An anarchistic reading of the Bible (2)—Creation and what follows

Whilst there may certainly be nothing sacred or “God-ordained” about the modern nation-state, lots of people do claim the connection of their state with the God of their Christian faith. Lots of those claiming to be Christian do not notice they themselves made themselves an own faith which in many cases has gone far away from the leader Christ Jesus his teachings. Even worse many of the conservative Christians and extreme right people have twisted so much the biblical teachings they do not see straight any more.

Lots of people in the so called democratic countries would like to build up their country to what they call to be a free nation, though they want to put a lot of limitations to whom may enter and to what others may believe.
A very good example of such deformation of the mind is the United States of America where there are some citizens who are totally convinced that it is their own home country, not recognising they themselves came from immigrants, thinking their laws should be build on their restricted view of the Bible, ignoring in a certain way the idea of freedom of the Pilgrims who founded their country.

Americans, convinced that the only state they have does not belong to the original locals, redskins or Indians, neither that it belongs to the Divine Creator, are convinced only they can work, according to their measures, to make ‘their state’ the most just and life-enhancing state it can be.
They are also convinced they should also work against their state as strongly as possible when it is unjust and undermines life. Though they often forget which measures or rules they would consider to be the just, righteous and most right to choose for.

Perhaps they can use an anarchist critique of the state and an anarchist affirmation of the human capacity for self-organizing to help to resist the undermining and, even more, to help them as they seek to construct a well-functioning society.

But most of all I would advice those who call themselves Christian to take up again the Bible and to go through it thoroughly.
All people interested in building up a community which can leave together in peace,is better to take up the manual given by the Supreme Writer and Divine Creator of all.

We can approach the Bible as a storybook and see it as providing a loosely coherent message, amidst a great deal of diversity, but than we shall miss out a lot of wisdom provide in it and would not be able so much to see our own stupidities and the stupidities of our governments who do not want to learn from the past, having the past repeating over and over again.

When we look at the Bereshith, the book of the Beginnings brings us the evolution of all things. Lots of conservative Christians do want to take its writing as a literal presentation from day to day, but it was never intended to be so. Moses neither the Client to write, wanted to present humanity with a factual historical scientist into depth account of what happened throughout the years of this universe.
The very beginning of the Bible provides much important information about the Bible as a whole, about the cosmology of the whole, about the character of the God seen to be central to the entire story, and about the relationships between humankind and this God.

Those people taking up the Bible, the infallible Word of God, should remember that the tale told in that Book of books, is to bring us knowledge about our own beings, our own self, how and why we are and how humanity develops.

In this Best-seller of all times, the One giving His Voice, the One Who asked to have His Words written down, This Creator God speaks of His Creation, which includes not only the human beings (male and female) being created in His own image, but also all the things He gave under dominion of those human beings (plants and animals). Though man could make use of it and could give it names, it has made a mess of it, and has done dishonour to the Creator of it. Too many have forgotten that humanity is commissioned to care for the rest of creation as God’s stewards. This is one of the good reasons lots of people should again or for the first time start reading the Bible to find out what their position on this planet is and what they have as task to do to come to a nice good peaceable world.

The Bible tells us what went wrong in the past and how the relationship between God and man became troubled. We do have to find ways to restore that relationship between God and humanity which is not one of domination, command-and-obedience. Yes it is rather a relationship of like with like. God has given several man of God to lead us and to show us the right way to develop. The prophet and master rabbi Jeshua (Jesus Christ) is the most important one to follow. after so much time that the people still did not come to understand the Torah, Jesus came to clarify it once again and to show the Way to God. though Jesus is the Way, he did not want to do his own will nor wants us to do only his will, neither to make him God or to worship him. He wants us to worship and to pray to the same God he prayed to, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob, Who is also the God of him (Jesus) and his disciples.

We are told to put on the armour of Christ and to become like Jesus, and to put on the armour of God becoming one with God like Jesus is one with God. Though God is the Most High and even Jesus could not do anything without his heavenly Father, we also shall never be able to do anything without God allowing it to happen. But we are given the words of Christ and the words of the other prophets to help us to find the right way, trying to transform ourselves by the teachings of the master teacher and by the words of the very different books brought together in the Canonical Bible.

We as humans created in the image of God are also by that Creator asked to be like God. And, perhaps even more importantly, the picture here is that all humanity shares in this divine image — kingly, perhaps, but in a strongly egalitarian sense. As well, human beings are given power and responsibility.

The biggest problem is we all are responsible for our own choice and for our own actions. There is nobody else to blame for what we ourselves decide to follow.
It is up to us to take up the Book of books, to believe in it and to follow up freely its advice and wisdom.

*

To remember:

to avoid the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil” (2:17) =  restriction >  arbitrary rule from a dominating God intended to prevent human enlightenment? => Such an interpretation contradict much of the surrounding story + much of what follows in the Bible.

restriction = symbolizing innate human limitations.

human beings seek to know + use that knowledge to dominate creation => will devolve into power struggles and develop hierarchies

To avoid such a dynamic =>  to step back from desiring too much “knowledge,” to accept limits, and recognize to live in trust.

Adam and Eve

Adam and Eve (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“temptation” to violate restriction = too strong => Adam and Eve break the close connection between themselves and God.

coming from human side — after they eat the forbidden fruit, God still seeks to hang around with them in the Garden

humans hide from God (3:8) = they become ashamed of their nakedness.

consequences of this turn toward disharmony = establishment of “enmity” between Adam and Eve (3:15) and of Adam as “ruler” over Eve (3:16).

Not God’s will

new tensions and struggles = characterize human life.

rest of story = God’s work among humanity to overcome this “enmity” and proclivity toward “rulership.”

“fall”= affirmation of fundamental character of human peaceableness and responsiveness to God = complicated by human freedom.

God gives humanity potential to turn away as a key part of basic loving nature of the relationships +> turning away has consequences.

fatalistic interpretation has underwritten power politics over the centuries — the “fallenness” of humanity used as an excuse for a politics of centralized, coercive power.

human proclivity to exercise power in dominating ways = target in story of the Tower of Babel in Genesis 11.  = inclination to centralize human power and to create a “oneness” that serves centralized power.

“scattering” Babel-dwellers (3:4, 8, 9), God seeks to create the conditions for a different kind of oneness — human unity respecting diversity, decentralizing power, based on mutual respect.

rest of the Bible’s story describes long, tenuous process of such a oneness being established.

human beings being gifted through God’s Spirit to connect despite their differences in languages, points to the type of oneness God endorses.

God’s healing strategy

genealogy that will connect Noah with the founding of God’s chosen people, we meet the human founders of the Hebrew peoplehood.

God creates something new out of barreness + promises descendants, beyond counting, and the agents of blessing for “all the families of the earth” (12:3).

important intervention of God = vocation God gives Abram, Sarai, and their descendants = God’s response to what happened in Eden, the story of the Flood, and the Tower of Babel => God will bring healing, but it will be patient, non-coercive, based on love and not on domination.

Founding ancestor of God’s chosen people = far from being a king or powerful ruler.

God’s work to bring healing to creation = not linked with territoriality => no geographical kingdom and no human king.

The method for doing God’s work in the world is “blessing” and this work is intended to encompass “all the families of the earth.”

We will have to follow the rest of the story to understand better the political implications of this starting point. But we should notice right away the combination of a lack of state-centeredness and the optimism about the possibilities of this “blessing” spreading widely without domination.

++
Additional readings:

  1. What is life?
  2. Leaving the Old World to find better pastures
  3. Men of faith
  4. Built on or Belonging to Jewish tradition #1 Christian Reform
  5. Right to be in the surroundings
  6. Creator and Blogger God 2 Image and likeness
  7. Creator and Blogger God 5 Things to tell
  8. God wants to be gracious to you
  9. The giving and protecting God
  10. Testify of the things heard
  11. I Only hope we find GOD again before it is too late !
  12. A secret to be revealed
  13. Humility and the Fear of the Lord
  14. No fear in love
  15. If you want to go far in life
  16. Being of good courage running the race
  17. Wisdom lies deep
  18. God’s work done in God’s way will never lack God’s supplies
  19. God should be your hope
  20. Your New Job Description — Bless!
  21. Count your blessings
  22. There can only be hope when there is a will to be and say “I am”

+++

  • American Pride: What Does the Bible Say? (endtimesprophecyreport.com)
    Throughout its short 230+ years existence, the country known as the United States of America has specialized in turning vice into virtue.  Exhibit A?

    Americans teaching that pride is a much-desired quality.

    “American Pride”: it’s on the airwaves; it’s taught in the schools; it’s preached from the pulpits.

  • Is This What US Interviewing Officers In The Embassy Go Through? (thechroniclesofrenard.blogspot.com)
    The experience of getting a United States visa in order to visit the United States of America can be quite challenging for a lot of people in The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

    Here is a humorous video about those interesting experiences.

  • Muslim Americans Insist Students Were Killed Because of Faith (voanews.com)
    The Obama Administration released a statement late Friday about the killing of three Muslim students this week in North Carolina. In the statement US president Barack Obama said “No one in the United States of America should ever be targeted because of who they are, what they look like, or how they worship.” American Muslim leaders agree and are urging authorities to label the shooting deaths a hate crime. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
  • Akin Osuntokun: The winner takes all election (dailypost.ng)
    Politics is inherently conflict-ridden with a dual and contradictory potential to either serve as a conflict resolution mechanism or generate a momentum for the escalation of conflict to crisis and ultimately to catastrophe.

    The election of Barack Obama, the first African-American, to the office of the President of the United States of America (USA) is unique and indicative in several respects. It was a veritable indication of how far America has gone in functional socio-political integration and positive adaptation of social diversity. Yet it equally brought in its wake the manifestation of the negative potential of politics to serve as a predictor and harbinger of conflict and crisis.

  • United States Corporation & The united, “States of America” . . use this to help people understand! It is very important information! ~J (gunnygbb2.wordpress.com)
    This film explains the difference between the, “united States of America” which is a Republic, created by the people, and for the protections and freedoms of the people; and, a corporation called “The United States Of America”, which is a Corporation of the “District of Columbia”; Titled, “The United States Of America” this corporation was founded in 1871″.

Thinking Pacifism

Ted Grimsrud—February 2, 2015

This is the second in a series of posts.

In this survey of some biblical themes looked at from an anarchistic angle, I will not be real precise in my use of “anarchistic.” I’ll be talking about a sensibility more than a full-fledged political philosophy. The key “anarchistic” motifs I will focus on will be a strong suspicion toward centralized social power, especially kingdoms and empires, and an optimism about human possibilities for self-organizing and decentralized social power.

And I will be reading the Bible in fairly naïve and straightforward ways. I approach the Bible as a storybook and see it as providing a loosely coherent message, amidst a great deal of diversity. I will focus more on the loose coherence than the diversity—largely due to a desire to find usable guidance in the Bible. At the same time, in reading the Bible more as…

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Writers needed to preach to non-believers

Growing Islamisation

The Great Mosque of Brussels is the oldest mosque in Brussels. It is located in the Cinquantenaire Park. It is also the seat of the Islamic and Cultural Centre of Belgium.

The Great Mosque of Brussels is the oldest mosque in Brussels. It is located in the Cinquantenaire Park. It is also the seat of the Islamic and Cultural Centre of Belgium.

It may be said that Christians seem to fail there where Muslims succeed. In Belgium we could see the Muslim community grow enormously in the last decade. Though we do not see so many preachers on the streets. In certain quarters the Islamic preachers are very actively on the street or in the parks, but in others you can’t see them. It seems a lot of youngsters do find their Islamic teaching on the net but do not find it countered by Christian teachers. Those who do have an idea that there could possibly be one God to be worshipped mostly can find Catholic and evangelical groups teaching trinitarian doctrine. Jehovah Witnesses go from door to door but most people are so much afraid of the groups and of the name Jehovah they really do not want to listen to them or to take some study material from them.

English: took it myself to illustrate open-air...

Open-air preaching (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Many people in several western countries stopped listening to the pastors, priests, bishops and those who say they are ‘men of God’ because they saw what happened in the many churches were priest and nuns used young children to please themselves. Lots of people saw that many preachers who did use lots of words to frighten the people, did not bother to do those things they told their flock not to de because they would end up in hell, a place of torment and eternal suffering. In many denomination the pastors or priests make use of the comparatively easiness to convince a man of his sin and then to frighten him for the consequences of that sin.

Guilt is a majority of our spiritual make up.  And it is the substance that leaks out into our fleshly day. {The necessity of the Gospel}

No good answers by clergymen for searching people

No Preaching sign in Australia

No Preaching sign in Australia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Having a guilty conscience many became bewildered, looking for real justifying answers. But the priests or pastors could not deliver them. By that “awakening” of getting conscious he had to do something against his sins, man becomes aware of a need to cleanse himself.  Some might than think

by that means, it is also comparatively easy to convince a man that Jesus is a necessary aspect of this cleansing.

but it does not seem to be so easy and it can not be brought over by staying in the church-walls. The preacher has to get out of those walls and come into the open to tell others what for possibilities there are and how Jesus can be found and is there for all of those who are willing to accept his ransom offer.

We read and hear of people saying that they need the Lord all day long.  Just a cursory look into the Christian announcement by His people will provide a rather overwhelming view of our sense of need.  And how can that be a fault?  All men know of their guilt.  It is a natural outcome that others should hear us speaking of our need for the Lord’s blood in decimating our sins. {The necessity of the Gospel}

Though people want to feel that they are helped and guided. The clerical people demanding from the ordinary human person to become holy, having to keep to all sorts of difficult things, therefore got lots of people stopping to listen to the men of their church because they know they cannot, or are not willing to, reach to the greatest of Christianity.

Need of human example

In The Swinging Doors is written:

Often, in a man’s frightful plight, he needs a human example.  As the little boy was reported to have said to his mother, “Sometimes I need a Jesus with skin on”. {The Swinging Doors}

Many churches made Jesus into their god and did not want to accept it was a man of flesh and blood who really died for the sins of many. They taught their believers that no man is capable to follow all through God’s commandments; So why bother many say. Many people also came to see that such teaching of a man who was not a man but was a spirit, who in one place says he cannot be tempted and in another place in Scriptures it says he was been tempted by the devil, could not be a real good teaching but only a misleading teaching.  Lots lost faith in their church of the misleading doctrines and found more clarity in the Islam teaching. The big problem is they did never tried to look at other Christian religions who do keep to the biblical Truth. Not many took time to look at the different non-trinitarian groups, because they thought all Christians are the same and do think the same. They also got frightened to look at the other denominations because they were made frightened by their own church who always told them it were heretics and not Christians.

No one willing to come down

Those who left the dogmatic Christian groups, Catholics, Evangelicals, Pentecostals, did not encounter on their path to other non-doctrinal Christians people who were confessing they only believed in Only One God. None of those non-trintiarians thought it necessary to come to them. Most of them who say they have the truth and are not a Jehovah Witness do not go away from their position in their church or ecclesia.

None will venture to ascend their hill.

They remain in their known group and are willing to give exhortations in their ecclesia, but to go out on the streets or to go to teach and preach somewhere else, not many wanted to do. so, those looking for God did not encounter people who wanted to tell them that in Christianity there may be found answers and may be found people willing to help to come closer to God.

In many of those non-trinitarian and trinitarian churches they are saying “God calls the people” which is true, but does not give you the right to sit on your ass and do nothing. Jesus was clear to his disciples and wanted all his followers to go out in the world to preach the gospel of the coming Kingdom of God. But in many churches the people in charge say we do have to be patient and the right people just shall come up to us. Is that so? Shall people be able to find you?

Given task

We should be prepared to bring honourable service and give ourselves into the Hands of God, offering ourselves as servants of Christ and servants of God. Faith without works is dead and true faith demands dedication to God’s sovereignty.
Preaching should be done across the entire world, every day and night regarding this subject, by those who believe in the things which are grounded in their heart. That what did not have enough opportunity to grow in the heart can not be shared. There has to be a willingness to hear others and to come to them to talk and share ideas with them. Ears have to be opened to the Word of God, but so few hear it.  So few accept it.  So few do it.   Why?

Because salvation from guilt and sin is a natural desire of the human mind.

says the writer of Words From There.

But the walk of Jesus comes from the Holy Spirit.  As we learn to listen to the Holy Spirit, we find ourselves compelled to agree with the Father in Heaven. {The necessity of the Gospel}

this should bring people united under Christ in the understanding of  the necessity to live as the Lord Jesus lived.

Servants for God

 He became a servant, though He is the Son of God.  We too are called to become servants, though we are sons of the same God.

The big question is: How many do want to become a humble servant in the hands of God? How many are willing to follow up the task Jesus has given his disciples?

Understanding the true nature of God by observing phenomena on earth is like exclusively studying shadows to examine the Sun.  The resultant assumptions would most certainly fall short. {Thoughts from Isolation}While some people ponder the very existence of a God, His people ponder His promises. {Thoughts from Isolation}

Short time to stand at the side

There are too many questions to be answered, and time on earth is too short to get all the answers right. When we do have to find out everything on our own it (perhaps) will take a long time, but when we can find help in what others can show us from the Bible we can grow with each other and come to a better understanding sooner. It is easy to say

Why is there not even a hint of concern in the majority of people?

and do nothing. Standing at the side, staying in the close environment, the safe surrounding of the own ecclesia or church is easy. It is high time to come out of the ‘building’ and to go out in the  ‘wild nature’.

Messengers with wrong motives

Soon after Jesus his death it happened already that people made use of his name and his popularity. The apostle Paul noted already that there were some that preached Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. (Philippians 1:15-18) Many centuries later not much has changed. We still can find people who are more interested in their own good and their own name, instead of sharing the gospel with many for the matter of  Jesus his name. We shamefully notice that everywhere we can find people who preach Christ out of selfish ambition. But perhaps this should not bother us so much because whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this we should rejoice.

Dave Whitehead, Senior Pastor, GraceNYC.org, Author of Making Sense of the Bible wrote

What security in the gospel! Even if the messenger has wrong motives, the message remains unstoppable. This means that God has built into the gospel a self-correcting power for every abuse of the gospel at the hands of men. Men misused the Bible to promote slavery in Africa and America, yet the abolitionist movement came out of the church.

All of us should be thankful we are good in something. We all have been given a gift of God’s grace for the good of His people. As the least of the Lord’s people, Paul knew that these graces were not given based upon any personal merit, so stop disqualifying yourself to use the gift of grace that God has given you. God has created all things, including you and your capacity, and God wants us to focus upon him and use what he has freely given us. And each person who comes in Christ should also as a member of the body of Christ use his or her gifts to let that body grow.

Poisoned and mislead

Arthur W. Pink was aware that we should use the gifts we received more to proclaim the Word of God

those whose whole time and energies are to be devoted to seeking the spiritual and eternal welfare of souls, and the better equipping of themselves for that most blessed, solemn, and important work. Their principal tasks are to proclaim God’s Truth and to exemplify and commend their message by diligently endeavoring to practice what they preach, setting before their hearers a personal example of practical godliness. Since it be the Truth they are to preach, no pains must be spared in seeing to it that no error be intermingled therewith, that it is the pure milk of the Word they are giving forth. To preach error instead of Truth is not only grievously to dishonor God and His Word, but will mislead and poison the minds of the hearers or readers. {Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures}

Many people felt dishonoured and mislead by their common church. The Muslims seemed to honestly keep closer to the Word of God and kept more to their holy Scriptures, doing what was requested by them.

Governing bodies have taken over the Pauline churches which at early Christendom were free communities.

It is true that the early apostles held a council in order to examine more closely certain issues. Upon holding this council a letter was drawn up and sent to the Gentile churches. This letter gave basic rules of how to conduct oneself as a Christian. Paul later went back and wrote too many of these Gentile Christians and gave them a fuller explanation on what it meant to be a Christian and how to live as a Christian.  {Does an Independent Minister have a right to preach what he so desires? Pt 3}The reason men like Harold Camping can gather disciples around him are because people have remained silent. They fear persecution and do not want to live a life of being shunned or spoken evil against. I am not going to be unloving when I examine other ministers’ doctrines, but I also will not be ashamed of the gospel of Christ. I will not shun being persecuted by remaining silent concerning the truth of God’s word. Therefore I will not be silent concerning the doctrines of the ‘Teacher’ nor Otis Graves.

writes a a Reformed Baptist, from a Covenantal, Amillennial perspective in Does an Independent Minister have a right to preach what he so desires? Pt 2. This while too many keep silent and do not dare to step on toes. But no congregation is free of the silent ones or of those who do not want to go out to those who do not belong to the community. This made that many in the city or at the countryside did not find it interesting enough to go to hear in the church-building what the preacher had to say. those who stayed at home and did their normal daily business did not find somebody on their path to work or to the shops who tried to convince them of the beauty of Jesus his ransom.

Unlearned men

‘Church’ wanted people to believe they could not understand the Bible, because they did not follow special university courses. In the past they had also told Luther that if the scriptures were translated into the common language of the people that a flood gate of sin would come out of it.

They told him that the church would begin to split and splinter into all kinds of different denominations. This is because that unlearned men will not take and interpret scripture according to the tradition of the Church. Luther responded by saying that he knew that if he put the scriptures in the hands of ignorant and unlearned men, that it would open a flood gate of iniquity, but nevertheless every person ought to have the scriptures to read for themselves. {Does an Independent Minister have a right to preach what he so desires? Pt 2.}

We may not forget that in the first century of this common era, like in the centuries before people did not get a university degree to read and understand the Holy Scriptures. The disciples of Christ got their training first hand from the master teacher Jeshua (Jesus Christ). They continued the same practice as Jesus to educate others in the teachings of Christ Jesus. They wrote down what they had learned so that others in places far away could use the writings as edifying material. We too have that educational material at hand in our own language. We can use the many Bible translations to receive the Biblical Wisdom. We should use it.

Right to read and to interpret

So the Reformation opened the door for private interpretation. But just because we have the right to interpret scripture privately does not mean that we have the right to distort scripture. The Reformers taught what is known as the perspicuity of scripture or that the scriptures are so plain that even a child could understand it. This doctrine does not teach that scripture is plain in every place, but it teaches that the doctrines that are essential to salvation are so clear that even a child could find his was to Christ by reading them. {Does an Independent Minister have a right to preach what he so desires? Pt 2.}

People need help in their interpretation and it are the elders and scholars who can and should help. In time the church has developed a science of interpretation known as ‘hermeneutics.’ This science and art of interpretation is our key which can keep us from falling into much error when we interpret scripture. Not everybody is been given the art of hermeneutics but those that have received it should use it and help others to come to a better understanding of what is written in the Bible.

While the Bible is filled with many types of literature it also uses many forms of speech within that literature. The Bible uses hyperbole, simile, symbolic, irony, sarcasm, metaphor, parallelism, synonymous parallelism, metonymy, personification, anthropomorphisms, anthropopathisms, and many more. The Bible also uses types and shadows to convey its message. So without a properly working hermeneutic we all would misinterpret scripture all the time. {Does an Independent Minister have a right to preach what he so desires? Pt 2.}

But it are the communities and those in charge of the ‘churches’ who should take care their flock is trained to come to good Bible reading and good Bible interpretation. Every person in the ecclesia should try to come to a good Bible knowledge and should help others in reading and interpreting the Bible.

Not staying in own cocoon

As we go on, after we have been baptised, and grow in our faith, we do have to carry it with us and should share it with others. We cannot keep our faith to our own. We also may not stay in our little cocoon just staying safe with those we do know and with those whom we love. Out of love for the others, we should go out to reach them and to show them the Way.

Thomas Manton asked

“What is the reason there is so much preaching and so little practice? {So much Preaching and so Little Practice – Thomas Manton}

but we wonder where all that preaching is. We can not see many Christians on the streets, in parks, in public buildings or in public transport, teaching the Word of God. It seems to stay in between closed doors.

Charles Haddon Spurgeon by Alexander Melville.jpg

One of the great inspirers for many Christians and strong figure in the Reformed Baptist tradition: Charles Haddon (C.H.) Spurgeon

We do need constant thoughts which are operative so that musing makes the fire burn. {Thomas Manton} The British Reformed Baptist preacher who remains highly influential among Christians of different denominations, among whom he is still known as the “Prince of Preachers,”  Charles Haddon (C.H.) Spurgeon in his lifetime preached to around 10,000,000 people, often up to 10 times a week at different places. His sermons are reprinted many times and are still going strong. He knew very well the importance to go out on the streets and to take sure educating thoughts would be spread amongst many. We should remember him who said

Preaching! Man’s Privilege and God’s Power!

A Privilege to be taken seriously

Jonathan Edwards, A.W. Tozer, A.W. Pink, John Owen, Oswald Chambers, Andrew Murray, E.M. Bounds, John Bunyan, George Whitefield, Mary, Thomas and their son Octavius Winslow, John Fullerton MacArthur, Jr. and many more understood the need of reaching to the people, covering topics on many aspects of the Christian life. We should take them as an example and not limit ourselves to our own community, staying only at our own ecclesia.

For sure it might be easier just to preach for people who believe the same as we do. It is easier not be confronted with people who have other ideas and want to ask questions. It is easier to avoid such questions and keeping to a close group where one is sure they all believe the same and/or do not dare to question.

Like Aiden Tozer’s passion for a deeper knowledge of God led him to study the great devotional writers of the past, we should not hesitate to look at such works from the past but always should see them in the light of the Holy Scriptures, which constantly should be the main guide.

People wanting to know God

The move of many churchgoers to become mosque goers proves that there are enough people wanting to get to know God. You can wonder how they can get to know God when nobody wants to come to them and tell about God.

Prayer and worship were the hallmarks of many previous Bible teachers  their life. but they did not stay in their own little environment, their safe surrounding of their church. They stood up and went to those who did not yet belong to their church or even did not believe in a god or the God. Like them we should come forward and present our thoughts and our writings to people who are looking for God and perhaps not belong to any church, or did not find the Truth.

A W Tozer.jpg

Aiden Wilson Tozer

Our preaching as well as our writings should simply become an extension of our faith and prayer life.

In modern evangelicalism, contended Tozer, we work, we have our agendas–in fact, we have almost everything except the spirit of true worship. He defined worship as a humbling but delightful sense of admiring awe, astonished wonder and overpowering love in the presence of the unspeakable Majesty. He reminded the pastors, “We’re here to be worshippers first and workers only second; Out of enraptured, admiring, adoring souls God does His work. The work done by a worshipper will have eternity in it.” {A. W. Tozer Sermon – The Unpopularity of Jesus and His Doctrines}

Tozer called the doctrine of the Holy Spirit “buried dynamite”. Yet he always insisted that the Spirit and the Word operate in harmony. He exhorted the overzealous to a warm heart and a cool head:

“The history of revivals in the Church reveals how harmful the hot head can be….These are days of great religious turmoil. Let love burn on with increasing fervour, but bring every act to the quiet test of wisdom. Keep the fire in the furnace where it belongs. An overheated chimney will create more excitement than a well-controlled furnace, but it is likely to burn the house down. Let the rule be: a hot furnace but a cool chimney.”

– Walter Unger {A. W. Tozer Sermon – The Unpopularity of Jesus and His Doctrines}

Simply taking up the task given by Christ

We should not aim for great fame and popularity as a preacher, but we should be well aware that we do have to come together, read and study the Bible with others, preach the gospel and make new believers.

In many church services other than those of the Christadelphians not much time is given or spend at the Word of God. God’s Word in Scripture, if ever used at all, comes in sporadic bursts of verses here and there, and in evangelical churches they are just parts of phrases being shouted out repetitive whilst most of the time entertaining songs sweep up the public. Very often bible texts are stripped of their intended meaning, stifling the work of the Spirit in His sacramental function of quickening the Word, and robbing the people of blessing. At other places the sermon or the exhortation has not much to do with the Bible fragments read.

Though time has to be spend to go deeper into the reading and to give some examples of how the Bible text relates to our daily life. That we need much more, so that people can see how the stories of the Bible still have relevance today. Further we also need more stories of influences of the Bible and faith to people in our society. The Lifestyle magazines Stepping Toes and From Guestwriters would love to bring such Bible and Faith related stories. But we need more people who can bring such stories and show people what it can do to have the Christian Faith.

You to can play your role

It is high time there shall come forward more Christian believers to proof to others they are not children of the bond-woman but of the free (Galatians 4:31) and to show the world which blessings come over those who are willing to accept Christ in their life.

When the early church went out into the world, armed with the truth through which alone true unity could be effected, they, as well as Paul, met with opposition. The had to conquer their fear for speaking in public. It took time but with the aid of the Holy Spirit and with their trust in God they managed to spread the faith very well. We better take up their courage and start evangelizing like they did in the early days.

You too can do your share. For sure you too have something to tell; something that changed your life; something you feel inside, something you notice in the world; let it be known to others. We are willing to give you a platform where you can let your voice be heard so that your voice can put an other cobblestone on the big road to be made.

As time went on, however, the church no longer loved God enough to see, feel and talk about the wonders of the Divine Creator. Let those Works of God be better known. Open people their eyes and ears so that they can see and hear the beauty of nature, the Hand of God in our world. Show the world where there can be growth of true worship in the face of daunting challenges so that it can be faith-strengthening and inspiring to God’s people everywhere. Let the sun never sets on the Kingdom-preaching and disciple-making. Remember the prophet Zechariah his words

 “who has despised the day of small things?” (Zecharia 4:10)

and do not hesitate to join the small group of enthusiast preachers.

Declaring Good News

Let us “declare good news” like Jesus demanded from his followers. Each of us can “bear news; announce; act as a news bearer.” (1 Samuel 4:17; 2 Samuel 1:20; 1 Chronicles 16:23)

Jesus recognized that his divine commission called for a preaching work, and he carried it on publicly, in cities and villages, in the temple area, synagogues, marketplaces and streets, as well as in the countryside. (Marcus 1:39; 6:56; Luke 8:1; 13:26; John 18:20)
Do you want to go wherever you can entering into villages or cities or countryside or bring  your texts on the internet so that it can come in the homes of many people?

Jesus had stressed that he was ‘sent by God’ (Luke 9:48; John 5:36, 37; 6:38; 8:18, 26, 42), who gave him “a commandment as to what to tell and what to speak.” (John 12:49). The apostles who followed the directions of Christ knew that they publicly had to declare that Jesus is Lord, and that we have to exercise faith in our heart that God raised him up from the dead, so that we will be saved.

For with the heart one exercises faith for righteousness, but with the mouth one makes public declaration for salvation. (Romans 10:9, 10)

Like John the Baptist Jesus did more than preach. His teaching receives even greater emphasis than his preaching. Teaching (di·da′sko) differs from preaching in that the teacher does more than proclaim; he instructs, explains, shows things by argument, and offers proofs. The work of Jesus’ disciples, both before and after his death, was thus to be a combination of preaching and teaching.(Matthew 4:23; 11:1; 28:18-20).

The writings which we present as such shall have to bring preachings and teachings, sermons and exhortations, bringing examples that show how God is at work also today and is still calling everybody who is willing to hear His Voice.

We have to share our heartfelt feeling for Christ and for each other. We have to share like Christ did, our love for the Only One God and our love for brothers and sisters in Christ, but also our love for the whole creation (man, animals and plants). As this in the old times was shared by all disciples, men and women, we too should till “the conclusion of the system of things” proclaim the Good News and share our faith with others, bringing a call to the world to join us and to become a member of the Body of Christ. (Matthew 28:18-20; Luke 24:46-49; Acts of the apostles 2:17; compare Acts 18:26; 21:9; Romans 16:3.)

18 And Jesus approached and spoke to them, saying: “All authority*+ has been given me in heaven and on the earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples*+ of people of all the nations,+ baptizing+ them in* the name of the Father+ and of the Son+ and of the holy spirit,+20 teaching+ them to observe+ all the things I have commanded YOU.+ And, look! I am with YOU+ all the days until the conclusion* of the system of things.”*+ {Matthew 28:18-20 Reference Bible}

Let us make sure that on the basis of Jesus his name, repentance for forgiveness of sins will be preached in all the nations and that you with us may be a witness of these things. Jesus was sending forth upon us that which is promised by his heavenly Father. We, though, have to follow the decree given by Jesus to be a pupil but also a teacher, a follower and a leader, always a servant, one for the people and one for God.

coming closer to the Last days we should be fully aware that Jesus said

‘“And in the last days,” God says, “I shall pour out some of my spirit*+ upon every sort of flesh,* and YOUR sons and YOUR daughters will prophesy and YOUR young men will see visions and YOUR old men* will dream dreams;+ 18 and even upon my men slaves and upon my women slaves I will pour out some of my spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. {Acts of the apostles 2:17 Reference Bbile}

Sharing and blessings for all

All sorts of men and women shall go out in those days, but we do not have to wait to the last moment be part of them. Today you can stand up and show your alertness and your vivid will to be part of that community which want to show others the way to God. You can start to speak boldly in your own surroundings and share your voice on this platform and on From Guestwriters. You can let people hear and see that they too can find a place where blessing are shared with love with all who want to come along and with all who want to celebrate the greatest love a person has ever given.

We have to show others that it is not sufficient just to take the posture of politely and respectfully listening, not doing much of anything else. Jesus wanted active followers, doers of the Word. Those who come to church or enter the ecclesia perhaps would (all) agree that they are there to learn and be challenged in the Word, but in actuality, they are very inactive in the learning process, very passive in the spiritual discipline, and very unengaged while the preacher is preaching. We have to show them that is not what is wanted form a member of Christianity, a follower of Christ. we have to stimulate them that they also get up and start showing the works of faith. doing our work not forgetting how Christ should be our anchor and our focus

All believers are still hold to the task of challenging the wider Church which is asking, struggling, journeying about how we, those who are called to be “Preachers”, “Teachers”, “Leaders” can create sacred spaces so that those outside our community feel as welcomed and share with us too, how the Good News impacts, revitalises, renews, re-forms their and others lives, and how they impart their own wisdom empowered by the Holy Spirit to encourage who we have been called to be.

All human beings, regardless of age, gender, nationality, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or economic status,every human being has sinned and falls short of the glory of God.”

Let us take many into our company, showing the blessing we receive on daily basis, and expound the way of God more correctly to them.

May your time spent here be blessed.

Isn’t this what we are called to do?  We are to ascend to our place near the Lord.  From there we are commanded to proclaim regardless the response.  Can you count the number of us who have gone into the city?  How many of those tiny houses contain artifacts of man?   How did they get there?   The Lord did not put them there, nor did He have them delivered. {The Swinging Doors}

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Find to read:

  1. More Muslim children than Christian children growing up in our cities
  2. Christians fail there where Muslims succeed
  3. Trying to get the youth inspired
  4. When discouraged facing opposition
  5. Christianity without the Trinity
  6. Bible in the first place #2/3
  7. Bible for you and for life
  8. Dedication and Preaching Effort 400 years after the first King James Version
  9. The Most Reliable English Bible
  10. The Bible and names in it: Proclaiming the Name of The One and Only Who Is and has Ever Been
  11. Proclaiming shalom, bringing good news of good things, announcing salvation
  12. Atonement And Fellowship 4/8
  13. Reasons to come together
  14. Not many coming out with their community name
  15. Jehovah’s Witnesses not only group that preach the good news
  16. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  17. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #2 Calling upon the Name of God
  18. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #2 Witnessing
  19. Looking for True Spirituality 7 Preaching of the Good News
  20. Not all ability to preach
  21. Breathing to teach
  22. Church sent into the world
  23. Blogging in the world for Jesus and his Father
  24. Missionary action paradigm for all endeavours of the church
  25. Our openness to being approachable
  26. Words to push and pull
  27. Preaching to an unbelieving world
  28. How should we preach?
  29. Perishable non theologians daring to go out to preach
  30. Good or bad preacher
  31. Many forgot how Christ should be our anchor and our focus
  32. Learn how to go out into the world and proclaim the Good News of the coming Kingdom
  33. Holland Week of billing
  34. Asia Cahaya Conference focusing on preaching
  35. It is Today
  36. Belonging to or being judged by
  37. Follower of Jesus part of a cult or a Christian
  38. Manifests for believers #5 Christian Union
  39. A Society pleading poverty
  40. Dealing with worries in our lives
  41. Sunday 7 September service: Imitate prophets and Paul
  42. 2013 Lifestyle, religiously and spiritualy
  43. Risen With Him
  44. Why did Christ not reveal the exact time of his second coming?

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Additional reading:

  1. Thoughts from Isolation
  2. To the stump
  3. Your Post
  4. The necessity of the Gospel
  5. Jehovah’s Message
  6. Following Jesus’ Footsteps
  7. The Good News of God’s Kingdom
  8. Does an Independent Minister have a right to preach what he so desires? Pt 2
  9. Does an Independent Minister have a right to preach what he so desires? Pt 3
  10. A. W. Tozer Sermon – The Unpopularity of Jesus and His Doctrines
  11. Rev. Duncan Campbell Sermon – Action and Obedience
  12. Puritan Thomas Watson – Christian Joy!
  13. Thoughts concerning the preacher
  14. What if Jesus Preached What Modern Preachers are Preaching?
  15. What if Modern Preachers Preached What Jesus was Preaching?
  16. Preaching the Gospel in the Power of Signs and Wonders
  17. On Preaching “To the Men”
  18. The Primacy of Preaching
  19. Expository preaching – friend or foe?
  20. How to Spread the Gospel
  21. 4 Principles for Collaborative Preaching
  22. 6 Ways to Your Teacher’s Heart
  23. Preaching is a two-way street
  24. What do you think about preaching someone else’s sermon?
  25. Sex, murder, and preaching: How much is too much for Sunday morning?
  26. Redemptive-Historical Preaching Vs. Moralistic Preaching in Sanctification
  27. How to Get More Out of the Preached Word of God
  28. Four Reasons You Should Go Easy On Yourself After Failure, Divorce or Abuse
  29. Preach It, Sister!
  30. What do you need…?
  31. The Mystery of Being In Christ: A Review of Paul and Union with Christ
  32. Community Houses are Better than Church Buildings
  33. Proclaim Christ Thru Service to Others
  34. Cavite Hosts I-Proclaim! 3 on National Bible Week 2012
  35. Proclaim Jubilee: A Spirituality for the Twenty-First Century
  36. How to Proclaim Restoration

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  • Jehovah’s Witnesses descend on Melbourne in pictures (theguardian.com)
    A large sign across the turf at Etihad Stadium reads: ‘Keep Seeking First God’s Kingdom’
  • Taking the plunge at Etihad Stadium into a life of faith serving Jehovah (smh.com.au)
    Cameron Dobber’s nerves had mostly settled by the time he took his place in the middle of Etihad Stadium in front of more than 65,000 people.The 27-year-old forklift driver from Sunshine had been preparing for this moment for more than four years.After months of Bible studies and a three-hour interview with church elders, it was finally his turn to step into the baptismal pool and become one of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
  • Suppository preaching (onedaringjew.wordpress.com)
    A Christian is called. To do what? “Follow me.” And the crucial part of this calling by Jesus is getting nailed – as Paris Reidhead once said – to the back of the cross; the “purpose-driven” crowd’s worst nightmare.+

  • 19. Daily Bible Verse (12160.info)
    It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel.
  • Watch: ’19 Kids & Preaching’ Video Highlights Duggar Family’s Christian Faith (blackchristiannews.com)
    A new video called 19 Kids and Preaching shows that the Duggar family members are passionate about their Christian faith. While they often pray and talk about God on their TV program, this video shows them getting out of their comfort zone to share their faith with others.
  • Preaching What God’s Word Says about the World (reformedreader.wordpress.com)
    [T]he principle that the Christian minister is to preach only the Word of God most certainly does not forbid him to apply the teaching of Holy Writ to the specific needs of his hearers and the peculiar conditions of his day. Application, as well as explanation, is of the essence of preaching.
  • 970) Whether I know what preaching is! Taught by Srila Prabhupada! (pmdasa.wordpress.com)
    A devotee should not only give respect to the devotees, but he should try to make others a devotee. That is, means preaching.
  • The Active Power of Faith (codybateman.org)
  • “Coming Up Short”; Jeffrey Sartain’s sermon, Oct. 26 (plymouthspirit.wordpress.com)
    Acts of generosity draw goodness and blessing toward us. When we give, we receive blessings far greater than what we have given.
  • “The way I finish a sermon” by Charles Spurgeon (tollelege.wordpress.com)
    I have preached this Gospel for many years, and I do not think I ever finished a sermon except in one way—by trying to explain what is meant by this simple trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Marriage of Jesus 1 Mary, John, Judas, Thomas and Brown

Talking about marriage the last few years there has often been much controversy if Jesus loved some one other person, a woman (Mary Magdalene/Miriam of Magdala)  or a man (John the evangelist) or was even married.

Many organisations, like ours receive several questions about Jesus his marital status. Some may think that it was born of the popularity of Dan Brown’s controversial novel, The Da Vinci Code, but already before that novel was published we got many questions about that issue. Every now and then it comes up  again. The Thomas and Judas gospels brought a big amount of letters in our mailbox, followed by the Da Vinci Code and now by the finding of the Jesus ‘ papyrus. Last year the screening on the Flemish National Geographic channel the Gospels of Judas and Mary once more brought tongues loose about those women round Jesus.

Brooklyn Museum - Mary Magdalene at the Feet o...

Brooklyn Museum – Mary Magdalene at the Feet of Jesus – James Tissot (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In 1896 in Egypt the Gospel of Mary (or the Gospel of Mary Magdalene) a Gnostic version of New Testament events alleged to have taken place,  particularly in association with Mary Magdalene, was found. We should be aware that it is probably written in the fifth century and includes three additional works: 1) the Apocryphon of John, 2) the Sophia of Jesus Christ, and 3) the Acts of Peter. These writings were published in Coptic. But there have also been found two additional manuscripts of the Gospel of Mary which are in Greek and date two centuries earlier. Portions of the text in the Gospel of Mary are incomplete.

The Da Vinci Code (which is fiction, so people should remember it is not reality) advocates the thesis that Jesus was in fact married to the woman we know as Mary Magdalene. It even goes so far to tell the reader that they had a child together, and that this “truth” was covered up by the church for self-serving reasons. At one point, to an online religious website Beliefnet survey, 19% of respondents said they believe that Mary Magdalene was in fact Jesus’ wife.

English: Image of the Last Page of the Coptic ...

Image of the Last Page of the Coptic Manuscript of the Gospel of Thomas. The title “peuaggelion pkata Thomas” is at the end. Courtesy of the Institute for Antiquity and Christianity, Claremont Graduate University. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The 114 sayings written in the Coptic Gospel of Thomas, discovered in the Nag Hammadi collection of documents in Egypt in 1945, known as the Gnostic gospels, brings:

“hidden words that the living Jesus spoke and Didymos Judas Thomas wrote them down.” {Gospel of Thomas}

Because Jesus in the Gospel of Thomas uses words like ‘couch’ or ‘bed’, saying a.o.:

“Two will rest on a couch. One will die, one will live.”

There are persons who prefer “bed” to “couch” in the translation, like used in a later section in that the same Coptic text. Those who translate couch to “bed” in Salome’s speech, give her words a sexual aspect since she is a woman, and Jesus a man, yet nothing else in the dialogue implies any sexual element.

Salome asked Christ:

“Who are you, man, that as if you come from unity, you climbed on my couch and ate off my table?”

Marvin Meyer notes that the Coptic is literally “as from one,” but translates it as “as if you are from someone”. Bentley Layton has “like a stranger” as an emendation and notes that it literally means “As for one” Thomas Lambdin leaves it as an ellipsis.

You can question if we have to interpret the Coptic ‘OGA’, literally “one”, to mean unity, as it does in, for instance logion 22, and in other places, where it is used in the “two into one” motif. This fits well with the emendations in the rest of the dialog.

Jesus said to her:

“I am the one who lives from unity. I received that which is my father’s.”

“from that which is integrated. I was given some of the things of my father.” (Layton)

“I am the one who comes from what is whole” (Meyer)

“I am he who exists from the undivided.” (Lambdin)

In the four canonic gospels clearly we can hear Jesus speaking of the unity he has with his Father, with his followers and the unity we do have to have with him, with his followers, and with his Father.  There too is indicated we all have to be ‘one’ and have to be “made whole” or have to be “integrated”or “unified”. The union Jesus is talking about has nothing to do with sexual unity or physical oneness between man and wife or between two people in general.

Also in the Gospel of Thomas we can find it is not exactly Salome or  the ‘woman’speaking as “woman” or “wife” but as  “student” (‘Maqhthes’) as opposed to the other pupils closer to Jesus  the ‘disciples‘ and  the chosen or selected pupils, the ‘apostles‘. (In many Aramic translations therefore there are clearly different words used to indicate what sort of pupil it is.)

English: Gospel of Mary, discovered in 1896. P...

Gospel of Mary, discovered in 1896. P. Oxyrhynchus L 3525, Papyrology Room, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When people got to read the Gospel of Mary and find in the second part the Sophia of Jesus Christ (3° Century):

Then Son of Man consented with Sophia, his consort, and revealed a great androgynous Light. His masculine name is designated ‘Savior, Begetter of All things’. His feminine name is designated ‘Sophia, All-Begettress’. Some call her ‘Pistis’ (faith). {Eugnostos the Blessed, from chapter III & V from the Nag Hammadi Library}

Some may interpret that also as having the 2° Adam (Christ Jesus) his consort or partner, being his wife Sophia, and making him having even more than one wife, or to have somebody who begot everything from him, or who could generate everything. This making a clear allusion to an other god or goddess in union with the other god (Jesus).

When you consider that the contents suggest Mary Magdalene as the alleged author, it is strange the real Mary of Magdalen, the one from Magdala or Mary Magdalene, would consider herself as a sort of goddess. But here too the writer tells us that she will proclaim to us hidden teachings from Jesus that Peter and the other disciples did not remember (Gospel of Mary 5:7). Lots of research is done on this document also coming to the conclusion that it is clearly not authored by Mary nor that its message would be consistent with the New Testament’s writings. Mysterious statements about God, good and evil, and the afterlife regularly contradict or add additional material than in the New Testament existing narratives.

In these books we may find the underlying false teachings which the Church loved to agree with the Roman rulers to coincide with the Roman and Greek Gods.

Texts like in a vision to John, Jesus saying:

“John, why doubt? Why be afraid? Don’t you know this image? Be not afraid. I am with you (plural) always. I am the Father, The Mother, The Son, I am the incorruptible Purity. {Prologue to the Teaching of the Savior,The Revelation of the Mysteries Hidden in Silence [Those Things that He Taught to John, His Disciple] from The Secret Book of John (The Apocryphon of John), Translated by Stevan Davies}

would like to insinuate that Jesus declares to be the God of the universe. A woman touch may be added:

His self-aware thought (ennoia) came into being. Appearing to him in the effulgence of his light. She stood before him.

[This, the first Thought, is the Spirit’s image]
She is the universal womb She is before everything She is: Mother-Father First Man Holy Spirit Thrice Male Thrice Powerful Thrice Named
{The Secret Book of John (The Apocryphon of John)}

and Jesus is presented as an androgynous eternal realm, first to arise among the invisible realms.

But when they would look at other places, an other light might be shed again, where it is remembered that the True God can not be seen:

The One cannot be seen For no one can envision it The One is eternal, For it exists forever, The One is inconceivable For no one can comprehend it The One is indescribable For no one can put any words to it.

Most English translations of the Gospel of Thomas in use today were published in the period 1987-1998. Q-Thomas Reader, Kloppenborg, Meyer, Patterson, Steinhauser (1990) and The Gospel of Thomas and Jesus, Patterson, 1993 don’t contain the words ‘man’ or ‘men’ – in spite of the fact that the Coptic word for ‘man’ (rwme) occurs 35 times in the text! That word is instead translated usually as ‘person’, sometimes ‘human being’, etc., but never as ‘man’ or ‘men’. In contrast, the M-P family never translates the Coptic word for ‘woman’ as ‘person’.  There is a linguistic rationale sometimes given that the Coptic word rwme corresponds to Greek anthropos, which is said to be gender-neutral, as opposed to anhr/andros, which designates a male.

Mike Grondin says:

The claimed correspondence simply isn’t true, however. Rwme was used to translate both anthropos and anhr/andros in Coptic translations of the Greek NT. Evidently, then, the word rwme included both meanings. Nor can we tell which Greek word lay behind each instance of rwme in the Greek version, for only one instance is extant; in all other cases, we’re guessing. Furthermore, even if everything this rationale assumes were true, it still doesn’t follow that ‘man’ should disappear from Thomas. It hasn’t, after all, disappeared from the Scholar’s Version of the canonical gospels, and even in several parallels to Thomas sayings where the Greek has anthropos, SV has ‘man’ instead of Meyer-Patterson’s ‘person’.{No Man’s Land: The Meyer-Patterson Family of Thomas Translations}

The John papyrus fragment (right) comes from the same anonymous owner as the Gospel of Jesus's wife and has the same line breaks as a papyrus transcribed in 1924 (shown on left). The papyrus and Gospel of Jesus's Wife have similar ink and writing styles, suggesting the latter is a fake.

The John papyrus fragment (right) comes from the same anonymous owner as the Gospel of Jesus’s wife and has the same line breaks as a papyrus transcribed in 1924 (shown on left). The papyrus and Gospel of Jesus’s Wife have similar ink and writing styles, suggesting the latter is a fake.

+

To be continued:

Marriage of Jesus 2 Standard writings about Jesus

Marriage of Jesus 3 Listening women

Marriage of Jesus 4 Place of the woman

Marriage of Jesus 5 Papyrus fragment  in Egyptian Coptic

Marriage of Jesus 6 Jesus said to them “My wife”

Marriage of Jesus 7 Impaled

Marriage of Jesus 8 Wife of Yahweh

Marriage of Jesus 9 Reason for a new marriage

Marriage of Jesus 10 Old and New Covenant

++

Please do find:

  1. First Century of Christianity
  2. Bible in the first place #1/3
  3. Raising digression
  4. Position and power
  5. Minimizing the power of God’s Force the Holy Spirit
  6. Challenging claim
  7. Challenging claim 1 Whose word
  8. The Nag Hammadi Library Melchizedek
  9. Recovering the Original Gospel of Thomas
  10. Australian claiming to be the reincarnated Jesus Christ of Nazareth
  11. My twenty-odd Gospel of Thomas Commentaries
  12. Comparisson Bible Books in English, Dutch and French
  13. Self inflicted misery #7 Good news to our suffering

In Dutch:

  1. Schriftkritiek
  2. Gnostiek, Judas evangelie, bijbelonderricht, zoon van God
  3. Gnostische geschriften toegevoegd aan de Bijbel

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  • The Top Six Alternate Gospels and Scriptures (glitternight.com)
    Everyone but the most sheltered Christians have known for centuries about the alternate, or apocryphal gospels. The gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were the four canonical or “official” gospels that were accepted by the mainstream church but there were dozens of other gospels with wildly varying versions of the story of Jesus.
    +
    Since the Gospel of Mary has gotten so much attention following the success of Dan Brown’s writings and their screen adaptations I decided to throw a spotlight on the neglected woman named Thecla instead. Thecla supposedly became a follower of the man called “Saint” Paul after hearing him speak in Iconium. In this book Paul is depicted as an advocate of refraining from all sex, even when married, which points to the probable Gnostic origins of The Acts of Thecla.
    +
    The Infancy Gospel of Thomas – I like to refer to this enjoyable book as “The Young Jesus Christ Chronicles”. This banned gospel deals with the infancy and childhood years of Jesus in much greater detail than any of the other gospels, official or otherwise.
    +
    not be confused with The Coptic Gospel of Thomas, which consists of 114 (yes, Rosicrucian conspiracy kooks, 114) sayings attributed to Jesus.
  • The Forbidden Gospel of Mary Magdalene (humansarefree.com)
    For 1,500 years, Mary Magdalene was portrayed, in art and theology, as a prostitute whose life was transformed by Jesus’ forgiveness. This notion, based on Luke 7:38, was the result of an erroneous sermon preached in 591 by Pope Gregory the Great.
    +
    The stain of immorality attached to the figure of Mary Magdalene averted attention away from the significant role she plays in the unfolding of Christ’s teachings. The importance of Mary is especially apparent in Gnostic texts – some among the earliest accounts of Jesus’ ministry – which have been largely suppressed and ignored by Church authorities.
    +
    The Gnostics honoured equally the feminine and masculine aspects of nature, and Prof. Pagels argues Christian Gnostic women enjoyed a far greater degree of social and ecclesiastical equality than their orthodox sisters.
  • In the Resurrection Mary Magdalene Was the First Person to See Jesus (vineandbranchworldministries.com)
    Jesus did not rise and then march into the Temple to confront the religious leaders or Caiaphas; he did not dash to the Praetorium to say to Pilate, “I told you so!”; he did not go stand in the center of Jerusalem to impress the crowd.  Instead, Jesus revealed himself only to believers.  The first person to see him was a woman who had been healed and forgiven and who tearfully stayed at the cross and followed his body to the tomb.  As Jesus demonstrated throughout his life, he responded to those who waited attentively and faithfully.  Jesus dissolved the perplexities of the disciples.  He dried their tears.  He dispelled their doubts.  Jesus knows how similar we are to his original disciples, and he does not overpower us either.  Even though our faithfulness wavers, Jesus faithfully stays with us.
  • The Gospel of Judas Revealed (newdawnmagazine.com)
    The story of how the Gospel of Judas arrived in the Western world is a fascinating tale. Like many of the so-called Gnostic Gospels, it somehow travelled out of Egypt and arrived in the US with a large price tag. Unlike many manuscripts which vanish sight unseen, luck or providence if you like brought this manuscript not only to light but finally to restoration and publication. In the words of Professor Elaine Pagels, “the discovery of the Gospel of Judas is astonishing.”
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    The publication of the Gospel of Judas undertaken by National Geographic is unlikely to disturb the mainstream Christian church. In a recent interview, Monsignor Walter Brandmuller, president of the Vatican’s Committee for Historical Science, called it “a product of religious fantasy,” and went on to say, “There is no campaign, no movement for the rehabilitation of (Judas) the traitor of Jesus.”
  • ‘Gospel of Jesus’s Wife’ Looks More and More Like a Fake (nbcnews.com)
    The “Gospel of Jesus’s Wife,” a papyrus written in Coptic and containing text that refers to Jesus being married, is looking more and more like it is not authentic, research is revealing.
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    Documents provided by the anonymous owner published in an essay by King recently in Harvard Theological Review say that the Gospel of Jesus’s Wife was purchased from Hans-Ulrich Laukamp in 1999 and he, in turn, obtained it in Potsdam, in what was East Germany, in 1963.

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A participation in the body of Christ

From “Today’s thought” 2014, February 26

By The Christadelphian Magazine and Publishing Association

“A participation in the body of Christ

In Paul’s 1st letter to the Corinthians we have come to where he refers to the memorial emblems, he stresses that their participation in these should be in a way that illustrates their unity. Paul has made several points very strongly in earlier chapters addressing issues that were seriously undermining their unity in Christ: their lack of harmony worried him very much.

Their coming together to remember that Christ died for them needed to take place in an atmosphere of genuine unity – but it wasn’t. To start with some were influenced by the surrounding spirit of idol-worshipping, but “…. beloved fleefrom idolatry”(10:14). wrote Paul.

He appeals to them,

“I speak to sensible people, judge for yourselves what I say”(verse 5).

Do we ourselves make sensible judgements? The situation for us is not completely different. Paul says

“The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not the participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body…”(verses 15-17).

The verses which follow indicate some had a problem leaving behind the pagan practices they had previously enjoyed, Paul says to them,

“You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. Shall we provoke the Lord to jealousy?”(verses 21,22).

In chapter 5 he made the point,

“Christ is our Passover …let us therefore celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven …of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth”(7,8).

In chapter 11 we will read that

“anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself”(verse 29).

He does not mean – discerning his own body – but the body of Christ and their responsibility to his or her fellow believers. Paul told the Philippians he wanted to

“hear of you that you are standing firm in onespirit and onemind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel”(1:27).

This precious oneness is demonstrated each time we meet for fellowship. There have been the rare occasions when a member of another church has been present who has taken offence at not being offered the emblems! But this is an opportunity to lovingly point out that when the church was first established on the Day of Pentecost, those baptised “devoted themselves to the Apostles teaching and fellowship and the breaking of bread …”(Acts 2:42). What is the Apostles teaching? Do they (do we) properly “discern the Lord’s body”when we participate? If we are of one mind as to that teaching and are baptised –our participation in the body of Christ will a great spiritual joy. Let us make sure we ourselves are fully devoted to this teaching and the way of life it leads to.

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The Christadelphian is a monthly magazine published for the Christadelphian community worldwide. It was started in 1864 by Robert Roberts under the initial title of The Ambassador of the Coming Age. In 1869, its title was changed to The Christadelphian, and it has been continuously published ever since.

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IMG_9336 Ecclesia Gathering together

Christadelphians gathering in unity

Preceding article: Members of the ecclesia uniting and seeking God’s help in tribulation

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Additional reading:

  1. Reflect on how much idolizing happens
  2. He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.
  3. Gaining Christ, trusting Jehovah
  4. One mediator
  5. Our relationship with God, Jesus and eachother
  6. Your struggles develop your strengths
  7. A Living Faith #5 Perseverance
  8. Disciple of Christ counting lives and friends dear to them
  9. Congregate, to gather, to meet
  10. Meeting – Vergadering
  11. Parish, local church community – Parochie, plaatselijke kerkgemeenschap
  12. Reasons to come to gether
  13. Fellowship
  14. Integrity of the fellowship
  15. Feeling-good, search for happiness and the church
  16. Making church
  17. What’s church for, anyway?
  18. The Church, Body of Christ and remnant Israel synonymous
  19. Many churches
  20. Synagogue, Church or Ecclesia for the Christian
  21. The Ecclesia
  22. Intentions of an Ecclesia
  23. Not words of any organisation should bind you, but the Word of God
  24. Manifests for believers #5 Christian Union
  25. Commitment to Christian unity
  26. Breathing and growing with no heir
  27. United people under Christ
  28. One Mind, One Accord
  29. Christianity is a love affair
  30. The Law of Christ: Law of Love
  31. The task given to us to love each other
  32. Priority to form a loving brotherhood

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  • The Spirit, The Word, and Christ: Are Our Churches Spirit-Controlled? (ilyston.wordpress.com)
    There are a number of gifts that Paul mentions that relate to speech. There is the word of wisdom, the word of knowledge, prophecy, and speaking in tongues. These are all connected with supernatural activity.  And Paul wants to know that we may know if God is working or if the demons are working. He says, “Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.”

    This criterion concerns what is said of the person and work of Christ. When a person is speaking under the influence of the Spirit of God, they are never moved by God’s Spirit to depreciate the Lord Jesus Christ’s claim to the Messiah. This is the idea behind the accursed.

  • Body is as Body Does… (alienrighteousness.org)
    Being in Jesus and believing in Jesus now must take on a fleshly tone, because God’s Word says it is so. No longer are we separated from God as the heavens are from the earth, but we are joined to Him, bodily. As our own flesh is close to us, so are we to God, in Jesus.
  • Galatians 1: Christ Alone (t2pneuma.net)
    Paul’s introduction as an apostle is surprising because in the Greek apostle (ἀποστολικός BDAG1010) means messenger, envoy.  For most of the apostles, the term referred to disciples who were specifically appointed by Jesus and had served Jesus for three years (Mark 3:16-19).  By contrast, Paul never knew Jesus during this ministry and never followed him.  Quite the contrary, Paul persecuted the church (Acts 8:3). Paul’s commissioning as an apostle came through a vision of the risen Christ (Acts 9:4-19).  Paul’s experience on the road to Damascus led him to a dramatic change in faith and calling much like the prophet Ezekiel (2:1-3).  We might expect that Paul would brag, not about his call, but about his education under Gamaliel (Acts 22:3).
  • The Scandal of Division (jessicahof.wordpress.com)
    The homily given by the Pope on 25 January echoed the words of Paul here. How weak we are in the face of the wiles of the enemy. Moments in time after Paul had preached there, and with the Apostles available, the men and women of Corinth had managed to set up factions in which they made claims for Paul, or another Christian leader, Apollos, or for Peter (Cehpas); worst of all some claimed alone to be ‘of Christ’. As St John Chrysostom pointed out, this was a great scandal since they made baptism, the point of unity, the cause of division.
    +
    Can there really be unity? We have Paul’s letters to the Corinthians, but we know from Clement’s letter to them, written probably before the end of the first century, that they had once more lapsed into quarrelling with each other; jealousy and envy had even led to the deaths of the Apostles, Peter and Paul. What happened to the church in Corinth is lost in the mists of history, but where it could have been a noble example of Christians pulling together in the cause of Christ, it disappears from the scene; the answer is not far to seek.We have not been good at learning the lessons of history, and no impartial historian can absolve ‘The Church of God which sojourneth in Rome’ from its part in the scandal of division. Pope Francis, like his immediate predecessors is determined to do what he can in the cause of unity. Are such hopes doomed? Not if we believe St Paul:

     Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

  • Review: Life in Christ (activedidactic.wordpress.com)
    the teachings of the apostle Paul to explain the Christian’s position “in Christ” and the Christian’s nature as a “new creation.” (pp. 22–27) The author continues by rightfully expounding upon 2 Corinthians 5:17. He explains that for the Christian, “the old has gone and is gone for good; the new has come and keeps on coming.” (p. 28) Walker then closes out the chapter with an evangelistic appeal: “Whoever comes to Christ in faith–repenting of his sins, seeing his misery without Christ, seeking grace to be in Christ–and earnestly desiring that one day he might see and be with Christ–will find Christ to be his Savior and Lord and will enter into the blessed realities of the new creation in himself now and look forward to a life in a new heaven and new earth with Christ in days to come, the very heaven of heaven.” (p. 34)
  • The Unsearchable Riches of Christ (lessonsfromkoza.wordpress.com)
    How does a man go from hating, even killing, Christian believers, to becoming one himself and then urging others to do the same? By the power of Christ, that’s how.
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    It’s unlikely that our conversion experiences were as dramatic as Paul’s, but they were similar in the sense that we also were traveling along a path that we had chosen, yet because God had a plan for us, he stopped us in our tracks and redirected us. Don’t ever think that your decision to become a Christian was fully orchestrated by yourself; God placed people and circumstances in your life to draw you near to Him and by His grace, you responded to His call.
    +
    In our own lifetimes we too will inevitably face situations which might cause us to waver in our faith, but Paul’s words should encourage us to keep witnessing and sharing God’s word, remembering that there is a divine purpose at work, and that purpose is to draw as many people to Christ as possible.
  • The Things Jesus Began to Do and Teach (theorthodoxlife.wordpress.com)
    when we read the book of Acts, we are not just reading about what Jesus’ people do; we are reading about what Jesus himself does. The apostles even testified of this. They say, “Do you think it is in our own power that we did this? That we healed this man? No, this man was healed by . . .” And they give the glory to Christ. They give the glory to the risen Lord Jesus Christ. (Acts 3:11-16)
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    Anything you do to hurt anybody in the body of Christ, you have just done to hurt Jesus himself. You have attacked the Lord and Savior. And He might say to you the same thing that he said to Saul: “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?”

    “Oh! I wasn’t persecuting you, Lord! I was just picking on one of your people. I was just picking on somebody in the body of Christ.”

    That’s like saying, “I wasn’t hurting you, Russ, I was just yanking on your ear.” “I wasn’t hurting you, Ben, I wasn’t attacking you personally. I was just punching you in the arm.”

    In the same way, if you serve–in love and humility–one of your brothers, one of your sisters in the body of Christ, guess what?

    You just served Jesus personally. Himself.

  • How Jesus became Christ-like (dougrowse.wordpress.com)
    It’s a funny question, I know.  Did Jesus wake up one morning, look at Himself in the mirror and say, “Hey, you’re Jesus, the Christ”?  Or, did Jesus grow into it?  He was born of a virgin and laid in a manger as a baby. That can only mean He went through the terrible two’s, and other notable stages of development.  Was He a Christ-like toddler?  Was He a Christ-like adolescent?
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One Mind, One Accord

Like Jesus was one with his Father and we have to be one with Jesus and his Father, it shall not make us to be Jesus nor to be God, but like parents who are one with his children we should be one with the Most High and one with His children, our fellow brothers and sisters, who should be united under the one mediator between God and man, Jeshua, the Messiah or Jesus Christ.

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Adding to: A man from the North wanting to have control in Belgium & A man from the North wanting to have control in Belgium

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Find also:

  1. One mediator
  2. He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.
  3. Our relationship with God, Jesus and eachother
  4. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love
  5. Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience
  6. We have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace
  7. Not words of any organisation should bind you, but the Word of God
  8. Congregate, to gather, to meet
  9. Manifests for believers #5 Christian Union
  10. What’s church for, anyway?
  11. The Ecclesia
  12. United people under Christ
  13. Disciple of Christ counting lives and friends dear to them
  14. Intentions of an Ecclesia
  15. Fellowship
  16. Integrity of the fellowship
  17. Feeling-good, search for happiness and the church
  18. The one who has not had a taste of love
  19. Casual Christians
  20. Certain people trying to stem freedom of speech
  21. Six Reasons Young Christians Leave Church
  22. Christianity is a love affair
  23. The Law of Christ: Law of Love
  24. What Jesus did: First things first
  25. The first on the list of the concerns of the saint
  26. The Greatest of These is Love
  27. The task given to us to love each other
  28. Agape, a love to share with others from the Fruit of the Spirit
  29. Unarmed truth and unconditional love
  30. Unconditional love
  31. Compassion and Discipline
  32. The Spirit of God imparts love,inspires hope, and gives liberty
  33. Character transformed by the influence of our fellowships
  34. Priority to form a loving brotherhood
  35. Belonging to or being judged by
  36. Possibility to live
  37. Atonement And Fellowship 1/8
  38. Atonement And Fellowship 2/8
  39. Atonement And Fellowship 3/8
  40. Missional hermeneutics 4/5
  41. Prayer, important aspect in our life
  42. Bread and Wine
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  • The Pharisee in all of us and the misadventure of the church split (wilmingtonfavs.com)
    My denomination, the Presbyterian Church (USA), like many denominations, is struggling to hold itself together. A number of congregations have withdrawn from the denomination. The splintering of our church is not something new in the history of the Body of Christ.
  • Epiphany 7A “Perfect Love” (thenearnessofgod.wordpress.com)
    We are essential to spreading the Light of Christ, and when we obey God’s commandments, when we want to live God’s way…we are empowered and formed by God to accomplish HIS mission.  Today we have the very familiar and often troubling “turn the other cheek” teaching…and we are told to not only love our enemies, but to “be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect.”
  • Building quality relationships by billy joe daugherty (slideshare.net)
  • Jesus is Not a Religion (newheavenonearth.wordpress.com)
    Don’t make the mistake of thinking Jesus is a religion. No, Jesus is the Living One who came to this earth to set you free from religion! Jesus  came to set you free from laws, false dogma, and counterfeit doctrine that is man making God in his own ego’s image and imposing rules to make you conform to men’s ideas. “There is a way that seems right to a man but it leads to destruction” Proverbs 14:12
    +
    Stop dividing humanity over religion! Stop looking to scripture to prove you are right and others are wrong. “You search the scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness to me; yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life. I do not receive glory from men. But I know that you have not the love of God in you. I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not receive me” John 5:39-43
  • Jeshua via John Smallman: Do Not Hold On to the Anger that Some of these Shocking Disclosures of Infamy Arouse Within You (aquariusparadigm.com)
    The end is in sight although that is possibly not very apparent to you, surrounded as you are by a large selection of nightmarish events that need to be resolved, and for which, at present, there seems to be little sign of that being possible.Your collective intent to send the energies of Love, healing, compassion, and a desire for reconciliation and peace to all on Earth is having very positive effects all across the world wherever conflict is raging. Please keep up your good work. Here in the spiritual realms we are supporting you powerfully in every moment, and your intent cannot fail because it is fully in alignment with God’s Will.
    +
    Focus your attention on the wonderful and uplifting changes that are happening all across the world, because that strengthens your own energy fields and therefore the effects that they are having worldwide. Just keep reminding yourselves “We are all One!” And within that Oneness there is no room for anything that is not of Love because there is nothing real that is not of Love. Doing just that dissolves the illusion and brings all to awakening.
  • The Attitude of Jesus (lifereference.wordpress.com)
    Compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, forgiveness and an over-riding love are things we should be showing all the time.  These are not just ideals or goals, they are imperatives that are based upon unselfishness as modeled by the life of Jesus Christ, who demonstrated these attributes is everything that He did and said.  It is certainly true that my behavior (and yours) doesn’t always match that of our Lord, but as we grow in our faith and as we focus our lives on Christ, we will make progress in this life.
  • Grace (ignitionnjblog.wordpress.com)
    Grace, it doesn’t come from us being good people, it’s a gift from God. Is grace on us is a gift and our grace to others. We cannot do that along we need him. When we become Christians, the Holy Spirit enter our hearts. In this world it is filled with sin, we should not expect things to be fair nor does it give us a right to mistreat others. When someone mistreats us then it gives us the chance to grow in grace. We need to seek God.
  • Were it Simply A Matter of Resolve (wateringcanblog.com)
    How many times have we tried to start a new year off full of good intentions and resolutions, only to find ourselves falling short and disappointing no one but ourselves.
    +
    We fill our lives with so many things that won’t matter in eternity.  I want my life to be about following God’s plan, not my own.  I want the impact I make in this world to be because I was putting Him first, and because HE accomplished it through me.
  • Jesus has a GOD! (sowersseed.wordpress.com)
    Here is another scripture also containing the words of Christ himself in which he sends a message to his disciples that identifies himself with us completely: we have the same Father, and we have the same GOD,  as Christ! Let me also point out to you that this is a risen Christ just before he ascended to the right hand of GOD, who spoke these words.
  • Obedience to Christ the True Test of Love to Christ by Robert Robinson (ilyston.wordpress.com)
    Think how happy the men were who asked and had, who could put all their scruples to Christ, and who found in Christ a tender Master, not above answering the weakest of them.
  • Body is as Body Does… (alienrighteousness.org)

 

Prophetic Steps

How often do you find total agreement with other people? I often find myself in agreement with others, but not always for the same reason. There are times I can see someone else’s point of view, but I do not agree with their assessment. Just because people laugh at the same joke does not mean they find the same thing funny.

This is one of the many problems plaguing the body of Christ today. I have found myself in different congregations, in different denominations, among friends and strangers, and have discussed some of those differences. If this were a solvable problem, the many denominations of churches would be reduced to one.

Here are some of the more simple separations: Do you believe the Bible is literal, mostly literal, allegorical, or simply spiritual? Do you believe the Bible is the inerrant Word of God or do you believe it is a…

View original post 432 more words

Attackers silenced freedom of speech

Warning: Those who like censor could be offended with our open-minded attitude to tackle a problem which we have encountered the last few months.

We do request those who can’t bear open speaking to abandon from reading this article, because they might, perhaps by prejudice or partiality, be offended.

Previous days and years

The last few days there did not seem to have come any opportunity to publish anything on this recently opened website on WordPress.

22102006 AC Distrubitie dag bijeenkomst

Members of our community at a meeting in the Christadelphian ecclesia Brussel-Leuven. – Heverlee, Leuven

The Belgian Christadelphian community has been under attack by a person who lives in the North of Europe and leads a prosperous organisation which tries to bring people all over the world under their spell.

For years now the Belgian Christadelphians had tried to work together with that man and his organisation, with the idea that people should unite in their force to bring people to Christ. It must be told that this guy converts a lot of people to Christianity and gets them baptised under Christ. In previous years he baptised them as Christadelphians, but we came to understand this could be called very doubtful in the present circumstances.

‘Being in’ or ‘Belonging to’ a group

Normally one would think when people are taken into a group, be it for example Anglicans, you would expect such persons baptised in that church would be welcome in any Anglican church and considered as Anglicans. But this man baptising his followers and leading an organisation that calls itself Christadelphian does everything so that their members would not associate with other members of the worldwide community of Christadelphian brothers and sisters.

After loads of correspondence and trials to reconcile the founder of this website, who is also the responsible for the Belgian Christadelphians, and member of the Central Fellowship, with that man and his organisation and the organisation which helps us, the Christadelphian Bible Mission or CBM, in the United Kingdom as in Belgium we came to understand that there is no way to talk reasonably with that man, and the organisation which seems to be blinded by that charismatic figure.

Belgian story

After months of patience, the community of Brethren and Sisters in Christ, under the CBM, came to the conclusion we had to stop trying to come to terms with that man of the North and his organisation. By taking distance from this terrible division we clearly stepped on that man his toes. Probably for that reason he continued even more to twist our words and talked slanderous about Mr. Ampe, calling Marcus Ampe now the cause of all the problems and accusing him of slander. Therefore Marcus Ampe went in to defence and made clear why the Christadelphian community in Belgium could not give any addresses in Belgium of that man his organisation, because they did not allow us to have the addresses where people could come together to study the Bible and to have worship together.

We would have loved to see the different groups of Christadelphians having come together in unity, but because that person and his organisation not willing to share meetings with our members, we just could not help those people who asked us for advice and help.

Not willing to Care

The organisation which has the word “Care” in its name did not seem to care that the very few in Belgium could not have gatherings in unity. It looks like they are more concerned in their own membership and followers who want to say and do everything like they want it to be done. For us this became smelling more like being a cult or sect, which does not wonder us why we often are asked if or are accused of the Christadelphians being a cult. Though normally Christadelphians have no specific worldly leader, or any order of ranking, like you can find in so many Christian organisations or denominations, so no pope, cardinals and bishops. We all consider ourselves under the leadership of Jesus Christ. He is our cornerstone who leads us to his Father. All of those who come to be baptised under the name of Jesus Christ, are considered equal brothers and sisters of Christ.

CIMG0593

Marcus Ampe in 2006

Therefore it is also ridiculous of the organisation to consider that Mr. Ampe from Belgium would have been able to have a worldwide exclusion of the man of the North for the Christadelphian community. He even never disfellowshipped the man of the North, so why should the organisation from the Australian division request Mr. Ampe to restore fellowship in the Christadelphian community. It is to attribute Mr. Ampe with a power no one has in our Christian community. He is well aware of that and never claimed to have such a position or never demanded other Christadelphians not meeting with the Man from the North.

Living in the world obliged to laws and regulations

We do know we are living in this world and as such are bounded to regulations of this world, like having to pay our taxes and to confer other worldly obligations. As such, we also do need a working structure and an office. Mr. Marcus Ampe takes care of those duties in Belgium. For this he also has the responsibility to try to make the daily duties work. He not only has to provide material for the services and make arrangements so that the baptised people can come together; he also has to protect them and to make sure the community or parishes are kept clean of teachings and safe for all members who want to join.

ScreenHunter_35 Feb. 15 10.47

Christadelphia Facebook page not available, or blacked-out on 2014 February 15

Having confronted with the person of the North, trying to jam the Christadelphian movement in Belgium, he felt pressed to undertake action and to defend his actions. For that reason he placed his defence on his religious website Christadelphian World and put notices up on his Facebook and the Christadelphia Facebook page. Being confronted that the truth about this dilemma was put onto the net the accuser felt bitten and wanted to have Marcus Ampe his Facebook close down. We where warned of this request to close down the Facebook account by that man, but the Facebook site of Mr Ampe stayed public. (Though surprise today 15/02/2014 there was a picture of a wounded thumb up saying the page did not exist any-more.)

Black-out of Christadelphian World

Christadelphian World 11 Nov 2013Going further in the attack, we cannot tell if it was the man of the North himself or one of his co-workers, they succeeded to silence Marcus Ampe his voice on Blogger. Incredible, but true, Christadelphian World was silenced under the norm “inappropriate postings”. As soon as Marcus Ampe got to see that his website was obstructed for public viewing he send in a request to Google to reconsider their action. Later that day the main postings seemed to be available to the public again, but all the comments where and are still not visible to the public today (Saturday 15 February 2014).

It is unbelievable that someone could close down a website for reasons which make no serious ground to do such a thing. We do know “truth may hurt one mentally as much as an antiseptic balm may hurt on a wound”, like Vichar Prachar says it so nicely in his article Freedom of Speech and the Right to Offend. Sometimes we come to a point where we do have to bring the dirty linen into the open. First the people in Belgium tried to solve the matter between themselves with the man from the North. Afterwards we brought in the linkman from our British main organisation CBM. Than the CBM linkman tried to bring CBM in reconciliation with the man from the North and the organisation linked with him. Following the Christian rule of have first no witnesses, than two witnesses, then more witnesses from the own community, we did have to bring it more into the open because people from outside our organisation where also affected.

To wash one’s dirty linen in public

We do not like it at all to bring out internal matters, but this situation has ran our of hand and the accuser attacks us with all he can do.

The Belgian Christadelphians have showed patience for more than one year, and tried sincerely to bring all baptised Christadelphian members, be it Amended or non-amended, or from any group linked with one or the other organisation, together.

The Belgian Christadelphian also sincerely tried and still try to spread the Good News of the Gospel, and want to unite all people who would like to follow Jeshua, the Nazarene Jewish rabbi, who is better known in the West as Jesus Christ. He is the Messiah and should be our only mediator between God and man. According to our faith it is Jesus people have to follow and not one or the other organisation. We should all be parts of the body of Christ and feel united as such.

When washing has to be done, those who are made dirty should have to receive the opportunity to be cleansed. We also consider that all things should be made clear and to do so everybody should have the right to speak openly.

The Indian writer says also:

A society that endeavors to consist of an enlightened citizenship will always put Truth central to its constitutional preamble. Our constitutional visionaries took vision from an age old Dharmic saying ‘Satyameva Jayate’ and enshrined it in our Constitution. Yet we have been only paying lip service to the underlying importance this has towards developing an enlightened, civilized and developed society. We have been steadily contorting ‘abuse’ to imply ‘offense’ and ‘hurt’ irrespective whether the hurt or offense is caused by Truth or untruth.

Imposing their will on others

Freedom of Speech (preliminary version)

Freedom of Speech (preliminary version) (Photo credit: cliff1066™)

The person from the North and his organisation do want to have to tell things in the world, want to take on ministerial positions, but do not want to accept the political controversy with it. Those involved in politics should know that they always stand open for criticism. In case they can not endure such criticism they better would withdraw and do other things, but not wanting to take the lead.

In case every politician could silence a website or newspaper when criticism was given on him or her or on the work of the party, or when they told the truth, many websites would face a close-down and many papers would fall in oblivion. But clearly than our world would be in dictatorship. In the West we can not accept that we would be placed under absolute or despotic control or power.

Pointing out such a danger of having being censored, though Marcus Ampe is only a very, very small player on the field, he now had to go into the pen for more than one reason. Such a jamming of his writings and a censoring of the commentators, without him being consulted or having the possibility to keep the postings on the net, are an infringement of freedom of public speech.

Unwanted and dangerous censorship

A good example of how in the past also one certain church wanted to silence other believers. – In “Panegyricae orationes septem” (1596) Henric van Cuyck, a Dutch Bishop, defended the need for censorship. Van Cuyck argued that Johannes Gutenberg’s printing press had resulted in a world infected by “pernicious lies.” He singled out the Talmud and the Qu’ran, and the writings of Martin Luther, Jean Calvin and Erasmus of Rotterdam.

This whole situation seems ridiculous, but we do have to question, in case some organisations can silence ordinary folks, what can be done to silence those who really bring out a voice which can change a country? Such blue-pencil, having done its work, for such a small website should make us all think about the power certain organisations and blog-providers may have. The black-out of Christadelphian World and the censor having brought on by Google on Marcus Ampe his Google+ account should have us all think about the danger of such actions to which the involved persons do seem not to be able to do something against. They even were not consulted or could give any defence for their writing.

We know Marcus Ampe does not take any important position in blogging world, and his writings shall never reach so many people, because the subject he writes about, most people are not interested in. But having him to be silenced, though everybody may come to see his writings are not offensive at all, should make question about the liberty of speaking out freely. When you consider how much spam every day comes into our mailboxes and how many porn sites and websites about violence and with awful words can be seen by many every day on the internet, without them being black-out, we may wonder in what sort of world we have come to live in. Mr. Ampe’s writings are integer and about what is happening in the world as seen from a Christadelphian and Christian viewpoint. If he gets silenced one can wonder why so many others have not been silenced, though they hurt many people, use a much more inappropriate language than Mr. Ampe.
This Marcus Ampe, though coming from the performing world also may not be confused with an other Mr. Marcus, who is an an American pornographic actor who in 2012, was the main person in a syphilis-infection scandal in California when several porn-performers were infected during video production.

Please: Look for yourself

We would like to ask our readers to look for themselves. In case they can (again) view the writings on Christadelphian World, that they let us know if those writings are so offensive or so dangerous as others want the public to believe. Let us also know if the comments are visible again and if in it are used inappropriate words. Our community want to learn, so we do not mind response.

This annoying situation has consumed lots of time of several of our members. We came to the conclusion we shall have to row on our own and shall have to find ways to reach the Belgian public, without help of outsiders.
The Belgian Christadelphians do want to buckle their belt and continue the necessary work of preaching.. We do not mind to make shift with what we may have in our small country. To make the best of it, any help is naturally welcome, spiritual and/or financial support. Mostly we would appreciate already the spiritual support, to encourage us to continue spreading the Word of God.

We shall soon take up again our regular duties and bring the Gospel of the Good News. But this time we were so ‘flappergasted’ (taken by) the bad news, we did have to share it with our regular readers and with those who are interested in what is happening in the religious world in Belgium.

In the time we are

Deutsch: Christadelphian-Gemeindehaus in Esslingen

Christadelphian – Community house in Esslingen (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We do know in what sort of time we probably have come. In the Bible we can find many prophesies and also prophesies about the end-times. A prediction of what shall happen in the world when it comes closer to the end makes us aware we shall have to endure certain attacks, which shall even come from those we considered to be our brothers.
Reading the Bible and finding many answers in it, we also come to know there will be an even greater need for believers to be in harmony and to pray together as our world starts to fall apart. Therefore we would like all those who believe in the Divine Creator, to join hands, preach the Gospel of the Good News and the coming Kingdom of God.

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Please do find

Mr. Ampe his reaction after continued exclusion by the man of the North his continued refusal to allow different Christadelphians meet with each other: No reconciliation possible between CBM and Duncan Heaster from Carelinks

Additional writings by Marcus Ampe concerning the controversial situation in Belgium:

  1. Not words of any organisation should bind you, but the Word of God
  2. Priority to form a loving brotherhood
  3. Disciple of Christ counting lives and friends dear to them
  4. Certain people trying to stem freedom of speech
  5. Censorship possible by a person and his organisation

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Please do find other additional readings:

  1. Belonging to or being judged by
  2. A Voice to be heard
  3. Good or bad preacher
  4. One Mediator between God and man
  5. Follower of Jesus part of a cult or a Christian
  6. Parts of the body of Christ
  7. A small company of Jesus’ footstep follower
  8. Called Christian
  9. Breaking up with a cult
  10. Manifests for believers #5 Christian Union
  11. Making church
  12. When discouraged facing opposition
  13. Fearing the right person
  14. Some one or something to fear #3 Cases, folks and outing
  15. How to look for and how to handle the Truth
  16. Reasons to come to gether
  17. Congregate, to gather, to meet
  18. Meeting – Vergadering
  19. Parish, local church community – Parochie, plaatselijke kerkgemeenschap
  20. The Church, Body of Christ and remnant Israel synonymous
  21. Many churches
  22. Synagogue, Church or Ecclesia for the Christian
  23. Those who call the Christadelphians a cult
  24. Uncovering the Foundations of Faith
  25. What’s church for, anyway?
  26. Rebirth and belonging to a church
  27. Commitment to Christian unity
  28. United people under Christ
  29. Breathing and growing with no heir
  30. Exceptionalism and Restricting Laws
  31. An ecclesia in your neighborhood
  32. Intentions of an Ecclesia
  33. Christadelphians children of God
  34. Christadelphian beliefs
  35. Major Points of Belief
  36. Christadelphian or My Beliefs and the World
  37. What we believe
  38. What Christadelphians teach
  39. Intentions of an Ecclesia
  40. Politics and power first priority #1
  41. A Society pleading poverty
  42. Proclaiming shalom, bringing good news of good things, announcing salvation
    sssh!

    sssh! (Photo credit: Stephen Dagnall)

     

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From other people, denominations and atheists:

  1. A beautiful photo: #leadership at Inspiration Daily Shared publicly  –  13 Feb 2014
  2. Why so religious?
  3. Freedom of speech or political right to communicate one’s opinions and ideas
  4. Universal Declaration of Human Rights
  5. International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
  6. European Convention on Human Rights
  7. American Convention on Human Rights
  8. African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights
  9. Find also more information on libel, slander, obscenity, sedition
  10. Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006
  11. Liberty-human-rights – article 10 – freedom of expression
  12. Freedom Of Speech And Expression inclusive Importance Of Freedom Of Speech And Expression
  13. Freedom of speech, of the press, of association, of assembly and petition
  14. The Paradox of Liberty: the Freedom of speech (re)considered

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A screenshot of the default WordPress theme.

A screenshot of the default WordPress theme. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • On the site of ABC you may find the article Who are the Christadelphians? (blogs.abc.net.au) where a wrong picture is given of our community. Though we do agree like in any denomination you may find very conservative groups but also very progressive groups in our community.+
    “it sounds like Vanessa belonged to an extreme group. Adelaide is not typical of Christadelphians worldwide. I’m a Christadelphian from the UK and I can safely say that those I mix with enjoy a drink, theatre going, football, movies, read lots of novels, wear scarlet – and yes we bring friends home.I’m sorry that Vanessa seems to have had a poor experience of Christadelphians. We’re not all so insular. But yes we believe the Bible and try to follow its principles in our lives. In this messed up world to keep focused on the big picture of the Return of Christ and his kingdom on earth is a certain hope. It’s a true hope – Bible prophecy about the Jews is compelling evidence.” Sarah Joiner
  • Marching not to war (christiantoday.com)
    Britain was virtually alone in recognising the rights of COs and this clause was seen as a major coup for the No Conscription Fellowship and the Fellowship of Reconciliation. The latter was a Christian ecumenical movement which had long campaigned for such recognition.The Fellowship of Reconciliation arose out of a friendship between a German Lutheran and English Quaker. Friedrich Siegmund-Schultz and Henry Theodore Hodgkin met at an ecumenical conference in Switzerland that was disrupted by the onset of war.
  • Cory Bernardi and Freedom of Speech (andrewwhalan.com)
    The problem with that is my explicit and implicit attitude : the only person who should exercise freedom of speech is me and me alone.Which means I can enjoy my moment of free speech. And silence everyone else’s freedom of speech.Which mean freedom of speech is lost in the long run for me and for everyone else.
  • Taking offence and freedom of speech (blogs.spectator.co.uk)
    All religious groups benefit from freedom of speech, because their beliefs have the power to offend others. As our leading article this week sets out, that includes the rather mild and doddery-seeming Church of England, which teaches that personal sin is a serious matter requiring repentance. That’s the sort of thing that can offend people, too, but the Church and other groups benefit from the freedom to say it. Religious groups who argue for curbs on freedom of speech must realise that in the end, this would damage their own freedom too, not just that of others they don’t like.
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    Agrippina:

    The fanatical ideologists need to be defeated, either they accept this free democracy or go and live elsewhere. They have nothing to offer us and we do not want anything from them. Spectator journos should pop out to Tower Hamlets or further north, and see the level of islamification of this green and pleasant land.

  • Silence is the true freedom. (priscillaescamilla28.wordpress.com)
    Silence is power, / the freedom of speech is nothing but a lying blood sucking leach,
  • Free Speech or Regulated Silence? (amresolution.com)
    How did our founders ever manage to establish a republic committed to free speech and the rights of the individual without a Federal Election Commission to regulate that speech and force disclosure of the speaker?
  • What if Freedom Meant Exodus? (pumabydesign001.com) +What if Freedom Meant Exodus?
    With our faith being ridiculed and mocked and a government increasingly hostile to our practicing our faith. We see a rampant increase of sexual immorality and perversion along with an assault on a on our children by forcing them to accept this behavior as normal.We pray for wisdom for our leaders and for God to intercede. But what if God has other plans? What if God were to bring a Moses forth? Would we recognise and welcome him? If he wanted to lead us to a different place, would we go?

How long to wait before bringing religiousness and spirituality in practice

Praying people

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

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

Responsible churchgoers

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

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

Requirement to participate in personal evangelism

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

Vasily Perov's painting illustrates clandestin...

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

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

Regarding evangelism, Marc Minter writes:

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

Action of discipleship

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

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

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

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

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

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

Doing yourself

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

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

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

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

Being religious and spiritual demands action of evangelion

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

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

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

Willingness to attest

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Deserters of the Faith of Jesus

Sculpture - head of Jesus Christ

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

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

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

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

Coming forward independent of man

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

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

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

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

The Four Evangelists

The Four Evangelists (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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

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

Passing on the message

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

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

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

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

Transmitter of the Gospel or good news

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

May we also say that:

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

Goals to set forward

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

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

Privileged people

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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

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Additional reading:

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

+++

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