Posts Tagged ‘spirituality

22
Jun
17

Is This What You Do? Is This What You See?

Does the following reflect the way we live our lives – or at least how we ASPIRE to live?

Or do we prioritise other things that might be compromised if we obeyed what Jesus said?

Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you.

If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

(Luke 6)

09
Jun
17

Radicalisation Environment part 2. (Westernism)

People often don’t want to hear of  things that might complicate the simplicity of the environment they’ve created around themselves, and they shelter behind walls of ideological insularity.

 

Insularity can blind us to the truth – to reality.

An insular environment can create its own “truth” – making sense of a chosen reality in a way that wouldn’t be possible if we took the time to look beyond the exclusion barriers we’ve erected. In a previous post something very like this kind of situation was termed a “radicalisation environment”, a term initially coined and applied to a situation among some young Muslim men.

 

In many ways “western” Christian experience has been built within an insular exclusion zone (its own type of “radicalisation environment), keeping other cultures at bay, even non-western Christians, and holding to a sense of “specialness”. We have viewed western society and culture as being particularly blessed by God; western comforts and prosperity being the outcome of a “Judeo-Christian” heritage. Effectively, blessings gained because of assumed historical national characteristics more than an ongoing personal connection to God.

I often wonder about the truth of those assumed “blessings”.

 

…others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.

 

Modern Western Christianity has been relatively safe and mostly free from the kind of hardship we read about in other nations. Our experience of “Persecution” has mostly been no worse than verbal abuse, or being sidelined by general society. It rarely involves imprisonment, torture or murder as it does elsewhere in the world.

In the west Christian faith has been shaped to make it compatible with western values. When challenges to our perceived blessings arise, the blame is placed on a societal shifting from that Judeo-Christian heritage, and we lament the risk of losing those “blessings”.

 

Popular Western doctrines have their foundation in the kind of thinking that sees western comfort and prosperity as a God-given right. Doctrines like: a pre-tribulation rapture to remove the church from earth before bad things happen. Or prosperity doctrines that promise earthly riches and lives of comfort here and now.

 

Instead of Christianity changing western society, it has increasingly BEEN changed to become a westernised religion quite separated from its origins in the Middle East and increasingly distanced from the experience of non-western believers in places of hardship where reports of revival are increasingly common.

 

Sadly, Western Christians seem to identify much more closely with their secular nation’s interests and their unbelieving compatriots than they do with fellow believers from different countries and cultural backgrounds, and they seem to go to great lengths to protect those national interests, even when there is potential for those interests to be at odds with the Kingdom of God.  *

 

You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realise that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.

___________________

 

* see here:
https://onesimusfiles.wordpress.com/2017/06/08/the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly-attitudes-displayed-not-necessarily-in-that-order/

Compare the message of the video with the message in the preceding quote from the other blog.

08
Jun
17

The Good the Bad and the Ugly ( Attitudes displayed, not necessarily in that order)

A Christian teacher respected by many, a man I’ve written about in earlier posts, has recently written two posts on his blog* about “the West in prophecy” (what seem to be reposts of articles first published on his blog a year ago – probably revisited because of the recent Islamist attacks in Britain ).

As an example of the tone of those articles I quote a couple of sentences from the conclusion of the second article:

…Europeans for the most part cannot be bothered to have children, The All powerful superstate has seen fit to try to fill those empty taxpaying slots in the economy with Muslims. Millions of them.(After all people are interchangeable units aren’t they?)

What is happening in Europe physically through Immigration is a reflection of what has happened spiritually. For the most part the house is empty, this is not to say there isn’t a remnant of Christians in Europe(and America) for there is.

… into the larger vacuum in Europe are pouring hordes of third world , barbarian savages. America is experiencing similar problems.

Firstly I’d like to point out that I have something about Muslims scheduled to be posted early tomorrow morning (Eastern Australian time) in which I think the writer (Joel Richardson) expresses a much more Christlike view.

Secondly, I posted a comment on the blog mentioned above, that has now been deleted by the “Christian teacher”. And what was my comment? I posted a video that I think addresses the issue of Muslim refugees from a biblical perspective. A video I posted here a few weeks ago.

____________

* Link to the blog post containing the quote above.

31
May
17

Shavuot (Pentecost) and Transition to the New Covenant

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them

God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it. Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear.

Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2)

_________________________________________________________

 

Fifty days after the first Passover (on the first Pentecost) God first gave His commandments to His people Israel through His prophet Moses.

Fifty days after the Passover when Jesus was crucified, God first poured out His Spirit upon His people, those trusting in Jesus.

“The days are coming,” declares the Lord,
“when I will make a new covenant
with the people of Israel
and with the people of Judah.

It will not be like the covenant
I made with their ancestors
when I took them by the hand
to lead them out of Egypt,
because they broke my covenant,
though I was a husband to them,
declares the Lord.

“This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel
after that time,” declares the Lord.
“I will put my law in their minds
and write it on their hearts.
I will be their God,
and they will be my people. (Jer 31)

 

 

He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. (2 Cor: 3)

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

 

16
Mar
17

Making [ your nation ] Great Again. The Sequel

What are the priorities and practices of man’s nationalistic politics and where does YOUR heart lie?

Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

(Isaiah 5)

Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.

(James 1)

Has God not chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?  But you have dishonored the poor man. Do not the rich oppress you and drag you into the courts? Do they not blaspheme that noble name by which you are called?

(James 2)

No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.

(Matthew 6)

Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness.

(1 Tim 6)

_____________

Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.

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.”’

 




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