Posts tagged ‘Religion and Spirituality’

Valid Versus Vapid #2

It is not difficult to differentiate between teachings vital to our faith and holiness, and those which are for specific occasions or times. Simply put, teachings that are about Church organization, human authority, religious rituals or cultural requirements cannot be used to shape righteousness (“doing the right thing for the right reason for the Right Person [God]”).

God saves people and that is all that it takes to enter into the fullness of a spiritual life. Yet institutional religion (eg denominations) demand a person holds formal membership, without which they are excluded from participating in the decision-making life of the Congregation, as though salvation was not enough.

Jesus reprimanded the disciples when they denounced some people doing ministry without belonging to “the group”. “John said to Jesus, ‘Teacher, we saw someone forcing demons out of a person by using the power and authority of your name. We tried to stop him because he was not one of us.’ Jesus said, ‘Don’t stop him! No one who works a miracle in my name can turn around and speak evil of me. Whoever isn’t against us is for us’ ” (Mark 9:38-40 God’s Word Translation©).

On another occasion Jesus said, “I also have other sheep that are not from this pen. I must lead them. They, too, will respond to my voice. So they will be one flock with one shepherd” (John 10:16 God’s Word Translation©).

Add-ons may be useful for a computer browser, but not “to walk in love” (Ephesians 5:2).

Godly Protest

How do I know when to be a protester? I have protested against the government, very publicly, and this is the basis I follow for knowing when to protest and when to adapt. This is not theory, dogma or philosophical thinking. This is what I have lived, and God grant I will never lower this standard.

  1. If I gain any personal benefit from the successful outcome of the protest, it is wrong to proceed. If I gain then my actions may be (or become) selfish, and even if only the appearance is that I stand to gain, then my protest is not driven by God.
  2. If people affirm my object, and I am energized by that, I cannot proceed. Right is right, and if I need human compliments to be strong in the cause I have no cause that comes from God.
  3. If I gain fame or notoriety from my actions I must stop. The cause is not for me, and if I become the focal point of the protest I have lost the purpose. For example, during a protest I help organize the media wanted to interview me. I had to decline assertively as they did not want to take “No” as an answer. Another person, who had no role in the protest at all, came to the scene and basked in the media coverage, gaining brownie points for advancement. That was as it should be.
  4. If people oppose what I am doing this is to be expected. If I stand for a godly cause and purpose then evil people and religious zealots will become vocal and actual enemies. If religion supports my cause I stop. God does not work through religious institutions, who have power, but through The Spirit whose purpose is to bring glory to God alone, not through financial, political or cultural clout.
  5. If at any point I trade humility for pride in what I am doing, I am compelled to cease. Human pride, close-minded confidence and disregard for spiritual wisdom from Scripture mean I am off the rails.

I have never published this testimony before, but in the present age I felt led this afternoon to be vulnerable and make this known.

May God “receive glory and honour and power” (Revelation 4:11).

WWJD

What would Jesus do?

A moment of clarity was granted to me. Read more…

Right?

In the last while I have had so many punches to the soul that I am weary. What do I mean by that?

This is all rooted in what I have termed “The Eden Syndrome” which is when people play God.

I have people respond with, “God doesn’t do that!” when I share what God wants me to do. Or someone discounts the Bible because its words do not suit their personal doctrine or theology.

Or facts of reality are roundly rejected simply because the reactor had a differing opinion.

Anyone who lives their faith openly faces this. What God wants is rarely what human society wants. Humans do not want to be humbled by God’s high ways because humility goes contrary to the obsession with “being like God” (Genesis 3:5-6) instead of serving God. The famous line from Paradise Lost rings true across the ages: Better to reign in hell than serve in heaven (Book I line 263).

Now, I have not yet been murdered or kidnapped or imprisoned as the prophets of old were. So I shouldn’t complain, I guess. Yet, I understand why Jeremiah concluded that resignation from the job as prophet was a preferred option. I also understand that, when he handed in his resignation he realized it couldn’t happen, because the words of God which were given to him had to be uttered.

What a dilemma – do what is right and get hit right in the head from those God wants rightly to save! Right?

Everyone Will Know

Many (most?) Christians express confidence in their loyalty to how they worship God, the congregation they belong to or the denomination they subscribe to or their self-righteous declaration of freedom from all gatherings of believers. Read more…

Greater Things

Jesus “can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine. Read more…

Submit to Whom?

 

In this blog I make a distinction between religion and spirituality. Religion is a “unified system of beliefs and practices relative to sacred things” (Emil Durkheim, The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life). Biblical spirituality is the real and personal encounter with the real and living Jesus. Read more…

This Is What God Says

The word of God came to me while I was asleep, and it awakened me. Read more…

Seeking, But Not Finding

So, in less than ten years we have seen what institutional religion has to offer. Read more…

My Reality

I hesitate to give this part of my testimony, but I am led to believe it will benefit someone. Read more…