Religion

What is true religion and what part should it play in our lives?

"Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." James 1:26-27

True religion is not about forms and rituals, of creeds, holy books, and ceremonies, nor of services. True religion is about keeping ourselves pure, how we treat others, and living a responsible, obedient, & compassionate life. It has to do with how we think and behave towards others and learning to live a life worthy of a child of God.

Instead, much of what is called "religion" today is about doing endless "spiritual duties" that do nothing to genuinely help and serve others. It is like a fog that settles over the hearts and minds of each religion's followers. It prevents them from seeing or seeking the truth. The followers call their religion the only true religion, and block their minds to all other points of view. They are not open to see that what they may know about God and holiness is only a small piece of what is true.

 

 

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Healthy Religion

Of what value is man-made "religion"? Over the centuries countless people have been killed and tortured in the name of religion.

True religion is about a way of life, of serving and caring about people. It has nothing to do with fancy buildings, services, etc.

James... has it right, "Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." James 1:26-27

Religion, in its purest sense, is supposed to be all about helping people to become honorable and noble, and to live better lives. Part of this is helping them to live pure and blameless lives, to think clearer, and to act with love, compassion towards around them. Healthy religion seeks to bring everyone together in true unity.
True unity encourages everyone to have their own thoughts, ideas, opinions, and beliefs while, at the same time, teaches everyone to respect the thoughts, ideas, opinions, and beliefs in other people. True religion is about people, not about making an organization.

 However, in unhealthy religion, the organization becomes the important thing. People are there to serve the organization. Unhealthy religion is all about obeying rules and trying to get everyone to 'believe" the same way. Unhealthy religion tries to substitute uniformity (having everyone dressing, acting, and believing the same) for unity.

Healthy religion encourages everyone to think for themselves, to have their own ideas and to use their own gifts to serve others in ways that have meaning to both the servers and the recipients.

Unhealthy religion wants to make sure that everyone believes the "truth", which so happens to be the same as what the leaders believe. Anyone who believes differently is wrong or is going to hell (to be tortured forever and ever).  This religion has programs that they want done. The leaders see people as being there to do the programs, which gives an appearance of  life, but in reality only brings death.

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Lessons from the World of Computers

There is a realm in the computer world called "Open Source". In this realm many people all work together on software to make it better,

I use an Open Source website software called Drupal to make this website.

 In a Drupal Video Tutorial called  "Essential knowledge for Drupal beginners" (DrupalCon Denver) by Itangalo the speaker had this to say about Drupal Certification

"We have no official certification in the Drupal World. You will not find an offical paper saying 'I'm an official Drupal developer. And if you find that paper, I can tell you right now, that you should not to take it too seriously because there is no official certification. There has been quite a bit of discussion about this,and there certainly are certain positive affects of having certification, like credibility is a good thing. On the other hand there are people who think that.certification will harm the drupal community because people will start focusing on the certification skills and the things that you need to become certified and focus less on the things we do to make the community better...."  http://www.10minuteflash.com/t6045      37:27 minutes into the video 

This caught my attention because it seems to applicable to the "Christian" community. I would equate certification in the computer world with "Christian ministries" and "Christian" titles, etc.

 

 

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Fighting Evil



"Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good." Romans 12:21


In your life many times evil shows itself, trying to entice you. There are at least two evil enticements. One type is to participate in the evil. The second enticements is to fight againsts the evil. This second enticement, the fighting againt evil, may actually be more enticing to some people than participating in the evil. Fighting evil is so enticing. It is a call to our pride, that "we are right" and that "we" are not evil. Evil is that other thing, that which are fighting. However, in many ways, we become like the thing that we keep our mind on. If we keep our mind on "fighting evil", then our mind is on the evil. That is what fills our minds.
If you stop to fight it, then You stop doing the good that you have been doing, and you stop growing.
You actually open yourself up to let evil find a way into your life


Our primary defense against evil is the shield of righteousness. Righteousness is, by ... definition "right acting", or, in other word, "doing good."
In doing good, you continue to build your character, you make yourself, and others, stronger, and you keep your focus and attention where it belongs, on that which is right and true.

However, if we keep our minds filled with doing that which is right, then evil has no place in our lives.

For example, let is take a look at abortion. Many people take up signs and picket abortion centers. They sometimes march and protest, etc.

However, all this "fighting evil" prevents people from looking at the root cause of abortion. It's ownly focus is on the killing of unborn babies. It neglects to cause of abortions: the children who are growing up without loving parents

The fighting evil is much easier. It gives us something to do that doesn't require much from us. We make signs, make a few speaches, make a few protests, and then we go on with our lives.

 

Successfully overcoming evil usually involves us getting involved, finding solutions, and working through the many difficulties in challenges. Overcoming evil often means that we leave the comfortable status quo and find real solutions to real problems.

 

We also have to define what evil really is. All to often evil is subtly defined as "things we don't like or are not familiar with" OR things that we don't do" OR "consequences of our own behavior". For instance, if we don't smoke or drink, we look upon smoking and drinking as "evil", but we don't look upon our own gluteny (which is just as bad) as evil. We don't look upon our own prejudice and bigotry as evil, but we judge the prejudice and bigotry of others whom we don't like as evil.

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Idolatry

It is easy for us to look at someone kneeling before a small statue of a Buddha or some other "idol" and condemn that person for worshiping an idol. At least "we" don't worship an idol, right?

Think again. What things do we put great value on. A fancy new car, a big house, that new high-paying job? and the list can go on and on. Are these things idols? What is an idol? What is worship? Let's have a look ....

It's so easy to say, "That thing over there (that someone else has) is an idol. We make idols out to be things that are outside ourselves and which are owned by other people. It's also easy to say that things that are big or fancy or expensive are the idols. As an example, we might be living in a modest $150,000  house and say that a person who owns the $5,000,000 has is living in his idol. OR we might own a modest used $4,000 car and say that a person who owns the $200,000 dollar has an idol. After all, who needs a 5 million dollar house or a two hundred thousand dollar car. It's easy (for us) to see how waistful and idolatrous "they" are. But, what about the people in this country, or in foreign countries, who live in one-room adobe huts an who only own a donkey for transportation. How do we with our "modest" possessions look to them?

Idolatry of the Mind

There is nothing in this world that is inherrantly good or bad. For example: A new car is not good or bad, it is just a hunk of metal that takes you places. A Big house is neither good or bad, it is just a collection of wood, glass, floors, walls and a roof. It is place to eat, rest and sleep.  A higher paid job is not good or bad. Its is just a place to earn money to live. A cross is neither good or bad. It is just wood, metal, or clay, etc. Gold is neither good or bad. It is just a mineral, a rock, or metal. The Bible, or any other religious book, is not good or bad. It is just ink printed on paper.

However, how many people buy an expensive car (that perhaps they can't afford) just to impress others? How many people buy a big house to show off. What about that high-paying prestige job? Why do people want to have or be the best?

What is an idol? An idol is anything in our lives to whiich we give our time and attention, to the detriment of our family, relationships, our duties and responsibilites

What is idol worship? Worship is the (act?) of giving an excessive value ....

We humans are so quick to make idols out of anything that we find attractive or desirable. Anything that we put great value on.....But the problem is not the item. The problem begins and stays in our minds, it is our distorted way of thinking. It is good to get rid of idols out of our lives. But more important is to get rid of our perverted way of thinking that allows us to make idols out of anything. There is no benefit or improvement to getting rid of one idol just to replace it with another.

"Taking every thought captive ...."

What does Bible Idolatry Look Like?

To think of the Bible being an idol can be shocking to many people. First let's look at what

Fir

Is Hell Real?

Is What We've Been Taught About Hell True?

Is Hell real? When we look through religious literature at how hell is used, we see that hell is used as a threat. The threat is that you must believe a certain way (that is suspiciously in agreement with the beliefs of the speaker) or you will be burned and tormented in hell forever. Let's take a look at this. Is the only way that God can get people “saved” to threaten them with hell unless they “repent”?

Many modern day preachers seem to try to scare people out of hell into heaven. But is Hell real?

An example of some religious teachings about hell:

It is humanly impossible to comprehend the Bible description of hell. Nothing on earth can compare with it. No nightmare could produce a terror to match that of hell. No horror movie could describe it’s fright. No crime scene with all it’s blood and gore could begin to match it’s horror.

It will be beyond anything humanly imaginable!

The Bible warns in Psalm 9:17, you will not only be in hell — you will BE TURNED INTO HELL! You will literally BE HELL!

The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.
Psalm 9:17

YOU will see HELL. . .
YOU will smell HELL. . .
YOU will breathe HELL. . .
YOU will hear HELL. . .
YOU will feel HELL. . .

YOU WILL BE HELL. . .

1 http://www.av1611.org/hell.html

 

From reading the above mention web page about hell, one might assume that the purpose of hell is:

  • to scare people into "coming to God". With so many preachers using hell in their sermons, it is obvious that God can't get people to come to him unless he "scares the hell out of them."
  • and to "punish evil-doers throughout eternity

But, Is that True? Is there really a hell?

To listen to many preachers, you would think that the purpose of hell is to keep people on the "straight and narrow" road. The logic behind this would seem to be that God gives us "free will", but he has to scare the living daylights out of us for us to choose him. We are told that God created mankind with free will, and yet we are told that if we don't "chose" to follow God, then we will be sent to hell to be punished and tortured forever.

It has been said that God made man with "free will" because he wanted man "to freely choose" to accept him. Then, if hell is true, that means that if anyone doesn't "freely choose" to come to God, he is sent to hell to be punished and tortured forever and forever. This is free will?

Some Questions about the Concept of Hell:

If there truly is a hell, then let's look at these questions.

  • If hell is true, did God plan it from the beginning of time OR was it an afterthought
  • If hell is real, when was it created?
    • Did God created hell at the same time he created the heavens and the earth?
      • If so, then that would mean that God knew in advance that people would "fall away".
    • OR Did God create hell afterwards?
    •  
  • If hell is real, then who created hell?
    • If God is the creator of all things, then does that mean that God created hell?
    • If God didn't create hell, then that means that God is NOT the creator of all things.
  • If hell is real, then why was it created?
    • Was hell created because God failed in his creation of the perfect man?
    • Was hell created because God is retaliating against man for disobeying him
  • If hell is real, then what is its purpose?
    • If hell is real then is God using it as a device to scare men into following him?

If hell is true, then it means that:

  • before the foundation of the world God's plan was for many people to go to hell. This would mean that God knew that his plan for mankind wouldn't work and that he'd have to scare them into living right. OR it would mean that God likes to torture and torment people.
  • OR hell was an afterthought because he found out that his plan wasn't working.
  • God didn't do a very good job making man to be good enough to escape hell
  • OR hell is part of God's plan from the beginning, which means that
    • God planned to torture people for eternity because .....

Modern day Christianity has taught us that God is loving, kind, faithful, etc. At the same time, it teaches us that if someone doesn't "accept Jesus Christ as Lord and savior" that God will send that person to hell to be punished and tortured forever and ever. Quite frankly, if this was true, God sounds like a vengeful mean and cruel God. It is no wonder that so many people walk away from this portrayal of God.

Quite frankly, I don't believe that God is like that.

In reality, if we are truly living our life according to God's will, then does it really make any difference whether or not there really is a hell.

Is God capable of making things as they are supposed to be?

Free Will

The whole idea of there being a hell goes against what God is all about.

Going back to the idea of "Free Will". If you were put up against a wall in front of a firing squad and told that you could leave there any time that you wanted, but if you left you would be shot, is this free will? How is the concept of hell any different. "You have the freewill to reject God, but if you do you will burn in hell forever and forever.

A conversion under threat?

"A person convinced against his will is of the same opinion still." If someone "accepts Christ" and is "converted" ONLY because they are afraid that they will go to hell, then they aren't truly changed. Instead, they are just living in fear and pretending to be a "christian".

 

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The Concept of Hell

Let's Examine the Concept of Hell

People are so afraid of the idea of "hell" that they don't take time to think out the implications of their fear of and their beliefs about hell. Let's put aside all fear of hell and think out what hell would mean?

If hell is a real place, then these questions must follow:

What is hell?

For this purpose, let's look at what at the typical religious beliefs about hell. to quote, "The abode of condemned souls and devils in some religions; the place of eternal punishment for the wicked after death, presided over by Satan." from Hell, theFreeDictionary.com

Who created hell?

If hell is real, then where did it come from? Who made it, did God create hell, did Satan create hell, or was it made by someone else? If God created hell, what does that say about God? If Satan created hell, what does that say about him?

When was it created?

Is hell part of the original creation? Was it created at a later time? If so, when? If God created hell at the time of the original creation, then did he intend to put the people he created into hell? Why would he do that? If he created hell at a later time, was it because he had failed at his purpose in creating humans. So he created hell as a motivation for humans to come to him? Let's think about this. Let's look at an example of a father. What would a father do? (and God is said to be a far more loving Father than any man on earth.) Would a loving father say to his children, "You children must obey me or I will throw you into a large fire where you will be burned alive."

Why was it created?

Was hell created because he failed at his attempt to make a perfect creation with perfect humans?

What is the purpose of Hell?

How do people get into hell?

Where is hell?

How was hell created?

What kind of mind or person would create a place of the most extreme everlasting torture? If a person here on earth would create a place like that, and put his victims into it, what would be said of him? How would the police and courts act towards him?

Is Hell Real.

Various authors have studied out the concept of hell.

"There is no mention of "hell" or any possibility of suffering after death anywhere in the Hebrew Bible, or Old Testament (OT).  The Hebrew word Sheol clearly means "the grave," not "hell." This can easily be confirmed because if Sheol is translated as "hell" the Christian dogma of hell as an inescapable place of suffering where God is absent is immediately refuted."1

"Hell was not a place in early Jewish thought. Sheol, the original place all dead people went, was just a place dead people went, sort of like Heathen conceptions of afterlife, where we think in terms of the “halls of our ancestors” – the place where all our dead family go. 2

 

 What About Evil-Doers?

Some might argue: "If there is no place called hell, does that mean that "evil-doers" get off scott free? Does that mean that they are not punished for their sins and their crimes?" That presupposes that "we" are the good people who deserve better, and that "they" are the bad people who deserve all the hell can dish out. 

Are "we" really any better than "them." If we had been through their childhood and been through their life, would we have acted any better or any differently? Your response might be, "I" accepted Jesus. What did Jesus mean when he asked this question, "Why do you call me good? There is no one good except for God." Mark 10:17-27

I might go on to ask, "What about the people who have never heard, who have never had a chance to hear and to repent?"  What if I were to go on and ask about where it says about God, "I will harden whom I want to harden and have mercy upon whom I want to have mercy..."  and "Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use? What if God, although choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction?"  Romans 9:11-25  If hell was true, this verse could be interpreted to indicate that God created some people just to send them to hell.

I would strongly suggest that you really think out what you believe. In addition, think out the implications of your beliefs. Remember, just because we believe something, our beliefs don't make it true.

Random Notes

If someone says that "There is a hell", then we have to ask some questions:
If there is a hell, then when was it created?
Did God create hell at the creation? At that time did he know that he was creating faulty people? Did he create faulty people on purpose, or was he unaware of his sloppy workmanship?
 
The common argument is that God created humans with free will (i.e. they had the freedom to choose God or reject God.) However, this is faulty reasoning. If God truly gave humans "free will" and then threaten them (with hell) if they made the wrong choice, is that truly free will? Truly, if God gave humans the freedom to make any choice that they wanted, then he should not punish or destroy them for "making the wrong choice". That's not true free will.
 
Now, let's look at the .... of choices. To be truthful, man can only choose what is available for him to choose. He can't choose what he doesn't think of or what is evident. If men had a thought to choose something, then where did that thought come from.
 
Too often men say that the thought (to make a wrong choice) comes from Satan. Then we have to consider, where did Satan come from.
 
 
One common instruction today says that the Bible is .... This is a subtle way of saying that the Bible shouldn't be questioned. "If you question the bible, then you are defying God!" Really? Where did that thought come from.
 
Everything in life is up for questioning. Even the question of God should and must be questioned. Is there truly a God? If so, then what is God?
 
If so, then why was it created?
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The Debunking of Hell

Here is a video (the first in a series of 5 videos) that I found that talks about the history of hell.

The Fundamentals

Many Christians say that "true believers" must agree with and believe the "fundamentals". Some go so far as to say that they couldn't have true fellowship with people who don't believe the fundamentals. That brings up, "what do they mean by the fundamentals".

My thought is that we all should have different beliefs. We are all a product of our backgrounds and experiences. Our true beliefs are the outworking of our own personal ....... We interpret our beliefs through our own filters. And this is how it must be. If we all say that we believe the same (i.e. we all believe the same about the fundamentals), then someone isn't being real. there is no way that we should be in "agreement" about the fundamentals.

However, we should all be living out our beliefs.....

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What is Correct Doctrine?

Let's have a look at the definition of the word "Doctrine".

Definitions:

doc·trine   [dok-trin]     noun

  1. a particular principle, position, or policy taught or advocated, as of a religion or government: Catholic doctrines; the Monroe Doctrine.
  2. something that is taught; teachings collectively: religious doctrine.
  3. a body or system of teachings relating to a particular subject: the doctrine of the Catholic Church.
    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/doctrine?s=t  
doctrine:
"That which is held to be true by any person, sect, or school; especially, in religion, a tenet, or body of tenets"
http://www.innvista.com/culture/religion/diction.htm  

Doctrine:

"A belief or set of beliefs held and taught by a church, political party, or other group"
A Google search 

If good doctrine were the most important thing, then all churches, or even all religions, should have the same doctrine. However, but the very fact that there are many thousands of "Christian" denominations, we know that isn't true. Each denomination has their own set of doctrines. If that isn't true, then why the need for all the different religions?

What it is not:

Often used like a weapon, the word "doctrine" is often bandied about to try to prove that someone else is wrong. "That's not correct doctrine!" What is meant, "you don't agree with my beliefs, so YOU are WRONG?" How prideful and arrogant is that?

In this country there is a strong emphasis on having "correct doctrine." There seems to be countless doctrines and countless varieties of those doctrines. These doctrines are what separate and divide those who should be acting as brothers.

In reality, I don't think "doctrine" is nearly as important as many religious people place on it. Most of what I've seen that has been called doctrine has just been some men or group's opinions. Then people get their pride attached to their opinions and things can get really explosive. Each person or group has to be "right". Then, when someone claims that they are right, by implication, that means that everyone else is wrong.

Instead of claiming correct doctrine, shouldn't we put our emphasis on (our) correct thinking and behavior? Jesus said, "All men will know that you are my disciples by your love for one another." That is focusing on correct thinking and behavior, not focusing on doctrine. If one's doctrine does not major on loving one another, then that doctrine should be discarded.

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Doctrines Are Divisive Opinions Masquerading as Truth

Doctrines are not facts, but they are only opinions. Doctrines are one of the major barriers that separate people. They make it impossible for people of honor and good character to join and become part of a wide variety of churches. It is my opinion that churches should throw away their docrinal opinions and just focus on love, which is the greatest...

Many churches falsely believe that they need to maintain their doctrines to "keep their church pure" or "on track" or "separate from the world." These false assumptions are part of what is destroying the churches.

Instead of focusing correct doctrine, they should focusing on developing honorable character.

I would like to see churches where people can come together and share no matter where they are on their journey. The churches should focus on how we live our lives, not upon supposed correct doctrine. Doctrines are very divisive. They don't let people be true to themselves. In order to be part of a church body the people either have to keep quiet about their thoughts or risk being asked to leave it they express thoughts that go contrary to the "beliefs and doctrine" of any given church. This is not how it should be.

Why

 

Why am I spending so much thought and so much energy on debunking the Bible misconceptions?

Because the focus of many Christians is on the wrong ...... Our main focus should be on...

We need to think beyond just studying or memorizing the words on the page

We also need to realize that God is all around us, and he has much to teach us through each interaction or situation in our life. God can give his word to us through our families, friends, employers, co-workers, etc.

One main reason that I'm writing this information about the Bible and the Word of God is to study out what is true and right

Another reason is that there is a common belief around that says, "If you don't believe that the Bible is the Word of God, you are going to hell. I'm also writing this out as an answer to this.

I'm not trying to convince anyone else of these ideas, but am only studying and writing out what I've been thinking for the last few years.

What is Salvation?

We hear the words "Salvation" and "Saved" used quite a lot in the modern day Christianity. The common "accepted" meaning of these words is that we will be "saved" from hell and therefore have a place in heaven.

I propose that this is a misunderstanding of what is meant by "Salvation" and "Saved". These words speak of coming to a wholeness and wellness here on earth. These words speak of the result of God transforming our lives here on earth.

To Further explain, when we start out our lives hear on earth we are very self-centered. The world (we think) revolves around us. Because of this immature way of thinking, we make decisions and do things that cause damage to ourselves and others. In our self-centered blindness we don't see that we do anything wrong. Our behavior and actions are caused by our immature thinking patterns and behaviors.

When God "calls" us He "saves" us. This means that he takes us through experiences that show us the error of our ways.

What is meant by those words?

Well, let's look at some verses in the Bible where these words are used, and then look them up in the Greek dictionary  and see what the definition of each of these words. (The Numbers preceded by "G" are the numbers referring to the Greek definitions.)

"Neither  is there salvation G4991c in any other : for there is none other name under heaven given among men , whereby we must be saved G4982." Acts 4:12  (KJV)

a.) G4982 (Mickelson's Enhanced Strong's Greek and Hebrew Dictionaries)
G4982 σώζω sozo (sode'-zo) v.
1. to save, i.e. deliver or protect
{literally or figuratively}
[from a primary sos (contraction for obsolete saos, "safe")]
KJV: heal, preserve, save (self), do well, be (make) whole 

 

b.) G4990 σωτήρ soter (so-tare') n.
1. a deliverer, i.e. God or Christ
[from G4982]
KJV: saviour 
Root(s): G4982

c.) G4991 (Mickelson's Enhanced Strong's Greek and Hebrew Dictionaries)|
G4991 σωτηρία soteria (so-tay-ree'-ah) n.
1. rescue or safety (physically or morally)
[feminine of a derivative of G4990 as (properly, abstract) noun]
KJV: deliver, health, salvation, save, saving 
Root(s): G4990 

"He who endures(the trials) to the end (of the trial) will be saved (healed or made whole).
God sends trials our way for a purpose, to show us that our own way of thinking leads to disaster (There is a way that seems right to a man, but the end (of that way of thinking and living) leads to death.(disaster))"

"The word salvation has been hijacked by many different groups of Christians in recent years. It has been misinterpreted, used as a weapon for submission or control, and has basically lost its vitality and power to keep us on the road to abundant life. While there are many interpretations of salvation in the Bible, I would like to define salvation using modern terms and thinking. Salvation is the healing of the human race; the process by which we are transformed into the likeness of Christ. Salvation comes from the Latin word, salve, which has the meaning of healing. So instead of making you nervous by asking you if you are saved, I would like to ask you this instead. Are you healed? Are you whole? Is the human race healed and whole? And if you and the human race are not healed and whole, then what must you do in order to experience true healing?"1

In a very real sense, God's process of saving us is opening our eyes to how selfish and destructive we have been and then giving us the power (through changing our thoughts and behaviors) to live our lives differently. We learn to live in a way that brings peace, restoration, and healing to ourselves and others. This is the "salvation" of which the Bible speaks.

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Not By Works - Work Out Your Salvation

 

Works of righteousness

For it is by grace

Work out your salvation

We become what we to. For example, a man becomes a thief by stealing. A man becomes a carpenter by building stuff with lumber.

It works the same way in the things of the spirit. We become righteous people by doing righteous (right actions) deeds.

 

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.

 

 

"Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling,  for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose." Philippians 2:12-13

 

 

Salvation: Saved From What? Saved to What?

In the Christian world we are taught that we are all sinners bound for hell. Christ is said to have came to save us from hell. Consequently, some websites try to scare people out of hell and into heaven.

 

What if hell (as taught by Christian churches) doesn't exist? What if hell was just a mistranslation of .....

If we are not "saved from hell", then what? What is salvation all about?

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Confession

 

""For there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ."

Confession is quite simple. It is correctly stating what happened or what is.

For a doctor to be able to correctly diagnos someone, he needs to know that facts as they truly are. He needs to know the family health history. He needs to know any injuries or illnesses the patient has had. As the patient (hopefully) accurately and fully shares with the doctor past and present conditions, he is, in a large sense, confessing. There is no condemnation from the doctor of anything that the patient shares. This information is needed for the doctor to accurately prescribe medicines or forms of treatment.

 

True and full confession is most helpful when it is done to knowledgeable person or a trained professional. They know what information is needed and ...

 

However, confession given to an immature or person of little knowledge is really just waisted effort.

 

True confession..

Many people are so resistent to the idea of true and deep confession that most won't be real. At most, they might "confess" by saying something like "I sinned" with little or no details. Consequently there is little or no true release or forgiveness. So many people want to be forgiven, but they are willing to say what that want to be forgiven of.

The Purpose of Confession

 

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Repentence

In recent times I've been giving more and more thought about the concept of repentence. What does it mean, and how do we repent?

Today I had two times of realizing that I needed to repent.

On one time I went to the chiropractor. I had thrown my back out a week ago. While it had gotten better, it still wasn't back to normal. I finally went to the chiropractor today. While I was in his examining room, I had made a comment that in the past I had found that "If I didn't go to the chiropractor, my back would hurt for half a week. But if I did go to a chiropractor, my back would only hurt for 3 or 4 days." The message is that going to a chiropractor didn't help at all.

After I left his office I realized that I had said that same thing to him before. It was a rude thing to say. I shouldn't have said it. I went back to him and apologized.

Later I went to the hardware store. When I was ready to check out I went up to the cashier. After she had rung up my purchase, while we were waiting for the cash register to activate the electronic signing device, she said, "It'll be about 15 seconds." I immediatly started counting to myself. When the device was finally ready I said, "22 seconds". I've done this before in this hardware store. Today it finally dawn on me, what I did is wrong. That is my pride of wanting to prove them wrong. I need to change that. This time I didn't go back in, but just thought about and rehearsed a new response. In the future when the cashier says, "It'll be about 15 seconds", I will just say something like "Thank you."

Repentence is not an event (something that we can do oece and then forget about it), but rather an ongoing process, a change in our life's thought patterns and behaviors. It's:

  • An awareness that one's thinking processes and behavior patterns are wrong
  • A decision to make changes and to live differently.
  • An ongoing process of continuously monitoring and examining one's own thinking and behavior
  • Making corrections as necessary. Sometimes the correction will be going back in one's mind, examining what one did wrong, clarifying how one should have thought and acten and then rehearsing how one should have acted.
  • Whenever appropriate or necessary, going back and apologizing and say that "I was wrong" and making amends, as appropriate.

It's not just having to repent of doing the big things wrong. It also includes those tiny seemingly insignificant things (i.e. judging & condemning people in our minds, thinking or saying cutting words about others)

To help others out of being critical or condeming of others, we can't do it by being condemning of them. We have to get those characteristics out of our lives before we can have a meaningful impact on others.

I'm not convinced that we should ask for forgiveness. Asking for forgiveness is often used as an end in itself. The subtle implication can be, "If I'm forgiven, then all is well. It is done and finished." In reality, it is more important that we change our thinking and change or behaviour permanently. Then a forgiveness for our inappropriate behavior will naturally flow out of others. The forgiveness may not even be realized by the previously offended party because they will see us acting differently and therefore will respond to us differently.

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What is Sin?

 

Sin has two or more parts, the act and the motives. One part is the sinful part, which is the act of sin. The other part is the reason for the act. True sin is committed with intention. A person intended to do the act. When we speak of intention, we also speak of a pattern of wrongful thinking.

Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted by evil, and he himself tempts no one.  But each one is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desires.  Then when desire conceives, it gives birth to sin, and when sin is full grown, it gives birth to death. 16 Do not be led astray, my dear brothers and sisters. 1

Sin doesn't spring out of a pure mind.

In addition, there is also a mind that is very willing to sin, that makes excuses for sin and justifies their thinking and behaviors.

Too often we focus on the sinful act itself, and we don't acknowdge or confess that the power to sin dwell within us.

 

"Everything that does not come from faith is sin..."

When we don't have faith, we seek to ...,, ourselves through whatever means possible to make sure that we have enough. We don't think about the people that we injure, but only think of ourselves.

 

What is sin
In some sense, sin is a way of thinking and behaving.
One might argue that no (thought?) or action is sin in itself. What makes it sin is our way of thinking about it. Could it be that when we change the way we think about XXXX that we no longer sin.
Is making a mistake sin? That depends, what was our attitude and thinking about it...
  • 1. James 1:13-15
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Labeling

I've noticed how quick some Christians are to give negative labels to people or ideas that they disagree with. For example, one common negative label is to call some beliefs "New Age". Once the Christians give the idea a label, then they can just quick disregard the idea or belief. In many ways giving something a negative label is a very prideful thing to do. It implies, "I am right" and "You are wrong."

In a way this is kind of humorous. When Jesus was here on earth, it seems that the main people he have labels to were the religious leaders.

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Contrasting Traditional Christianity With One Person's Reality

First Rough Draft

Comparing Traditional Christian Beliefs with One Person’s Reality

Compare Traditional Christian paradigm Versus an Alternate Paradigm

(or, Comparing Traditional Christianity with Reality [reality defined as “what seems ‘real’ to me".]

This chart is not finished, and I plan on continuing to work on it as I have time, but it is useful now.

 

For many years I have been transitioning into a new paradigm, a new way of thinking and acting in life. I have found it increasingly difficult to explain where my thinking is at in this stage of my life. For example, when I say that I no longer believe in hell, most Christians have a hard time relating or understanding. Modern Christianity is largely based on the concept of hell. if that is taken away, then what is Christianity, or religion, all about? I’ve been writing for years on my website www.live-anew.com , mainly to clarify my thinking to myself. Finally an idea has come to me to make this chart as a comparison of where I used to be (and what I think Christianity largely believes) and where I am at now, which I call an Alternate Paradigm.

 

 

Paradigm: which would include the basic assumptions, values, goals, beliefs, expectations, theories and knowledge that a community has about.

 

NOTE: I make no claims as to the rightness of my paradigm, this is merely what makes sense to me. The Traditional Christian Paradigm makes no sense to me. How could I have every believed that? How could anyone really believe that?

 

Note: I could not get the chart to show nicely here, so, to see the chart go to the page on my website here: Compare Christian Beliefs versus an Alternate Belief or Thought Paradigm

 

There a lot of uncertainties in this life. I don’t see God as requiring us to be certain about whether or not he exists, or whether or not we believe in him or in Jesus. It seems to me that, if anything, I think that God just wants us to be real about where we are at in our understanding, no pretenses, no trying to please other people. That is what faith is all about, in living out our lives with integrity, honor, and compassion to all people no matter where we are in our doubt, belief, or uncertainties.

 

Traditional Christian Paradigm

Description

Alternate Paradigm

     

 

Angry God, Loving Father, said to be a spirit.

God

Father, as in The Source of all things, Great Spirit. Perhaps because I was raised as a Christian,  it just makes sense that everything was created by a God,  rather than it came from nothing,  or was always here.

 

Understanding God

 

Son of God, also God the Father. Born of a virginhip

Jesus

Since I strongly doubt the magical/supernatural impregnation of Mary (see below), that leaves me with not knowing how to see Jesus. He is who he is no matter how he got here. In the very least, he seems to be an example of a good life to pattern our lives after

 

Relationship of Jesus with God

 

The third person of the Trinity, He comes to live in believers

Holy Spirit

Not a Person, but a condition: Holy (pure & blameless) Spirit (mental disposition). OR "Holy Spirit = The strong ongoing desire to do what is right". See Holy Spirit.

A description of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, How they are three persons making up one God.

Trinity

The word Trinity is a made up term, it is not in the Bible. There is no justification for this belief.

Sends his enemies to be tortured forever, Kills his enemies,
Tells us love go our enemies

Character of God

 

To die to bring salvation, to Save humans from the wrath of the Faither

Jesus’ Purpose on earth

Since there is no literal hell, then he did not come to save us from hell nor to save us from the wrath of God.

He showed us that in dying we truly live. He was an example of how to live our life on this earth.

The literal raising of Jesus from the dead.

The Resurrection

 

birth of Jesus was to Mary, a young woman who had never had sex. The Holy Spirit is said to have impregnated Mary through supernatural means so that there was no sex involved. Some people believe that Mary remained a virgin even after Jesus’ birth.

Virgin birth

I doubt that Mary was magically-supernaturally impregnated.

From what I’ve read and studied, it seems that the word for “virgin” actually refers to an unmarried woman…….  born of an unmarried woman was a term denoting shame and disgrace. He may have come through this means so that he could reach and relate to the lowest of the low.

Sinners, bound for hell, unless they accept the message of the church “Believe in Jesus….”

unchanged humans

Immature adults who have never matured nor have they learned to live responsible lives.

A place of everlasting punishment and torture reserved for the devil and his angels. Also, the place where everyone goes who has not accepted Jesus as their savior.

Hell

There is no actual place of hell. It is the type of harmful consequences that we cause ourselves (and others) by our irresponsible behavior and actions.

Saved from God’s wrath and saved from hell.

Salvation

means to come to a wholeness and wellness.

Called the “saved” or the “redeemed”, people who have been saved by “accepting Jesus” into their hearts.

Changed humans

Maturing adults who have put aside selfish childish ways and who are endeavoring to live responsible, compassionate and obedient lives.

 

Faith

Faith is not convincing oneself to believe something that you don’t believe. Instead, it’s proceeding to live out your live with honor and integrity as a son of God even though there are a lot of uncertainties

Often telling God what to do, or asking for God to provide daily needs. Talking to God.

Prayer

Focusing of the mind, taking time regularly to remind oneself of important matters

The Bible

The Word of God

Words, thoughts, ideas that are given to us from God. It does not refer to a book.

The infallible, Inerrant, .. Word of God, The final authority in all things of faith

The Bible

A collection of manuscripts that were written by men about God as best as they knew him at the time. None of the authors gave any indication that they wrote their work to be part of a larger holy book. The authors were not stupid people, they wrote many wise things.

"Only the original autographs (original manuscripts written by the apostles, prophets, etc.) are under the divine promise of inspiration and inerrancy. The books of the Bible, as they were originally written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21), were 100% inerrant, accurate, authoritative, and true. There is no Biblical promise that copies of the original manuscripts would equally be inerrant or free from copyist errors. As the Bible has been copied thousands of times over thousands of years, some copyist errors have likely occurred"

www.gotquestions.org/Bible-inerrancy.html

Inerrancy of the Bible

If it was important enough (to God) that the original manuscrips were "under the promise of inspiration and inerrancy", the why were not the copies under the same guaratee. It makes no sense that if an all powerful God would make sure that the originals were inerrant, that we would then let the copies get errors in them.

Which is more important, the ink on the original manuscripts (which would decay and pass away), or the message that was to be conveyed, presumably, for all time?

God created the heavens and earth in 6 literal days about 6000 years ago.

Creation

unknown and doesn’t matter. In the end everything was created by the Father, the source

Christians are told not to doubt as it could destroy their faith.

Doubt

Honest doubt is the gateway to knowledge. It should motivate you to let go of preconceived notions and to earnestly seek out what is true. Closely examine your own beliefs and your own thinking to see if it is true.

Heaven, a place reserved for the saved who have accept Jesus as Lord and Savior. Streets of gold, with Jesus for all eternity, singing is glory.

Afterlife

 
Lucifer, who was one of the highest angels, who got prideful and ... and was cast down out of heaven. He knows his time on earth is short so he is trying to ...

Satan

An allegory for

Often used as a scapegoat for the consequences of poor judgement or wrong choices. Also used to intimate or scare ..

Satan's workers, who inhabit humans and animals

Evil Spirits

 

God is constantly portrayed as someone who is only interested in getting glory for himself. This makes God sound like a very conceited person who always wants to be center stage.

The Glory of God

God is not glorified by any attempt of ours to glorify him. Saying the words “Glory to God” does not glorify God. In fact, we don’t know how to glorify Him.

If bringing glory to God is important, which i doubt, it would be just through living your life fully and treating others with integrity, honor and compassion.

God is said to be unchanging, and yet in the Old Testament he  is said to have ordered the children of Israel to kill the enemies of God. Yet in the New Testament Jesus says to Love your enemies.

The evolution of God?

I recently read an article that said men have pretty much viewed God as they are. For example, in early civilization men were more warrior and barbaric, and that is how they viewed God . Through the years, as men have become more civilized the kind to one another, they have viewed God as a kind and loving Father.

Many Christian churches claim or imply that theirs is the true doctrine.

Claims

I do not claim anything, except this is closer to what makes sense to me.

The general claim is that “Jesus is the truth.” (“I am the way, the truth and the life”)

What  is Truth?

The truth does not refer to a person, but rather it refers to things as they really are, without any deception or ….

Apparently to make sure that members are “genuine Christians”, many churches or other religious organizations require members to sign a Statement of Faith or other type of covenant agreement.

Statement of Faith

Since a statement of faith is only valid for those who wrote it, I will not sign such a document.

 

The Christ

Christ is a term denoting a condition...

Christians attempt to create unity through uniformity, and telling everyone what to believe.

Unity

True unity comes about in diversity in a spirit of love and cooperation. Everyone is allowed, and even encouraged, to think for themselves. They are also taught/encouraged to treat one another with respect, honor, and compassion.

 

The Light

The purpose light is not to draw attention to the light. Rather, the purpose of light is to help us see our way more clearly so that we can help others see their way more clearly.

 

Conversion?

We are not here to convince others to believe the same as we do. Instead, it is to help others learn to search out their own path.

As wicked sinners, whom he cannot bear to look up, “God cannot accept sin, which we  are full of.. he can only look at us through is Son so that we are pure and blameless in his sight, but in reality we are filthy sinners.

How God Sees us

As his beloved children whom he loves. He knows that we are very immature and takes through many often difficult times to mature us into the character and likeness of Christ.

 

The Gospel, The Good News

We are free and pure in God’s sight. We just don’t know it yet. Our lack of knowledge keeps us in bondage. We just need to walk out our freedom

All others are wrong and of the devil

View of Other Belief systems

 

unsaved, lost, doomed for hell and everlasting torture and punishment. People to be preached at and to be converted to the belief system of the preacher.

Sets  up division and pride, "us”, the saved AND “them”, the unsaved

How “non-believers” are viewed

We are brothers on a common journey. We need each other to help one another on our individual paths

Preaching at church, witnessing, quoting Bible versus at

Method of transferring good news

Don’t spent so much time talking. Rather let the quality of your life by the light for others to see.

 

Who are seen as mature and righteous

 

Pray for them...

Method of sharing concern for the hurting.

 

Going to church, reading the Bible, praying.

Method of Growing.

 
 

Who are seen as mature

 

Viewed as lost and headed for hell unless they accept Jesus.  Pray

Attitude towards people who are dying

 
Call the elders, anoint with oil, say a prayer of healing for the sick, Healing  

Use to denote specialness or to denounce… i.e. Christian, 144 thousand, or to deride and scorn, i.e. saved (us) versus lost (them) heretic (anyone who disagrees with church doctrine) “New Age”, heathen, etc.

The Use of religious labels

I don’t use labels in that way. I don’t know what to call myself. I’m just a person on this journey called life.

Preacher, minister, elder, deacon, evangelist

Religious offices

Don’t see religious offices, rather I see functions. For example, and elder is someone who has lived life well and has a good reputation. He has often successfully worked through many trials and consequently has a lot of genuine wisdom acquired by experience.

Something to be endured until I get to my real home in heaven.

This life

This life is what we have right now. Put your thoughts and your efforts into this life in living with honor and integrity,  Be kind and compassionate to those around you.

Often viewed as attacks of Satan

Trials, either from consequences or from life

Face the trials head on. Examine it to see if I caused it, or it is from another source. “it matters not so much what happens to us, but how we respond to it.”

Often seen as “Satan” sending bad thoughts, or financial problems, or enemies, or ...

Attacks of Satan

Often used as an excuse to not search out and solve a problem. Sometimes used as an excuse to deny responsibility for creating or contributing to a problem. Many “attacks of Satan” are just the consequences of our own poor choices.

God is said to have instructed the Israelites’ to kill off the inhabitants of Canaan (who can be assumed to be enemies of God).  God is also said that he will throw all of his enemies (sinners) into hell to be tortured mercilessly forever.
It is also said the God, through Jesus, told disciples to “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” Matt 5:44

Are God’s actions consistent with what he expects his children to do?

Attitude towards enemies

Be kind, responsible, and compassionate to all people, even your enemies. By doing so (some of) your enemies may turn into….

Christians claim that we have free will.

Free will with threat of everlasting torture if you make the wrong  choice is not free will.

Free Will

We do have the ability to make choices, and to experience the consequences of our choices, both good and bad..

     

Magical / supernatural

Much of what I see in the Christian Paradigm seems to be based upon God working magically (supernaturally)

Versus

Normal Processes

What I have seen in my 60 plus years has just been God working through normal processes.

     

 

 

 

 

Free Will

What do we mean by free will?

Here is a combination of definitions from several sources1234:

the power of acting without the constraint of necessity or fate; the ability to act at one's own discretion.
synonyms: self-determination, freedom of choice, autonomy, liberty, independence1

Definition of free will: noun

  • the ability to choose how to act
  •  the ability to make choices that are not controlled by fate or God
  • voluntary choice or decision <I do this of my own free will>
  • freedom of humans to make choices that are not determined by prior causes or by divine intervention

1. (Philosophy)

  • a.  the apparent human ability to make choices that are not externally determined
  • b.  the doctrine that such human freedom of choice is not illusory Compare determinism
  • c.  (as modifier) a free-will decision

2. the ability to make a choice without coercion he left of his own free will: I did not influence him
Examples of FREE WILL

He argues that all humans have free will.
<all of the workers at the homeless shelter are unpaid and are there of their own free will>

Now, let's look at the word "coerce5"

Defintion: co·erce  (k-ûrs)
tr.v. co·erced, co·erc·ing, co·erc·es
1. To force to act or think in a certain way by use of pressure, threats, or intimidation; compel.
2. To dominate, restrain, or control forcibly: coerced the strikers into compliance. See Synonyms at force.
3. To bring about by force or threat: efforts to coerce agreement.

Do we have free will?

If, as we are told, God gives us free will to receive him or to reject him, is this free will free from coercion? Is coerced free will actually free will?

Does God give us free will

We are told by (presumably) well meaning Christians that God gives us free will. These same Christians go on to tell us that if we reject God's son, then we will burn and be tortured in hell forever and forever. Now look up to the defefinition of coerce (see above). "To bring about by force or threat: efforts to coerce agreement." Is the threat of hell coercion?

If we have free will, does God honor our free will

 

God Told Me

.....

Over my many years on ;this earth, I have heard various people mention that "God told me......" OR "God spoke to me". Sometimes these words are used as a pre-defense mechanism. It is a subtle way of implying "You are not allowed to question my decision or my words here, because my words are from God himself. This can be used to cover up selfish motives, poor decisions, etc. I would say, that when someone says that "God told me..." then their motives and actions should be closely examinined. (If it truly is from God, then it will survive the examination). But, if the speaker tries to evade closer scrutiny, or makes some type of excuse, then there is some monkey business going on. Don't believe a word of it.

In many ways it seems that Christians are too gullible, too fearful, or too foolish. They are too hestitant  and don't question someone who says, "God told me (to do this or that). They don't want to be seem to be questioning God's authority or direction. I say DO question deeply anyone who claims to speak for God. The higher the claim, the more that it should be investigated and questioned.

Ministry Versus Service

One big challenge with having a "ministry" is that the focus is often directed toward the ministry. If a person is working in the "ministry',then that person thinks that he/she is doing "God's work".

Religion and Relationships

Religion can be so destructive to relationships. It says, "you have to believe like I do or we can't be true friends." Religion sets up the barriers to friendships, "saved versus unsaved, or lost" heaven or hell

How many people have been griefstricken for countless years for fear that their friends or relatives are going to hell? How much better could their time have been spend on just spending time and interacting with each person? However, the religious mental barrier keeps telling the religious person, "he is unsaved, what can I go to get him saved" or .......

The Concept of Satan

The concept of Satan is very seductive and very popular among Christians. Satan is a convenient scapegoat to take the blame for:

  • anything bad that happens.
  • the consequences of one's own actions.
  • anything that a person can't or doesn't want to explain

Whenever a person says that he is being "attacked by Satan", he assumes or claims that:

  • He doesn't have to take any reponsibility for whatever  happened or is about to happen.
  • He doesn't have to change, it's not his fault. Something else is to blame.
  • He is the innocent victim.
  • He is a "good guy" that is being attacked by an evil being.
  • This is an easy way out. Then he doesn't have to search to find the real cause of the problem.

If he claims that someone else is a "captive of Satan": then that other person is indirectly at fault. This is an attempt to shift the blame away from oneself onto another person.

Instead of taking responsibility for the consequences of one's own actions, a person can say, "Satan is attacking me." This can be a attempt to get the attention off of oneself, while at the same time attempt to appear spiritual. After all, Satan doesn't attack one of his own. Satan only attacks Christians who are following God.

Instead of admitting failure due to poor planning, one can claim that Satan is attacking.

Sometimes Christian ministries claim that Satan is attacking them. Some have given a list of different ways1 that Satan attacks them.

The Attacks of Satan

Although I grew up in the midst of Christianity that intensely believed in Satan and demonic attacts, I no longer believe in Satan.
I do believe that there are genuinely harmful things (called evil) and their are "seemingly" harmful or evil things in this world.
Take a look at tornados. This is a natural life process of this world that we live in. It becomes harmful when we step into its path.
Many of the things that people call "attacks of Satan" or merely the consequences of one's own ignorant (unknowing)  or irresponsible behavior.
We can eliminate a lot of the .... from our lives by educating ourselves ... and avoiding things that stir up strife or cause calamity in our lives and the lives of others.

How we look at life, we

In this world we see what we look for. If we are looking for "satanic attacks", that is what we will see. For example, if we see someone come down with a serious illness, such as cancer, we might see it as an attack of Satan. Or we can put aside the whole thought of Satan and look to find out what might be the cause. Could it be that the person has been smoking for forty years, or was he eating improper foods for most of his life, or was he living in a neighborhood that was being poluted by a nearby chemical plant, or was the house he was living in unsafe because of asbestos .... or....

If we merely focus on someone (or ourselves) be "attacked by Satan" then we stay in victim mode, unable to rise above the circumstances.

Back in the centuries past, when people were ignorant of .... it was easy for them to believe in evil spirits or other ... that caused the calamities or illness.

Giving Up Satan

As I said before, blaming everything on "Satan" is very seductive. It means that I can go on being the "good guy", and everything I do that is bad is really just caused by Satan and every bad that happens to me is an attack of Satan. The end result is that I remain the good guy. I never have to look at my own bad choices or my own irresponsible behavior.

But once we give up the whole idea of Satan, then we can start looking at and correcting our own thinking and behavior patterns. We can start learning how to live responsibly and compassionately. We stop bringin disaster upon ourselves. We can then begin to experience that "abundant (and peaceful) life" spoken of by Jesus and other great men.

Many of the seemingly bad things that happen to us can be changed for the good by how we respond to the situation.

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The Only True Religion

Today I was skimming the titles of my email inbox I saw a subject of "Do XXXXX Believe They Are The Only True Religion?" (I deleted the name of the religion because that is irrelevant.) The whole point about whether someone believes if they are the only true religion is not the question that you should be asking. Questions about which is the true religion OR "My religion is the true relgion" is all about human pride. It goes back to the childhood behavior of "My dad is bigger than your dad" OR my X is better than your X. That is childish and immature behavior.

In reality, it doesn't matter which religion is "better". What matters is:

  • Are you living out the truth that you know?
  • Are you acting in true love towards all others, even to those you don't like?
  • Are you treating others with true respect and honor?"
  • Are you being kind and considerate to those who believe differently than you do?

 

 

What does "Seeking God" mean

I recently was looking through Facebook and saw this quote:

"God you have the answers I need. I'm seeking you first." Matthew 6:33

  I looked up the reference, Matthew 6:33

"Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need." Matthew 6:33, New Living Translation

It is so easy to say, "I'm seeking the Lord", but what does that really mean?

"The night is almost gone; the day of salvation will soon be here. So remove your dark deeds like dirty clothes, and put on the shining armor of right living." Romans 13:12 New Living Translation

 

 

What is a Prophet?

 

What is a prophet?

Definition of the word: "proph·et  (prft)
n.
1. A person who speaks by divine inspiration or as the interpreter through whom the will of a god is expressed.
2. A person gifted with profound moral insight and exceptional powers of expression.
3. A predictor; a soothsayer.
4. The chief spokesperson of a movement or cause."

To understand how I try to determine the definition of Greek words, see "Biblical" Greek.

Clear thinking, can see cause and effect, and outcomes of behaviors...

When I think about the perceived ability to "foretell the future, see a vision, see cause and effects

Notes

Perhaps make out a multi-part questionaire, survey, or test, or use CCK (as I did in the homeschool writing website) Say in the questionaire that there are no wrong answer. This is about you, and helping you discover what you think and believe. We would suggest that you not ask anyone else about this. (It's OK to show the questionaire to others to get advice about the questions, but in giving the answers you should think about what you yourself think and believe. The answers shouldn't be about what others have told you, or what you heard somewhere. Again, this is about you and your ideas and beliefs.

 

If a person has held firmly to his same beliefs all his life, then he is probably an immature literal thinker and has never let himself grow.

 

I still have to study this out, but I seem to remember that "we" are supposed to be the "Living" word of God. I'm not sure if I'm remembering it correctly, so will have to look at it more.