Mental Enslavement and Sins Syndrome (MESS)

Today we came across a blog where was spoken of the Mental Enslavement and Sins Syndrome (MESS), which we would consider concerns all people of this globe.

Pastor ucocsthdm, Founder/Senior Pastor at Universal Church of Christ Seventh Day Ministries

The blog Inward Jews’ Site for Emancipation from Mental and Spiritual Enslavement! (previously Blessupebookstore) is from Redeeming Luv,  a God-fearing Guyanese of African descent, whose name is Wilfred A. Wilson, Pastor of Universal Church of Christ Seventh Day Ministries, INC., and leader of the Inward Jew Nation in Christ (Guyana, South America, an arm of the UCOC7THDM. He came to grips with Jesus in the early 70s and felt saved by him, called and put in the ministry.

If we are right his church then belongs to over 500 Sabbath keeping Churches of all different denominations. Some of the largest Sabbath keeping Churches would be the Seventh Day Baptist, Seventh-day Adventist, Church of God and the United Church of God.

The preacher his online presence is due to the fact that because his African descendants, 177 years after their ancestors, were fully emancipated on August 1, 1838, his people, are still enslaved mentally and spiritually, and he feels he is having an inspired Word and message to deliver to his people as well as for the world in a season where souls are ready to be harvested upon hearing the true Gospel of Jesus Christ preached unto them.

He asks coloured people to take back their birthright to the kingdom of God and of Christ, His Son, for the coloured people wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. [Ephesian 5:4]

He writes

The devil got to run when we speak the Word, viz., Jesus, say it again, Jesus, and say it again, Jesus. May God Almighty richly bless you. The Spirit of God gave me a Word which will set free whosoever believes from their Mental Enslavement and Sins Syndrome. (MESS) The inspired New Testament Word is:

“…Pass the time of your sojourning here in fear: for as much as y know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers: But with the precious Blood of Christ, as of a lamb without spot.” [1Peter1:17-19] {Blogging 201: Day 8 Assignment}

Mental Enslavement for sure is something we are all chained by. Wherever we live are minds are taken in by the place where we grew up and by the people who formed us and moulded in the being we are at present in this system of things. The ‘Mental Enslavement’ the pastor considers to be a legacy of slavery. For him it is

the root cause of the current divisions among us, African descendants. {Blogging 201: Day 8 Assignment}

The white English naturalist and geologist Charles Darwin

Nelson Mandela led the ANC in the battle against South African Apartheid.

Caucasians, Asians, they too are divided by their enslavement of their spirit. It is not restricted to the African people. Neither is the Sins Syndrome as a legacy of Adam’s transgression restricted to black people. Perhaps worse, the white people took the innocent black people chained to their world of greed and of unconnectedness with nature. By the commerce of slavery many black people where taken away form their native place where their people were still connected with nature and lived in peaceful communities where there was a certain order of respect. That respect and family order was broken, the mind degraded unto that of an animal. The negro was made into a carnal man which had no rights and was considered as part of the animal world. Carnal white man saw in them an opportunity to enrich themselves and to have some element with whom they could have sex as much and how they wanted it. For many of them it was an element by which no sin could be done. And church looked at it and did nothing against it.

A European map of West Africa, 1736. Included is the archaic mapping designation of Negroland.

We may not forget they all are under the spell of the fall of man, but God did ask each individual to make up their own choice and to go away from that spell. God created the human beings with the possibility to think for themselves. Man has no excuse to point the finger to Adam and Eve. It is not because they sinned, we can not do different. If that would be so that would mean the Divine Creator created human beings who are not able to live according to the rules God gave them. Such a thing would make that God a very Cruel God.

It is true that even today there are lots of Christian preachers who say man is incapable to do good or to do the Will of God, and therefore Jesus has to be God. They are mistaken and have become enslaved to their twisted mind or to the twisted mind of generations of theologians. Those people who call themselves scientists in the knowledge of God took a lot of time to study books of other theologians. Most of their time is spend to reading and studying books of other people of this world, instead of spending more time to reading the Word of God itself, given to mankind by the Book of books.

They and their followers have come enslaved to their minds which are taken in by human doctrines. That ‘Mental enslavement’ is the root cause of the current divisions among so many people, not only for African descendants.

The blogwriter thinks his people, due to years of conditioning, have become strangers one to the other, or at least some act as though they are because of their mindset. He should know all other races are also enslaved to their world which works as a magnet drawing them in all sorts of dreams and adventures.

When you look at this world you will see that man made a big mess of it. As such that Mental Enslavement and Sins Syndrome (MESS) fits clearly our big mess.

Living in this big mess perhaps also being caught by that Mess, we do have to know we can become liberated from any form of slavery. Some two thousand years ago a man was born who proofed that it was all lies that a man could not do the Will of God. That Nazarene Jew managed not to do his own will but humbled himself and gave himself totally to this God and His creatures. That son of man showed the world that each son of man is capable to come to God and do what God wants from him or her. Those who say Jesus is God, because no man is ever able to follow God from himself or herself, are telling lies. They are misleading people and are holding them back from the real God of gods, Who is the Only One True God which all people should come to worship.

The Jew Jeshua, today better known under his falls name which gives honour to the god Zeus, Jesus  (Hail Zeus), had studied the Word of God, proclaimed it, prayed a lot to his heavenly Father and asked also his followers to pray to his heavenly Father, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jakob. That man of flesh and blood gave his body to the world, but kept his mind high up by his heavenly Father and demands us to do the same, as him coming to be united with that only One True God, being one like Jesus is one with Him.

When we do follow Jesus, who is the Way to God, we are able to change our attitude. Yes it

could be changed by the power in the blood of Christ.

How? You have to let go (MESS), and allow God to have His way in you. {Blogging 201: Day 8 Assignment}

We are not a hopeless people, who are unable to become without further sinning. It is true that all of us sin but such a condition has not to continue for ever. For there is hope, hope in the very Christ, whose precious Blood washes away our sins the moment we repent and believe the Word of God from the heart. Such act of coming into believing in Christ, the son of God, will demand work. Then shall come the most important factor to break the chains of enslavement, namely the demand of repentance. When we do not come to see what we have done wrong or what we can do wrong we shall never be liberated. We do have to see what is wrong and what is the right way. Without recognising good and bad we shall not see the light nor become free citizens under Christ.

People of all sorts of cultures should know that God is not partial and that He had sent His son for all people. For God nobody should be enslaved and be under the spell of satan, the adversary of God. People should come to believe in the sent one from God, the son of God and

Know that it is the Word that will turn your life around so that you do not have to continue being a slave to sin. and to the devil. [Romans 6:7-23]  If you have doubts about Christ, put your right hand on the region of your heart and say, Father in heaven, help my unbelief. Amen. I guarantee that God the Father will hear your prayer. Amen. {Blogging 201: Day 8 Assignment}

There are still too many Christians who do not believe what Jesus really did, not doing his own will but submitting to the Will of God and giving his body as a ransom for the sins of mankind.

Today there are still too many who prefer following human traditions and human doctrines instead of adhering to sound Biblical teaching and going for the Biblical tradition. We should come to see how everything links together. The Old Testament is inherent to the New testament. The promises given in the Garden of Eden have become a reality by Jesus being the promised Messiah.

Jesus has become the slave who managed to liberate his fellow slaves. His death made an end to the curse of death. In him we are liberated and can put away the chains leading to death. After he had gone his apostles continued doing the work Jesus ordered them to do. Philip also came to bring people as the eunuch to God.

Philip in the awesome presence of the Most High God and under His Sovereignty did not sprinkle water on him, he did not pour water on his head, he did not duck him in the water three times, he did not baptize him in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, but rather, Philip baptized our Ethiopian brother in the name of the Lord Jesus, just as He cayon-sugar-canewas guided by the Holy Spirit to do at Samaria.
It is written, “…they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.”[Acts 8:16, 2:] And for those who may have a problem with the parenthesis in this verse of scripture: Acts 2:38, says,

“Then Peter said to them, Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”

Proof: Thus at the mouth of two genuine witnesses (the scriptures) baptism in the name of the Lord Jesus is established. Let us give Yahweh praise. {Blogging 201: Day 8 Assignment}

The highly placed person came into the faith and knew he had to do things. He was convinced that it was not enough to have been baptised, but that once having come into the faith the believer had to do works, like spreading the gospel and giving people hope.

Cush or Kush, an ancient African kingdom situated on the confluences of the Blue Nile, White Nile and River Atbara in what is now the Republic of Sudan.

Ethiopia was one of the great kingdoms of Africa, part of which is now called Abyssinia. It is frequently mentioned in Scripture under the name of Cush. But Cush comprehended a much larger region, including the southern part of Arabia, and even sometimes the countries adjacent to the Tigris and Euphrates. Ethiopia Proper lay south of Egypt, on the Nile, and was bounded north by Egypt, that is, by the cataracts near Syene; east by the Red Sea, and perhaps part by the Indian Ocean; south by unknown regions in the interior of Africa; and west by Lybia and the deserts. It comprehended the modern kingdoms of Nubia or Sennaar, and Abyssinia. The chief city in it was the ancient Meroe, situated on the island or tract of the same name, between the Nile and Ashtaborus, not far from the modern Shendi. (Robinson’s Calmet,)

The confidential officer, or counsellor of state, was a Jew, or at least a Jewish proselyte. It was customary for the Jews in foreign lands, as far as practicable, to attend the great feasts at Jerusalem. He had gone up to attend the Passover, and got fascinated by the new teachings of the followers of the Jew Jeshua and humiliated himself going down into the water to get baptised. The conversion of the Ethiopian Eunuch is a milestone in the proclamation of the gospel which spread from Jerusalem. The fact that he rode in a chariot was a demonstration of his wealth and power. One would think he would not share his faith with lower people, but he did. The eunuch “went on his way rejoicing” (Acts 8:39). He went along taking care others also came into the faith, which could spread from Arabia and Egypt to the North of Africa.

All nations should come to see how that important man welcomed the opportunity of ‘emptying himself’ by going down to baptism. He rejoiced in his appreciation of how his Saviour had emptied himself to make it possible for the eunuch, a man who was excluded from the ‘congregation of the Lord’, to draw close to God, no longer being distanced from Jehovah God by sin.

We all may be connected with one or other ‘class’ or ‘profession’, but for god we are all the same and given the same opportunities to come to God. We only should react in the right way when we hear the call.

Like the eunuch we can take the knowledge of the greatness of the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ with us into our everyday lives that will provide a fitting contrast to the aspirations to greatness of those around. This can help us to follow his example of humility and rejoice that we might share the true greatness of the Lord Jesus Christ at his return to the earth.

In the meantime we may not sit still. We do have to do the works of faith. To get away from the ‘Sin Syndrome’ we have to work at our character. It will not come easy to step in the right direction and to always keep to the Word of God.

Like god in the past changed the mindset of many He is willing to change our mindset too. We should take time to see the links from the past as well as those with the future.

The past refers to Yahweh’s Visitation with our African brother (1) and when He miraculously changed His mindset, and moved Him away from those aspects of our Fathers’ tradition which are not in sync  neither Yahweh nor His Word. {Blogging 201: Day 8 Assignment}

The pastor ends

Make it a habit to trace our Biblical history and tradition back to Acts 8:26-39, and believe the Word and teach your children all the Word builds up our confidence, gives us a sense of belonging, a high self worth, and a strong feeling that we are guided by it (the Word), in our journey along a path in Christ— that has continuity.  O let us give God Praise. Amen. {Blogging 201: Day 8 Assignment}

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Preceding articles

Scripture about Creation and Creator Deity

How Many Persons Created the Heavens and the Earth?

Some one or something to fear #7 Not afraid for Gods Name

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Additional reading

  1. No other god besides Jehovah who gives all explanation
  2. God of gods
  3. Only One God
  4. God is one
  5. The faithful God
  6. God’s wisdom for the believer brings peace
  7. Necessity of a revelation of creation 9 Searching the Scriptures
  8. Necessity of a revelation of creation 11 Believing and obeying the gospel of the Kingdom of God
  9. Necessity of a revelation of creation 14 Searching the scriptures
  10. God’s forgotten Word 3 Lost Lawbook 2 Modern scepticism
  11. Theologians and a promised Spirit to enlighten us
  12. A god who gave his people commandments and laws he knew they never could keep to it
  13. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  14. Back from gone #4 Your inner feelings and actions
  15. Our life depending on faith – Looking at the Bible reading for January 28
  16. Faith Alone Does Not Save . . . No Matter How Many Times Protestants Say It Does
  17. January 27, 417, Pope Innocent I condemning Pelagius about Faith and Works
  18. Epicurus’ Problem of Evil
  19. A Living Faith #1 Substance of things hoped for
  20. A living faith #2 State of your faith
  21. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  22. A Living Faith #4 Effort
  23. A Living Faith #5 Perseverance
  24. A Living Faith #6 Sacrifice
  25. A Living faith #7 Prayer
  26. A Living Faith #8 Change
  27. A Living Faith #9 Our Manner of Life
  28. A Living Faith #10: Our manner of Life #2
  29. A Living Faith #11 My place in the body of Christ and my ecclesia
  30. A Living Faith #12 The Love for Jesus
  31. Faith and works
  32. Not making yourselves abominable
  33. The attraction of doing something
  34. Re–forming ourselves
  35. Humbleness
  36. Wired to Connect?
  37. Bearing fruit
  38. Comments to James remarks, about Faith and works
  39. First man’s task still counting today
  40.  He who knows himself, is kind to others
  41. Luther’s misunderstanding
  42. Our life depending on faith
  43. Romans 4 and the Sacraments
  44. Is Justification a process?
  45. Letter to the Romans, chapter 3
  46. Letter to the Romans, chapter 4
  47. Additional comments to the 3rd Letter to the Romans
  48. Additional comments to the Letter to the Romans 4
  49. Missional hermeneutics 5/5
  50.  The sin of partiality
  51. Hope by faith and free gift
  52. Not bounded by labels but liberated in Christ
  53. The meek one riding on an ass
  54. Atonement And Fellowship 7/8
  55. Authority given to him To give eternal life
  56. Reasons why you may not miss the opportunity to go to a Small Church
  57. Being Religious and Spiritual 7 Transcendence to become one
  58. Preparation for unity
  59. Follower of Jesus part of a cult or a Christian
  60. Sharing thoughts and philosophical writings
  61. Looking for True Spirituality 7 Preaching of the Good News
  62. Daring to speak in multicultural environment

 

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Further related articles

  1. A man
  2. My Flesh and My Spirit
  3. What are we asking for? What do we need?
  4. Baptism of the Spirit: my testimony
  5. So, Here Goes…
  6. The Angelic Doctor
  7. Good Morning January 25
  8. Theologian Spotlight: Martin Luther
  9. What Does It Mean To Be a Theologian
  10. What Makes a Theologian
  11. Pulpit Supply: Sunday School: Four Key Concepts to be a better Theologian
  12. Luther on Being a Theologian: Oratio, Meditatio and Tentatio
  13. Who is qualified to write theology?
  14. A Quote from St. Augustine on “The State”
  15. Theology as Discipleship
  16. 43rd of 2015.
  17. No More Sunday School Answers
  18. Between A Father and Son
  19. lifted up
  20. Father, Holy Spirit, & Son: When the Trinity is Out of Order
  21. Have You Seen Jesus?
  22. What does it mean that God is the Ancient of Days?
  23. Review: The Unseen Realm

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Running away from the past

Being born, growing up. Days which start and days which finish. Days and nights, working hours, moments of rest and relaxation. From baby, encountering lots of difficulties in our will to try to find out and to try to do things. when times come before our eyes and we see them go past, we can only see that somehow we keep carrying them with us for the rest of our life. We sometimes we think we forget them, but suddenly they reappear. Sometimes we can not let the past  for something what is gone. It may have been fortunate or may have been awful.

English: Students look at a section of the exp...

Students look at a section of the exposed Wasatch Fault, a classic normal fault located in North Salt Lake, Utah. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

How many people do we not know who are trying to run away from their past? Sometimes we meet people who do not want to be remembered of their past. Several people do everything they can to get all remembrances of their past out of their way. Others only want to keep certain pictures going around to show the better part of their passed moments. As such they can get the less nice moments into oblivion.

Nobody wants to remind those painful moments of their life. We all want to dream of better moments and of miraculous and magical life. If things happened in our lives which we did not like, we prefer to put the fault to something or some one else. Mostly we do not want to see the fault by ourselves, and when we see that we ourselves where at fault often we do not want to admit it. Most of us do not want to have the pain to be remembered at those bad things that happened in our lives.

We would love to see that no bad things would happen to us. As soon as everything seems to go so smoothly, then with a finger snatch everything seems to go wrong. Moods change so easily.

Many of us do not like it when things go wrong or when we are brought in a bad mood. Most of us do not want to be angry or in a bad mood, but the anger and bad mood come again and again.

What can we do against it?

One moment everything looks to go enormously well, the other moment everything turns out to go terrible. The world has seen times were people had peace with each other and at other moments they seemed not to be able to cope with each-other. At times people had difficulty to survive and had to face thirst and hunger. Sometimes even the same people could find more than enough of it all. Often the might have found abundance, but really did not appreciate it or did not know they had so much, until they had lost it.

All of us probably have seen times of joy but also times of sorrow.

We are just a ball in the game of life, rolling from one side to the other.

How often we do like it to be rolled from one place to the other in case it could bring us something better (we think)? But how often did we not make the wrong choice, did we choose for the wrong party? How many times did we want to blame ourselves when it did not turn out like we had hoped?

In certain religions, people created somebody they could blame for what went wrong. Some like to think on their left shoulder is sitting a bad ‘ghost‘ or ‘devil‘ which lures them in the bad situations. It is that devil which makes them to have bad choices, doing things wrong, having bad or making them cross with others. Is that not easy to blame such a devil?

Like the pendulum of the always ticking clock we are pulled form the right to the left, from the good to the wrong or to the bad, and than there are others who want us to choose. Is that not difficult?

Why do so many people want to make it so complicated whilst life can be less complicated?

When something happened, why do we want to forget it and leave it in the past like it never happened. Why do we not want to take the opportunity to learn from it and to keep it in our mind to remember ourselves how we next time should not do it that way or should not let it turn out like it did previously?

It is impossible to turn back the time. What happened happened. How many times did we give the excuse we needed more time?

Did we ever think that if we would have accepted our own strength and would have shared it more with the other we could have reached much more? How many times did we want to hear the other for the good of us growing and did we want to work together to make everything better without having ourselves in the picture as the one who could make everything better? So often people do not want to hear the voice of an other in their mind, telling them to do what they should do. But when they did something others do not like, they are the first one to tell tit was somebody else his idea, or somebody else’s fault something went wrong.

Lots of people do enjoy it to look at others their mistakes or failings. How many do not like to listen to gossip and rumours and evil insinuations? when we hear people talking around us talking about others, how many do not derive pleasure from the shortcomings of others, especially those who have previously appeared to be models of uprightness or have been in the footlights?

Have you tried to hear the voice which comes over all the din of the market, the buzz of social gossip, the stamping and mirth of the pleasure spots?

How often we feel that wrong is done to us and do we want to have revenge? How many of us when we long to retaliate for wrongs done to us, hear again that calming voice penetrates our hurt and our angry frustration?

We should come to know that vengeance only belongs to the Supreme Being. It is not up to us to take the law into our own hands, for God has allowed the justice system and He will repay.  (see Romans 12:19). Anger is a great bungler, and it has well been said that we get at odds when we try to get even.

It Ain't My Fault

It Ain’t My Fault (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We can all remember moments in our life where we were angry, with or without reason. Many times in our life we had moments we could not pretend that nothing was happening that we did not like. More than once we got to the point we had to do something to make it better or to change the situations so that we could find a better way to handle or to deal with the situation or person in a non-attached way. We had moments in our life where we had to take care of what needed to be done, responding with patience and understanding, and moving on.

In our life we should come to a point realising we do have to move on. Than we should try to break the habit of a lifetime and should want to try and reinforce a new approach to how we view ourself. How we look at our self and what happened in the past is something we only ourself can change. With time we can slowly try and retrain our thinking to no longer be so hard on ourself.

We have to stop giving others but also ourselves the fault. We have to stop thinking the others are bad but also have to stop thinking we are bad. At times we might have taught we were the reason we were hurt and that it was our fault. When we were ridiculed at school or did fail to get top marks (sometimes finding 9/10 in a test wasn’t good enough and anything less than an A+ was a fail in our parents eyes).  How many people are not surrounded in their youth with negativity, blame and ridicule just kept heaping one on top of the other and that made them feel absolutely worthless.

But in the creation of the Most High nobody is worthless. Nobody is guilty for his total life. A person may have stolen bullied, not having told the truth, having sexual and other escapades, it might even be someone may have brought damage to somebody else or even murdered some one, there is hope for that person.

There has been a man in history who made arrangement than any evil person can be pardoned for the atrocities he or she might have done. Every person on this planet has his past, which can be seen as the past that has been but is also gone. We do not have to carry the past with us as a burden or like a ball of plumb hanging at our legs, like by the prisoners in the old times. All chains are broken today by one person to whom we may look up.

Today there are still lots of people who say it is impossible that there could exist a man of flesh and blood who would be willing to swipe over the faults of other people, forgive what they have done, and would not mind taking them in a reign where everybody is considered equal and live together in peace for ever.

But a barrister is provided who works pro-deo. At no cost for us that advocate will take counsel for anybody of the world who is willing to accept him to be his solicitor. He does not charge anything. The only thing he demands is that we recognise his Father and his position and that we would like to try to do the Will of his Father like he only wanted to do the Will of his Father and not his will.

When you are willing to accept that man in your life and understand what he has done for mankind, than you may forget all your previous life and start all over again. With a new slate you may start afresh. Is that not great? Would that not give any hope?

Yes you may forget your past in such circumstance, but you shall have to run away from your past also. That solicitor will require from you that you really want to turn over the page and start anew.  He will be a mediator between you and his Father, who he wants that you shall accept also as your Father in heaven. Turning over the page shall require that you run away from your past, let it be what it was, but not without forgetting to learn your lessons from it.

All people should come to see that they are fortunate and that they are saved, valued, loved and accepted for whom they are and for what they have done but even more for what they shall try to do. They all should try to see and find the good persons around them, their family who love them and care for them, and their good friends who support them, and those who are willing to accompany them to better pastures.

Let this be your time also to value yourself and to challenge and change the habit of a lifetime.

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Find to read:

  1. Malefactors becoming your master
  2. The first on the list of the concerns of the saint
  3. Doest thou well to be Angry?
  4. Be ye angry and sin not
  5. She who sows thistles will reap prickles
  6. The mistake is the one from which we learn nothing
  7. Never making mistakes because never doing anything
  8. He who smiles rather than rages is always the stronger
  9. The business of this life
  10. Be holy
  11. God does not change
  12. Singing gift from God
  13. Unconditional love
  14. No good thing will he withhold
  15. Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience
  16. Change
  17. A Living Faith #8 Change
  18. Only I can change my life
  19. Wishing to do the will of God
  20. One mediator

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Please do find also to read:

  1. Simplicity, Clarity, Beauty
  2. Tiny Seed Within
  3. Touching Peace
  • Who’s fault is it anyway? (wenonachad.wordpress.com)
    He can be dramatic and take offense at little things if he’s in the right mood. He goes from one mood to the other very quickly sometimes and he has a very anxious personality at times. Lily is the only girl. She is artistic and crafty. She is also the most spiritually minded. She has been asking questions and talking about Jesus pretty much since she learned to talk. We already feel like she had a ministry calling on her life. But she is also bossy sometimes and demanding. She likes things done her way and she will tell you that! I absolutely love my kids and daily they teach me some kind of lesson.
  • My Fault (shruti14.wordpress.com)

    Cant forget those black days you gave to me / those stains aren’t easy to wash off / Which keep me reminding of our dusk / Never can I forget that bitter words which pierced my heart

  • it is his fault (wonderlandbytatu.wordpress.com)
    One of the glorious aspects of being pregnant (again) is that I can literally blame Eeverything on the little guy inside.
  • “Its Not My Fault” (emankawas.wordpress.com)
    I have noticed a dramatic change in myself: energy is low, ambition is limited, and motivation is dissolved. It was painful to wake up to reality that “I have changed”. Now it started to become clear to me why, it’s because I have been in the defense mode for so long that I started to put it on the top my priorities and let other important things go, like (motivation, ambition, drive, humility and passion).
  • Letter to my mother (notdazedorconfused.wordpress.com)
    With no conditions. I was your baby. Then suddenly I was stupid, ugly, useless. I was nothing. Then you kept apologizing. Your temper, your mood wasn’t helping. Yelling was how you talked. I had to tolerate that. I had to hear you yelling. And believe you when you said it wasn’t my fault. I wasn’t bad in any way. I was healthy and capable. But I was also abused. Abused by the people I trusted the most. Cause I was a child. Your child. And your world. It was also mine. I can feel my heart aching as I am writing these words. So much yelling. So much pain. So much confusion. And it wasn’t my fault. As you said you were unwell. Unwell and sick.
  • Does the Truth Help or Hurt Relationships? (robertjrgraham.com)
    I really thought that if I let people know the ugly thoughts, not only would they be hurt – but they would probably become angry and disown me – betray me, talk shit behind my back. I would be the outcast.

    So I beat them to the punch! Hah! I’d banish myself to my own room (or apartment, as I got older). I’d banish myself to silence.

    You can either have a N.I.C.E. (Not Interested in Connecting Emotionally) relationship… where you hide what is true out of fear. Or you can have an alive, real relationship with intimacy, compassion and understanding.

  • S for Sorry (saikounikkou.wordpress.com)
    I’m sorry for being too selfish / sorry for always blaming / and forgot where I stand and where you stay
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Why Think There Is a God? (3): Why Is It Wrong?

Morality Breach

Morality Breach (Photo credit: Rickydavid)

Making moral decisions is not always easy. Sometimes we get pulled in different directions; maybe our heart says one thing and our head another. But some things are crystal clear – some things are just plain wrong. The murder of an innocent person is wrong. The abuse of a child is wrong. Rape – regardless of the gender or the circumstance – is wrong. But where does this moral conviction come from? Why is it that we think that morality is important? Why is it we spend so much time worrying about whether something is right or wrong?

Atheism does not provide very satisfying answers to these questions. Some atheists say that human morality is just a happy coincidence – we could have developed differently, but luckily we happen to think that murder and rape are wrong. But this isn’t very encouraging, if our sense of right and wrong is just chance. Nor does it seem to reflect our experience of moral decisions – morality isn’t just a trick of our brains, some things are obviously bad.

Some atheists say that human morality developed as a survival strategy – a society without lots of murders will work better than a society with lots of murders so evolution should select for the society without lots of murders. Whilst that’s true, it is also true that it is even better for the survival of my genes for me to feign morality when it suits me and to behave immorally when it suits me better. We would expect evolution to equip us with a survival instinct but we would not expect evolution to equip us with values of self-sacrifice, compassion and altruism. And yet, we just do think that self-sacrifice is morally good and that murder, regardless of the selfish motives, is bad.

Some atheists say that morality is a consequence of our rational faculties, that when evolved rational minds we realised that murder or rape was wrong. But morality is something different from reason. Reason is great working out how to get what you want but it cannot tell you what it is you desire. If I want to be successful and powerful then it is perfectly rational for me to commit immoral acts to further my career (if I can get away with them). Reason can help us make our moral decisions but only once we have some moral values to work with.

In contrast theism has a very straightforward explanation for why we think morality is important – God has given us this moral capacity for our benefit. God is good and God wants humans to be able to form relationships with him, so has given them this moral capacity. Our morality capacity is part of what makes us personal and relational beings.

This is not to say that atheists can’t do good things (they can). All human beings have this moral capacity and can choose to act upon it or not. The question is where does that moral capacity come from? Why do we think that morality matters? If morality is real, if some things are just plain wrong, then we cannot explain the universe in purely physical terms. Our tendency to think in moral terms indicates that there is moral being behind the universe – and that is God.

New Morality

New Morality (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Preceding articles:

Why think there’s a God? (1): Something from Nothing

Why think there is a God? (2) Goldilocks Effect

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Find also to read:

  1. A philosophical error which rejects the body as part of the human person
  2. Morality, values and Developing right choices
  3. Are religious and secular ethicists climbing the same mountain
  4. Book of books and great masterpiece
  5. Fear of God reason to return to Holy Scriptures
  6. Judeo-Christian values and liberty
  7. Built on or Belonging to Jewish tradition #4 Mozaic and Noachide laws
  8. Do we have to be an anarchist to react
  9. A risk taking society
  10. If we, in our prosperity, neglect religious instruction and authority
  11. Satan the evil within

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Also of interest:

  1. An Introduction to Logic
  2. Life Amidst Moral Chaos
  3. A Friendly Discussion (Morals, Ethics, and Theism)
  4. Ethics
  5. The ethics of admitting you messed up.
  6. Teaching Ethics to Greedy Bastards
  7. About My Humanist’s Perspective
  8. Are We Climbing the Same Mountain? Secular-Religious Ethical Disagreement and the Peter Singer & Charles Camosy Discussion
  9. Ethics and Answers: Leave pirating to the high seas, not your cable box
  10. Louis P. Pojman – Ethical Relativism
  11. Question Time: Absolute Morality?
  12. Morality: Objective vs Relative
  13. Objective Morality
  14. The foundations of morality
  15. Morality and Conscience: Chapter 14 Prayer Service
  16. Art and Morality
  17. American Thinker: Opinion: Trevor Thomas: Bill Maher, High Priest: Defining Morality in America
  18. Programmed To Be Moral?
  19. Moral values aren’t absolute, but aren’t arbitrary either + Moral values aren’t absolute, but aren’t arbitrary either
  20. This View of Life: Why Sam Harris is Unlikely to Change his Mind
  21. Born that way
  22. Virtue and Evil
  23. Notes on “Breaking Bad”
  24. Welfare politics
  25. Ravaging Politicism (excerpt 3)
  26. Hursthouse Reading
  27. Should Ethicists Be Held to a Higher Moral Standard?
  28. Christian ethics and Peter Singer
  29. Multicultural apocalypse: Stealth jihad has taken root in Europe and is coming to America
  30. Let’s keep America exceptional
  31. Breaking: “American Freedom Law Center”
  32. It’s out with the old as Christian values fall away
  33. “The Fear Of God Is Not In This Place”
  34. Using the Bible Against Christians: Sola Scriptura Atheism
  35. “Spiritual But Not Religious” and the Path to God
  36. There is the Law of love, and then there are the Ten Commandments
  37. Ten commandments to lose the first 4?
  38. The Ten Commandments: Are they still relevant? – Part 4
  39. He who does the commandments and teaches them shall be called great
  40. To what extent should government enforce the moral law of God? The example of divorce.
  41. The Ten Commandments and non-believers
  42. The Ten Commandments and Christian Living
  43. The Catholic Church Changed The Ten Commandments?
  44. Fully Human: Why Think Part I: The Rich Ruler and Jesus
  45. Why is islam such a dangerous foe of liberal democracies?
  46. The Gift of Connection
  47. Torrance on Natural Laws
  48. Barth on God’s Love
  49. Being a “Good Person” Part 2
  50. About Greed
  51. So Be Good for Goodness Sake
  52. Russians find homosexuality more immoral than drinking, infidelity or abortion
  53. I Have No Survival Instinct
  54. The Rules of Survival
  55. Survival Of The Fittest
  56. Chapter 3 of The Journey – My Invisible Scars
  57. Rust: A Beginners Guide (Part 2)
  58. Unpredictable Life.
  59. Survival of the Richest
  60. It doesn’t really matter What I Do…..
  61. Humble Your Life, Before Life “Face-Plants” You
  62. Leaving the Nest
  63. Things That Were Lost In Our Vaginas
  64. Article: States Where Rape is Most Common
  65. What Is Rape Culture? Why You Should Care.
  66. The Rape Epidemic in Alaska
  67. Zimbabwean Pastor imprisoned for half A century, for raping 4 members of his congregation
  68. Ignorance Means Acceptance: A Stance on Rape Culture
  69. Shut Up, Rape: Gender Politics in “Super”
  70. Functional repression
  71. Farrah Abraham Claims “Dark Times” During Her Time in the Porn Industry
  72. The beatings, and fear, and rape that permiated my life
  73. I No Longer Want Chocolate Cake for Breakfast
  74. Chapter 1, part i
  75. Chapter 1, part ii
  76. Thursday, February 6th, 2014
  77. Male on Male Prison Rape – Where is the Outrage?
  78. Is it rape if you let it happen?
  79. Men of a Nightmare
  80. Why I Rise for Justice
  81. Send to me Thy Trials so that I may Heal
  82. I Am An Abortion-Hating, Same-Sex Mongering, Marriage-Smearing Hypocrite
  83. This Is A Story About Rape. But More Importantly, This Is A Story About Survivors.
  84. The Intrinsic Links: Violence Against Women, Poverty and Impunity
  85. Call To My Childhood Rapist Teacher Charged
  86. Life decisions and getting raped
  87. Rape legal in Bush’s ‘new’ Afghanistan?
  88. Solomon vs Bullard – why it matters
  89. So You Were Saying Porn Is Not Dangerous…huh!
  90. Fighting/Self Defense: Two sides of the same coin
  91. please help me!!!!
  92. Boasting immorality…
  93. Repent or Be Judged – A Warning to the Nations

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  • Do atheists believe that slavery is wrong? Can atheists condemn slavery as immoral? (winteryknight.wordpress.com)
    For a Christian response to the complaint that the Bible doesn’t condemn slavery, see this article and this article for slavery in the Old Testament, and this article for slavery in the New Testament. These are all by Christian philosopher Paul Copan. You can watch a lecture with Paul Copan on the slavery challenge here, and buy a book where he answers the challenge in more detail. There is also a good debate on whether the Bible condones slavery here, featuring David Instone-Brewer and Robert Price. My post is not a formal logical essay on this issue, it is more that I am outraged that atheists, who cannot even rationally ground objective morality, insist on criticizing the morality of the Bible. I think that atheists who are serious about finding the truth about these issues should check out those links, if they are interested in getting to the truth of these matters.
  • Chad Meister: can atheists make sense of morality? (winteryknight.wordpress.com)
    Atheists often argue that they can make moral claims and live good moral lives without believing in God. Many theists agree, but the real issue is whether atheism can provide a justification for morality. A number of leading atheists currently writing on this issue are opposed to moral relativism, given its obvious and horrific ramifications, and have attempted to provide a justification for a nonrelative morality.
  • An atheist explains the real consequences of adopting an atheistic worldview (winteryknight.wordpress.com)
    All life in the Universe past and future are the results of random chance acting on itself. While we acknowledge concepts like morality, politeness, civility seem to exist, we know they do not. Our highly evolved brains imagine that these things have a cause or a use, and they have in the past, they’ve allowed life to continue on this planet for a short blip of time. But make no mistake: all our dreams, loves, opinions, and desires are figments of our primordial imagination.
  • The Problem With Atheistic Morality (crawfordgarrett.wordpress.com)
    If God is a mere delusion, I find it impossible to develop any objective moral framework.  I think most atheists and naturalists would agree with me on this statement, but most would say that it doesn’t matter.  When asked about absolute morality, atheist Richard Dawkins claimed “The absolute morality that a religious person might profess would include stoning people for adultery, death for apostasy, punishment for breaking the Sabbath… these are all things that are based on absolute morality.  I don’t think I want an absolute morality.”  First of all, there are several things wrong with this statement.  Number one, he takes into consideration only ancient religious extreme morals.  This just goes to show how incredibly ignorant Dawkins is of Christian moral values.  The second problem with Dawkins’ statement was how he didn’t give any explanation for the moral framework that everyone seems to follow.  Why are we moral creatures?  Why are all of the terrible, awful people such as Hitler, Stalin, Mao, etc. not justified in what they did?  Under an atheistic system, I will admit, you can see the evil of a situation for your own personal value, but you cannot in any way, shape, or form claim that the situation is absolutely evil or unjust.  The last part of Dawkins’ statement about not wanting an absolute morality is absurd, considering Dawkins puts so much emphasis on what is absolutely true and what is absolutely not true.  Just because you don’t want something to be true, doesn’t mean it isn’t true.
  • The morality of Atheism (siftingreality.com)
    The debate over morality between Atheists and Theists is forever ongoing. I think Atheists mistakenly believe Theists claim they can’t act in a moral manner, but this isn’t the issue.  Most Atheists, in my experience, are relatively honest, caring people with genuine concern for their fellow man.  However, I have always been puzzled by the Atheist’s claim that a godless, non-transcendent worldview can somehow produce an objective ethical code which supplies moral prescriptions to persons who share different opinions on what is and isn’t moral.

    Inevitably, what the Atheists argues for is some form of relativism, be it individual or cultural.  Either of which have no solid immovable standard.

    Individual relativism, or personal ethics, isn’t really morality.  One’s moral convictions are limited only by the will-power and sensibilities of the individual.  There is nothing binding on the individual to keep his or her own standards.

  • 7 fatal flaws for Relativism (thecatholicdormitory.wordpress.com)
    Relativism makes it impossible to criticize the behavior of others, because relativism ultimately denies such a thing a ‘wrongdoing’. If one believes that morality is a matter of personal definition, then you surrender the possibility of making objective moral judgments about the actions of others, no matter how offensive they are to your intuitive sense of right or wrong. This means that a relativist cannot rationally object to murder, rape, child abuse, racism, sexism or environmental destruction if those actions are consistent with the perpetrator’s personal moral understanding of what is right and good. When right and wrong are a matter of personal choice, we surrender the privilege of making moral judgments about the actions of others. However if we are certain that some things must be wrong and that some judgments against another’s conduct are justified – then relativism is false.
  • The Moral Of The Story (edwardhotspur.wordpress.com)
    One aspect of morality comes from within. Just the simple viewpoint that you don’t wish someone else harm, as long as they haven’t harmed you or someone you know. But sometimes you trick yourself into believing that something someone else has would be better served in your possession. So you just take it. But in time, you’re not 2  years old anymore, and you learn societal morals such as The Prisoner’s Dilemma.
  • How can Atheists be ethical? (angelamaldita.wordpress.com)
    most atheists agree that there is wisdom and morality in the Scripture. How can this be? Well, we, atheists, think that values, including morality, come from people like themselves; the values and morality are the same whether one believes in a god or not. The morality found in scriptures of various religions is remarkably similar, even if the theology is very different. The common thread of morality in these different theologies is the people who wrote them. Atheists, just like any of those people, share the same sense of morality.
  • Did God Make These Babies Moral? (newrepublic.com)
    People can be selfish and amoral and appallingly cruel, but we are also capable of transcendent kindness, of great sacrifice and deep moral insight. Isn’t this evidence for God? This version of “intelligent design” is convincing to many people—including scientists who are otherwise unsympathetic to creationism—and it’s worth taking seriously. Like other intelligent design arguments, it doesn’t work, but its failure is an interesting one, touching on findings about evolution, moral psychology, and the minds of babies and young children.
  • Moral Law (totellthenations.wordpress.com)
    if the law emanated from Someone outside the created order, and indeed, were a reflection of that One, two points become clear. That the Law came from a Supreme and immutable Law-giver and that as such the Law very much is and must be immutable.These are points that must be reflected upon both by the atheist, the agnostic and one who places trust in a Higher Power. If I am not responsible to a Higher Power and this Moral Law stuff is all made up, then murder and torture are indeed no different from acts of kindness and altruism for there is no Immutable Standard. If the Moral Law (however difficult to define) exists, than we humans are held to that standard and are responsible for upholding it.

     

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People Seeking for God 2 Human interpretations

Books of many interpretations

christadelphian church kedron brook (1)

christadelphian church kedron brook (1) (Photo credit: bertknot)

People often wonder when they look at persons who read the Bible or discuss the Bible how it comes there are so many interpretations. In Science, scepticism, doubts and beliefs a reader rightly remarks that in certain faith groups a child/young adult may believe that the God of the Bible is real & no further examination of this conclusion is necessary, which could bring in the danger that there will be no-critical thinking any more. The person reacting thinks this leads many Christadelphians to actively seek sources confirming their beliefs and actively avoiding sources that challenge these beliefs – pure confirmation bias. For that reason the Christadelphians ask their members always to search each saying and not to restrict themselves to our own literature, but to read the Bible everyday plus to read also other writings on the different Biblical subjects from all sorts of denominations. In our community we do not want denominational restrictions and prefer to have individual freedom. For others this may look strange and make it that they do not understand that there may be several different opinions over certain matters in the different Christadelphian groups. They also accuse us of not being in union, but than they do not see that we are in union with Christ and that there is also the union in the brotherhood because we accept each-other as brothers and sisters in Christ having the same faith in Christ and having the same hope for the Kingdom of God.

In case there are people in our community who dare not to take up writings from others, or are afraid to listen or look at the new visual and audible media (radio, television, computer) we think they could feel like that because they could be not strong enough in their faith. Somebody who is build firmly in his believes, does not have to fear, when he sincerely surges for the truth and always considers the Will of God in his or her actions.

Origin of different interpretations

Holy Trinity

Holy Trinity church (Photo credit: stevecadman)

The difficulty for humankind today is that we do have the consequences of the adversary by the first human beings. In the Garden of Eden God has given humankind the liberty to decide everything themselves and to find out everything themselves. So we also do have to find our own way. We shall not have to face a dictator of an “omniscient God” who did “ensure that the Scriptures were clear enough to leave no room for interpretation”. In case people would just take God his Words like they are written black on white in the Scriptures there would be no problem and everybody would think the same. But in the past there have been workers against God (the adversaries or satan) who started to twist the words of the Supreme Being and who tried to bring in false teachings and false gods. As such the Trinity also became part of Christendom and created much confusion. One false teaching brought in a passage where again a solution had to be found and some dogma had to be created.

As a Good Father the Elohim Jehovah, the God of gods gave the people living on this earth His advice. Like we as parents can give advice to our children they all may interpret our sayings differently or take liberties with our thoughts. In the same way the creatures of God take the same liberties and some may twist the words their heavenly Father said. This twisting makes them to react differently on one or the other saying. This makes that today we can find many denominations, many churches with even in those churches several interpretations of one passage in the Bible.

Freedom to find out yourself

As God has given freedom to man at the beginning of time, to allow them to rule the world and to find out things on their own, we now have to bear the consequences and live with the possibility of different interpretations. But when people would be prepared just to take the Words of God for what they say, black on white, and would listen to their inner voice, God will be prepared to guide them and to give them inner feelings and insight so that they really shall find the Truth. But it is that preparedness to listen to the heart, which shall make it in many cases difficult, because most people do want to keep onto traditions and want to belong with the majority. They shall have to understand that perhaps the lovers of God do not belong to the majority of the world and that it is that what Jesus is about talking of the small gate to enter the Kingdom of God.

Ability to find God and Truth

To be able to find the God of gods and to find the Truth, people shall have to be willing to open their mind and to give their full attention to the Word of God as it is notated in the Book of books, the Bible.

As the critic on our writings remarks we can see it happening all the time that even two Bible-believing people can have opposing views on a certain passage of Scripture. Both claim to have solid supporting evidence in terms of context, cross-references and consistency. Both make what they think are reasonable arguments for their interpretations. So how can we determine which view is right? And does it matter?

When we do hear or are confronted with different views we should now that it can be that both views are partly right and partly wrong. With the exception of clear-cut fundamental Bible teaching — sometimes called “first principles” — no one should expect to find the full, complete, all-aspects-covered answer. We are all human beings which do not have the possibility to be perfect in everything. We all have our own deficiencies and fallacies. We also do have to face the things which are know but also those which are unknown. Even Christ had to tell his disciples he could not give all answers, because it is only given to God to know everything. Christ even did not know when he would be returning to the earth. He will certainly be involved in that important event where he shall have to come to judge the living and the dead, but even there he could not say when the end-times would take place.

In case Jesus did not know such important things concerning himself, how would we know such things?

A Book of books for discovery

Scripture is so richly significant and interwoven that discovery of another aspect or realization of another line of inquiry is just a matter of time. Several times in the 20th century alone, discoveries of ancient texts — in fact, whole libraries of ancient texts — have thrown new light on Bible passages. Ongoing archaeological investigations continue to help us understand God’s inspired Record better.

Brother George Booker looks into the matter why we even can not be 100% certain of first principles. In Which View is Right? he looks at our first principles which are expressed in man’s imperfect wording and warns us that there is always the possibility of simple misunderstanding of what, precisely, those words mean.

As serious Bible students we should have always an open mind and look at all possibilities. We should be prepared to continually  grow spiritually as disciples of Christ. Everyday our thought should be by the Most High and always we should continually be seeking to increase in knowledge and understanding. God’s Truth and Biblical Truth invites… indeed, it welcomes… investigation. So when encountering a different view, we should seize the opportunity at least to understand the evidence provided. We can always learn something, and if we’re wise, we may need to adjust our own views accordingly.

So what has all this to do with Bible study? Simple. There are many differing interpretations of Scripture. Which view is right? The measuring stick for soundness and rightness must be God’s Word. It’s that simple.

Of course, many other views (with which we may disagree) cite Bible verses as evidence. Thus it becomes a matter of determining:

  • The relevance of the cited passage: Does it contain the same or similar words and ideas?
  • Its validity: Does it really support the point being argued?
  • Its clarity: Is the reference self-explanatory, or does it, too, need interpretation?
  • Its consistency: Is the interpretation in harmony with undisputed fundamentals of Bible teaching?

For example, if an opinion is inconsistent with or contradicts well-known Bible facts and doctrine, then it must be modified accordingly, or abandoned. So just because a view is argued by citing dozens of verses does not, in itself, make it Biblically sound. What counts is clear, relevant evidence, logically arrived at. {Which View is Right?}

Being right or wrong not so evident

It is not up to decide this guy or that one is right in everything. Probably not one of them is right in everything, and both can have many things right but also some thing(s) utterly wrong. Would that be a reason to exclude them? As long as it are not the most important basic elements of faith, we would say “No”. And we also would say those differences of opinion do not have to exclude union in speech. Both can still have the same basic faith for belonging in the “Church of God”.

It does matter if a person’s misunderstanding of a Bible passage, or several passages, will take him or her out of the way that leads to salvation. It doesn’t matter if the view is simply differing details such as timing and location and protagonists.

What is more important is how we deal with our inevitable differences.

Suppose a person with a particular view is 100% right on an issue that could easily affect the salvation of a person with a different view. The matter doesn’t stop here. If the first person (the one who is perfectly right) is not patient, gentle and meek in trying to persuade the second person (2 Tim 2:24,25), but rather impatient, harsh and accusatory (manifested by strong words, condescension, indignation, arrogance, or threats), then his correctness counts for little:

“The Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 2:24,25).

Wrong behaviour more than cancels out right knowledge. If anyone has been blessed to have the right understanding of Scripture, then he or she has the responsibility to be forthright but caring toward those who do not yet share that understanding. Such patient, gentle teaching imitates the prophets, the apostles, and Jesus himself.

Getting knowledge at different moments in time

Not every one is at the same time gifted with the same knowledge. For some it make take ‘ages’ before they come to Biblical insight. Others may see things very easily. Some might remember appropriate Bible verses very easily,others easily forget them, though they know and remember what has been said and meant in the verses.

The one who may think he or she is right about the meaning of a certain part in the Bible, has to take on the Agape love of Christ and be patient, willing to give the other person the time to find out how it really is. In the meantime he can provide enough study material and show interest in the other person his or her way of thinking. Together they should unite to go into research of the different matters we should get knowledge of.

When we encounter differences in opinion, we also should ask ourselves if those differences are so important or can interfere with the real belief.

  • Does the difference really matter?
  • How should you deal with the difference?

Clear language

To find clarity we always should look in the Bible to find the Truth, by comparing verses in other books and by looking if one saying does not contradict an other saying of way of thinking. The Bible does not contradict itself. God is a God of order and clarity. He did not speak in “broebeltaal” (a strange language nobody can understand), He also does not speak in a “broddeltaal” (a ‘bungle language) scribbles or a clumsy language. He has given clear words, but people do have to be willing to take them as they are written down. As soon as they fabricate their own dogma’s they shall get in trouble. But that is not because of the Words written in the bible, but because of man’s own fault of thinking god’s Words can only be understood by learned people. God does not ask from man to have a special education to interpret His Words. In all people He has given the possibility to get to understand and to know what they should understand and know at the time.

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Preceding articles:

Finding God amid all the religious externals

Seeing or not seeing and willingness to find God

People Seeking for God 1 Looking for answers

To be continued:

People Seeking for God 3 Laws and directions

People Seeking for God 4 Biblical terms

People Seeking for God 5 Bread of life

People Seeking for God 6 Strategy

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Please find also to read:

  1. Faith
  2. Epitome of the one faith
  3. My (Christadelphian) faith
  4. Hope
  5. True Hope
  6. Did the Inspirator exist
  7. God, Creation and the Bible Hope
  8. God of gods
  9. Sayings around God
  10. Full authority belongs to God
  11. Who Wrote the Bible?
  12. Bible Word from God
  13. Pure Words and Testimonies full of Breath of the Most High
  14. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #4 Words in Scripture
  15. Creator and Blogger God 10 A Blog of a Book 4 Listening to the Blogger
  16. Creator and Blogger God 12 Old and New Blog 2 Blog for every day
  17. Bible a guide – Bijbel als gids
  18. Bible guide Taking the Bible as a lead
  19. Statutes given unto us
  20. Absolute Basics to Reading the Bible
  21. Digging in words, theories and artefacts
  22. Bible Translating and Concordance Making
  23. The Metaphorical language of the Bible
  24. Finding and Understanding Words and Meanings
  25. Out of Context: How to Avoid Misinterpreting the Bible
  26. Which View is Right?
  27. Bible in the first place #1/3
  28. Bible in the first place #2/3
  29. Bible in the first place #3/3
  30. Missional hermeneutics 1/5
  31. Missional hermeneutics 2/5
  32. Missional hermeneutics 3/5
  33. Missional hermeneutics 4/5
  34. Missional hermeneutics 5/5
  35. Story and Typology
  36. Accuracy, Word-for-Word Translation Preferred by most Bible Readers
  37. Knowing old sayings to understand the Bible
  38. Archaeology and the Bible
  39. Fear knocked at the door
  40. Getting to know the Truth
  41. Why believing the Bible
  42. The Bible: God’s Word or pious myth?
  43. Bric-a-brac of the Bible
  44. Unsure about relevance Bible
  45. Appointed to be read
  46. Youth has difficulty Bible Reading
  47. Learn to read the Bible effectively
  48. We should use the Bible every day
  49. A Bible Falling Apart Belongs to Someone who isn’t
  50. Of the many books Only the Bible can transform
  51. The manager and Word of God
  52. Scripture alone Sola Scriptora
  53. What English Bible do you use?
  54. NWT and what other scholars have to say to its critics
  55. Christian clergyman defiling book which did not belong to him
  56. Manifests for believers #5 Christian Union
  57. Minimizing the power of God’s Force the Holy Spirit
  58. Prophets making excuses
  59. The Bible is a today book
  60. Bible for you and for life
  61. Bible like puddle of water
  62. Cell phone vs. Bible
  63. How to look for and how to handle the Truth
  64. The truth is very plain to see and God can be clearly seen
  65. Relapse plan
  66. Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience
  67. American atheists most religiously literate Americans
  68. Power in the life of certain
  69. Be an Encourager
  70. Possibility to live
  71. Determined To Stick With Truth.
  72. Feed Your Faith Daily
  73. Faith antithesis of rationality
  74. Discipleship way of life on the narrow way to everlasting life
  75. First Century of Christianity
  76. Many churches
  77. An ecclesia in your neighborhood

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If Jesus was God, why did he pray to himself?

If Jesus was God, why did he pray to himself? (Photo credit: Zombie Inc. Wholesale Zombies for Over 25 years)

When Jesus is God,
how does it come there are so many pictures and statues made of him by those who say he is God,
whilst God tells His followers not to make any picture of Him?
Why do they not keep to those commandments of the Most High God, who says they may have only One God
and not worship any other being?

  • There are many Trinities! (onthehillgilayjun.blogspot.com)
    While the majority of the Christian world considers the concept of the Trinity vital to Christianity, many historians and Bible scholars agree that the Trinity of Christianity owes more to Greek philosophy and pagan polytheism than to the monotheism of the Jew and the Jewish Jesus.
  • Trinitarianism Is Not __________ (onetheology.com)
    Modalism  (also known as Sabellianism, named after it’s earliest proponent, Sabelius, in the 3rd century.) believes that Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are different names for the same God acting in different roles or manifestations at difference times in salvation history. God is not really three distinct persons. In some circles people often call Modalism “Oneness” or “Jesus Only”. This view has also been called “Monarchianism.” Today, the largest Modalist group is the United Pentecostal Church. Modalisms emphasis on there being one God makes it attractive too many.
  • In Another Post On A Really Bad Idea (supertradmum-etheldredasplace.blogspot.com) can be seen how far one can go when start believing one person is the other. Like when is assumed that Jesus is God that would make the mother of Jesus also the mother of God and than it would be very strange if that mother could sin. Therefore ther are people who claim she could not have sinned. they than dare to say:
    “To deny her perfection and her relationship with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost would be heresy.”

“She only questioned the angel as she did not know how she would have Christ without a man. Gabriel explained. Mary, all her life was in harmony with God’s perfect Will. She trusted God. She was not anxious. These are all Protestant interpretations. She did not talk to Joseph as she trusted in God.”

  • Theophany, Epiphany and the Holy Trinity (orthodoxmom3.wordpress.com) may look at “Theophany”, to be celebrated on January 6th being the Feast Day celebrating the manifestation of God. They do not seem to listen to the words of God Who clearly says who is being baptised. At the time of Jesus his baptism by John in the Jordan God revealed not Himself to people as the Holy Trinity (not at all found in Matt. 3:16) but he revealed that the Nazarene Jew was God His beloved son.
    Matthew 3:16-17 according the Bibles we do have clearely states:   Yeshua, when he was immersed, went up directly from the water: and behold, the heavens were opened to him. He saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, and coming on him.  (17)  Behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” (HNV)

One can wounder if Scriptures can not be lear enough when one person speak about the other. Do the Trinitarians not want to believe Jesus or iIs jesus also not clear enough with saying: “This is eternal life, that they should know you, the only true God, and him whom you sent, Yeshua the Messiah. ” (John 17:3 HNV)?

  • Nineteenth Century Protestant Doctrines of the Trinity (redeemingthetext.wordpress.com)
    The Oxford Handbook of the Trinity is, in brief form, one of how Enlightenment philosopher-theologians developed innovative ways to discuss the Trinity and their effectiveness leading into the twentieth century. Samuel Powell, Professor of Philosophy and Religion at Point Loma Nazarene University, makes the point that there is a typical narrative associated with nineteenth-century theology: Schleiermacher delivered the final blow and Barth revived it (267).
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    Not being convinced scripturally of the nature or the necessity of the Trinity, nineteenth-century theologians turned to philosophy to answer their questions. Powell describes it as providing “philosophical answers with expressly Trinitarian features (269).” This move loosened the shackles of theological presuppositions and creedal traditions. Nineteenth-century theology was freed to philosophically construct a new horizon for the doctrine of God. Powell examines four prominent figures to structure his argument.
  • How to Identify a Christian Cult (924jeremiah.wordpress.com) overlooks the fact what really makes a cult and talks about a figure, which is according the Bible the adversary of God. Though on the site is also written: “The followers of such cults will say that they believe in Jesus. They will use the terms “God” and “Holy Spirit.” They will talk about baptism, salvation, Heaven and Hell. Some will even acknowledge the cross as a means of atoning for sins.”
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    “Satan simply can’t afford to let his followers get too close to the truth about who Christ is, and what He accomplished on earth. So if you want to find out if you’re talking to a real Christian or not, start drilling them about Jesus.”
    But then overlooks that this Satan has his followers who do not want to accept taht Jesus really was tempted, could sin but did not sin. And gives the impression that those who do not want to take the words of God and Jesus for what they say are the good ones, or the churches to follow, whilst the ones who accept Jesus his offering for our sins (like we) and accept hat he is the “son of God” like God Himself said would be belonging to a sect, though they really believe in what Jesus himself said, accepting that he nor God would ever lie:
    ” (3)  “And this is everlasting life, that they should know You, the only true Elohim, and יהושע {Jehsua} Messiah whom You have sent.” (John 17:3 The Scriptures 1998+)
    What always surprises us is that such websites accusing certain denominations, like the Jehovah Witnesses and Mormons to be cult, never leave any place to react on what is said. (On January 23, 2014, there is no possibility to reply on the writings on that website, nor the above mentioned article.)
  • How to Avoid Being Led Astray by False Shepherds (924jeremiah.wordpress.com)
    If you’re like most Christians, you don’t know your Bible very well. You never went to Bible college or seminary. You’ve had no theological training. Can you really engage with the professionals and not get hurt? Can you really become wiser than them even though you don’t have any diplomas in Hebrew or theology? Of course you can. Keep reading.
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    As a member of God’s flock, you need to be constantly listening for His Voice in the things you hear and read.
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    The Holy Spirit is your resident Counselor. He is with you at all times. He is your Guardian, Teacher, and Truth Tester. You must not let any earthly being become equal to Him in your mind. No matter how many brilliant posts, books, or sermons someone cranks out, their next one could be a pack of lies. Never put your trust in a label, a name, a face, or a reputation. Everything must be checked with the Holy Spirit.
  • Like most websites on the Trinity Reflection: The Trinity (sydneystaggs.wordpress.com) does not leave any place to comment. though she writes luckily: “Take a look at scripture. What does it say about God the Father? What does it say about God the Son? What does it say about the Holy Spirit? How are they different?”
    We can only hope people would come to see what God says about Jesus and what Jesus says about his Father.
  • A Call for Division in the Visible Church (5ptsalt.com)
    if Unitarianism by its denial of the Holy Trinity has patently forfeited every claim to the Christian name, it is difficult to see how a church which has wittingly and willfully accepted the control of modernism, with its denial of the essential deity of Christ and such supernatural events as His virgin birth and bodily resurrection, has any right to be called Christian. Such a church should be denominated a false church and declared to be outside the Christian fold. If that were done, one of the greatest obstacles to the unification of the visible church would be eliminated. For theological liberalism, in all its clamor for ecumenism and church union, is working more effectively toward the disruption of the church of Christ than is any other force. The first need of the church of this day is not union, but division; however, division unto union.
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    the failure to keep the various teachings of Scripture in balance with each other and the consequent stressing of one or some of them out of all proportion to others, have frequently destroyed the visible unity of Christ’s church. Riding a theological hobby is by no means an innocent pastime. Of such sins it behooves churches everywhere to repent, and from them they must desist.- R. B. Kuiper, The Glorious Body of Christ, pp. 51-54
  • World Mission Society Church of God is saying the core of the Bible – God: Christ ahnsahnghong and God the mother (followersofahnsahnghong.wordpress.com)
    2000 years ago, the disciples who met Christ could find the way to the kingdom of heaven through his teachings. But as the time passed by, the way taught by Jesus disappeared by Satan who tried to disturb the Work of God’s Redemption (Daniel 7:25; Revelation 5:1.) How can we, human beings who lost the way of salvation, find it again? The Bible prophesies that Christ is to appear once again for our salvation.
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Philosophy hand in hand with spirituality

Experiences and Interest in philosophy and spirituality

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

Expérience

Expérience (Photo credit: Saturne)

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

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

Experiences and Impressions

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

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

Conscious or unconscious direction with second nature

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

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

Out of body experience

Out of body experience (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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

Breath given by Creator

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

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

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

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

Material and immaterial being and understanding

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

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

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

Given brains and reason

An illustration of the Cartesian theater, wher...

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

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

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

Different ways to go giving different opinions

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

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

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

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

Trying to perceive more knowledge

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

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

Trying to become one with self and environment

Experience

Experience (Photo credit: Kaptain Kobold)

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

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

Trying to transcend domain of rationale and intellect

Moral philosophy

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

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

Trying to Relate things

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

Door to transcendence

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

No reason to be afraid of philosophy

To see clear
Man thinking on a train journey.

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

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

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

Sister and brother

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

Relationship of unity and Oneness

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

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

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Preceding articles:

Looking for True Spirituality 1 Intro

Looking for True Spirituality 2 Not restricted to an elite

Looking for True Spirituality 3 Mind of Christ

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

Looking for True Spirituality 5 Fruitage of the Spirit

Looking for True Spirituality 6 Spirituality and Prayer

Looking for True Spirituality 7 Preaching of the Good News

Looking for True Spirituality 8 Measuring Up

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

How long to wait before bringing religiousness and spirituality in practice

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Additional reading:

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

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Are religious and secular ethicists climbing the same mountain

On ‘A Rutgers Humanist Blog’ Applied Sentience is questioned: Are We Climbing the Same Mountain? Secular-Religious Ethical Disagreement and the Peter Singer & Charles Camosy Discussion.

In our previous posting we mentioned already the right and wrong and the choices we do have to make as human beings. Not always it is every time so clear what is good or what is bad, or what can be the right thing to do or what would be wrong to do.  Lots of time people thought they where thinking to be doing the good thing, but it at the end it seemed to have been the bad thing.

Many religious writers and moral philosophers tried to tackle this intriguing question. The question could be forwarded to them if there are objective facts about what is right and wrong. Millions of words flew out of the pens of thousands of writers thinking about ethics, the way of life and how humanity should run its course.

If there are objective moral facts, why does there seem to be so much disagreement about what they are? After all, experts from other disciplines that seek objective facts (i.e. physics) seem to have converging beliefs about what is true. But also in science many disagreements do come over the counter.

The state or quality of being different or varied should normally not be a problem, though many people do not like it when others do not agree with them. The difference, diversification, variety,colours our world but bring around debated disagreement, the conflict, argument, creating different camps and presenting anew paths for new movements and trends.

Often one might think that the theist and the atheist are just too different in their systems of beliefs to ever come to any kind of consensus on matters as difficult as ethics. Often we do forget that how much we would not like it, we always shall be a product of our time and be influenced by the environment where we grew up. when we look at the freethinker he often does not let the other to think as free as we would think freedom will include.

It can happen that some one’s secular ethics is in agreement with one aspect of the Catholic tradition, while in disagreement with other secular views of ethics.

If they can make the same sort of objections in some cases, then perhaps they really are on the same mountain. Progress can be made! Thus, perhaps religious and secular viewpoints needn’t lead to a special case of disagreement after all.

English: Peter Singer speaking at a Veritas Fo...

Peter Singer speaking at a Veritas Forum event on MIT’s campus on Saturday, March 14, 2009. Veritas Forum: http://www.veritas.org/ Photo by Joel Travis Sage: http://www.joelsage.com/ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In interviews after the Rutgers event, Singer and Camosy each gave the same answer: dogmatism. Camosy elaborates:

Furthermore, I think most disagreement comes – not from differences in evidence in argument – but because of social or emotive reasons. Someone is turned off by a group of people who hold a particular view, or part of their self-identity comes from not being like another group, and thus the arguments are built on top of that first principle as to why such a group holds mistaken views. And so on.

Please do continue reading the interesting article: Are We Climbing the Same Mountain? Secular-Religious Ethical Disagreement and the Peter Singer & Charles Camosy Discussion.

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Look also at the previous articles:

Catholicism, Anabaptism and Crisis of Christianity

Morality, values and Developing right choices

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Additional reading:

  1. Words in the world
  2. Newsweek asks: How ignorant are you?
  3. Who are the honest ones?
  4. Satan the evil within
  5. Being religious has benefits even in this life
  6. Capitalism and economic policy and Christian survey
  7. Jew refering to be religious or to be a people
  8. About a man who changed history of humankind
  9. History of Christianity
  10. Christianity is a love affair
  11. Messengers of Jesus will be hated to the end of time
  12. History of the acceptance of a three-in-one God
  13. How did the Trinity Doctrine Develop
  14. People are turning their back on Christianity
  15. Falling figures for identifying Christians
  16. Discipleship way of life on the narrow way to everlasting life

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Different positions of moral skepticism illust...

Different positions of moral skepticism illustrated (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • Christian ethics and Peter Singer (openparachute.wordpress.com)
    We all “do” morality – its part of being human. We will debate ethical questions till the cows come home. And we will take sides on moral issues, often reacting emotionally, even violently, to those who disagree with us.
  • Should Ethicists Be Held to a Higher Moral Standard? (moralmindfield.wordpress.com)
    if you don’t actually have to do what you tell other people to do (if you even think ethics involves that sort of thing) then you can say just about anything you want. Who cares, you are not going to actually do it.
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    For this reason, people have known for a long time that if you want to know what a person really thinks, you look to how people actually behave (“actions speak louder than words”) rather than to what they say. What they do will show what they really think is good.
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    Ethics is the study of action with respect to the good for humans, which is happiness. Once you figure that out, shouldn’t you have some practically useful insights from it? Shouldn’t you want to become a more excellent, happier human being (whatever that means to you) if you think you have that figured out?
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    if Christians can’t produce academic ethicists who think it worthy at least to try (actually doing it has always proven difficult) to follow their own standards then it starts to look a bit like they don’t believe at all.
  • Ethics (jaheemshamoy12.wordpress.com)
    .Relativism is the belief that there are no universal moral norms of right and wrong. In the school of relativistic ethical belief, ethicists divide it into two connected but different structures, subject (Moral) and culture (Anthropological). Moral relativism is the idea that each person decides what is right and wrong for them. Anthropological relativism is the concept of right and wrong is decided by a society’s actual moral belief structure.Deontology is the belief that people’s actions are to be guided by moral laws, and that these moral laws are universal.
  • Holy Trollers: How to argue about religion online (religion.blogs.cnn.com)
    I’ve discovered a new arena for combat: The reader’s comments section for stories about religion.When I first started writing about religion for an online news site, I eagerly turned to the comment section for my articles, fishing for compliments and wondering if I had provoked any thoughtful discussions about faith.
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    Readers exchange juvenile insults, condescending lectures and veer off into tangents that have nothing to do with the article they just read.

    For years, I’ve listened to these “holy trollers” in silence. Now I’m calling them out. I’ve learned that the same types of people take over online discussions about faith and transform them into the verbal equivalent of a food fight. You may recognize some of these characters.
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    Camosy has made a career out of bridging religious differences. He’s part of a “Contending Modernites” group, which finds common ground between Christians and Muslims. He’s also the co-founder of a website devoted to dialing down the heat in religious arguments entitled, “Catholic Moral Theology.”

    Camosy says that online discussions about religion are difficult because they are not in person. Tone and nuance gets lost online.

  • Non-religious Beliefs (hibamo.wordpress.com)
    What’s in a word? Non-religious people describe and define themselves (and are described and defined) in various ways. These variations do reflect some differences in meaning and emphasis, though in practice there is very considerable overlap.

    Non-believers” do, of course, have many beliefs, though not religious ones. For example, they typically hold that moral feelings are social in origin, based on treating others as they would wish to be treated (the ‘golden rule’ which antedates all the major world religions).

  • The “Secular” Myth (kurtkjohnson.wordpress.com)
    Since the Enlightenment movement of the late 17th and 18th century, Western civilization has slowly but steadily adopted a paradigm that includes a distinct “secular” space within society.  It has become the mantra of both the “religious” and “non-religious.”  It is so deeply engrained into our culture today and so reflexively accepted that few people seem to think to question it.
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    It wasn’t until postmodern theorists began to seriously question the ideas of Modernity that this notion of the “secular” got some serious negative attention and critique.
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    We may call ourselves “non-religious” because we don’t lay claim to a particular faith tradition (Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hindu, etc.) but postmodern theorists have attempted to show us that our basic human situation is the same, irregardless of what we call it… that there is no universal rationality to be appealed to, and our contributions are always and ever informed by something like “religious” commitments, whether explicit or implicit.
  • Teaching Ethics to Greedy Bastards (ethicsbeyondcompliance.wordpress.com)
    We’d like to think that with the proper ethics training even the most heartless sociopath could be encouraged to at least follow some of the rules.And if we can’t (note: we can’t) encourage bad people to be good people, what are ethicists worth? Well, our roles fall into several categories: 1. Providing ethical answers to dilemmas. 2. Offering ethical analysis of a particular problem. 3. Teaching ethical decision-making, which makes a good-faith assumption that the decision maker is sincere in wanting to be ethical. 4. Holding wrongdoers accountable for their behavior.
  • Life Amidst Moral Chaos (onlyagame.typepad.com)
    For centuries, discussion of ethics has focussed upon the idea of the moral law – a set of rules or criteria that dictate what is permissible or required. This debate has been substantially focussed on two battlefronts: firstly, the long and pointless dispute between advocates of a duty approach (deontology or Kantian ethics) and an outcome-focussed approach (Consequentialism). Secondly, the more recent conflict between all ethical beliefs and the deep suspicion that there is no moral law (Nihilism). The former disagreement has been fruitful but misguided, while the latter has become deeply counter productive.
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    We now recognise that different cultural circumstances lead to different ways of life, and different conclusions about moral concerns – and this seems to catastrophically undermine the concept of a viable moral law. The resulting crisis can be expressed in a simple question: if there is no single, true ethical system, can there be ethics at all? Terrified by this possibility, even secular ethicists like Derek Parfit have felt a powerful need to defend the idea of a moral law, and have mounted impressive arguments in it’s defence.
  • Impressions and Lessons from Kierkegaard Exhibit at Haus am Waldsee (rheaboyden.com)
    Kierkegaard believed that subjective human experience and the search for individual truth and faith were far more important than the objective truths of mathematics and science which he believed failed because they were too detached to really express the human experience.  He was interested in ‘inwardness’, people’s quiet struggle with the apparent meaninglessness of life. He was the inventor of self doubt in its modern form and his work and philosophy is more relevant today than he could have imagined. He believed that each individual had to choose for himself what constituted a life worth living, but that suffering was always going to exist because of regret.
  • Hursthouse Reading (eatingmeatinamericatesterman.wordpress.com)
    Hursthouse explains to her readers  that the idea of moral status is completely inconsequential in the discussion of virtue ethics and our use of animals. She discusses the debate over abortion and the fact that virtue ethicists do not even need to consider whether or not a fetus is morally equal in status to anyone else.

English: Pyramid of ethics

Morality, values and Developing right choices

In 2011 laurie cordy wrote:

Every person has within them a set of values which are tuned in the school of hard knocks. For instance if a child pinches another it soon gets pinched back and if it hurts he or she soon learns better conduct or recognises that they are doing the wrong thing. This ability to learn from experience is not a set of taught rules or expedients but ethical principles which are enunciated in the proverbs and the character of people like Job and many others.

The ultimate expression is found in the character and discourses of Jeshua Ha’Notzri commonly known as Jesus of Nazareth who ‘learned from the things that he suffered‘. He was not concerned with doctrines and challenged those of the religious rulers.

Cover of "Right Choices"

Cover of Right Choices

This ability to choose right from wrong seems to be innate and a specific human characteristic, and those who develop right choices are highlighted in the Jewish histories. This is commendable, and whether one ascribes it to God as godliness is related to arguments for or against the existence of a creator. To deny this is to postulate that ethical principles are acquired characteristics, that is, that morality can be passed on in the genes. If this is the case one would expect the development of two classes of society over time, the totally moral and the other totally immoral.

Like my argument for a being called God, http://www.christadelphianism.info/is god {not available any more in 2013}
Not to accept the proposition leads one into impossible arguments such as “Out of nothing everything came into existence”.
The argument for maintaining ethical principles is also on the site “Rules or principles”, and whether or not one allows the existence of a god in all of this, it still seems better to do the right thing because it is the right thing to do. I suggest that to do this is, in biblical terms, godliness, or an expression of the proposition that God is.

I am suggesting that this is an ethical thing and not a belief thing and that religions have got it all wrong in trying to differentiate their beliefs.

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  • The ethics of admitting you messed up. (blogs.scientificamerican.com)

    Humans make mistakes.

    Some of them are the result of deliberate choices to violate a norm. Some of them are the result of honest misunderstandings, or of misjudgments about how much control we have over conditions or events. Some of them come about in instances where we didn’t really want the bad thing that happened to happen, but we didn’t take the steps we reasonably could have taken to avoid that outcome, either. Sometimes we don’t recognize that what we did (or neglected to do) was a mistake until we appreciate the negative impact it has.

  • A Friendly Discussion (Morals, Ethics, and Theism) (ahumanistsperspective.wordpress.com)

    I deny the existence of any credible evidence to warrant the conclusion that a personal deity exists.

    I furthermore acknowledge evidence otherwise in the light of an impersonal universe which is indifferent to the well being of anyone or anything.
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    Consequently, and because of this acceptance, man has to conjure up a right/wrong approach to life (this you have just done). This, you say, is not in accordance with an outside source (such as God), but in accordance with “matters of effect,” or, in essence, to what an individual person likes (pleasure) or dislikes (discomfort, suffering). Your moral code is the result of “natural principles” (this is the foundation of its existence).
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    About My Humanist’s Perspective
    Having spent the first 40 plus years of my life as a practicing fundamentalist Christian, I have utilized what time that I could these past several years to read and reflect on life from outside the “biblical box” if you will.
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    ultimately I have come to realize that common decency is and always has been a somewhat self imposed development of human experiences and consequences, and that such is and always has been the case regardless of one’s religious perspectives and practices.

  • Ethics and Answers: Leave pirating to the high seas, not your cable box (naplesnews.com)
    Often there are no ethical absolutes. Ethical people can, and do, disagree.
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    The concept of ethics has been defined in many ways, but it is generally considered to be the principles that guide societies toward “right” behavior and away from “wrong.” While there is overlap among law, morals, religion and ethics, ethics focuses on the societal good.
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    Ethics are historically dynamic: They evolve. Ethics typically aren’t situationally dynamic; what is ethical should remain so despite outside factors. Just because a behavior can be justified does not transform it from an unethical behavior into an ethical one.

    For a behavior to be ethical, it should be ethical regardless of outside factors. Complications can follow when two ethical positions collide, for example, balancing the ethics of stealing food versus the ethics of letting a nearby child die of starvation.

  • International Encyclopaedia of Ethics (ejournalscambridge.wordpress.com)

    Trial access is now available to the International Encyclopedia of Ethics. The trial ends December 14th 2013.

    Access the trial via this link.

  • Are We Climbing the Same Mountain? Secular-Religious Ethical Disagreement and the Peter Singer & Charles Camosy Discussion (appliedsentience.com)
    Many moral philosophers – or at least those who think there are objective facts about what is right and wrong – find widespread disagreement over these facts very troubling. That is, if there are objective moral facts, why does there seem to be so much disagreement about what they are? After all, experts from other disciplines that seek objective facts (i.e. physics) seem to have converging beliefs about what is true.
  • An Introduction to Logic (amthorn0602.wordpress.com)
    Basically, there are three laws of logic from which every other law of logic is derived. there are dozens of logical arguments that can be derived from these three laws.
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    In logic, there are variables (similar to the way that there are variables in mathematics). Let’s take the variable “A”. now, the first rule of logic is called “The Law of Identity” and it simply states that: If A is true, then it is true. This seems intuitively simple, it means that if A is true, it must, by definition, be true.
  • Louis P. Pojman – Ethical Relativism (darinafridman.wordpress.com)
    Louis Pojman takes on the non relativist point of view in this article. His thesis claims that moral principle’s derive their validity from dependence on society or individual choice. While reading this I kept comparing his view points to those of Ruth Benedict, both of them make interesting arguments.