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Heroes Community > Other Side of the Monitor > Thread: Talking about Christianity
Thread: Talking about Christianity This thread is 40 pages long: 1 2 3 4 5 ... 10 20 30 ... 36 37 38 39 40 · «PREV
markkur
markkur


Responsible
Legendary Hero
Once upon a time
posted February 13, 2017 07:47 PM
Edited by markkur at 19:56, 13 Feb 2017.

I hope this will not read/sound arrogant but save this response for it is m/l a document to investigate and not as a self-appointed Epistle called, 1st markkur located in a new index under “Rebelation”.


Stevie said:
Basically, Ecclesiastes is the ramblings of a madman. King Solomon, in his "wisdom", argues for futility under the sun. Everything he says is what the fallen man says, not the Spirit. Therefore the apparent conflict with 2 Timothy 3:16 which says that ALL Scripture is God-breathed, Ecclesiastes included. So how do you reconcile that? Would you claim that everything Solomon said, every ounce of insanity he spouted, was under the direct guidance of God?


Thank you for clarifying. However, you may care little for my “belief” though.  I’m apologizing for now choosing the time of your present question, to explain my own personal panorama backdrop concerning all matters Scripture, that I should have explained long ago before daring to make my first response to any question in this thread. But...remember I remain undesirably imperfect.

I'll have to “share my take” in this fashion and in this order, because it is not an easy question to answer...at least for me with my limitations. That does not make me ignorant, nor am I dodging the question-as I am sometimes accused here, but I know my place and the spot I reside is a relatively tiny speck on this grand earth of ours.

I cannot speak for God in every instance that I attempt. That is not remotely possible of course because I am not God. You know this Stevie but since I dare be public with my point of view, I can only "weakly" represent a power far, far greater than my being can know. That's not necessarily a nasty slam on me but the factual nature of this (now) loving and passionate beast.(me)

With that out of the way, I think it very important in all Christian discussion, to explain first, that I can only answer from the "spiritual-position" of where I am on the Lord's narrow-path. “We see through a glass darkly” My perceived-reality versus your perceived-reality, so to speak. I would emphatically add, that the “Path of Maturity in Christ”, is not only Narrow but it Winds. Rises and Falls, where beside the pathway, at different personal milestones, are peaceful glens of rest, briers of correction and cliffs of serious error...to name only some of the real scenery decorating the off-road of my experience making this personal journey.

Because I am an imperfect creation, even when my entire-body was wondrously pristine and in healthy working order, I contained a destructive spiritual energy inside. that often wrecked havoc on those near me on my path. Some souls were innocent bystanders and others agreeable partners in destruction. Blind ego is a serious obstacle for most of us. If it's true and I think it is; "that the road to hell is paved with good intentions" than there are greater things to fear when I reside in myself and my belief alone. (which extends to any human-topic under the sun) “Where two or three gather in my name”? by default makes this, my response, a matter of serious importance. Because, I could write something that causes great damage in another creature and never know my sin and react to that new awareness and make things right.  People today are dangerously ignorant of the eternal power of words. Christ was the “Word made flesh”. Thinking of this in a more common way (providing you have something similar in your native language) “Sticks and Stones my break my bones but words will never hurt me” is both true and also very false depending on what each person values.

When Jesus told me "by word", that "I must be born again"...what did He mean? As you know, certainly not cramming my strong 25 year-old body back inside my 41 year-old mother's womb to pop-out onto the Earth once more, to strut around asking folks if they’ll by me a diaper.

However, even though for 25 years, just like Nicodemus, I would have HAD to question Christ on the whole concept behind the question, because I had not a clue what a statement like that, "appearing" to be silly at best, could possibly mean to me?
But then this happened, “at once” I discovered, that the Spirit had indeed blew my way and I instantly understood exactly what the Lord meant. To fully appreciate what I mean by the last sentence is difficult to put in words. (the best example I can give you in everyday life, is when someone you care about loses someone they love. How do we all handle that soulful challenge? Does not nearly every one of us want to speak into existence...Comfort? Share our Love and Concern for that person and/or their family and friends? Further, if we knew the departed, we might even reveal that we are sincere in our Grief and even desire to take on another soul’s loss ourselves?  “For there is no greater Love than when a person will lay down their life for another.”

And yet, with all of what I would call some of the most important hallmarks of our Humanity, we are made nearly mute, and it is NOT for lack of empathy. We quite simply have not the ability to express in clunky human speech what resides very deep within the human Spirit. When you recently lost your beloved Pet, many of us here, even when your loss was not a Brother or Best-Friend, etc. we still bumped into this same inescapable factual...oneness or said in “my Spiritual-tongue”...God. To my way of seeing...that IS when God's Spirit is most easily witnessed. From my perspective, very often in our daily lives "we are little children playing in the marketplace" and then a loving voice calls us home...to what matters. To be very clear about this common obstacle, I have been the biggest kid out there at times; sometimes for a good reason, sometimes for a bad reason and sometimes wasting the precious days of my life for no discernible (to me anyway) reason at all.

I know Stevie that you probably expected a more brief answer; years ago, so would have I. But now, as much as I do not always understand about today’s world, I now know very well, that to answer a question for another soul that is exactly at the same level of God's love that I am, even I had lived and worked Christ for a thousand years? means I have a tremendous responsibility, not only to you Stevie, but to every Soul that reads my imperfect textual answer. I am not God and it is myself, at this very moment, that needs to remember my singular place.

I think this long explanation is actually a strong, level foundation, built not on sand but gracious granite. Because, we are Humans and we must share words and in this case, if we'll pause and think about it...we are writing new text while we discuss a very old text. Which translates, we "work/wrestle together" not only with frequently inadequate tools called words, we also dare navigate the difficulties of "Text-communication" itself, behind different Mother-Tongues, with all that difficulty brings, as well as the conditions of our individual "current" mood or disposition etc. I’m sure you understand the complexity of communication regarding all topics of conversation or debate, that all us are very prone to often forget, when we attempt to paint word-pictures of meaning, in working towards mutual understanding.

I’ve already given you my position as to the answer to your question and as you can see, it is not a “deep” one but a childlike “honest” one.. Now that brings me to where “some” may think me a Heretic, whether the person is a believer or not.

Consider

a. The O.T. “for this one soul” is moot. The old-covenant is long passed. It was and is intended for Judaism not Christianity.

b. Does that mean I do not value the O.T.? Of course not, but it does mean I have it it it’s proper place in my relation to God. Christ is my Lord, not Moses and the 10 Commandments.

c. So what exactly is the value of the O.T. to me? First...there is nothing legalistic about my New-Testament Faith and The Law is nearly all LAW. However, if I understand that the O.T. was “the beginning of what was to follow” then that enables me to glean/mine/search the book for what remains relevant and applicable to my chosen direction of my life today.

Frankly, I completely appreciate the earlier “Gift” (and it IS a Gift, not a Burden to explain away) given to me, to be able to read the stories of men and women living in a world before my Lord walked the very same sands. i.e. Job is a remarkable book that is a case-study on the overarching subject of Suffering. David is an interesting fallible human life that lived the universal human-paradox of wanting one thing but doing another, i.e. “David is after God’s own heart” and yet, look at what the hell he does as an Earthly King! Kills a soldier (OF HIS OWN ARMY) to take the dead-mans beautiful wife? That crap is still with us today. But David will reap what he sows...does he not? His own son turns on him to become/prove the very “Crop he sowed”.  Maybe in that day, we could say, he was backward, ignorant and just running with his passions but even if we chose to accept such nonsense, what would be our excuse today? We have none, for one greater than David followed. Moving on, Proverbs generally strikes me as a book of common-sense. Presently, the most important book in the O.T. for me is by far The Psalms. Why? Because it is an honest reflection on “Me” and the “Spiritual” life I have lived. Anger, Sorrow, Futility, Pleading, Hope and Praise are all present by the bucket-full and I now know them each very well. For me, it was only after I understood The Psalms, that it became possible for me to understand the previously and seemingly meaningless “David is after God’s own heart”. I had to mature a great deal first to understand what that short quote was intended to teach. In school we should not study basic arithmetic and then take a Physics-test, expecting to Pass by Score...when we first failed Logic.

I must say, it is you Stevie that need to answer that Question in your own Spiritual quest. Forgive me for how I must sound/read and also in what follows, that is NOT intended for you only. It is intended for everyone, which forever includes myself, when we jointly unite to pursue Christ.

Christ is not in one but all members of his Church and each member is given a gift...right? At least one, where we are blessed with a blessing to give. i.e. In a community of believers that meets in a home or a field, we have “natural” (God-given) skill/knack/trait/role in a Personal-Ministry, as teachers, nurses, good-listeners(1 mouth to speak & 2 ears to hear), greeters, survivors educated by a specific experience, people that love the aged, people that nurture the imprisoned, hard-working or successful people that only have time to share their wealth with the poor, because that is their “calling”, some who only want to hug and say no words, others that want to comfort the grieving...on and on I could go. Frankly I am merely a Poet, nothing more and not a very good one at that, But I decided to reveal my Faith to you Stevie, in this very vulnerable and limited way. I read a long time ago; that to love, is to make yourself vulnerable because if you keep the draw-bridge to the Spiritual-Castle raised, no person is going in or out.

<LOL> Back to your question again from another angle. Stevie I expect YOU to follow his Spirit and not mine. His Spirit freed me to be me. His Spirit could make you an authority on your very own question one day, that far surpasses my present understanding and I want you to not settle for anything I have said. You have lots of work ahead in the many directions of Life, while mine is nearly at my end.
   
For each of us, is a unique member in God's creation, in “our own way” and we "begin" the shared Spiritual journey, because the Lord reversed...Seeing is believing...to Believing is Seeing. This was and is meant to be the first step to each of us comprehending in our own natural way, that there is indeed “a pathway” where the Trinity, is no longer merely an elusive topic fit only for debate and disagreement but a lived-reality, where by the agency of the Holy-Spirit we are all made unique individuals at the very same time we are all as...ONE.

May this long bless you in some way. My days are full of pain and Pain is not conducive to clear concise thought for most of us mere-mortals and definitely not this one. However, I do hope I accomplished something by this candid submission. If not? You will forgive me, of that I AM sure.

Make it Great
For you and yours and all others.
Love and Peace
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Stevie
Stevie


Responsible
Undefeatable Hero
posted February 13, 2017 08:26 PM
Edited by Stevie at 20:33, 13 Feb 2017.

That's...................... What? I'm actually very surprised by that answer. I expected more exegesis and less subjectivity since I believe I made it clear that I intended the question so. Certainly, your experience and feelings and emotions and walk on the path of salvation are all very, very important things. But in this context I feel they're a bit besides the point. Or are they? So what is it exactly that you want me to extract from what you said? That you believe each and everyone has revelations about what the Word of Scripture says? That such revelations might not be the adequate explanation that someone else might seek? I believe that the Word of God is made clear for the simplest of souls to understand and interpret.

The disturbing thing I found while reading that is when you say: a. The O.T. “for this one soul” is moot. The old-covenant is long passed. It was and is intended for Judaism not Christianity." To me that speaks of a deep issue. I can't for the life of me understand how anyone can cast aside OT as the lesser or moot and whatnot for whatever reason. The Good News is completely built upon the history and prophecies of the OT. What you seem to do is give importance to what is important to you in a practical and spiritual way, such as to teach you wisdom and how to live your life, therefore why you consider Psalms to be the most important book for yourself. I personally believe that each book is important in its own way, and since my interest peaks in more dimensions than one, I cannot choose and will not choose. How can I choose which part of God's word is more important or applicable to me? It's ALL His Word and if I'd dare cherry pick it I'd say I'm a blasphemer. Just because of the fact that it's important in its entirety I am asking questions about anything it holds, to strengthen my understanding and belief! I wouldn't find it consistent if I were selective as to what to inquire, the Word of God is infallible in everything it says!

But forget it, I think I must've asked the wrong person. Maybe your "gift" is not the one I was searching for. But don't let this ring wrongly or bring you down at all, Markkur! We are all different limbs in the body of the church, we are meant to complement each other, so I'll view your words in light of that and pray for your spiritual well being! Have faith until the bitter end, no matter how painful and hard it might be. He is sure to reward the suffering and sacrifice of all those who believe in His Name. God bless you, Markkur!
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Guide to a Great Heroes Game
The Young Traveler

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markkur
markkur


Responsible
Legendary Hero
Once upon a time
posted February 14, 2017 06:18 AM
Edited by markkur at 06:22, 14 Feb 2017.

Stevie said:
The disturbing thing I found while reading that is when you say: a. The O.T. “for this one soul” is moot. The old-covenant is long passed. It was and is intended for Judaism not Christianity." To me that speaks of a deep issue. I can't for the life of me understand how anyone can cast aside OT as the lesser or moot and whatnot for whatever reason. The Good News is completely built upon the history and prophecies of the OT.

Moot as in not how I live my life...I follow Christ and not Moses. And I did give a few examples of why I yet value the O.T. but apparently not to the level you think needed. For this soul, I respectfully disagree.


Stevie reason this aspect. If we study Christ, the word made flesh, we will "read" much of the OT right. Look at Christ and the references for much of what Christ said. However, i.e. "eye for any eye" is that Christ? You know the answer. And how about the 10 commandments...he gave two that encapsulates all...and better yet...more to come. Divorce etc. Jesus made important changes...and he needed to.

Also, I could never be a Jew right? I was not born Hebrew, instead an unclean Gentile. The N.T. is for ALL peoples, including Jews (that recognized their own Messiah) Christ did more than "fulfill" the O.T. the New testament is superior because it takes the old covenant and enhances it by not only those inspired by God but God's anointed Son on his earthly ministry. <imo> One of the modern Churches biggest mistakes was (in practice) making Christians...Jewish in rituals. Just study and reach your own conclusion, preferably after a little longer walk.

Like I said well before and have said again...You have to decide Your Faith. Idk, maybe you have a calling to investigate issues as a Scientist? idk. You've got to be you, that much I am sure of.

Blessings on whatever the path you walk.

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frostysh
frostysh


Bad-mannered
Famous Hero
WHY?
posted February 14, 2017 12:13 PM

Baronus -
Baronus said:
Ok. You are genius Tolkien was fool... I dont see, about what to talk with you...
If somebody disagree with something, that is don't means this somebody is genius, But thanx, I will accept it like compliment - coz' I always thought that frostysh is an eternal fool .
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markkur
markkur


Responsible
Legendary Hero
Once upon a time
posted February 21, 2017 04:58 PM
Edited by markkur at 17:01, 21 Feb 2017.

{An Explanation}

My Friends here at HC,

I came here in the fall of 2010 and my time here is drawing to a close but I wish to explain something, not for my benefit obviously, because as I’ve hinted before I’ve needed to make unwanted changes.

As usual, my health is the reason once more. (Artu I can only wish I had my once 20+ year old body - as long as I could keep this mind anyway) I’m headed to the hospital again for tests because my body is “completely” riddled with Arthritic-pain, some spots are very nasty, and, as if that were not bad enough, I have “several” other major-issues that are occurring, now that the original malady has enveloped all of me. My present tests are not plainly related to my constant-Dragon. Enough about that.

I think it much more important to share this; when a person is cut-off from their past normal-life? healthy or not, for any reason, their personal windows into the world diminish. In fact, nearly all views disappear behind a body as bad as mine. Speaking only for myself now, my way of fighting behind my Christian-spirit has been, that no matter how bad I get nor difficult my days, I have had a duty to each of you here, to play “my” role in that of being the mind (because that is all you can see) of a loving father/uncle/grandfather type. And just because each of you is only seen as an Avatar behind text generally, even if you provided an image, I’ve been true to that important role, as if each of you were my own. That IS Christianity...it IS NOT buildings and ritual for comfy habits or earthly reward.

I found that following The Way is a difficult-narrow-winding-sacrificial-path at the center of each soul and not primarily an earthly endeavor. Our own Spirit should be reversed (repent simply means...turn-around) and transformed before we are able to make that change visible by & through a focused and maturing Love to impact Family, Friends and indeed...Strangers.

I have offended some here but it was never my intent. I have only spoken about what I see dying in this world and I believe if such things do perish, so will a misunderstood but vital part of our shared Humanity.  I’m no self-appointed Priest but I have HAD to share what I find valuable at my age – after all is said and done, that is the role of parent and grandparent etc, though in this age the greatest resource Humanity has...is slowly and willingly being cast-away. I want to pause here and explain something that I think matters a great deal about that perspective and my words behind experience.

My Youth came under attack at the age of 12. The sad, short story is, that because of one person’s actions, I had all family-members, except two younger brothers that relied-on this young newly appointed “mother/brother” ripped away from me at that vulnerable age. My unnatural, natural spiritual need was met by my own boldness of creating a Spiritual-family, though I did not know it at the time; in fact I didn’t really understand anything about that until the age of 25 and some time later after becoming a Christian. At the end of things, I in essence, had marvelous Great-grandparents (German descent) for a short time and Grandparents (Cuban-descent) of 20+ years before all were dead. Those lives taught me this; There can be no deep family by only Blood-ties. There must be a “Spiritual-bond” because blood-only, much too often, ventures nowhere and will betray everyone when it is taken for granted. I have comforted so many people during my life that said; “If only I...” and every time, my heart broke beside theirs. You see I had learned a hard lesson beginning at the age of 12, that was heaped upon me over and over during the many years that followed. Forgive me, but if you are not loving each soul around you with ALL that you can give of yourself? you are going to have more than a regrettable grief, you are going to know that you failed to do what you should have in some form or another. There is no removing the entirety of this outcome but you could “minimize the future-pain” by giving it “your all”...right now and choosing to live with a focus to leave “nothing undone” between yourself, friends and loved ones. Unfortunately, this is a two-way street but may I humbly suggest that you always do your part and leave the undone with the other-person, whomever they may be to you.

I have hoped that at least with a few here, this older family-member might have a positive impact on your own families in some small way. Seldom does any one of us reach into another person’s life and demand or desire instant change...even if actually in the best interest of the other soul. Instead each of us is just one source among many and competing often with ever-changing sources regarding Mind, Body and Soul.

Back to the purpose of this post, I am able to spend less time in my “custom-back-chair” because my Spine is becoming much more problematic; even than JJ and I having a pleasant discussion about Religion.

Fyi, I’m not gone quite yet but I am very soon reducing to only a couple of on-line efforts. I didn’t want to do what so many have done in the past; basically make one final post and disappear. <imo> Any time we “leave” we need to think of those left behind and make no value judgments as if we can see all ends, unless of course you’ve not cared about the life of anyone here. Sorry, that must be razor-sharp.

Ending this ramble on a positive note, I have something up-my-sleeve that I hope works out for this Community. If it does? hopefully you’ll soon know what I mean by that last statement.

Also a final Poem for me with a “key” to it. “Marriage” and what it means to a community. If Love & devoted-commitment reigns in both hearts? Two become one and make a much better ONE. However, even though wonderful, that promise is only...The Beginning. For like a pebble tossed into a lake, the impact ripples out and can even reach all surrounding shoreline. In this, I hope that those that might see...will see one day.



“Hope”


We live our own love of life.
Passing days of adventure,
silently slip from our hand.
Yet we own a wondrous dream.

Our desires reside afar,
were healthy and whole hearts reach,
out in eternal service,
pushing pure humanity.

Seeing life swiftly passing,
material gain must end,
bowing to better passions,
and yielding ourselves freely

For after joys and sorrows,
will all lay down one last time.
When we all will go to sleep
on a day not far distant.

Heed life’s hourglass span of time,
as our sand slips quickly down
and fills a waiting chamber
with our past and present cares.

Spirit is life’s sweet elixir,
without its pulse, we perish.
Mend all by love’s sweet warming,
sharing our own given gift.

markkur, 2017
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"Do your own research"

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Baronus
Baronus


Supreme Hero
posted February 21, 2017 05:33 PM

As you know it will be time when all pain will be removed. And we will meet there :-)

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markkur
markkur


Responsible
Legendary Hero
Once upon a time
posted August 26, 2018 06:18 PM

@AnkVaati

I copied your post here and will contribute in a bit.


AnkVaati said:
Have to say I don't believe that the problem with Christianity is not how its modern day Churches have strayed from any supposed original teachings. The problem with Christianity rather lies within its Abrahamite core. If you worship a malevolent entity that gives you wordily riches and the "right" to different things (often at the expense of other living beings) in exchange for being worshipped, all of those fundie ideas - from beating children because independent thinking is a "revolt against god" to discriminating unbelievers, ignoring the well-being of animals or nature for the benefit of humans or forcing people to belief - entirely make sense. It's not "usurpation" - its the command of the demonic Abrahamite god. Christianity and Islam takes it to entirely new levels by striving for wold domination and subjugating everyone to him. In these moral systems all you have to do is utter the words "Jesus/Muhammed is saviour" (or a variant thereof) and that's the difference between eternal salvation or damnation. This is the basis for all mainstream Christianity. And its sickening.

Funnily enough even Jesus realised this and rejected the offer of the demon god when he went out in the desert, in contrast to others like Abraham, Moses, Muhammad etc. My favourite guru, Sri Dharma Pravartaka Acharya, has even acknowledged Jesus as a master of Dharma who was probably killed because of his opposition to the abrahamites. Christianity was founded by Paul... after meeting an entity in the desert... -.-

I've heard similar stuff coming from people who claim that Rome "corrupted" Christianity. Nope. Its the other way around. The Romans correctly realised how the totalitarian dna of the Christian religion wasn't compatible with the tolerance and diversity that was the foundation of the Roman state. Hadn't it been for Christianity, our natural religions might well have encountered eastern philosophy after a while and complemented each other. Europe could have been like China were people are often Buddhist, Taoist and Confucian all at the same time. We could have had a peaceful rivalry between different philosophical ideas. But sadly, the totalitarian abrahamite world view made all of that an impossibility.

Oh and I used to be a Christian once upon a time. So I don't at all feel any sort of hostility towards Christians in general. Rather, I kinda long to break the shackles of the desert entity that has enthralled our folk for so long..

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"Do your own research"

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AnkVaati
AnkVaati


Famous Hero
Nighonese National Front
posted August 26, 2018 08:14 PM


____________

Ank's Old School (kinda) H8 proposal <- best thing evvah, trust me

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markkur
markkur


Responsible
Legendary Hero
Once upon a time
posted August 27, 2018 05:25 PM

"Seek first the kingdom of God and all things will be added unto you."

It reads to me you are indeed seeking.


Quote:
Have to say I don't believe that the problem with Christianity is not how its modern day Churches have strayed from any supposed original teachings.

With respect I very strongly disagree with this. It seems you may not have read all 5-parts?

I need to keep things reduced...very rough morning after I needed to play shade-tree-mechanic.

Modern day churches are to me...far off Christ's path. Mega-churches are some of the worst. Simply said, if a person will focus on what Christ taught: Where are holy-writs for old Cathedrals & huge modern structures? Where are the demands that huge bodies of people build country-clubs to practice beautiful stained-glass isolation?

Where exactly does Christ say give 10% and forget the rest? Where are the business meetings that discuss the looks of inanimate parts of a building, that house those that issue payment-reminders?

Bottom line...I know exactly what Christ taught and in some cases expected and what generally exists to day is corruption and purposeful omission.

Jesus is not like any other leader...period. Love and pray for your enemies? The most violent action he advocated was what? When you are rejected; "Shake the dust off your feet" and keep on walking?

About Rome, the first large Usurpation.

Reread what I wrote and think Spiritually and then Earthly Throne.

What was Rome in general? A collection of souls?
I did not throw a blanket over all Romans, I singled-out an Emperor and explained why. Further the blending of Church and State and all that I said, are facts.
---------------------

I believe we all have God's spark within us. That is what Christ meant by the 2 deaths.

I cannot demand nor desire anything from another soul. What I can do is explain what changed my life and gave me my freedom and peace.

I'll share one example regarding the re-writing of my Lord's earthly life. It has been a trend to eliminate "the blood of the cross". Eeeeww! it's so beastly and ghastly; it has no place in modern society!

If you still have your spirit-cap on...consider the reality on the ground. There is blood and killing over many parts of the globe. However, that is not the worst part of the insanity...Millions pay good moolah to sit captive in theaters and watch what? Slaughter? Slice and dice entertainment in widescreen HD and Dolby digital? Oh that blood gurgling in the throat...sounded soooooo real!

There is much more that I can say but will refrain.

A one time blood sacrifice meant to end all blood rituals, nearly 2.000 years ago...is the problem? Incorrect.

I follow Christ because I was healed by his words and after his Church was built inside-me. Then I went to the streets and tried to learn how to love and help people in their need; my tithes went to that visible need. When I pray, it is in my private temple and not part of a publicity-photo, for positive optics.

Before I worked to get where I am today there where gurus and shamans abounding; in fact, a few times I was told I was a N.A. Shaman. I did not scoff at that but I did dismiss it because all I did was "Follow the Way." and attempted as best I could to be the salt of the earth.

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"Do your own research"

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markkur
markkur


Responsible
Legendary Hero
Once upon a time
posted September 03, 2018 07:42 PM

Leo Zagami Pope Francis Resignation, Cardinal Archbishop Viganò
terrible

Fyi, there are many excellent discussions on the battle inside THIS church but I chose this one, because of the background-story of Zagami's experiences.

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Next we move on to a trendy way of saying what I have said many times. Not a slam, I simply realize today...videos and memes are necessary today to same what used to be said in text-alone or typical verbal conversations.

The False "Church System" Deception
link

As is the case in "wherever two or three gather in my name, I am in their midst" the person that made that video and I are part of the body of Christ and speaking out against the betrayal of our shared Faith based on the N.T. period. If Christ is our savior, then if any of us are pressed for time, the entire Bible is not the answer; serving Christ is.

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Flash-back

When I wrote the following essay, I focused completely on the historical unfolding on todays Church and did not highlight any given Church; it was my only purpose to explain the ills of hundreds of thousands of so-called believers when Christ is ignored for gain. <iow> "Wolves in sheep's clothing" and the Why? behind the legions of the GREED-mongers we have on stages now. Notice the same is true in nearly all secular institutions today. Understand, the malady start with the Church first and foremost.

The news of what's happening in the Vatican today, is the same stuff that has been going on since the 2nd Vatican council (Some Catholics will understand that statement) but I have heard the very same in the news from other churches and all this Corruption, wherever it is found, has the same origin...Money, Power & Privilege and NOT serving Christ.

Btw, (((Re-posted here for a seeker's convenience.)))

Christ versus the Modern Church
{part 1 of 5 – Timeline}

“Enter by the narrow gate, for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction and many are those that enter by it.”
{Jesus from Matthew 7:13}

All of my life I have heard that Rome was the reason for the spread of Christianity and to that I will say; The roads were nice but what sort of Christianity was spread?

Very briefly: A Timeline

1. Jesus hit's the streets and begins his ministry and who is soon hot on his heels? The folks on the streets? No. The rich & powerful? Yes.

2. Christ is betrayed by whom? Judas Why? Because Judas wanted an earthly-King. He wanted a powerful Monarch welding a potent military force to take revenge on Rome and free the Jews. In short, the betrayer Judas felt betrayed and made some coin in the bargain.

3. Christ is tried, convicted and killed by Religious men of the day; Rome did carry out the requested execution but that was Roman law. Christ did not play patty-cake with the Sanhedrin and he paid the price.

4. Christ's resurrection sent his small band of followers on with the serious business of their personal ministries and the spread of the good news. James led the Church in Jerusalem, Paul took the Gospel to the Gentiles and Peter worked between them for the most part and of course the others went to work too.

5. The Church grows and eventually becomes a threat to Rome. Why? because the Christians will not serve the man Caesar as God. Various Caesars persecute the Christians and to varying degrees; anything from killing some that must be killed that appeared in courts, to seeking extermination across the whole empire.

6. Constantine comes along and defeats (in the end) two other contestants for control of the Empire. He then one day "Makes Christianity the Empires Religion" he wants absolute unity and by force if necessary. He seems a marginal Christian...at best, but his mother or mother in law is into the stuff; this pious King has no problem killing family.

7. Very important now. Constantine set a precedent with his "State-Religion" and this high-jacked Christianity. With little effort, this can be understood. Again, why did Judas betray Christ? Answer; because Christ was a Spiritual King and not an Earthly one. For Jesus, the only conflict about Rome was the face on the coin brought to him by his enemies. Those lovely men wanted Jesus to defy Caesar and then they could “run to Pilate” and have him killed as a threat to Rome, just like they later did. But how did Jesus respond; "Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's".

Now what did that lead too? The Christians lived peaceably under Roman rule but finally when demanded to name Caesar as their God, most could not and would not and were killed. Despite this, Christ's early One church grew despite all the slaughter.

8. Important;  Now we have the 1st Throne to become heavily identified with our Faith.

9. Constantine does what next? He goes into present day Turkey (not Italy) and builds a city named after who? Himself and it is named Constantinople. What a pious and humble fellow. Our Lord never lived in anything remotely resembling a Palace and sure never declared a city should be named after him.

10. What Christian Churches comes into existence next? The Roman Catholic (Rome) and the Eastern Orthodox. (Byzantine Empire)  Keeping this brief, both were “Empire-Churches“. And both were personally used and controlled under different guises and to kingly or imperial purpose.

11. Focusing on the Pope in the west, what then happens? That Church grows in worldly riches and power and through the centuries there can be no opposition. The Word is completely controlled by the Church because why? "The average person will not be able to understand it." Which just happened to lead to unbelievable excesses, abuses and total power over the masses. The bottom line is that the One Church of Christ was shoved aside for Politics, profit and power, with maybe a wee bit a piety thrown in for good measure.

12. Thankfully, there were men and women that did see something horribly wrong and did something about it in their own way. Francis of Assisi was one, there were many others. However, these folk had to get permission to do their work (even if living as beggars without power) and of course could not challenge the power of Rome. Better to silently help lepers than be made human toast.

13. The Crusades. Who called the Crusades? The Pope Urban II (of noble French birth) and who answered the call to lead the Crusades from men and women i.e. Bernard of Clairvaux? Kings & Nobles of all kinds. Muslims were overrunning Christian lands in the east and the west fought back. At that time Military Orders, like the Order of Malta & Teutonic Order, were established. (I have to leave this issue alone for my true topic)

13. Move on in time and what are the centuries filled with? Kings using this Church for their State purposes and further because of this status of being joined at the hip, church leaders become very King like. Prestigious families gain high-honors in either Church or Nation and often...both. i.e. A King will have an heir to his throne and make another son "a spare-son" a Bishop etc. Also, i.e because a King built a Church he and his family have the high privilege of honored burial and if the King leaves a widow? A safe place for that widow to live out her days in an abbey or monastery.

14. Jan Hus raises issues about all this and what happens? He is told he can come to Rome in safety and is then burned at the stake. So Jesus-like! John Wycliffe rebels against what Rome had been and is pushing and comes under intense Roman scrutiny. Had he no Royal King's son to protect him (rich and powerful...John of Gaunt), he too would have been burned. Wycliffe may have escaped the flames, however, after his death, "he was declared a Heretic and his bones were dug-up and burned".

Luther, like Wycliffe and others, had come in contact with the Word of Christ in Greek and Luther, after a visit to Rome, set up a debate about what he reads and what he sees the "Unlike-Christ" Church doing. (It was common practice in a university town to nail a debate upon the Church-door) Luther, with his 95 thesis, was not looking to establish a new Church but he did want serious discussions and corrections based on scripture not privilege. i.e #82 “Why does not the Pope empty purgatory from Charity?” (my words here…and not money). Jesus said; “You cannot serve God and Mammon” and yet what happened then?

Rich and powerful Kingly or Papal favorites could buy Bishoprics and own more than one. One man, his name escapes me, had three at the time of Luther's protestation. These guys would "sometimes" find some lesser prelate to do the work in a Bishopric while other times, seats were chiefly empty. The tithes keep rolling in though, that was always enforced.  

15. What happened next? Rome tries to nab Luther and like Wycliffe, Luther is very fortunate to have a protecting Noble, the German Elector Frederick the Wise. If not for Frederick, Luther would have been burned just like Jan Hus before and many more after he died.

16. Now, a very fortunate invention now took center-stage, Gutenberg's Printing-Press. Dutchmen, risked their lives and printed Luther’s objections in the German tongue and with Calvin taking the Greek to French and Coverdale & Tyndale taking the Greek-text and translating into English and others, the Reformation was born. It is important to say, that Rome would not give an inch and would have killed all of these men; had Rome made Christ 1st …a lot of horror would not have followed.

The Pope named Henry VIII as "Defender of the Faith" before Henry would eventually murder Tyndale. What a wonderful, model human-being. Killing Tyndale (hiding on the continent) was Henry's duty as he saw it. You must remember, reading the gospel for oneself was Heresy, let alone making it so everyone could read or listen to the Word in their own language.

17. I'm trying to keep this short. What happens next is the "Civil-war of State-Churches" between Nations and their own dissenting people?
a. First Germany and later France implodes to eventually include all of Europe.

18. Let's look at Henry VIII very closely. As I said; the Pope announced Henry as; "Defender of the Faith". What happens with this KING?

a. Henry's brother Arthur soon died after marrying Catherine of Aragon.
b. Henry then marries Catherine, for the same reason Arthur had, she is daughter of the Spanish joint monarchy of Ferdinand & Isabel. Henry & Catherine, as almost all Royal marriages was about possible Kingdom/Nation-creating and creating protective alliances.
c. They are married nearly 20 years but Henry has no son and heir.
d. He wants a son! To hell with his wife, that grew old with him and had several heartbreaking miscarriages trying to please her husband.
e. Henry appeals to the Pope for an annulment, after nearly 20 years! He bases his case on an OLD, not New Testament verse. Leviticus 20:21, which reads; "And if a man takes his brother's wife, it is an unclean thing, he has uncovered his brother's nakedness; and they shall be childless." You see, Kings found the O.T. very handy when needed; our Lord’s teaching would never work for them…ever.

Henry had a daughter, Mary by Catherine and he thought that verse freed him from his marriage to Catherine & Mary. He did not want to admit that his girl was in fact a CHILD, instead he wanted some excuse, any excuse to...get his way! Nothing more. He sure was not about to follow Christ, he had to have a son for his Kingdom's dynasty and nothing more.

f. However, the Pope bent to hear this stuff but did not break.
g. Henry became irate and divorced himself from his wife and then the Roman Church and made himself Pope (in essence) of England. And from then on, through his two daughters and son, all hell broke loose in all of Britain. For the next centuries, a combination of fighting for religious freedom and the heavily mixed up interest of Nations & Thrones killed a lot of people.

I am pausing here because I know this is already long. Any person seeking the truth about Christ and his one church need only read the New Testament and it is very easy to see that his church was taken over and since the masses could not resist anything (for most of this time they could not have known the Truth of Christ) on pain of death, this usurpation continued for much of our history.

Today, after the unfortunate but necessary Protestant Reformation, what happened? All kinds of separate denominations were created and that has just meant all kinds of men creating unchecked DIVISIONS of Christ’s One Church.


Christ versus the Modern Church
{part 2 of 5 – “Serving Two Masters”}

The purpose of this writing is; first, to highlight the usurpation of the message of Christ and why it historically happened, and the nature of those purposes and the resulting ills that have dogged the church since. Secondly, to confirm that the heart, mind and soul of a committed believer should be based on the New Testament, as the Lord intended.

Briefly before continuing, Christ was born in a stable and raised in the poor workman’s town of Nazareth. The Gospels also tell us he was a carpenter and therefore he had a hard-working non-status position within society. The last three years of his life were a Ministry fraught with danger and his compensation was that he received hospitality from the masses. We have not a moment in his life of…regal living.

Yet, who betrayed Him and why? Judas, he was one of the original twelve disciples but once he realized that Jesus was not creating Judas’ dream of Christ reigning as a powerful earthly-King in the fashion of a Solomon to take revenge on Rome, Judas made a deal with the Sanhedrin to betray Jesus for the reward of coin.{Matt:26 14-25}

To understand how the simple life that Christ led did not become the standard of the Christian Church and instead, in many ways, the leaders of the Church adopted the regal life and power of Kings and nobles, we need to continue to investigate how history unfolded.

Imperial Purple Robes

I said in part-one, Constantine took the early Christian Church and made it his Imperial tool. He, like many men to follow him wanted absolute “compliance to his rule” and truly not “unity of belief.” Faith is not born by forced belief. That is compulsion & compliance and not conversion.

Through history, rulers have leaned heavily on the State-Clergy to elicit no dissension, no debates and no doubts; i.e. Charlemagne went so far as to slaughter anyone that did not yield to his mandate – Holy Roman emperor? NO! The kings/rulers from Constantine onward in time demanded obedience to their thrones.

Another very important aspect of this new State-Church was that it had to be regal, like the Emperor. Thus, out went the early image of a frugal Jesus or the Disciples working in a “house-to-house Church” and back came the Royal veneer of formal Judaism’s Sanhedrin, adorned with the status of a Royal court and seats of honor.

Before I can move-on from Constantine’s take-over, in what condition was the early Church? Let’s look at the early Church and what happened in the Roman Empire.

The Roman road-system was indeed a useful tool for the early disciples as it was for the Roman army and trade too but I think the spread of Christianity to Roman roads is greatly exaggerated when we make the effort to see the entire view of what happened to the Church, inside the Roman empire.

Until Constantine, most Caesars were hostile to the new Faith. Tacitus, the famous Roman historian, wrote about it in a manner that clearly showed his disgust for Christianity.

The Caesars had a serious reason to not tolerate Christians, because in the Roman empire, a Caesar ruled as God and this required every citizen’s submission to the ruler/rulers of Rome above all other belief; allegiance to the throne was foremost and never to be contested. All previous religions except for the “practicing” Jews (still a needed distinction today) were easy to allow as part of the empire because they posed no perceived threat to the imperial throne. However, like Judaism before, followers of the new faith could only worship one God and not many Gods. Christians could not worship Caesar, nor any earthly king. This fact led to the majority of the imperial reigns slaughtering the Christians for this perceived disobedience.

During the reigns of different Caesars, a few did not declare a formal edict to find and kill Christians but none the less, these rulers did not support the new Faith, it was more “out of sight – out of mind”. However, even then, when Christians did appear before the Roman court and would not bow before the throne, the sentence was death. Also within these more peaceful times and the constant legal climate, a successful Roman citizen that admitted their Faith, no matter their status, could be denounced and all their wealth confiscated. These attitudes made for an Empire that was still no safe place, even under times of reduced seek and destroy edicts.

During this long era of persecution and killing of Christians, which spanned the Caesars from Augustus to Constantine, what was the condition of the early Church? Instead of a vanquished faith,  the new Church was thriving in communities across the empire. So much so, that the Emperor saw its rise as a new tool for his political ambition of a reunited realm under his single rule. History has proven; persecution strengthens the Church, while prosperity weakens the Church.

{“No one can serve two Masters…You cannot serve God & Mammon” Matt: 6:24}

When Constantine assumed control of the Church he created a problem that can be still found in some Christians today. The original teaching to “serve God first and then be obedient to the State” was changed to “serve State & Church.” This resulted in “a single person within the State” also having the power to represent the Church.

Further, know what Christ said when some Pharisees sought to trap him and make Him an enemy of Caesar. “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s.” {Matt:22: 15-22}  As you can read, Christ called for a separation of serving God and serving the State.


Christ versus the Modern Church
{part 3 of 5 – Unrest & War}

The Reformation

Many men knew something was very wrong in Rome and much as been written about the abuses of the Church and how the Printing-press brought those sins out in the open with Scripture. There is a lot to read about this era but I will only mention a few lives that led to the rebirth of the Church.

* Jan Hus – Considered the first Church reformer, Hus lived before most men later involved in the Reformation. Hus was a key predecessor to Protestantism, and his teachings had a strong influence on the states of Western Europe and, more than a century later, on Martin Luther. Hus was burned at the stake in 1415 for heresy against the doctrines of the Catholic Church.

* John Wycliffe – Wycliffe aimed to do away with the existing hierarchy and replace it with the "poor priests" who lived in poverty, were bound by no vows, had received no formal consecration, and preached the Gospel to the people. The Council of Constance declared Wycliffe a heretic on 4 May 1415, and banned his writings. In 1428, by order, of Pope Martin V, Wycliffe's corpse was exhumed and burned and the ashes cast into the River Swift.

* Martin Luther – Once again, there is a lot to read but I will only highlight a couple examples taken from Luther’s 95 thesis.
- In theses 35 and 36, he attacks the idea that an indulgence makes repentance unnecessary. This leads to the conclusion that the truly repentant person, who alone may benefit from the indulgence, has already received the only benefit the indulgence provides. Truly repentant Christians have already been forgiven of the penalty as well as the guilt of sin.
- Luther lists several criticisms advanced by laypeople against indulgences in theses 81–91. He presents these as difficult objections his congregants are bringing rather than his own criticisms. “How should he answer those who ask why the pope does not simply empty purgatory if it is in his power?”

* William Tyndale – Tyndale denounced the practice of prayer to saints. He taught justification by faith, the return of Christ, and mortality of the soul but the chief reason his death was sought was because Tyndale believed the Bible should be translated into English and placed in the hands of the common people and did so, despite the threats of the Catholic Church. Henry VIII became Tyndale’s most serious threat and the English King hired Henry Phillips who feigned friendship to betray Tyndale to the imperial authorities in Antwerp in 1535. He was tried on a charge of heresy in 1536 and was condemned to be burned to death. Tyndale’s final words were reported as "Lord! Open the King of England's eyes."

Protestantism

This new beginning should have ushered the rebirth of Christ’s one-Church but Historical authors have recorded much and instead of uniting the Church it was divided into several sects and then would later further splinter into many denominations. With Scripture in hand for the first time in the 1500s, what caused such separation? The simple answer is, the root of the cause first appeared when Constantine’s Church and State were one in the same.

During the evolution of the Church in the Middle-ages, what happened was a Church so closely aligned to the thrones of kingdoms that sometimes it’s hard to tell the offices apart. As late as Henry VIII, we see that Cardinal Thomas Wolsey is richer than the King and has built a magnificent “house of state” called Hampton Court, which was eventually taken by Henry when Wolsey fell out of favor and later died in the Tower.

Because the historical record is so large I need to keep narrow limits for the purpose of this writing.

From Constantine onward and on past Henry the VIII we see nations and religion sewn together. For my purposes, I will focus only on Britain. I will briefly point out some conflicts and leave it to the reader to further pursue one or each at their discretion.

The English Crown’s Succession
* Henry, in the interest of his dynasty, defied the Pope and made himself a pope.
* Young Edward, taught by Protestant clergy, made war on Catholics.
* Bloody Mary, wanted England and Rome reunited and killed Protestants.
* Elizabeth, supposedly tries for a middle-ground but it was still her Church.
* James comes from Scotland and wants to make Britain but gives up.
* Charles decides to make England and Scotland one nation but it ends in civil-war.
* Cromwell comes to power and pushes for a Protestant England.
* Richard Cromwell is eventually replaced by the recall of Charles II and the Crown.
What we see during this long period of turmoil is not only the conflict of religion but the conflict of Nations because by this time in history we have both united. i.e. In Ireland, the Irish were Catholic and treated as barbarians and did not have the vote on their own lands. Northern Ireland was a Protestant (English) settlement that caused conflict until modern times.

America

People that sought freedom from Religious oppression first sought it in Europe but the same civil strife plagued the whole Continent. Eventually the sanctuary seekers sought out the new world with the hopes of worshiping as they believed. However, when these settlers made their new communities in North America, they wanted that community to worship as they did, so numerous separate settlements occurred.

Once the United States came into being, the founding fathers knew this history and no doubt saw the seeds of separation already growing in America. Therefore to make one nation united and not divided, the freedom for the individual to follow their conscience was vital to the success of the fledgling country. Freedom and protection for all members of society was the cornerstone and will always need be.

“Christ versus the Modern Church”
{part 4 of 5 – “Wolves in Sheep’s clothing”}

In Matt: 5:17 Jesus said; “I did not come to abolish the Scriptures but to fulfill them.”

Many people in the Church have not understood Christ’s statement, including myself in my early years. The confusion begins with the word scriptures because of course he is referencing the Old Testament, the old covenant. Further, Him saying I have not abolished them seems to suggest they are still in effect. But is that true?

For if the Old Testament is still valid for Christians then who needs Christ? I say Christians need Christ not the O. T.

Let’s look at this in a modern-example because I believe it applies in a similar fashion. For example, Peter and Paul make a pact, a covenant between them. Peters tells Paul that if he does certain things under the contractual agreement that he will support Paul (reward with mammon of some sort) until a certain date. At that time both parties will review the results of the 1st agreement and may or may not create a new contract.

When Jesus said he fulfilled the first spiritual-contract between God and Man, he meant the old contract was fulfilled – to abolish it would have denied that the 1st Covenant was in place and fulfilled by Him to make the New Covenant possible.

Anyone who doubts the above needs to read the Gospels because it is very clear. Jesus saved a harlot from stoning, he chastises men and their flippant use of Divorce, He challenged that Man has work or situations that must be met on the Sabbath and several other issues. Probably the most obvious, is the fact; Jewish leaders wanted Christ dead.

An Unfortunate Outgrowth

Because fairly early in the Church and for much of its history people could not read the New Testament and they were at the mercy of either a State-Church or a State-like Church…Rome.

Because people could not read the whole ministry and message of Christ they were told what the Church wanted to emphasize. (Henry VIII doing away with his wife) I’ll pause here; how many people today think Christ makes a great inspiration for a Nations’ war? I hope no person does.

You see, if Jesus gave his life instead of killing and he commanded his followers to be meek, the Church bypassed the heart of the Christian Church and went back to the Old Testament to mine anything they could to support their desires and turned their back on the Christ.

Note: When someone today is called by their nation to defend their nation, it is up to the person to decide what Christ would have them do. Many Christians throughout history have understood the need to defend life & family but to suggest this means aggression is in blatant self-deception. When Christ taught “do not kill”, “turn the other cheek” or “forgive trespasses” he was talking about ordinary everyday life – not the vested-interests of Nations. By the way, many Christians decided to serve in different wars as medics in an effort to save lives and not destroy lives. Only each person can decide such a question for themselves.  

Sermons vs. Being

Through the passage of centuries where has this errant version of the Christian Church landed?

Because Christ’s church became more entertainment than service much of it is very ill. I don’t know what goes on overseas but my experience in the U. S. since 1980 is not favorable. Early on I did the same as most around me and “shopped for a Church”, a home were I felt comfortable. Egad how selfish I was. You see, that is NOT service! That is making “being served correctly” (personal wants) of first importance.

For the sake of your time, here is a short list of immaturity.
a. The Pastor/Priest sermons are boring.
b. We should come as we are – we should dress to the max.
c. The music is too old – the music is too new.
d. I feel I belong – I don’t feel I belong.

A. You are to serve Christ and the fact is the Christian should not be totally-dependent on any one person no matter who they are. If you are in the word daily and practicing the Scriptures, you should not have to be dependent on a pastor/priest to get whatever it is you need and especially at the moment you demand it!
B. Your mode of dress does not make you holy, your conduct does.
C. A community-church is not a private dance-hall. If young and old would make people first then common-ground could be reached instead of division.
D. The world today is an Emotional-Button…leave it at home. You are going to have good days, bad days and in-between…that is normal life. Furthermore, if a person actually thinks they are right and those around them wrong, does it make any sense to leave and find a spot where others are <ahem> “right” with you?  

Unfortunately many Churches have sunk to new lows. In American today we have what are called the preachers of “The Prosperity Gospel” and “Name it-Claim it”. These devil-led pastors often claim to be Godlike and dupe followers that have zero knowledge of Christ in believing they are Christians. They stand together, moan and hand-wave to the skies on some silly emotional bent while their communities slowly die because there are NOT “salt of the earth“…only selfish babies in adult skins. Christianity is sacrifice and is not about earthly gain. Never has been…never will be.

The health of the greater American church is so bad that years ago, Asian Christian Missionaries correctly saw the U. S. as an important ministry! For a long time we had churches on nearly every corner and yet many folks didn’t SERVE anything greater than themselves?

Before closing before Part-5, even within so much sickness and deception, the Spirit of Christ changes lives and people learn the truth and get away from these evil men and women and try to make a difference right where they live and that is not the nearest bookseller brandishing the latest books from the Christ-peddlers so they can build a 3rd or 4th private castle.

Matt 7:15 {“Beware of the false Prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.”}
 
“Christ versus the Modern Church”
{part 5 of 5 – Christ’s One Church}

This 5-part writing started with one question that I kept asking myself for many years; “Why are people outside the church today so often venomous  and combative towards Christianity?”

I’ve thought about this a great deal over thirty-years of my life and I have come to believe in one main cause…the Christian Church itself. Now of course there are some nasty spirited people around the world that they themselves would be the source of their wrath but those sorts are found in every topic on human-existence, politics for example. However, I believe I have experienced many things and have witnessed many causes, through others, over the years that make me put the final blame chiefly on the Church.

The picture that I have modestly tried to paint, for it would take volumes of books to detail it out, is of a Church-derailed very early in its history and the resulting civil-war within itself.

Before I continue, I have used a very broad brush and treated the greater church as one single entity, as if I were speaking only about one person. If you think about it, it makes much sense to do this because who is every Christian church supposed to follow? Christ of course, so therefore in that most important sense I have focused where I needed to and not allowed man’s divisions to enter.

I’m going keep it simple because the Lord did the same. He did not mandate for people to wear holy garbs, gather to a set program at a set location to sing approved hymns and listen to licensed men, follow inherited pulpits nor chant to themselves and imagine utopia or take a whip and lash their backs for enlightenment. But what did He want in his followers? How about; “the word written on their hearts”. What did Jesus call the religious leaders of his day? “whited sepulcurs”<sp> meaning a container to hold a long dead body.

Christ wanted compassion written on people’s heart’s…a way of living life. Not carrying cold stone tablets and projecting cold stone hearts dying by the letter of the law.  He wanted people freed from the invisible chains of the law and freely loving and caring for those around them. He said at different times: “I desire Compassion and not a sacrifice.”

For the first few years of my Christian life I thought I was unfortunate to have came from an Atheist background without any knowledge of anything “churchy”. I had no idea at all what Easter was, except for noticing families all dressed up to go somewhere while I waited for an egg hunt. So when I got into the Word and began learning, I had no interference at all with the words of Christ. No Baptist-aunt, Catholic-uncle telling what I had to believe, scripture could speak clearly. Christ has ever had the reigns of my heart from the first moment of my salvation.

I’m inserting something I wrote long ago that gives a very quick glimpse about my first contact with an organized church denomination.

    I was baptized by submersion in a Disciples of Christ Church. Our Pastor wore cowboy boots in the pulpit, unseen by the congregation. His simple Texas faith was a refuge for me. His wife taught the Sunday school class I attended. At meetings I listened to debates about budgets and how money should be spent. Initially the business of Church was interesting, but soon it became alarming. The simple faith that I learned in the Bible was becoming complicated. Religious conflict entered my world, when the church members divided over whether to retain my first Pastor. What went on between board members I don’t know, but the impact of the rift was obvious. Sad and angry faces abounded everywhere. Sunday school became difficult as the Pastor’s wife showed strain from frustration.
    One day from the pulpit the Pastor announced they were leaving and heading home to Texas. He gave a glimpse into his reasons for resigning by holding up one leg wearing a cowboy boot. The great pious debate was what footwear was appropriate behind the pulpit. Most were serious about this topic while I was stunned. I left that church wondering what I had witnessed.  I felt ill and alone.

I can tell you now, that I was ill because what I had learned in the Gospels held half-sway at my first church. Further, during the coming years I found more or less the same errors in about a half dozen more churches of various denominations. Speaking of denominations and adding names; only baptism not Baptists is found in the N. T. and every division in the modern church today is the work of man…not Christ. You are either Christian or part of a sect.

It’s been my life-experience that man can ruin any good institution, no matter the purpose. The sins of the world are legion in the public square. Political offices around the world reek today of greed and power, institutions of all sorts are untrustworthy, I. e. the media, charity-groups and banking to name only a few. However, Christ’s One Church was not supposed to be a member of that sick clan. I think the reasons it sometimes is, are very obvious – when people serve themselves they do not merit the name of Christian.

I’ll expose no more sins found in the church because I don’t need too. The modern world has shouted from the rooftops every committed sin so every breathing person likely already knows about many corrupt impostors.

With the exception of predatory sexual sin against trusting souls my chief anger rests with the value of buildings and careers over people and their daily-life needs. Imagine if I could gather all the money that was used throughout history to build cathedrals, churches, abbeys, palaces, offices, headquarters, upkeep and utilities for all buildings, even a “city” and lifestyles far to numerous to count – imagine how many people could have been fed and clothed, or how much money could have been spent on community needs far above “a place to meet”. We were not suppose to make a new world and separate ourselves but be in this world, not be of this world and try to make life better for others sharing love, compassion and help. Had we have followed Christ as we were meant too, it’s doubtful people would deal out so much deserved contempt. Had we always been the “salt of the earth” the benefit of our Faith would be obvious.

I will end with asking the reader the question; What should a New Testament church be? I know the answer because it is as easy as making breakfast but I believe anyone professing to follow Christ should read the N. T. and write down the requirements and see what Jesus and the Disciples taught. Your spiritual-life will always depend on you.

Share this where you will –  Jesus holds the copyright and may no person gain a penny for this effort.
Written by markkur, September, 2016.
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"Do your own research"

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