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Posts tagged ‘Dawn fellowship’

Different approach in organisation of services #3

Radio calls and booklets

Today the Jehovah Witnesses are the biggest known Bible Student Group in Belgium. At first they could find Bible Students groups associating with them and start growing from the previous preparations of those groups. But they too had to see members leaving them.

Français : Jumet (Charleroi - Belgique) - Chap...

Français : Jumet (Charleroi – Belgique) – Chapelle Notre Dame de Heigne (XIIe siècle) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As result of the broadcastings in the mid 20° century, in French and sponsored by the Brethren of Dawn from the U.S; 3 Belgian families were interested in the Present Truth. It was Brother Armand Lechien who got in touch with Brother Félix Pilarski through the mail service of Radio Luxemburg: Brother Félix aimed him towards Jumet. These 3 families left the movement they were members of (the Jehovah Witnesses) because they thought the teachings they heard were not in harmony

with the Scriptures. The Polish-Belgian Brother and Sister Wlodarski had got French brethren and sisters in their circles and found more brethren from the French Association des étudiants de la Bible coming more and more frequently to serve the Word of God (brother François Wozniak, Kosmalski A. Liszka, T. Kubiak, J., Osorowski S.,TF et Ed. Pilarski, Speil, a few from Saint Etienne and many others …..); the family Kula, their younger daughter and one son attended the meetings, in the following years just like in France, pilgrim brethren came from the United States and later from Poland.

Courcelles coal mine ” 6 périer ” Souvret

The families – Armand et Louise Lechien – Ernest et Helena Duchateau –  Edmond et Jeanne Henrioule decided to have meetings during the week (on Wednesday and Thursday) to study the Figures of the Tabernacle. With their agreement, the families Wlodarski and Kula joined them. The studies were held in two languages with the help of a translator (2 languages were spoken French and Polish).

Brother Félix Pilarski and other brethren worked a lot for these meetings because they spoke French perfectly.
Brother Félix Pilarski made a handsome contribution to the development of the meeting of Courcelles with edifying biblical discourses and his visits. He was also personally active in the country of Liège and in Brussels where he had a deposit of booklets. Other brethren also paid many visits; among them we can mention Brother Joseph Wozniak, Adolphe Debski, and others.
After Brother Ernest Duchateau died suddenly, meetings continued for some time. When Brother Lechien died after a quite long disease, we could see a repetitive thing around the house churches, the ecclesia of Courcelles disappeared in the mid 70’s.

Former town hall of Jumet, where the film “Why did He come to earth?” of the Bible Students was given.

On October 24th 1987, the ecclesia of Jumet organised two projections of the film “Why did He come to earth?” in the community City Hall of Charleroi. Those shows were announced with advertising: posters in public places, advertising in the city with loudspeakers, spots on local newspapers radio and TV, display on electronic screens, distribution of leaflets.
More than hundred persons attended these film projections. Leaflets and tracts were given to the participants but only few asked for further information and other booklets.

Soothed to sleep with man’s talk

Very soon in history the majority in Christendom went running after the false teachers. The myths were more pleasing to the ear than the actual truth. They were soothed to sleep with it. Early on the Brothers, as true followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, were in the minority. Their faith of the true gospel was of ‘origin’ pure, by the human impurities it was swung back and forth by the years gone.

In Belgium and the Netherlands remained Bible Faithful following Jesus’ command and continued preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God.
The first nor the second world war had kept them from it, even though many of them were anxiously looking forward to the action of the two warring camps, because they were against fighting, and because they adhered to a faith that was not liked by anyone.

That Jesus and his apostles spoke about the news that there would be established a Kingdom on earth, that would be ruled by Jesus Christ and in which the faithful of all ages would have a place alongside their Lord: i.e. as co-rulers, this sounded obviously not fine in the ears for them (the German Fuehrer wished to be the only ruler). But the cheerful message for humanity survived now the fight under people and brought unprecedented peace in some families.

The doctrine of Christ’s reign on earth was first treated as highly symbolic, gradually became labelled as a very questionable and useless thought and was ultimately rejected as an absurd invention of heresy and fanaticism.
God’s light happily extinguishes not; it is an eternal flame. The people of Israel in ancient times also reached detritus. They even served other gods. Nevertheless, there remain at this time believers in the One God and history now could repeat itself. Faithful to God those bible students wanted to share their findings and in spite the continuous opposition dared to go against the most popular doctrine of men.

Getting a base in Holland

After attempts from the Netherlands were made to bring Truth to England (in the 16th Century) and having a flight of truth seekers to the New World in the 19th century, now letters of truth seekers from the New World could again send truth to Europe.

The teachings of Elias Smith and John Thomas now, the time was ripe, an opportunity was given to a ‘resurgence‘ of Bible Faithful. They also found their way across the ocean and in all English-speaking countries they could find a foothold.

Through the centuries, the Gospel of God’s Kingdom, which was preached by Jesus and the apostles, showed a dynamic force which has all the opposition of powerful religious groups defied and still serves as the sole basis of faith for those who want to search God.

Website of the Brothers in Christ or Christadelphians in the Netherlands - Website van de Nedrlandse Broeders in Christus

Website of the Brothers in Christ or Christadelphians in the Netherlands – Website van de Nedrlandse Broeders in Christus

In 1956 in the Netherlands finally the group of Brothers in Christ could get solid and communities as “de Broeders in Christus“, arose in Den Haag (The Hague), Amersfoort, Ede and Groningen.

From 1957 officially recognised, seeing it as our duty to our Lord to make his name known among the people in our area, as well as among other nations, they made work of it to go around billing leaflets. They kept their focus on the Bible as the source of all knowledge and followed the guiding principle of the word of our Lord, “Freely ye have received, freely give.” They also began to spread the magazine “Met Open Bijbel” (With Open Bible) of which Rudolf Rijkeboer was the driving force.

Vanishing interest

It clearly appeared that after the ‘golden age’ with the children boom and citizens of Belgium having their life becoming better, the interest for the biblical message of Truth is vanishing with time passing on.
The Bible Students saw their number of members in ecclesiae decreasing.The visiting brethren and sisters from the Christadelphian Bible Mission (CBM) for 25 years made regular visits to put leaflets and pamphlets in the postboxes. Their short visits trying to get people on the street interested in the works of Christ and in the promises of God, did not work out. At the time (early 21° Century) they wanted to give it all up and several Christadelphians left Holland to return to England or to go to Australia.
At the end of the 20° Century some Bible Students with ex-Jehovah Witnesses formed the Vrije Christenen or Free Christians. In that movement was also the non-trinitarian Baptist Marcus Ampe very active. Even before he himself became a Christadelphian he had already brought others to the Christadelphian faith. In Flemish Brabant and in Hainaut, plus on the net, with him, again an effort was made to bring the Good News of the coming Kingdom.
The Belfry in Mons

The Belfry in Mons, one of the meeting places of the Free Belgian Christadelphians

Last year brother Marcus tried to get several Bible Student groups together, but failed because of their will to have a certain power and the will to keep everything in control themselves. Plus some, like our confrères which we ourselves could not get over the bend to join the other Christadelphians in Belgium, made it impossible to have the different bible Students exchanging ideas, meeting sessions and information about their where-about and working. For our Australian brothers, of the Australian Bible Students, the CBM members were not close enough in following the teachings of brother Dr. John Thomas and mixing with the too loose teachings would dilute the whole system (they thought).

The man from the North and his organisation, have most of the Bible Students (except the JW) living in Belgian. But they resisted in giving the addresses of their ecclesiae in Oostende, Gent, (Brussels) and Antwerp. this made that the few but very active Christadelphians from Brussels, Leuven and Mons, could not meet with more Christadelphians in Belgium.
We too had to face the difficulty of bringing people together in peace and where confronted with a loss in our ranks, but our invitation is still open to join as members of the Body of Christ, united in the love of Christ.
We are convinced that our preaching work is important and that even when we do not reach so many people in Belgium, we do hope we can reach some others far away from us. We do hope that our voice may also sound in the darkness and bring some light to people we do not know, but who we do hope to meet in the Kingdom of God. We look forward to meet many new faces, happy to be under the Guidance of the Lord and not bounded by single people, but constructed on the cornerstone Jesus Christ.
Though we may have a different approach in organisation of services we do believe we all should go for the same truth and for the unification under Christ, by which each group might have a different name, but is willing to be united in spirit, sharing to build up and construct positively working to help each other entering the gate of the coming Kingdom.
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Preceding articles:
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Please do find out more about the Christadelphians and find further related articles:

  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. Learn how to go out into the world and proclaim the Good News of the coming Kingdom
  33. Harvest in Belgium
  34. Building up the spirit of the soul
  35. No reconciliation possible between CBM and Duncan Heaster from Carelinks
  36. Priority to form a loving brotherhood
  37. Change of name
  38. Quibbling siblings united or allied children of an organisation or a church
  39. Small churches of the few Christadelphians

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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.

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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
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    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.
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    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?
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    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.”

A man from the North wanting to have control in Belgium

Figures in history

Photograph of Charles Taze Russell.

Photograph of Charles Taze Russell. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Throughout history lots of religions had troubles with certain figures wanting to have control over everything and wanting to be the main leader.

The Biblestudent movement is no different than any other Christian denomination. In its coarse of history there have been strong leaders creating schisms or denying there where divisions having come out of their group.

One of the pupils of Dr. John Thomas never wanted to have a following of a singular person. Charles Taze Russell managed to create a big amount of followers who were genuinely interested to make the best out of Bible study. Their leader had arranged that they could have additional literature which could be of help to their study, but it was never intended to replace the Bible.

Centralized authority

Russell did not believe in any centralized authority except Jesus and the apostles through the Bible. Because he did believe that Jesus returned in 1874 and that the Gentile Times ended in 1914 he could not be associated with other Bible Students who do not believe that Christ returned in 1874, or that the Gentile Times ended in 1914. The Christadelphians for example are such a group who think Christ still has to return. Whilst his freedom to believe Thomas his unique beliefs were accepted many objected to them being preached as necessary for salvation and this led to a series of debates particularly between Alexander Campbell and Dr Thomas.

John Thomas

John Thomas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dr. Thomas might have had a particular vision on what was predicted in the Bible. His exposition of Bible prophecy led to him making various detailed predictions about then current day events many of which did not come to pass, as was noted in the foreword to subsequent editions of Elpis Israel after his death. those predictions make it sometimes, mainly for Roman Catholics, difficult that he could have followers, because they expect that they would accept everything their teacher would have said or written. But Dr. Thomas Thomas never claimed to be any kind of prophet, or in any way inspired, and as such his writings should not bind any body to believe other things than those which are clear in the Bible. All other findings are ideas, of which some may be accepted and others rejected, without having to be excluded of the community, because in the community there should be freedom of thought. Everybody may say his opinion of how he thinks things could be. But what we can not know for sure we do not have to accept the predictions or guessing of individual members. Nobody can or should force his or her ideas on somebody else. Every person should come into the faith by independent study and should not bound himself or herself to any  particular person or organisation and not be placed under any specific ranking, like in the traditional churches, with their pope, cardinals, bishops and priests.

Time of the end

c131

Dr. Thomas may have written:

There is a part of prophetic time, upon the heels of which, our race is now treading, called “the time of the end”—“a time of trouble,” says the Messenger of God, “such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time.”

and have thought that end-time could have been very close. Thomas thought that they had at length arrived at

“the time of the end,” in its bearing upon the congregation of the Lord Christ.

At the time when he lived he considered

The political signs of the disastrous times—“the time of the end”—coming upon the nations, are crowding the page of history; and the rumbling of that voice, which is to “roar out of Zion,” already trembles upon the ear.

For him it was time to put on the complete armour of God, and gird the loins of your minds with truth, having on the breastplate of righteousness, preparing our feet with the glad tidings of peace, taking up the shield of faith, and the helmet of salvation, and arming ourselves with the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.

If you would win you must fight; and you must either take a decided stand on the one side or the other. You may delude yourselves with peace here, and happiness hereafter; but be assured that these states are incompatible; for, if you would reign hereafter, you must suffer here.

The Christian Church, or “the Lamb’s wife,” has arrived at the period of preparation, and the proclamation of the Great Captain is — Make ready! And how are the Christians to do this? — By a reformation of morals and combining together heart and soul, and purse, for the restoration of the Christian institution to what it was in apostolic times. This is what must and will be done before the Messiah comes; and, if the faint hearted professors of this generation won’t do themselves the honor of effecting it, the next generation will, and our contemporaries will have the mortification of losing that great recompense of the inheritance, to secure which is now within their grasp.

He believed it was time to rejoice and exult, and give glory to him, because the marriage of the Lamb had come.

But the congregation of the Lord — the Lamb’s wife — will only have attained to this glorious character, when every individual member shall have been immersed into Christ; instead of being composed of persons, as it is now, some of whom have put on Christ and others their own experience. Every saint must have his robe washed white in the blood of Christ; no speckled garments will be admitted there.

What we do know from Scripture is that at the end-times certain signs would be given to the world, like more earthquakes and tsunamis, floods and storms. But there is also been told about a starting of the troubles in the land of Euphrates and Tigris, after which children would come to resist their parents and religions would come up against other religions, even having wars in the own families and religious groups. And when you look at it that is just what we are encountering today.

Powerful engines

In Dr. Thomas his time the press was a powerful engine.

It is a mighty messenger, whom all the combined power of the Kings of Europe cannot control. Without his aid, Luther’s revolt could not have been effected, and the world might still have been groaning under the despotism of kings, priests, ignorance and superstition. His voice is loud, as when a lion roars; and when he cries seven thunders utter their voices.

“A little book” is a mighty weapon, and like the tongue, has “set the wheel of nature in a blaze.” We rely, therefore, a great deal on the potency of a little book, in our efforts at reformation and restoration. It has done wonders, and will yet do more. It has embittered the stomach, but sweetened the taste; and, while the ponderous tomes of systems of divinity encumber the dusty shelves of the libraries of the downy doctors of the day, from which they pilfer the chopped logic of their sermons, — the wayfaring man though unlearned, can recline under the shade of a tree, and, drawing from his pocket the little book which contains the will of his heavenly Father, he can imbibe the divine words of the Holy Spirit which are able to make him wise to salvation, and far more learned, too, than the gods of the people, though charged to the full with the crudities of Whitby, Gill, Scott and Henry. Despise not, therefore, the day of little books and small things, but promote, as far as you can, the circulation of the fearless and independent “Advocate” of the ancient gospel and apostolic order of things. Editor.

{Thomas, J. (1834-1836). The apostolic advocate. Title from caption. (1:277-284). Richmond, Va.: s.n.}

Lots of little books, newsletters and exhortations have been written by now. Today certain people become more afraid of the small writings by many persons or want others to follow only their “little writings”. They even want to go so far to take care that what is published can be taken away from public view.

Forcing ideas in other’s heads

Dr.Thomas did not force his ideas onto others and never suggested that he was speaking under inspiration from God or had any personal visions. In this we should find the big difference between what John Thomas did and the false prophet of Deuteronomy 18. We should remember when people read the Bible they are just humans who also can easily miss the mark. He too like any of us could err on doctrine. There is one of the big differences in our believes, we do not belief that any person can be having all the wisdom and be infallible. Some religions claim infallibility for their leaders, but the Christadelphians are not among them.

John Thomas changed his mind several times during the course of his life on many Biblical matters as his understanding became clearer. He was a Bible student of the first order whose main purpose in life was to sift through the myths and dogmas and understand what was the original teaching of Christianity. John Thomas never wanted or desired for people to follow him. His desire was that people would follow God and Jesus Christ as taught in the Holy Scriptures.

Today once more the Biblestudent movement is having a person who is forcing his ideas onto others and who wants that they follow him and his organisation and no other.

No prophets and no solo teachers

Despite being wrong on the date of Christ’s return, John Thomas was amazingly accurate in many of his interpretations of prophecy. He predicted with uncanny accuracy, among other things, the establishment of the state of Israel a hundred years before the fact. Again, the only credit John Thomas can take for this accurate prediction is for the countless hours he put in as a Bible student and not as a prophet.

Other Christadelphians have predicted the date of Christ’s return only to see the time come and go. We always should remember that even Christ Jesus did not know when he would be coming back, so how could we say when he would be coming back? Mark 13:32 should put an end to the practice of guessing or predicting. Speaking of the Second Coming, Jesus states

“But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.”

The bottom line is that neither John Thomas nor any other Christadelphian is a prophet or has claimed to be and should not claim to be so. We should go to the infallible word of God for our prophetic visions and most importantly for our understanding of the Hope of Israel (Acts 28:20).

That Book of books should be our infallible Guide and not a singular man.

Excessive zeal

Some  Christadelphians and other Bible Students might have had an

excessive zeal carried to the point of harshness on the part of a few that has led to the Christadelphians being everywhere spoken against. {Robert Roberts in The Sect Everywhere Spoken Against}

English: Variants of symbol of Cross and Crown...

Variants of bible Students symbol of Cross and Crown enclosed within wreath(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By the years there came to be moments in the Bible Student movement that a particular person got master of the strings and forced his ideas on others. One of such persons imposing his law was Joseph Franklin Rutherford with his “Jehovah’s visible organization” dogma. Rutherford wanted to distinguish himself from other Bible Student groups and by taking the name Jehovah’s witnesses wanted to symbolize a break with the legacy of Russell’s traditions. Others just wanted to have the power themselves and love to be the one in the spotlight.

Today Belgium is been hit by the attempts of a man from the North to get in charge of what is to happen in the Christadelphian community in Belgium. Previously he had already made some attempts to have a good crack to become the leader in Belgium as part of his strategy to be a leader of a worldwide organisation which would “link” all people together to him.

He wanted a cat flap in the Belgian community by having the Belgian responsible, under the wings of the Christadelphian Bible Mission or CBM, denouncing his connection with that group and giving all honour to Mr.D.H. and his organisation C.l..

The difference with the other members of the Biblestudent movement which consider them the only one sincere Biblestudents, is that they as Witnesses of Jehovah have the zeal to reach everybody and as much as persons they can reach. The present group forbids its members to take contact with other members of the Christadelphian community and do not allow them to look for other like-minded people. Their members are also not encouraged to go out preaching and do not seem to bring the gospel to other people. Though their organisation has the word “Care” in their name they do not seem to care about other people. They do not seem to be interested to meet other Christadelphians, though they call themselves Christadelphian. We do find it strange, that all those people baptised in Belgium by Mr. D.H. do not look for other Christadelphians, when they themselves would call themselves Christadelphian. There are enough Christadelphian websites by which people in Belgium could find some Belgian Christadelphians. We wonder why they do not take any contact then with those very few Brothers and Sisters in Christ, who live in isolation in that small country!

Asked to defile

CBM Feb. 18 18.13

Christadelphian Bible Mission U.K. or CBM – 2014 February

Mr.D.H. asks from every person who wants to become a member of or to be associated with his organisation “C.l.” to “defile” (his words) the Christadelphian Bible Mission or CBM members. Mr. D.H. is even proud he can find enough people who were under the wings of the CBM but got attracted by his organisation and were willing to denounce the CBM and to corrupt the name of the other Christadelphians.

Mr.D.H. also writes to the association of Belgian Christadelphians:

You describe yourselves as “CBM brethren”, but the policies of that organization preclude you from fellowshipping with us, … There are at this time 7 brothers and sisters from British ecclesias having a great time in Riga, Latvia fellowshipping with us and witnessing baptisms there. They have had to defy the CBM to do so but it has been to their and everyone’s blessing.

All the previous members of the Biblestudent movement except Mr. Rutherford never did ask that of their members. Therefore we are concerned about seeing once again a schism coming into existence where the leader of the group who excludes the other shall proclaim the others are the bad guys and have many schisms under them, while they go out in the clear. This time it looks more dangerous than with the group of Rutherford which became the Jehovah’s Witnesses. We would not consider them a sect, and would not consider they are following just one leader. They at least do have a committee. Now everything seems to turn around one man having everything in control and the others having no opportunity to say something against that person in charge.

During Russell’s ministry congregations continued to form and each of them remained self-administrative, functioning under the congregationalist style of church governance. Russell’s organization maintained hundreds of “pilgrims,” or travelling preachers. By 1910, about 50,000 people worldwide were associated with the movement. {The New Schaff–Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, 1910, vol 7, pg 374} but his organisation became under the influence of an autocratic and secretive person who was enjoying to have power. Like Rutherford centralized organizational control of the Watch Tower Society the Man from the North would like to have control over the Christadelphians as well.

It is a pity many people do not know that because being disappointed by the changes, tens of thousands of defections occurred during the first half of Rutherford’s tenure, leading to the formation of several Bible Student organizations independent of the Watch Tower Society. Though today the Jehovah’s Witnesses claim to be the original and only true Biblestudents, founded by Russell.

Here we see a repetition of history, Mr.D.H. from the North claiming to be the organisation bringing the Truth and being the real followers of Christ and the real followers of John Thomas. They consider all others as the “bad ones”.

Concerns

Belgian Christadelphians English pages

English web-pages of the Belgian Christadelphians

The CBM was and is concerned about Mr.D.H his many converts.

“The issue with CBM is that it feels these converts are not properly taught, instructed and baptised. … it is not the converts fault at all, hence bringing them into a small fellowship group would be to their benefit.”

Mr. Marcus Ampe from the Belgian Christadelphians tried to bring the Central Fellowship CBM members (Amended Christadelphians) together with other Christadelphians. He and some committed members of the Ecclesia Brussel-Leuven engaged in an effort to bring all different souls under one roof and having them meet in peace at different places in Belgium.

Currently people might find different Christadelphian groups like the Bereans, mostly in North America and the remnants of the Dawn fellowship mainly in the UK and Australia. In Ghent there live some Old Paths who do not want to meet with us, though an other person from the Old Paths is already several years happy meeting with us at different places in Belgium and France. From those Old Paths, in the world you might find also the Companion and Lightstand fellowships resulting from splits within this group, but with some of these later joining with the Dawn group and some remaining separate. All refuse association with any other fellowship, and all share three main characteristics of which the claim that the Central fellowship is either apostate or willing to accept apostasy, is one.

For months discussions and writings went on and lots of time was spend to come to a solution to have baptised Christadelphians in Belgium a place to meet other brothers and sisters, plus having an opening to invite non-baptised people to different places in the country.

Christadelphia Black-out Feb. 15 10.47

Christadelphia Facebook page being blacked-out in February 2014

It might not be. Mr.D.H. keeps refusing and doing everything to break the unity of the Christadelphian community. The last few days he even went so far to go into attack against Mr. Ampe and his publications on the net, hindering all his preaching work. The Man from the North succeeded to silence Mr. Ampe by jamming his personal Google+ pages and publications, as well as having taken away from public viewing his website Christadelphian World and the Facebook page Christadelphia.

When a person goes so far he takes down the websites of others,we do come in a very dangerous situation where the dictator manages to silence anybody who does not agree with him. This did not happen yet in the world of the Biblestudents before. Lots of screaming to each other and having lots of words going to and fro, might have happened more than once in the community where many people were very concerned to preach and to get as many people as they could to the Truth.

Necessity for union

Mr. Marcus Ampe tried to get the people living in Belgium, to meet with others, no matter to which Christadelphian group they might originally belong. for him unity between followers of Christ is most important.

According to him the ecclesia or the parish is part of the Body of Christ. Each community having its own independance, but joining hands in the general basic creeds. all those different communities should feel the bond with each other, though all keep their own choice and responsibility to appoint representatives, for the discharge of all the duties of an ecclesia: for the instruction and proper baptism of new members; for the spiritual as well as physical welfare of all its members; for the repudiation of error and, where ultimately necessary, for withdrawal from disorderly or erring members. These duties are carried out by the ecclesia concerned on behalf of the whole body of believers, and therefore there must be complete agreement among all ecclesiae as to the basis on which fellowship is shared.

It is not good for the Body of Christ when there is division in it. All should have brotherly love and be willing to accept the differences of character of each individual. Each person should feel that he or she is fully respected and taken on in the community of believers and recognised as a follower of Christ, full member of the Body of Christ.

Central fellowship practice

Marcus Ampe does regret that many groups have continued to differentiate and divide because their members either can’t resist (or don’t want to resist) the urge to police anyone and everyone in their “fellowship”.  today Mr.D.H. and his organisation also have shown their true face, certainly after creating a black out for some of the Belgian websites and pages (Google+ and Facebook).

Like you may find on different Central Fellowship websites, the Central Fellowship members of Belgium believe that all ecclesiae in a community should be regarded as part of a single body; the division into individual ecclesiae being only a matter of geographical convenience. For this reason the concept of “ecclesial autonomy”, where individual ecclesiae accept different standards in matters relating to fundamentals of belief and practice, is rejected by the Dawn community. But on non-fundamental matters there must be ecclesial independence. We firmly reject any idea of an overall controlling body.

The Central fellowship has been using the Ecclesial Guide, appreciating ecclesial autonomy and ecclesia-based fellowship, as based upon the Scriptural principles encapsulated in the BASF. It has rejected those who demand the BASF only, and allowed instead for different expressions of the same saving truths, both in its different reunion documents, and in individual ecclesial statements. This has given the breakaway fragments, if they sought unity again, a way back into the larger group. And the reasonable combination of ecclesial autonomy, a common set of beliefs, and a more or less standard fellowship practice has allowed ecclesias and individuals of some diversity to remain together. It is a paradigm that works (with some glitches, of course) for a worldwide community. {Christadelphian Divisions and Fellowship, Glad Tidings, March 2013}

Sad occurrence

Having Mr. D.H. such an aggressive stand, blocking any form of co-operation and not only making that the CBM members can not meet with other brethren, worse him silencing several of the Belgian internet places to meet the general public, or a real intrusion of democratic freedom of speech and of showing brotherly love and willingness to give everybody the same possibilities to reach others to bring them to the Kingdom of God.

Also the Association of Bible Students got a red notice from Google and got the message their reply on Christadelphian World was taken of public viewing because of ‘inappropriate language’. For our readers to decide if it was really a language which should not be open to the public we here present a photograph of the reply to the article: No reconciliation possible between CBM and Duncan Heaster from Carelinks:

Biblestudents comment on Christadelphian World - Blogger Feb. 14 14.04Such an action of silencing all who have some remark to make or have other ideas, is creating a ground for a dictatorial community and would not resist others to accuse such a community for being a cult. Sectarianism is something none of the Bible-students would like to be associated with. Many groups face already difficulty, by being called a cult, that we can need such a group of Mr.D.H. like we need a hole in the head.

It is incredible that such a single man can create such upheaval and cause a black out of websites or voices on the international internet. We do not understand how he managed to this, but it is an inadmissible action. The man from the North his attitude is impermissible and all those involved in the building up the body of Christ here on earth should warn their flock of the dangers of such a person, who does not recoil to use all means to get his goal.

Reason to react

We can not just do if nothing happened.  The man of the North keeping back ways to reach non-believers and believers, making the Belgian brethren to fail to talk to them about salvation, he is essentially condemning them to separation from God and withholding them from getting in contact with lovers of God.  When we see such un-christian action been taken to silence a follower of Christ, certainly when such events are caused by somebody who calls himself a Christian, the community should act. According to us when a Christian sees a fellow Christian sinning and does not say anything, the person who stays silent is not showing them the love of Christ and in effect is actually “hating” the other person. When people have an argument with somebody they should come to terms and solve the matter, first in private, than by bringing it the eyes of some private brothers or/and sisters, and when nothing helps they should let more people from the community know what is going on and where there are problems. Mr. Marcus Ampe followed this path of trial to come to reconciliation between all the parties involved. He and the members of the Belgian ecclesia wanted it to work it out. They did not want to have seeds of anger and hostility sown in anybodies heart toward any person or organisation.  The Belgian Christadelphians have been pushed in the corner and are obliged to defend themselves.

All those who consider themselves to be a follower of Christ should try to unite with the other followers of Christ. All those sincerely studying the bible should show others the way Christ Jesus has paved for us and how he wanted us to unite. Therefore let us show that brotherly love to each other, give each other hands and unite under the body of Christ.

In the peace and love of Christ, peace be with you all.

***

Without freedom of thought there can be no suc...

Without freedom of thought there can be no such think as wisdom & no such thing as puclick liberty without freedom of speech, Benjamin Franklin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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The cause of maddening:

After months of trying to get reconciliation and getting nowhere Mr. Marcus Ampe found it necessary to let his public know that he nor his ecclesia members could do much against the unbearable situation not to meet with others or being able to give the addresses of other communities in Belgium. After having placed the articles Duncan Heaster en Carelinks onverbiddelijke verhinderaars and  No reconciliation possible between CBM and Duncan Heaster from Carelinks, Mr. D.H. accused him of slander. In his defence Mr. Ampe replied to the articles and accusations, but found that very quickly his defence was taken off the net, with the accusation of being of “inappropriate language”.

Other reactions were given afterwards:

  1. Not words of any organisation should bind you, but the Word of God (2/10/2014)
  2. Priority to form a loving brotherhood (February 10, 2014)
  3. Disciple of Christ counting lives and friends dear to them (2/12/2014)
  4. Certain people trying to stem freedom of speech (Friday, February 14, 2014)
  5. Censorship possible by a person and his organisation (February 14, 2014)
  6. Attackers silenced freedom of speech (2014/02/15)
  7. Attackers silenced freedom of speech (17 , Feb, 2014)
  8. Delay in publications because attack from outside (February 17, 2014)

Dutch articles:

  1. Vertraging door ongehoorde moeilijkheden (February 15, 2014)
  2. Vertraging door ongehoorde moeilijkheden (17 , Feb, 2014)

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Please do also find to read:

  1. Christadelphian Divisions and Fellowship
  2. Integrity of the fellowship
  3. Secret or public return of Jesus
  4. Signs of the Last Days
  5. Weapons of our warfare
  6. Creator and Blogger God 9 A Blog of a Book 3 Blog about Prophecy
  7. Belonging to or being judged by
  8. Follower of Jesus part of a cult or a Christian

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  • One Mind, One Accord (propheticsteps.com)
    How often do you find total agreement with other people? I often find myself in agreement with others, but not always for the same reason. There are times I can see someone else’s point of view, but I do not agree with their assessment. Just because people laugh at the same joke does not mean they find the same thing funny.This is one of the many problems plaguing the body of Christ today. I have found myself in different congregations, in different denominations, among friends and strangers, and have discussed some of those differences. If this were a solvable problem, the many denominations of churches would be reduced to one.
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    Today I simply ask that you pray for the churches. Prayerfully ask for Godly knowledge, wisdom, and understanding. Pray for strength to stand strong on truth. Pray for humble submission to God’s word, God’s will and the Holy Spirit. Pray for discernment. Pray for the leaders of the body of Christ, the burden is great for those in positions of authority, as is the judgment they assume in taking positions of leadership.
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    Another gospel?
    The church, in general, today is experiencing perilous times. There are so many denominations, doctrines, teachings, and ideas. What I find to be most dangerous is this: The general acceptance of all things. If someone thinks it, believes it, and says it loud enough multiple times, someone else is willing to accept it and repeat the process.
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    If we find a gospel being preached that is easy to digest and a gospel that tickles the ears, we better be alarmed. If we hear soothing words that eases the burden of sin without true repentance and cheapens the grace which God has given, it must become our duty to defend the truth.

  • “Shut Up!” – One Year Bible – February 18 – Tuesday (jerryrothauser.wordpress.com)
    Cheatin’ goes, always shows!  If someone snookers his neighbor in any way, he had to repay and add 20% to it. To boot, he had to sacrifice a ram.Maybe we take sin too casually.  If we had to buy a smelly ram and then have it slaughtered in front of our eyes and smell the burning flesh and see the blood maybe we wouldn’t be so casual about sin.  Or would we?  Maybe we’d also appreciate the lamb slain for us a bit more, too?  Naaah.
  • SIH’s Think On These Things: Ephesians 2:17-18 (settledinheaven.wordpress.com)
    Christ’s message was meant for both Gentile (afar off) and Jews (nigh).  Keep in mind, although the ministry of Christ centered upon the Jews (Matt 15:24), Christ did minister to Gentiles as well:
  • Dealing With Problems (dailybibleplan.com)
    As problems arise for us, we often do not know exactly how to handle them and we can easily be tempted not deal with them at all.  When we see a non-believer who does not know the Way, we can be tempted to “bury our heads in the sand” and not talk to them about Christ because it might be uncomfortable.  When we see a fellow believer sinning, we can be tempted to “bury our heads in the sand” and not confront them on their sins because we want to maintain the peace.  Just like Festus, we can be tempted to try to send others on their way to allow someone else to deal with the problem, but none of this is biblical.  Being a follower of Christ does not afford us the opportunity to “bury our heads in the sand”.  Jesus was very specific when He told us how to deal with problems, and regardless of the situation we are called to deal with problems head on.
  • “But did you pray for the wolf?” (standupforthetruth.com)
    First of all I want to say up front that I do not believe praying for a wolf is wrong, a sin, nor am I saying that you shouldn’t do it. Furthermore, this post is not intended to discourage you from doing so, but only to raise the question are wesupposed to pray for the wolves?I would also like to preface this thesis by clarifying that when I speak of wolves in this post, I am not referring to the rank and file who have fallen under the spell of their leaders, but the leaders themselves (Think: Helen Ukbato, Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, Gloria Copeland, Rob Bell, Brian McLaren, Doug Pagitt, et al).

    With that said, allow me to present some thoughts on this matter.

  • Bibles removed from Iowa State guest rooms (whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com)
    On January 29 I put up a brief post noting that someone had complained about the presence of Gideon Bibles in the guest rooms at Iowa State University’s (ISU) Memorial Union, lodgings that are part of a public university. I also reproduced the letter that the ISU got from the Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) saying that those Bibles were a no-no—a violation of the First Amendment. The letter worked: no litigation was necessary. The University removed the Bibles.

    There are many reports of this victory on the internet, but I was most interested in the one at the Christian News Network, as the coverage was most extensive and I hoped there would be some funny comments.

  • After Christian Politicians in Northern Ireland Force Cancellation of Satirical Bible Play, the Backlash is Fierce (patheos.com)
    Remember how the Mormon Church responded when The Book of Mormon musical came out? They embraced it (without quite endorsing it), placed ads in the Playbill, and even issued a well-crafted public statement:

    The production may attempt to entertain audiences for an evening, but the Book of Mormon as a volume of scripture will change people’s lives forever by bringing them closer to Christ.
    +

    When “keeping the peace” becomes of higher value than God’s glory, tolerance begins to set in. It is one thing to have a nation where everyone is free to worship as they please. It is another to promote false religion and to censor the worship of Jesus. One protects people’s right to worship the other promotes principles contrary to the Bible and works against the worship of Jesus.

    “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. Matthew 12:30

    In an effort to appease, Solomon opened the door for the eventuality of his wives’ religions to be on an equal footing with the law of God in matters of law and order leading to the acceptance of anti-biblical principles whose practice cannot be blessed by God.

  • Freedom of Speech (keithgarrettpoetry.com)
    Freedom of speech, the words, phrase, and the meaning are not clear,

    It Is our right we are told that speak we may In public our own way.

    There Is no such thing as saying what you’re thinking out loud In the streets,

    They say that It’s your right but you better be careful of what you are saying.

    How much freedom of speech do we really have, I do know not that much,

     

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