Finding God amid all the religious externals


“Every age has its own characteristics.
Right now we are in an age of religious complexity.
The simplicity which is in Christ is rarely found among us.
In its stead are programs, methods, organizations and a world of nervous activities which occupy time and attention but can never satisfy the longing of the heart.


The shallowness of our inner experience, the hollowness of our worship, and the servile imitation of the world which marks our promotional methods all testify that we, in this day, know God only imperfectly, and the peace of God scarcely at all.

If we would find God amid all the religious externals we must first determine to find Him, and then proceed in the way of simplicity.
Now as always God discovers Himself to `babes’ and hides Himself in thick darkness from the wise and the prudent. We must simplify our approach to Him.


We must strip down to essentials (and they will be found to be blessedly few).
We must put away all effort to impress, and come with the guileless candor of childhood.
If we do this, without doubt God will quickly respond.”
-Tozer, The Pursuit of God

 

 

Cover of "The Pursuit of God"

Cover of The Pursuit of God

 

Please do find about :

 

Finding God:

 

  1. I Only hope we find GOD again before it is too late !
  2. This month’s survey question: Does God Exist?
  3. Philosophy hand in hand with spirituality
  4. Good or bad preacher
  5. Unread bestseller
  6. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #13 Prayer #11 Name to be set apart
  7. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #14 Prayer #12 The other name
  8. Lord or Yahuwah, Yeshua or Yahushua
  9. The radiance of God’s glory and the counsellor
  10. Jesus spitting image of his father
  11. A God between many gods
  12. Jehovah Yahweh Gods Name
  13. Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name
  14. OT prophesies and the NT fulfillment of them

 

Stripping down to essentials

 

  1. We have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace
  2. Act as if everything you think, say and do determines your entire life
  3. A good idea to halt all activity for one hour some day
  4. Truth never plays false roles of any kind, which is why people are so surprised when meeting it
  5. Blaming their circumstances for what they are
  6. Knowing where to go to
  7. Hello America and atheists
  8. Preferring to be a Christian
  9. The inspiring divine spark
  10. Eternity depends upon this short time on earth
  11. Foundation to go the distance

 

Believing in the Creator

 

  1. Words in the world
  2. A learning process for each of us
  3. Being sure of their deliverance
  4. Whom Shall I Fear (God of Angel Armies) by Chris Tomlin
  5. Praise be to God
  6. Only one God
  7. The Divine name of the Creator
  8. Fearing the right person
  9. Faith is knowing there is an ocean because you have seen a brook.
  10. Walking in love by faith, not by sight
  11. Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked
  12. Looking to the East and the West for Truth
  13. Where is the edge
  14. Believing in God the rewarder
  15. Disappointed with God
  16. Does God hear prayer?
  17. Sometimes we pray and pray and it seems like nothing happens.
  18. Disappointed with God
  19. God’s non answer
  20. Does God answer prayer?
  21. Content with the “no” answer
  22. God Helper and Deliverer
  23. Gods hope and our hope
  24. Gods design in the creation of the world
  25. Gods promises
  26. Gods salvation
  27. Gods measure not our measure
  28. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #10 Prayer #8 Condition
  29. Creator and Blogger God 8 A Blog of a Book 2 Holy One making Scriptures Holy
  30. Be an Encourager
  31. How long to wait before bringing religiousness and spirituality in practice

 

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From other denominations:

 

  1. How to Find God
    1. It is not necessary to go to church or other place of worship to find God, though it may be very helpful.
    2. Participate in a local worship center, if you choose, as this may also be helpful to your search.
    3. Look at your local library or bookstore. You will find helpful books and videos about many different faiths in the religion section of your local library or bookstore.
    4. Do not turn off your brain
    5. Start your search with an open mind.
    6. Choose a person of faith. Ask them to give you direction.
    7. Compose questions for your search
    8. Speak to God.
    9. Be ready to discard notions you may have of the nature of God.
    10. Be ready to look outside of one organized denomination.
    11.Consider reading the holy books that are referred to as being or containing the word of God as pinned by prophets and apostles (followers) of God, for example the Holy Bible or Quran.
  2. Finding God in 5 Steps
    While it’s important to understand that any kind of powerful experiences of God are a gift, that there’s not some magic formula we can follow that will guarantee that we’ll hear the voice of God or have a major religious experience, there are certain things we can do to make more room in our hearts for God’s presence.
    +
    1. Seek humility first
    2. Go on a cynicism fast
    3. Do the experiment
    4. Pray frequently
    > Our Note: according to us you do not need to “Read the great Christian authors”
    and we would say 5. Be confident because he has called you.
  3. Finding God in everyday life
    Our God is passionately engaged in drawing us to the fulness of life we were created for.  We are seeking to find a God who loves us and is always seeking intimacy with us.  It is simple.  A sense of absence vanishes when I am open to a sense of presence.
    +
    Making the choice to adopt some new patterns  allows it to happen.  God is always choosing to be with me, in any way, in any situation I will be open to.  The choice to get better at meeting God there is all mine.
  4. Finding God After Leaving Religion
    Thirty-four million Americans have given up on organized religion, according to the most recent American Religious Identification Survey. Yet for many of these dropouts — from churches, synagogues, temples and so on — spirituality is still a vital part of their lives.
    +
    Maybe people are leaving the church because they’d prefer to live in the real world — the desegregated one.
    Then, there are those church leaders who seem obsessed with having the biggest church, the largest crowds and the most expensive campuses. While 40 million people died of starvation in the last decade, churches spent $10 billion on campuses.
    Perhaps some churchgoers departed because they’d rather their charity actually make a difference in the world.
    If you went to church looking for relief from the stress and burdens of living, you might have found more of the same, only dressed as beliefs and dogmas, rules and expectations Then, there’s the debating, disagreement, and division that goes on between churches, as well as between people in the same church. I call it the “We’re right! You’re Wrong!” syndrome: each group insisting that their beliefs are right, which by implication means that everyone else’s beliefs are wrong. “We’re in; you’re out!” “We’re the chosen ones; you’re not!” Maybe those who came looking for some sanity in life are leaving the church to preserve what little remains.
    +
    In Eastern thought, there’s something called “the law of least effort,” or “do less and accomplish more.” If you will give up the “doing” and, instead, just enjoy “being,” I think you’ll make a great discovery. The psalmist said, “Be still and know … ” In my own experience, I have found that when I’m present (and that’s my spiritual practice), I’m immediately in Presence, the real and sacred sanctuary of God.
  5. How to Find God (in Six Not-So-Easy Steps)
    While it’s important to understand that any kind of powerful experiences of God are a gift, that there’s not some magic formula we can follow that will guarantee that we’ll receive a flood of consolation, there are certain things we can do to make more room in our hearts for God’s presence.
    +
    Read the Bible. Give God the thanks and honor and respect you would show him if he did exist.
    +
    6. Be willing to lose it all
    One of the things that’s different about seeking the truth about God as opposed to, say, seeking the truth about a mathematical equation, is that the truth about God is personal and transformative. If you’re seeking the truth about mass-energy equivalence and you discover that e=mc², it doesn’t mean anything for you personally. You don’t need to live your life any differently just because you now know that the mass of a body is a measure of its energy content. But not so with God. Because God is the source of all that is good, to know what God is is to know what Good is. And if you’re not open to a new understanding of what is Good, then you’re not really open to God.
  6. A Message of Hope
    The only way to reach God is for God to build a bridge.
    +
    No matter how far away from God you may feel right now, the amazing news is that God has never stopped wanting to have a relationship with you.
  7. How to find God
    Until about twelve years ago, my view of religion was that it was a psychological crutch required by neurotic people to enable them better face the rigours of life.
    +
    The words caused a rather shadowy understanding to dawn in my mind, a vague notion that was like a half remembered song that had been long put aside, and I became more deeply aware of an inconsolable longing that had plagued me for many years. I then made my decision, entered the bedroom, fell to my knees because that seemed the appropriate thing to do at the time, and full of aggressive and embarrassed curiosity, challenged, for want of a better word – God, if indeed He existed – to enter my life and take it over. There was no flash or bang and the earth did not move, but from that moment until this very second I have been aware of the presence of God, all the time and in every place even when I am tired or ill, busy or idle, happy or sad.
    I had discovered like so many before me that Faith is simply a question of making a quantum leap into the unknown, reaching out a hand in the darkness and then discovering that someone is holding it. I am totally unable to rationalise this gift of absolute Faith as from that day to this, no matter how bad things have been; I have never once doubted the ever-present reality of God.
    And so began for me what has turned out to be a continuing journey into the heart of God.
  8. Finding God in the shower

    I can remember being an atheist, or perhaps an agnostic, for in those days I did not think much about God one way or another. I knew at that time there were Christians – and I suppose adherents to other faiths whose adherence I judged “ethnic” and thus not applicable in my own instance. As for Christians, I assumed they came in two sorts – those who went along for a sense of belonging or from a sense of nostalgia, rather like attending a bridge club or square dancing; and evangelicals, who were clearly under-educated and over-excited. I can remember, from my lofty, 21-year-old height of wisdom, thinking that it must be soothing to be one of the latter, all of whose problems in life could be seen to be answered.
    +
    I could not doubt the reality of that loving presence, and still cannot. I now know that one-off “religious experiences” of this sort are rather frowned upon by the best theologians, among whom Thomas Aquinas, the confessors of Teresa of Avila and Professor Nicholas Lash, as susceptible to mood and delusion, and if I have my life to live over I will try to have a higher class of conversion experience – but this is what happened to me. I was turned around. Converted. Not that I had been the sort of person who kicked old ladies and found myself now helping them across the street. I was much the same person, but facing in a new direction.

 

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  • The Pursuit of God – Introduction (ccvinspirewomen.com)
    I pulled off my well loved but neglected copy of The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer from the bookshelf and got out my pen to journal my thoughts.  My hope is that this series of writings will burn these very truths into my heart once and for all.  I encourage you get your hands on a copy of the book and discover the jewels of this classic writing alongside me.
  • God Chaser Series – Part I (justlivingpurpose.wordpress.com)
    Knowing something about a person is not the same thing as knowing them.  You know facts about them but you do not have a relationship with them.  It is the same thing with God. It is not enough to know about him or of him, you have to know him intimately.
  • Many things mentioned in Are Atheists Superior To Religious People? (thebuybulljournal.wordpress.com) are just caused because people created many false gods and false groups for worship one or the other god. In case people would adhere to the One and only True God they would not create difficulties with other creatures, because they would all of them, be them of any colour, race, culture, gay, transvestite, transsexual or other.
    The writer writes a.o.:
    “I see the harms done of religion and have good reason to say I think all religion is something to be hated and feared. As a rule I will do my very, very best to not hate the person and will remind myself that they are merely “victims” of the “religious faith virus” and “religious disease”.”
    As a rule every Christian should do his or her utmost best to love all people and to help them in their life.
    +
    the writer also notes:

    “One of the New Atheists named Christopher Hitchens had several quotes that were right on the mark.Here is one of them:

    “Name a moral statement or action, uttered or performed by a religious person that could not have been uttered or performed by an unbeliever. I am still waiting for a response to this. It carries an incidental corollary: think of a wicked action or statement that derived directly from religious faith, and you know what? There is no tongue-tied silence at THAT point. Everybody can instantly think of an example.”

    But he does not give the readers a possibility to answer. As such he will never get a sound and shall be able to affirm that it kept “tongue-tied silence”.

  • Finding courage (allhisdaughters.wordpress.com)
    We heard about the pruning of others about God making changes in their lives and people stepping out on new journeys.
  • In (kittyjonesblog.wordpress.com)
    What does it mean to be “in?” It indicates location, meaning inside, contained, wrapped up, surrounded. That tiny word says something about me according to Colossians 3:3, “… you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”

    As A. W. Tozer attempts to explain God’s attribute of infinitude he says, “when you get into God, ‘with Christ in God,’ then you’re on a journey into infinity, into infinitude. There is no limit and no place to stop. There isn’t just one work of grace, or a second work or a third work and then that’s it. There are numberless experiences and spiritual epochs and crises that can take place in your life while you are journeying out into the heart of God in Christ.”

  • Tozer (thechanginglifeblog.com)
    The labor of self-love is a heavy one indeed. Think for yourself whether much of your sorrow has not arisen from someone speaking slightingly of you. As long as you set yourself up as a little god to which you must be loyal there will be those who will delight to offer affront to your idol. How then can you hope to have inward peace? The heart’s fierce effort to protect itself from every slight, to shield its touchy honor from the bad opinion of friend and enemy, will never let the mind have rest. Continue this fight through the years and the burden will become intolerable. Yet the sons of earth are carrying this burden continually, challenging every word spoken against them, cringing under every criticism, smarting under each fancied slight, tossing sleepless if another is preferred before them.
  • What really matters to Yahweh? (corbenstreet.wordpress.com)
    every one of us in this lifetime will face the grave danger of losing ‘something’ of even greater value than we could ever have imagined and that, of course, is our Souls! Ever heard of SOS? What does it really means to you? Are you not even saving your own Soul for goodness sake? Unless you don’t think you have a soul to bother about what SOS means, you will, of course, not bother about what I’m saying now, will you? Whether one would bother about what really matters to Yahweh and one’s own soul or not, everyone knows so well that nothing in this world will last – including, so sorry to say, all the laughs, smiles and not forgetting those “good” but stale memories of the past!
  • I Am A Sign And Wonder (pureglory.net)
    Jehovah is the Great I AM and we are a part of him. Every instance we say, I AM, we negate, cut off, divide into and sever ourselves from the enemy’s lies and “I am nots.”
  • Know God, a Devotional by Pastor Chuck Smith (calvarytraining.org)

    Really, what is the most important thing?” “First,” being in order; not, “What is the very first commandment God gave?” The first commandment was, “Don’t eat the tree in the middle of the garden.” But, first in the order, that is the most important commandment of God. What is it?

    And Jesus answered him, The first of all commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord (Mar 12:29):

    He goes back to Deuteronomy in what is known as the shima, the hear. It is that portion that the Jews roll up in these little boxes that they tie on their wrists. The boxes that they put on their foreheads; they all have this shima in it. “Hear, O’ Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord.”
    +
    the religious systems are man’s attempt to reach out to God, where Christianity is God’s attempt to reach man. In the religious system, man being good enough to be accepted by God, in Christianity, there’s no way man can be good enough to be accepted by God. He has to just trust in the grace of God. There’s no good work that you can do. It is not by works of righteousness that we have done, but by His grace alone. So rather than a system of works that can bring you to God, it bypasses all that and says, “There’s nothing you can do to be worthy of God, you can only receive His grace, His love, His mercy that He extends to you through His Son Jesus Christ.” God is reaching you; you can’t reach Him.

  • Hebrew Word – LORD of Recompense [Jehovah-Gemûlâ] (james1948.wordpress.com)
    Because of His perfect, absolute righteousness, God is also called by two names that speak of His judgment upon unrighteousness. We find the first, for example, in Jer_51:56, where He is called Jehovah Gemûlāh. The prophet foretells that God will come “upon Babylon, and her mighty men are taken, every one of their bows is broken: for the LORD God of recompences shall surely requite.” The Hebrew gemûlāh (H1578)—a derivative of gāmal (H1580), “to deal, to recompense, to ripen”—speaks of full repayment for what is deserved.

     

 

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How long to wait before bringing religiousness and spirituality in practice

Praying people

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

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

Responsible churchgoers

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

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

Requirement to participate in personal evangelism

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

Vasily Perov's painting illustrates clandestin...

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

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

Regarding evangelism, Marc Minter writes:

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

Action of discipleship

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

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

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

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

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

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

Doing yourself

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

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

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

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

Being religious and spiritual demands action of evangelion

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

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

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

Willingness to attest

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Deserters of the Faith of Jesus

Sculpture - head of Jesus Christ

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

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

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

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

Coming forward independent of man

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

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

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

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

The Four Evangelists

The Four Evangelists (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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

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

Passing on the message

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

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

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

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

Transmitter of the Gospel or good news

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

May we also say that:

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

Goals to set forward

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

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

Privileged people

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

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

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

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

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

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

+

Preceding articles:

Looking for True Spirituality 1 Intro

Looking for True Spirituality 2 Not restricted to an elite

Looking for True Spirituality 3 Mind of Christ

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

Looking for True Spirituality 5 Fruitage of the Spirit

Looking for True Spirituality 6 Spirituality and Prayer

Looking for True Spirituality 7 Preaching of the Good News

Looking for True Spirituality 8 Measuring Up

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

++

Additional reading:

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

+++

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

Looking for True Spirituality 2 Not restricted to an elite

True Spirituality—How Can You Find It?

“To be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace,”

wrote the apostle Paul. (Romans 8:6, King James Version)

English: St. Paul by El Greco, c. 1608-1614. O...

The religious and spiritual Jew who was converted to follow Jesus from Nazareth – St. Paul by El Greco, c. 1608-1614. Originally taken from artchive.com (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With those words, the apostle was pointing out that being a spiritual person is more than a matter of personal preference or inclination. Essentially, it is a matter of life and death. In what sense, though, does a spiritual person receive “life and peace”?

According to the Bible, such a person enjoys peace now — with self and with God — and will be blessed with everlasting life in the future.

23 For the wages sin pays is death,+ but the gift God gives is everlasting life+ by Christ Jesus our Lord.+ (Romans 6:23)

Let your reasonableness+ become known to all men. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious over anything,+ but in everything by prayer and supplication along with thanksgiving, let your petitions be made known to God;+and the peace+ of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts+ and your mental powers* by means of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:7)

No wonder Jesus observed:

“Happy are those conscious of their spiritual need”!—Matthew 5:3.

Are you blessed when you’re at the end of your rope? With less of you there is more of God and his rule.
Spirituality” may be a word that defines our era. By times the world also became more fascinated by “Spirituality”.  there have been moments in history where everybody had seem forgotten about it, and at other moments there have been times nobody could be quiet about it.

The fascination with spirituality is a striking aspect of our contemporary times and stands in stark contrast to the decline in traditional religious belonging in the West.  “Spirituality” has now moved well beyond religion itself. It is all about lifestyle and practices that embody a vision of how the human spirit can achieve its full potential. In other words, spirituality embraces an aspirational approach to the meaning and conduct of life – we are driven by goals beyond purely material success or physical satisfaction.

Mangreen Health and Healing Trust - the Light ...

Mangreen Health and Healing Trust – the Light Centre (interior) – geograph.org.uk – 1584251 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Some may think we do not to be in monasteries to be a full spiritual person. Spirituality has perhaps been at certain times the preserve of spiritual elites, for example in monasteries, but it is presumed to be native to everyone. In each person it is implanted by the Divine Creator, in whose image we all are created. And because God is Spirit we have an element in us which would like to encounter that Spirit Being. Lots of people are looking for that spiritual element in themselves but do not know how to find it. Therefore they also look all sorts of things they can worship. those who have more light should know by Whom to look for, in what to believe and Whom to worship.

22 You worship what you do not know;+ we worship what we know, because salvation begins with the Jews.+ 23 Nevertheless, the hour is coming, and it is now, when the true worshippers will worship the Father with spirit and truth, for indeed, the Father is looking for ones like these to worship him.+ 24 God is a Spirit,+ and those worshipping him must worship with spirit and truth.”+ (Johannes 4:22-24)

It is individually-tailored, democratic and eclectic, and offers an alternative source of inner-directed, personal authority in response to a decline of trust in conventional social or religious leaderships.

From the previous articles you may have come to understand that Spirituality is also understood to be engaged with a quest for “the sacred” – whether God, the numinous, the boundless mysteries of the universe or our own human depths. The word is also regularly linked to “thriving” – what it means to thrive and how we are enabled to thrive. Contemporary approaches also relate spirituality to a self-reflective existence in place of an unexamined life. People are searching for a “value-added” factor to personal and professional lives. they may look for many ways. We would like to show you there is a very easy way to come to peace with the self and to come close to yourself in union with the Most High.

We do not know how you came onto these pages. Perhaps by Googling a certain word or looking for “spirituality”. Spirituality is something which should bother many of us. The fact that you found this internet magazine which is concerned about spiritual and religious matters, religious and spiritual life, may perhaps indicate that you have an interest in spirituality — and wisely so.
Yet, views on this subject differ widely, so you may wonder:

‘What is true spirituality? And how does one attain it?’

In the previous articles Bijbelvorsers tried already to give a good answer. But let us look a little bit closer in the next articles.

+

Preceding articles from Bijbelvorsers:

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

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

+ Preceding article:

Looking for True Spirituality 1 Intro

To be continued: Looking for True Spirituality  3 Mind of Christ

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

Op zoek naar spiritualiteit 2 Hoe te vinden

The beginning of the Dutch original version may be found:

De aanvang van de originele Nederlandse versie kan gevonden worden:

Op zoek naar spiritualiteit 1 Inleiding

++

Find also to read:

  1. Meaning of life
  2. Doctrine and Conduct Cause and Effect
  3. Remember that who you’re being is just as important as what you’re doing
  4. Circumstances are beyond human control
  5. Bible a guide – Bijbel als gids
  6. Be like a tree planted by streams of water
  7. Faith antithesis of rationality
  8. A Living Faith #1 Substance of things hoped for
  9. Everything that is done in the world is done by hope
  10. Walking alone?
  11. Give your worries to God
  12. Look for today
  13. Try driving forward instead of backwards
  14. God Feeds The Birds
  15. We have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace
  16. Choosing your attitudes
  17. Wisdom lies deep
  18. Don’t put a question mark where God put a period
  19. The great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me

+++

Additional reading:

+++

  • The True Story of Thanksgiving ! (ioan17.wordpress.com)
    First, God created humanity for gratitude. You exist to appreciate God. He created you to honor him by giving him thanks. Appreciating both who God is and his actions for us — in creating us and sustaining our lives — is fundamental to proper human life in God’s created world.
    +
    Perhaps hyperphysicality is all too well known in 21st-century Western society at large. A milieu of materialists is so unaware of spiritual reality that even when there is gratitude for the physical, the spiritual is neglected, if not outright rejected. We can be thankful for the temporal, even while we couldn’t care less about the eternal.
    But hyperspirituality is often particularly dangerous among the so-called “spiritual” types, even in the church. We can be prone to mute God’s physical goodness to us out of fear that appreciation for such would somehow detract from our thanksgiving for spiritual blessings.
  • Latest Prophecy – 1 Thessalonians 5:20 Do not despise prophecies. @ www.johnleary.com Dec 10, 2013. (kenjohnston98.wordpress.com)
    When you are outside of your body, and outside of time, you will have a different view of life, and what should be important for you to accomplish. You will desire to repent of your sins more than your previous Confessions.
  • Social or Spiritual (johnnoble1.wordpress.com)
    the gospel is both social and spiritual.And it is encouraging to see that more and more churches and organisations are aware of the necessity of the good news of Jesus Christ being both social and spiritual.
  • The Certainty of Some Things (counselofafriend.wordpress.com)
    Some people deny the reality of certainties, but how can they be sure that nothing is for sure?
  • Spiritual Warfare Against The Spirit of Fantasy (pastorstrom.com)
    the Spirit of Fantasy gets in. It alludes to another dimension and lures us to what the Apostle Paul called the “doctrines of devils” (see 1 Timothy 4:1). Using fantasy, the Devil can preach and disseminate his own agenda. Back to the movie and the one song for a moment; I was shocked when as I listened to my children sing “Let it go, Let it go, can’t hold it back anymore….I don’t care what they’re going to say, let the storm rage on, the cold never bothered me anyway”. So, whatever you think you are, just let it go. If you are a homosexual, just let it go and don’t worry what anyone else says. It’s ok to be cold and dreary on the inside. This is how the Spirit of Fantasy begins the Devil’s work of pervading both mind and soul of the people.
  • The Manger Throne (theswordandtheshovel.wordpress.com)
    Israel had forgotten and forsaken all that the Lord had done for them and wanted a change in how things where run and God, being the great ruler that He is, gave them over to that desire to be like everyone else, which is the exact opposite of what He was calling them to be, Holy and set apart from the world.
    +
    History is defined by kings who’s only care was the advancement of their kingdom and not God’s and this all originates in the sinful heart of man where they want to operate independently from the governing wisdom and love of our Sovereign Lord who has always been king and just because we don’t want Him ruling over us does not stop Him being King over us we just simply live out our existence in a Kingdom far less glorious than His.
  • Revelation 4: The Best Worship Service Ever (josephfranks.wordpress.com)
    John, was found again in visionary state, and this time he was enabled to see into heaven.  Perhaps one remembers how Stephen was given a similar privilege on the day of his assassination.  In similar manner the heavens opened and John could see an open door.  It appeared to be a door into the throne room of God, the heavenly sanctuary, or the Holy of Holies.  How excited he must have been when he received the invitation from the divine host to come and take a look.  John was about to catch a glimpse of what takes place “after this” present age of life is complete.
  • Spirituality and Your Health (evelynmmaxwell.com)
    Your body is precious because of its vital connection with the inner person.  The body is the “temple” of the Spirit of God when we are born of God.  The chemistry of your body affects the functioning of your nervous system and your brain.  And, the inter-workings of physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual factors affect body chemistry.  Therefore, keeping our bodies as healthy and fine-tuned as possible is important to our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health, and vice-versa.  Spiritual health helps us meet and overcome difficulties in every other aspect of living.
  • Helmet of Salvation: 5 Daily Spiritual Warfare Tips (nostopministries.wordpress.com)
    What we think determines what we believe; what we believe determines how we live.  It is in our minds that we think, reason, discern, and live out the immaterial part of our Christian faith.  Our minds, soul, and spirit are so closely connected as to be virtually indistinguishable.  Therefore, the mind plays an incredibly foundational role in every aspect of our existence, especially our relationship with God.
    +
    The Bible tells us that unbelievers have their minds occupied with things of the world rather than things of God (Ephesians 2:3; Colossians 1:21). This is evidence that one does not love God with all their being.  It is wise for the Christian to periodically evaluate our own thought lives to see if what we are thinking about is pleasing to God.  Our thought lives reveal much about our commitment, or the lack thereof, to God.
  • Spiritual Blessings (moretolifetoday.wordpress.com)
    We all love blessings; we pray for them, we testify about them, we revel in them. But it is so easy to fall into the trap of only thinking about tangible blessings, like health and protection, food and clothing, shelter and finances. Do we really appreciate our spiritual blessings? How often do we take time to thank God for the intangible benefits He showers on us? We can’t touch, smell or hear salvation, but it is a priceless gift. And the peace that holds us together when life gets confusing…what would we do without that?
  • What Are You Pursuing – Proverbs 11:19 (prowisdomtext.wordpress.com)
    While our old nature wants to do what it wants to do, we must practice self-control. We must follow after righteousness instead of the deceptive whims of our heart by walking in the power of the Spirit (Jer. 17:19, Gal. 5:16). We have the choice to be a person after our own heart or a person after God’s heart.

 

Looking for True Spirituality 1 Intro

In his famous Sermon on the Mount , Jesus said:

“Happy are those conscious of their spiritual need ” (Matthew 5:3 ).

Probably you agree with that statement . Everywhere people recognize the need for spirituality in their lives and they assume that if they have once found , they will be happier. But what is the meaning of the term spirituality?

In previous articles Bijbelvorser or Bible Researcher has already given a clear picture of what we may understand under spirituality. But we would like to examine this still further and would like to see how people can get answers in their quest for spirituality.

Spirituality is defined as ” sensitivity or attachment to religious values ​​”, a “mental attitude” . Terms such as “spirituality”, “spiritually minded” or “mental attitude” are more or less synonymous. For comparison: From someone who sees everywhere trading, one can say that he is commercially oriented. For example, someone who is committed to spiritual or religious affairs is called spiritual.

But how can true spirituality being achieved? Although almost every religion claims to know the path to spirituality and do provide several instructions we can see that in the numerous religions there can be found many people still looking for that spirituality.

There are Protestants who claim to be spiritual. Saved at a revival meeting Catholics seek contact with God at Mass. Buddhists pursue enlightenment through meditation. Hindus seek liberation from the cycle of rebirth through self-denial. Are all these people on the road to true spirituality ? Is there is a path that leads to spirituality?

Many would answer that question in the negative. They believe that spirituality is,

“that you believe without belonging to something”

so that you believe in a god without belonging to any sort of organisation or church. Others find that to belong to a church is not a guarantee to have religious experience. Being part of a church may bring with it that the person has an urge to become strengthened in spirituality. The spirituality being but a desire for inner peace and a meaningful life. They claim that people who are looking for spirituality, are not in need of a religion, and that they shall only have to turn inward and shall have to go deeper in themselves.

Some think we can find spirituality when we are prepared to counsel ourself. One writer says:

“True spirituality is something you can find deep within yourself. It’s the way how you treat the world and the people around you, how you love and accepts. You will not find it in a church or by believing in a certain direction. “

 

It is clear that people have very different ideas about spirituality. Thousands of books claiming to point the way to a spiritual life, while the reader is too often still feels unsatisfied and confused.
However, there is a book that does contain reliable advice about spiritual matters. It is the book that evidences of divine inspiration.

16 All Scripture is inspired of God*+ and beneficial for teaching,+ for reproving,+ for setting things straight,*+ for disciplining+ in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be fully competent,+ completely equipped* for every good work.+ (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

Let’s see what spirituality is according to this book, the Bible, and appreciate the value attributed to it.

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Dutch version /Nederlandstalige versie: Op zoek naar spiritualiteit 1 Inleiding

 

  • Social or Spiritual (johnnoble1.wordpress.com)
    there has long been an entrenched attitude that the gospel be either social or spiritual.
  • Assessing the Spiritual (therosemasquerade.wordpress.com)
    A strong belief in the self and in the pure reality of existence, and most of all, the spiritual force that drives everything behind this, is most likely the only way I have found to not lose that sense of Romanticism that often haunts our evenings with such strong passions.
  • Humanism, the Call of Our Better Angels (deliberation.info)
    Spirituality is the goal of religious practice. Long before religious texts were written there were shamans who explored the spiritual realms by observing and interacting with nature and natural forces. Entheogens have helped guide humanity to wholeness long before any holy book came along.
  • Defining Spirituality: What Does It Mean? (allowinglove.wordpress.com)
    Can someone tell me what “spirituality” means? I feel like I should already know. It’s important enough to be constantly described as one of our defining characteristics as humans.
  • Spiritual Well-Being (casapalmera.com)
    Spirituality and faith provide an opportunity to detach from circumstances and observe life with clarity and integrity.
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    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. Through spiritual well-being classes, people become empowered and realize that even though they have issues, stressors, and challenges, they are not defined by these circumstances. This realization provides a pathway to greater peace, freedom of self-expression, increased manageability over the healing process and higher self-esteem. Such a realization can make a huge impact in the life of a patient in an anorexia treatment facility, bulimia program, or trauma treatment center.
  • Spirituality and Your Health (evelynmmaxwell.com)
    Let us each examine ourselves and invite the Spirit, the “Presence” of God, the Teacher and the Teachings, into our presence, our homes, ourselves.  The spirit and soul need the gentlest presence.  The Teacher will be gentle with us.  Let us sit at the feet of the Teacher and learn.  Our service will improve.  Recognition and reward are assured.
  • Spiritual warfare: As God is of peace so shall I be! (realisticimaginations.wordpress.com)
    As we mature in Christ we start to see we truly don’t fight against flesh and blood. (Eph 6:12) Our natural instincts cry out from our afflictions: He lied. She cheated. He stole. She said. He hit. She spent. Yet, let’s look from it with our God given eyes. Then we start to see the enemies start standing clear.
  • Spirituality (dustindemille.wordpress.com)
    As an Angel, I like to attend church regularly.  I attend mass at Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in Tampa.  I continue my spiritual growth up here in Elloquencia or Heaven.
  • Spiritual Center for Positive Living Hosts Masters Speakers Series… (prweb.com)
    The answer to every question we could ever ask sits lovingly in the silence of our heart, waiting for the right moment to emerge,” says previous Deepak Chopra Center Education Leader, davidji.
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    “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.
  • The one religion that’s not part of my spiritual quest (roguepriest.net)
    Sometimes, like with Vodou, I commit myself to these traditions for life.
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    Growing up, I never had a bad church experience. I wasn’t abused, was seldom threatened with Hell, and didn’t feel constrained by my family’s beliefs. This is thanks in large part to my mom.

    But I dodge Christianity. Even in my practice of Vodou, which uses Christian trappings as décor over a much older faith, I hesitated before lighting my first saint candle.

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 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.
    +
    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.
    +
    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?
    +
    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.
    +
    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.
    +
    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.
    +
    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.

Being Religious and Spiritual 4 Philosophical, religious and spiritual people

My Philosophy Bookshelf(bottom)

A Philosophy Bookshelf(bottom) (Photo credit: jddunn)

As a human being we are constantly confronted with many thoughts. Some tried to mould these thoughts in a shape which they could make understandable for others. Humans also tried to understand the ultimate foundations of spiritual intuitions, questioning if such spiritual intuitions could ultimately be grounded in the nature of fundamental reality, and not wholly be reflective of socio-cultural conventions or neuro-biological mechanisms.  Investigation of this open issue is important because of the implications, whichever way the answer turns out, for social and political policy, and personal and social health and welfare. Many of the questions posed by man should come to be answered to  succeed in the quest to understand and adhere to one’s spiritual intuitions. The main question al people carry in their heart is the reason of our existence. How many of us do not wonder if life has a positive purpose? Many also would like to see that the life, their are going through, would be fair and compassionate.  This is distinct from religiousness, which designates one’s adherence to the tenets of an institution regarded as having authority concerning how one should live and what is ultimately true.

Beyond the personal struggle for survival and security we can not repudiate that there lies a universal human quest to find answers to such perennial spiritual questions:  What is the meaning of life?  Does existence have a purpose?  How should we live?  What has real value?  Does anything matter?

Handbook of Religion and Health

Handbook of Religion and Health (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Therefore according to many “spirituality” is indeed typically defined in terms of a “personal quest for understanding answers to ultimate questions about life, about meaning, and about relationship to the sacred or transcendent” {Koenig HG, McCullough ME, Larson DB. Handbook of Religion and Health. New York  N.Y.: Oxford University Press 2001}. In the previous chapters we saw already that  spirituality in this sense is distinct from “religion”, which is typically defined as “an organized system of beliefs, practices, rituals, and symbols designed

(a) to facilitate closeness to the sacred or transcendent (God, higher power, or ultimate truth/reality) and

(b) to foster an understanding of one’s relationship and responsibility to others in living together in a community”. {Koenig HG, McCullough ME, Larson DB. Handbook of Religion and Health. New York  N.Y.: Oxford University Press 2001}

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)

Several philosophers tried to explain the way things are, looking for concrete measurable answers (sometimes). They want to give the people around them explanation how everything could have come into existence and to which order could stay into existence. Often the philosophers love to think they could bring an objective picture of reality without telling us explicitly (although often they do implicitly) how we should be in relationship to that picture. All through the years thousands of philosophers gave their opinion of the way everything could be placed in order. Lots of them thought they could give an answer or convince people of the answer of the good and the bad of humankind.

For the philosophers ‘Philosophy‘ is in the thinking, searching mind. By going deep in ourself we even could come to an illumining mind. this going into the self could bring us further into the sacral. Both the philosopher and the spiritual minded do perhaps have the same goals, wanting to find the origin and reason and the height of life. Though the lover of the higher existence, the “what is behind life’ wants to reach a point of connection with that ‘Higher Point’, which can be the Void or a or the Supreme Being, a or The Spirit or Nature Phenomenal. The religious person may ad the dimension of conscious or unconscious response to the beckoning ‘Light‘ and responding to beliefs in the lofty experiences of predecessors and organisations, temples or churches, wanting to see the depth of life. In contrast the man of spirituality wants to go much further and does not want to be restricted by any sort of dogmatic teaching imposed on him by other humans. In his quest and meditation he wants to come to see the reality of life and the reality in life.

For the philosopher there is no reason at all to come into a relationship with somebody else when it is about the being of himself. Some may consider that the philosopher is only using everyday language, which is locally normed and cultural defined, to explain the things which can be clearly seen or which we clearly understand to be present in the universe. The philosophy as such is by some seen merely as an ideology supporting accepted wisdom of the moment, like economy, mathematics, physiology, archaeology, natural science and the rest of the humanities. The anthropologist may study all others in relationship with each other and the environment, leaving himself excluded.

The Spiritual person on the other hand wants to come into relationship with something more than the ‘I’ or ‘Self‘. As a person the spiritual minded person also would love to see a relationship with everything what is around him or her. For the spiritual minded person the spirituality is a description of a position that he or she as a human being should take in relationship to the way things are.

Festival of Spirituality and Peace, Edinburgh 2009

Festival of Spirituality and Peace, Edinburgh 2009 (Photo credit: Student Christian Movement)

Philosophy of Spirituality is concerned with understanding the ultimate foundations of spiritual intuitions.  Although the nature of this grounding is unresolved, there are some philosophical and empirical reasons for thinking that.

A lover of philosophy may talk about human’ existence, man’s  and God’s Vision, even without mentioning The Creator God. But the Divine God Creator has created human being in His image with a purpose, to live in the universe, to give animals and plants names and to take care of the whole earth as good as he can. The God loving person may find in this Divine Creator the reason for him being here and could find it necessary to take part in actions which would give a sign of his recognising the Lord of lords to be the Most High to be worshipped.  In such instance, recognising the Divine Power of the Creator, the lover of religion shall also talks about God’s Power. The person recognising God His Power to be the Most High, but also the extreme highest position a being can have, not out of selfishness or wanting to get in the place of the Supreme High Being, but wanting to come as close as possible near to that Supreme Highest Spirit, shall try is utmost best to come into the knowledge of That Being  and to transform himself into a better being than he is at that moment. The one believing in God, loving to become close to Him shall know that it will be necessary for him to get to know the Rules of This God and to apply those rules, guidelines, instructions or commandments. He shall also know how important it is for accepting that he shall have to give an opening to allow the Glory of God appearing in our character. The Spiritual person shall do his utmost best to get over all his material indispositions and get his spiritual being more in the forefront. We should know that the spiritual side of the human being should be more important than the material side of it. A lover of spirituality shall come to know that God is a God of Compassion, willing to accept the deficiencies of our human state. For the spiritually minded it might not be so important as for the lover of philosophy to see God’s Face. The spiritual minded person may also get himself involved in philosophy and also may become religious, trying to get to know the Beginner or Maker of all things and to come to face Him or It and to come to see straight in That God’s Eye.

English: Russian ancient book, «Spiritual Rule...

Russian ancient book, «Spiritual Rules», 1721 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The religious person may be more concerned in the involvement of his person in the honouring or worshipping whilst the lover of spirituality shall be more interested in the real relationship with that Supreme Being and be concentrating on his way to grow into God’s all compassionate Heart.

In this materialistic world a man of philosophy may be considered a dreamer, a man of religion of foolishness, being carried away by dreams while he wants to be an observer. Next to them there is the man of spirituality who is a divine lover, knowing that

A divine dreamer, a divine observer and a divine lover are good friends.

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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

Next: Being Religious and Spiritual 5 Gnostic influences

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Please do find to read:

  1. The business of this life
  2. Meaning of life
  3. Live …
  4. A philosophical error which rejects the body as part of the human person
  5. Thirst for happiness and meaning
  6. To mean, to think, outing your opinion, conviction, belief – Menen, mening, overtuiging, opinie, geloof
  7. Religion and spirituality
  8. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  9. A Living Faith #10: Our manner of Life #2
  10. Glory of God appearing in our character
  11. We all are changed into the same image from glory to glory
  12. Created to live in relation with God
  13. Without God no purpose, no goal, no hope
  14. Our relationship with God, Jesus and each other
  15. From pain to purpose
  16. Chief means by which men are built up
  17. A person is limited only by the thoughts that he chooses
  18. It is a free will choice
  19. Your life the sum total of all your choices
  20. What part of the Body am I?
  21. Golden rule for understanding in spiritual matters obedience
  22. Growth in character
  23. Greatest single cause of atheism
  24. Golden rule for understanding in spiritual matters obedience
  25. We have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace
  26. How we think shows through in how we act
  27. Raise a standard to which the wise and honest can repair
  28. Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience
  29. Followers with deepening
  30. Thomas Aquinas on Wisdom by Robert M. Woods
  31. Sharing thoughts and philosophical writings
  32. Wisdom lies deep
  33. Science and Religion Harmonized (Once and For All…)

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Additional reading:

  1. What is the difference between Philosophy and Spirituality
  2. Philosophy is a Dead Language – RIP
  3. The Problem Is That (You Think) You Think Too Much
  4. Philosophers, those bloated parasites…
  5. Word of the Week: ‘Philosophy’
  6. Why Take Philosophy A Level?
  7. Religion Vs. Spiritual
  8. Mapping the Possible Relations between “Religious,” “Spiritual,” “Humanistic” and “Secular” Sensibilities
  9. What Wishes to Come to Being through You?
  10. Is There Still a Place for Religion?
  11. Who is religious?
  12. Spirituality is the world around us
  13. Consumerism vs Spirituality

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  • Where are the thinkers? (thehindu.com)
    Much of the freedom movement was explicitly inspired by a sense of pride in the achievements of ancient Indian philosophies and traditions. Influential public thinkers like Coomaraswamy argued the case of the unity of Indian philosophy and aesthetics. And few countries can boast of having an eminent philosopher as President — India had S. Radhakrishnan.
    However, at a concrete level, the status of philosophy as a serious academic discipline is nowhere near what might be suggested by its role in the freedom movement. In the years since Independence, it has disappeared from the public and cultural imagination and this has, in turn, led to it become something of a backwater even in academia. It no more captures the imagination of political figures, or new generations of students.

Illustration: Satwik Gade

  • The Forever All: A Philosophical and Spiritual Guide (thepeacefulpantheist.wordpress.com)
    ”In my viewthe-forever-all-cover-art-01-300dpi, the entire universe is the Supreme Being, an infinite, purposeful system of positive and negative forces which has always existed and always will, and each of us is that eternal being of light and darkness.
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    How I Became a Pantheist by Guyus Seralius
    Even now, when I search the term pantheism on the Internet, it seems to be a very untapped subject in comparison to atheism, deism, Buddhism, and so on.
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    The church gave them a sense of community and provided them with a social network. This of course predates all the online social networks now so available on the Internet. Sociologist have claimed for years, based on studies, that social networking is one of the main reasons most people do attend church or why they join a religion—it allows them to feel a sense of belonging.
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    Anyone of us can say “I am the universe or I am the All.” Philosophers and Spiritualists have been saying something along these lines for centuries. Hippies were definitely known for saying such things during the late 60s and early 70s, but most of us never gave it much attention or took it too seriously. It was usually just something a hippie often said to sound philosophically deep or spiritual. The truth is though, I don’t think most hippies even truly knew just how accurate they were.
  • Postmodernism, Wisdom & Rebuke (rethinkerblog.wordpress.com)
    Postmodernity has found its way into our architecture, our entertainment, our technologies and certainly our philosophies and religious systems. In a philosophical nutshell, postmodernism is the belief that there is no one universal belief: that your truth is your truth, and my truth is my truth. But more than that, it is skepticism toward Any system of belief. In his seminal work: The Postmodern Condition, French philosopher Jean-Francois Lyotard, Lyotard describes postmodernism as an “incredulity towards metanarratives.” Individually, postmodernism affords us our own adoptable moral criteria, unchallenged by others. But holistically, it keeps us all in a state of mistrust.
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    How can you tell someone what he or she is doing is right or wrong if his or her personally adopted belief system may claim the exact opposite?
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    Historically as a culture, when we distanced ourselves from God and his dogmatic mandates, we distanced ourselves from wisdom. And when we brushed off God’s holistic intent of prosperity and protection, we invited in its postfall antithesis: disease, decay and destruction.
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    Becoming People of “True Faith”
    The secular world might concede a slight bit more, accepting that perhaps these people of faith did at some point in their lives experience something “spiritual” or, according to science, “unexplainable.” That unexplainable spiritual (or more likely psychological) phenomenon is then called “God.” Just as another’s unexplainable phenomena might be personally claimed as an encounter with Buddha, or the Great Other, or Nature or some other metaphysical expression.
    Unfortunately, much of the American Christian church has not only surrendered itself to this secularized label of “faith,” but it also has offered little objective evidence of anything to the contrary.

    But for those having experienced true eternal life conversion, the secularized faith label is not merely annulled; it is completely transformed, and, as I soon will show, to the betterment of society as a whole.
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    a true Christian’s faith no longer is relegated to merely the hope that God does in fact really exist and that the Christian’s belief system is a valid one. The evidence of that initial faith is crystallized with the first actual experience of His presence and His voice. Not a metaphysical force or an idea – but a real and tangible encounter with a true and very real God.

    A true person of faith no longer clings to the shallow hope that his or her God might exist while still never having experienced a modicum of His presence or nature. Like Columbus’ crewmates, proven faith transcends hope. For a true Christian, faith is transformed. It is not based on the reality of a now proven God, but in the assurance that the words this very real God has spoken – are possible in our lives.

  • Mapping the Possible Relations between “Religious,” “Spiritual,” “Humanistic” and “Secular” Sensibilities (villasophiasalon.wordpress.com)
    The Dialectically Related  Mutual Approach takes the position that words like religious, spiritual, humanistic, and secular need not necessarily be construded as either absolutely exclusive, tolerantly inclusive, or impossibly ambiguous. Instead, they are words that suggest different psychological temperaments and casts of mind, as well as fluxuating moods within a single individual across a period of time. Our relationship to these words may be more aesthetic and metaphorical than scientistic and metaphysical. By way of analogy we may resonate with and enjoy many different kinds of music…in historical era, compositional genre, emotional mood, and artistic style.
  • Bertrand Russell on the science v religion debate | Clare Carlisle (theguardian.com)
    Bertrand Russell did not consider himself an expert on ethics and religion, and it is true that his writing on these subjects lacks the originality and sophistication of his philosophical work on mathematics. His criticisms of religion are often similar – in essence if not in tone – to opinions voiced by contemporary atheists: he argued that religious beliefs cause wars and persecution, are moralistic and oppressive, and foster fear. However, it is precisely for this reason that it is worth looking again at Russell’s rejection of Christianity. Anyone concerned with defending religion against its typical modern detractors must recognise Russell as a worthy opponent, for he was an intelligent, principled and humane man of the world who undoubtedly led a meaningful life.
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    Is religion based on fear?
    The most powerful aspect of Bertrand Russell’s critique of religious belief is his claim that religion is based on fear, and that fear breeds cruelty. His philosophical arguments against the existence of God may not touch the lives of many ordinary people, but his more psychological point about fear has to be taken seriously by all of us. In his 1927 lecture “Why I am not a Christian” – delivered to the south London branch of the National Secular Society – Russell expressed his point with characteristic clarity: “Religion is based primarily and mainly upon fear. It is partly the terror of the unknown and partly the wish to feel that you have a kind of elder brother who will stand by you in all your troubles and disputes. Fear is the basis of the whole thing – fear of the mysterious, fear of defeat, fear of death. Fear is the parent of cruelty, and therefore it is no wonder if cruelty and religion have gone hand in hand. It is because fear is at the basis of those two things.” No doubt he was preaching to the converted on this occasion.

    There are actually two elements to Russell’s diagnosis of religion here. The first is that religious belief is a symptom of fear: aware that our lives are precarious and vulnerable, we seek the protection of a powerful deity, to comfort ourselves with an illusion of safety. The second is that fear is a symptom of religion: in particular, doctrines of punishment in both this life and the next cause ignorant believers to live in fear unnecessarily. There is little doubt that this analysis has some truth on both points; perhaps it explains quite accurately the causes and effects of religious belief in a significant number of cases. But do such cases represent religion itself, or are they a distortion of it?

  • Spirituality (dustindemille.wordpress.com)
    I believe in Goodness, Peace, Love, Faith, Truth, Compassion, Honesty, Character, Integrity, Strength, Courage, and Wisdom.  I enjoy reading and writing about spiritual, religious, and philosophical subjects.
  • Patterns of manipulation and how to Spot Them (aquarianagethings.wordpress.com)
    The only answer is to get True Freedom. One of the most important is Spiritual Freedom and that includes freedom from religion.
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    the answer lies inside of you and that these is no need for religion per say because you are inextricably part of that Source already. I call it Source for lack of a better term.
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    Most want to keep you docile and looking for something outside that can never be reached or found. The Sages, Yogis and Wise men of the East have known this for a long time, but they have failed miserably at letting others know.
  • A Misconception of Spirituality (suskiwen.wordpress.com)
    The misconception of spirituality is that once we turn to it, we should be positive and then we will be healed. We have taken the wrong approach because struggles cannot be sublimed, they can only be confronted and experienced in spirit. Spirituality is not a means to an end (healed).
    When we surrender from the practical world and turn to seek the spirit for guidance, we are entering a commitment that requires our part to do the act of seeking. Each time we ask, we allow ourselves to be fully conscious and present in momentary experience so we are able to see what is true; and whether good or bad, the spirit will find itself there, and where it leads you is where you need to be. It is the “there” where spirit feels and spirit heals.
  • A Misconception of Spirituality (wilddose.wordpress.com)
    Spirituality is a commitment. It is the commitment of the body, the mind and the spirit to co-exist into one entity to deal with the experience assigned to you. It is not a destination, it is not an accident that at random, decides to splash the hues of life into your dullest hour, it is the commitment to a life of continuous practice to act as a vessel to patience, joy and balance in any situation or circumstance.
  • Why Science Doesn’t Trump Spirituality (speakablepath.wordpress.com)
    It is often thought that life can be understood either scientifically or spiritually. Strict adherents to science believe that, since the universe can be explained scientifically, there is no need for spirituality or mysticism. They think that scientifically proving and explaining the physical causes for phenomena eliminates the necessity for spirituality. What is the point of having faith in something non-physical when there is perfectly credible, physical proof? Surely in this advanced technological age humanity has outgrown the need for a higher power.