Archive for the 'Christian Faith' Category

02
Apr
17

The Evangelicals’ Choice

The evangelicals’ previous choice.

_________

The evangelicals’ current choice.

__________

The evangelical future choice?

[T]hat Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshipped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

29
Mar
17

“Why God Allows Suffering: A Hypothetical Conversation”, by Jeff Weddle

Maybe freedom isn’t what we think it is.

 https://antiitchmeditation.wordpress.com/2017/03/28/why-god-allows-suffering-a-partial-explanation/#like-12113

 suffer

 

10
Mar
17

David Pawson: Letter to the Church at Pergamon

 

note the armchair-like shape of the altar.

 

The teaching in the video below, about the letter to the church at Pergamon (Rev 2), came up in the comments section of an earlier thread, regarding its reference to the altar of Pergamon (now in the Pergamon Museum in Berlin). Pawson associates that altar with the throne of Satan, mentioned in Jesus’s letter

 

 
“And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write,

‘These things says He who has the sharp two-edged sword: “I know your works, and where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is. And you hold fast to My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days in which Antipas was My faithful martyr, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells. But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality. Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate. Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth.

“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.”’

 

31
Jan
17

Edith Cavell: Faith before the firing squad, by Catherine Butcher

Edith Cavell: Faith before the firing squad, by Catherine Butcher.

Edith Cavell was an English nurse who helped establish a nursing school in Brussels, at a time when nursing practice in Belgium had low standards and little community respect. Cavell sought to change all of that by training young women to the same kind of standard she had learned during her own training in London and through her experience as a practising nurse in Britain. In 1907 she accepted the role of matron at the new training school in Brussels.

edith-cavellIn 1914 Germany invaded Belgium, thereby drawing Britain, allies of Belgium, into the First World War. Cavell chose to stay in Brussels with her trainee nurses and helped to look after wounded troops from both sides.

When wounded French, British and Belgian soldiers were in danger of being killed by the German invaders, she started to help the Belgian resistance to get them to safety across the Dutch border.
In August 1915 she was arrested and two months later was tried, sentenced to death and shot by firing squad.

This book tries to piece together a part of Cavell’s life that has probably been omitted from many other biographies: the way her Christian faith prepared her to face premature death.

The author looks at the religious routine Cavell followed throughout her life, first as the daughter of a Church of England vicar, and later as a continuing part of her daily devotions, following the Anglican Book of Common Prayer, and readings from other devotional books known to be used by Cavell.

Apart from Cavell’s own story, the book touches on the role of religious practice across general society, particularly within a hospital environment, where it is said that prayer and bible reading were the essential starting point of each day in the wards.
How things have changed!

Cavell was shot at dawn on the 12th October 1915.

Edith died instantly with one shot to her forehead and three through her chest.

 

“Her last glimpse of life on earth would be the gloomy mists of an autumn dawn in Belgium. Her expectation was that in the ‘twinkling of an eye’ she would be in the presence of Jesus.”

07
Dec
16

Are You In The Market For Deception?

There are a lot of warnings in scripture about false teachers, false prophets and false Christ’s that would all be totally redundant if there wasn’t a need to alert people to the possibility of being turned from the truth to accept something contrary to the truth.

But not only are there warnings about deceivers, there are warnings about people who follow them. In Jeremiah a commentary on false prophets also turns an accusing finger upon those who welcome their messages: “My people love to have it so”; and Paul writes about people who collect teachers to appeal to their itching ears.

Without a “market” for deception, no deceiver would survive.

It seems today there is little difference between attitudes to theological ideas and the consumption of news. Does it really matter if the source is reliable as long as its message supports a desired stance?

Often it takes only a very cursory (honest) look into a teaching or news source to assess its truthfulness, but unless there is a genuine desire FOR the truth, it is easy to dismiss clear evidence if it contradicts what we WANT to believe.

Likewise it’s easy to ignore serious flaws in a teaching or news source if it’s PROMOTING what we want to believe.

It’s sad fact that many (even professing Christians) really have no love of the truth, preferring to mould a more appealing (to them) version of “reality” to live by.

02
Dec
16

Your Father?

onog

I’m possibly just slow of mind – but yesterday evening a thought eventually hit me, that if true,  would reveal a disturbing aspect of the increasing evangelical leaning towards patriotism.

What is the root of the words patriot and patriotism?

The answer suddenly seemed obvious – but I wanted to check. And that’s what I did this morning.

(found here: http://science.jrank.org/pages/10609/Patriotism-Origins.html )

“The deep roots of the word patriot lie in Roman antiquity, particularly in terms such as patria and patrius, which indicate fatherland, city, native, or familiar place. Familiar has links with the word family (familia). This also has ties with the term father or paternal (pater, père, Vater, padre), or what is implied by the “role of the father” within a family. In terms of the “role of father,” ”

And

“The state was, in a sense, paternal authority “writ large.”

And from here: https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/patriot

“The word patriot comes from patrios (Greek, not Latin for once), which means ‘of one’s father.’”

And from here: http://www.freedictionarydefinitions.com/search.htm?word=patriot

“Origin of patriot
Middle French patriote compatriot, from Late Latin patriota, from Greek patriōtēs, from patria lineage, from patr-, patēr father”

BUT from here: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+23:9&version=NKJV

Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven.

 

 

30
Nov
16

All Things Work Towards God’s Agenda

The following is a slightly amended version of an email I recently sent to my American friend and brother, Steve.

* * *

 

I think one of my most important realisations came out of my reading into WWI:  that nothing happens in isolation from God’s purposes.

All of history has been working towards the future that God has planned. It’s not always clearly seen – but God works through man’s actions, even man’s evils, to bring about His purposes.

Unlike Calvinists I don’t believe God plans, causes or intends man’s evils to take place, but I believe He “deflects” or manoeuvres the outcomes of man’s evil actions into a direction that furthers His agenda and takes us towards His ultimate purpose: A new heavens and a new earth where righteousness dwells and all unrighteousness is excluded.

Nothing, whether it is history, politics, art, or any other aspect of human life has an importance or relevance separated from spirituality and God’s ultimate intention for His creation.

We can easily get caught up in the politics, the facts of history or mankind’s creativity, but if we make those things the central focus we miss the point.

And if I may make a statement that some will find controversial  – the same can be said of the bible, of prayer, and any other “spiritual” matter – if we make THEM the focus rather than God and our relationship with Him, we miss the point. Those things are just a necessary “means to an end” – and that “end” is God Himself.

___________________________________

But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.




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