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Secularism in France becoming dangerous for freedom of religion

The Biblestudents encountered already many problems in France and were forbidden to teach or preach in public. The Catholic church did not have any problem because many in France consider themselves Catholics. Lots of those Catholics protested against the Muslim community growing in their country, never questioning why so many where leaving the Catholic faith and found themself disillusioned and cheated by that big organisation, which claims to be the true religion.

Examples of hijabs in different regions

Examples of hijabs in different regions (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The last few weeks many of those French were calling blue murder and wanted a ban on everything that smelled to Islam. By doing so they got the clear thinking minds also in their back-garden, because lots of French want the burqini (burkini) banned in France. (Some other countries want to follow suit.) Though several people noticed also that the burqini was covering less of the body than certain habits of Catholic clergy. So why would the French police allow nuns to go in the sea with their habit but humiliate Muslim women dressed in a fashionable swimwear called burqini (burkini)?

Several French people shouted that burqini’s to be dangerous clothing (?!?) that should be forbidden. We wonder what could be so dangerous about that attire. The Catholic nuns and priests have much more space to hide dangerous weapons or to wear bomb belts than those women who wear a burqini.

Now it came to happen what hung already some time in the air. It was clear that the governement not only wanted to get the attention away from her inability to protect the French people, they also would love to get any form of religiosity out of their community.

As citizens of a country one would expect the interior ministry’s responsibility to guarantee security and to decide the severity of responses which however must never become provocations that could potentially attract attacks. The governement should do everything to have the different groups of people, from different origin and cultures, living together in unison. but now it looks like the governement does everything to put oil on the fire and to get as many people against each other.

English: Two Muslim women watching the sea in .

Two Muslim women watching the sea in . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In name of secularism the French governement decided to abandon any religious sign/symbol or religious badges in public places, and as such does not want their citizens to show in their clothing what they believe. Christian youngsters who previously wore fishes or crosses, yarmulkes, scarves or any other religious clothing shall shall not allowed to enter the school because it is now prohibited in the schools, which started today.

What started off as an attack on the Muslim woman has now become a general attack on the freedom of religious thought.

Clearly there are many Europeans who, seemingly sincerely, think women are not strong enough to decide for themselves what for sort religion they want to belong to or what sort of clothing they want to wear.

Striking is it that mainly men have the greatest objection to those Muslim women wearing covering clothes. Though also several Western women do not want to accept that those European ex-Catholics can make up their mind for themselves and decide for themselves which religion to belong to and what to wear.

france-swimsuit-burkini-ban-decree

A woman’s swimsuit measured in the name of modesty (1925); woman forced to undress in the name of liberty (2016)…as seen in “Men Won’t Stop Controlling Women’s Dresscode” by Nuha ElZubeir, Identity Mag

Some decades ago women were penalised when they had clothing on, which showed some bare legs or arms. We ourselves knew our parents to wear covering swimwear and many of us had problems when they wanted to run outdoors with sleeveless shirts or short trousers. Now half a century later it looks it has to have come the opposite, when somebody wants the body covered he or she is looked at as doing something wrong. In France it has even become so far to call the covering of body parts indecent and against morals and French values.

Has it become that French morals today dictate that men and women should have as much as possible bare body parts, though not fully naked, because that would take the sensuality away and would make everybody the same. They prefer that the nudity is accentuated but not hidden. When hidden, it proofs today, then the French are getting uneasy.

French men seem not to like it when a woman wear what she wants. They do not seem to believe a woman is capable of that. As soon as a woman prefers certain body parts covered they call it her being oppressed by some one else (her husband, her parents, her religious leader). They do not seem to see or to understand, that such woman perhaps can be much stronger than all those who follow the fashion magazines and always want to be by the time wearing the latest hype.

Well this time they also have a hype. All the smear campaign made that the sales of the burqini are booming.

Hopefully lots of women also dare to show that they are themselves able to decide what to wear, what to show or what to hide of their own body, that is their own property and not the property of the onlookers at the beach or on the street. For a woman to be in charge of her own body, that seems to be a big problem in the macho world of the so called land of liberty, freedom and equality.

Two young Muslim women in the heart of Istanbu...

Two young Muslim women in the heart of Istanbul are having “an Apple” for lunch. This photo was taken on a sunny day in April 2007.. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When women would be equal, why want they listen more to them who can speak for themselves? Why do they not want to believe them?

For those who are Catholic or for those who say they are Christian, they should be aware that Jesus had a loving spirit for all around him and did not show favouritism to those who would have been dressed in such or such a way.

In the Tanakh, Messianic Scriptures and in the Quran, the Divine Creator of everything, Allah, the God of gods, the Elohim Hashem Jehovah, demands of those who love Him, to love their neighbour as themselves. God demands those who love Him, to respect all creatures God allows here on earth. As such God demands from believers in the Almighty to respect other believers, even if they are heathen or do not want to know anything of God.

As Christians we should respect those who believe in Allah/God, but want to belong to an other religion than ours. We should respect also their choice of denomination or Islamic group, and if they want to follow the rules of a certain Islamic (or other) group we should respect that as well. This mean if they feel they should cover up their body, though we also know it is not explicitly so described in the Holy Writings, we should respect their choice.

We also should recognise that those shouting and saying their concerned about their values, are having the wrong values, because covering body parts is more ethical and respectful than to flaunt with naked body parts.

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Find also to read about the burqini or burkini:

  1. Women’s Groups Say Gender Equality is a Must for Sustainable Development
  2. Gender connections
  3. Gender equality and women’s rights in the post-2015 agenda
  4. What is Racism??
  5. Is Europe going to become a dictatorial bastion
  6. On French beach French police forces woman to undress in public
  7. Women in France running with naked bosom all right but with covered bosom penalised
  8. France and the Burkini
  9. French showing to the whole world their fear and weaknesses
  10. Pew Research: How People in Muslim Countries Believe Women Should Dress
  11. Allowing dress code according liberty of religion
  12. The Dress Code for Women in the Quran
  13. Meditating Muslimah on “hijab to be a religious obligation”
  14. Coverings Worn by Muslim Women
  15. Does Banning Face Veils Help Us Fight Terrorism?
  16. Islamism Rises from Europe’s Secularism
  17. You are what you wear
  18. Where’s the Outrage Over Nun Beachwear? – The Daily Beast
  19. Not limiting others but sharing peace with all
  20. What we don’t say about the refugee crisis?
  21. A charter for a truly free world and why we need it
  22. When will it stop
  23. ‘I try to keep my hate in check. If you can’t hate, you can’t love.’
  24. Meditating Muslimah on “hijab to be a religious obligation”

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Further of interest

  1. Bombs in a burkini?
  2. I got 99 problems and the burkini is one of them…really?
  3. 99 Word Blog (#024) Banned Burkinis
  4. Fleeing The Hijab
  5. Current Events Corner 8/16/2016
  6. “France is at War with its own Citizens” – Yasser Louati on the Cannes “Burkini” Ban
  7. Uproar in France over ‘burkini ban’ at Cannes beaches
  8. #62 French police force Muslim woman to remove her Burkini on Nice beach (photos)
  9. Undress for safety
  10. Nudism/Naturism and burkini madness: Why not ban all clothes at the beach?
  11. Does Banning Face Veils Help Us Fight Terrorism?
  12. Why are the burqa and burkini being banned?
  13. Fashion vs the Government: The Burkini Debate
  14. The scandal of women’s bodies in secular Europe
  15. French burkini ban exposes the myth of neutral secularism
  16. Burkini and French Secularism
  17. Ban of burkini: theresult ofmalechauvinism or secularism
  18. France’s Burkini Ban: Identity politics go to the beach
  19. Forcing a Muslim Woman To Undress is Not Fighting Oppression. That IS Oppression!
  20. Banning The Burqa And Burkini Is Not The Correct Liberal Response To Conservative Islam
  21. The Hypocrisy of the Burkini Ban
  22. A Burqini is not Equivalent to a Burqa
  23. Corsican town becomes third in France to ban the burkini after #Islamics riot
  24. France’s Burkini BigotryBurkinis in the land of Liberté, égalité, fraternité
  25. To Burkini Or Not To Burkini: The Ages Of Men Deciding What Women Should Wear
  26. French Burkini Bans Face Legal Challenge as Tension Mounts
  27. France has for its name, the contrary of Liberty and Fraternity practice.
  28. A cover story
  29. Does France have a problem with racism?
  30. Everyone everywhere wants to tell women what to wear
  31. The Day The News Made My Blood Boil
  32. Beachwear bull
  33. Women protest French burkini ban outside French Embassy in London
  34. Show us your bits..
  35. It’s Always the Cover Up
  36. Thoughts of the Day: Burkini Ban
  37. Doing something for something’s sake is a dangerous strategy
  38. Burkini Ban : French Farce
  39. Burkini beach
  40. Islam, France, Burkini: A chit chat on FB
  41. Facebook 45 – Suorkini
  42. The burqa-One mermaid’s opinion
  43. burkinis or bikinis?
  44. Burkini vs Bikini
  45. The Burkini
  46. Burquini – How It Happened
  47. Burkini Ban: Nice
  48. Cannes Ban
  49. Why the Burkini ban poses a threat to Muslims and Non-Muslims alike
  50. #Burkiniban – the problem is veiled ideology
  51. 24 August 2016 – All Lives Matter (or Overly Clad Women)
  52. Why the French burkini ban is damaging feminism
  53. Dear French PM, The Burkini Ban Is Abhorrent
  54. Burkini being a threat
  55. The Burkini ban
  56. Liberty, Equality, Bigotry?
  57. From Bloomers to Burkinis: The Same Old Story? by Sarah Ansari
  58. Modern feminism makes no sense at all
  59. Jean-Luc Mélenchon on the Burkini : “C’est une provocation”.
  60. And the Debate about Burkini Ban continues #burkiniban
  61. Can’t we just put all the cards on the table?
  62. The folly of the #Burkiniban
  63. Bitches, Puhleeeeze….
  64. Ban the Burkini.
  65. The Burkini Ban
  66. Everything under the sun
  67. Very simple solution RE: Olympics and Burkini
  68. Next time I go to swim I might wear a good burkini
  69. Saudi Arabia Bans Stripy Fisherman Shirts and Berets
  70. Another Attack on Western Civilization from Muslim Women
  71. The Burkini Ban Is Pointless And Racist
  72. The Burkini Ban is good. Not to let your Country turn into Saudi Arabia – without Oil – in a couple of Decades, we must defend it. The right that our countries remain western.
  73. So! (en) | Islamic veil across Europe
  74. Pope urged to wear swimming trunks
  75. Where’s the Outrage Over Nun Beachwear? – The Daily Beast
  76. the decomposition of logic and democratic values
  77. Freedom of choice. It’s not so simple.
  78. Europe has been awash with racial tension this summer
  79. France’s ‘burkini ban’, one step too far?
  80. In hiding
  81. #BurkiniBan
  82. France has ‘misunderstood’ burkini, Australian designer says
  83. “Burkini” Ban Accomplishes Nothing Positive
  84. The Hijab and MeIslamophobia or nah?Islam and the downfall of European culture
  85. The Islamisation of my Country – 1
  86. So let me get this straight…
  87. At what point does a ban become a chance to publicly humiliate?
  88. New Feminism – via Unapologetics
  89. Ban the Burqa, Allow the Burkini :: Middle East Forum
  90. If you ever had any doubt that Bill O’Reilly of FOX News wasn’t actually a Muslim-sympathizing liberal, this will remove it
  91. Quebec opposition MNAs reopen divisive debate over religious attire with call for ban on burkinis
  92. Salafist fuckin’ la revanche
  93. The best tweets showing the absurdity of the #BurkiniBan on French beaches
  94. Australian burkini designer profits from French ban
  95. Burkini, Bikini. Potato, potarto.
  96. New Feminism
  97. “Burkini”ban in Quebec: Samer Majzoub interview on CJAD by Aaron Rand.
  98. Why an Italian atheist should thank France for the burkini affair
  99. Kini Miney Mot
  100. More French towns spread ban on the burkini
  101. How Western is the Bikini?
  102. A Burqini is not Equivalent to a Burqa
  103. Nudism/Naturism and burkini madness: Why not ban all clothes at the beach?
  104. The scandal of women’s bodies in secular Europe
  105. Everyone everywhere wants to tell women what to wear
  106. Forcing a Muslim Woman To Undress is Not Fighting Oppression. That IS Oppression!
  107. Does Banning Face Veils Help Us Fight Terrorism?
  108. You may find this offensive The Burqini Ban
  109. Burkini and French Secularism
  110. Islam and the downfall of European culture
  111. Why the French burkini ban is damaging feminism
  112. At what point does a ban become a chance to publicly humiliate?
  113. the decomposition of logic and democratic values
  114. The Burkini Ban is good. Not to let your Country turn into Saudi Arabia – without Oil – in a couple of Decades, we must defend it. The right that our countries remain western.
  115. Another Attack on Western Civilization from Muslim Women
  116. Does France have a problem with racism?
  117. Burkinis in the land of Liberté, égalité, fraternité
  118. Burkini Ban : French Farce
  119. The Day The News Made My Blood Boil
  120. French burkini ban exposes the myth of neutral secularism
  121. Bretons bathe fully clothed as Muslim asked to leave beach
  122. French mayors dismiss suspended burqini ban
  123. United Nations Strongly Condemns French Authorities Decision to Ban Burkani
  124. What Not To Wear: A Short History Of Regulating Female Dress From Ancient Sparta To The Burkini
  125. You’ve Got to BurKining Me!
  126. To bare or not to bare
  127. French city Nice suspends its ban on burkinis
  128. Young Muslim Americans say discrimination is ‘worse now than after 9/11’
  129. US Muslim Women Debate Safety of Hijab amid Backlash
  130. Lifting Veil off Attitudes about Niqab, Hijab
  131. The niqab ban: 2011-2015 – The new Liberal government officially puts an end to the former Conservative government’s attempt to ban the niqab during the citizenship oath
  132. June 24, 2015: Under the Niqab
  133. The Niqab Debate
  134. Niqab issue is thinly veiled racism
  135. Niqab issue is about fear of the unknown
  136. Niqab issue being ‘pushed on the populace’
  137. Is Muslim female face covering nothing more than sharia Bolshevism?
  138. The Niqab Time Bomb
  139. Worse than niqab issue: pajamas worn in public
  140. The ‘enemies of reason’ are inside the gates
  141. Islamism, Feminism & Defiance
  142. Why we stopped wearing the Hijab
  143. The “Racist” Man at Target
  144. Video: Pregnant Muslim Woman Verbally Abused On London Bus
  145. Muslim Woman Allegedly Abused In Hospital Maternity Ward
  146. Assault On Niqab Wearing Women Shows The Male Violence Many Suffer
  147. Muslim Girl Punched In face In Birmingham For ‘Wearing A Hijab’
  148. Man Attacked Muslim Woman And Stabbed Boy In The Face Outside Melbourne State Library
  149. Muslim Woman Abused In Tesco Store For Wearing Face Veil Urges Victims To Report Hate Crime
  150. Middle East Lifestyles – What about the ladies?
  151. Bigotry veiled as liberation
  152. YSL or “Shut Up and Run”
  153. Unveiling the reality
  154. Advice to the Muslim Women by Sheikh Saalih al Fawzan
  155. My Thoughts On Religious Headscarves

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Was Russell and Rutherford “Illuminati”?

Man is imperfect and man can not know everything. About the end times even Jesus did not know when he would return, how then can a man have any idea when exactly it will be that Jesus would come back?

That most of Russell his prophecy of Revelation was premature and mostly wrong as can be expected trying to foresee a globalist global empire before it manifested, even now obscured to many, does not have to mean all the rest of his teachings was also wrong.

English: Picture of Joseph F. Rutherford from ...

Picture of Joseph F. Rutherford from the 1911 Bible Students Convention Souvenir Booklet. At the time this picture was taken, Rutherford was serving as chief legal counsel for Pastor Charles Taze Russell. Rutherford became President of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society in 1917 and later renamed the movement Jehovah’s Witnesses. Rutherford died in 1942. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Judge Rutherford was not one of the dumbest, so knew very well where the treasure of income and survival could have been, also assuring himself enough of followers willing to give in his wishes to assure their salvation. This is a dangerous fact we can see by many denominations. The Catholic Church on top, which took care from the beginning to demand money from their flock to assure the liberation of their souls, avoiding them to burn in a hell which they presented as an eternal torture room.

The Christ, is the son of God having come into being only a thousand years ago. the enemy systems are the human beings themselves; They are responsible for their own choices. They carry evil in themselves. It where they and are they who still revolt against God.

People should not have to be carried away by trying to go in numerics. We do not have to god so deep as some have the urge to suggest. God has given His Word for all to understand, those who have learned and also those who have no skills to learn much. Everything is lying in front of us, clear in the Word of God. We only do have to take the words for what they are and see through them.

We also should not try to play for God or to know more than Jesus did. We should be happy with the insights the men of God gave to us. It is not bad that we have people searching for more understanding and it is good that they help others to get to more knowledge and insight. but people always should know that the first concern should be the Word of God, the Bible itself. That is always what we should follow in the first place and what others say we always have to check with the Bible in our hands. Not following blindfolded any organisation, but Trusting God.

JWUpdate

FYI All,

May we learn from the overall error of this apostasy hidden in the details, but now the whole framework of Bethel. Plus may we see basic principles of God building valid layers of truth amidst errors we will make as it opens further.

(Daniel 9:13) Just as it is written in the law of Moses, all this calamity—it has come upon us, and we have not softened the face of Jehovah our God by turning back from our error and by showing insight into your trueness.

(Daniel 9:4-6) “Ah Jehovah the [true] God, the great One and the fear-inspiring One, keeping the covenant and the loving-kindness to those loving him and to those keeping his commandments, 5 we have sinned and done wrong and acted wickedly and rebelled; and there has been a turning aside from your commandments and from your judicial decisions. 6 And we have not listened to…

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Different approach in organisation of services #1

Based in a Catholic country

The Belgian Bible Students and the Belgian Free Christadelphians both started a new year like the Catholic Church in Belgium and the schools, universities and clubs started a new year.

For the Catholic Church and for us there is the promise to the young girl Miriam (Mary/Maria) which let us look at the beginning of a new era, the time of salvation at hand. We, in contrast with our brethren and sisters from the Central Fellowship, like the CBM and CIL Christadelphians, start already now with reading about the Glad Tidings and the beginnings of the New Testament. The members of the Belgian Free Christadelphians in their ecclesiae follow the Bible Reading Plan by Robert Roberts and start only on the 1st of January with Genesis 1 & 2 plus Matthew 1 & 2.

Because there are so many Catholics in this country we like to show them from their readings, their religious year readings, what the Bible really says. Because every year they choose an other Gospel author as their main writer which they will follow, we also do take that writer his writings to put in the spotlight. It is a matter of coming closer to them and to have a better play on the ball with their readings and their traditions.

Different traditions

About those traditions, the Bible Students and several Amended Christadelphians may have a different feeling, because some Central Christadelphians join the pagan Christian festival and celebrate Christmas and Boxing Day. For us the real birth of Christ,on the 17th of October 4BCE is an other good reason to start in September/October with the new ‘church year’. But we do have to abstain from the pagan based holidays, like Christmas and the Catholic and some Protestants their Easter. The Easter we do have to celebrate and which the Free Christadelphians in Belgium also keep to is the remembrance day installed by Jesus Christ before he was going to die, on the 14th of Nisan.
Like the Belgian Catholics we may find that there is a time of advent in the Autumn, a preparation time to receive and celebrate the Good News of the one who brought us the Kingdom of God. Last year we looked at Luke and this year we shall therefore have a closer look to the Book of Matthew, the 1st book of the New Testament. There are more allusions to the Old Testament in this Gospel than in the others. It was clearly written for Jewish Christians, the purpose being to prove that Jesus was the Messiah foretold in the Old Testament and therefore it is also a very good book to introduce to those who do not know Jesus or to those who have a wrong view of this Nazarene man.

This year the Free Christadelphians in Belgium, like us, looked back at the awful year they had, and showed their good spirit to stand up again and to go forwards through the breakers which dash against our coast. The ecclesia Brussel-Leuven also found it wise to give an idea how the Christadelphian movement came into being and how it developed.

In the Gospel of Matthew is written how the Lord Jesus himself announced the work of Harvest of the Gospel Age.

“Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’”” (Matthew 13:30 NIV)

Adolf Daens, Flemish Jesuit priest from Aalst who is especially known for his socio-political involvement after he joined the diocesan clergy. He created the Daensist movement from which originated in 1893 the Christene Volkspartij inspired by Leo XIII's encyclical Rerum Novarum.

Adolf Daens (1839–1907) Flemish priest from Aalst. Daens was a Jesuit from 1859 to 1871 but is especially known for his socio-political involvement after he joined the diocesan clergy. He created the Daensist movement from which originated in 1893 the Christene Volkspartij inspired by Leo XIII’s encyclical Rerum Novarum. The Christene Volkspartij forced the radicalisation and democratisation of the Catholic party.

Sowing the seeds in the 19° century

Dr. John Thomas (1805–1871) founder of the Christadelphian movement, a Restorationist religion with doctrines similar in part to some 16th-century Antitrinitarian Rationalist Socinians and the 16th-century Swiss-German pacifist Anabaptists. - Dr. John Thomas (1805-1871) grondlegger van de Christadelphian beweging, een herstellers van religie groepering met doctrines vergelijkbaar voor een deel met een aantal 16e-eeuwse Antitrinitarische Rationalistische Socinianen en de 16e-eeuwse Duits-Zwitserse pacifistische wederdopers of Anabaptisten.

Dr. John Thomas (1805–1871) founder of the Christadelphian movement, a Restorationist religion with doctrines similar in part to some 16th-century Antitrinitarian Rationalist Socinians and the 16th-century Swiss-German pacifist Anabaptists.

Brother John Thomas in the 19° century tried to sow the seeds. He found many listening ears. One of them was Brother Charles Taze Russell who visited Antwerp and Brussels in 1891. Already at that time the fresh new country seemed to struggle with the Gospel Faith. The Roman Catholic Church was a very strong bastion with her hand in the political system and favouring the rich instead of helping the poor, priest Adolf and his brother Pieter Daens, or Pie Donsj for those from Aalst, an exception.

Brother Charles met there a Christendom that was ignorant of biblical truth. The fear of the clergy and of the fire of hell, doctrine that has no foundation in the Scripture, kept people away from opening the Bible.  But the Catholic Church had taken care that the people would not come to see the truth, by forbidding them to read the Bible. Mass was done in Latin and the readings as such, in that language, did not say so much to the people, who had not studied enough to get to know Latin and Greek.

The Bible translations in Dutch, French or German were forbidden and blacklisted.

Walloon grocery and mining

Because there was so much French spoken Russell did find it a good idea to have a modest Swiss forestry worker named Adolphe Weber to proclaim “the good news of great joy” in the French speaking countries of Europe. Adolphe Weber began the translation in French of books of the “present truth” and published in Swiss, French and Belgian daily newspapers advertisements referring to the first volume of the studies in the Scriptures and some booklets.

Location in the municipality of Charleroi

Jumet is a section of the Belgian town of Charleroi within the Walloon region in the province of Hainaut. It was a commune of its own before the merger of the communes in 1977. – Location in the municipality of Charleroi

In 1901, a grocer named Jean-Baptiste Tilmant (father) working in Jumet-Gohissart, city located near Charleroi, answered one of these advertisements and asked for some literature. As a result, a small group of bible students started meetings at his house in 1902 and used material from Russell.

Urged by his desire to know more about the truth, Jean-Baptiste Tilmant wrote to the Swiss brother asking to receive more information. As an answer to his demand, Brother Weber came to Charleroi during his missionary tour, to strengthen the faith of this small group.
In 1903, the periodical “lighthouse of Zion Tower” was published in French for the first time. The light of truth began to
shine so brightly in this mining area. Indeed, each Sunday morning, a small group of Biblestudentsastheywerecalledat the time, were going “in the fields” to sow the seeds of truth contained in this eight pages periodical; they waited for instance at the exit of churches. That is how the two first editions of “Zion’s Watch Tower” were largely distributed.

Borderareas

The Borinage is an area in the Walloon province of Hainaut in Belgium

The small group of Jumet Gohissart pushed away the limits of its territory to the south in the French part of the country. Some time later, the truth of God’s Kingdom also expended among the Flemish population.

In the month of august 1904, ten years before the First World War, these brave messengers of the Good News went to Denain in France, to offer booklets to people getting out from a Baptist temple. In Belgium and France the non-trinitarian Baptists mostly were not openly known, because of the fear of persecution.
The results of their activity was that two years later, a congregation started near Denain in Haveluy.
Jean Baptiste Tilmant and his friends continued to bravely preach the biblical truth and other groups appeared to face this big growth, a deposit of books was opened at brother’s Tilmant house in Jumet Gohisart and in 1906 a bible student community was founded in Denain.
The “Lighthouse” of August 1904, page 64, mentions for the first time the name and books from “Dawn”; (It has to be Volume I of the Studies in the Scriptures); subscriptions to the “Lighthouse” and request for free booklets and papers.
In 1906 the leaflets “Do you Know?” and the “Wage of sin” two other booklets and Volume 1 were to be published in Dutch and delivered in Brussels.
In 1908 Heinrich Brinkhoff published the first edition of The Watchtower in Dutch: De Wachttoren

Throwing pearls to pigs

Around 1910, François Caré who had known the truth in France went to Liège to a protestant friend named Edouard Verdière. He could not help it speaking with him about the truth. He wanted to help him leaving the false religion. His friend was so opposed to the message of brother Caré that at the end he finished by telling him
“ I don’t want to argue with you any longer , I don’t want to throw pearls to pigs “
After these words, he went to bed , these words bothered Mr Verdière all night long. The next morning, he asked brother Caré to tell him what he meant. He told him that he will no longer speak about the truth to him because he did not appreciate the “pearls” he was offering him. After this explanation, his friend became more conciliating so that after his return to France brother Caré started to send him regularly periodicals. He also dispatched a few volumes of Studies in the Scriptures. It did not last long before Edouard Verdière accepted the Truth and even began to speak in public. In another district of Belgium, light began to break through the darkness.

From Catholicism to Protestantism to coming in the Truth

The Rosary (from Latin rosarium, meaning “Crown of Roses” or “garland of roses” , in its most commonly known format as the Dominican rosary, is a form of prayer used especially in the Catholic Church or a string of prayer beads used to count the component prayers

In the coalmine where he worked, Edouard Verdière had a colleague named Léonard Smets searching the truth. He was a sincere catholic; he diligently attended religious services with his family. He used to pray with a rosary. This man from Flemish origin lived in Heure-le Romain near Vivegnis (Liège). In 1900, a protestant offered him a Bible saying, “I have the Book of God”. Another day, at the confessional, Léonard Smets confessed to the priest that he was reading the Holy Scriptures. The priest said that if he still wanted to receive absolution for his sins he had to give back his Bible. From that day on, Léonard did not attend the service any-more. He thought,

“If they are sincere, they will come to meet me, because they have to come and catch back the lost sheep”.
However, the priest never came to see him. Léonard Smets began to attend the protestant temple.
File:Collegiale-Thann-p1010106.jpg

A confessional is a small, enclosed booth used for the Sacrament of Penance, often called confession, or Reconciliation. It is the usual venue for the sacrament in the Roman Catholic Church. – Traditional confessional in Saint-Thiébaut Church, Thann, France

Even on his working place, in the coalmine, Smets was reading the New Testament. One day, Vedière noticed it. He was curious to know which his religion was; he began to sing a protestant hymn. “I was protestant”, answered brother Verdière “but I have something better for you.” He offered him a copy of the “watchtower of Zion” and witnessed with all his strength of the truth. It happened in 1912. Léonard Smets did not keep this truth for himself; he shared it with a Flemish colleague named Joseph Poelmans, father of seven children. He was disillusioned by the teachings of  Catholicism and chose Protestantism. However when he read the periodical that Smets gave him, he recognised the accent of truth.

Later, the three coalminers Verdière, Smets and Poelmans questioned the protestant minister of religion of Herstal (Liège) about the doctrine of immortality, trinity and Hell. Instead of helping them, the pastor was very angry and threw them out. They realised he was not better than the catholic priest, so they decided to meet and to study the Scripture with the help of the books they received from France.
In 1908 5000 “watch Towers” were distributed in Belgium.
In 1911 Brother Russell could only stop for a few minutes in Liège where dear brethren Pétré and some others were waiting to greet him on the train: sister Miss Peerkings (an English sister living in Liège where she learned about the Truth) served as an translator. With the same train, Brother Russell arrived in Charleroi where he took the road to arrive in Denain in the evening.
Joseph Franklin Rutherford (1869–1942), also known as "Judge" Rutherford, president of the incorporated Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, who played a primary role in the organization and doctrinal development of Jehovah's Witnesses. - Joseph Franklin Rutherford (1869-1942), ook wel bekend als "Rechter" Rutherford, voorzitter van het Wachttorengenootschap, die een primaire rol in de organisatie en leerstellige ontwikkeling van Jehovah's Getuigen had.

Joseph Franklin Rutherford (1869–1942), also known as “Judge” Rutherford, president of the incorporated Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, who played a primary role in the organization and doctrinal development of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

In 1912, there were seven municipalities: Haine-Saint-Paul, Flémalle-Haute, Engis, Amay, Ampsin, Liège and JumetGohissart. Each of these groups was organizing monthly meetings and was welcoming Brother Weber from the Swiss office for periodical visits.

At Pentecost on June 26th and 27th 1912 there was a a general meeting or their first general assembly in Jumet Gohissart.

Brother Rutherford was in Jumet on Monday 22nd September for a private meeting.

The group also grew strongly in the most northern part of France and in 1913 more than 1,000 people attended a lecture by Joseph Franklin Rutherford when he visited Denain. On August 31, 1913 70 Belgian supporters visited a conference in Paris where Russell was present.

+

To be continued: Different approach in organisation of services #2

Dutch version / Nederlandse versie: Andere aanpak in de organisatie van de diensten # 1

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Please do find out more about the Christadelphians:

  1. Not all christians are followers of a Greco-Roman culture
  2. Two new encyclopaedic articles
  3. Who are the Christadelphians
  4. What are Brothers in Christ
  5. Discipleship way of life on the narrow way to everlasting life
  6. Christadelphian people
  7. Christadelphians or Messianic Christians or Messianic Jews
  8. About the Belgian Free Christadelphians
  9. What Christadelphians teach
  10. Small churches of the few Christadelphians
  11. Priority to form a loving brotherhood
  12. 19° Century London Christadelphians
  13. Breathing and growing with no heir
  14. Commitment to Christian unity
  15.  Parts of the body of Christ
  16. What part of the Body am I?
  17. The Church, Body of Christ and remnant Israel synonymous
  18. United people under Christ
  19. Fellowship
  20. The Ecclesia
  21. The Ecclesia in the churchsystem
  22. The ecclesia or Christadelphian church
  23. Our relationship with God, Jesus and each other
  24. Our ecclesia or Christadelphian-church
  25. Intentions of an Ecclesia
  26. An ecclesia in your neighbourhood
  27. Communion and day of worship
  28. Christadelphians today
  29. Small churches of the few Christadelphians
  30. Who Celebrates Easter as Religious Holiday
  31. Eostre, Easter, White god, chocolate eggs, Easter bunnies and metaphorical resurrection
  32. Harvest in Belgium
  33. Biblestudents & T.C.Russell
  34. About the Belgian Biblestudents
  35. What the Belgian Biblestudents believe
  • 37 “Theses” Nailed to the Front Door of the First Baptist, Evangelical, Protestant Church (blackchristiannews.com)
    Some may think that it is prestigiousto be invited to meet with the Pope and to go and actually meet with the Pope. But it is not. In fact, it is foolishness and dangerous. And it flies in the face of what we have learned from church history about the thousands of people whose bloodwas shed because they opposed false Catholic teachings. We believe that this is a Satanic attempt to soften up the true church of Christ so that the Pope can, in the future, gain influence over Baptists, Evangelicals, and Protestants, and get them toparticipate in doing things that are contrary to Christ and the Bible.Many scholars believe that the “Great Whore” of Revelation is the Catholic Church situated in Vatican City in Rome. According to Christian apologist Dave Hunt, “There is only one city on the earth which, in both historical and contemporary perspectives, passes every test John gives, including its identification as Mystery Babylon. That city is Rome, and more specifically, Vatican City…The first thing we are told about the woman is that she is a ‘whore’… Against only one other city in history could a charge of fornication be leveled. That city is Rome, and more specifically Vatican City.”
  • Event Transcript: Religion in Latin America (pewforum.org)
    Latin America is home to more than 425 million Catholics – nearly 40% of the world’s total Catholic population – and the Roman Catholic Church now has a Latin American pope for the first time in its history. Yet identification with Catholicism has declined throughout the region, according to a major new Pew Research Center survey that examines religious affiliations, beliefs and practices in 18 Latin American countries and one U.S. territory (Puerto Rico).Historical data suggest that for most of the 20th century, from 1900 through the 1960s, at least 90% of Latin America’s population was Catholic. Today, the Pew Research survey shows, 69% of adults across the region identify as Catholic. In nearly every country surveyed, the Catholic Church has experienced net losses from religious switching, as many Latin Americans have joined evangelical Protestant churches or rejected organized religion altogether.
  • Vatican lifts ban on married priests for Eastern Catholic churches in U.S., Canada, Australia… (catholicculture.org)
    The Vatican has lifted a longstandingbanonthe ordination of married men to the priesthood in the Eastern Catholic churches.The tradition and discipline of the Eastern churches allowsforthe ordination of married men to the priesthood. (Bishopsmust be unmarried, however, and once ordained, a priest cannot marry.) The Vatican has repeatedly approved this tradition, while insistingonthe importance of priestly celibacy in the Latin rite.However, in the late 19th century, with the arrival of many Byzantine Catholic immigrants in Canada, Latin-rite prelates complained thatthe presence of married Catholic priests could create a “grave scandal.” The Vatican eventually ruled that the Eastern churches could not ordain married men in the countries where their communities forma minority of the Catholic population. The rule has historically applied primarily to Canada, the US, and Australia.With a decree approved by Pope Francis, and signed on June 14 by Cardinal Leonard Sandri, the Congregation for the Eastern Churches has now rescinded that ban. Catholic bishops of the Eastern churches serving in eparchies (dioceses) in the West are explicitly authorized to ordain married men.
  • Catholic ‘cannibalism’ (cruxnow.com)
    One evening a couple of years ago, I saw a bloodstained Eucharistic host.It was displayed in a home in Worcester, Massachusetts, about a five-minute drive down the street from my house. The host was the sixth Eucharistic phenomena associated with the late Audrey Santo — a young woman who was left mute and motionless after an accident in 1987.Up until her death in 2007, “Little Audrey,” as she was called, became the focal point for intense devotion as a “victim soul” who offered up her own sufferings for the salvation of others. Her case also attracted intense criticism, particularly given the claims about supernatural happenings in her presence.
  • Priests as Husbands and Fathers? (nytimes.com)
    This week, Pope Francis announced plans to visit the United States in 2015. The trip will be watched for signs of how U.S. bishops are adapting to the shift in tone coming from the Vatican. Not only has Pope Francis called for an open discussion on the Catholic Church’s views on gays and divorce, he’s also talked about priestly celibacy — a policy that a growing number of Catholics are pushing to change. If clerical marriage became more common, how would the Catholic Church change?
  • Victims of historic child sex abuse speak out, after Catholic Church refuses to accept “liability” for the crimes of their priests (secularnewsdaily.com)
    The Catholic Church is refusing to accept “liability” for long-term sex abuse that went on at the Mirfield Junior Seminary, despite paying out £120,000 to eleven victims of child sex abuse.
  • Cleric urges girls, women to shun abortion (dailypost.ng)
    Olanrewaju, who is also a former Parish Priest of Saints Joachim and Anne Catholic Church,Ijegun, Lagos, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).He spoke at the end of a rally on `’Walk for Life” organised by the churchtosensitise public on the dangers of abortion to human life.Olanrewaju said: “abortion, in any form, is an irreparable harm done to the innocent.“Any female, who procures a completed abortion, incurs excommunication by the commission of the offence as provided by Canon Law of the Catholic Church.

    “Human life must be respected and recognised by the civil society and the state from the moment of conception as an embryo until death, “ he told NAN.

    The cleric also urged relevant authorities to provide appropriate sanctions for “every deliberate termination of human life”.

  • Florida High School Implements ShoreTel Mobility on iPads (shoretel.com)
    Archbishop Edward A. McCarthy High is a Roman Catholic college preparatory school of the Archdiocese of Miami, Florida. Located in nearby Southwest Ranches, with a student enrollment over 1,500, the high school is among the top private schools in the U.S. On the cutting edge of technology, McCarthy High School has a one-to-one iPad program to enhance the student learning environment.  Within the school’s progressive tech-savvy learning environment has been the ability to quickly reach teachers, anywhere anytime. Classrooms were not equipped with desk phones and the estimates to install them and wire the buildings were cost prohibitive. Also, the existing phone system and infrastructure were due for upgrades.
  • The Third Way ~ curated by Tom Cutts (UTS’83) (utsalumni.org)

    The Third Way: Homosexuality and the Catholic Church. A 40-minute documentary film focusing on the Catholic Church’s teachings regarding Homosexuality.

    “Original Sin for all of us, for every human being on this planet, has disoriented our desires. We often find ourselves hungry for things that do not satisfy the ache.”

Our openness to being approachable

In the 2013-2014 season we gave attention on the way we can give praise to the Most High Jehovah and ‘Sing for His Name’.

English: Christ Handing the Keys to St. Peter ...

According Catholic Faith: Christ Handing the Keys to St. Peter by Pietro Perugino (1481-82) Fresco, 335 x 550 cm Cappella Sistina, Vatican. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the academic year 2013-2014 much discussion went on about a revision of the educational program in the Belgian schools and about a renewal of the attitude of the Catholic Church which kept loosing more and more people. They decided to make one parish from 5 parishes so that the costs could be tempered and priests would be available to do a service every few weeks, for at least one per month in a village.

The Bible Students did not have it easy either to attract people to their services. Most people are also afraid of non-trinitarians and do not like to put away their traditions, like baby baptism, first and second communion, and other Catholic celebrations. More and more people Focus on outward appearances and are not any more interested in a Supreme Higher Being, which they can not see or do feel to have connection with.

More and more people also give a voice accusing God to be a cruel partial being, Whom let others suffer a lot and let so many things happen without interfering. Several people also became angry with those people who call themselves People of God and wanted to see a Jewish nation living in Israel the Land given by God to His Chosen People.

This last season, we looked at the apostle Peter who perceived that God is not partial, (Acts 10:34) being aware that the Greek word rendered “partial” literally means “taker of faces.” (The Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures) Regarding this term, one scholar explains:

“It refers to a judge who looks at a man’s face and renders a verdict, not in accord with the merits of the case, but according as he likes or dislikes the man.”

As Christians we may be happy God gave His son to liberate us all and to give the goyim (people, nation) or heathen also a chance to become part of His people, not favouring one face over another because of race, nationality, social standing, or any other external factors.

Knowing that in every nation the man that fears Jehovah God and works righteousness is acceptable to Him, we tried to work at ourself and help others to find the right direction, growing in truthfulness and righteousness.

At the services we talked about what it means to fear God. We tried to see how we have and can respect, honour, and trust Him, avoiding anything that displeases him. To work righteousness involves willingly doing what is right in God’s eyes. Jehovah finds pleasure in the man whose heart is filled with reverential awe that moves him to do what is right.(Deuteronomy 10:12, 13.)

The Christadelphians in Belgium did not face an easy year. The Belgian Christadelphians from the ecclesia Brussel-Leuven tried to get all the different groups of Christadelphians together. Their intentions where very good, but did not take account of the human selfishness, pride, likes of power, and stubborn attitude. We do have to admit that also certain Bible Students did not like a liaison either, with certain other groups. A shame it did not work out positively and left division in the ranks.

We spend lots of time in arguing and discussing the matter of unity. Shamefully we encountered hesitation and opposition. We also experienced discrimination or prejudice which made good reason for us to take heart from Peter’s words about God. Jehovah is drawing people of all nations to true worship. (John 6:44; Acts 17:26, 27) He listens and responds to the prayers of his worshippers regardless of their race, nationality, or social standing. (1 Kings 8:41-43) We can be confident that when Jehovah looks down from heaven, he sees just one race—the human race.

Facing the problems of the Brothers and Sisters in Belgium we also reminded ourselves that Jesus foretold that the Christian congregation would come under attack. Remember, in his prophetic illustration of the wheat and the weeds, Jesus warned that a newly planted field of wheat (anointed Christians) would be oversown with weeds (imitation Christians). The groups, he said, would be allowed to grow side by side—undisturbed until the harvest, which would come at “a conclusion of a system of things.” (Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43) It was not long before Jesus’ words began to come true.

The apostasy made some inroads in the first century, but Jesus’ faithful apostles acted “as a restraint,” holding back the contamination and influence of false teachings. (2 Thessalonicans 2:3, 6, 7) However, once the last of the apostles died, the apostasy took root and flourished during a long growing season that lasted for many centuries. Additionally, during that time, the weeds became many and the blades of wheat were few. There was no consistent, organized channel for dispensing spiritual food.

As the end of the growing season neared, there were strong stirrings of interest in Bible truth. Recall that in the 1870’s, a small group of sincere truth-seekers got together and formed Bible classes apart from the weeds—imitation Christians within the churches and sects of Christendom. With humble hearts and open minds, those sincere Bible Students, as they called themselves, made a careful and prayerful search of the Scriptures.—Matthew 11:25.

Those Bible Students’ diligent study of the Scriptures yielded rich results and they also found their way to Europe where they originally came from. In the States as in Europe different Bible Students groups found new light and got several little independent groups spreading locally the Biblical Truth. Belgium, as a very strong Roman Catholic bastion was a difficult place to convince people of what was really written in the Bible.

Tetragrammaton (God's name, see Jehovah) at th...

Tetragrammaton (God’s name, see Jehovah) at the Roman Catholic Church Saint-Germain-des-Prés, at Paris, France (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When the Jehovah Witnesses found more interest by the believers the Roman Catholic Church started taking away the Name of God from their publications. They also had used the name Jehovah until the mid 1960ies, but then they wanted to avoid any  resemblance with the group of Bible Students which used God’s Name but did not want to accept Jesus as the god.

There where some trials to bring different Bible Students joining forces, but last season Marcus Ampe did a last effort to bring the non-Jehovah Witnesses Bible Students and Bible researchers together. He had hoped to bring the different Christadelphian Groups, Old Paths, Central Fellowship, Amended and Unamended Christadelphians, Dawn Students, Australian and Belgian Bible Students, together with Logos and Carelinks members. To no avail. He got a ‘big slap in his face’, finding his efforts not being appreciated, and being more shunned than before. He with the Ecclesia Brussel-Leuven and with the Belgian Bible Students became more isolated because they wanted to be impartial and open to any serious Bible Student, no matter which background or organisation.
They lost their support from the English organisation and made it now clear to the public they wanted to be an independent Christian organisation, free from human directorate, giving themselves to the ruling of Christ Jesus as their only cornerstone.

They like we, want to be united under Jesus Christ, facing total impartiality in the ranks, with the impartial God as our Most High example.

We, after our bad experience this season, therefore dare to ask every person coming to us or reading these pages:

Are you moved to learn more about this impartial God?

Are you willing to become part of the People of God?

Are you willing to understand what it means to be part of the Body of Christ, understanding that there are and may be different parts or groups, like you have the kidneys, reins, stomach, veins, lungs, etc, in a human body?

Tbilisi St. Peter-Paul Catholic Church

the Love of Christ, by his good heart – Tbilisi St. Peter-Paul Catholic Church (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Having noticed how difficult it even is in the own ranks or denomination to find the love of Christ fully, and getting to see how it is not always to get the right quality of approachability, we wondered how we could help it to bring people together.

How would you describe an individual who is approachable? You might say,

‘Someone who is kind, readily available, and easy to talk to.’

You can often discern whether a person is approachable or not by listening to what he says and by observing his body language—gestures, facial expressions, and other nonverbal signs.

Confronted with all those communication problems we looked at Jehovah how He demonstrates that He is approachable. Although He is the Almighty Creator of our vast universe, Jehovah assures us that He is willing and eager to listen to our prayers and to respond to them. (Read Psalm 145:18; Isaiah 30:18, 19.) The Belgian Christadelphians also presented a series about the way we can speak to God at length at any time or place. They looked at ‘prayer‘, how we can bring prayers which are worthy in the eyes of God.

Ελληνικά:

Ελληνικά: (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We where happy this year in the knowledge that we always can approach the Divine Creator Jehovah God freely, knowing that He will never reproach us for doing so. (Psalm 65:2; James. 1:5) God’s Word describes Jehovah in human terms to indicate that he wants to be approached. For instance, the psalmist David wrote that “the eyes of Jehovah are toward” us and that his “right hand keeps fast hold” on us. (Psalm 34:15; 63:8) The prophet Isaiah likened Jehovah to a shepherd, saying:

“With his arm he will collect together the lambs; and in his bosom he will carry them.” (Isaiah 40:11)

We, though we had to face a very difficult time in Belgium, the last few months, still could find happiness in the knowledge that we fully could trust God Who wants us to be as close to Him as a little lamb nestled in the bosom of a caring shepherd.

We where convinced, and still are, that a key to being approachable is showing genuine interest in others. If an elder cares about others and is willing to give of himself in their behalf, his brothers and sisters, including young ones, will likely sense this attitude. (Mark 10:13-16) Of course, it is not enough for an elder to say that he is approachable; he should manifest that quality. (1 John 3:18)

Customs may vary from land to land, but usually when we give our brothers and sisters a warm smile, a welcoming handshake, a relaxed greeting, we are signaling that we are genuinely interested in them. Who should take the initiative in this? Note the example Jesus set. Matthew reports that at a meeting with his disciples, “Jesus approached and spoke to them.” (Matthew 28:18) Likewise, elders today take the initiative to approach their fellow believers and speak to them. How can that affect the congregation? An 88-year-old pioneer sister observed:

“The warm smiles and encouraging comments I receive from the elders when I enter the Kingdom Hall endear them to me.”

Another faithful sister added:

“It may be viewed as a little thing, but when an elder welcomes me to the meeting with a smile, it means a lot to me.”

This coming year we would like to continue working at the openness we do have to have, making ourselves more approachable to others. Obviously, we cannot be approached if we are not available. Jehovah sets a fine example in that regard.

“He is not far off from each one of us.” (Acts 17:27)

One way in which elders make themselves available to others is by setting aside time before and after Christian meetings to converse with their brothers and sisters—young and old.
A pioneer brother noted:

“When an elder asks how I’m doing and then stops to listen to my answer, I feel appreciated.”

A sister who has been serving Jehovah for nearly 50 years commented:

“Elders who take some time to talk to me after the meeting make me feel valued.”

We would love to give more time to those who have questions and are willing to listen to them and to give answers to the many questions people may have.

This coming new season we do want to give extra attention to the sheep showing others we are open to any body, being fair, free from having or showing bias or favouritism.

One who is impartial will pay due regard, not to an individual’s outward appearance or circumstances, but to his or her character as a person. We would like to find people who have the right attitude to come closer to Jehovah, our God, the greatest example of impartiality. His Word states that he “is not partial” and that he “treats none with partiality.”

34 At this Peter began to speak, and he said: “Now I truly understand that God is not partial,+35 but in every nation the man who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.+ (Acts 10:34, 35)

17 For Jehovah your God is the God of gods+ and the Lord of lords, the God great, mighty, and awe-inspiring, who treats none with partiality+ and does not accept a bribe. (Deuteronomy 10:17.)

As always are full attention next season shall go to the God of gods, Who executes justice for the fatherless child  and the widow and loves the foreign resident, giving him food and clothing. (Leviticus 19:10, Deuteronomy 24:14, Psalm 146:9) Once more we shall also give full attention to hired worker who is in need and poor and protecting the foreign residents, looking carefully what shall happen to the country Belgium in those political difficult times, where the politicians do not take into account the votes of the people, and created a new sort of monarchy of the political parties, where each party delivers politicians from father to son and keeps ruling the country and creating different posts for the own political family.

We do hope to convince people how no human political system shall ever be able to bring total peace. We shall keep trying to bring them the knowledge of what the purpose is of the Kingdom of God and why it is so important we look forward to the return of Christ Jesus, the Messiah.

We do admit we with the Belgian Christadelphians hoped we could bring much more people together, clinging to each other. We shamefully failed and have to admit we should put all our hope to God, and got perhaps too much fear in man.

20 “Jehovah your God you should fear, him you should serve,+ to him you should cling, and by his name you should swear. 21 He is the One you are to praise.+ He is your God, who has done all these great and awe-inspiring things for you that your own eyes have seen.+ (Deuteronomy 10: 20-21)

We shall continue to to invite all sorts of fellow believers, including those whose background differs from ours as well as those who are poor, orphaned, or widowed. (Read Galatians 2:10; James 1:27.) Further, in the Kingdom-preaching work, we shall keep sharing the good news impartially with people of all backgrounds, including those from foreign countries.

Preaching without impartility

We shall continue to take time to reflect on how approachable and impartial Jehovah is. In the knowledge that Jehovah is near to all those calling upon Him, we shall keep trying to bring others to know Him and to imitate Jehovah’s qualities to the full, demonstrating them in our dealings with fellow believers and with those to whom we preach.

Preceding article: An academic year ending, again a new year standing ready for us

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Additional reading:

  1. Words in the world
  2. Funeral service only belongs in church building according to Catholic Church
  3. Being Religious and Spiritual 2 Religiosity and spiritual life
  4. Being Religious and Spiritual 3 Philosophers, Avicennism and the spiritual
  5. Being Religious and Spiritual 7 Transcendence to become one
  6. Being Religious and Spiritual 8 Spiritual, Mystic and not or well religious
  7. Focus on outward appearances
  8. People are turning their back on Christianity
  9. Christianity to be enshrined
  10. Anti-Semitism ‘on the rise’ in Europe
  11. Walking alone?
  12. Stand Up
  13. Quit griping about your church
  14. Accents in schools and tools of survival against aliens
  15. Two states of existence before God
  16. God, my father, my closest friend
  17. God doesn’t call the qualified
  18. Follower of Jesus part of a cult or a Christian
  19. A Society pleading poverty
  20. Priority to form a loving brotherhood
  21. Christadelphian people
  22. Not many coming out with their community name
  23. Festival of Freedom and persecutions
  24. Certain people trying to stem freedom of speech
  25. Censorship possible by a person and his organisation
  26. Attackers silenced freedom of speech
  27. A man from the North wanting to have control in Belgium
  28. No reconciliation possible between CBM and Duncan Heaster from Carelinks
  29. Delay in publications because attack from outside
  30. Members of the ecclesia uniting and seeking God’s help in tribulation
  31. Cleanliness and worrying or not about purity
  32. Springtime!
  33. Christian values and voting not just a game
  34. Human relations 2013
  35. 2013 Lifestyle, religiously and spiritually
  36. Preparing for an important election
  37. Standing aside or looking at election days
  38. 2014 European elections
  39. Yellow wave over Belgium
  40. Walloon politicians have proven they will never be willing to be open to Flanders
  41. A Jewish Theocracy
  42. Call for prayer to help with unity crisis
  43. Do You Expect God’s Answer
  44. Prayer, important aspect in our life
  45. Looking for True Spirituality 6 Spirituality and Prayer
  46. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #1 Kings Faith
  47. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #2 Calling upon the Name of God
  48. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #1 Creator and His Prophets
  49. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #4 Words in Scripture
  50. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #6 Words to feed and communicate
  51. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #4 Transitoriness #1 Prosperity
  52. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #4 Transitoriness #2 Purity
  53. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #1 Listening Sovereign Maker
  54. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #2 Witnessing
  55. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #3 Callers upon God
  56. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #6 Prayer #4 Attitude
  57. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #7 Prayer #5 Listening Ear
  58. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #8 Prayer #6 Communication and manifestation
  59. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #9 Prayer #7 Reason to pray
  60. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #10 Prayer #8 Condition
  61. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #11 Prayer #9 Making the Name Holy
  62. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #12 Prayer #10 Talk to A Friend
  63. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #13 Prayer #11 Name to be set apart
  64. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #14 Prayer #12 The other name
  65. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #15 Exposition before the Creator
  66. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #16 Benefits of praying
  67. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #17 Sorts of prayers
  68. Praying and thinking positively
  69. “Prayer 2″ – Child Abuse
  70. Genuine prayer
  71. People who know how to pray to move God to take hold of our affairs in a mighty way
  72. 7000 to 20000 words spoken each day
  73. If you think you’re too small to be effective
  74. Does God answer prayer?
  75. Being sure of their deliverance
  76. Work with joy and pray with love
  77. Give your worries to God
  78. Prayer has comforted us in sorrow

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  • Nearly 6,000 attend Jehovah’s Witness convention (wwlp.com)
    The Daily Hampshire Gazette reports that members of Jehovah’s Witnesses congregations from across the Northeast came to Amherst this weekend. They participated in a three-day program that included sermons, songs and prayer.
  • My Family Was Catholic Until the Almighty Got a Hold of Us (sandradeden.com)
    Ever wonder how all the different religions came about? Well, wonder no more, because I have a highly sophisticated theory. I think entire families stand in a long line before they are born, and a deity hands out religion like an ice cream truck guy hands out SpongeBob SquarePants bars, strawberry shortcakes, and fudgsicles. How do I know this? It’s the only way to explain my family.
    +
    She liked the Jewish emphasis on family and being a good person (as opposed to say, burning in hell for transgressions). The final piece was the idea that children must be born to a Jewish mother be considered Jewish, so she converted. It was toughest on my mom. Julie’s religious departure was still based in Christianity, but for my mom, Sharon had left the fold entirely.
  • A Letter to Brother Bramwell Chandrakumar’s Questions (garylordsway.wordpress.com)
    Jesus has defined God for us in scripture: Jn.4:24God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship Him in spirit and in truth. If we then know God is a Spirit, because God cannot lie
  • Chapter 25-Christ in the Old Testament (reformedontheweb.wordpress.com)
    It is well to see that the true doctrine as to the Saviour of man is not that of the New Testament only, but of the whole Bible. The unity of divine revelation will thus appear. The testimony of prophecy will be added to that of the miracles which attended the life of Jesus and the ministry of his followers.
    +
    The prophecy of the second coming of Christ which Jude (vers. 14, 15) tells us was made by “Enoch, the seventh from Adam,” betokens a degree of knowledge to the very end of the world which, but for that record, would never have been imagined. We are therefore not to be hindered by any presumption that our first parents did not know what God was promising, from carefully scrutinizing the record left us, nor from giving to it all the fullness of meaning its literal interpretation may convey.
  • Psalm 9 (kittyjonesblog.wordpress.com)
    Since you provide my righteousness and appoint my cause, /I know that my enemies, /the world culture that surrounds me, /my own self-absorbed flesh / and the devil, /will stumble and perish before the righteous judgment / that comes from your throne.
  • What do you need…? (prayerconfessions.wordpress.com)
    The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe.Encounter Him as:
    Elohim: the God above all gods

    Jehovah Jireh: the God who provides

    El-Shaddai: the almighty God

    Jehovah Rapha: our healer God

    Jehovah Shalom: our God of peace

  • Names of God (girlfriendscoffeehour.com)
    El Roi, the God Who Sees
    You are My Banner, Jehovah-Nissi
    The All Sufficient One, El Shaddai
    Jehovah-Jireh, You Will Provide
    Rapha, the Lord Who Heals
    Shalom, You are my Peace
    The Lord of Hosts, Jehovah-Sabaoth
  • Week 15: Friday – The Great I am (bolmdevotional.wordpress.com)
  • Jehovah “Is Not Partial” (byronfliwalker.wordpress.com)
    Have you ever been a victim of discrimination? Have you ever been denied a request, refused a service, or otherwise treated with disdain because of your skin color, ethnic background, or social status? If so, you are far from alone. Here, though, is the good news: Such indignities, though commonplace on earth, are nonexistent in heaven. “God is not partial,” said the Christian apostle Peter with the utmost conviction.—Read Acts 10:34, 35.

Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger steps down as Pope Benedict XVI

We can not avoid talking about the news of the day. Yesterday the television-programs had their mouthful of the resignation of 85-year-old Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger alias Pope Benedict XVI.

English: Pope Benedict XVI in St. Peter's Squa...

Pope Benedict XVI in St. Peter’s Square, Rome (2007).(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Roman Catholic church has always claimed to be the rightful bearer of the Church of Christ and having the right to have the follower of the apostle Peter, whom they consider to have been the first Pope. though if they would read the Holy Scriptures more carefully they would notice that there was not such an hierarchy in the first faith-group which tried to follow the teachings of Christ.

when Jesus was alive he also did not place one pupil in front of the other and taught them that they should be humble, respecting each other and trying to use all the gifts they received from the Father above to do their duties as good as possible. In the united body to honour God and to be followers of Christ, there is no such order that one person would be above or under the other. All have to be united as brothers and sisters in Christ. All having Christ Jesus as the cornerstone and the example to follow.

“for any other foundation can no one lay than the [one] being laid, who is jesus christ.” (1 Corinthians 3:11 MKJV)

The last few months we could notice that more than one person in that Catholic Church tried to cover up the crimes of their priests. Also Benedict, when he still was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, and led the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, this cardinal not only covered paedophile crimes, when he had become Pope, he and the Vatican office did first as if they did not know about such things. Only when letters proofed that they should have been aware of those crimes and did not the right thing, they agreed to the letters, but said they did what they could do, but forgot to warn the juridical powers.

In archdiocese documents released under a court order earlier this month, Mahony is revealed to have taken actions deliberately contrived to avoid legal prosecution of priests who had sexually abused — and even raped — children. The documents were so damaging that Mahony, now retired and once thought to be a contender for the papacy, was publicly rebuked by current Archbishop of Los Angeles Jose Gomez, and stripped of any public duties, an unprecedented censure of a cardinal archbishop by his successor.

Amid the cache of church records, released as part of a settlement between the archdiocese and 500 sex-abuse victims, are several letters to Ratzinger from Mahoney, in which the California prelate reports to the Vatican his reasons for various actions (such as defrocking) taken against the offending priests. The records amount to some 30,000 pages, so their full contents have yet to be pored through by investigators and journalists.

What is clear, though, is that Mahony repeatedly failed to act on concerns about the sexual abuse of children by priests that brought to him by pastors and church officials throughout the diocese, and that when he did, his actions were designed to avoid criminal prosecutions of the predator priests. And it is also clear that in his Vatican office, Ratzinger was the recipient of letters from Mahony informing the Holy See of what actions he had taken.

Back in 1045, the irredeemably outrageous Benedict IX – the only man to be pope more than once, and the only one ever to sell the papacy – also stepped down, essentially for the cash. Accused by St Peter Damian of “feasting on immorality”, by Bishop Benno of Piacenza of committing “many vile adulteries and murders” and by Pope Victor III of being a pope “so vile, so foul, so execrable, that I shudder to think of it,” Benedict ostensibly resigned to get married – but not before he had sold the office to his godfather, who became Gregory VI (and had to resign himself the following year because, even by the standards of the 11th century, buying the papacy wasn’t really on).

In 1415 we also find an other resignation.  Bishop of Castello from 1380 and titular Patriarch of Constantinople in 1390 and pope on 30 Nov., 1406, forsaken by most of his cardinals, Gregory XII resigned. At that time there was also a rival pope in Avignon, Benedict XIII. The schism erupted in 1378 one year after Gregory XI was named the Pope in Rome, ending the sixty-seven year reign of the ‘Avignon Papacy’ during which time seven pontiffs ruled from that city in southern France. (Gregory XI was actually named Pope in 1370, as the last of the seven ‘Avignon popes,’ but he did not move to Rome until seven year later).

Following the death of Gregory XI in March 1378, under pressure from Romans to elect a Roman leader of the church, the cardinals named Pope Urban VI who was from Naples. Urban VI quickly fell out of favor, leading to the election of a ‘rival pope,’ Pope Clement VII, in September of that year, who re-established the papacy in Avignon – meaning the Catholic Church now had a pope and an ‘anti-pope,’ thereby dividing the European continent.

After Clement VII and Urban VI died, the schism continued through their respective successors, Pope Boniface IX (who became the ‘Roman’ pope in 1389) and Benedict XIII (the Avignon antipope who was crowned in 1394).

H.H. Pope Innocent VII

H.H. Pope Innocent VII (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Upon the death of Boniface in 1404, some hopes for a resolution to the schism emerged when the cardinals in Rome offered not to name a new pope immediately if Benedict would resign and give up the Avignon faction’s claims on the papacy. When Benedict and his representatives refused, the Roman Cardinals named Pope Innocent VII as the new pope in Rome. Upon Innocent VII’s death in 1406, Gregory XII was named his successor (while Benedict XIII still ruled in Avignon).

The dispute deteriorated into further complications in 1409 when a church council in Pisa elected yet another anti-pope, Alexander V, who lasted about a year, until he was succeeded by John XXIII.

The issue was not resolved until 1414 when the Council of Constance pressured anti-pope John XXIII to resign and excommunicated the Avignon Pope, Benedict XIII.

File:Gregory XII.jpg

Gregorius XII

Due to his great piety and his earnest desire for the end of the schism after the death of Innocent VII the cardinals at Rome unanimously had elected Angelo Corporrario pope on 30 Nov., 1406. The split that divided the Catholic church for nearly 40 years and had, by the stage Gregory did the decent thing, reached the point where there were three different claimants to the papal throne: Roman Pope Gregory XII, Avignon Antipope Benedict XIII, and Pisan Antipope John XXIII.

However, Gregory XII’s resignation was not, strictly speaking, voluntary since it involved various behind-the-scenes machinations and intrigues, complicated by the Avignon and Pisa claimants.

Thus, perhaps the last truly voluntary resignation by a Pope occurred decades earlier, in 1294, when Pope Celestine V quit after serving only five months.

Succeeding Pope Nicholas IV in July 1294, perhaps Celestine V’s most notable achievement was issuing a decree which granted the right of a pope to abdicate (a step he himself took in December of that year).

Explaining his wish to resign, Celestine V said he was motivated by “the desire for humility, for a purer life, for a stainless conscience, the deficiencies of his own physical strength, his ignorance, the perverseness of the people, [and] his longing for the tranquility of his former life”.

Pope Benedict XVI who stunned the world by becoming the first Pope after World War II to step down earlier. Since no pope has retired in almost 600 years, there is no formal retirement plan for popes. However, as a bishop (and possibly a cardinal), Benedict will continue to have access to the Vatican’s lavish healthcare plan and probably also to the private doctors who currently manage his medical treatment. The pope does not officially receive a salary, though his needs are seen to by the Holy See. Canon law requires each diocese to provide support and housing for its priests after they retire, though the details of priests’ and bishops’ pension plans vary from country to country.

Dr. Donald Prudlo of the Vatican says about the significance of this decision of Ratzinger to resign:

“The important thing is that the Catholic Church is such an historically rooted church that we do have things to look to in order to deal with an event of this type. As unusual as it is, we can look back at other examples and know that the laws which govern these things have been long established in Catholic canon law (canon 332 of the Code of Canon Law). And so, for instance, the rules regarding the conclave that is to come up have been rehearsed for nearly a millennium. And the Pope, Blessed John Paul II in his Constitution Universi Dominici gregis, once again re-affirmed these things that have been thought about and discussed for an exceptionally long time. So while we have, what is to us, a very, very shocking, and something that makes us certainly have concern for Pope Benedict himself, we know that the church has the resources and has the things from her history to be able to meet these challenging situations.”

This occasion calls for looking into the reality of figures allowed or chosen by God to rule his church. The Roman Catholics do have their Pope, the Jehovah Witnesses do have their Watch Tower Society which receives the same infallibility as the Catholic Pope.

Jesus himself did not know when he would return, and for many things he said the people around him it was a matter of his Father. How on earth would other people receive more knowledge or power than Jesus? He himself also did not appoint anybody or wanted to have one person in a higher position than the other. The opposite, Jesus wanted all his followers to be humble brethren and sisters willing to be the slave of others, working as servants for God.

The apostles and prophets mazy be used for the foundation of a working community in Christ but that community at to be build up by the teachings of Christ Jesus making every person fit to be part of the building stones, fitting each in brick by brick. Stone by stone, with Christ Jesus as the cornerstone that should hold all the parts together. As the apostles could see it taking shape day after day — a holy temple built by God, we too, today can still find people gathered together, willing to be under Christ, as one body of faithful believers.

The church or Christian community does not need a sorry bunch — pseudo-apostles, lying preachers, crooked workers — posing as Christ’s agents but sham to the core. The church of God should be made up by people who really love God and accept His son for what he really was and is. It should be people who call others also to be welcome to the living Stone, the source of life. People who know that it is God who knows the heart and God who chooses His people, His workmen. And those who may feel to be called should be humble workers for God and not for themselves or worldly organisations. God should be the priority, and the telling of the Good News of the coming Kingdom of God.

It is  God who sets in the place of honour. Every believer has to present him or herself as building stone for the construction of a sanctuary vibrant with life, in which they’ll serve as holy priests offering Christ-approved lives up to God. The Scriptures provide precedent:

“4  As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by men but chosen by

God and precious to him— 5 you also, like living stones, are being

built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual

sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 For in Scripture

it says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone,

and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.”” (1 Peter

2:4-6 NIV)

“20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord.” (Ephesians 2:20-21 NIV)

“But I do not think I am in the least inferior to those “super-apostles”.” (2 Corinthians 11:5 NIV)

“For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ.” (2 Corinthians 11:13 NIV)

The apostle Peter knew that Christ was the ultimate rock.

“8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Rulers and elders of the people! 9 If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a cripple and are asked how he was healed, 10 then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. 11 He is “‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the capstone.’” (Acts 4:8-11 NIV)

Also the apostle Paul was aware that he was not the most important apostle, nor peter whom he even rebuked at a certain point. (Galatians 2:11)

“23 Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; 24 but because Jesus lives for ever, he has a permanent priesthood. 25 Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.” (Hebrews 7:23-25 NIV)

“For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him.” (Romans 6:9 NIV)

“For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Saviour.” (Ephesians 5:23 NIV)

“22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fulness of him who fills everything in every way.” (Ephesians 1:22-23 NIV)

When we look at 1 Corinthians 3:11 where we are called to remember that there is only one foundation, the one already laid: Jesus Christ, how can it than be that there should be special throned people who can be Pope and call themselves the main Leader of the Church?

“For no-one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 3:11 NIV)

When the Catholic Church or the Jehovah Witnesses claim that only the faithful slave, either the Pope for the Roman Catholic church, or the Watchtower Society, can be the one spokesperson and the one bringing infallible teaching to the flock, than you could wonder why Jesus is called the one mediator between god and man. Jesus, the son of God is namely sitting at the right hand of Jehovah God, and has taken the role of mediator, so that he can speak for the earthly beings, whom he also shall have to judge at the end-times.

“For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,” (1 Timothy 2:5 NIV)

God does not want an other mediator and Christ Jesus should be for us the most respectable and most perfect spokesman. We do not need a Pope when we trust that Christ Jesus also would lead his church here on earth and will follow it up from above in heaven. As Jesus trusted his Father we should trust God, giving to those who he thinks necessary to give guidance in the ecclesia and God providing people with the necessary gifts to proclaim the Good News and the Kingdom of God.

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Read also:

Pope Benedict XVI resigns
Yesterday the Vatican has confirmed that Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger’s papacy began in 2005 will come to an end at the end of the month, because Pope Benedict XVI is to resign. This is reportedly only the second time a head of the Catholic church has stepped down. The last time was nearly 600 years ago.

The Pope Resigns
The Roman Catholics claim that Jesus Christ appointed Peter, one of his disciples, the first Pope, and since then there has been a handing on, or a succession, to this office, right down to Pope Benedict himself.
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They claim that here Jesus pronounces that Peter is to be the leader of the church. But a careful reading of what he is saying reveals that Jesus is actually saying that the rock on which the church is built is his confession and understanding of who Jesus is.

Virtually unprecedented: papal resignation throughout history

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