Philosophy hand in hand with spirituality

Experiences and Interest in philosophy and spirituality

I think it is wrong to think philosophy can not go together with spirituality. I also think it is wrong to assume that when a person is interested in philosophy, he would not be interested in the spiritual or the religious.

Expérience

Expérience (Photo credit: Saturne)

The world itself presents itself in a succession of pure experiences which we should see. We can either ignore what is going on in the world or look at it question the what and why’s and how’s. Often the human beings can not qualify these experiences in a way by which all would agree with.

Should we not recognise that those things which come along our way are always felt and undergone by our own self, which was constructed by previous experiences and learnings. In a way this may give us always the way of the subjective choice and subjective sense or experience. Each is simply a pure impression that is made upon us at some point in our life, where we do have a certain education or development which shall obey the laws of our state at the moment.

Experiences and Impressions

Reality appears to us first as an unqualified multitude of original impressions that cannot be compared or ordered in anyway without our previous learnings. Is our experience not mere juxtaposition in space and succession in time; an aggregate of utterly disconnected particulars?
Living in this world we can not do without seeing what is happening around us. We can not merely observe the things, and not bring them into thought-relationships.

The things which happen in our lives shall give us our experiences. Those experiences will create senses and shall be our best teacher, experience being the mother of wisdom. To take on any qualities or relationships whatsoever thought or reason must act upon them. It is the process of thought that attributes qualities to pure experiences and relates some experiences to others to build an understanding of the world.

Conscious or unconscious direction with second nature

Our way of thinking or the process of thought should proceed through certain ways be it our conscious or unconscious direction. Our brain should go on working, considering what happened and analysing everything. Probably it shall order everything, classify it. This using some organic laws of interconnection. These laws are part of the world of thought itself and not completely within our control. Pure experience presents itself in a spontaneously emerging stream and thoughts grow out of that experience making it distinguishable to us and situating it in relationship to the rest of experience.

Some do consider the process of thinking not a human activity. We may say that thoughts emerge out of pure earlier experiences and are dependent on our upbringing or rearing and the language we learned, both becoming a second nature.

Out of body experience

Out of body experience (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Our religious thinking and being should also become such a second nature. From the Bible we can learn that the ‘soul‘ is not an external element in our being. Many Christians and Muslims imagine there are a good and a bad angel sitting on our shoulders and talking to a soul which can go out of our body when we die. For them this human soul is to be a phantom-like inner being that contains our conscience and moral fibre. It is the element which can let us do good or let us do bad, under influence of other spirits called either angels, for the good ones, and devils, like Satan and Lucifer, for the bad ones.

Breath given by Creator

Those people forget that it was God Who blew his breath in the nostrils of the first man and woman, to bring them to life. The Pneuma or spirit in those first human beings was not something separate from them. It was their breathing, their being itself.

The soul is not a specific element as such but the transcription of the inner being and the thinking which happens by ‘electronic actions’ in our brain and by breathing. Without breathing we shall not be able to give oxygen to our brains by which they will not be able to work, and with a non-working brain we are as good as dead.

You could say that the soul is our “background of our being”. This ‘being’ has to be fed to stay alive. And because it is not a material element it has to find its food in the immaterial. therefore we as human beings should also give food to the immaterial elements of our being, our “body and soul”.

God gave breath to all creation, but the difference between man and the other living organisms is that god has given more power to man. He has received the power to think, to make choices, to make decisions, to give names and to handle like he wishes to do. But all his actions will create experiences, be it nice or bad ones. He shall have the choice to learn from them or to continue his life without learning more from those things that overcame him.

Material and immaterial being and understanding

Like the soul in an immaterial thing, our thinking its coming to understand something is an abstract element. Understanding is “an abstraction which the human mind forms by reflecting on its own thoughts and forms of thinking.” This knowing is a natural product of the process of mind and it is bound up in, and limited by, language. {Coleridge}

Coleridge asserted that it is a process that requires no “self” to enact. It is a natural process of the lawful interaction of mental elements, a simple unfolding of the characteristics of the mind in nature. But I do think we do have a responsibility and we do have the choice and power to have the self to come to understanding.

I believe when we do open our mind to different thoughts we can enable ourselves to learn more. I also believe this is one of the tasks God has given His creation in the Garden of Eden. We can only give the plants and animals name and classify them in groups when we do have the knowledge and skill to do so. This would not require that we all have the same certificate of proficiency or that we may excuse ourselves when it is not in our domain.

Given brains and reason

An illustration of the Cartesian theater, wher...

An illustration of the Cartesian theater, where a homonculus sits in a person’s head seeing and hearing everything that he experiences. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Because God has given us brains to use, we should use them. So we should think about matters and question things. This questioning things may fall under philosophy. Today many may say “Reason is a direct product of the reasoning faculty.”, but that is not taking the Creator in mind. He had a reason to place human beings on this earth having a brain to reason. Reason is a direct product of the power of creation, Who Himself is Spirit. God is not a man of flesh and blood, but a Spirit without a beginning and without an end. His breath gave us spirit, making us capable to reason, to become reasonable figures in that Created World.

It is not an “accident” that reason comes to us. Reason is breathed into us by the Creator. Though many may think it is just something what happens accidentally, it is something which is in-breath in our human constitution. It may appear spontaneously without warning or precursor, but it is grounded or part of a growing seed, which can only come into existence when the person is willing to use his brain. It is from all the previous experiences, the teachings a person got, that he or she shall be able to think. Though this would not be possible without the Power of the Most High, the Spirit God. Without Him we are nothing. It is the Holy Spirit Who can give us ‘spirit’ to think about matters and to come to reason. God has implanted ethic thoughts in us. He has created us all in His image, so we all do have certain elements of the Supreme High Being. We do not all have the same elements, but somehow we all received enough elements to become full human being who can think properly and who should be able to find God. The Reason as such becomes Spontaneous Knowing. We all have received the power to get to Knowing. Some may think it is not an understanding that is constructed through any thought process, but they should remember the Creator who build in His creations the possibility to think and to come to conclusions. In our inner being we do have the key to come to understanding. It is the direct and self-authenticating recognition of truth.

Different ways to go giving different opinions

From the beginning of the world mankind questioned the Spirit God and for that reason Jehovah God gave man the possibility to work it out himself. Woman would bear children in pain and would find they all could be different, going their own way or helping each other. All had to make their own decisions and could think their own way. God allowed it to be so.

Because we all went different ways on the paths which lay in front of man, different opinions came into the world, and people could choose between many theses or postulates.

The direct knowing of truth is build in by the Creator and could happen spontaneously and also compulsively. The reasoning faculty is ‘knowing’ itself. It is not a process that leads to knowing. This implies that there is some part of us that simply knows the truth and cannot help but know it. But we are stubborn beings, though we do not want to admit it. We have direct sense impressions – smells, tastes, sensations, sounds and sights – which simply appear in awareness. We don’t call them into being and we cannot alter or avoid the way they present themselves. Ideas and intuitions also – upon their initial appearance – share the same unalterable immediacy of presence.

With this awareness of things, matters and background knowledge, we can hear others and see what others do or create. Seeing what happens in the world we can not ignore the inner language of thought. We can only deny our interpretation of experience, not the fact of having it.

Trying to perceive more knowledge

So we may experience a lot of things in our life, encounter lots of publications and thoughts. By tackling our taste to get more knowledge,we are not going against God His wishes. The opposite I would say. We should learn and we should try to get more knowledge.

With philosophy we may come into the domain of the seekers who search to get more wisdom, knowledge and understanding about reality. Did or do not many philosophers try to get to answers about life and about why and how things are? They do like to offer an explanation of the way things are where spirituality is a description of a position that we as a human being should take in relationship to the way things are.

Trying to become one with self and environment

Experience

Experience (Photo credit: Kaptain Kobold)

In the action of Spirituality a person tries to become One. Bring mind, soul, thinking in unison with his being, material body. By the spiritual action we do want to go to the source from which everything else originates, whilst by the philosophy we want to come to an understanding why and how human being went away from its source and how it can come back to this source again.

While Philosophy is generally in the mental state of consciousness, the mind taking efforts to know, the spiritual would love to come to that Source of knowledge, believing that there exist something more than the material being its consciousness that exist above the mental ranges.

Trying to transcend domain of rationale and intellect

Moral philosophy

Both the philosopher and the spiritualist may be willing to come to knowledge which transcends domain of rationale and intellect. The philosopher not so much concerned by the own individu or individual, person, character, his identity, but preferring to give objective pictures of reality without telling us explicitly (although often they do implicitly) how we should be in relationship to that picture. Even in moral philosophy generally what we get is an explanation of why certain things are right and others wrong. What we don’t get is someone telling us that we should do the right thing. What we do with morality is left in our own hands.

Spirituality resides in higher regions and has much more to do with the own subjective personality. From the subjective point of view the spiritualist tries to go deeper into himself, looking for the realm of truth there and not as such by others. He knows that the soul is in each of us and is inseparable joined together with flesh and blood. In that casing of human flesh there is our way of breathing and thinking, spirit and moral judgment.

Trying to Relate things

We may be interested to see how we can relate to things, and therefore we can look what philosophers do have to say about that. Spirituality wants to go a step further than just knowing how things are related with each other. It tells us how we should be in relationship to the way things are. It can show us how we should react and by knowing what actions we do have to take we also shall be able to choose if we are willing to use such a knowledge to take on an attitude and to build up a religious field. Spiritualities always include philosophical explanations of the world, but those philosophical aspects are the backdrop for the main event which is direct instruction about how to live.

Door to transcendence

Understanding, intellect and the mind is one door to transcendence. From philosophers we can learn a lot, and we should take the opportunity to learn from their writings. But they will never be able to give the full answer. They mostly do not look for The Divine Source. In our normal consciousness people are so caught up with their emotions, sensations and thoughts and their own mind, they get full of themselves in the emptiness of the world. They become so active that there is no room for the Divine. There the spiritual person wants to go against. He wants to have his wondering not taking him to put Him in the chains of life.

No reason to be afraid of philosophy

To see clear
Man thinking on a train journey.

Man thinking on a train journey. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Christians should not be afraid that the philosophy would carry people away from the Divine. When this would happen it is because the person is not prepared to sincerely look for the Divine. Often the person going away from religion is because he does not see clear the difference between philosophy, religion, religiousness and spirituality.

The philosopher may have the love and intellectual search for wisdom. The spiritual minded person knows or believes there is something extra in our life than just the knowledge of the material world. The spiritual person does want to find knowledge to come to wisdom, but understands that wisdom is more that putting all facts together. To come to spirituality there must be more than the willingness to come to understand the own being. Besides the willingness to come to get to know the inner-self there is the love and opening of their hearts for the wisdom and the willingness to have it taking part in the relationship with others.

Sister and brother

We should understand that the religious person may like to look into philosophy and at the same time may look into spirituality. The two approaches can marvelously be like sister (heart) and brother (brain) in the process of coming to the point of Being part of the One on one side and then Becoming part of the big thing on the other side – in being active in life.

Relationship of unity and Oneness

So, I would say, do not mind letting philosophy going hand in hand with spirituality and making a person to become religious in the good sense of the word, finding and loving the Only One Who is One and wants us to be one and worshiping the Right One in a relationship of unity and Oneness.

The only thing a Christian should be careful for is that he does not get carried away with human thinking, but keeps himself concentrated on the sacral and spiritual matters, looking for the Most Important Being making our self being possible to be a being, the Only One God, the Adonai Elohim Hashem Jehovah.

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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

How long to wait before bringing religiousness and spirituality in practice

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Additional reading:

  1. A concrete picture of what is to come in the future
  2. Migrants to the West #7 Religions
  3. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  4. Women, conservative evangelicals and their counter-offensive
  5. Lying in the senses in matters of love
  6. Our relationship with God, Jesus and each other
  7. Separation from God in death, the antithesis of life
  8. Fragments from the Book of Job #7 Epilogue
  9. Exceeding Great and Precious Promise
  10. Wondering
  11. Believing to understand
  12. Light within
  13. Let tomorrow be sufficient
  14. Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience
  15. Don’t let anyone move you off the foundation of your faith
  16. Know Who goes with us and don’t try to control life
  17. Know by trying
  18. Knowing where to go to
  19. Think hard before you act today
  20. Disappointed expectations
  21. I Only hope we find GOD again before it is too late !
  22. Put on the whole armor of God
  23. Weapons of our warfare
  24. A call easy to understand
  25. Getting of at the fence
  26. Hope as long as you live
  27. A goal is a dream with a plan
  28. Lying in the senses in matters of love
  29. Be humble like Christ
  30. The way God sees us
  31. Two forms of Freedom
  32. Altar everything in life
  33. Duty of encouragement
  34. Establish Priorities
  35. Luck
  36. Joy: Foundation for a Positive Life
  37. Nothing noble in the flesh left to itself
  38. Determined To Stick With Truth.
  39. Created to live in relation with God
  40. God’s promises
  41. Sow and harvests in the garden of your heart
  42. A love not exempting us from trials
  43. Call unto God so that He can answer you
  44. Life in gratitude opens glory of God
  45. Do not be so busy adding up your troubles
  46. Preexistence in the Divine purpose and Trinity
  47. Immortality, eternality – onsterfelijkheid, eeuwigheid
  48. Dying or not
  49. What happens when we die?
  50. Dead and after
  51. Sheol or the grave
  52. Satan the evil within
  53. Soul
  54. Destination of righteous
  55. Destination of the earth
  56. God’s design in the creation of the world
  57. God His reward
  58. Is there an Immortal soul
  59. The Soul not a ghost
  60. The Soul confronted with Death
  61. The soul has no rainbow if the eyes have no tears
  62. Trust God to shelter, safety and security
  63. God wants to be gracious to you
  64. Invitation to all who believe

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Looking for True Spirituality 8 Measuring Up

Coming to own spirituality

The inability to take one’s stated goals seriously is widely shared among the human race, as easily found among traditional religious believers and committed social justice workers as within the ranks of spiritual types.
How many Christians truly seek to follow Jesus’s teaching about wealth (shun it), retribution (“turn the other cheek”), or religious pride (definitely not for the Christian)?
How many social critics pursue their political goals with close-mindedness, arrogance, or careerism?

Many Christians like others are so consumed with living their own life of faith that they don’t have time left over to worry about other people’s failings.

creation spirituality

creation spirituality (Photo credit: lars hammar)

Modern spirituality tries to detach itself form conventional creeds, particularly willing to utilize a wide variety of traditional and non-traditional (e.g. psychotherapy, physically oriented hatha yoga) resources. It nevertheless faces the same struggles as serious people of any denomination. It will always be extremely difficult to discipline the mind, renounce addictive pleasures, care for strangers, accept disappointment, and be grateful when times are rough.  Whether we are motivated to do so because God commands us to, or because we just think it is the only way to a really good life, living this way will never come easy. And therefore the struggle to do so is something that “spiritual but not religious” types and the most orthodox of the faithful have in common.

File:Tahia.JPG

Getting carried away. – This Tahia is made of coloured papers flowers wattle and crock. It multiplies the beauty of image to a great extend. Such a decoration creates spiritual emotions in the hearts and mind of devotees in Car Festival. – Photo: Taraprasad Jena

We do have to avoid many common pitfalls by focusing on spiritual virtues of compassion and self-awareness, and not forgetting to look at the critically important goals of social change.
If compassion for others and willingness to ask oneself hard questions are part of what you are about, then spirituality  is something you can respect, for it is part of your life already. And if as a spiritual person you care about the fate of humans and the earth, political activism beckons as a vital spiritual practice.

Internal angst may not be the basic for our spiritualism. Though for many the quest for our being, the reason and why of our person shall be a good reason to become looking for more and to dig deep in to the grounds of spirituality. Looking for the reasons of this universe you may find that to deny God is to debase one’s own mind and dehumanize the whole person.

The world should know that it are not the ones who fear Jehovah as the Only One God that are fools. Those who do not believe in God bilious and bloated may laugh and say “God is gone.” or “There is no God.” For the ones who believe they may be a danger because they, by many times hearing the same corrupt words and breathing the same poison gas, fouling the air; they might believe that those vile deeds of unbelievers are more successful than the good deeds of Christians.

The spiritual minded, accepting the deeds of Jesus Christ should know that the atheists their thistles are their cash crop on which Jehovah God looks down. He sticks his head out of heaven. He looks around. He’s looking for someone not stupid — one man, even, God-expectant, just one God-ready woman. The Creator looks down from heaven on the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God. For a long time God came up empty and perhaps He still finds there is no-one who does good, not even one.

File:Bosch follower Christ's dispute with the doctors in the temple (Louvre).jpg

Christ’s dispute with the doctors in the temple. – Jesus among the Doctors, Follower of Hieronymus Bosch (circa 1450–1516)

We do have the choice to become one of “The ninety and nine who follow their fellow” or to become one of the few followers of Jesus Christ, the Messiah who many consider a joke.  See all those impostors and wonder if they don’t they know they can’t get away with this — Treating people like a fast-food meal over which they’re too busy to pray? Night is coming for them, and nightmares, for God takes the side of victims. Do you think you can mess with the dreams of the poor? You can’t, for God makes their dreams come true. When you are looking for God, willing to dig deep in your mind, meditating on His words you may be sure the True God is present in the company of the righteous and will be willing to come to you also. God is around, not only to save Israel, but also to save you.

14 The foolish* one says in his heart:“There is no Jehovah.”+Their actions are corrupt, and their dealings are detestable; No one is doing good.But Jehovah looks down from heaven on the sons of men To see whether anyone has insight, whether anyone is seeking Jehovah.They have all turned aside;+ They are all alike corrupt. No one is doing good, Not even one.  Do none of the wrongdoers understand? They devour my people as if they were eating bread. They do not call on Jehovah.  But they will be filled with great terror,+ For Jehovah is with the generation of the righteous.  You wrongdoers try to frustrate the plans of the lowly one, But Jehovah is his refuge.O that Israel’s salvation may come from Zion!+ When Jehovah gathers back his captive people, Let Jacob be joyful, let Israel rejoice. (Psalm 14)

The one true God who has revealed Himself in Scripture as a God of grace and forgiveness, who so loved the world that He gave His Son as an atonement for sin, so “that we might die to sin and live to righteousness,” according to 1 Peter 2:24, shall be there with those who are willing to follow the footsteps of the Nazarene and to take on the mind of Christ to become spiritual and following the Spirit of the Most High.

21 In fact, to this course you were called, because even Christ suffered for you,+ leaving a model for you to follow his steps closely.+ 22 He committed no sin,+ nor was deception found in his mouth.+ 23 When he was being insulted,*+ he did not insult* in return.+ When he was suffering,+ he did not threaten, but he entrusted himself to the One who judges+ righteously. 24 He himself bore our sins+ in his own body on the stake,*+ so that we might die to* sins and live to righteousness. And “by his wounds you were healed.”+ 25 For you were like sheep going astray,+ but now you have returned to the shepherd+ and overseer of your souls.* (1 Peter 2:21-25)

He graciously compels us to thank Him, and He himself should top the list of things we are thankful for.

Please do look around you and see how people bring into practice what they say they believe. Look at those who call themselves Christian and check if they are living according the commandments of Christ.

In the previous chapter we did ask:

Can you identify the people who are following in the footsteps of Christ and preaching the good news of the Kingdom around the world?

Everywhere in the world there are many people who are loving God so much that they are prepared to go out on the streets and to preach in His Name. Many are afraid of those who witness about the Creator God, whose Name should resound all over the world, and than the end would come. Are you recognising those who preach in the Name of Jehovah God and who would love to get to know as many people as possible Jehovah‘s name and His Kingdom?

Find people who study the Word of God and who are sharing the love of God with each other. Find people who are wiling to come together in the Name of the Only One True God, to worship Him according His rules and regulations and not according the many pagan rituals and human traditions.

Of course, there are other characteristics that identify a truly spiritual person, but how do you measure up to those already considered? To find out, ask yourself:

‘Do I regularly read God’s Word, the Bible, and reflect on what I read? Do I manifest the fruitage of the spirit in my life? Am I a man or a woman of prayer? Do I want to associate with the people who are carrying out the worldwide preaching of the good news of God’s Kingdom?’

An honest self-examination may help you to determine the depth of your spirituality. We urge you to take the necessary steps now so that “life and peace” may be your lot.

8 Therefore, those in union with Christ Jesus have no condemnation. For the law of the spirit that gives life in union with Christ Jesus has set you free+ from the law of sin and of death. What the Law was incapable of doing+ because it was weak+ through the flesh, God did by sending his own Son+ in the likeness of sinful flesh+ and concerning sin, condemned sin in the flesh, so that the righteous requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us+ who walk, not according to the flesh, but according to the spirit.+For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh,+ but those who live according to the spirit, on the things of the spirit.+For setting the mind on the flesh means death,+ but setting the mind on the spirit means life and peace;+because setting the mind on the flesh means enmity with God,+ for it is not in subjection to the law of God, nor, in fact, can it be. So those who are in harmony with the flesh cannot please God.—(Romans 8:1-6-8)

13 “Go in through the narrow gate,+ because broad is the gate and spacious is the road leading off into destruction, and many are going in through it; 14 whereas narrow is the gate and cramped the road leading off into life, and few are finding it.+ (Matthew 7:13, 14)

For this very reason, put forth all earnest effort+ to supply to your faith virtue,+ to your virtue knowledge,+ to your knowledge self-control, to your self-control+ endurance, to your endurance godly devotion,+ to your godly devotion brotherly affection, to your brotherly affection love.+ For if these things exist in you and overflow, they will prevent you from being either inactive or unfruitful*+ regarding the accurate knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

For anyone lacking these things is blind, shutting his eyes to the light,*+ and has become forgetful of his cleansing from his sins+ of long ago. 10 Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling+ and choosing sure for yourselves, for if you keep on doing these things, you will by no means ever fail.+ 11 In fact, in this way you will be richly granted* entrance into the everlasting Kingdom+ of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.+ (2 Peter 1:5-11).

Let us all be aware or remember:

Do not be misled: God is not one to be mocked. For whatever a person is sowing, this he will also reap;+because the one sowing with a view to his flesh will reap corruption from his flesh, but the one sowing with a view to the spirit will reap everlasting life from the spirit.+ (Galatians 6:7, 8)

By our willingness to become spiritual and are preparedness to follow God His commandments we can free our mind and become true followers of Christ Jesus, helping each other by exhorting and edifying each other in the mind of Christ and by strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith even when we must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God.

24 “Exert yourselves vigorously to get in through the narrow door,+ because many, I tell you, will seek to get in but will not be able. (Luke 13:24)

22 There they strengthened the disciples,*+ encouraging them to remain in the faith and saying: “We must enter into the Kingdom of God through many tribulations.”+ (Acts 14:22)

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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

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

Dutch version of this article / De Nederlandse versie van dit artikel: Op zoek naar spiritualiteit 7 Prediking van het goede nieuws

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Additional reading:

  1. Determine the drive
  2. Compassion and Discipline
  3. Digging in words, theories and artefacts
  4. Exceeding Great and Precious Promise
  5. The builder of the Kingdom
  6. Kingdom of God what will it be like
  7. Christ’s ethical teaching
  8. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  9. A Living Faith #9 Our Manner of Life
  10. Some one or something to fear #7 Not afraid for Gods Name
  11. Rejoice even though bound to grieve
  12. Those who make peace should plant peace like a seed
  13. Looking forward to God’s faithfulness
  14. Bringing Good News into the world
  15. The Involvement of true discipleship
  16. Testify of the things heard
  17. Proclaiming shalom, bringing good news of good things, announcing salvation
  18. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #2 Witnessing
  19. A Voice to be heard
  20. Creator and Blogger God 4 Expounding voice
  21. Blogging for Jesus…
  22. Preaching to an unbelieving world
  23. Words to push and pull
  24. Good or bad preacher
  25. Learn how to go out into the world and proclaim the Good News of the coming Kingdom
  26. How should we preach?
  27. Breathing and growing with no heir
  28. Breathing to teach
  29. Bringing Good News into the world
  30. Jehovah’s Witnesses not only group that preach the good news
  31. Holland Week of billing
  32. Trying to get the youth inspired
  33. When discouraged facing opposition
  34. Who are you going to reach out to today
  35. Praise the God with His Name
  36. Agape, a love to share with others from the Fruit of the Spirit
  37. Holiness and expression of worship coming from inside
  38. Belonging to or being judged by
  39. Not all will inherit the Kingdom
  40. Knowing where to go to
  41. United people under Christ

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  • How Does One Measure True Spiritual Satisfaction? (jordanbattiste.wordpress.com)religion
    I don’t think there are any monks praying in a hidden temple amongst the clouds, but I do know a little about the people who practice yoga and go to AA meetings and commit to altruism and humanitarian acts.
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    Can someone be spiritual and not believe in God? What about atheists and agnostics? Austin Cline from About wrote, “if spirituality really is best described as a highly personalized and privatized religious belief system, then the answer to the question is clearly “yes.” Atheism is not only compatible with the adoption of a public, organized religious belief system, it is also compatible with the adoption of a very personal and private religious faith.” Of all my speculation, this is the most satisfying answer yet. It’s objective and not riddled with bias – less truly is more.
  • I’m Confused About My Spiritual Beliefs. (thespiritualguru.wordpress.com)
    Every person is free to explore their Spirituality as they see fit. This just happens to agree with the Bible. As in Genesis God created man, and he gave man the power of Free Will. Man could choose for himself the path he would take.
    In many eastern traditions the concept of freewill is paramount. Buddhists believe that the choices we make not only affect our lives and Karma, but those around us as well. This is true, when you consider the interactions you have with others.
    What a person believes, or has faith in will determine their path in life. Faith is necessary for spiritually. It is belief in something you can’t explain. Some will say that if it can’t be proved logically it can’t exist. However humans are not the logical creatures we think we are.
    The Human mind has a logical and illogical side. The illogical is imagination, faith, belief, hope, emotion. None of which are logical. The logical side is the reasoning side, where we interact and classify what we see and touch. Where we solve problems and use our experience to keep from making the same mistakes. This logical side, however, can’t explain the other side.
    +
    Am I Crazy?
    A person will believe many things during their lives that have not been proven as 100% fact.
    +
    Whatever you choose to believe is OK. In the end your the one who has to decide to stand behind your convictions what ever they might be.
  • Short Sermons (attycortes.wordpress.com)
    a post of Peter Leithart on Pope Francis’ advice on preaching. > For Short Sermons
    Francis gives sound advice on preaching: The homily “is a distinctive genre, since it is preaching situated within the framework of a liturgical celebration; hence it should be brief and avoid taking on the semblance of a speech or a lecture. A preacher may be able to hold the attention of his listeners for a whole hour, but in this case his words become more important than the celebration of faith. If the homily goes on too long, it will affect two characteristic elements of the liturgical celebration: its balance and its rhythm. When preaching takes place within the context of the liturgy, it is part of the offering made to the Father and a mediation of the grace which Christ pours out during the celebration. This context demands that preaching should guide the assembly, and the preacher, to a life-changing communion with Christ in the Eucharist.”

  • New Creation (bhkmparish.wordpress.com)
    Paul prays first that we would be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding. Paul wants us to know what God’s will is for our lives as individuals and as a congregation. To get that knowledge we’ll need spiritual wisdom and understanding. This is not just book-learning about the Christian faith (although some of that will help), but rather a deeper sense of who we now are in Christ.
    +
    Paul prays that we would grow in holiness, or in his words, that we would walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.
  • ‘Be born in us today’ (bhkmparish.wordpress.com)
    Those with whom our Lord is pleased and in whom His peace rests are those who, on this joyous day, glorify and sing praise to God in their hearts
  • Do Preachers Know the Power of the Holy Spirit? (Martyn Lloyd-Jones) (chosenrebel.me)
    If a pastor always gets “expected” results, is he in danger of doing ministry apart from the power of the Spirit?
    +
    He may have been very ill, a thousand and one things may have happened to him, and he may go into the pulpit with fear and trembling, feeling that he hasn’t done his work; he’s got nothing. And it may be one of the most glorious services he has ever had the privilege of conducting. Why? Because he doesn’t control the power [within of the Holy Spirit]. It varies. And not only in preaching but in daily life and experience. It is the well of water that is within us and we don’t control it. It controls us.
  • Raising Children to be Witnesses, Not Just Spectators (astrugglingdad.wordpress.com)
    Raising my children with the eyes of faith, I have come to realize that this grace given to us comes with an even greater responsibility. I realize more and more that it is not enough to merely raise children who go through the motions of practicing their Catholic faith no matter how sincere or well-intentioned they may be. The task must be to nurture them to live their faith in a way that will engage and impact the growing faithlessness in the world.

  • Should a believer wait to have a “burden” before witnessing? (marcminter.wordpress.com)
    When is the right time to witness to someone?  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?  This question may be phrased in numerous ways and yet ask basically the same thing.  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.
  • Meditation to Develop Witness Consciousness (rhondamills.wordpress.com)
    Regardless which style of meditation is practiced, the mistake that many people make is to think they are not good at meditating, or not being successful in the meditation because their mind wanders. Yes, your mind is going to wander. Coming back to the focus of the meditation – again and again as many times as needed – is part of the practice. Having to do that doesn’t mean you’ve failed; it means you are practicing.
  • Witnessing (hrobertsonblog.wordpress.com)
    It is precious and sacred to think on babies, and to remember my own special young motherhood and firsts in parenting. However, it is the magnitude of  a maturing relationship with Jesus Christ, my Savior that brings me to my knees. Unbelievable, that he would care for me a rebellious sinner. Care enough to die for me…is wonderful.
  • the last hour’s letter from the last apostle of the first twelve (kzlam36.wordpress.com)
    By this we know that we are in Him.  He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.
    +
    Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.
  • “On Meditation” – channelled spiritual message from The Circle of The Light of The Love Energy (earthmessagepress.com) discusses if we have to look in the quit to come to the light of creation.
  • In spite of insight (justmebeingcurious.com)

    One problem with written materials is that you only have whatever the author wrote down. If you have additional questions or don’t fully understand, you’re stuck. The attitude of many was, “I would prefer to learn from a disciple of Jesus or a disciple of a disciple than from a scroll.”

    And then comes The Main Man into the equation. Tapping the blackboard, whispering quietly, listening and nodding, laughing and rolling around on the floor … making it Fun! Some call it insight – I call it “in spite of insight”.

  • On Faith and Spirituality (zebrapotential.wordpress.com)
    I have felt for quite some time that god is a form of energy.  That palpable part of the universe for me that I feel everyday.  My personal energy is what I rely on the most.  It is my gauge for happy, competent or tired and needing to recharge.  I haven’t really developed this belief in god as energy.  Obvious to me is that spirituality is shared.  So, how will I share the energy given me and be receptive to that energy flowing back from others?
  • The Revisionaries (2012) (docdailyblog.wordpress.com)
    The Revisionaries is frightening because I can’t help but think about what a disadvantage Texan schoolchildren who are affected by these textbook changes will have when they get to college. Unless these Texan children attend a religious specific college they will be behind and a lot of the information they have [such as God being in the constitution] will be challenged and they will suffer as a result. At the least in college they will have to re-learn everything religion has touched in their educational career. I believe these board members’ decisions to make religion the priority will put the kids in Texas at a major disadvantage compared to the rest of the country.
  • Why study the Bible? (illustrationstoencourage.wordpress.com)
    Today there is more information available than ever before. But the big questions- questions about life, suffering and death still remain. Where can we find answers? What if the answers have been there all along, in the Bible.

Looking for True Spirituality 5 Fruitage of the Spirit

Spirituality and “the Fruitage of the Spirit”

Gospel writer Luke stated that God’s holy spirit was poured out on Jesus at his baptism and that Jesus was “full of holy spirit.”

English: John the Baptist baptizing Christ

John the Baptist baptising Christ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

21 Now when all the people were baptized, Jesus too was baptized.+ As he was praying, the heaven was opened up,+ 22 and the holy spirit in bodily form like a dove came down upon him, and a voice came out of heaven: “You are my Son, the beloved; I have approved you.”+ (Luke 3:21, 22)

4 Then Jesus, full of holy spirit, turned away from the Jordan, and he was led about by the spirit in the wilderness+ (Luke  4:1)

32 John also bore witness, saying: “I viewed the spirit coming down as a dove out of heaven, and it remained upon him.+ 33 Even I did not know him, but the very One who sent me to baptize in water said to me: ‘Whoever it is upon whom you see the spirit coming down and remaining,+ this is the one who baptizes in holy spirit.’+ 34 And I have seen it, and I have given witness that this one is the Son of God.”+ (John 1:32-34)

Jesus, in turn, impressed upon his followers the importance of being guided by God’s holy spirit, or “active force.”

Now the earth was formless and desolate,* and there was darkness upon the surface of the watery deep,*+ and God’s active force*+ was moving about over the surface of the waters.+ (Genesis 1:2)

So I say to you, keep on asking,+ and it will be given you; keep on seeking, and you will find; keep on knocking, and it will be opened to you.+10 For everyone asking receives,+ and everyone seeking finds, and to everyone knocking, it will be opened. 11 Indeed, which father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will hand him a serpent instead of a fish?+12 Or if he also asks for an egg, will hand him a scorpion? 13 Therefore, if you, although being wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more so will the Father in heaven give holy spirit to those asking him!”+ (Luke 11:9-13)

 For I will pour out water on the thirsty one*+ And flowing streams on the dry ground. I will pour out my spirit on your offspring*+ And my blessing on your descendants.(Isaiah 44:3)

17 Every good gift and every perfect present is from above,+ coming down from the Father of the celestial lights,+ who does not vary or change like the shifting shadows.*+ (James 1:17)

Why is that so important? Because God’s spirit has the power to transform a person’s mind, so that it begins to resemble the mind of Christ.

12 Therefore, I appeal to you by the compassions of God, brothers, to present your bodies+ as a living sacrifice, holy+ and acceptable to God, a sacred service with your power of reason.+ And stop being molded by this system of things,* but be transformed by making your mind over,+ so that you may prove to yourselves+ the good and acceptable and perfect will of God. ((Romans 12:1, 2)

The holy spirit produces in a person such qualities as “love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, mildness, self-control.” These qualities — which the Bible calls “the fruitage of the spirit” — mark a truly spiritual person.

22 On the other hand, the fruitage of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience,* kindness, goodness,+ faith, 23 mildness, self-control.+ Against such things there is no law. 24 Moreover, those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed to the stake the flesh together with its passions and desires.+ (Galatians 5:22, 23, 24)

for the fruitage of the light consists of every sort of goodness and righteousness and truth.+ (Ephesians 5:9)

17 But the wisdom from above is first of all pure,+ then peaceable,+ reasonable,+ ready to obey, full of mercy and good fruits,+ impartial,+ not hypocritical.+ (James 3:17)

In short, a spiritually-minded person is one who is guided by God’s spirit.

Jesus displayed the fruitage of the spirit throughout his ministry. Such qualities as love, kindness, and goodness were particularly evident in the way he treated those who were considered lowly members of society.

36 On seeing the crowds, he felt pity for them,+ because they were skinned and thrown about like sheep without a shepherd.+  (Matthew 9:36)

Note, for example, an incident described by the apostle John. We read:

“As [Jesus] was passing along he saw a man blind from birth.”

Jesus’ disciples also noticed the man but saw him as a sinner.

“Who sinned,” they asked, “this man or his parents?”

The man’s neighbours also noted the man, but all they saw was a beggar.

“This is the man that used to sit and beg, is it not?”

they said. Jesus, however, saw the blind man as an individual who needed help. He spoke to the blind man and cured him.

9 As he was passing along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth. And his disciples asked him: “Rabbi,+ who sinned, this man or his parents, so that he was born blind?” Jesus answered: “Neither this man sinned nor his parents, but it was so that the works of God might be made manifest in his case.+ We must do the works of the One who sent me while it is day;+ the night is coming when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the world’s light.”+ After he said these things, he spat on the ground and made a paste with the saliva, and he smeared the paste on the man’s eyes+ and said to him: “Go wash in the pool of Si·lo′am” (which is translated “Sent Forth”). And he went and washed, and came back seeing.+

Then the neighbors and those who formerly used to see that he was a beggar began to say: “This is the man who used to sit and beg, is it not?” (John 9:1-8.)

What does this incident tell you about the mind of Christ?
First, Jesus did not overlook lowly ones but treated them with tender compassion.
Second, he took the initiative to help others.
Do you see yourself following this pattern set by Jesus? Do you see people as Jesus did, giving them the help they need to improve their life and brighten their future? Or do you tend to favour those who are prominent and overlook those who are not? If the former is the case, you are doing well in following Jesus’ example.

12 For he will rescue the poor who cry for help, Also the lowly one and whoever has no helper. 13 He will have pity on the lowly and the poor, And the lives* of the poor he will save. 14 From oppression and from violence he will rescue them,* And their blood will be precious in his eyes. (Psalm 72:12-14.)

+

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

Next: Looking for True Spirituality 6 Spirituality and Prayer

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

Op zoek naar spiritualiteit 5 Vrucht van de geest

++

Find also to read:

  1. He has given us the Pneuma, the force, from Him
  2. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  3. Followers with deepening
  4. Bearing fruit
  5. You cannot change anything in your life with intention alone

+++

File:Worcester Black Pear - geograph.org.uk - 1559141.jpg

Worcester Black Pear. On a tree at Hartlebury Castle- The tree bearing fruit appears on The Worcestershire county coat of arms. The pear itself appears on the Worcester city coat of arms. The fruit is very hard and if stored carefully will keep right through to the following spring. It needs to be cooked slowly. (Photo: Bob Embleton)

  • The Gift of the Holy Spirit (shoutingthemessage.wordpress.com)
    The Holy Spirit endows us with marvelous attributes if we allow Him to work in our lives.  These are known as “the gifts of the Spirit”.
  • Fruit of the Holy Spirit (fropuff7.wordpress.com)
    The ‘Fruit of the Holy Spirit’ is a biblical term that sums up the nine visible attributes of a true Christian life written of by Paul in his letter to the Galatians chapter 5. The 9 Fruits are coming from the Holy Spirit and not from the Christian. The word Spirit is a capital S which is referring to the Holy Spirit and not the human spirit. The Fruit of the Holy Spirit are God’s divine personality and character traits that are worked in over time into the Christian human spirit.
  • Anointing in the Holy Spirit (loopyloo305.com)
    Take any vessel that you can think of, if you mix water into what ever is already in the vessel, what you have is no longer water, instead it is a diluted version of what was already there. And yet if you totally empty the vessel and fill it with pure water, then that is what you will have. So many times we are not allowing ourselves to be emptied to the fullest, we hold a portion back, for what ever reason, and therefore, we are not filled with what God wants to give us, but instead a weaker portion of what we already are.
  • Allow God’s Holy Spirit to cover you (examiner.com)
    The gentle snowfall, which is blanketing where we live in the Midwest, should remind us of God’s Holy Spirit, Who is at work upon the earth. The treasure of Heaven, Jesus Christ, was broken for us, so that His Holy Spirit could be released from Heaven upon the earth.We have God, in the Person of Holy Spirit, with us today on the earth and in our spirits, to guide, counsel, help, and protect us and intercede on our behalf.
  • The Art of Evangelism (faithandencouragement.wordpress.com)
    I think that when many Christians consider evangelism, they start to break out in a cold sweat.  “What will I say?  What will they think of me? I don’t know what to say or how!”  Evangelism is akin to public speaking in many Christians’ minds: high up on the fear list.  I don’t say this to condemn or even criticise; I just think that it’s important to recognise that many people feel that way so that we can encourage them.
  • Believing in Jesus: A Deeper Meaning (phenum01.com)
    It is conceded that everyone who is begotten of the holy Spirit is imbued with the hope of a Heavenly birth. We are called in the “one hope of our calling” (Eph. 4:4). In the natural realm, all begotten do not come to birth. Miscarriages are very common. Some fetuses may be carried to birth and then be stillborn. Hence, everyone who received the begettal of the holy Spirit had a legitimate hope of a spiritual birth, but not a guarantee.
    The logical question is, has anyone ever received more than the Pentecostal converts did? There is no reason to believe so. Anything more is not possible. To receive the free gift of “justification” and to be imbued with God’s Spirit of sonship is unspeakable grace. This is the starting place where disciples are enrolled in the Christian racecourse. Paul says, “Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: but I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway” (1 Cor. 9:24-27). “Many are called, but few are chosen” and fewer still remain “faithful” (Matt. 22:14; Rev. 17:14).
  • Holy Spirit is on a Mission! (hisfreedomnow.wordpress.com)
    He is eradicating religion, tradition, dead works and every false doctrine and “every proud and lofty thing that raises itself up against the knowledge of God.” He is breathing death on everything in the church that does not originate in Him and is not sustained by Him.
    +
    He is releasing the anointing of His fire and Jesus wants everyone to be baptized and unified with it, set truly free by it and staying free in it!
  • Narrative Lectionary: Not! (John 1:19-34) (revgalblogpals.org)
    John proclaims that Jesus has come to take away the sins of the world, making a theological claim about Jesus’ purpose, and the sacrifice of his life.  Some people believe this was Jesus’ saving mission, while others are more inspired by his life.  Others find salvation in Jesus from our selfishness, our petty concerns and our self-absorption, and a call back to a Spirit-filled life.  “Yes, Jesus, save me from myself,” Marcus Borg has said.  Whether it’s salvation from sin, or from our old way of life, John recognizes Jesus as the one who comes to call us back to God in a new way.  John the messenger follows the birth of Jesus, and proclaims that Jesus has come to connect us to God in deeper ways.  Out by the river, far from the painstaking rituals of the temple, John sees that God is doing something new, through someone new.  In the same way, as a new year begins for us, we can hear John calling us back to God.
  • The Greatest Herb
  • Sown
  • It’s Not What It Seems To Be!
  • Where Are You Sowing Your Seeds of Spoken Words?
  • Bad Soil
  • Power of Choice (Part 2) using the Parable of the Soils
  • The Place Where Words Are Sown?
  • To Flower in Countless Lives
  • Open Heavens Devotional – Sunday – 22/12/2013 – Bad Soil by Pastor E.a. Adeboye
  • It Seems Unfair
  • Ephesians 4:7 But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.
  • We Are the Sons of God
  • Mystery of the Cross
  • Revelation 2:4 – Have You Left Your First Love?
  • 2 Corinthians 8:9 For your sakes he became poor.
  • We Can Do Nothing Against the Truth
  • 36 Amazing Things
  • Who Am I ?
  • What Can the Devil Steal? Part 2
  • Pruning the Branches
  • September 23 – Fruitfulness
  • Bearing Fruits
  • Part 2: Stay intimate! ‘I am the Real Vine and my Father is the Farmer. He cuts off every branch of me that doesn’t bear grapes. And every branch that is grape-bearing he prunes back so it will bear even more. You are already pruned back by the message I
  • The Bare Tree…
  • Reflections… (evicolson.wordpress.com)

Looking for True Spirituality 3 Mind of Christ

“The Mind of Christ”

Ruins of the ancient city Corinth

In addition to pointing out the importance and benefits of being spiritually-minded, the apostle Paul had much to say about what true spirituality is. To the Christians in the ancient city of Corinth, Paul explained the difference between a physical man, that is, a person who follows the impulses of the flesh, and a spiritual man, a person who cherishes spiritual things. Paul wrote:

“A physical man does not receive the things of the spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him.” On the other hand, Paul explained that the spiritual man is characterized by having “the mind of Christ.”—1 Corinthians 2:14-16.

Having “the mind of Christ” basically means having “the same mental attitude that Christ Jesus had.”

Now may the God who supplies endurance and comfort grant you to have among yourselves the same mental attitude that Christ Jesus had, so that unitedly+ you may with one voice* glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.  (Romans 15:5-6)

Keep this mental attitude in you that was also in Christ Jesus,+who, although he was existing in God’s form,+ gave no consideration to a seizure, namely, that he should be equal to God.+ (Philippians 2:5-6)

In other words, a spiritual man is one who thinks as Jesus does and walks in His footsteps.

Cover of "The Mind of Christ"

Cover of The Mind of Christ

21 In fact, to this course you were called, because even Christ suffered for you,+ leaving a model for you to follow his steps closely.+ (1 Peter 2:21)

4.1 Since Christ suffered in the flesh,+ you too arm yourselves with the same mental disposition;* because the person who has suffered in the flesh has desisted from sins,+ (1 Peter 4:1)

The more a person’s mind resembles that of Christ, the deeper his spirituality is and the closer he is to gaining “life and peace.”

11 And do this because you know the season, that it is already the hour for you to awake from sleep,+ for now our salvation is nearer than at the time when we became believers. 12 The night is well along; the day has drawn near. Let us therefore throw off the works belonging to darkness+ and let us put on the weapons of the light.+ 13 Let us walk decently+ as in the daytime, not in wild parties* and drunkenness, not in immoral intercourse and brazen conduct,*+ not in strife and jealousy.+ 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ,+ and do not be planning ahead for the desires of the flesh.+ (Romans 13:11-14).

+

Preceding articles:

Looking for True Spirituality 1 Intro

Looking for True Spirituality 2 Not restricted to an elite

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

Dutch version of this article / De Nederlandse versie van dit artikel: Op zoek naar spiritualiteit 3 Zin van Christus

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

+++

File:Badger's footsteps.JPG

In whose footsteps do you want to walk?

  • The Standpoint (danielquarteyministries.wordpress.com)
    The Grace of God came to us so we may enjoy the liberties of life. The redemptive power of His Grace was to translate us from the darkness in which we were in, into His marvelous light and love. But us Christians we haven’t really come to the understanding of the fullness of this light. We find ourselves here in the light today and tomorrow back into darkness.
    +
    A carnal man is in partial darkness; he desires the things of the spirit yet is so much yielded to the things of the world. Though he knows the right things as commanded by Christ yet he finds himself on the opposite side.
  • Imitating Christ (rthibeault2000.wordpress.com)
    Daily these people strive to seek the heart, mind, and spirit of Christ.  Then after their seeking, they push on to imitate or act it out in their lives.
    +
    As a Believer, I want to go where no one has gone before, do what none has done before, all for the Glory of God, for Jesus Christ, Our Savior.  I want to win the race, knock out the adversary , to cross the finish line.
  • The Mind of Christ (sarasmusings.wordpress.com)The Mind of Christ
    Those of us who claim to know Jesus Christ can have the mind of Christ, but so many times the world and everything in it that we want gets in the way. Our spiritual life is practically nonexistent because we have allowed sin in it’s myriad of enticements to rule our lives (e.g., gossip, greed, never being satisfied with when we have, jealousy and envy, pride, ego, status, and the list goes on and on).
    +
    Having the mind of Christ means sharing the plan, purpose, and  perspective of Christ, and it is something that all believers possess.
  • Embracing Our Roles (lordiofferyoumylife.wordpress.com)
    Just as in the Corinthian church, today’s society is in much cultural confusion.
    +
    Jesus Himself submitted to the will of the Father. Without Jesus’ submission, the Father’s plan of salvation would not have been completed.
    +
    Adam and Eve wanted to be gods, and humanity has been trying ever since. But no matter the form of rebellion we hold in our hearts, we can confess that to God and be forgiven.
  • Why Shoot Your Brother When God Says Not Too? (codybateman.org)
    According to the New Testament, there are two broad categories of Christian believers, carnal and spiritual—that is, those whose actions and decisions are mainly governed by the “flesh” and those who normally are governed by the leading of the Holy Spirit.
    +
    Even though true believers can behave carnally, the fact that they are “babes in Christ” confirms that they are “in Christ.” They just need to grow up, as it were, into spiritual maturity through partaking of both the milk and the meat of the Scriptures. Note 1 Peter 2:2 (“desire the sincere milk of the word”) and Hebrews 5:14 (“strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age”) for the God-given principle of Christian growth.
    +
    Fruit Bearing Christians
  • December 8 (bookministry.wordpress.com)
    The most important thing in the believer’s life is to learn Christ. “In Him dwells all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” That fulness is for us, for: “In Him we are made full.” And because Christ, as our fulness, is in the glory, therefore Paul writes to the Ephesians: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.” That means we are blessed with every spiritual blessing in our Lord Jesus Christ in the heavenlies.
  • The Greatest Missionary of All, Part 3 (pikeassociation.wordpress.com)
    Jesus’ humility was one of the main reasons why He was the greatest missionary of all.
  • The mind of Christ (egwquotables.wordpress.com)
    If the mind is molded by the objects with which it has most to do, then to think of Jesus, to talk of him, will enable you to become like him in Spirit and character.
  • The Mind of Christ (promisebook.net)
    The heart of Jesus was spiritual. Our hearts seem so far from His.  He is pure.  We are greedy. He is peaceful; we are hassled. He is purposeful; we are distracted. How could we ever hope to have the heart of Jesus?
  • Seeking Christ (rthibeault2000.wordpress.com)
    When you have Christ’s Spirit, you will find hidden manna.  Manna, the bread provided to the Israelites during their wandering of the Desert of Sinai is symbolic of the spiritual sustenance provided by the Word of God.  This symbolism is even greater when we understand the hidden manna refers to the manna which was placed in the Ark of the Covenant.  This Ark was maintained in the Temple in Jerusalem,  inside the Holy of Holies.  It was found in the holiest part of the holiest part of the Temple of God.
    +
    As Christians we need to have the mind of Christ.  The Gospels reveal that Christ’s mind was focused on relationships.  In particular, there are two relationships with which He was concerned.  The first is the vertical relationship between God and man.  The second is our relationships with each other.
  • …we have the mind of Christ. (momsfirstscreenn.wordpress.com)
    The mind of Christ is not old, slow or forgetful! I don’t care how old you get. You don’t have to become forgetful. Don’t believe and confess what medical science or your friends say. Believe and confess the Word of God which brings life.

    The power of life and death is in your tongue. (Proverbs 18:21) So use your tongue for life. Don’t sit around saying, “I am getting old and forgetful.” Say, “I have the mind of Christ. My mind is sharp and quick because it is the mind of Christ!” Believe it, confess it, and see your thinking and memory live up to it!
  • Put on the mind of christ by Donald Young (onaldwhy.wordpress.com)
    Romans 12:2 – And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
    +
    Philippians 2:5 – Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus
  • The Gift of Peace (setimmerman2.wordpress.com)
    If you surrender everything – by prayer to God with thanksgiving, peace, the kind of which makes no sense at all to the human mind, will guard your heart, and your mind, in Christ Jesus.
  • The Gospel According to MacArthur: Examining the book The Gospel According to Jesus Pt2 (Nicodemus) (standforthefaith.wordpress.com)
    Also, Ryrie claims that repentance is “a change of mind about Jesus Christ so that He is believed and received as personal Saviour from sin.” Repentance, by this definition, has nothing to do with one’s attitude toward sin and does not necessarily result in any change in lifestyle.
    +
    This is “the obedience of faith,” they say; it is one-time obedience to the Father, not lasting obedience to the commandments of Christ. But obedience to Christ’s authority is clearly enjoined by texts such as John 3:36 (“He who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him”) and Hebrews 5:9 (“[Christ] became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation”). “
  • Hebrews 7:26 NKJV – No One Higher (pagprayer.wordpress.com)
    God is set apart from all other things. God is holy; His nature is holy; His name is holy and His dwelling place is holy. As I lay in bed last night, the thought of God being above all things resounded in my mind. God is far above, beyond and outside all of created order.
    +
    We as believers have the mind of Christ. “For “who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 2:16 NKJV) Through the Holy Spirit, we have understanding of the things of God. The mind of Christ reveals the essence of God’s nature; including God’s holy nature. Having the mind of Christ leads to holiness. Believers are enabled to grow in holiness on account of the sacrifice Jesus paid on the cross and through the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit.

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.

+

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.
    +
    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.
    +
    “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.
    +
    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.