Is God behind all suffering here on earth

At Bijbelvorsers, vereniging voor Bijbelstudie – Bible Scholars, Association for Bible study on June 29, 2011 at 9:42 am was written by Bible scholar Marcus Ampe. Until 2014, December 22 it got 400 viewings

Often we do find people saying it is a vengeance of God when people suffer. By earthquakes, tsunamis and other disasters they like to warn people that it is a penalty from God and that they should change their way of life.

The central character of the Book of Job, Job (Arabic: أيّوب, Ayyūb‎), as portrayed by Bonnat

In the ancient Hebrew writing The Book of Job we can find a story of the suffering Job and the attempted explanation of these events by his friends. But at the end we also do get to know God’s answer. This is so much different from what lots of people do want us to believe.

In some Christian denomination the preachers even do focus on the terror. They proclaim that it is God who punishes the evil doers. And because the people do such wrong they and their environment has to undergo all the suffering.

If that was not enough they even tell those people that after all the suffering on this earth it shall not be finished. God shall punish them even more. (That is what they tell them.) Those preachers say that those evildoers are going to be tortured for ever after they die. They present them a picture of a hell, which is going to be a torture room full of fire for all those people who sinned veraciously. They want to give the others, who did some little sins, some hope, and present that they also have to face some extra punishment, but that will only happen for a short time in the purgatory.

But as you shall see when you read the Book of Books,  the Bible, you shall be able to come to the conclusion that this is not the truth they are telling. They do the same thing as the friends of Job and try to mislead the people who have trust in them.

In the world around us we are able to find believers and non-believers. People who do good and people who do wrong. Those who do bad things have mostly the opportunity to be confronted with more problems than those who do good. But do not make the mistake, that the ones who do good shall have it always good. No, also they can become confronted with a lot of badness and have to suffer a lot. Their doing good is no free way to have a life without problems.

Perhaps you think it being righteous that everything goes well with such people who do good. But you’ll notice that the world does not turn like that. Everywhere you look you shall be able to find good an bad things.

Throughout the history of humankind we found a lot of troubles coming over people who had nothing to do with it. Wars seem to be insurmountable. History books have pages over battles between different people. Those battles brought a lot of pain to many people. But it are not only such big events which can bring pain to humans or animals. Even the flora world came and still comes into problems many times

Job's Evil Dreams (illustration)

Job’s Evil Dreams (illustration) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the Book of Books, the Bible, we can find a Guide Book to Life and a Guide to our Suffering. Each of those Books in that Library can give us the the power to change. We can find the history of humankind but especially also the history of the chosen people, who wanted to stay under the wings of their Creator, the Only One God.

It is normal that when we live that we wonder what on earth we are doing here. It is not so weird to question the reason of us being here and to think about what we have to do or to think about what is expected and by whom here on earth.
Would there be a reason to be here, and to go through all those problems to grow up, to get a job, a way of living, etcetera.

Do you know there is a Higher Being who took care that we can find the answers to many life questions? His Words are written down by patient scriptors who opened up a world of knowledge which had first to be brought over verbally, then written on tablets, later scrolls and at last found a better way to got multiplied so that They could become available to as many interested persons as possible. Thanks to Gutenberg and many Biblestudents the Words of God became spread over the whole world and were put against the human teachings of several persons and institutions which proclaimed being spokesmen of God.

But be careful, as you shall be able to see in the book of Job, those so called friends can bring misleading messages and even can tell you things which are not according the Truth. Therefore we always have to listen carefully but also look at their sayings and compare them with other sayings or with reactions on their words.

Also in the book of Job we get to hear at first many things about God, which seem to be very acceptable. Some denominations use those words of the friends quite often to tell their story of the picture. But they forget to bring into attention the lost chapter of that Book, when God gives His reply to Job and his three friends. For some people that chapter does not give them the satisfying answers, but their at least we get the real answer from God who we do have to believe.

The bible is full of examples of difficulties people had to encounter. But the Book of Job is in a certain special, because it treats the subject of Suffering in particular.

We can find a more than blessed man who had at first nothing to complain of. But at a finger click everything can change quickly. Such a wealthy man got pulled down under until he did not see any light any more. Though he considered himself as a man of God he did not see any use any more to live longer. He just wanted that his life would come to an end soon, because he had enough of all those problems.

As in the other stories of the assemblage of scriptures we can find an example of a person in need who can not be helped by his friends. We get to see that man is not always the right guide nor able to help sufficiently. Perhaps people can give us wrong advice. But we may find that there are also others who sincerely try to help us but who are also not always able to bring the right solution.

In the Holy Scriptures we do find on several places One Helper who always came back into the picture. Several people were helped by Him and it is not because we do not seem to get any answers or signs from Him this day that He would not be around us. Job also thought that God had abounded Him. Do you think at certain moments that God has left you? Do you think God would leave you on your own?

Look very carefully around you and you shall be able to see the Hand of God. He is there at places where you would not expect Him.

Today we can have the opportunity to find God His Words at our coffee-table. The only thing is that we do have to take the Book and have to open it and read it. Without reading it we are not going to get as much answers as God is willing to give to us. Also in our time of affliction He is there to guide us, but we do have to want to see His stretched out arm. Let Him carry you through the storms.

The Bible is not just a book from and for the old days. It still can be very very useful. Also today we find a lot of people who are wrongly accused of something. More and more we can find people being bullied. This often because they dare to be different or to do good. It is as if today the world does not like people who want to be goodhearted. Working hard and doing what is expected from you by the higher ones is being looked at as being week. The world today does not like to have people who want to live according to rules, morals and ethics, and they prefer to scum them.

In case we have to face problems it can be good to look at the problems of some one else like Job.

Let us be aware that everything we have to undergo in this life can be a learning experience. Even from the moments we do not like we can learn. We also can learn from suffering. The experience of the pain, having to face problems can bring us to moments to look for solutions and give us the chance to grow stronger.

I do agree than we have to make a big shift in our attitude how to look at that suffering. But we should be able to manage.

The Book of Job can be a very good teaching tool for us to make a new start or to find new ways to dope with our suffering and with all the problems which seem to be too much for us.

Therefore I would like to advice you to take that Old Book at hand and to read it. Perhaps my Bible Study I wrote on our ecclesia site can help you to go through it and to see solutions to your own situation.

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Please do find out in the Bible Study at the Christadelphian Ecclesia Brussel-Leuven.

  1. Bad things no punishment from God
  2. Profitable disasters
  3. Facing disaster fatigue
  4. Fragments from the Book of Job #1: chapters 1-12
  5. Fragments from the Book of Job #2: chapters 12-20
  6. Fragments from the Book of Job #3: chapters 21-26
  7. Fragments from the Book of Job #4: chapters 27-31
  8. Fragments from the Book of Job #5: chapters 32-37
  9. Fragments from the Book of Job #6: chapters 38-42
  10. Fragments from the Book of Job #7 Epilogue
  11. Let us recognise how great God is

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Additional reading:

  1. A world in denial
  2. Why Think There Is a God? (3): Why Is It Wrong?
  3. Philosophy hand in hand with spirituality
  4. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #15 Exposition before the Creator
  5. A risk taking society
  6. Securing risks
  7. God does not change
  8. יהוה , YHWH and Love: Four-letter words
  9. Bad things no punishment from God
  10. I Can’t Believe That … (2) God would allow children to suffer
  11. Science, belief, denial and visibility 2
  12. Fragments from the Book of Job #3: chapters 21-26
  13. Newsweek asks: How ignorant are you?
  14. We are ourselves responsible
  15. Weekly World Watch 24th – 30th Oct 2010‏
  16. Reacting to Disasters
  17. Certainty in a troubled world
  18. Tragic coach crash in the Swiss Alps
  19. If there is bitterness in the heart
  20. A great man does not lose his self-possession when he is afflicted
  21. The blessing of a broken leg
  22. Signs of the Last Days
  23. National Natural Disaster and Bible Prophecy
  24. I Only hope we find GOD again before it is too late !
  25. Just be yourself…
  26. What happens when we die?
  27. All Souls’ Day
  28. Fear and protection
  29. Bible a guide – Bijbel als gids
  30. Finish each day and be done with it

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  • The Secret Book of Job (npr.org)
    the tornado went away. Wait, wait – the things the tornado said came to pass. My harvest was bountiful. My flock stretched out like the sea. My wife, she gave me more children, 10 sons. And once again, she held her head high in the marketplace, servants trailing after her. And only I heard her sobs at night.
  • ‘The Norton Anthology of World Religions: Volume II’ (rss.nytimes.com)
    the selected Jewish writings show that contrary to some popular assumptions, religion does not offer unsustainable certainty. The biblical story of the binding of Isaac leaves us with hard questions about Abraham’s God, and later, when Moses asks this baffling deity for his name, he simply answers: “Ehyeh-Asher-Ehyeh”, which can be roughly translated: “Never mind who I am!” The Book of Job finds no answer to the problem of human suffering, and Ecclesiastes dismisses human life as “utter futility.” This bleak honesty finds its ultimate expression in Elie Wiesel’s proclamation of the death of God in Auschwitz.
  • The Norton Anthology of World Religions (3quarksdaily.com)
    At a time when religious faith is coming under intense scrutiny, “The Norton Anthology of World Religions” is presenting a documentary history of six major faiths with sufficient editorial explanation to make their major texts intelligible across the barriers of time and space. – See more at: http://www.3quarksdaily.com/3quarksdaily/2014/12/the-norton-anthology-of-world-religions.html#sthash.msely1Oh.dpuf

     

  • Leviathan wins best film award at IFFI in Goa (in.rbth.com)
    The film is a modern reworking of the biblical book of Job. It is set on a Barents Sea peninsula and tells the story of a man who struggles against a corrupt mayor who wants his piece of land. 
  • In One of William Blake’s Final Works, the Engraved Trials of an Unfortunate Soul (hyperallergic.com)
    When his younger brother died of tuberculosis in 1787, the Metropolitan Museum of Art explains, Blake “reported discovering his wholly original method of ‘relief etching’ — which creates a single, raised printing surface for both text and image — in a vision of Robert soon after his death.” This technique also meant he had total control over his books, even if it involved incredible patience, including writing backwards onto the plates for the types of dense borders that are part of the Illustrations of the Book of Job.
  • Is Atheism a Specifically Western Phenomenon? (the-american-interest.com)
    dam Garfinkle, the editor of The American Interest, asked me this question. He told me that he had met a Saudi who claimed to be an atheist: What does this mean? We know atheism in its Jewish or Christian context, as a rejection of the Biblical God. What would atheism mean in a Muslim, or Hindu, or Buddhist context?
  • Russian film Leviathan nominated for Golden Globe awards (tass.ru)
    A 2014 Russian drama film Leviathan directed by Andrey Zvyagintsev has been nominated for the Golden Globe’s Best Foreign Language Film.
  • Wrestling with the Big Questions: A Day In Job at LICC (bibleandmission.redcliffe.org)
    The book of Job speaks a compelling word of honesty and hope into the deepest and most difficult of human experiences. Job’s story of suffering and the process he goes through with his comforters and with God is just as relevant for Christians and local churches today as we wrestle with our own questions and the questions of those around us.

All Souls’ Day

All Souls’ Day, in the Roman Catholic Church, is a day for commemoration of all the faithful departed, those baptised Christians who are believed to be in purgatory (from the Latin word, purgatio, which means purification), where according to Roman Catholic belief the souls of people who die are made pure through suffering before going to heaven. According the Catholics because they have died with the guilt of lesser sins on their souls they still have to undergo punishment for that.

File:Halloween Bangladesh.jpg

Bangladeshi girl lighting grave candles on the headstone of a deceased relative in the city of Chittagong for the observance of Allhallowtide. While she is doing this, her mother is praying for their passed relative. In the background, there are other Bangladeshi Christians hanging garlands on cross shaped grave stones.

All Souls’ is celebrated on November 2, or November 3 if November 2 is Sunday. Catho­lic doctrine holds that the prayers of the faith­ful on earth will help cleanse these souls in or­der to fit them for the vision of God in heav­en. According to them when enough people prayed for their souls they shall be able to leave the a place or state of temporary suffering or misery. From this the ‘Practice of souling‘ was at certain times very popular and is still kept in tradition in many European regions. The Celtic practice to buy protection from the gods and spirits was taken over by the Roman Catholic Church and in many countries it is still practised on the same night as the Celt and Druids did, October the 31st (Halloween) and on the two days after that night where spirits could damage the living souls. Those who were not harmed on the night of the death (All Hallows’ Eve) had to pray to the gods and dead to thank them for their protection.

On All Hallows’ Eve, certain Christians in some parts of the world visit graveyards to pray and place flowers and candles on the graves of their loved ones.

Though in life being protected against evil, punishment for the evil done or for the remaining sins, including unforgiven venial sins or forgiven mortal sins had to be undergone by the deceased by those spirits and devils who would temporarily torture the deceased to make him or her come to senses and to repent. Souls burdened by such sins must be purified before entering heaven, the dwelling place of God or the gods and the abode of the blessed dead, according to Catholic belief. The Catholic church also teaches that souls in purgatory may be aided by efforts of the living faithful through prayers, almsgiving, indulgences, and other works. In their teaching the curia from Rome saw an opportunity to gain a lot of money; They could enrich themselves by frightening the people with a damnation in hell or  in purgatory if they did not provided the church with enough gifts. To remember them enough of their duties to purify them and to guaranty themselves a place in heaven it was customary for criers dressed in black to parade the streets, ringing a bell of mournful sound and calling on all good Christians to remember the poor souls. “Souling”, the custom of baking and sharing soul cakes for all christened souls has been suggested as the origin of trick-or-treating. It was against this practice that Martin Luther protested. According to him and us God can not be bribed and it is not because people have lots of money they would receive a better place in God’s Kingdom if they pay more to the church. Poor people have as much chance or it could be even more easy to enter the Kingdom of God than those with a lot of wealth.

In many churches people were asked to give enough for the church to proof to God their faith. – Collecting the Offering in a Scottish Kirk by John Phillip

The existence of purgatory has been denied as unbiblical by Protestant churches and most Eastern Orthodox churches but many protestant denomination make their faithful afraid of hell; When the parishioners do not give enough to the church they perhaps would not come into a purgatory, but worse would (according to them) end up in hell were they would be burning and tortured for eternally. In many churches it is practice to go around in every service to collect money from the people present in church. when there is not enough money collected often they come to hear it next time with a sermon were is spoken of the necessary tithe (giving 10% of your gross income to the church)(from the old ordinal numeral in English, coming from a prehistoric West Germanic form *tehuntha-, formed from the cardinal numeral *tehun, “ten,” and the same ordinal suffix that survives in Modern English as -th) and the necessity to express their faith by giving enough to the church. They may claim it is based on tithing rules in the Bible were based on the Old Testament writings and habits, but forget that is was based specifically on the religious and social system of ancient Israel and on an agricultural economy before Jesus Christ installed the New Covenant. With the instalment of that covenant the old laws were made redundant. Lots of protestant teachers agree that the death of Christ made an end to the restrictions by the 613 laws which can be found in the Hebrew Bible or Old Testament. Also Messianic Christians do want to keep to the Sabbath rule and tithing, the requirements of Hebrews under the Old Covenant. But today they do not see it necessary to have circumcision, limitation of not eating pork or having kosher meals, or not mixing different natural fabrics (like not wearing wool and cotton together) so why, one might wonder, do pastors hit on this law of tithing as the one that should still be carried over? If people say they have to keep to the old laws than they must keep to all the old laws and can not just omit the ones which they consider not favourable for themselves.

A lot of Christian preachers by the protestant denominations, though they say not to believe in purgatory also preach a lot of the ‘catharsis‘ and pain which may come over people when they not tithe enough. some may say people do not to give the ten percent of their income (or money they gather from labour, investment) or production donated to a religious institution. Historically, one could pay a tithe in cash or in kind. In a few jurisdictions, tithes are enforced by law. More broadly, a tithe may refer to a religious donation, even if it is less than 10% of one’s income

The word purgatory as such, is not found in the Bible, though variations of katharsis, the Greek equivalent of purgatio, can be found (e.g., katharoi, Matt 5:8, and katharismou, 2 Pet. 1:9). Church fathers such as Augustine (354–430) found support for purgatory in 2 Maccabees 12:43–46, a passage (not considered canonical by Protestants) that mentions an expiatory sacrifice offered in the temple to atone for the sins of Jewish soldiers who died wearing pagan amulets. The inference is that there is expiation or means by which atonement is made for some sins after death.

The theology of indulgences is based on the concept that, even though the sin and its eternal punishment are forgiven through penance, divine justice demands that the sinner pay for the crime either in this life or in purgatory. The first indulgences were intended to shorten times of penance by substituting periods of fasting, private prayers, almsgiving, and monetary payments that were to be used for religious purposes. Pope Urban II granted the first plenary, or absolute, indulgence to participants in the First Crusade, and subsequent popes offered indulgences on the occasion of the later Crusades. After the 12th century they were more widely used, and abuses became common as indulgences were put up for sale to earn money for the church or to enrich unscrupulous clerics. Jan Hus opposed them, and Martin Luther‘s Ninety-five Theses (1517) were in part a protest against indulgences. In 1562 the Council of Trent put an end to the abuses but not to the doctrine itself.

From antiquity certain days were devoted to intercession for particular groups of the dead. The institution of a day for a general interces­sion on November 2 is due to Odilo, abbot of Cluny (10° century). The date, which became practically universal before the end of the 1 3th century, was chosen to follow All Saints’ Day. Having celebrated the feast of all the members of the church who are believed to be in heaven, the church on earth turns, on the next day, to commemorate those souls be­lieved to be suffering in purgatory for making atonement or to come to reconciliation between God and themselves.

Photo from Robert Bryndza’s site its article Slovakia Celebrates The Day Of The Dead

On All Souls’ Day (in the Roman Catholic Church) black vestments are worn, the office of the day is that of the dead, and the Roman liturgy permits every priest to celebrate three re­quiem masses (for their repose), one for the intention of the celebrant himself, one for all the faithful de­parted, and one for the intention of the pope. In many Catholic countries relatives visit the graves and place chrysanthemums and lighted candles on them. The feast was abolished in the Church of En­gland at the Reformation hut has been re­vived in Anglo-Catholic churches. Chrysanthemums are also traditionally put on graves during the Buddhist festival week of Higan, which comes twice a year for the spring and autumn equinoxes.

Graves with chrysanthemums

Graves with chrysanthemums

In Belgium, Austria, Slovakia, and a.o. France in the weeks before Allerheiligen or Toussaint (All Saints) and Allerzielen or Jour des Morts (All Souls/Day of the dead) the activity in the graveyards increase daily and on November the 1st and the 2nd it is running over the heads. People evidently plan ahead in order to avoid the rush. Fresh pots of flowers are brought and old pots are taken away, and the graves are cleaned with soap and hard brush. Children have one week of so often they have to go to the graveyards to do the preparatory cleaning work. On the public holiday roads gets cramped around village centres and graveyards all people wanting to great their beloved departed and families come together, often in the household of the oldest, to remember their ancestors. This time of year everywhere you can see many-fold chrysanthemums in bursts of all sorts colours: whites, yellows, purples and bronzed reds. Because chrysanthemums have become associated with dying and death,they are not so much given as a gift in France or other Catholic countries – not even in bouquets among other cut flowers.

Photo from “Slovakia Celebrates The Day Of The Dead” by Robert Bryndza

In the run-up to All Saints chrysanthemum sellers take over the pavements outside the cemeteries, brightening dull autumn days with yards of pavement covered in a full spectrum of opulent colour. At some graves it looks like a competition is going on of who can have the greatest and the most chrysanthemums on the grave. It is like people have to make it good they did not spend any time to keep the sepulchre nice in the rest of the year.

Atheists instituted November 11, the day of armistice of World War I in 1918, to have a public commemoration for the dead.

According to the Holy Scriptures or the Bible, when people die their life comes to an end and everything is finished. They will not be able to take anything with them in the grave. Others might put things in the coffin or in the sepulchre, but the deceased shall not be able to do anything with it. Human beings were not created to die but to live, though by the sin of the first man death came over mankind. The wrongdoing of man brings death over him.

“4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: 5 for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as {1} God, knowing good and evil. {1) Or [gods]}” (Genesis 3:4-5 ASV)

“And Jehovah God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, cursed art thou {1} above all cattle, and {1} above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: {1) Or [from among]}” (Genesis 3:14 ASV)

“Man, that is born of a woman, Is of few days, and full of trouble.” (Job 14:1 ASV)

“{1} Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one. {1) Or [Oh that a clean thing could come out of an unclean! not one] can.}” (Job 14:4 ASV)

“For as in Adam all die, so also in {1} Christ shall all be made alive. {1) Gr [the Christ]}” (1 Corinthians 15:22 ASV)

All shall have to face death. Every day we can be reminded to what can happen to each creature, having only a limited time to live. so we better make use of this time when we are still concious of what can happen and of what we can do to earn a better life than this in the present time. god has given the free gift of grace by His son who was willing to do only the Will of his heavenly Father, and therefore is accepted by the Only One God as a mediator between God and man.

 “For the wages of sin is death; but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23 ASV)

“but when the fulness of the time came, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman, born under the law,” (Galatians 4:4 ASV)

“30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found {1} favor with God. {1) Or [grace]} 31 And behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. 32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Most High: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: 33 and he shall reign over the house of Jacob {1} for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. {1) Gr [unto the ages]} 34 And Mary said unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? 35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee: wherefore also {1} the holy thing which is begotten {2} shall be called the Son of God. {1) Or [that which is to be born shall be called holy, the Son of God] 2) Some ancient authorities insert [of thee]}” (Luke 1:30-35 ASV)

“21  Now it came to pass, when all the people were baptized, that, Jesus also having been baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened, 22 and the Holy Spirit descended in a bodily form, as a dove, upon him, and a voice came out of heaven, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased. 23 And Jesus himself, when he began [to teach], was about thirty years of age, being the son (as was supposed) of Joseph, the [son] of Heli,” (Luke 3:21-23 ASV)

“5 Have this mind in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 who, existing in the form of God, counted not the being on an equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, taking the form of a {1} servant, {2} being made in the likeness of men; {1) Gr [bondservant] 2) Gr [becoming in]} 8 and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, becoming obedient [even] unto death, yea, the death of the cross.” (Philippians 2:5-8 ASV)

“But we behold him who hath been made {1} a little lower than the angels, [even] Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that by the grace of God he should taste of death for every [man]. {1) Or [for a little while lower]}” (Hebrews 2:9 ASV)

“Since then the children are sharers in {1} flesh and blood, he also himself in like manner partook of the same; that through death he {2} might bring to nought him that {3} had the power of death, that is, the devil; {1) Gr [blood and flesh]; Eph 6:12. 2) Or [may] 3) Or [hath]}” (Hebrews 2:14 ASV)

“Wherefore it behooved him in all things to be made like unto his brethren, that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.” (Hebrews 2:17 ASV)

“in whom we have our redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,” (Ephesians 1:7 ASV)

“For there is one God, one mediator also between God and men, [himself] man, Christ Jesus,” (1 Timothy 2:5 ASV)

“11 according to the {1} eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: {1) Gr [purpose of the ages]} 12 in whom we have boldness and access in confidence through {1} our faith in him. {1) Or [the faith of him]}” (Ephesians 3:11-12 ASV)

“1  Being therefore justified {1} by faith, {2} we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ; {1) Gr [out of] 2) Many ancient authorities read [let us have]} 2 through whom also we have had our access {1} by faith into this grace wherein we stand; and {2} we {3} rejoice in hope of the glory of God. {1) Some ancient authorities omit [by faith] 2) Or [let us rejoice] 3) Gr [glory]; Ro 5:11; Heb 3:6}” (Romans 5:1-2 ASV)

When we die we have paid for our sins, so not other contribution or penalty shall have to be paid. Under the blood of Christ we are sanctified, and when we repent for what we have done wrong, we shall be saved by the cleansing offer of Jesus. No other ransom shall be necessary.

All are thinking and handling shall come to an end when we die.

“His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; In that very day his {1} thoughts perish. {1) Or [purposes]}” (Psalms 146:4 ASV)

When we are alive we still have a voice, which we can use for the good; let us use it for praising God and showing others His Grace, making sure He will like us and bless us.

“For Jehovah taketh pleasure in his people: He will beautify the meek with {1} salvation. {1) Or [victory]}” (Psalms 149:4 ASV)

That we remember that all those who die shall return to the earth and become nothing but dust and that it is when we live that we should take care of our soul. Later it would be too late.

“His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; In that very day his {1} thoughts perish. {1) Or [purposes]}” (Psalms 146:4 ASV)

“Her house is the way to Sheol, Going down to the chambers of death.” (Proverbs 7:27 ASV)

“See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil;” (Deuteronomy 30:15 ASV)

“I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that I have set before thee life and death, the blessing and the curse: therefore choose life, that thou mayest live, thou and thy seed;” (Deuteronomy 30:19 ASV)

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue; And they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” (Proverbs 18:21 ASV)

“Sheol {the grave} and {1} Abaddon are before Jehovah: How much more then the hearts of the children of men! {1) Or [Destruction]}” (Proverbs 15:11 ASV)

“10 There shall not be found with thee any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, one that useth divination, one that practiseth augury, or an enchanter, or a sorcerer, 11 or a charmer, or a consulter with a familiar spirit, or a wizard, or a necromancer. 12 For whosoever doeth these things is an abomination unto Jehovah: and because of these abominations Jehovah thy God doth drive them out from before thee.” (Deuteronomy 18:10-12 ASV)

“1  Better is the poor that walketh in his integrity Than he that is perverse in his lips and is a fool. 2  Also, {1} that the soul be without knowledge is not good; And he that hasteth with his feet {2} sinneth. {1) Or [desire without knowledge is not good] 2) Or [misseth] his way}…  7 All the brethren of the poor do hate him: How much more do his friends go far from him! {1} He pursueth [them with] words, [but] they are gone. {1) Or [He pursueth after words,] which [are nought]} 8  He that getteth {1} wisdom loveth his own soul: He that keepeth understanding shall find good. {1) Heb [heart]} … . 16 He that keepeth the commandment keepeth his soul; [But] he that {1} is careless of his ways shall die. {1) Heb [despiseth]} … 21 There are many devices in a man’s heart; But the counsel of Jehovah, that shall stand. … 23  The fear of Jehovah [tendeth] to life; And he [that hath it] shall abide satisfied; He shall not be visited with evil. 24 The sluggard burieth his hand in the dish, And will not so much as bring it to his mouth again. 25  Smite a scoffer, and the simple will learn prudence; And reprove one that hath understanding, [and] he will understand knowledge. 26  He that doeth violence to his father, and chaseth away his mother, Is a son that causeth shame and bringeth reproach. 27  Cease, my son, to hear instruction [Only] to err from the words of knowledge. 28  A worthless witness mocketh at justice; And the mouth of the wicked swalloweth iniquity. 29  Judgments are prepared for scoffers, And stripes for the back of fools.” (Proverbs 19:1-29 ASV)

“in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” (Genesis 3:19 ASV)

“and the dust returneth to the earth as it was, and the spirit returneth unto God who gave it.” (Ecclesiastes 12:7 ASV)

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References:

Rogers, Nicholas (2001). Halloween: From Pagan Ritual to Party Night. Oxford University Press. pp. 28–30. ISBN 0-19-514691-3.

“Halloween”. Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica.

Micropaedia Volume I, p 259-260; The New Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1980

Macropaedia Volume 5, p . 537; The New Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1980

Preceding articles:

  1. Autumn traditions for 2014 – 1: Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet
  2. Autumn traditions for 2014 – 2 Summersend and mansend
  3. Autumn traditions for 2014 – 3 Black Mass, Horror spectacles and pure puritans
  4. Autumn traditions for 2014 – 4 Blasphemy and ridiculing faith in God
  5. All Saints’ Day

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Find also to read:

  1. What happens when we die?
  2. Fear and protection
  3. Being Religious and Spiritual 5 Gnostic influences
  4. Expenses, costs – Onkosten, uitgaven
  5. Contribution – Contributie, bijdrage
  6. Ransom for all

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Also of interest:

  1. Purgatory a place for moral and spiritual purification
  2. Purgatory (pûrg´ətôr´ē) [Lat.,=place of purging], in the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church, the state after death in which the soul destined for heaven is purified
  3. Where is the great Beyond?
  4. Eternal Laws of Creation #1………an intro!
  5. Paradise, the First Sin, the Fiery Sword, and the Path to Rectification
  6. My Path: A Walk Through Heaven and Hell, Samsara, and Bliss: Some Poems
  7. Realms, Roots and Mind: How the Triune Brain Model Verifies and Explains the Six Realms, and Shows How Thought Patterns Define Reality
  8. Tsimshian Shamanism and Mahamudra Chöd: a Brief Comparative Analysis
  9. The end point of faith
  10. The implication of rejecting the gospel
  11. The significance of Christ’s death for humanity
  12. Purity, a Necessity
  13. Jesus Balm of Gilead
  14. Temples, Tithes, and Taxes: The Temple and the Economic Life of Ancient Israel
  15. Parishes, Tithes and Society in Earlier Medieval Poland, C. 1100-C. 1250
  16. Who Benefited from Tithe Revenues in Late-Renaissance Bresse?
  17. When did “tithing” come to mean “giving 10% of your gross income to the Church”?
  18. Call to Tithe Often Misinterpreted; Devout Should Give as Proof of Worship
  19. Must Christians give ten percent of their income to the church?
  20. What Does the Bible Say About the Tithe or Tithing?
  21. Are Christians Required to Give 10% of Their Income to the Church?
  22. When Creditors Come Calling: Refunding Tithes and Offerings
  23. Chrysanthemums and All Souls’ Day
  24. Imports of chrysanthemums for adorning graves reach fever pitch
  25. The Flower of Death
  26. A French cemetery at Toussaint: chrysanthemums and yearning
  27. All Saints’ Day in France
  28. Slovakia Celebrates The Day Of The Dead

 

Quality control: Traders on Wednesday check on chrysanthemums imported from Malaysia in Narita, Chiba Prefecture. | Kyodo

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On other WordPress sites:

  1. The Fright Industry
  2. 13 Days to Halloween
  3. Excellence Autumn Events
  4. Is Halloween a Christian holiday?
  5. Factoid About Halloween
  6. Halloween – A Poem
  7. Celebrating Life by Mocking Death? Or, Why I Think Dia de los Muertos is Awesome
  8. Lesley’s Lagniappe ~ 10-14-14
  9. 26.14 – the 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time
  10. All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day Project – Coming Up This Week!!
  11. All Saints Day
  12. All Saints’ Day, Holy Day of Obligation
  13. All Saints’ Day is Today’s Religious topic of the Day (08/25/14)
  14. All Saints Day and advice for the young at heart
  15. “Death Becomes Her” and Other October Musings
  16. Pentecost +15A, Proper 20 A: Sep. 21
  17. Pentecost +15A, Proper 20 A: Sep. 21
  18. All Saints Sunday or Pentecost +21A, Proper 25A: Nov. 2
  19. All Saints’ Day (or Sunday nearest Nov. 1) Year A
  20. All Saints Day (or Sunday): Nov. 1 (Oct. 28 or Nov. 4) (for year B)
  21. All Saints’ Day/Sunday C: Nov. 1 or 3
  22. Preparing for All Saints’ Day/Sunday Celebration
  23. Hymn for All Saints’ Day
  24. All Saints Day / All Souls Day
  25. All Souls’ Day
  26. All Souls Day: Prayer for the Departed
  27. Engravers Prepare for All Soul’s Day
  28. Food for Thought from Julian of Norwich
  29. Making art in honor of Day of the Dead
  30. A DIY Prayerbook for All Saints’ Day
  31. Festivals in Peru
  32. Unity of Ukiah Presents All Souls’ Eve Open Mic
  33. One Stop Dia de los Muertos Shop
  34. The Memory Of You

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  • A list of false teachings in the Roman Catholic { so called } Church | Catholic errors | Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry : The Whore Of Babylon Is The Vatican. (christianspooksite.wordpress.com)
    the Church, to whom the transmission and interpretation of Revelation is entrusted, does not derive her certainty about all revealed truths from the holy Scriptures alone. Both Scripture and Tradition must be accepted and honored with equal sentiments of devotion and reverence‘.”
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    CCC 2010, “Moved by the Holy Spirit and by charity, we can then merit for ourselves and for others the graces needed for our sanctification.”
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    Purgatory

    1. CCC 1031, “The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned. The Church formulated her doctrine of faith on Purgatory especially at the Councils of Florence and Trent. The tradition of the Church, by reference to certain texts of Scripture, speaks of a cleansing fire:
    2. CCC 1475, “In the communion of saints, “a perennial link of charity exists between the faithful who have already reached their heavenly home, those who are expiating their sins in purgatory and those who are still pilgrims on earth. Between them there is, too, an abundant exchange of all good things.” In this wonderful exchange, the holiness of one profits others, well beyond the harm that the sin of one could cause others. Thus recourse to the communion of saints lets the contrite sinner be more promptly and efficaciously purified of the punishments for sin.
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      Indulgences

      1. CCC 1471, “The doctrine and practice of indulgences in the Church are closely linked to the effects of the sacrament of Penance. What is an indulgence? ‘An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain prescribed conditions through the action of the Church which, as the minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the saints.’ ‘An indulgence is partial or plenary according as it removes either part or all of the temporal punishment due to sin.’ The faithful can gain indulgences for themselves or apply them to the dead.”
      2. CCC 1478, “An indulgence is obtained through the Church who, by virtue of the power of binding and loosing granted her by Christ Jesus, intervenes in favor of individual Christians and opens for them the treasury of the merits of Christ and the saints to obtain from the Father of mercies the remission of the temporal punishments due for their sins. Thus the Church does not want simply to come to the aid of these Christians, but also to spur them to works of devotion, penance, and charity.
      3. CCC 1498, “Through indulgences the faithful can obtain the remission of temporal punishmentresulting from sin for themselves and also for the souls in Purgatory.”
      4. CCC 1472, ” . . . On the other hand every sin, even venial, entails an unhealthy attachment to creatures, which must be purified either here on earth, or after death in the state called Purgatory. This purification frees one from what is called the “temporal punishment” of sin…”
  • The subject of “Purgatory” (celticcrossministry.wordpress.com)
    Folks below you will find a conversation on the topic of “Life after Death” also a place known to many billions of Catholic’s as “Purgatory”. No, not the Western Movie by the same name but, rather the space and place between the Pearly gates and the gates of Hell. Hence known as Purgatory.
  • Chapter 39-Death and the Soul’s Immortality (reformedontheweb.wordpress.com)
    The death of the wicked is easily accounted for. It constitutes a part of the penalty of sin, to which, the Scriptures teach, all men are liable (Rom. 5:12, 14; 1 Cor. 15:21, 22, 53-56), but from which, as such, the people of God are exempted because Christ has redeemed then from the curse of the law. The “death of the saint” instead of being accursed, is “precious in the sight of the Lord,” (Ps. 116:15), and this because he has redeemed them. Ps. 72:14. His death is a death “unto the Lord.” Rom. 14:8. Death is his. 1 Cor. 3:22. Its sting has been removed. 1 Cor. 15:56. But no one of these things is true of the wicked. He has neglected, or rejected the offer of salvation through Christ Jesus. There is no other method of escape from the penalty; and it rests upon him in all it fulness.It is not so easy to account for the death of the righteous. As he is no longer liable to the penalty of sin, there is no legal ground upon which he must endure death, and, because of which, he cannot be released. This is confirmed by the fact that some righteous have not died, and others will only be changed. But, while death may not thus be legally necessary, it may subserve many purposes in the gracious providence of God, and is, ordinarily, the best way for the Christian to attain the “change” for which he is destined. This should be believed even if it could in no respect be explained.
  • How to get to heaven – what are the ideas from the different religions? (altruistico.wordpress.com)
    There appear to be five major categories regarding how to get to heaven in the world’s religions. Most believe that hard work and wisdom will lead to ultimate fulfillment, whether that is unity with god (Hinduism, Buddhism, and Baha’i) or freedom and independence (Scientology, Jainism). Others, like Unitarianism and Wicca, teach the afterlife is whatever you want it to be, and salvation is a non-issue because the sin nature doesn’t exist. A few believe either the afterlife doesn’t exist or it’s too unknowable to consider.Derivatives of the worship of the Christian-Judeo God generally hold that faith in God and/or Jesus and the accomplishment of various deeds, including baptism or door-to-door evangelism, will ensure the worshiper will go to heaven. Only Christianity teaches that salvation is a free gift of God through faith in Christ (Ephesians 2:8–9), and no amount of work or effort is necessary or possible to get to heaven.
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    According to Catholicism, upon death, the souls of those who rejected Christ are sent to hell. The souls of those who accepted Christ and performed sufficient acts to be purified of sin go to heaven. Those who died in faith but did not complete the steps to be purified are sent to purgatory where they undergo temporary, painful punishment until their souls are cleansed. Purification by torment may be lessened by suffering during life and the offerings and prayers of others on the sinner’s behalf. Once purification is complete, the soul may go to heaven.
  • On Books Again And Purgatory (supertradmum-etheldredasplace.blogspot.com)
    Another great book which demonstrates the necessity for purgation and the existence of purgatory is Hungry Souls, by Gerard J. M. Van Den Aardweg. For those who have visited the Museum of Purgatory in Rome, some of the stories would be familiar, as well as some of the photos.
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    One of the things I want to highlight is the repetition of the idea that in purgatory there is real fire. many priests, bishops and even recent popes have moved away from this idea in private or public statements which are not ex cathedra, not infallible statements.The fact that many saints and those to whom souls in purgatory have visited to ask for prayers speak of fire or are seen in fire is a fact that cannot be denied.
  • Reclaiming Halloween (catholicmom.com)
    God has given us a great gift with His Church.  The gift of the saints, united in communion with the Eucharist.  Saints on earth, saints undergoing their final purification in purgatory, and saints in heaven.  And in times of doubt, we ask those great saints in heaven to pray for us.  They are closest to God.  Their souls are pure.  They are the perfect intercessors for our needs.  They know exactly how to present our requests to the one mediator, Jesus Christ.
  • Books on the afterlife (renewamerica.com)
    What do you take to the afterlife? What’s important to God? What best gets you through the ‘narrow gate’? There can be no more important questions, and this new book, by Catholic author Michael H. Brown, is aimed at many of the answers – culled from Church teaching, near-death experiences, saints, and other sources, including apparitions of the Blessed Mother. Brown, author of the bestseller The Other Side delves deeply into the concept of ‘life review’ or judgment: how our lives are evaluated upon passing by the Lord and his angels; the way in which our time on earth is viewed by the Lord; and the crucial nature of discerning and fulfilling our individual missions….
  • The Credo of the People of God (vultus.stblogs.org)
    We believe that in Adam all have sinned, which means that the original offense committed by him caused human nature, common to all men, to fall to a state in which it bears the consequences of that offense, and which is not the state in which it was at first in our first parents–established as they were in holiness and justice, and in which man knew neither evil nor death. It is human nature so fallen, stripped of the grace that clothed it, injured in its own natural powers and subjected to the dominion of death, that is transmitted to all men, and it is in this sense that every man is born in sin. We therefore hold, with the Council of Trent, that original sin is transmitted with human nature, “not by imitation, but by propagation” and that it is thus “proper to everyone.”
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    We believe that the souls of all those who die in the grace of Christ whether they must still be purified in purgatory, or whether from the moment they leave their bodies Jesus takes them to paradise as He did for the Good Thief are the People of God in the eternity beyond death, which will be finally conquered on the day of the Resurrection when these souls will be reunited with their bodies.
  • What is Purgatory? (qwhatis.com)
    According to the Catholic doctrine, even righteous people cannot be regarded as having completely pure souls that are free of sin. Because Catholics believe that an individual cannot come before God unless he is entirely clean, people must spend some time in the purgatory in order for them to become purified.According to the teachings of the Catholic Church, God can still forgive venial sinners. Compared to mortal sins, venial sins are less severe. This type of sin refers to the slight breaking of God’s law and are commonly committed thoughtlessly, instead of deliberately. However, it is important to note that repeatedly committing venial sins can result to mortal sins.

Being Religious and Spiritual 5 Gnostic influences

Diagram of a Religious experience

Diagram of a Religious experience (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The religious and the spiritual person may be looking for certain experiences which can occur at several levels: physical, emotional, cognitive, pertaining to the mental processes of perception, memory, judgement, and reasoning, as contrasted with emotional and volitional processes, and transcendent. For the religious person there is the groups-feeling which shall be important to give him or her the appropriate feelings. The belonging to a community or parish shall fuse the personal feeling and the feeling of being part of something more than the self. The individual is not as such concerned about his individuality in the universe but more about his unit or union with others in the world. “Belonging to” is the feeding ground for the religious person.

The spiritual person is not so much connected to a reason to belong to a group or being part of a community or parish. The Self and especially the inner-self are the motives underlying his quest and behaviour. His or her search to the inner-self are the grounds for a quality that can infuse experience in a wide variety of settings. Spiritual experience can be both transcendent and immanent: it can be both an experience of transcending worldly concerns and an intense present-moment perception that the ground of all being permeates all things. for the individual it is not a groups matter but a personal and an intense aliveness and deep sense of understanding that one intuitively comprehends as having come from a direct, internal link with that mysterious principle which connects all aspects of the universe. In Christianity and Ecclesiastical Terms the immanence came to be the relation to the pantheistic conception of God, as being present throughout the universe. A person could come to a state where he or she could make himself or herself free from the limitations inherent in matter, becoming Theol (of God) having continuous existence outside the created world in a well-built relationship with the Most High Creator God or with a godly being.

In the 19th century several people became convinced that society and its institutions — particularly organized religion and political parties — ultimately corrupted the purity of the individual.

Among others New England congregationalists, rejected predestination, and they emphasized the unity instead of the trinity of God. The many people who had seen how in Europe the church had corrupted the real Truth of the Bible, the infallible Word of God, were also convinced the dogmatic teaching of a Tri-Une God, three persons coexisting consubstantially as one being or homoousia (consubstantialis), had brought man away form the commandments of God not to worship pictures or sculptures of any heavenly being nor of Him, the God of all things. The Gnostics were the first theologians to use the word “homoousios”, while before the Gnostics there is no trace at all of its existence. Jesus, who was placed by God on this earth, was well aware of his position, being lower than the heavenly beings (the angels) and his Father, without Him he could do nothing and who is the Most High of all.

“You* heard how that I said to you*, I go away and I am coming to you*. If you* loved* me, you* would have rejoiced, because I said, I am going to the Father: because the Father is greater than I.” (John 14:28 MLV)

“But Jesus answered them, My Father works until now and I work. (18)  Because of this, then the Jews sought even more to kill him, because he did not only break the Sabbath, but also called God his own Father, making himself equal with God.
(19)  Therefore Jesus answered and said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you*, The Son can do nothing from himself, unless he sees what the Father is doing: for* whatever things he does, the Son is also doing these things similarly. (20)  For* the Father loves the Son and shows him all things that himself does and greater works than these he will show him, that* you* may marvel. (21)  For* just-as the Father raises the dead and gives-life to them, even so the Son also gives-life to whom he wills. (22)  For* the Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son; (23)  that* all may honor the Son, just-as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son, does not honor the Father who sent him. ” (John 5:17-23 MLV)

Already soon after the rabbi Jesus his death, his disciples were confronted with teachers who twisted Jesus his words and his teachings and mixed them with the Greek-Roman culture of that time. Lots of theories of the Greek philosophers did find their way in the faith of many early Christians, though the apostles kept warning for such false teachings. (See the Acts of the apostles and the many letters to the different communities.) Jesus of Nazareth never required his followers, many ordinary craftsman or fisherman, to follow theologian studies. But those who brought in all those studies of philosophers wanted their followers to learn them thoroughly. Therefore they created special institutions where this mix of teachings could be learned. by the years more time was spent on the teachings of the philosophers than on the Words of God. The early church theologians were probably made aware of the Gnostic concept, and thus of the doctrine of emanation, by them. {Aloys Grillmeier, Christ in Christian Tradition, vol. 1, From the Apostolic Age to Chalcedon (451) (London: Mowbrays, 1975), p. 109.}

It was what so many spiritual people kept busy, finding substance between generating and generated, getting to the identity of substance between things generated of the same substance that brought several people away from the Biblical Truth, finding the early Gnostic religious teacher Basilides in Alexandria, Egypt who taught from 117–138 CE.
Basilides believed faith was merely

“an assent of the soul to any of the things which do not excite sensation, because they are not present”.

He also believed faith was a matter of “nature,” not of responsible choice, so that men would

“discover doctrines without demonstration by an intellective apprehension”. {St. Clement of Alexandria, Stromata Book ii. Chapter iii.}

Image of a fiery purgatory in the Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry

Because Basilides believed faith was a matter of nature, doubtlessly he pushed election so far as to sever a portion of mankind from the rest, as alone entitled by Divine decree to receive a higher enlightenment. In this sense it must have been that he called “the election a stranger to the world, as being by nature supermundane”. {St. Clement of Alexandria, Stromata Book iv. Chapter xxvi.} It was also this teacher who brought in that Jesus his death was not enough to get liberated of sin. According to such a teaching it denies the value of the sacrifice of Christ by who’s death we can be adopted as a child of God and be reconciled, having paid for our sins by our death. The idea was created that people only could receive ‘reconciliation’ when they belonged to the Roman Catholic Church and had received a sacrament in which repentant sinners are absolved and gained reconciliation with God and the Church. Basilides deprived men of a salutary fear by teaching that transmigrations are the only punishments after death. In later years many churches used purgatory and hell-fire to frighten the people and to get them in their system as angst-ridden followers. Many denomination used it as the big stick to keep people in their flock, also telling them they only could be saved and could come in heaven by being a member of their church. Today we still notice such a preventative measure against going astray or leaving that church still works. The fear of loosing their heavenly life makes that many people do not dare to question those theologian doom teachings. Because Basilides held to a fatalistic view of metempsychosis, he believed the Christian martyrs were being punished not for being Christians, but for sins they had committed in the past. This made that people became afraid to loose their life when they would keep on to the teachings of the apostles and early followers of Jesus, who took him as the son of God and not as god the son. Taking on the symbols and worship methods of the Greece-Roman culture made them one of them and would give them less reasons to be killed.

Lots of religious people took the sign of the god of evil Tamuz, the cross, as the sign of the death of their god. The Only One God can not die and never did have an end to His life which is eternal, meaning ‘with no beginning and no end’. Jesus had a beginning, his birth and an end, his death. The ones from the New World had seen how the European churches not only brought in false doctrines like the trinity, but resisted also many other Christian doctrines which had become considered conventional for the Christian Faith. Searchers for the truth like Joseph Priestley, one of the founders of the Unitarian movement, defined Unitarianism as the belief of primitive Christianity before later corruptions set in. Among these corruptions, lots of people had taken on several pagan rituals and had made them custom actions in their religious life.

Soho House in Handsworth, Birmingham, a regular venue for meetings of the Lunar Society

At Daventry, Priestley was sufficiently grounded in Latin and Greek to hold his own in subsequent disputes with university-trained scholars. He was more generally introduced to a range of subjects in natural philosophy, but more significantly, he was there formally instructed in logic and metaphysics. In Birmingham he became preacher at New Meeting House, one of the most liberal congregations in England, and was soon associated with the Lunar Society, an informal collection of provincial intellectuals, scientists, and industrialists. Taking the Bible as the main guide for his study about God to compare with the historical writings about Jesus and his followers, he became the chief propagandist and protagonist for Unitarian beliefs in England, writing annual defences against attack, and developing in various historical and polemical works (for example, An History of the Corruptions of Christianity [1782] and An History of Early Opinions concerning Jesus Christ [1786]) a rationalist theology that suggests, in some measure, the ideas of textual and “higher criticism” of the New Testament. In the eyes of the church establishment, he came to represent the intolerable encroachments of dissent, and on him was focused their theological and political animus. {Complete Dictionary of Scientific Biography, 2008} when he had to escape from conservative England he emigrated to the United States in 1794 where president John Adams and George Washington were welcoming his teachings and made him to feel at home.

Those people looking to save their life found in the religion preached by those theologians of the Old World could feel ways to feel at ease with the many traditional movements done by the people around them. Instead of abstaining them form those worldly actions they now could take part without hesitation and fear, being part of the world. For many it was quite easy now to be religious, because according to the teaching of the apostles and the non-trinitarians or unitarians, people themselves were responsible and had to make choices themselves to make sure they would be worthy salvation. In the gnostic and Roman Catholic Church and later in several protestant churches they could blame their faults to a devil, called Satan or Lucifer, and always could find penitence even when they kept doing the same bad things. In many cases churches were willing to accept money for pardoning.

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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

Next: Being Religious and Spiritual 6 Romantici, utopists and transcendentalists

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Read also:

  1. Idolatry or idol worship
  2. “Who is The Most High” ? Who is thee Eternal? Who is Yehovah? Who is God?
  3. God of gods
  4. Some one or something to fear #6 Faith in the Most High
  5. יהוה , YHWH and Love: Four-letter words
  6. Praise the most High Jehovah God above all
  7. Praise and give thanks to God the Most Highest
  8. Christ Versus the Trinity
  9. Altered to fit a Trinity
  10. Reasons that Jesus was not God
  11. Jesus begotten Son of God #13 Pre-existence excluding virginal birth of the Only One Transposed
  12. Through Christ’s death you can be adopted as a child of God
  13. Sharing thoughts and philosophical writings
  14. Morality, values and Developing right choices
  15. Science and God’s existence
  16. Seeing the world through the lens of his own experience
  17. Leaving the Old World to find better pastures
  18. Emotional pain and emotional deadness
  19. What happens when we die?
  20. Fear and protection
  21. Heavenly creatures do they exist
  22. Satan or the devil
  23. Satan the evil within

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Additional reading:

  1. Paradise, the First Sin, the Fiery Sword, and the Path to Rectification
  2. Fear
  3. All trust, no fear
  4. Trinity And Pagan Influence
  5. Trinity: A False Doctrine of a False Church
  6. Part 2) God is not a Trinity
  7. The Trinity: paganism or Christianity?
  8. Unitarianism and the Bible of the Holy Trinity

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  • A New Gnosticism (supertradmum-etheldredasplace.blogspot.com)
    Well, after several months of thought, and being a bit dense, I figured out that Christian Scientism was a new Gnosticism. I suppose other people have known this, but I have beenin discussion with a friend who is a Christian Scientist and it finally dawned on me. She thinks that all reason is empiricism, so that is a confusion immediately seen.To the Catholic, reason and faith are two pillars of our spiritual life.

    For the Gnostic, the material world is evil. God is not part of the material. What the CS does with Genesis, in which we read that God created the world and everything in it and saw that it was good.

    For the Catholic, creation was created good by a good God. For the Catholic, Christ was Incarnated, became Man, became material. The CS does not accept this. To them, God is a principle not a person.

  • Embracing the Body as a Spiritual Path. (elephantjournal.com)
    The belief from many traditions is that we suffer precisely because we identify with our bodies, and that freedom is (somehow) somewhere beyond that mistake. But what I found over the years is that in fact the opposite might be true: we suffer when we do not embrace our bodies, and in fact it is our suffering in the first place that makes us reject, disconnect from and seek to be somewhere other than our bodies.chakrasHealing lies in coming home to the body. Whether it is recovery from trauma, abuse or addiction, learning to manage stress and be present with feelings, or releasing shame and media-conditioning to embrace our bodies as they are.
  • Um, Since When Does Jesus Have Skeletons in His Closet?: A Research Paper on Christianity (Part 1) (kosmosys.wordpress.com)
    Gnosticism is known to have correlations with Christianity based on its status of heresy with the Roman Catholic Church. Without going into specifics just yet, one can assume that “correlations”,”similarities” mean concepts, persons, principles, histories, what have you. Another interesting (or troubling?) thing about Gnosticism is that it actually Predates Christianity, meaning that it was in existence Long before Christianity. The understanding of the term “heresy” (and we will officially define it later) is that it is a corruption or perversion of scripture already in existence. How can Gnosticism corrupt or pervert Christianity IF Gnosticism was already in existence? So, if we are supposed to believe that Christianity is “self-existent” (meaning that the events in the Bible Actually happened and the people in the Bible were Real) how is it possible for it to be influenced by a School of Thought older than it? How can Jesus’ teachings exist Before He was supposedly born?
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    Um, Since When Does Jesus Have Bones in His Closet?: A Research Paper on Christianity (Part 2)
    What doctrine was the Church trying to silence? So by using Gnosticism, we can then get a new perspective on Christianity. We can look at its behavior, if you will, and understand exactly what, if anything, it is hiding in its closet.
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    According to NewAdvent.org, certain aspects of Gnosticism was in existence before that of Christianity, although at the time it was not called Gnosticism, as you can imagine, because Gnosticism itself was/is a spin off of older doctrines. One of the parent faiths of Gnosticism was the Babylonian Mandean faith, which I won’t even get into here. It is also pretty obvious that Gnosticism was not called such until it reached Greece seeing as the root of Gnosticism is “gnosis” meaning knowledge and is a greek word. So, according to this particular source, NewAdvent.org, “it is beyond doubt that Gnosticism existed independent of and anterior to Christianity.” Which means that there is no way that Gnosticism could come as a perversion of Christianity because it was here first.
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    As Christians have we not been trained to not think? What about the questions wehave been asked thathave been answered with a “don’t test God” or “God’s mysterious ways.” How many times hasCreflo dollar told us “don’t think! Sow!” How many times have we wondered where all our tithes and offerings are going? Who is spending it and on what?It is clear what the Church thinks about people with knowledge, people who think. Was Jesus not the reason for the slaughter of dozens of innocent men, women, and children during the Salem Witch Trials? How many of you knew the TRUE meaning of the terms listed above?
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    All I’m saying is that we need to open our eyes more. Ask questions. Understand things. Obviously there is more to be see than just meets the eye. There is more that needs to be learned. Otherwise, why would the Church cause so much bloodshed to silence the knowledge?
  • My Experience In The Word Of Faith Pt. 7-Watchman Nee,Mrs. Jessie Penn-Lewis (christianreasons.com)
    Pay careful attention to the reference regarding a deeper spiritual life. That will become important when we discuss the Keswick movement. The main thing I want to demonstrate is the link to Roman Catholic mysticism.Although the “Cross” is emphasized with the Higher Life advocates, the Sanctifying effects of union with Christ is stressed almost to the exclusion of the Justifying effects and the forgiveness of sins. I have a real problem with that. It is also common among Classic Wesleyans and Pentecostals to over-emphasize the more subjective aspects of Sanctification than the objective work of Christ in Justification.
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    The focus on the intuition as the real means of grasping truth, rather than through the specifics (including the wording) of Scripture is a definite type of Gnosticism, complete with its arrogance and exclusivity (regardless of intentions to the contrary). His claims that the conscience is based on one’s intuition opens wide the door for being directed by a supposed inner voice from God rather than taking God’s written Word as the true basis of conscience training. The conscience is only as accurate as the training upon which it is based. development of a rather complicated system, with its own specific terminology, which means that the uninitiated cannot really grasp the “deep teachings” of God. The focus on the intuition as the real means of grasping truth, rather than through the specifics (including the wording) of Scripture is a definite type of Gnosticism, complete with its arrogance and exclusivity (regardless of intentions to the contrary).
    +My Experience In The Word Of Faith Movement Pt. 6-Watchman Nee, Miss Margaret E. Barber, Roman Catholic Mystics
    + Pt.1, Pt. 2, Pt. 3, Pt. 4, Pt. 5.
    It has been in my exposure to the Reformers that I learned the broken ladders that the little theologians of glory in us love to use to get to God.
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    In The Normal Christian Life, (probably one of his more popular titles), Nee writes: “Righteousness, the forgiveness of our sins, and peace with God are all ours by faith, and without faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ none can possess them.” His whole exposition on the Blood of Christ in this book is very orthodox, and insightful. As far as it goes, it’s theologically sound.
  • Is It O.k. for Christians to Do Martial Arts? (prayers4reparation.wordpress.com)
    Many of the martial arts popular in the West have origins in parts of the world where Buddhist and other forms of religious philosophy are (or were) prevalent. Such philosophy is not essential to discipline and exercise, and indeed we can bring a Christian approach to bear, especially since we strive to focus not only on our own well-being but on selfless charity to others.
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    If it is simply a question of breathing exercises or seeking peace and harmony of soul, without the imposition of Pagan beliefs, then we can take part, though in our own practice we can bring to bear our Christian faith in which Christ is our peace, and the values of self-discipline and care of our physical health are seen in the context of a spiritual life in accord with the teaching of the Gospel.