. A Living Faith #4 Effort
  22. Faith antithesis of rationality
  23. Faith is a pipeline
  24. Faith is knowing there is an ocean because you have seen a brook.
  25. Are religious and secular ethicists climbing the same mountain
  26. Caricaturing and disapproving sceptics, religious critics and figured out ethics
  27. Theology without spirituality sterile academic exercise
  28. To mean, to think, outing your opinion, conviction, belief – Menen, mening, overtuiging, opinie, geloof
  29. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  30. Fellowship
  31. United people under Christ
  32. Parts of the body of Christ
  33. What part of the Body am I?
  34. Communion and day of worship
  35. Church sent into the world
  36. Pulpit reserved for the pastor
  37. Teach children the Bible
  38. Everything that is done in the world is done by hope
  39. Christmas customs – Are They Christian?
  40. Holidays, holy days and traditions
  41. Peter Cottontail and a Bunny laying Eastereggs
  42. Fr Paddy Byrne finds First communions and confirmations should be delayed
  43. Are Science and the Bible Compatible?
  44. The Soul confronted with Death
  45. Is there an Immortal soul
  46. The Soul not a ghost
  47. Immortality, eternality – onsterfelijkheid, eeuwigheid
  48. Dying or not
  49. What happens when we die?
  50. Dead and after
  51. Destination of righteous

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Additional reading:

  1. Spiritual but not Religious, or A Disconnect on the Faith Divide
  2. Is spirituality a passing trend?
  3. Christian Identity, or Can Baby Jesus Get Some Love?
  4. Rewriting History — The History of America Mega-Conference: Part Three, “Religious Liberalism” And Those Magnificent Mathers
  5. Rewriting History — History of America Mega-Conference: Part Eight, Closing Thoughts
  6. Can You Be Spiritual and Not Religious?
  7. Let The Children Come ~ Teach Them About God
  8. Let The Children Come ~ Teach Them God’s Word « An Imperfect Life
  9. Let The Children Come ~ Be An Example « An Imperfect Life
  10. Let The Children Come ~ Pray for Them

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  • I am Spiritual but not Religious (passionistpartners.com)
    “I am spiritual but not religious.” This is the mantra voiced by a number of people, Catholics included. It means that such people savor the inner qualities of their faith in Jesus Christ but not the outer framework in which those qualities are contained.

    They respond warmly to the Christmas scene of Mary and Joseph kneeling close to Jesus as a newborn infant. They may resonate with the teaching of Jesus on the beatitudes, describing the poor in spirit, the meek, the merciful, the peacemakers. They may treasure His words on loving one another as he has loved us.

    But when it comes to graphically depicting these sentiments in ritual, music, art, architecture, vestments, ceremonies, processions, incense—this is a different story. They find such a discrepancy between thoughts and feelings, and the attempt at giving tangible expression to them fails miserably in the opinion of some people. The sermons are boring, the collection is scandalous, the singing is outdated, the prayers formulaic and out of touch with people’s needs and desires.

  • The one religion that’s not part of my spiritual quest (roguepriest.net)
    Jesus is central in one out of 16 or five out of 43 major religions practiced in the world today. (In the first list I’m excluding “no religion,” “new religions” and “other” for my count, and in the second list I’m pointing to Christianity, Christian Science, Jehova’s Witnesses, Mormonism, and Rastafari.) By that count less than 6 – 11% of religions consider Christ important. With nods from Baha’i, Islam and Unitarianism, the figure rises to a max of 25%.
    Likewise, the majority of people in the world today do not follow any branch of Christianity.
    Yet the teachings of Christ loom large.
  • Religions and Spirituality (allowinglove.wordpress.com)
    diverse ethnicities and faiths from Passaic County gathered for one hour at Pa… SPARTA, NJ
  • Picking fights over religion and the separation of church and state (santamariatimes.com)
    how this kind of free-floating rage differs from Bible-beating preachers who blame earthquakes and tornadoes on other people’s sexual sins escapes me. The main characteristic of the fundamentalist mind is an inability to refrain from expressing contempt for beliefs different from one’s own — whether one’s spiritual example is Pat Robertson or Christopher Hitchens.
  • Spiritual Well-Being (casapalmera.com)
    piritual well-being is an integral part of mental, emotional and physical health. It is considered to be a primary coping resource on the journey of recovery and healing. This healing takes place in drug treatment centers, eating disorder residential programs and at trauma recovery. Spiritual well-being can be associated with a specific religion but does not have to be. This practice is merely one’s own journey to discover things of importance in life as well as one’s place among them. It can be practiced in numerous ways, with its main purpose being to find purpose and meaning in life. Spirituality and faith provide an opportunity to detach from circumstances and observe life with clarity and integrity. Spirituality can either be positive or negative. Spiritual well-being is a state is which the positive aspects of spirituality are shown. How the effects of spiritual well-being impact you is greatly determined by each individual.
  • My journey of faith (brynsthoughtsonfaith.wordpress.com)
    What might have happened if I was baptized into the Church of England, for instance? Would my faith have been stronger as a teenager? Would I have still gone down the route to the Catholic Church, given the opportunity?My early upbringing was, as such, not massively religious one way or the other. We did not go to Church (Anglican or Catholic) on Sunday, so as not to sway me one way or the other.
    From what I remember, my Primary School was Church of England in all but name, we had Assembly every morning, sang hymns and when Christmas and Easter came, we would sing in the local Anglican Church, St. Nicholas.
  • Obama Spiritual Advisor: President Very Religious (peacemoonbeam.typepad.com)
    President Obama’s spiritual adviser says the leader of the free world is more religious than most people think.
  • Enriching Your Spirituality: Famous Christian Quotes (quotes.answers.com)
    A poignant quote can have a profound effect. The simple truths contained in only a few lines have the power to inspire, calm, and encourage someone in need. This is especially true for Christian quotes. Whether you are struggling to find God’s purpose in your life or seeking comfort in a time a duress, these famous Christian quotes offer great help in times of need.
  • 10 Religious Quotes to Make You Think (quotes.answers.com)
    It seems that no matter what breakthroughs science makes in explaining the world, people will always have a need for spirituality and religion. Indeed, it seems that the only area with satisfying answers for many tough questions is religion. These religious quotes are collected from thinkers, writers, and lay people from a wide range of religious faiths and creeds. What they all have in common is that they are guaranteed to make you think.
  • Religious Rites: An Overview of Christian Funeral Services (christianity.answers.com)
    Regardless of your religious persuasion, a funeral service is one of the more somber rites that you might attend. In the Christian faith, even though death is seen as a passage to eternal life, saying goodbye to a loved one is very sad. This article details the common elements of most Christian burial services.

 

Being Religious and Spiritual 7 Transcendence to become one

Often when people in a discussion come upon talking about the higher elements of life and speak about believes in God or in divine beings people in the previous years were curious to know if that person belonged to a certain church.  Today there might be not so much interest in talking about the spiritual. And when they encounter people more interested in spiritual matters we encounter a shift in questions.

Ryan Killough also noticed that and mentions in his blog:

Homo sapiens sapiens - Deliberate deformity of...

Homo sapiens sapiens – Deliberate deformity of the woman skull, “Toulouse deformity “. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The question I receive more frequently now is, “oh, what are you?” I always want to answer that question by saying: “I am a species of Homo sapiens from the kingdom of Animalia, pleased to meet you earthling” but it is clear what they mean. So instead I answer, “I am …” Wait, should I answer? I wonder if it’s worth it, because the second it is heard what, “I am” will the attitude and thought behind anyone reading this entire post now change? Not that this ever happens in politics, but why take the risk? There is nothing specifically wrong with the question, “what are you?” My concern is not the question itself, but the change in social norm causing the shift to this question. The question is often asked, not always to learn about someones relationship with Jesus, but to figure out what his or her beliefs are. That is the problem I am addressing. {Church/Denominations}

for him it seems to be a problem when people wonder what he believes. But is that not the first thing to come into a relationship with the person in whom you want to believe?

He should know that people are curious when they encounter somebody who dares to mention he believes in something. When it is Jesus or God that person believes in, he becomes a test person. Than that believer becomes the target to question to see if his beliefs are really well structured and sound. Most people do know that there are many churches and people with so many different believes but that they also often got against each other, even killing each other for their believes. For many the believes or connected with religion which was a ’cause’ (according to them) of many wars. they find it strange that those different churches often claim to be talking about the same God.
Ryan Killough also agrees and questions:

Even though we attend different denominations, we are all following the same God. We should be of the same mind and thought. So if God new all these religious sects would occur where differences and discord would take place, did He make a mistake with the idea of church? Absolutely not. {Church/Denominations}

The Seven Sacraments by Rogier van der Weyden, ca. 1448.

He finds Church is a necessity for teaching, admonishing, and worshipping but agrees that through weekly patterns in our forms of worship, we can deceive ourselves into believing in wrong philosophy.

Our church practices should not be our belief! We should not put tradition and spiritual rituals over what is right, good, and true. Traditions are for the purpose of acknowledging God and, again, are not to become our beliefs. Communion, baptism, confirmation, hand movements, church membership, fasting, or any other church sacraments will not give you salvation! They will not make you any more holy or deserving of Gods grace. These sacraments are simply to express our gratitude of God’s love for us, and allow us to become closer to Jesus in our personal relationship with Him. {Church/Denominations}

But it are just created sacraments and religious actions of those churches which are build on human traditions and not on biblical traditions of the Judean people of God. Many denominations created rules how to do things in the community which are not always totally Biblically funded. Through the years several theologians brought in different teachings and took followers or believers with them, often forming a new church-community  or worse, a new denomination.

Some might think the church does need its theologians to stay in existence, because without good doctrines, good theology, or wonderful expositions it would not be able to survive and be lost in the land of fables and cute stories. Without institutions, temples or churches there would be not much for religion to have a feeding ground. In Religion that church also needs life. In Christian religion this may be the resurrection life of Christ.

No doctrine, idea, theology, or exposition can replace the life of Christ. Only the life of Christ and that which issues from it will prevail against the gates of Hades.

writes Eric Adams in his writing on the British missionary in China, Margaret E. Barber. {My Experience In The Word Of Faith Movement Pt. 6-Watchman Nee, Miss Margaret E. Barber, Roman Catholic Mystics}

according to him

Heaven and God are far away, so we must find ways to ascend to heaven. Like the old African American spiritual says:

We are climbing Jacob’s ladder,
We are climbing Jacob’s ladder,
We are climbing Jacob’s ladder,
Soldiers of the cross.

Every round goes higher, higher,
Every round goes higher, higher,
Every round goes higher, higher,
Soldiers of the cross.

But we may know that God is not far away. He is every moment of the day very close to the world, everywhere and knows every person his or her heart. In their life every person is somewhere else on the Jacob’s Ladder. He can either look down and be afraid or look up and be of full hope.

The Christian Flag displayed next to the pulpi...

What some call “The Christian Flag” displayed next to the pulpit on the chancel of a church sanctuary. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Many religious people do want to grab themselves by the bootstraps, and try to work their way into God’s good graces, not by grasping or lathing themselves to the Bible, but preferring to  cling to theologian writings. Some may seek for God internally through emotional or mystical experiences and become preoccupied with their own spirituality. To come into a spiritual life which also can become a religious life the person has to be able to hear God’s voice, and to be willing to come to understand God’s Will. When not willing to understand and than to follow the Will of God his faith would not be of much value. Children also often do know what they should do but do something different. That will bring them in problems. The same for adults who have an inborn ethical feeling, which they can ignore or follow. Maturity also informs most of us which influence our feelings may have on others and vice versa. When grown up the person knows how sustained feelings can ‘strangle’ a person and how he can become enslaved by preventing emotional growth to progress beyond the sense of pain having been precipitated, in some way, by whom or what is not liked or hated (i.e., another person, group or class of persons).

As such every person in the world, all created in the image of God can come to hear the call of righteousness and have the feeling of good and bad in them. The difference for the Christian religious person is that he or she should hear that Voice of God and offers himself or herself to follow that Voice more than any other voice. This makes Jesus so special. He could do what he wanted to do and could strike all honour for the things he seemed to be doing; But he never claimed that he could do those things on his own. He recognised he could not do anything without his Father, to whom he prayed to have things done. Jesus was in the world to have his Father to be known better. He also lifted up his eyes to heaven asking his Father to accept and glorify him the only begotten son, in order that he, Jesus the Son of God, may glorify the Only One God who had given Christ authority over all flesh. The religious person who wants to call himself Christian should be a follower of Christ, Jesus the Messiah from whom he or she can get eternal life.  But to be able to get that eternal life those persons should come to the understanding Who is who and should come to know the Only True God, who is the Adonai Elohim Hashem Jehovah, and Jesus Christ, whom God had sent to the world.

Jesus never glorified himself, neither should we glorify ourselves. We should become like Christ, but by doing so we shall not become Christ himself like he did not become God himself. Jesus always had glorified his Father, the God of Abraham as the Only One True God. Jesus knew his lower position than the heavenly beings (angels), but also knew that God was the Most High and always should and shall be the Most High Elohim.  The son of Joseph and Miriam (Mary/Maria) from the tribe of King David only wanted to be the will of his Father and wanted to complete on earth the work that his Father, Allah the God of gods had given him to do.

It was this Nazarene man who has revealed God His name to the men whom God gave him out of the world. Jesus never claimed those to be his. He knew that those men who were willing to follow him, were given by his Father. They were God’s, and He have given them to Jesus, and they have kept God His Word.  Those disciples continued the work of Christ after he was killed and resurrected. By the sent Comforter, requested by Christ Jesus,  they lost their fear and went out into the world, understanding that all the things that God had given to their master teacher Jesus came not from their rabbi, but came from his Father, which they now also could call their Father, the Only One God, whose name Jehovah they knew already from Torah, but was now better known by the words and works of His son Jesus.

It was from that Nazarene man the disciples got their words. They received them and knew truly that Jesus had come from God, and they have believed that God had sent him. They never believed that it was God Who had come down onto earth, because they also remembered the voice, at the baptism of their master, Who told the people present that it was “His beloved son” who stood there and did not tell them that it was God who had come down to earth. They also had heard enough from this man to know his relationship with his Father, whom Christ considered to be the Only One true God, to whom Jesus prayed and asked them also to pray to.

” It came to pass when all the people were baptized, Jesus also was baptized, and while he prayed the heaven was opened,  (22)  And the Holy Spirit descended on him, like a dove, and a voice from heaven, saying, You are my beloved Son, with whom I am pleased.” (Luke 3:21-22 Lamsa NT)

Jesus had always asked  the things to happen on behalf of the people around him, but they also remembered Jesus telling them that he did not ask God on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those whom God had given him, because they are God His,  and all Jesus his things are His. They also remembered that Jesus was pleased that His Father had given His world into the hands of him, and that he could been glorified in them. Jesus became no longer in the world, and they were in the world, Jesus went up to his Father in heaven to sit at His right hand. Though Jesus left not his disciples, nor us, on their own. He asked God to keep them, and those who were willing to follow him, in God His name. Being under the Guidance of Christ and his Father all followers of Christ should become like Christ, becoming one the same way like Jesus and God were one. This would not make us to be Christ, like it also did not make Christ to be God. Otherwise we being one with Christ, Christ being one with God, in case Jesus was God we also would become God.  But that is impossible. Like Jesus was a man of flesh and blood, a material being we also are of flesh and blood material beings. Even when we try to become so spiritual that we overcome the material site of ourselves, we shall never be able to become as immaterial or spiritual beings as angels or as the eternal Spirit God.

Jesus has given us his word that he kept us in God’s name and told us all those things in the world so that we may have his joy completed in ourselves. Jesus does not live any more in this world, but we who are living in this world, are still submitted to the Laws of God but subject to the laws of the country were we live in. The world may hate us because we have chosen to follow Christ Jesus and to believe in the One God Who is One. Not believing in the worldly gods we also do not want to be of the world just as Jesus was and is not of the world.  Jesus did not ask his Father that He would take us out of the world, but that He would protect us from the evil of that world.

“But Jesus said to them, My Father works even until now, so I also work.  (18)  And for this the Jews wanted the more to kill him, not only because he was weakening the sabbath, but also because he said concerning God that he is his Father, and was making himself equal with God.  (19)  Jesus answered and said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, that the Son can do nothing of his own accord, except what he sees the Father doing; for the things which the Father does, the same the Son does like him also.  (20)  For the Father loves his Son, and he shows him everything that he does; and he will show him greater works than these, so that you may marvel.  (21)  For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to those whom he will.” (John 5:17-21 Lamsa NT)

“Jesus spoke these things, and then he lifted up his eyes to heaven and said, O my Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son, so that your Son may glorify you.  (2)  Since you have given him power over all flesh, so that to all whom you have given him, he may give life eternal.  (3)  And this is life eternal, that they might know you, that you are the only true God, even the one who sent Jesus Christ.  (4)  I have already glorified you on the earth; for the work which you had given to me to do, I have finished it.  (5)  So now, O my Father, glorify me with you, with the same glory which I had with you before the world was made.  (6)  I have made your name known to the men whom you gave me out of the world; they were yours and you gave them to me; and they have kept thy word.  (7)  Now they know that whatever you have given me is from you.  (8)  For the words which you gave me I gave them; and they accepted them, and have known truly that I came forth from you, and they have believed that you sent me.  (9)  What I request is for them; I make no request for the world, but for those whom you have given to me; because they are yours.  (10)  And everything which is mine, is yours; and what is yours is mine; and I am glorified by them.  (11)  Hereafter I am not in the world, but these are in the world; and I am coming to you. O holy Father, protect them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are.  (12)  While I was with them in the world, I protected them in your name; those you gave me I protected, and not one of them is lost, except the son of perdition, that the scripture might be fulfilled.  (13)  Now I am coming to you; and these things I speak while I am in the world, that my joy may be complete in them.  (14)  I have given them your word; and the world hated them, because they were not of the world, just as I am not of the world.  (15)  What I request is not that you should take them out of the world, but that you should protect them from evil.” (John 17:1-15 Lamsa NT)

The religious and spiritual person in the Christian faith should come to the essence of Christ Jesus his teaching. Like Jesus was not of this world they also should try to cleanse themselves, have their spirit clear, proper for God and not being tempted by the material world, loving the traditions of the world. As such they should try to dispose themselves of those celebrations which are kept in the world, but have elements not in accordance with God His commandments.  We should strip our world from all the heathen or pagan elements. The world were we do want to live in should be removed from all those things which are mentioned in the Bible, the Word of God, as things which are not right.  By avoiding all the things God does not want the world might not like us, because they will notice that we do not want to be “of the world”, even as Jesus was and is not of the world.

In history when churches went astray from the teachings of God, religious people wanted to bring them back on the good track. Their teachings being in conflict with the general or traditional church, made that new denominations were formed. Many allowed legalism, the theological doctrine that salvation is gained through good works, to take a higher stand than God and wanted certain actions to be part of the service a religious person ought to do. Instead of giving more attention at our personal daily walk with Christ and with his Father, which is more important than the sacraments we can burden ourselves with, they brought limitation to what people could do or gave specific strict rules to what people could not do. Sacraments became used as a tool to enter heaven, instead of looking at those sacraments as a symbol of our gratitude toward Gods unfailing grace.

Those ‘renewing teachers’ their followers created new churches and considered that only those people could be saved and go to heaven who became a member of their congregation. They had forgotten that Christ Jesus saved everybody and is the cornerstone of the Church. It is not by belonging to a church a person will secure his position in a place called heaven or in the Kingdom of God. Instead of so many different churches which exclude the other churches, all followers of Christ should be united in that Body of Christ. Those teachers claiming people could only be saved by being a member of their church, also had forgotten that יהוה , YHWH and Love are Four-letter words which are inextricable bound up with the Body of Jesus Christ and his Father, Jehovah God. There were two or more people are gathered in the name of Christ, Jesus is present and there should be peace and Christian brotherhood. The church should offer a place for Christian community, in order strengthen the members their faith, for the purpose of coming closer to God and of spreading God’s Word (by preaching) to the world and worshipping God in everything they do.

Going into ourselves, the spirituality should bring the person in a pure state of mind, clear to receive the entrance to the Supreme Being and becoming one with Him. It should be the aim of the spiritual minded and of the religious person to clear his or her mind of all the unnatural things. The Christian person aiming to get such an open mind to Jesus his Father, like he had, being sanctified in God His Truth, knowing that only God His Word is Truth.  Coming to the knowledge that it was God Who had sent Jesus into the world, and that it was not God Who came down Himself, the religious person should recognise that it was that man Jesus who also sent him or her into the world to become sanctified in Truth.

Jesus did pray to his Father concerning those who will believe in the Messiah Jesus through their word, that all may be one, as God is in Christ that they also may be one in Jesus and in Jehovah God so that the world may believe that God sent Jesus.

Jesus did give his disciples the glory which Jehovah God had given him, that they may be one, as God and Jesus are One. The real Christian his or her main aim should be that oneness with God, like Christ Jesus was one in his apostles we also should become one in Christ like Jesus had unity with his Father, that we may be perfected in one; and that the world may know that it was Jehovah God Who sent Jesus and loved them, even as God loved Jesus.

The spiritual minded Christian should aim to come in such transcendent state that he reaches that goal to become like Christ united with his Father. The transcendence should bring the person wherever Jesus would be. His desire to be one of those whom Jehovah God has given Jesus, that where he is, they may be with him also, that they may behold his glory which God gave Jesus, because God loved Jesus already before the foundation of the world. Because God knows everything, He already knows us as well already from the beginning of the universe. We do not know anything from that period when everything came into being (because we did not exist yet, like Christ did not exist yet), but our spirit should be willing to be part of that foundation of the world, that does not want to know about their Creator, but Jesus knew God and made him known to the world. We also should now become part of that New Foundation, where Jesus as the second Adam opened the gates to the Kingdom of God.

“I with them and you with me, that they may become perfected in one; so that the world may know that you sent me, and that you loved them just as you loved me.  (24)  O Father, I wish that those whom you have given me, may also be with me where I am; so that they may see my glory which you have given me; for you have loved me before the foundation of the world.  (25)  O my righteous Father, the world did not know you, but I have known you; and these have known that you have sent me.  (26)  And I have made your name known to them, and I am still making it known; so that the love with which you loved me may be among them, and I be with them.” (John 17:23-26 Lamsa NT )

In the spiritual mood the person wants to become perfect like the Father of Jesus in Heaven is perfect. (Matthew 5:48 )

“So he that descended is the same also that ascended far above all heavens, that he might fulfil all things.  (11)  And he has assigned some, apostles, and some, prophets, and some, evangelists, and some, pastors, and some, teachers;  (12)  For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:  (13)  Until we all become one in faith, and in the knowledge of the Son of God, and become a perfect man according to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:  (14)  That we henceforth be not as children easily stirred and carried away by every wind of false doctrines of men who through their craftiness are artful in deceiving the people;  (15)  But that we be sincere in our love, so that in everything we may progress through Christ, who is the head.  (16)  It is through him that the whole body is closely and firmly united at all joints, according to the measure of the gift which is given to every member, for the guidance and control of the body, in order to complete the edifying of the body in love.” (Ephesians 4:10-16 Lamsa NT)

The person getting into spirituality wants to become one with his full being and with nature. That nature is part of the universe God created. The spiritual person tries to go deeper than the material site of the world, coming into the mystic site. Apostles, prophets, evangelists, some pastors, and some teachers may help the person to find subject matter and to get him or her on the way to do good research. Those surrounding the person who wants to be religious and spiritual should provide the right spiritual food so that this person can come to unity with himself and with the Christian Church community, being a good working element and ‘being one’ in, and of, the Body of Christ.

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Preceding articles:

Being Religious and Spiritual 1 Immateriality and Spiritual experience

Being Religious and Spiritual 2 Religiosity and spiritual life

Being Religious and Spiritual 3 Philosophers, Avicennism and the spiritual

Being Religious and Spiritual 4 Philosophical, religious and spiritual people

Being Religious and Spiritual 5 Gnostic influences

Being Religious and Spiritual 6 Romantici, utopists and transcendentalists

Next: Being Religious and Spiritual 8 Spiritual, Mystic and not or well religious

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Find also to read:

  1. A world in denial
  2. Catholicism, Anabaptism and Crisis of Christianity
  3. To mean, to think, outing your opinion, conviction, belief – Menen, mening, overtuiging, opinie, geloof
  4. Being prudent – zorgvuldig zijn
  5. Choices
  6. Choosing your attitudes
  7. Not the circumstances in which we are placed constitutes our comfort
  8. The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands
  9. Our stance against certain religions and immigrating people
  10. Our relationship with God, Jesus and each other
  11. Parish, local church community – Parochie, plaatselijke kerkgemeenschap
  12. Attitude to others important for reaching them
  13. We have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace
  14. How us to behave
  15. Not liking your Christians
  16. Who are the honest ones?
  17. Greatest single cause of atheism
  18. What’s church for, anyway? (by Marcus Ampe)
  19. How we think shows through in how we act
  20. Act as if everything you think, say and do determines your entire life
  21. People should know what you stand for
  22. Remember that who you’re being is just as important as what you’re doing
  23. Followers with deepening
  24. Determined To Stick With Truth.
  25. Fear of God reason to return to Holy Scriptures
  26. Preaching to an unbelieving world
  27. True riches
  28. Doctrine and Conduct Cause and Effect
  29. Morality, values and Developing right choices
  30. Fixing our attention
  31. Being religious has benefits even in this life
  32. Faith
  33. A Living Faith #1 Substance of things hoped for
  34. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  35. A Living Faith #4 Effort
  36. Faith antithesis of rationality
  37. Faith is a pipeline
  38. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #2 Instructions and Laws
  39. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #3 Callers upon God
  40. To mean, to think, outing your opinion, conviction, belief – Menen, mening, overtuiging, opinie, geloof
  41. Two states of existence before God
  42. God receives us on the basis of our faith
  43. Grace is Gods acting love
  44. He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.
  45. Jesus begotten Son of God #6 Anointed Son of God, Adam and Abraham
  46. In the death of Christ, the son of God, is glorification
  47. Are Christians prepared to Rejoice in the Lord
  48. That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us
  49. Self inflicted misery #8 Pruning to strengthen us
  50. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  51. Are religious and secular ethicists climbing the same mountain
  52. Caricaturing and disapproving sceptics, religious critics and figured out ethics
  53. Theology without spirituality sterile academic exercise
  54. Trinitarian philosophy
  55. God of gods
  56. Only One God
  57. Jesus Christ being dispatched as the Figurehead of a Religion
  58. Gaining Christ, trusting Jehovah
  59. Happy who’s delight is only in the law of Jehovah
  60. Being one in Jesus, Jesus in us and God in Jesus
  61. Good or bad preacher
  62. Words to push and pull
  63. If you have integrity
  64. Set free from any form of mental torment or self-condemnation
  65. Emotional pain and emotional deadness
  66. From pain to purpose
  67. Everything that is done in the world is done by hope
  68. Honour your own words as if they were an important contract
  69. All Positive Energy People Are Acceptable
  70. Messengers of Jesus will be hated to the end of time
  71. Discipleship way of life on the narrow way to everlasting life
  72. Church sent into the world
  73. Communion and day of worship

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Additional reading:

  1. What is the difference between Philosophy and Spirituality
  2. Who is the Only “True God”? (John 17:3)
  3. If the Father is the “only true God” (John 17:3) , does that mean that Jesus is a false god?
  4. Following Jesus’ Footsteps
  5. Church/Denominations

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2013 St. Patrick's Day Races: 5k Participants,...

Are you running the right race, having the right goals? – 2013 St. Patrick’s Day Races (Photo credit: ianhun2009)

  • Critically examine the relationship between gender, religious participation and religious organisations. (cheapbestessaywriting.wordpress.com)
    While it is difficult to know precisely whether or not spiritual beliefs differ in relation to males and womanishs, it is evident that unearthly rule and participation does show relatively clear sexual urge differences. This is sure across all forms of religious organisation. Almost two-thirds of churchgoers are women. However, as with social factors worry class and age, it is clear that in that respect is no overall pattern of male / female religious attendance, since there are evident differences between denominations.
  • The Authority of the Catholic Church (zeal4thefaith.wordpress.com)
    I have heard the argument from Protestants that the Bible is the only authority. They do not believe that the Catholic Church has authority on earth at all. Well, the Bible says absolutely nothing about being the only authority.
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    Anglicans, Baptists, Born-again Christians, Brethren-in-Christ Churches, Calvary Churches, Episcopalians, Bible Fundamentalists, Non-denominational churches, Methodists, Presbyterians, start up churches too numerous to count and the list goes on and on. They all teach different theologies and they all have different pastors who went to different seminaries which teach different interpretations of Scripture. Which ‘church’ is correct? Which interpretation is correct?
  • Picking fights over religion and the separation of church and state (santamariatimes.com)
    “We have just enough religion to make us hate,” wrote Jonathan Swift, “but not enough to make us love one another.” A lifelong religious controversialist, the 18th-century Irish satirist definitely knew whereof he wrote. After all, it’s fewer than 20 years since Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland quit dynamiting each other’s gathering places.
    +
    Even here in the United States, it often seems that picking fights over religion increases during the Christmas season. If anything, claiming to be persecuted while expressing contempt for others’ beliefs appears on the rise.
    +
    Like Swift, Jefferson recognized the dangers of religious strife. That’s precisely why, he assured Connecticut Baptists in 1802, the First Amendment decreed “a wall of separation between church and State.”
  • Sunday Worship- Understanding and Teaching (eggflip.wordpress.com)
    Sunday Worship is a core practice of the followers of Christianity, but it’s meanings and it’s enactments represent a wide variety of different traditions and rituals loosely associated with different denominations of Christian Churches and sects that are associated the world religion of Christianity. As is precisely within the Roman Catholic Church, the Liturgical calendar is a key part of Sunday worship for Catholics, with liturgical cycles determining which scriptural passages are read out in sermons on each Sunday of the week. Anglican Churches and the Church of England are examples of other churches that retain their own liturgical calendar. Sunday worship is an important part of many different churches own liturgical calendars, and in part defines and how the Christian year is organized.
    +
    part of understanding the practice of Sunday worship as a religious commitment and a religious experience, and the impact it has on the followers of Christianity, or Catholicism
    +
    C Peck (2007) describes the Church’s rationale for Sunday worship “There are approximately two billion professing Christians on earth. They attend over 2,000 different church denominations and organizations in the United States alone. This number continually increases, bringing no end of confusion over beliefs and disagreement between them.
  • Spirit of Medjugorje Update: Patience (zenobiuszjuz.wordpress.com)
    a good Christian life cannot be pursued without a regular examination of conscience and a good grounding in the virtues…

    …virtues stem from the grace deposited in the ground of the soul by God..the root of all virtue is humility which is characterized by a patient and loving submission to authority…
  • Religulous Bastards (venitism.blogspot.com)
    In the Iran of the Mullahs, the Persian Gulf emirates and even in those countries where Orthodox Christian patriarchs still wield considerable influence, journalistsare branded as heretics as soon as they dare to describe the far-from-holy practices of the regime and its clergy. And if they dare to denounce the atrocities of an armed Islamist group in Pakistan, Bangladesh or Nigeria, theyare gunned down as infidels even when they are Muslims.

    Although used for political ends, religion often carries real weight in societies where no boundary between the spiritual and secular is recognized. When an Omani publication quoted gays as saying they were better off in Oman than in neighbouring divine-right petro-monarchies, it was accused of promoting “moral depravity” and therefore “sacrilege.” Subjects such as the role of women, sexuality and reproduction – all markers of secularization – are surrounded by taboos.
  • Significance of followers of Islam beliefs (lovevisiblesim.wordpress.com)
    I met a man in my days with SAT-7 from Tunisia – an Anglican by denomination but a true follower of Jesus among the people of Islam – a friend to followers of Christ.He shared these thoughts –

    For one, it is a myth that the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims are unified in the embrace of classical Islam’s religious precepts.  On the contrary, man Muslim peoples have a poor understanding of what their religion is really all about.
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    But the followers of Islam are religious people and under the right conditions, open about sharing their beliefs.  The word of God, presented under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and watered by the intercessory prayers of God’s people, can do its work in their heart just as in the heart of any who seek truth.

    The follower of Christ’s responsibility is to share the same love and concern for the followers of Islam that God has, the truth as it is in Jesus Christ — the One who can make him free indeed.

  • When Do Christians Have Church Services (christianity.answers.com)
    Christianity is the most prominent religion in the United States, and most Christians regularly attend worship services. However, not all churches offer the same services on the same days. If you are interested in giving it a try, learn a little bit about when Christians hold their church services.
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    In most churches, holiday services revolve around the birth and death of Christ, or Christmas and Easter. On Christmas Eve, many churches hold traditional evening services that sometimes include candle light ceremonies and Christmas carols. Some churches also hold services on Christmas Day. The days leading up to Easter, including Palm Sunday and Good Friday, are usually celebrated with special services. Easter Sunday, of course, is celebrated by nearly every church with an upbeat service.
  • Spirituality and Your Health (evelynmmaxwell.com)
    Our spirituality and philosophy are the roots to our tree of life.  Whether or not our spiritual beliefs and philosophy of life provide us with psychological comfort and hope, rather than distress and discouragement, is very important.  Whether or not they provide us the wisdom and courage to act affects us for life as we branch out in our “decision tree” (a term used in the medical field for the decisions we make in relations to our perceptions of the situations, for example, if “this” is true, we do something for “this”; but if “this” is not true we do something different). And, the strengths and weaknesses of our spiritual lives contribute to our society’s strengths and weaknesses.
  • Explaining Christmas to Children (joiedevivreheather.wordpress.com)

Holidays, holy days and traditions

, who was nominated as one of America’s Most Influential Small Business Experts of 2012 and was named as one of America’s Top 100 Thought Leaders, does find that we as leaders, role models, and parents, we must strive to utilize every opportunity available to us to reinforce the values and beliefs that we hold dear. In such an instance we do have to have some values to which we ourselves do keep. The traditions to which we do hold on should than have a meaning.

“Many holidays are becoming so commercialized that our proud traditions are in danger of becoming trivialized.”

Sonneberg says.

Today, we’re so profit-motivated that we expect retail employees to abandon their family dinners to return to their store in time for the sale. Or worse yet, their employers force them to supervise “midnight madness” sales extravaganzas, featuring over-caffeinated shoppers seeking that “dream buy.”

Many of us can’t even remember the true meaning of the holidays. Memorial Day has morphed from remembering our fallen soldiers to the unofficial beginning of summer. Labour Day’s role in recognizing the achievements of organized labour now just marks the end of summer and a return to school. Veterans Day is honoured as a day off from work.

Scrooge's third visitor, from Charles Dickens:...

That is the strange thing about it all, many do find they should have the day free of work, but do not know what the holiday is all about. They sometimes have a vague idea or do know what certain people do believe in but they themselves do not want to know about it. For example they know that certain Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ on Easter, but they do not believe that person ever existed and they also do not believe in the God of Jesus or any god. though they would not want to loose the heathen celebration of the goddess of fertility Estra (hence Easter) or at the end of the year the pagan celebration Christmas, which is on the holy day of the goddess of light. Lots of Christians do want to keep onto that heathen celebration day, though they know it is not really the birth day of Jesus Christ (who was born on the 17th of October 4BCE) For them tradition is what counts, so all the figures which have nothing to do with the time Jesus was born and even which are an abomination in the eyes of the Divine Creator God, they do not want to loose. For them the Santa Claus is holy sacred. Do you know what Father Christmas, the Christmas tree and all the garlands have to do with the birth of the Messiah?

Halloween!!

Halloween!! (Photo credit: cafeconlecheporfavor)

Traditions have become a part of our live we would not like to change easily. Around Halloween I spoke with an English brother who did not mind all the celebrations around Halloween. For him it was just pure fun. It does not mean people are actually believing in supernatural spirits or ghosts. Lots of people like him, might simply view taking part in Halloween and similar celebrations as a way to have fun and teach their children to explore their imagination, creating all sorts of monsters. But why do they have to create ugly things, and not nice things? Why do they not want to see that many celebrations like Halloween have pagan origins and are deeply rooted in ancestor worship, but area also celebration which are of religious importance to several nature worshippers. A few streets further than mine lives a witch which still uses such days to worship the dead and to have contact with supposed spirits of the dead. (According to the Bible when a person comes to his or her end of his or her life, life goes out of that person and he or she can not do anything any-more because he or she will be dead and become dust like any other being, plant or animal.)

Belgium and England are not the only countries where the Wiccans keep to the 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.

You may call it strange that Christians also do not mind ‘playing’ around and want to celebrate such days like Halloween which 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, 11The Jerusalem Bible)

I do agree there are no  sons or daughters sacrificed in the fire, but the fires still symbolises such actions. I also do find the reactions very strange when the people burn the puppets ‘full of joy’. What is than the meaning of that action? Does it not show something which is hidden more inside them? Does it not present some hidden feelings or frustrations?

When God tells not to practice divination, sorcery, fortune-telling, witchery, casting spells, holding séances, or channeling with the dead, or having contact with such people doing so, why do those who call themselves Christian do not mind still doing that? Many do not mind to  dabble in the occult or traffic with mediums ‘just for fun”. But is it not hat of which the Bible warns us not to pollute our souls? (Leviticus 19:31)

““ ‘do not turn to spirit-mediums or sorcerers; don’t seek them out, to be defiled by them; I am ADONAI your god.” (Leviticus 19:31 CJB)

Lots of people do not mind intermingling with those people who keep on those heathen traditions and want to celebrate those original pagan celebrations. Is it then not  obvious what kind of life they prefer above the Godly life? Do they not want to get their own way all the time: repetitive, loveless, cheap sex; a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage; frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness; trinket gods; magic-show religion; paranoid loneliness; cutthroat competition; all-consuming-yet-never-satisfied wants; a brutal temper; an impotence to love or be loved; divided homes and divided lives; small-minded and lopsided pursuits; the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival; uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions; ugly parodies of community. I could go on like the apostle Paul could go on. More than once he warned the people who wanted to be followers of Jesus, that the master rabbi demanded purity of the soul, allegiance to the Most High and loyalty to the man who did not want to do his own will but only the Will of his Father. So why do those Christians also not want to do the Will of the father of Jesus? Do they also forget that Jesus spoke many times about ‘being of this world’ or choosing for God, loving God, and what it really means? Though from the many parables we do know that is we want to use our freedom this way, we will not inherit God’s kingdom.

 “19 and it is perfectly evident what the old nature does. it expresses itself in sexual immorality, impurity and indecency; 20 involvement with the occult and with drugs; in feuding, fighting, becoming jealous and getting angry; in selfish ambition, factionalism, intrigue 21 and envy; in drunkenness, orgies and things like these. I warn you now as I have warned you before: those who do such things will have no share in the kingdom of god!” (Galatians 5:19-21 CJB)

These celebrations we have around the end of the year may not look harmful and may represent a critical piece of our culture. For many they may help form the structure and foundation of their families and their society.

Tradition contributes a sense of comfort and belonging. It brings families together and enables people to reconnect with friends.

says Sonnenberg who considers that those celebrations remind us that we are part of a history that defines our past,

shapes who we are today and who we are likely to become. Once we ignore the meaning of our traditions, we’re in danger of damaging the underpinning of our identity.

But we also should know that

Tradition provides a forum to showcase role models and celebrate the things that really matter in life.

So we should question “What does really matter”.

Tradition may serve as an avenue for creating lasting memories for our families and friends, but when you look at certain celebrations, the memory or reason why those holidays were created for is all gone.

St. Martin’s Day celebration with lampoons

Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet – Saint Nicholas and Black Peter

Many minimise the lies been told about Saint Maarten (St. Martin’s Day), Saint Nicholas and Saint Claus, they bringing presents to the children, one on his black horse in the streets, the other with his white gray (or grey) running over the rooftops, his black servant going through the chimneys, and than the most magical with his reindeer flying from the North-pole through the sky, having his midgets going through the walls putting the many presents under the Christmas tree. How can a child trust its parents when they tell lies for the fun and to trick their children? Why do not tell them it is their present for this or that occasion?

Some of the stories people told their children, making them afraid of the ghosts or telling them when they would not behave they were going to be put in the sack of ‘Zwarte piet’ or ‘Black Peter’ did give them an experience which was not so much fun. Naturally the presents where much like as well as all the mysticism around those days.

It is also very easy to get caught up in the hubbub of the season of Christmas and the joy people should experience at such an occasion is often obscured by the stress they do experience. The Bible does encourage all of us to remember Jesus Christ, how he gave his life for many. It also encourages us to share the same love as Christ and to be liberal in giving, to help the needy, and to spend time with our families. It also teaches us how to be peaceable.

McClintock and Strong’s Cyclopedia states:

The observance of Christmas is not of divine appointment, nor is it of NT [New Testament] origin.

The Encyclopedia Americana says:

Saturnalia, a Roman feast celebrated in mid-December, provided the model for many of the merry-making customs of Christmas. From this celebration, for example, were derived the elaborate feasting, the giving of gifts, and the burning of candles.

The Encyclopædia Britannica notes that

all work and business were suspended” during Saturnalia.

*Description: Bilbao-Loiu airport, Biscay, Spa...

*Description: Bilbao-Loiu airport, Biscay, Spain. Olentzaro, Christmas tree, Santa Claus and elf. Photographer: Javier Mediavilla Ezquibela Date: January 6, 2005. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In Western Europe in the Winter we do have very dark days and could do with some extra lighting. It is also a period of some cold weather conditions where the wind and rain are not a nice thing to go for a walk. So it can be made much cosier with some extra light and fire in the house. Nothing against that. As such the decorations in the house and bringing a nice smelling spruce in the living room made it possible to have some extra colour and a nice smell in the room which had not so much ventilation as in Summer. But we know also that in the past Europeans decorated their homes with lights and evergreens of all kinds to celebrate the winter solstice and to combat evil spirits. {The Encyclopedia of Religion,}

Tree worship, common among the pagan Europeans, survived after their conversion to Christianity.” One of the ways in which tree worship survived is in the custom of “placing a Yule tree at an entrance or inside the house in the midwinter holidays.” {Encyclopædia Britannica}.

It is totally wrong to believe that those Christians who do not like to celebrate Christmas would not believe in Christ Jesus. They may not forget the early Christians never celebrated the birthday of Jesus. The only feast we should remember concerning Christ, is the day when he took the bread and wine as symbols of the instalment of  the New Covenant, on the 14th of Nisan,or celebrating Passover with a Memorial Meal (Memorial Day for many Christians worldwide.).

To think only then on the 25th of December to be generous or about peace on earth and goodwill toward men, would limit the message Christ had given to his followers. Because every day they should be messengers of peace.

“the person who blesses others will prosper; he who satisfies others will be satisfied himself.” (Proverbs 11:25 CJB)

“if possible, and to the extent that it depends on you, live in peace with all people.” (Romans 12:18 CJB)

Jesus commanded that we commemorate his death, not his birth.

“19 also, taking a piece of matzah, he made the b’rakhah, broke it, gave it to them and said, “this is my body, which is being given for you; do this in memory of me.” 20 he did the same with the cup after the meal, saying, “this cup is the new covenant, ratified by my blood, which is being poured out for you.” (Luke 22:19-20 CJB)

That action of Jesus, preparing himself for giving himself to the world, only willing to do the Will of his Father, should make us to form the right attitude, also willing to do the Will of Jesus his Father, the Only One God.

““father, if you are willing, take this cup away from me; still, let not my will but yours be done.”” (Luke 22:42 CJB)

We should take time this holiday season to think about that and to meditate what we want to do, following human traditions and doing the same thing what people would love most, or following the Biblical instructions about how to behave, whom and what to associate with, either being part of the world or part of Christ.

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Please do find ‘s article: Tradition: The True Meaning of Holidays

Preceding articles:

Hanukkahgiving or Thanksgivvukah

Thanksgivukkah and Advent

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English: A Christmas Tree at Home

English: A Christmas Tree at Home (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Find also to read:

  1. A season of gifts
  2. God’s Special Gift
  3. What Jesus sang
  4. Christmas customs – Are They Christian?
  5. Jesus begotten Son of God #1 Christmas and Christians
  6. Jesus begotten Son of God #2 Christmas and pagan rites
  7. The nativity story
  8. Christmas, Saturnalia and the birth of Jesus
  9. Christmas customs – Are They Christian?
  10. Speedy Christmas!
  11. Christmas trees
  12. Merry Christmas with the King of Kings
  13. What do you want for Christmas
  14. Ember and light the ransomed of Jehovah
  15. Sancta Claus is not God
  16. Wishing lanterns and Christmas
  17. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  18. Timely Growth
  19. Idolatry or idol worship
  20. Halloween custom of the nations
  21. 11 November, a day to remember #1 Until Industrialisation
  22. 11 November, a day to remember #2 From the Industrialisation
  23. Victims and Seekers of Peace
  24. 1 -15 Nisan
  25. Deliverance and establishement of a theocracy
  26. Day of remembrance coming near
  27. 14 Nisan a day to remember #1 Inception
  28. 14 Nisan a day to remember #2 Time of Jesus
  29. 14 Nisan a day to remember #3 Before the Passover-feast
  30. 14 Nisan a day to remember #4 A Lamb slain
  31. 14 Nisan a day to remember #5 The Day to celebrate
  32. 14-15 Nisan and Easter
  33. Around the feast of Unleavened Bread
  34. Seven days of Passover
  35. Jesus memorial
  36. Bread and Wine
  37. Ransom for all
  38. High Holidays not only for Israel
  39. Observance of a day to Remember
  40. Is it wise to annul the Pentecostweekend
  41. Festival of Freedom and persecutions
  42. Casual Christians
  43. Life and attitude of a Christian
  44. Not bounded by labels but liberated in Christ
  45. I Only hope we find GOD again before it is too late !

Additional reading:

  1. From a midwinter celebration to a Christian feast
  2. Is Christmas Christian?
  3. The Christ – Mass Lie
  4. By Jove! It’s Christmas: Did the First Christian Roman Emperor
  5. Appropriate the Pagan Festival of Saturnalia to Celebrate the Birth of Christ? Matt Salusbury Weighs the Evidence
  6. The Life Mag: 12 Days of Christmas – Secret Code along the Roman Road
  7. The Real Story of Christmas
  8. What Does the Catholic Church Teach About Christmas and the Holy Days?
  9. Have nothing to do with Godless Myths and old wives’ tales
  10. Christmas Customs–Are They Christian? – Jehovah’s Witnesses Official Web Site
  11. Has Christmas Lost Christ? – Jehovah’s Witnesses Official Web Site
  12. The Christmas Spirit All Year Round? – Jehovah’s Witnesses Official Web Site
  13. Take Your Stand for True Worship – Jehovah’s Witnesses Official Web Site
  14. Christmas is a lie
  15. We are Christians and are not celebrating Christmas
  16. The Un-Christmas Club
  17. The Plain truth about Christmas

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http://belgianbiblestudents.wordpress.com/tag/Easter/

  • Origins of Holidays (xntricproductions.wordpress.com)
    Holidays originally Holy days are celebrated to pay honor to a certain time of the year, a certain day or days that are Holy or important and have meaning to the people celebrating.
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    With this mixing of cultures we also have, in many cases, mixing of religions, beliefs, customs and traditions. This has been happening for centuries all over the world. As people travel from place to place and settle in new areas sometimes by choice, sometimes by force or out of necessity, our traditions, customs, beliefs are brought with us. We introduce what is ours to the new place where we settle and we are introduced to what is customary to others. So even customs, traditions and religions can become intermingled. Only the very devout remember and continue to teach what is theirs and theirs alone.
    +
    In the Bible God warns his people numerous times throughout the Bible to remain separate from the people of the lands they would inhabit. God warns all of his people not to adopt the traditions of pagan people and not to honor him the way that pagans honor their gods.In other religions people worship and honor their gods and holy times of the year according to their beliefs and practices. Pagans do not worship God or include Christ in their celebrations however their celebrations are nearly identical to ours.
    In fact pagan religions as celebrated by pagans today have remained pretty much the same since they started thousands of years ago. Some pagans do put their own twist on it or start their own new family traditions just as Christians do but the foundation of their beliefs remain intact. So why do so many non- Christians celebrate Christmas and Easter?
  • About Christmas (myrarsenriquez.wordpress.com)
    Christmastime, as it is often called, is in the winter of the Northern Hemisphere, at a time when there were already ancient festivals. Some of the traditions that are used for Christmas are older than Christmas, or come from other non-Christian traditions such as Yule. Modern traditions of Christmas often focus on the giving of gifts. The season for retail stores to sell gifts, food, greeting cards, Christmas trees, and decorations begins the day about a month before Christmas Day.
  • Christmas is a Pagan Holiday (bblessedtoday.net)
    Don’t get upset and defensive with your excuses and arguments on how Christmas is about Jesus and the reason for the season and saying that I am just a party pooper that is putting a dent in your family traditions. Do some research on your own and see for yourself where Christmas came from and what are its real origins. Sometimes the only way we really change ourselves is to see things from our own eyes, to read things on our own, to observe with new information to see if it is truly wrong to celebrate Christmas.
  • Christians and Halloween (fredfies.wordpress.com)
    Consider What Halloween Celebrates (can we celebrate that?)  I am amazed that earlier and earlier superstores are geared up for October 31.  As soon as the last school supply is sold, the Halloween decorations appear.  In August? Really?  But here they come…skeletons, tombs, witches, death and gore fill the aisles of the store.  Of course, you can dress as something as harmless as an M&M, but it is clear that the celebration is of the “dark elements” of this world.  Consider what the Bible says,
  • How Holy are the Holidays? (mypentecostalreformation.wordpress.com)
    Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years day, are all days we consider as part of “the holidays”. As a kid I would count the days ’till thanksgiving. Waking up early and smelling the turkey and all the seasonings along with it.
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    Christmas was the next holiday to be enjoyed. This day had a major count down, to when Santa came to bring me gifts. I had gotten honor roll all school year-long, and I wanted my rewards. As the days drew near to the big day, presents appeared under our Faux Christmas tree.
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    The purpose of these gatherings were to be around family while we wait for the new year. New Year’s Eve represents survival, new starts, clean slates, perseverance, and gym memberships.
  • Why Christmas? (mymindyourplan.wordpress.com)
    Every year we set up our Christmas trees, decorate them and our houses, get a day or two off work, spend half our year’s wages on presents and spend the days we have free with our families. Kids are excited for Santa Claus, adults are excited….for their time off work. Why is it we do this?
    +
    Sol Invictus was a Roman sun god that was worshiped during the festival Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, or “Birthday of the Unconquered Sun” which was celebrated on the 25th December.
    +
    The truth about Christmas is that there is no real Biblical reason for us to be celebrating the birth of Jesus. I say this, the Bible gives us no command to do so but, rather, to celebrate His death, resurrection, ascension and exaltation. So why is it we celebrate it, and in some ways more so than His death at Easter?
  • Traditions (polandec.wordpress.com)
    Some of Polish traditions are firmly rooted in Catholicism, a predominant religion in Poland, while others spring from various pagan rites. Nowadays, any pagan elements still present in the culture take the form of fun festivals and shows.
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    Christmas Eve (Wigilia), an evening preceding Christmas Day, is traditionally celebrated with a festive Christmas supper. It’s a very special occasion, when families prepare 12 types of meatless dishes – one for each of the 12 apostles. On this day Christmas tree is also decorated so that Santa Claus can bring Christmas gifts.
  • Stolen Holidays and Entitled Pagans (mapletreedruidry.wordpress.com)
    ontrary to popular Neo-Pagan believe (yes, I have been guilty of holding onto this in the past), the Celtic conversion was rather peaceful, despite the objection of the priestly Druid class.  This was a culture tired of the centuries of Blood Wars, and were quite happy to accept peace and love at first.  The Norse accepted Jesus as another war god.  New Holidays were adopted.  Old holidays were blended.  I’m not saying it was seamless, or without any conflict.  But it was much more of a sharing of culture than a stealing of holidays.  Yesterday was the first day of Hannukah.  I made latkes for dinner.  Does this mean that I “stole” it from the Jews?  Of course not!  I was celebrating in solidarity.
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    No one owns the copyright on having a god with a birthday on December 25th.  As fun as it is to “keep Saturn in Saturnalia” and “keep Han in Hannukah”, there are dozens of gods with birthdays this time of year. Mithra, Dionysus, Saturn, and possibly even Aengus, Lugh and Taliesin
  • Pagans, Sinterklass, and Jesus (parttimeyp.wordpress.com)
    Mid-winter celebrations had a long history even before Jesus walked on the Earth. People celebrated around the solstice because the days were starting to grow longer. Scandinavians burnt a Yule log believing that each sparks represented a new pig or calf that would be born. Many Europeans would slaughter most of their cattle so they wouldn’t have to feed them, which lead to large feasts. The Germans had a celebration honoring Odin, many people choose to stay inside during this time because it was believed that Odin made nighttime flights observing people and deciding who would prosper and who would die in the coming year. (That sounds strangely familiar doesn’t it?)
  • Halloween is Satanist Christmas (govtslaves.info)
    The Satanic Bible ranks Halloween as one of the two most important festivals on its calendar, which may explain why it’s now being promoted as a ‘fun’ festival
    Behind the playful facade, Halloween celebrates perversion, which is the real meaning of the occult. It is a ”religious indoctrination into Druid paganism, witchcraft, and Satanism.”
  • Halloween, should Christians stay away or is it ok to celebrate?
    When we consider the history of Halloween (a Christian perspective), it may seem as if the modern holiday has gotten out of hand. After all, doesn’t Halloween glorify evil? Is it right to send our children out as devils and vampires? Should we emphasize the saints, whose nearly forgotten feast day is the reason for Halloween? Hallow is the same word for “holy” that we find in the Lord’s Prayer, and e’en is a contraction of “evening.” The word Halloween itself is a shortened form of “All Hallows Eve,” the day before All Saints Day. This holiday, properly understood and celebrated with all of its fun trappings, can be a way for us to deepen our understanding of faith.