Love-Hate Relationship

I am probably exaggerating things a little, but only a little, when I say that there is a love-hate relationship developing between society at large and the church.

Whereas once the church helped society establish and find meaning in a Christian approach to morality we are now in a situation where increasingly society at large rejects Christian morality. Whereas thy church teaches love for our neighbour and endeavours, to the best of its ability, to model this, society is increasingly becoming ‘me’ centred
The church continues to put God at the centre of being but all too often society gives God no place in their life or decision making. As this antipathy to the church and its beliefs and values grows we in the church need to respond with a growing love for all people. The more we are rejected the more we love in response and reach out help in every way that we can. To paraphrase Scripture ‘they will know us by our love.’

When Jesus was attacked He responded with love, costly, sacrificial love. We can do no other. Those who malign us, misuse us, criticise our church and our faith are people for whom Jesus died and whom He loves. Let them encounter that sacrificial, caring love in us.

~ Alan Hermann

Religious matters

For ages people have looked in religion for answers for those things they could not understand, later they started searching more in the subject of science they thought could handle, but later in years also came to see that their they often worked with a wet finger and had it totally wrong.

Diagram of a Religious experience

Diagram of a Religious experience (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Still today their are people who swear by religion and others who swear by their own mind or by the minds of scientists.

Who shall tell?

In any case for believers there is a book of books that tells a lot of mankind, the past but also the future. It is the knowledge of histories and prophesies in that book, the Bible, that we can have not such a bad figure of what may come up to us. That Book of books proofed that the many words written in it became and where a truth, so why not for those things which still have to happen?

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A long time professional in Information Technology who has been in the business since the late 1970’s when he worked on IBM mainframes, saw a signboard of a Christadelphian Church:

“Seminar: Brexit and Bible Prophecy”.

which started him thinking about religion again.

He looks at the way how people sought to expound the things they came to witness around them and in nature.

We remember from his words:

  • religion developing as a means of understanding the world
  • details didn’t matter too much to people
  • original idea of evil spirit embedded in a mythos or body of myths
  • whole structure of myths + stories got inflated into a cosmology & a rationale for the way things were => as if that was the way things were, + to some extent = correct.
  • scientific revolution => most societies on Earth recognise earthquakes + landslides not caused by malevolent supernatural beings > by forces of nature <=== taught to kids ==> learn to distinguish truth + fact
  • vast majority of religious officials would have really believe the religious corpus
  • cultures coming into contact => mismatch in religious beliefs => religious wars, crusades & jihads
  • religion = subject in schools, like maths or geography => dissociated from feelings + belief => uneasy when people believe deeply in religion
  • horrified by radicals + extreme cults
  • Science = explanation of the world, observation based ===>> Maybe our descendants may look on science as we look on religion, as necessary, but ultimately wrong headed view of life.

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Preceding pages

The mythical conflict of science and Scripture (1)

Philosophy hand in hand with spirituality

Science, scepticism, doubts and beliefs

Are Science and the Bible Compatible?

Science and God’s existence

How to falsify a religion using scientific or historical evidence

Being Religious and Spiritual 1 Immateriality and Spiritual experience

Being Religious and Spiritual 3 Philosophers, Avicennism and the spiritual

Science, belief, denial and visibility 2

Bible containing scientific information

Science and the Bible—Do They Really Contradict Each Other?

The mythical conflict of science and Scripture (1)

The mythical conflict of science and Scripture (2)

Approachers of ideas around gods, philosophers and theologians

Are religious and secular ethicists climbing the same mountain

Is faith rational?

Finding God amid all the religious externals

Do You Expect God’s Answer

People Seeking for God 1 Looking for answers

People Seeking for God 3 Laws and directions

Luther on Being a Theologian: Oratio, Meditatio and Tentatio

Framework and vehicle for Christian Scholasticism and loss of confidence

Bill Maher proves atheism does not guarantee rational thinking

An anarchistic reading of the Bible—(1) Approaching the Bible

 

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Additional reading

  1. Words in the world
  2. A Word and helping sites to give answers
  3. Looking for Answers
  4. Are you looking for answers and Are you looking for God
  5. About a human being or not and life
  6. The I Am to explore
  7. Gone astray, away from God
  8. Faith because of the questions
  9. When you don’t know what to do and hate yourself
  10. Does God answer prayer?
  11. The truth is very plain to see and God can be clearly seen
  12. God’s never-ending stream of much-needed mercies
  13. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #6 Words to feed and communicate
  14. Fragments from the Book of Job #7 Epilogue
  15. A Story of the Soldier and a Spider
  16. Leaving behind the lives we have touched.
  17. Solitude

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Further reading

  1. the primitive as reaction, pt. 2
  2. Cara Wall Scheffler: What anthropology can tell us about the origins of religious behaviour
  3. Belief in moralistic gods makes people generous—towards coreligionists
  4. “Judeo-christian values” — already tried that
  5. Formula for atheism is criticism without abstraction
  6. Religiosity: Saving Jesus
  7. Fundamentalism
  8. Impact of Globalization on the Socio-Religious Values of the Igbo People
  9. England and Wales are now predominantly nonreligious
  10. Millennials & Though less religious than older Americans, they are just as spiritual #PewResearch #Organixbook
  11. Religiosity & Americans Skeptical Of God But Think Heaven Is Real, Somehow
  12. Tennessee legislature repeals religious defense for parents who hurt their children by withholding medical care
  13. The Pridefulness In Asking WWJD
  14. Open thread: Susan Jacoby talks about people who go through religious conversion
  15. Religious countries are more unhappy
  16. Unbelief hurts
  17. Debunking Myths in Private Practice
  18. There never was a norse pantheon
  19. The Vanir Sail to Asgard, Heid comes to life and Njord and Frey take the power as “hostages”
  20. Greek Mythology: Typhoeus (Typhon) – Gaia’s last hope
  21. Halal Has No Links To “Terrorism”
  22. Hypatia says….
  23. Wide Asleep
  24. Young immigrants to Canada passionate about spirituality: Todd
  25. The God of Our Misunderstanding
  26. Systems stink
  27. Why I don’t pay “tithe” anymore
  28. Disengaged (released, freed)
  29. An Intro to Me – An Invitation to You
  30. Muslim refugees in Germany threaten ‘impure’ Christians
  31. Muslims sue Town That Refused Permission for a Mosque
  32. I no longer identify as a Christian
  33. Another Example Of Why Beliefs Matter
  34. “So don’t be intimidated by all this bully talk.” ~Jesus
  35. Relating With Your Enemies (4)
  36. Humanity Overtaking Insanity
  37. Where Have All the Good Times Gone?
  38. Wings Of The Morning

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Me on the net

English: Christadelphian Meeting Room, Napton ... English: Christadelphian Meeting Room, Napton This Christadelphian chapel stands on the corner of Howcombe Lane in Napton. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Seen on the signboard of a Christadelphian Church : “Seminar: Brexit and Bible Prophecy”. What?? Anyway, that started me thinking about religion again.

In the days that religion was developing as a means of understanding the world, when natural occurrences like storms and earthquakes were hypothesised to be caused by supernatural agencies, such as spirits and gods, the details didn’t matter too much to people.

English: Cains Folly Landslide (2) Very active... English: Cains Folly Landslide (2) Very active landslide, Greensand sitting on Lias. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If your neighbour believed an evil spirit caused a landslide, it didn’t matter too much if he thought that the spirit was male, while you categorised it as female, and your other neighbour didn’t assign the spirit a gender at all.

Eventually problems arose with this approach. When Johnny arrived home…

View original post 1,113 more words

A British judge rules that mother can’t indoctrinate son with religion

A problem may arise when civil courts come to intrude with the upbringing of children about what to believe or what not to believe. But in the case of the JW mother judged about the upbringing of her son it has more to do with bringing up the child with discriminative ideas. Discrimination does not suits our civil society. All children should have the right to have contact with both parents whatever faith they may have.

All children also should not only learn about learning about mainstream Christianity or Christendom, but also about all other sorts of believes (atheism, Buddhism, Hinduism , shamanism, etc.). All children should learn that in this world there are different opinions and that every one should have respect for the different beliefs of others.

Though our society should also allow parents to bring their children into those communities they like to bring their children in, as long as they are not damaging the child. Kingdom halls are not a damaging environment. They are even less damaging than what can often be seen on television.

Taking a child away from the mother and the father is not at all a good idea and is not at all helping the child plus giving wrong signals to society in general.

As the writer of the article rightly says:

“Truly enlightened parents either tell kids to investigate different religions on their own, or help them do so without promoting one over the others. “

In several countries, like in Belgium ethical and religious education is part of the education program, giving all children the opportunity to learn about all sorts of religions, humanitarian and atheist visions. States should help the weaker ones, children, to receive an unbiased education, free from brainwashing and making the pupils strong enough to detect such forms which limit the right to think freely and to detect discriminating thoughts even by their own parents.

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Why Evolution Is True

Perhaps the statement from a New Atheist that most angers believers (or faitheists) is Richard Dawkins’s characterization of religious indoctrination of children as “child abuse.”  Yes, them’s strong words, but there’s something to be said for their truth. Of course it depends on the religion, but nearly all forms of parental teaching about religion abuse the intellectual curiosity of kids by taking advantage of their natural credulity. If you’re a Christian, you teach your kids stuff that is regarded by Muslims as not only false, but worthy of death. If you’re a Christian Scientist, you teach them to reject scientific medicine, a decision that can ultimately harm or even kill them. Further, religions can instill in children horrible feelings of guilt (ask an ex-Catholic), fear of hell, and a moral code that is bigoted, irrational, and hateful.

I don’t know how to remedy this problem, because clearly the state doesn’t want to…

View original post 426 more words

By the closing down of the Association for Biblestudy

Hand Study with Bible

Hand Study with Bible (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A person has to have lots of patience and often he can loose his or her patience. For me the interest by others is inadequate to continue the work for getting Bible scholars, Bible Students, researchers, archaeologists and interested people in the Word of God together.

When I created the Association for bible-study I hoped to create a platform where people could exchange ideas, make their efforts known to others and wanted to give an opportunity to make contacts with in the Bible interested people and institutions all over the world. Remarkable it is to notice, people are so bounded to their denomination, they do not want to have contacts or show that they have contacts with groups that could endanger their financial income because of the backing by certain denominational churches.

With Bijbelvorsers, Vereniging voor Bijbelstudie (Bible Scholars, association for Biblestudy) and with both lifestyle magazines Stepping Toes and From Guestwriters I also noticed that in this materialist capitalist society not many people are keen to do some work or to deliver services without payment or without receiving something to their advantage in return. It also looked that all the work that had to be done behind the screens always felt on the same persons, whilst others only wanted to enjoy the advantages for them.

As such, not willing to invest more time, energy and money into the association for Biblestudy the Belgian Christadelphians decided to close down that organisation. Because the website coming to its end of existence I decided to have the few resting articles to be transferred to the websites of the writers and to this platform for those article which do not fit on those sites.

The coming weeks you may find the re-placed articles divided on the following websites: here on Stepping Toes, Bible Students and on the WordPress websites of Bijbelvorsers. Hopefully you and many new readers may come to find the older articles and newer ones over there.

Enjoy the reading.

 

Het openingswoord van de Webs site van Bijbelvorsers, Vereniging voor Bijbelstudie, in juni 2010 - The opening speech of the Webs site of Bijbelvorsers, Vereniging voor Bijbelstudie or Bible scholars , Association for Bible study, in June 2010

Het openingswoord van de Webs site van Bijbelvorsers, Vereniging voor Bijbelstudie, in juni 2010 – The opening speech of the Webs site of Bijbelvorsers, Vereniging voor Bijbelstudie or Bible scholars , Association for Bible study, in June 2010

 

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Please find more about this closure:

Dissolution of Bijbelvorsers (Bible scholars), Association for Bible study

and in Dutch:

Denken aan het ontbinden van de Vereniging voor Bijbelstudie: Bijbelvorsers

Bij de opheffing van de Vereniging voor Bijbelstudie

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People Seeking for God 6 Strategy

Seeking the Most High Creator, our God is a process that is pivotal in our daily lives. When we look for God we should know that it is not a one day occasion. It will take more time to find God. Seeking God must not be seasonal fling. It also can not just be based on a mood of the day or a one time feeling.

Many times in history the Divine Creator had been all but forgotten like a distant memory fading into obscurity. We also can see this in our society, people do not know of the Power, the grace and the majesty of the Elohim, Jehovah our God. Not only the younger ones but also the more settles ones are interested in the temporary things of this world, not so much in the beautiful things of nature, but more the electronic gadgets. The material things they look for are like the flowers of the field, charming for a time, but eventually wither and fade away. Yet hope remained for the people of Israel and hope remains for us too.

Jhva Elohim Meth... The Revival

Jhva Elohim Meth… The Revival (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sometimes people start looking for a god or church because of peer pressure, but those intentions are mostly not serious and integer enough. Determined by circumstances a person also can come into a stadium where he or she wants seriously to receive more answers. Whatever triggers the search for God, the quest had to be undertaken seriously.

When it is only to have eternal life our reason of seeking God is not the right one and probably would not encounter so easily the expected answers.

We should aim to come into the presence of God. Some would say “it is the crucible where we learn to see eye to eye with God, feel His pulse and get primed to move by His Spirit“.

There should be various things you do to affirm your seeker-of-God status (praying, reading the bible, fasting, listening to truth messages), as you pursue the goal of being changed from glory to glory as you behold the Son of God.

The word ‘seek’ (in the Hebrew ‘dârash’) means to ‘tread’ or ‘frequent’ and this builds the image of seeking or treading a path to the Most High Elohim. It is the willingness to undertake the trip on a path which can lead to the Higher Being. Like Josiah in the past that one looking for God should begin to tread out a path to the Supreme Being, to understand and know how to seek Him.

בית ביסוד המעלה

בית ביסוד המעלה (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are so many things around to distract our attention, although there are nevertheless good things to look at. The beauties of God’s creation are wonderful sights for us to look at. The marvellous designs of the flowers; the birds we see flying around; the busy lives led by the insects; snow-capped mountains or a beautiful sunset. To come to look for God we should first be willing to see the things around us. We should come to see the incredible structures of all those things. Looking at nature, seeing its beauty, this will help to come to see the Maker of all that.

If we seek or tread a path to God frequently, the path will become clear and visible to us.

We read in Psalm 123:2

“(2)  See, as the eyes of servants Are toward the hand of their masters, As the eyes of a female servant Are toward the hand of her mistress, So are our eyes toward יהוה  {Jehovah} our Elohim, Until He shows favour to us.” (Psalm 123:2 The Scriptures 1998+)

The person willing to find God does have to take on the right attitude, willing to have his eyes waiting on Jehovah our God. In the psalm we may find the loyal slave’s attitude of watchfulness toward his/her master (Proverbs 27:18). Laziness or inattentiveness are not the right requisites to look for God. We do have to open our mind and be willing to read and think about the Word of God, as given in the Holy Scriptures, the Bible.

Excerpts from Raymond Martin's (Lat. Raymundus...

Excerpts from Raymond Martin’s (Lat. Raymundus Martini, appointed by the Pope to dig up the passages of the Jewish Talmud objectionable to Roman Catholics) Pugio Fidei adversus Mauros et Judaeos of 1270 CE (page 559). The Latin form “Jehova” of the Tetragrammaton is seen. This edition is published in Leipzig, 1687, now is found in the New York City Public Library. Also, see online at Google books here. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Those words we can find in that Book of books we do have to consider and take them at heart. It should be as reading a love letter, from our most beloved. The Bible should give you that fire to come into a close relationship with the Writer. That Speaker wanted to give his Voice to the whole world. His Voice is calling everybody to come into a good relationship with Him, His son and His beloved children who are willing to follow Him. We too can develop a close and personal relationship with our heavenly Father; however, it requires a diligent and zealous mind set on our part. But what a magnificent reward there is! To be able to worship and serve the Creator of everything around us, the one who has provided a great hope of salvation, so that unlike the temporary things of this life we can look beyond to a time of peace and equity, where

‘there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain’.

It is not a bad strategy to look  also at Jeshua, the Nazarene Jew and son of Joseph and Miriam (Mary). This man had learned from his parents who God is and what He had done for them. Already at a young age Jesus was more concerned of looking for God than for what his parents would say or feel. Jesus as he actively sought out his Father, when he was twelve years old, remained in the temple for three days. After three days looking for their son, they found Jesus in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both hearing them and questioning them.When Mary and Joseph voiced their concerns about the location of Jesus, we see his sense of duty towards the Only One God. When his mother asked him why he had done so to them, who became greatly distressed, he
said to them:

 (49)  … “Why were you seeking Me? Did you not know that I had to be in the matters of My Father?”  (50)  But they did not understand the word which He spoke to them.  (51)  And He went down with them and came to Natsareth, and was subject to them, but His mother kept all these matters in her heart.  (52)  And יהושע {Jeshua} increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with Elohim and men. (Luke 2:49-52 The Scriptures 1998+)

revealed in verse 49

‘I must be about my Father’s business.’

Even at the tender age of twelve Jesus provides us with a poignant example, seeking out the Most High LORD was absolutely essential for Jesus, despite the fact that he had to leave the comfort of his family in what was a very busy city. Towards the end of the chapter we see the result of Jesus’ actions, as we read in verse 52,

‘And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.’

This verse provides us with a wonderful motivation by seeking out the LORD of Lord of lords, Who is the Divine Creator God, we can increase our Godly wisdom, so we can learn how to worship and serve this LORD, the Elohim Hashem Jehovah. Instead of seeking out the God in the temple in Jerusalem we must seek out the ‘LORD’, Allah, God,  by reading His Word and praying for His Guidance in our lives. Although both Josiah and the Lord Jesus provide us with a two wonderful examples of seeking the LORD from an early age, however, this is a process that both of them continued throughout their lives. We must also spend our time and energy throughout our lives in seeking the LORD of Lord of lords, the Almighty God.

Do our eyes wait upon the Lord our God? Or do our eyes feast on other things? For what proportion of the day do our eyes look on the word of God or writings in connection with the Scriptures?

"Jehovah" at Exodus 6:3 (1611 King J...

“Jehovah” at Exodus 6:3 (1611 King James Version) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So in times of happiness or distress on our walk throughout life we can follow the path and easily seek the God of gods. However, this must be an active process, just as it was with Josiah; we must keep this path clear of the debris that life can bring upon us. To seek or frequent the LORD does not mean just to want to know more about God, it requires us to do something about it. This seeking of the LORD is an active process involving prayerful reading of God’s word. By looking for God we also should come to get Him so well that we also get His Name right. We have the wonderful consequence of seeking the Divine Creator laid out for us in Matthew 7:7, that if we do seek the LORD, we ‘shall find’ Him. God is waiting for us to actively seek Him out so that we can develop our relationship with Him as dutiful servants. when we read the Holy Scriptures and take the words for what they are we shall see the difference between the people and shall not have to speak about a lord, a Lord or The LORD, but shall come to know whom the lord Jesus is and Who is Father is. We shall also get their names right and shall recognise Jeshua (Jesus Christ) as the son of God, being the long awaited Messiah. We also shall come to see and understand why the creator had so much patience and wants the whole world to get to know His Name, Jehovah. It is up to us to come to know our heavenly Father and to get others to know Him, Who should be our Only One God.

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Preceding articles:

Finding God amid all the religious externals

Seeing or not seeing and willingness to find God

People Seeking for God 1 Looking for answers

People Seeking for God 2 Human interpretations

People Seeking for God 3 Laws and directions

People Seeking for God 4 Biblical terms

People Seeking for God 5 Bread of life

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Find also:

  1. Everyday beauty
  2. Did the Inspirator exist
  3. God, Creation and the Bible Hope
  4. God Feeds The Birds
  5. I Only hope we find God again before it is too late !
  6. God is One
  7. Only One God
  8. A God between many gods
  9. God of gods
  10. The one who makes us well and gives life
  11. Sayings around God
  12. Full authority belongs to God
  13. Lord or Yahuwah, Yeshua or Yahushua
  14. The Divine name of the Creator
  15. Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name
  16. Jehovah Yahweh Gods Name – Jehovah Gods Naam
  17. Our relationship with God, Jesus and eachother
  18. Jesus is the Son of God but Not God the Son
  19. Words in the world
  20. Book of books and great masterpiece
  21. Who Wrote the Bible?
  22. The Bible: God’s Word or pious myth?
  23. Bible Word from God
  24. Bible word of God, inspired and infallible
  25. Pure Words and Testimonies full of Breath of the Most High
  26. Unsure about relevance Bible
  27. Appointed to be read
  28. Unread bestseller
  29. The truth is very plain to see and God can be clearly seen
  30. Philosophy hand in hand with spirituality
  31. Good or bad preacher
  32. Getting to know the Truth
  33. How to look for and how to handle the Truth
  34. The World framed by the Word of God

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Additional reading:

Treasure Hunters
Imagine that you were just handed a treasure map that leads to Blackbeard’s Lost Treasure. Now take that map, put it in a frame, and hang it on the wall for all to see. Makes sense right? Of course not! You would take that map, follow it exactly step by step. No questions asked because you knew that this map would lead to Blackbeard’s Lost Treasure. Just like any quest , along the way you may encounter obstacles, people may call you names for following the map, and you might even want to give because it is just to hard. But instead of giving up, you continue with the treasure hunt and find it, and knowing all the trials and hardships you had to endure just makes finding the treasure even sweeter. Sounds like the plot to a movie right, but it’s not. It’s the the story of our lives.
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The Bible was written by man but inspired by God to teach us and instruct us in our everyday lives ( 2 Timothy 3:16) but if we just sit it on a shelf and let it collect dust, how are we suppose to know what it is God whats us to do?  If we don’t use God’s map and seek Him out, it is us that is missing out. God’s love is our treasure and just like any other treasure that is buried, it hasn’t moved. It is in the same place it has been for years but we must seek it in order to have that treasure and just like any other treasure, it is meant to be shared with everybody, so they can inherit God’s kingdom and feel this unending love of God. Lets start using our maps and seek God not just when we are going through struggles and storms, but in our everyday life.

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  • Seven, looking past the just a number (faithgracetorah.net)
    Our heavenly Father hides the deep wisdom like treasure hidden in a field. We are to guard our hearts. When we find wisdom, our hearts have joy. With wisdom, insight, understanding, knowledge and a pure love for YHWH apart from our own wicked selfish desires will keep our path straight.
  • Ahnsahnghong’s teachings – Elohim of plural form means God’s Omnipotence and Majesty? [WMSCOG] (ahnsahnghongtruthorfalse.wordpress.com)
    World Mission Society Church of God believes in God of the Elohim (plural form of God), and the existence of God the Mother/Heavenly Mother.However, the opposers do not agree at all.

    They claim that in Hebrew, the masculine suffix is “-im” and the feminine suffix is “-oth”.

    That is why the word “Elohim” is the plural masculine form of “El” or “Eloah.”

    They also claim that the plural elohim is used to show omnipotence and majesty of God’s character.

  • The Genesis 1:1-4 and John 1:1-5 Connection (thejewishinstitute.wordpress.com)
    The question that seems to always get raised within the Christian faith is, “How does John 1:1-5 connect or have any relation to Genesis 1:1-4?” I will answer this question not from a Christian point of view but from a Jewish one. We must first understand what Genesis 1:1-4, Bereshit in Hebrew, has to say regarding the Messiah. If there is relation between Genesis 1:1-4 and the Messiah then John 1:1-5 would make more sense from a Hebrew perspective and not a Greek one. Let us begin by reading Genesis 1:1-4 and see what it has to say and what the ancient sages understood about it.
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    “Jehovah, Elohaynu, Jehovah. There are three steps to accept the mystery from above. In the beginning God created. In the beginning is the first mystery from where all else spreads…The name takes three forms and from there the name is interpreted in several ways… Rabbi Bechai explained: Elohim is El Haym. These are gods. Remember your creators (Ecclesiastes 12:1). The wise will understand.” (The Jerusalem Edition of the Zohar)
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    “Elohim is composed of two words, El and Haym. These are God. That Elohim is plural, though there is only one God, is truth. Eliezer sat before his father. We have learned that to him is justice. How is it that wherever we meet Adonai Elohim [yod, hay, vav, hay, the letters of Jehovah’s name], it means mercy? (the Zohar)
  • Praise the Lord With Me and Oriki Song (thepraisesofgod.wordpress.com)
    How extra-ordinary must your beauty be O God? / It definitely is beyond and above all range of normal human imagination / I see you high and lifted up far beyond the starry sky / Above principalities and powers / Above rulers of darkness of this world / Above spiritual wickedness in high places / Above powers and dominions / Above everything that exalts itself against the knowledge of God.
  • The God to Whom I Pray (prayerfromtheheart.net)
    God, you are the great I AM. You are all knowing, all sufficient, ever-present and above all perfect love.
    God when I think of Jesus, my Lord and Savior, I know you are my caring shepherd, my Jehovah-rahh.
    Lord when I am anxious and worried you are Jehovah-jireh, the Lord who provides.
    When I am, overcome with anxiety, worries and cares, when the challenges of this life are too great for me to bear, I know you as Jehovah-shalom, the Lord of peace.
    When my body and emotions are weak or sick I come to you as Jehovah-rophe, the Lord who heals me.
  • Was The Name Jesus Christ Given To The Saviour By Heaven Or By Mankind? (spyghana.com)
    For many salvation seekers of Christian persuasion, the question posed in this caption may seem unimportant since almost all of them will readily give “yes” as answer to the first part and “no” to the second.
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    The original writers of the Hebrew version of the Holy Scriptures were inspired by the Most High One, and were under His direct supervision, as they wrote these scriptures on scrolls of parchment long ago (Second Timothy 3:16 and Second Peter 1:21). These writers could, therefore, never have made even the minutest of errors in their writings in this language since one could say they wrote with the finger of the Most High One.
  • In the article The Names of God (shareaverse.wordpress.com) is given the proof how many mix the names of people and do not see the difference between titles and names. the writer also goes astray by naming a description of an action as a name and as such takes the sign god gave to the virgin as a name of god whilst it is the name of the son of God, who is not god the son but the son of Mary and Joseph from the tribe of king David. By doing this he want to give direction to people getting them to believe that the Immanuel or God with us means that Jesus is God.
  • To the God I pray, & Intercessions for all men (twiyesudowo.wordpress.com)
    I know You as Jehovah-Shammah, The Lord is Present.
  • Why I Keep the Seventh Day Sabbath (christinachronicles.com)
    For those who are believers in His Son? He came to do the Father’s will…

    {Yeshua} יהושע said to them, “My food is to do the desire {will} of Him who sent Me, and to accomplish His work.” ~ John 4:34

Being Religious and Spiritual 5 Gnostic influences

Diagram of a Religious experience

Diagram of a Religious experience (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Preceding articles:

Being Religious and Spiritual 1 Immateriality and Spiritual experience

Being Religious and Spiritual 2 Religiosity and spiritual life

Being Religious and Spiritual 3 Philosophers, Avicennism and the spiritual

Being Religious and Spiritual 4 Philosophical, religious and spiritual people

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

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Read also:

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

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Additional reading:

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

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

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

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

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