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Posts tagged ‘Elder’

Matthew 21:33-41 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of the Vineyard

Matthew 21:33-41 – Parable of the Vineyard

|| Mark 12:1-9; Luke 20:9-16

MT21:33 “Listen to another parable:[1] A person was a landlord. Before traveling away, he planted a vineyard, fenced it around, dug a winepress, erected a tower and then he leased it out to cultivators. MT21:34 Now when the fruit came into season the landlord sent his slaves to the cultivators to gather in his crop. MT21:35 Having received his slaves the cultivators beat them, and one they killed and another they stoned. MT21:36 Then the landlord sent more slaves and they did the same to them. MT21:37 Finally, he sent off his own son, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ MT21:38 However, when the [cultivators] saw the son they told one another, ‘This is the heir. Come and let us kill him and then we will have his inheritance.’ MT21:39 Taking the son they threw him outside the vineyard and killed him. MT21:40 Now, when the lord of the vineyard arrived, what will he do to those cultivators?” MT21:41 The priests and Scribes answered, “Because they were bad people he will bring a bad destruction on them. Then he will lease the vineyard out to other cultivators who will produce the fruitage in the season.”

wine making

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[1] Listen to another parable: Jesus is about to do something similar to the prophet Nathan: tell a story about these men and get them to condemn themselves. The landlord is Yehowah, God of the Jews. The cultivators are those Jewish men who were responsible: the priests, scribes, and elders. The “slaves” likely included John the Baptist and his disciples as well as Jesus’ own apostles. The “son” is Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus predicts an evil destruction upon those men. Jesus indicates his death will occur outside of Jerusalem.

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Preceding

Matthew 21:1-3 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Sent Ahead for a Donkey

Matthew 21:4-5 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Your King Is Coming upon a Donkey

Matthew 21:6-9 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Blessed the One Coming in God’s Name!

Matthew 21:10-11 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Who Is This?

Matthew 21:12-14 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Temple Cleansed

Matthew 21:12-14 – From a den of thieves to a house of prayer

Matthew 21:15-17 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Out of the Mouth of Babes

Matthew 21:18-22 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: A Cursed Fig Tree a Lesson in Faith

Matthew 21:23-27 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Question of Authority

Matthew 21:28-32 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of Two Children

 

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Further related

  1. “at evensong, one hour before the sun go down”: a Sermon on the Parable of the Vineyard
  2. The Parable of the Vineyard
  3. March 15
  4. How to Subvert Divine Justice and Turn Everybody’s Lives Upside Down

Male domination and tyranny giving opportunities to defile the Name of God

All human beings can and shall make faults in their life; Nobody can escape. The only one who did nearly escape was Jeshua, the Nazarene Jew who did everything to please his heavenly Father. But by doing so he more than once probably frustrated his earthly parents; For sure he made them twice in his lifetime very worried and sad. Once when he was 12 years old and did not follow up the wishes to stay close to his family in the big city Jerusalem. there he had not thought of the worries his parents might get when he would not be in the caravan back home. An other time he worried his mother very much was when he was taken prisoner and later brought up to the hill for execution nearby the walls of that same city. An other time he got out of the normal behaviour a human being should stay, was when he saw all those sellers in the temple, the house of God. He really lost his temper and threw the tables over and shouted to those vendors in what Jesus considered a house of prayer and not a sales market. Jesus like any other human being could sin, but did not. What he did was righteous in the eyes of God.

To be all the time righteous for any person is ‘very difficult’. When you look around you, you shall be able to see people you like very much and others you like less, but also some you do not like at all. From those you know you also shall be able to tell good things but probably also bad things. Also about yourself you shall have to admit there are good and bad things.

Secrets of Pedophilia in an American ReligionThere does not exist any organisation which can escape to undergo things in its ranks which would better not have occurred at any time. It is worse or gets really bad when organisations do not want to see what goes wrong in their organisation or worse even try to hide the things which went wrong in their organisation. In the last instance we do have to ask questions and we do have to be more aware of the danger of such activities.

When people in charge of parishes or communities to something wrong to people where they should take care off their wrongdoings are even worse than those who do not know better. We should always take into account the people who are poor in mind or who do have a brain which is not working like it should do. but by those who get a position to take care over a flock or some people who give their trust in his or her arms, than it becomes abominable.

When elders, priests, pastors, ministers commit acts which are an abomination in the eyes of God it becomes worse, because those people are considered ‘workers for God’ and should be defending the Faith. they should be an example for the community and for those who have to be brought to God. They should not be persons who give others the opportunity to blame the Church or to spit on religion or to defile the Name of God.

We can not deny that also by groups who call themselves Bible Students there can be found people unworthy of such name. We also can not deny that in such groups there can be found people who should know better, and who really study the Word of God, but could not resist doing things which are against the Laws of God.

No denomination in Christendom nor in Christianity seems to escape the evil of some men or women in own ranks. When there can be found such evildoers in a group which bears the name of the Most High it becomes even worse. But that should not get such organisations try to hide such things for others, because then they do even more damage to their own organisation and worse to the Name of God.

Rape Infographic

Rape Infographic (Photo credit: Snipergirl)

Former elder Mark Sewell is the last mentioned case of such an example which no Christian organisation would like to find in their midst. According to the accusations he used his “position of power” to “exploit and abuse” women and children over a ten-year period.

Officials at head office of the Jehovah Witnesses appointed a seven-man committee to investigate what had happened.

As a result Tom Brown was stripped of his post as presiding overseer but remained as an elder, while Anthony Sewell was removed as an elder because of events he concealed and tried to conceal.

A four-man committee then investigated the claims of assault and rape against Sewell, resulting in him being ‘disfellowshipped’, which meant being removed from the church and “shunned” by other Witnesses.

What is important that people look for the intentions of some one. Those of a person claiming to belong to Jehovah His organisation when he does fornication or rape does something which not only brings blame on that worldly organisation but also on the organisation of God and on His Name.

In 2012 the Watch Tower Society had already issued a letter to all Bodies of Elders instructing them on how to handle cases of child abuse in the wake of the Candace Conti verdict, but some years on now, we wonder how those elders in the different countries do the right thing and follow the rules of the countries in which they are working and living.

It was already chocking in 2012 that the Governing Body did not use the lessons learned from the Conti case to bring the Society’s child protection policy into conformity with the law, not to mention the basic principles of community responsibility.

Despite the jury’s multi-million dollar award of punitive damages against the Society in the Conti case, little was being done to ensure that similar cases would not arise in the future. And the world could hear of many many different cases of child abuse and of sexual harassment by elders and the female Witnesses.

For us we can not understand why parents in the 21st century still react like the parents in the 1950ies and 60ies did in the Catholic families. It can be that the Witnesses are only in that stadium and are 50 or 60 years behind the time, which would mean that over such time we are going to see empty Kingdom Halls or having only Kingdoms Halls in 2060 with just 5 or 6 attendants.

The organisation and the people leading a congregation should know that not one religion can make a psychological/criminal evaluation in case they themselves did not receive a higher education in that field. They also should know they have to take the responsibility to protect the weaker people in their community and should always investigate every sign of wrong going.

We agree that a person accused of being a paedophile should always be considered innocent until proven. But to say he is innocent unless two people witnessed the abuse (the victim and someone else) is ridiculous, because any sex offender shall probably take care there would be no witnesses or nobody who would come to stand up against him or her.

To have an organisation ruling out paedophilia because there would be no witnesses to confirm it would make that there nearly never would be a case in instances of child molestation to confirm the allegation. Certainly in very confined communities with very strict rules, like the  Jehovah Witnesses or any small  or big fundamentalist religious organisation, child molesters who are smart enough to carry out their despicable crimes without someone else watching, shall always feel the protective hand above them because nobody lower than them would go against them.

Saying that those accused of child abuse have not to be judged by “worldly” standards, but through God’s standards as determined through a mistaken application of the Mosaic law is taking the law in their own hands and not giving the Caesar what belongs to the Caesar (like Jesus said), but denying jurisdiction to do her work .

It was hoped that the Conti case might have resulted in the Society revisiting the “two witness rule”, but until now there is not such a thing.

Demanding a confession is not always to bring such a confession when somebody did really something he or she should know is really not allowable in our worldly nor in our spiritual society.

The rule the JW organisation asks to be followed goes in against any lawful acceptable position. when a child and her parents do not find others who have seen something which went wrong between the child and the sex offender, the parents may feel guilty to bring a complaint because they have no witnesses of the events their child is talking of.

“Do not admit an accusation against an older man, except only on the evidence of two or three witnesses. Reprove before all onlookers persons who practice sin, that the rest also may have fear…. The sins of some men are publicly manifest, leading directly to judgment, but as for other men [their sins] also become manifest later. In the same way also the fine works are publicly manifest and those that are otherwise cannot be kept hid.” (1 Timothy 5:19,24,25 – New World Translation)

However, in evaluating the evidence for internal congregational purposes, they must bear in mind the Bible’s clear direction: ‘No single witness should rise up against a man respecting any error or any sin . . . At the mouth of two witnesses or at the mouth of three witnesses the matter should stand good.’ (Deut. 19:15) {Shepherding textbook, chapter 12, paragraphs 18-21}

When a girl, woman, boy or man is on his own, not finding somebody who has seen that she or he is molested, this would mean she or he does not make any change in the congregation to be heard, and worse could become seen as somebody bringing the unity in the congregation in danger, so becoming herself or himself an object of exclusion.

To say

“the elders are not authorized by the Scriptures to take congregational action unless there is a confession or there are two credible witnesses.” {2012 letter to all Bodies of Elders paragraph 11}

shall not give any opportunity to righteous and honest elders to act lawfully and honestly.

Barbara Anderson, who once worked at the Brooklyn headquarters of Jehovah’s Witnesses from 1982 to 1992 and was a member of Jehovah’s Witnesses from 1954 to 1997, became a long-time campaigner for the Society to drop its negligent approach towards child protection. She did research as well as wrote a number of articles for their Awake! magazine and has done extensive research on issues related to child sexual abuse in the religion leading to interviews on major TV and radio programs as an outspoken critic of Jehovah’s Witnesses sexual abuse policies. The first time she heard about child sexual abuse within the organization was around 1984, which may be considered quite late, when we do know that lots of sexual offences in the other denominational churches had most of their offences in the 1950ies and 1960ies.

It can well be that by the wishes to stay truthful to Bible teaching there could be lesser cases, but as long as not more JW will come out of the dark to bring such accusations and developments after such knowledge into the open, we would not know for sure and could only guess. this guessing by the public can do more damage to the organisation which by many already now is considered to be a sect and not a proper church organisation.

Barbara Anderson writes on her website:

At the time I thought this behavior was an aberration, but later I found out just how wrong I was. The evidence that there were more than just the case related above where children of Jehovah’s Witnesses were molested and kept silent about the abuse, was the authorizing of a series of articles in the January 22, 1985 Awake! the cover title being, “Child Molesting, Every Mother’s Nightmare.” From my past experience with the Writing Department I knew that it was doubtful that the Society would have had a cover series of articles dedicated to the problem unless the child sexual abuse revelations were on the increase within the Witness organization and Witness leaders knew parents needed instruction how to protect their children from being molested and how to recognize signs of molestation. Sadly, though, there was little information in the articles provided to help caregivers and victims deal with the impact of abuse; neither was there a directive to immediately report abuse to the authorities. In fact, in the upstate New York case, it was school officials who notified the authorities about the sexual abuse of one of the children. {Awake! Articles Discuss Molestation; The Life and Discoveries of Barbara Anderson}

World headquarters of the Watch Tower Bible & ...

World headquarters of the Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society of Pennsylvania, Brooklyn, New York, U.S.A. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From 1992 on she was so worried about the Watchtower Society’s problematic procedures in the matter of child sexual abuse that she missed seeing the obvious—Witness leaders were treating accusations of child sexual abuse no differently than from the sin of fornication or drunkenness. In case they are still doing this so, as it looks like, it  is clear that the organisation world wide but even more important, the local organisations, would treat such accusations to serious to treat them on their own. Elders should understand that at first they may have to investigate it first, but as soon as they have any idea or hear of a possible child sexual abuse allegation, they should also inform the authorities, because child sexual abuse is a crime — a form of rape – a point the Society still does not seem to fully comprehend. Police handle crime, elders deal with sin!

Any crime is also a sin, but the handling should always happen on two sides. The first direction has to go to the police forces and juridical departments of the authorities. Next the juridical department of a church can take additional matters.

If elders need procedural directions for disfellowshipping someone for child abuse, it should be made clear that the instructions are only for that. Elders are not magistrates. If two witnesses are required to determine guilt to disfellowship the accused, so be it, but only so long as the authorities are notified of the accusation by those involved. {Finally Disillusioned; The Life and Discoveries of Barbara Anderson}

Putting the victims to the side where they have no voice or right of speaking made many leave the organisation but made also that many lost faith in the God which they had hoped would have protected them in “His Organisation”. What most of them forget to see is that William H. Conley, the first president of the Watch Tower Association formed in 1881 (not Charles Taze Russell) and Joseph Lytel Russell took care that people where willing to come to believe that what they, as human beings had formed, was not theirs but Jehovah His Organisation. They misused the Name of God to create an organisation which would take the right away to any other witness of Jehovah to call himself publicly a witness, because than everybody in the world would consider them to be a Jehovah Witness, being part of the organisation with that name.

Many Bible Students felt dishonoured by that organisation by which many people thought they would be part of, which they were not and are not. Lots of people take the Bible Students to be the same as the Watch Tower Society’s Organisation of Jehovah Witnesses.

Well-known Witness attorney, Hayden C. Covington with Lloyd Barry, Jack Barr, Arthur Worsley and Karl Klein did not take the necessary efforts to bring justice to those who did offences which should have been brought to justice. It were those persons who did not bring out the truth about Rutherford who choose only those around him who were willing to follow him and who would not oppose any idea of him. Rutherford endeavoured to mollify the authorities in every possible way. The organisation of today does not seem to respect the authorities yet.

Like we can see in other communities, like the Amish who are struggling with the changes in technology and society, there may be abusive domination and tyranny of women and children by rigid, domineering patriarchal men in the faith who used Bible teachings as a whip.

Gordon Leighton

Gordon Leighton, 53, was found guilty on two counts of indecency with a child, and six of indecent assault after a six-day trial.

In the JW society many elders are aware of such facts but do not handle it properly. Still today there may be found too many unhappy Witness wives complaining of their husbands’ misuse of their authority as head of the house. For children having to face such patriarchal dictatorship it is very difficult to come up to their father or to their mother to tell them when they are misused. Probably a lot of abuses are not coming into the open in the family itself. Befroe it comes into the open outside the family circle it must be already a very severe case.

We can read on Barbara’s site:

One angry woman told me about a Witness who claimed she was raped by a man, who also was a Witness, when she was cleaning the man’s house. When questioned, the man admitted to the elders they had sex, but he said it was consensual and he expressed repentance. She denied it was consensual and said she was raped. She was disfellowshipped for lying; he was not disfellowshipped because he admitted and regretted his sin. Witness women who knew the accused were outraged because the man did not have a good reputation and they believed he was not trustworthy. (Incidentally, no one reported the rape to the authorities.) {Respect for Women; The Life and Discoveries of Barbara Anderson}

It can not be that only after a victim, when she has become an adult, breaks her silence by making a complaint to the police that the authorities could come to hear about such a case and can come to investigate. It is even worse to know that still today many elders refuse to cooperate with the police investigation.

We can only hope the JW organisation shall be uncovered one day and shall have to confess like the present pope of the Catholic Church did recently and too late.

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Please do find additional reading:

  1. Religions and Mainliners
  2. People Seeking for God 2 Human interpretations
  3. A visible organisation on earth
  4. A Society pleading poverty
  5. Belonging to or being judged by
  6. Sharing thoughts and philosophical writings
  7. Parish, local church community – Parochie, plaatselijke kerkgemeenschap
  8. Do we have to be an anarchist to react
  9. Good or bad preacher
  10. Catholicism, Anabaptism and Crisis of Christianity
  11. Many churches
  12. What’s church for, anyway?
  13. Looking to the East and the West for Truth
  14. Surprising figures about Jehovah Witnesses
  15. Around C.T.Russell
  16. Biblestudents & T.C.Russell
  17. Russell and his beliefs
  18. Russell himself never claimed to be a prophet.
  19. Bijbelonderzoekers en RusselismBibleresearchers and Russelism
  20. Manifests for believers #1 Sex abuse setting fire to the powder
  21. Manifests for believers #2 Changing celibacy requirement
  22. Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger steps down as Pope Benedict XVI
  23. Being Religious and Spiritual 8 Spiritual, Mystic and not or well religious
  24. Responsibility for children who were molested by clergy
  25. Catholic church asking for forgiveness and promising to take action against child-abusers
  26. An Ex-Muslim’s Open Letter
  27. Why Think There Is a God? (3): Why Is It Wrong?

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The Secet Lives of Women

About sex abuse by Jehovah Witnesses:

  1. The Watchtower Punished: Society loses legal battle over child abuse case
  2. “We will decide who is a predator!” – New Watchtower Instructions to Elders on Child Abuse
  3. Barbara Anderson’s Anecdotes
  4. Why Watchtower shut down JWsurvey.org for over 24 hours
  5. The Girl Who Took On The Watchtower – Candace Conti Speaks Out
  6. Watchtower files appeal after JNOV motion is denied
  7. Bo Juel Jensen: Could he be Watchtower’s worst nightmare?
  8. Ex-Elder to appear in court after admitting to pedophilia on Facebook
  9. Elders frustrate UK authorities in child abuse cover-up
  10. In their own words: Candace Conti and Rick Simons speak out in their 2013 interview videos
  11. License to harm: Predator Gonzalo Campos was allowed by elders to prey on children
  12. Disfellowshipped but Not reported: UK pedophile subjected boys to “truly wicked” acts
  13. Under Siege: Watchtower hit with fresh child abuse lawsuit
  14. Zalkin files third JW lawsuit as New Mexico child abuse victim steps forward
  15. Watchtower files reply brief as Conti appeal continues
  16. Kathleen Conti supports new bill for victims of child abuse
  17. The Lawsuit Landslide: Irwin Zalkin representing Eleven child abuse victims against Watchtower
  18. Candace Conti speaks out at RNA 2013 conference
  19. Governor Brown’s SB 131 veto leaves Watchtower child abuse victims frustrated
  20. Oklahoma police investigating whether elders failed to report serial pedophile
  21. Jonathan Rose – the pedophile elder who won the support of a congregation
  22. Governing Body stands accused by District Attorney in Oklahoma child abuse case
  23. Kathleen Conti breaks down during emotional SNAP presentation
  24. Off the hook: Charges against Lawrence dropped as lawsuit is thrown out by judge
  25. A Life Lost and a Life Found
  26. Prevention order for jailed Jehovah’s Witness who fled to the Caribbean to molest kids
  27. Piling on the torment – New Moston elders allow pedophile Rose to quiz victims
  28. Elders labelled “spiritually corrupt and morally bankrupt” in Mark Sewell trial
  29. Jehovah’s witnesses pedophile policy
  30. This is the way Jehovah’s Witnesses treat victims of child sexual abuse
  31. Jehovah’s Witnesses Child Molestation Victims seek justice
  32. Pedophilia amongst the Jehovah’s Witnesses
  33. Abused lambs speak out (Silent Lambs)
  34. Battered lambs
  35. Video’s: Jehovah’s Witnesses ordered to pay $21 million in child sex abuse case
  36. Victim advocacy group for survivors of the Church of Jehovah’s Witnesses within Australia
  37. Submission to Child Abuse Inquiry by Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia (April 9, 2013) – pdf

    Submission to Child Abuse Inquiry by Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia Annexure 1 – (Policy Letter to all Jehovah’s Witness elders) – pdf

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Of interest – Related:

  1. Cult or True Religion
  2. Who are Child Sexual Abuse Predators?
  3. Is Pedophilia a Sexual Orientation?
  4. Dr. Benjamin Carson: Same-Sex Marriage and the correlation between Homosexuality, Pedophilia, and Bestiality
  5. Domestic and Sexual Violence in the Church: A Sisterhood Reality Show Review
  6. Five Frequently Asked Questions About Religious Spiritual Abuse and Child Sexual Abuse
  7. Why do People Sexually Abuse Children? By Minister Marlene
  8. What is Child Sexual Abuse Grooming?
  9. Child Sexual Abuse: Submerge to Emerge
  10. Child Sexual Abuse Grooming: Confusion and Manipulation
  11. Sharp rise in paedophile sexual abuse calls
  12. Probe into twenty schools over Sexual abuse
  13. Women and Child Sexual Abuse
  14. Homeless Teens: How to Protect your Child from Sexual abuse
  15. You Are A Survivor Of Child Sexual Abuse
  16. Silence is Violence: End Child Sexual Abuse
  17. Ten Ways to Safeguard your Child from Sexual Abuse
  18. Ten Ways to Safeguard your Child from Sexual Abuse #10
  19. Why Child Sexual Abuse Grooming Must Become A Felony: The Story of Jason Kidd and His Daughter
  20. How Can You Define Premeditated Child Sexual Abuse?
  21. Overcoming Incest and The Effects of Child Sexual Abuse Grooming
  22. Will the Church Help Child Sexual Abuse Survivors with Mental Illness?
  23. How Should a Pastor Respond to Allegations of Child Sexual Abuse?
  24. Sex Education: Is it grooming children for child sexual abuse?
  25. [Media Release] Heal Me With Words™ Photo Exhibit during National Child Sexual Abuse Awareness Month 2013 +
  26. Heal Me With Words ™ A National Campaign where Healed People, Heal People for Child Abuse Awareness Month
  27. Marko Hamlin: One Man’s Story Of Overcoming Child Sexual Abuse and Depression
  28. Is Child Sexual Abuse apart of a Government-Funded, Satanist-Organized Plan?
  29. When Sisters Die: A Look At Child Sexual Abuse And Sisterhood
  30. Five Myths About Lil’ Wayne and his Child Sexual Abuse
  31. Sugar Ray Leonard at Penn State Child Sexual Abuse Conference
  32. Why Ressurrection Graves Introduces Child Sexual Abuse Grooming As A Crime
  33. [Exclusive Interview]: Domonique Scott of the Sisterhood Reality Show on Overcoming Child Sexual Abuse, Foster Care and Prostitution
  34. Thandie Newton Speaks Out About Sexual Abuse
  35. Pedophiles are Watching Coy Mathis, and Lil Poopy: What these Children have to do with Legalizing Sexual Abuse
  36. Quote of the Day: National Child Sexual Abuse Awareness Month
  37. Dr. John E. B. Myers at Penn State Child Sexual Abuse Conference on Family Court
  38. The Jennie Withers Story: How An All-Star Became A Survivor Of Spiritual And Child Sexual Abuse
  39. Jerry Sandusky: Guilty Of 45 Counts Of Sexual Abuse and What We Can Do To Prevent This From Happening In Our Own Lives
  40. Survivor on Boy Scouts of America release of Internal Child Sexual Abuse ‘Perversion Files’
  41. US border officials abuse unaccompanied migrant children: Rights groups
  42. US Military is riddled with Sexual abuse
  43. Female German Soldiers sexually abused
  44. Paedophile gay couple sexually abused a Russian boy for years
  45. Woman sues Jehovah’s Witnesses for alleged abuse
  46. Child Sexual Abuse within the Dutch Catholic Church
  47. Child Sexual Abuse : Spread the Word!!!
  48. Sex, Celibacy, and Priesthood: A Bishop’s Provocative Inquisition
  49. Catholic Clergy Sexual Abuse? They are Unsaved! By Minister Marlene
  50. Acquitted Priest resumes Ministry after sexual abuse charges
  51. Diary of a Seducing Spirit: Part 2 Creepy Church Abuse 1
  52. Diary of a Seducing Spirit: Part 2 Creepy Church Abuse 2
  53. New lawsuit accuses Philadelphia church of sexual abuse
  54. 1 in 3 sexually abused in Westminster
  55. Over 800 complaints to Austrian Catholic Church sexual abuse commission and Abuse confession
  56. Belgium launches legal action against the Vatican for sexual abuse by paedophile priests
  57. Clergy sexual abuse victims ask Redemptorists to drop defense of defrocked priest AND
  58. No change in abuse policy: US Bishops’ head and Retiring Bishop proud of his strong stance on sexual abuse
  59. Papal Commission demands accountability for abuse in Catholic Church
  60. Vatican named in lawsuit alleging sexual abuse
  61. Vatican to set up clergy sexual abuse help centre
  62. Victims of sexual abuse by priests barred from meeting pope
  63. I’m anti-Catholic says Byrne after sexual abuse by priest
  64. Top Catholic pins sexual abuse on married men
  65. Senator names and shames priest accused of sexual abuse
  66. German priest admits 280 counts of sexual abuse
  67. Dutch Bishops Apologize for Sexual Abuse
  68. Vatican protesters evicted by police and Catholic Diocese spends $1M on priest sexual abuse cases
  69. Priest faces court over child sexual abuse allegations
  70. Vatican sex crimes prosecutor warns bishops and Sexual abuse silence “deadly” for Church: Vatican official
  71. “Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence In The House of God” Documentary Blames Vatican For Poor Handling Of Catholic Sexual Abuse Case
  72. Bura na Mano Holi Hai?
  73. Say No to Eve-teasing!
  74. Will the Church Help Child Sexual Abuse Survivors with Mental Illness?
  75. Zhang Muyi a 24-year-old pop star in China is Child Sexual Abuse Grooming a Child from Canada with millions of approving followers
  76. R&B Divas LA Reunion’s Reveal on Domestic and Sexual Violence
  77. The Bible and Child Sexual Abuse
  78. The Bible and Child Sexual Abuse II
  79. UN denounces Vatican over child abuse and demands immediate actionphedopile-1-300x199
  80. United Nations wants the Vatican to hand over details of child sexual abuse cases
  81. No privileges for bishops on abuse: Pope
  82. The Anti-Pope to meet with sex abuse victims at the Vatican
  83. Francis: I ask forgiveness for damage caused by abusers
  84. The abuse survivor who reminds me that we are suppopsed to be a light to the world
  85. More than 150 allegations of sexual abuse have been made against BBC employees
  86. Sexual Abuse Scandal at Horace Mann Schoolsauditerrorists
  87. Saudis sexually exploit teenage Syrian girls: Report

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  • Little Tidbit #3: My Excuses (rebeccafellrath.com)
    Our excuses are endless.“I got drunk, because there was alcohol at the restaurant.” “I lusted because that woman’s shirt was too revealing.” “I gossiped because I was on Facebook.” “I said those things, because of the bad music they play at work.”
  • Watching Porn At Church (leadingfamilydevotions.com)
    our bodies are now the temple of God. Inside of them resides the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit desires for them to be set apart from defilement. Can you imagine bringing your iPad into the Jerusalem temple (assuming they had wifi) and pulling up a pornographic video to watch during the worship service? Of course you can not. That would be wrong wouldn’t it. But it is the same way with our bodies now. Our bodies are the temple of God’s Spirit. If we bring such garbage into the temple of our body, we are polluting and defiling God’s sanctuary. What a horrible effect this sin has caused in our society. Flee such perversion!
  • Season of Rape: Why we defile small girls – Pastor, others (vanguardngr.com)
    Child defilement is becoming a source of concern in Benin-City, Edo State capital. It is even more worrisome when the act is carried out by supposedly men of God.In the last few weeks, no fewer than five children have, allegedly, been defiled in Benin-City by men old enough to be their fathers. On Thursday,  Edo State Police Command paraded 32 suspected criminals, amongst them, three accused of defiling children. The suspects include  a pastor with the Deeper Life Bible Church, Abudu, Edo State, Eze Fidelis, who was said to have had carnal knowledge of two girls: Joy, 9, and Anthonia,11.
  • Teacher arrested in Ibadan for defiling pupils (whatsupibadan.com)
    A teacher at the Calvary Heritage Kiddies Castle, Oluyole Estate, Ibadan, Olayinka Oluwadare Folarin has been arrested by the Oyo State Police Command for defiling three pupils under his care. Folarin is a teacher at the Heritage Home, a non-governmental organization where orphans and vulnerable children are catered for. His victims, who have been subjected to sexual trauma on a weekly basis since 2013 are said to be between 10 and 11 years old and they are primary five pupils. Two of the victims are orphans in the home where they have been living since they were two years old. Folarin allegedly began the escapade last year on a weekly basis inside the school toilet with a threat to kill the pupils should they tell anyone. For easy access, the father of four was alleged to have been applying lubricant gel on the girls. He was said to have been sacked from his previous school on account of the same behaviour. The secret act of the teacher came to the open when a group of male pupils found one of the teenage girls crying after being sexually abused by the teacher.
  • Islam’s Halal Sexual Practices (banislamofficial.com)
    it is utmost important to study what sexual practices were carried out by him in his life so that all Muslims can practice those sunnas and follow his footsteps.
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    A Muslim man can have sexual pleasure with a little girl as young as a baby. But he should not penetrate her vaginally, however he can sodomize her.
  • Islamic Dogs of War – The Use Of Gang-Rape to Subjugate Infidels and Those that Resist (trevorloudon.com)
    As a young child, standing by my father, watching the nightly news, I innocently asked what the word ‘rape’ meant. I never received an answer and rightly so. It was not something that you discussed – it was too evil, too horrific. Today, rape is a commonplace epidemic growing across Europe and the world — the perpetrators are primarily radical Islamists. Committed by power freaks and evil incarnate who are not spoken of because it is politically incorrect to do so. So, we tell our women to be quiet… to obey… to cover themselves and hide, rather than fight the depraved animals who degrade, torture, abuse and murder them in the name of Allah.
  • Abu Ghraib prison eulogy – Satire (younglbadult.wordpress.com)
    Ah Abu Graib, the suspended garden of democrazy ! A great work of art, where photographing beautiful atrocities were so much fun.Remember the smile of Mrs England pointing her finger to a male sexual organ ? ( couldn’t remember what species ).
  • The Wedding Night in Islam With Hadith Explanation (ohack.in)
    Our Beloved Prophet muhammad(pbuh) has clearly explain the sahaba about how to make an wedding night in islam,As Follower of islam we need to do same as what prophet muhammad(pbuh) has did, Many of them think’s that it is usual way as what other’s did(By watching Tv,hearing From Friend’s,Learning through Book’s).
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    Ramadan, Hadith Regarding Fasting
    In ramadan Who ever fast should abstain from sexual activity from dawn to duck and also immoral behaviour like Anger,Abuse.

  • Muslims Allowed to Rape Captive Women (paulmarcelrene.wordpress.com)
    Also (prohibited are) women already married, except those whom your right hands possess: Thus hath God ordained (Prohibitions) against you: Except for these, all others are lawful, provided ye seek (them in marriage) with gifts from your property, – desiring chastity, not lust, seeing that ye derive benefit from them, give them their dowers (at least) as prescribed; but if, after a dower is prescribed, agree Mutually (to vary it), there is no blame on you, and God is All-knowing, All-wise. S. 4:24 Y. Ali The above passage emphatically allows for the raping of women that are taken captive, even if these captives happened to be married!
  • The Paths of Deceptions-The Infiltrated Paths! (ministry786.wordpress.com)
    Over 1400 years ago when the Quran was revealed; it was mentioned in Chapter 4 verse 119 that Satan will order people to change their looks that Allah (God Almighty) has created. Today you can notice that on a daily basis either on the roads or in TV! May Allah SWT guide those who are following the footsteps of Satan & may He guide us & increase our faith
    Quran Chapter 4, verses 117 They call upon instead of Him none but female [deities], and they [actually] call upon none but a rebellious Satan.
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    The adultery of the eye is the lustful look and the adultery of the ears is listening to voluptuous (song or talk) and the adultery of the tongue is licentious speech and the adultery of the hand is the lustful grip (embrace) and the adultery of the feet is to walk (to the place) where he intends to commit adultery and the heart yearns and desires which he may or may not put into effect.

Good or bad preacher

Ups and downs

Everybody in the world has his or her ups and downs, good and bad days. A pastor, minister or a person of God is not exempt from the problems of this earth, the illnesses nor bad feelings.

As human being we like to compare ourselves to others and also often want to know what others think of us. Many of us want a big following and lots of friends. But would that big amount of friends be a good sign or mean that we are on the right track?

Those who are willing to bring forwards the Word of God also would like to have enough people who listen at them. Who would not like a lot of people listening to what you have to tell? A preacher is no different and is nothing without people listening. And we do agree we are just as human like any body else and would love to have some feedback and see that people enjoy what we have to offer to them.

Personal gain

Those teaching or in the “preaching sector” being in it for the money, have chosen the wrong profession. Though we do agree we can see several mega churches which seem to flourish. Religiously sensitive people who prefer not to turn from their sin are willing to pay to hear preachers teach that all God requires of you is to be religiously sensitive, not to turn from your sin. In certain countries teachers claim that people can buy themselves free of the punishment of sin. By giving money to the church, those teachers claim, the believers would be set free and could have a much better life. Often the preachers want the people to believe that how more they give to the church how better their life will be.

This clearly should be a sign for the believer to know he is not in a House of God, but in the house of the wicked. We should look at those preachers as the insubordinate, unruly and vain talkers and deceivers of souls, like the apostles encountered already in their time. Also by the Jews, the men of the circumcision, such preachers could be found. For gifts or for money their mouths were expedient to stop. They were teaching things which they ought not for the sake of filthy lucre. It has been of all times that there where preachers who did  like to go for their own profit and did not mind to subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for dishonest gain. Such persons we should recognise as false teachers and we should rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith; not giving heed to Jewish or Christian fables and commandments of men, that turn from the truth.

“10 For there are many rebellious people, mere talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision group. 11 They must be silenced, because they are ruining whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach—and that for the sake of dishonest gain. 12 Even one of their own prophets has said, “Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons.” 13 This testimony is true. Therefore, rebuke them sharply, so that they will be sound in the faith 14 and will pay no attention to Jewish myths or to the commands of those who reject the truth.” (Titus 1:10-14 NIV)

False apostles and boasters

The apostle Paul warned already for such  false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. (2 Corinthians 11:13) He also gave the advice to look out if those preaching were people of sound mind, blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly, having charity out of a pure heart, with a good conscience and with faith unfeigned.

“5 The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. 6 Some have wandered away from these and turned to meaningless talk.” (1 Timothy 1:5-6 NIV)

God does not like empty boasters of knowledge, rights, and particular privileges; all noise, empty parade, and no work. For sure those who are willing or saying they want to or work for God, should be of the right attitude. Specious pretensions should not find any place in the heart of a preacher or of somebody willing to work in the church community. It is not because they can be handy man putting words together, playing by good words and fair speeches that they will necessary bring the Word of God. We should be on the lookout that it are not a multiply of words which deceive the hearts of the simple.

Being there for each other

English: Jewish Children with their Teacher in...

Jewish Children with
their Teacher in Samarkand. Early color photograph from Russia, created
by Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii as part of his work to document
the Russian Empire from 1909 to 1915. (Photo credit:
Wikipedia)

The one who likes to preach and have people in front of him he has to take care of,  knows that when he is a pastor of a flock he is like a teacher having to really love his students, willing to ensure that each one knows how uniquely talented he or she is and how we all have our reason to be here on this planet and to be a child of God. As a child of God every person has his  or her own speciality and those in charge of the ecclesia or community should try to see and nurture the potential in each member of the community.

As a preacher it is the task as like a teacher to care deeply about the meanings and purposes of the flock or members of the community their lives. We should be there for each one individually as a beacon in the dark see.  At all time we should be ready to be there for them who need us. We always should be willing to help them see the connections between their powerful talents and their callings and their futures.

Popularity trap

Today we can fall in the trap of the taste of popularity. Several churches around us do everything to be the most popular in their region. As believer in the Word of God, we should wonder if the aim by such churches is to grow to further the Word of God or to be a church which can bring enough money in the till for the pastor to survive on it or even to bring more wealth to that church than necessarily so.

In the postmodern age the church no longer enjoys a prevalent role in society and may look as something “passé”. We would tell lies if we would say we would not be interested in the growth of our church. We as preachers and leaders want our churches to grow and flourish through programs, curriculum, and outreach efforts. Many of us do also their best to reach as many people as possible. Lots of us are very limited in the means to attract people. Many preachers do not have an own church to preach in. Are those than the bad preachers? No. Are those the less fortunate preachers? Not necessarily so.

Church attendance in the industrialised countries is on the decline. Most of the people in the wealthy world are not interested in God. but there is one of the functions laid in front of the preacher or teacher. We do have to get people back to God. We should show those around us how important it is to have God in our life.

Ambiguity

A Boris on Rob Fairbanks his The Drum discussing a book by the editor of the Missional Church, Darrel L Guder, looks at life full of ambiguities we can have to face, because it is shaped by its context as the gospel reshapes the context.

In Ambiguity In the Church Fairbanks writes:

While ambiguity can cause stress, I’d like to argue that it is God’s tool to keep us on our toes. Instead of approaching the question of “are we reaching our culture?” as a reactionary instinct to a church crisis, I’d like to offer that we approach the issue as an opportunity to seek God. You see, the cause of ambiguity, and therefore many church problems, is not the lack of love for God or decline in spirituality (although this may sometimes be the case). The cause, as Guder puts it, is the dynamic “interaction between the gospel and all human cultures.” These cultures are always changing and need constant re-engagement by the church. In other words, ambiguity should be to the church as potholes are to the streets department (to contextualize it to the great City of Spokane). This is our business. As we move through ambiguity, we must seek God and the power of His Spirit to contextualize the message of the gospel and proclaim Jesus.

According to Darrell L. Guder in his book,Missional Church, the real issues in the current crises of the Christian church are spiritual and theological. Many have forgotten that the core of the church needs to flow from God and not as such from one or the other denominational organisation, be it the Papal instructors from Rome or the Tract and Bible Society from Pennsylvania.

Servant of the Master Teacher

We all should remember the task the Master Teacher Jeshua (Jesus Christ) has given those who are willing to follow him. Those who claim to be Christian should first of all be followers of Christ Jesus and try to do that what Jesus asked them to do. Secondly they also should take an example of their Master and try to step in his footsteps willing to become like him.

When you look for a good church, a good minister or good pastor you should look if in that place where you want to find God you can find the message of Christ and you find people trying to get the character of Jesus. The character of us individually and the character of us, collectively as a family, should clearly show positive results of the teachings of Christ and should show that it is a family of God. It was individual character and values that caused the first century church to grow rapidly during the Roman Empire’s pagan culture of many gods and emperor worship.

Lesslie Newbigin writes in Missionary Theologian:

Just because of the total dominance of European culture in the ecumenical movement there has seldom been any awareness among Western theologians of the extent to which their own theologies have been the result of a failure to challenge the assumptions of their own culture, and because theologians of the younger churches have been compelled to adopt this culture as the precondition of participation in the ecumenical movement they have not been in a position to present the really sharp challenge which should be addressed to the theologies of the Western churches.

In the religious world we have seen that the big accent went to what theologians had to say. Many forgot the Word that they had received and which was handed down from one generation to the other. Lots of priests, ministers, pastors or just the majority of clergymen where taken by the books of worldly people instead putting all their attention to the Holy Scriptures, the Book of books god has given humanity to find everything out.

Gospel Communication

It is truly the communication of the gospel which should conquer the hearts. And we should know that the right or the good preacher can be noticed in the willingness of him to submit himself to that Word of God and to let that Word of God speak for itself. The main focus in a service should be on that Word of God and not on the words of speaker such and so.

Preachers are not called to preach what’s popular according to the polls. They should concentrate on the Plan of God and may bring that in view by showing people the relation of what is going on and what God has in mind for our future. What happens today can be compared to previous happenings recalled in the Holy Scriptures. But the one speaking in front of the community is not called to preach merely moral exhortations or history lessons or social commentaries. We are called to preach the Word of God to the church of God and to everyone in His creation. This is how God brings life. Each person . . . is flawed and has faults and has sinned against God. And the terrible thing about our fallen natures is that we are greedy for ways to justify our sins against God. Every single one of us wants to know how we can defend ourselves from God’s charges. Therefore, we are in desperate need to hear God’s Word brought honestly to us, so that we don’t just hear what we want to hear but rather what God has actually said.

Serious word or entertainment

That what God has actually said must be brought forward. In the ecclesia everybody should come aware of what is written in the most Holy Book of Books. In case not much is read in the Bible at a service or in church, the visitor should wonder if in that church enough place is given to the Word of God. A tendency in churches today is that because people want to be entertained the church leadership is willing to oblige. If the people want more music and drama, many churches are willing give it and even to cut back on the time given to reading fragments of the Bible and on the time spent for the sermon or exhortation. Today music and drama will win hands down over preaching in many of our churches.

Holding on

When we look for a church we should look for the love of that word of life (Philippians 2:16). The great task of the preacher is to “hold out the word of life” to people who need it. The preacher willing to put himself aside for enabling that Word of God to resound in the church is the good preacher. Perhaps he may not be the best talker, the best preacher and not be the best entertainer, what is important is that he is a man of God and behaves like it.

Jehovah witnesses convention hall or Kingdom-hall in Varkaudessa

As a man of God he shall show love for God His Creation and shall respect all creations, no matter which believe they may have. We should listen very carefully how the preacher talks about others or how that church looks at other churches or treats other denominations. Do they bring hate talk or do they enjoy making the others look like devils? On the internet we can find hundreds of websites who spit on non-triniarian denominations like the Jehovah Witnesses (JW), the Bible Students (BS) and Christadelphians (Cd). Often many lies are told about those denominations and people are made afraid to encounter people from those denominations or to let others know they had already met such people.

Peterborough Cd Hall

Peterborough Christadelphian Hall

We would advice any person who has heard weird ideas about the JW, BS, or Cd, to go and look for themselves at their websites and to visit their kingdom halls, their a places of worship, prayer meeting-rooms or ecclesia buildings. It is not by a church-building with a classical tower that you shall be able to find the right preacher or right church. Church can be made in any sort of place. Any public room can be a place where people come to gather in the name of Christ, and there God will be with them. In church you should find people who love Jehovah, the Only One God, and who keep to His commandments and as such do not pray in front of portraits or statues, bow down for pictures and pray not to death people are saints, but direct their words to the Most High, Elohim Hashem Jehovah.

Watchdogs

We must be on our guard that we are not taken in by lies just because we hear them over and over again. We must also make sure that we ourselves are not guilty of trying to convince others of something that is not true by the use of repetition. We must be careful not having the Blind leading the blind. In the religious world there are many rebuking what is false but who not focus their teaching toward sound doctrine. Stemming from a pedestal of moralistic pride, Watchdog Preachers harp on everything that is wrong with the world. By those so called “Watchdog preachers” you shall  be able to find many who from their websites and from the pulpit spit on other denominations and try to picture those other denominations as awful as possible. For many it looks like a sport to find denominations which they can pull down. They would love to shoot down the ones in charge of that ghastly denomination. The preachers who love to show their dread and whose words are full of horror, should show you those are not people with love for the others in their heart.

When you encounter a website or when you do come in a church where you only hear remarks about others, you should question this. Those only telling their sheep where the poisoned food is, we often do not find them looking in their own bosom. Such Watchdog preachers rarely expound on the pure spiritual food of God’s word. Mostly they are more concerned to blacken others good name, to bring a misinterpretation of other denominations, to enjoy the slander and to run down the reputation of others. In the Body of Christ such malignant speaker when targeting other genuine Christians whose theology or philosophy of ministry does not exactly match up to theirs. Such a dogmatic approach makes the congregation sceptical of (at best) or judgemental toward (worst) anyone outside their camp. This also would make it more difficult for anybody with their previous background of an other denomination to have no conflicts after some time in that new camp of the Watchdog preacher.

All right, All good teachers

On the other hand having preachers who find everything is all right and everything can be done, it is also not good. Not everything is good ion the world. Not everything can be right. We live in a world of right and wrong, where not everything should be fully black and white. There may be shades of grey. While the Watchdog preacher may spit on those from outside he perhaps forgets to look what happens really in his own circles and like the “It’s All Good” Preachers he can look over the faults or wrong things which can happen in their own community.

Anybody in a Christian community always should listen carefully to and look at what others do and say in the community. When something happens which would not be according the teachings of Christ he or she should let the others know. The elder or preacher should exhort the people of the community and should help them to stay on the right track. But he also when he would be saying which could be wrong should be made aware of it. Perhaps it can be a misinterpretation or misunderstanding, but it is important that everything what is shared in the church community is according to the Biblical teachings.

Searching God’s Word

the word of God

The word of God (Photo credit: jangkwee)

Every teacher has to address false winds of doctrine. He himself should not only look to others that that preach according to the Holy Scriptures, but he also should always make enough effort to check that everything he says in the community is according to the Bible. He also best uses the Bible to let it speak in the meeting. The better teacher is that one who is willing to show others where in the Holy Scriptures is written that what he says it claims to say. A good teacher should not be afraid of the best handbook which God provided for him. We should be proud of it and use it as much as we can.

The good teacher or preacher is the one who understand that God is the Best Teacher and that His Word is the best way to bring the thought over to people.

Criticism and evaluation

Those who think the elder, pastor or minister may not criticise too much what is happening in the world should wonder if it is not our responsibility to look at the world and to take position in it. A “It’s All Good” Preacher may fail to critique current issues that need to be addressed and their congregation may never learn how to compare and contrast a secular worldview with a biblical one. Over time their congregation views current popular culture values as their source of authority in addition to (or instead of) the Bible. This results in over synthesizing and over-assimilating the unbiblical values of the culture.

In the past times admonition, warnings, and judgements were proclaimed, and so was good news — of victories, deliverance, and blessings — as well as praises to Jehovah God. (1Chronicles 16:23; Isaiah 41:27; 52:7) Many prophets like Jesus acted like an official herald, alerting their listeners to their Sovereign God’s activity, to a time of opportunity and decision. It was not only the ‘Good Newsshow’ which the prophets brought.

Comparison and attitude

When you are looking for a church you have to see and hear what is done and said in that church and should compare it to the Biblical texts and checking if what is preached is also be done or lived by.

Studying the Bible together in each others house or in a small space

As a preacher you should aim to live according to the commandments of God and to bring the Word of God in all its forms. You should try to do your uttermost best but should know that being a good preacher in the eyes of god does not necessarily mean that you will be a good preacher in the eyes of men.

You will notice when you look around that some people will believe the things said while other listeners would not believe. (Acts of the apostles 28:24) As a preacher it shall require patience and trust in God, who is the One who calls. Those coming in a Christian meeting should see if the Word of God gets the first place. Real Christian preaching should be based on God’s Word, making people to think about the essence of that Word and giving the community an opportunity to study that Word and to bring it in practice. Studying the Bible requires a response of some kind. It is vigorous, dynamic, and above all, it presents an issue on which people must take sides.

Man of God

Having a person of God, willing to serve the Only One God, Creator of heaven and earth, shall make that others look in vain to him or out of jealousy and out of anger others, also other preachers, will oppose him. Like  Jews stirred up the devout and honourable women and the chief men of the city, and raised persecution against Paul and Barnabas, (Acts of the apostles 13:50) teachers of ‘high position’ or noted people in the civil community, will oppose those men of God. Also good preachers will find that others will hate them and  be filled with envy, speaking  against those things which were spoken honestly from the heart in love with God. The other denominations contradicting and blaspheming the ones who dare to keep to the teachings of the Bible and withholding any form of tradition. The  unbelieving so called Christians shall like the unbelieving Jews stir up the Gentiles and plant evil in their minds against the brethren. (Acts 14:2) Therefore a teacher or preacher following the Word of God should not be afraid or wondering if he is doing right keeping on the track of God, when an assault is made both by the gentiles and also the preachers of other denominations, with their rulers. The preacher willing to be a man of God should know that when he places God His Word in the first place, he an the brethren he can show God’s Purpose, becoming followers of the churches of God in the world which are in Christ Jesus, remembering the suffering of the first Christians, for you also have suffered like things from your own countrymen, even as they have from the Jews. (1 Thessalonians 2:14)

Going out in the world

Going from house to house witnessing for Jehovah God – Lisboa, Portugal

A brother or sister in Christ, following the task Jesus has given: to go out in the world and to teach the Gospel of the Good News. When Jesus sent out his early disciples to preach, he directed them: “Into whatever city or village you enter, search out who in it is deserving.” (Matthew 10:7, 11-14) A good teacher, preacher or elder can stimulate the ones in the congregation to keep going around telling the Word of God. The good preacher can persuade the listeners around him to continue in the grace of God, and is not afraid to personally dispute in the synagogue with the Jews, on the net with the other preachers who oppose him, and with the devout persons, and in the marketplace daily with those who met with him to discuss the Word of God. (Acts 17:17). But we should also know that such ‘searching out’ would reasonably include going to the people’s homes, where “deserving” persons would heed the message and where disciples even would be able to find lodging for the night if necessary. (Luke 9:1-6).

Place to meet

All people should know that there is no requirement of a special church building, but that any place can be a house for God. We as preachers should not be ashamed we do not have our own church building and do perhaps have to meet in small places not of our own, to discuss the Word of God. As the first followers of Christ came together in their own houses we also as brethren and sisters in Christ and as interested people in the Word of God, should share our houses with those who are willing to learn about that Word of God. Any private house is worthy to become a place where people can meet to read in the Holy Scriptures and to talk about the Wishes of God. A preacher should be happy when he can find such a house as a house-church, where he can enter and say first, ‘May this house have peace.’ (Luke 10:1-7) Than to make it a place where people can gather in peace and share the love of God between each other.

Presenting a place where holiness and expression of worship can come from inside shall foster a small community rich in spirit. With that fire going in the few their heart the preacher as well as the followers should be pleased because it will be a much higher treasure than what those people, present in a mega church, perhaps can find. Having not only a preacher committing himself to the trustworthy creator, but all present offering themselves to God, shows where the right preacher is working.

Action and reaction

As a person present in the community, but also as preacher you should know that some may become active opposers of the Kingdom message. (Acts of the apostles 13:50; 18:5, 6) We all should know that it is quite possible that some will listen for a time, but eventually will turn their back for various reasons. (John 6:65, 66) Not those disappointing happenings should get our minds in distress, but we should find joy in those, even when it are just a few, who will accept the good news and act upon it. (Acts 17:11; Luke 8:15). We should be pleased when we can find a growing amount of people willing to do the Will of God.

All of the community should go out and tell the world about the work Jesus has done for all of us. It is the task of the leaders to guide such a preaching work. At such occasions the good preacher should provide counsel on such superintending ministry. The good teacher shall always be reminding the ones of the community of our important task to bring the Word of God to all people all over the world. He shall not be afraid of telling about the biblical orders or commandments, charging them before God as witness, observing the commandments and becoming doers of the Word.

A place of peace and clean pure words

In the place where God shall be able to be found it will be the preacher with the elders who shall take care that people can peacefully come together not to fight about words, a thing of no usefulness at all because it overturns those listening. They shall take care that all members of the gathering will be willing to give their share to the community and will do their utmost, to present themselves approved to God, a workman with nothing to be ashamed of, handling the word of the truth aright.

The good preacher shall shun empty speeches that violate what is holy; for they will advance to more and more ungodliness, and their word will spread like gangrene. The good preacher shall do his utmost best to use the Word of God to proof what we should know and how to keep all believing the right things.

Small but strong and upright, belonging to God

It is better to have the solid foundation of God staying standing strong in a small community than having a mega church where many people may have a lot of fun but do not really learn much about God His Word. The good or right church, or the best community or ecclesia is the one which is looking for God His Will.

The pleasure for the pastor should be that he can see that the flock is listening to God and having this seal: “Jehovah knows those who belong to him,” and: “Let everyone naming the name of Jehovah renounce unrighteousness.”

“14  Keep reminding them of these things. Warn them before God against quarrelling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen. 15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. 16 Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. 17 Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18 who have wandered away from the truth. They say that the resurrection has already taken place, and they destroy the faith of some. 19  Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.”” (2 Timothy 2:14-19 NIV)

Every preacher, pastor, minister or elder should be willing to give himself totally in the hands of God. Those people in charge of a church-community should make sure that their flock will gather regularly to hear from God.

When we have been hearing all sorts of messages all week long; when we come together with like minded brethren and sisters we all should take time to hear a message from God His Word and to feel how we all can be united under Christ as children of Jehovah God. As important as it is for the people in the gathering to have time to express themselves to God, it is more important that they hear God express Himself to them; that they be fed from His Word; that they be instructed in the ways of God’s kingdom; that they be effectively strengthened by His might in their inner beings to be salt and light to the world in which God has placed them and to have their joint training for the kingdom.

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Of interest:

  1. Does God Exist?
  2. Creator of heaven and earth and everything around יהוה
  3. The truth is very plain to see and God can be clearly seen
  4. God is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him
  5. Only One God
  6. God is One
  7. יהוה , YHWH and Love: Four-letter words
  8. God should be your hope
  9. Faith
  10. Faith a commitment to the promises of Christ and to to the demands of Christ
  11. God receives us on the basis of our faith
  12. Belief of the things that God has promised
  13. Fearing the right person
  14. Getting to know the Truth
  15. How to look for and how to handle the Truth
  16. Eternal Word that tells everything
  17. Bric-a-brac of the Bible
  18. The World framed by the Word of God
  19. Bible word of God, inspired and infallible
  20. True riches
  21. To mean, to think, outing your opinion, conviction, belief – Menen, mening, overtuiging, opinie, geloof
  22. Meeting – Vergadering
  23. Congregate, to gather, to meet
  24. Commit your self to the trustworthy creator
  25. Holiness and expression of worship coming from inside
  26. Doctrine and Conduct Cause and Effect
  27. Parish, local church community – Parochie, plaatselijke kerkgemeenschap
  28. The Church, Body of Christ and remnant Israel synonymous
  29. Built on or Belonging to Jewish tradition #4 Mozaic and Noachide laws
  30. Many churches
  31. Was Jesus Religious
  32. How is it that Christ pleased God so perfectly?
  33. Called Christian
  34. Follower of Jesus part of a cult or a Christian
  35. Casual Christians
  36. Breathing to teach
  37. Manifests for believers #1 Sex abuse setting fire to the powder
  38. Manifests for believers #2 Changing celibacy requirement
  39. Manifests for believers #3 Catholic versus Protestant
  40. Manifests for believers #5 Christian Union
  41. Making church
  42. Charles Taze Russell never claimed to have found a new religion, or a new church.
  43. Judaism & Catholicism Universal ‘churches’
  44. Synagogue, Church or Ecclesia for the Christian
  45. Those who call the Christadelphians a cult
  46. Uncovering the Foundations of Faith
  47. What’s church for, anyway?
  48. Rebirth and belonging to a church
  49. Commitment to Christian unity
  50. United people under Christ
  51. Exceptionalism and Restricting Laws
  52. An ecclesia in your neighborhood
  53. Intentions of an Ecclesia
  54. Hello America and atheists
  55. Engaging the enemy
  56. Six Reasons Young Christians Leave Church
  57. Knowing where to go to
  58. Looking to the East and the West for Truth
  59. Love and cultivate that which is pure
  60. The business of this life
  61. Church sent into the world
  62. Democratic principles for the church of today
  63. Sociological changes to be taken serious by the church
  64. People who know how to pray to move God to take hold of our affairs in a mighty way
  65. Church is a Hospital for sinners
  66. Reflection for today: hating your brother
  67. Kill the messenger
  68. The truest greatness lies in being kind
  69. Don’t let anyone move you off the foundation of your faith
  70. Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair
  71. Faith is a pipeline
  72. Faith and trial
  73. A Living Faith #1 Substance of things hoped for
  74. A Living Faith #2 State of your faith
  75. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  76. A Living Faith #4 Effort
  77. A Living Faith #5 Perseverance
  78. A Living Faith #6 Sacrifice
  79. A Living Faith #7 Prayer
  80. A Living Faith #8 Change
  81. A Living Faith #9 Prayer
  82. A Living Faith #10: Our manner of Life #2
  83. Aim High: Examples of Godly Characters to follow
  84. Solving all the problems that come to us
  85. Being Justified by faith
  86. Preventing us from going window-shopping in prayer
  87. Be Honest
  88. Kindness
  89. Walking in love by faith, not by sight
  90. Let me keep to “first importance” things
  91. Bearing fruit
  92. Living in faith
  93. Feed Your Faith Daily
  94. He who kneels before God can stand before anyone!
  95. Man’s plans prevailed by God’s purpose
  96. Who are you going to reach out to today
  97. Don’t Envy the World
  98. The first on the list of the concerns of the saint
  99. Character transformed by the influence of our fellowships
  100. Let us meet in any suitable place
  101. An ecclesia in your neighborhood

++

Readings from other groups and denominations:

  1. Does the method of preaching from house to house have its basis in the Scriptures?
    Some religions have acknowledged the Christian obligation to preach in public places and from house to house, although this is often left to a limited group of missionaries or clergy to fulfill… not every member.
  2. What is the “Good News of the Kingdom”? Who is Preaching it? And What Does “For a Witness to all the Nations” Mean? (Mt. 24:14)
    Telling us what will mark the last days, Jesus went on to say: “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there will be great earthquakes, and in one place after another pestilences and food shortages; and there will be fearful sights and from heaven great signs.” (Luke 21:10, 11) Jesus also said: “This good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations; and then the end will come.”(Matthew 24:14)
    +
    Jesus did not specifically say that every man, woman and child on earth will have the good news directly preached to in the last days. He said that the good news will be preached in all of the Earth for a witness to all of the nations. This means that every nation will have the good news preached in it to some extent.
  3. Following Jesus’ Footsteps
    We love and cherish our heavenly father Jehovah; we are committed to sharing the ‘good news’ of God’s kingdom, the same as Jesus.
  4. How Is Our Kingdom-Preaching Work Organized?
    We try to contact people at their homes. Jesus trained his disciples to preach the good news from house to house. (Matthew 10:11-13; Acts 5:42; 20:20) Those first-century evangelizers were assigned preaching 31specific territories in which to preach. (Matthew 10:5, 6;2 Corinthians 10:13) Similarly today, our preaching work is well-organized, and each congregation is given an assigned area to cover. This enables us to fulfill Jesus’ command to “preach to the people and to give a thorough witness.”—Acts 10:42.
  5. Preach the word, be at it urgently
    When you consider what stands to be gained or lost as a result of our preaching, you probably feel an urgent need to speak to others about the good news. (Rom. 10:13, 14)
  6. Bearing thorough witness concerning the kingdom of God and by using persuasion with them concerning Jesus
    Was Paul disheartened because not everyone accepted the good news? By no means! Acts 28:30, 31 tells us: “He remained for an entire two years in his own hired house, and he would kindly receive all those who came in to him, preaching the kingdom of God to them.” w12 1/15 2:18-20
  7. As you go, preach, saying, “The kingdom of the heavens has drawn near.”
    Jesus warned his apostles that many would oppose their Kingdom-preaching work. (Matt. 10:16-23) An especially painful form of opposition is experienced when family members reject the Kingdom message. (Matt. 10:34-36) Does this mean that happiness is out of reach for Christ’s followers who live in religiously divided households? Not at all!
  8. Preaching with zeal and urgency vital to keeping on the watch.
    no chain could silence the zealous apostle! Paul continued to find ways to bear witness. After three days, Paul summoned the principal men of the Jews in order to give them a witness. Then, on a chosen day, he gave an even greater witness.—Acts 28:17, 23, 24.w12 1/15 2:17, 18

+++

Additional reading about House-churches:

  1. An organic church
    By “organic church,” I mean a non-traditional church that is born out of spiritual life instead of constructed by human institutions and held together by religious programs. Organic church life is a grass roots experience that is marked by face-to-face community, every-member functioning, open-participatory meetings (opposed to pastor-to-pew services), non-hierarchical leadership, and the centrality and supremacy of Jesus Christ as the functional Leader and Head of the gathering.
    Put another way, organic church life is the “experience” of the Body of Christ. In its purest form, it’s the fellowship of the Triune God brought to earth and experienced by human beings.
  2. The House Church Movement: Learning from the Past – Pioneering for the Future
  3. Why house church
    Many people today are catching the vision of what the church is meant to be as she throws off the hindrances and becomes the Spirit-filled movement of Believers she is destined for. They are catching the vision for living life 24/7, with and for God without one moment or place being more holy than another. It is a vision of every believer contributing to one another through the spiritual gifts that reside in each one.
    +
    Perhaps the most significant case for house churches is that they can be easily started and multiplied. God’s clear desire is for the earth to be filled with the “knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea” (Habakkuk 2:14). Rather than build buildings and organizations that require tremendous time, finances, and energy to reproduce, The Kingdom of God multiplies organically: one seed produces fruit, that produces more seed that produces more fruit. The principle of multiplication is far more powerful than we realize. Take a look at any forest and realize how much is accomplished through natural reproductive processes without any human aid at all.
  4. Are You in the Wilderness?
    So many Christians I meet today, whether in person, on social networks, or through emails, tell me that they are living in a spiritual wilderness. They feel alone, spiritually isolated, and they don’t have too many Christian friends that they are experiencing a rich and full fellowship in Christ with.
    Some of them attend a church on Sunday morning, yet still, they are living in the desert and they know it.
  5. Church in the Home? Or at Home in the Church?
    what we do in our own houses, our relationships with our families, with our sons, daughters, with our wives, we should bring all of it into the church. We should act as if these people are really our own brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers, because that is what they really are.
  6. A Hundred Mothers, Brothers…Intimate Relationships
    true “house church” is bringing the home into our church life, not bringing our church into the homes. It’s very superficial to just bring our big building into little buildings, but never change anything in the heart.
  7. Time to Listen and Change
    The books of the Bible were written across continents. The letters and relationships are across years and across cities, countries and continents. Not a single book in the Bible is about only one local assembly. The point is, that even across the miles and the continents, we need each other. God’s call to us today is that we begin to live that way and involve ourselves in each other’s lives. Are we to admonish one another on Sunday only? No, daily. Why? So that we won’t be hardened and deceived. That’s in the Bible. Be called alongside one another daily so that we won’t be hardened and deceived. Whether we are old or young, single or married, ten children or two children, teenager or toddler—who are my mothers, brothers and sisters? We need each other, because you have gifts I don’t have.
  8. House Church Central
    All of the churches in the New Testament era were small assemblies that met in homes. While setting up institutional forms of “church” may or may not provide a way to honor God, the movement toward the institution and the human authority that tends to accompany hierarchical institutional structure are not theologically neutral.
  9. Thoroughly Biblical Church
    When they came together in their houses their corporate worship and sharing together was completely open and spontaneous (I Corinthians 14v26 describes the proceedings as, “…each one has…”), with no one leading from the front. The early believers didn’t have anything that even approximated a church service.
    As part of these proceedings they ate the Lord’s Supper as a full meal, indeed as their main meal of the day, commonly referring to it as the love-feast.
    They understood each church to be an extended family unit (the idea of churches being institutions or organizations would have been totally alien to them), and practiced non-hierarchical plural male leadership that had arisen from within the church they would subsequently lead. This indigenous eldership (elder, pastor/ shepherd, bishop/overseer being synonymous terms in the New Testament) sought to lead consensually wherever possible, and was understood to be purely functional and not in any way positional.
  10. Devonport House Church ->
    About House Church
    House church is an informal term for a group of Christians gathering regularly or spontaneously in a home instead of a building dedicated to the purpose. Another term with the same meaning is “home church”.
    Some groups meet like this because they lack a conventional church building; but these are not normally regarded as house churches. Others meet in homes because they prefer to meet informally, or because they believe meeting in a home is the true pattern set in the first century and intended by Christ. Some, perhaps, meet in homes for several of these reasons.
    House churches should not be confused with cell churches. A house church is not normally part of a larger, overseeing organization, although the group may associate informally with other Christians and house churches in networks reflecting equality rather than hierarchy. Those who meet in house churches regard themselves as belonging to the worldwide Church, but are self-governing and independent, generally without formal relationships with established “institutional” churches.
    Some house churches have a conventional leadership structure, others have none.
  11. The House Church Movement, the perfect church
    Thousands of Christians are now meeting in simple House Churches in the United States. They have “dropped out” of institutionalized religion and prefer to worship Jesus in biblical authenticity and simplicity – just like the early Christians did.
    +
    From living rooms to coffee shops, offices to parking lots, under trees and secretly underground (in oppressive countries), these new expressions of the Body of Christ are rapidly multiplying around the world. In recent years, Christian researchers and secular media alike have taken notice of the dramatic transformation within Christianity.
  12. House Church Basics — Pt. 3: Missional Church
    One of the hallmarks of the house church movement is that it seeks to be what the church, in fact, is: missional. Jesus went everywhere proclaiming and demonstrating the reality, love, and power of the Kingdom (healing the brokenhearted, setting captives free, proclaiming God’s acceptance, etc.) The church (the people of God) goes and does the same.
    This means that church, first of all, needs to transition from being a “come and see” place to a “go and be with the lost” movement.
  13. Inspired by Cuban Christians
    They have very little money, limited transportation, limited communication, no freedom of speech, no freedom of assembly, no church buildings in which to minister, and the knowledge that they are constantly being watched. The Christian work is primarily through house churches and word of mouth.
    Yet what passion; what joy; and what commitment to the Lord. They are sacrificing for the Lord in ways that would make most American Christians embarrassed.
  14. China cracks down on house church groups again
    The church tried to hold services in the open air after it was evicted from a rented space as the landlord was pressured to not renew the lease, China Aid said.
    +
    Underground church members are routinely sent to labor camps where abuse and persecution is reported even as they languish in the camps without trial.
  • Thoughts Concerning the Preacher (fromthepreacherspc.org)
    There is usually a lot of confusion in most congregations of the Lord’s church concerning the work of the preacher. Many have their own ideas, some have no real idea, and others have the wrong idea about the preacher’s job. To help the church and the preacher have a better working relationship, consider the following thoughts.
  • What if Modern Preachers Preached What Jesus was Preaching? (holyspiritactivism.wordpress.com) wonders what would happen if certain preachers did what Jesus preached according to the Bible.
  • A Plea for Sharp and Polished Preachers… (pastorkemp.com)
    It is very easy to become so preoccupied with the work of the ministry that we fail to remain hidden for long periods of time with God.  It is seldom those hectic busy moments that are always clamoring for our time and attention where we are sharpen and polished by God—that only occurs when we are close to the “flesh-killing” presence of Almighty God.
  • In Have You Seen the Viral Videos of the ‘Pint-Sized Preachers’ Yet? (theblaze.com) you can see how children can be exploited and which impression some people have about “teaching” and “preaching” and what certain people do call a “sermon”.
    +Are you ready for National Geographic’s “Pint-Sized Preachers?” The new hour-long documentary explores the lives of three kid preachers who give their all to spread Jesus Christ’s message.While some believe that these children are being exploited my overly fervent parents, others see them as a beacon of hope. This latter group believes that, despite their youth, God has chosen to speak through them.

    The bizarre part (and there are some very intriguingly odd pieces to this puzzle)? One of the three — 4-year-old Kanon Tipton — is barely out of diapers, yet he delivers fiery sermons and inspires faith in those who listen.

  • Cotton Candy Preaching (fromthepreacherspc.org)
    Is it worse to teach in the Lord’s church false doctrine or to teach simple pleasant truths from God’s word? In answer to this question most people would quickly say that false doctrine would be the worst thing of all to teach. But consider this, what if we only taught concerning the loving story of Ruth, or about benevolence, or about the need for loving families, or about the need to feel good about ourselves? Now these are topics that we should be concerned about and are issues of interest, and should be taught. But, can a Christian survive spiritually solely on this kind of diet? Can a child of God mature and be grounded in the faith solely on these kinds of meals? The answer is no!
    +
    Many preach to please men and tickle their ears with what they like to hear. Paul said, “For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ” (Gal. 1:10). Paul warned Timothy about people who have “itching ears” and warned that such people will gather around those who will scratch their ears by teaching lies (2 Tim. 4:3-4). The whole counsel of God must be preached, regardless of how it is received (Acts 20:26-27)! The truth is truth and must be preached! I didn’t write the book (Bible) and have no right to “water it down” to please men.
  • More Expository Preaching Please! (watumishiwaneno.wordpress.com)
    • Humanity seeking Self-Praise- All men uniting to build a tower whose top reaches the heavens with one aim of making a name for themselves!

    This is what man-made religion does; seeking glory and praise for man instead of giving praise and glory to God.

  • 10 Scriptures In The Bible That ‘Prosperity Preachers’ Choose To Ignore! (endtimereport.net)
    On one so called ‘Christian’ channel this evening, a prosperity pimp is selling potential “salvations” for 5 of your “loved ones”  in return for a financial donation. On another, a (proven) fraud is offering his “miracle mixture” and on another a so-called ‘financial preacher’ is manipulating the viewer to hurry up and send in a $58 ‘seed’ for a “triple blessing.”No mention of Jesus or any solid Bible teaching or call for repentance, just a manipulative call for your hard-earned cash! Welcome to perhaps 50% or more of Christian programming today (unfortunately).
  • Thinking over my life (mysecretlifewithyou.wordpress.com)
    People are really interested in just reaching the masses, and not everyone has issues and so we don’t have to talk about everything, but wouldn’t it be comforting to have someone talk to you in your situation.  I’m grateful that I’ve heard some great preachers in my life that have brought healing to my heart, but the majority of people I know in my church are about pretense and appearance.  I do it to, I smile when I don’t want to…. I shake hands and clap backs, and act like I’m happy, because being unhappy means I don’t have faith and I don’t believe God can handle my situation.

Minimizing the power of God’s Force the Holy Spirit

The early days of Christianity

1.2.       Considered as a danger

1.2.2.                    Minimizing the power of God’s Force the Holy Spirit

The “chosen family, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people having a special possession” (1 Peter 2:9) tried to hold itself straight and to keep their doctrines pure. They performed their Christian administration of the Last Sacraments under quite difficult circumstances.  Paul brought it as follows under words: “We become in each respect harassed, troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we see a way out of them. We are cruelly attacked, but not without hope; we are made low, but we are not without help” (2 Corinthians 4:8, 9).

One only has to read the first chapters from the book Acts of the Apostles to see how much enthusiasm and joy there was, even despite persecution (Acts 2:44-47; 4:32-34; 5:41; 6:7).  But in the course of ten years the situation changed, and many Jewish Christians did not keep up their speed in the race and obviously were going to take life a little more slowly. A state of lassitude and tiredness, of unfulfilled expectations, postponed hope, conscious not coming up the mark and actual disbelief came over the believers. They were Christians, but received little appreciation for the magnificence of their vocation. For some of them, Gods promises appeared unreal and a bridge too far.

During the first century, the future for the organized Christian municipality looked gloomy. Jesus had predicted that it would be as if a level strewn wheat field with bad seeds, so that the wheat would not be able to be distinguish with the weeds. For fear that by chance while taking out the false teachers they could be rooting up also the normal believers with them. (Matthew 13:24-30). And so it happened also.  At the end of the first century, when the elderly apostle Johannes functioned, as the last impediment, against corruption, the waste blossomed already (2 Thessalonians 2:6; 1 John 2:18). Not long after the death of the apostle arose a separate class from clergymen that suppressed the herd and clothed themselves with distinguishing attire. The waste spread as gangrene.

From the days of the apostles until now the root of the whole fabric and dominion of clericalism is there. Philosophy and heterodoxy, no doubt, did much to corrupt the church and lead her to join hands with the world: but the order of the clergy and all that belongs to it must be founded on the Jews’ religion. It is more than probable, however, that many may have been persuaded then, as many have been since, that Christianity is a continuation of Judaism, in place of being its perfect contrast. The Judaizing teachers boldly affirmed that Christianity was merely a graft on Judaism. But throughout the epistles we everywhere learn that some belong to the old, and the other to the new creation; that the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

Cuadro de la Trinidad en Percile

Representation of Three Gods: god the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost - La Trinidad - Santuario della Santissima Trinità - Vallepietra RM - Photo RoyFokker

Paul had warned the Hebrews to prevent that nobody there would ever develop in them a godless, unbelieving heart, because himself withdrawing of the living God. As well as appeared the other warnings of the other apostles sometimes a measure for nothing. Some who came in the municipalities, begun to bring their belief convictions in the terms of the Greek philosophy to expression, to make what they preached more acceptable for the men of the world. Gradually pagan doctrines came into the system, as the Holy Trinity and the inherent immortality of the soul, and became a part of a sullied form of Christianity. This led to the giving up of the hope in the Millennium.

The danger that there threatened became more and more reality and sin and waste came more in the community. For that reason Paul had reminded the municipalities to always remain watchful and to admonish each other. [1] From among the communities themselves came men who wanted to give wrong teaching, turning away the disciples after them. In subtle manner they ascribed to their own opinions and teachings a same or even yet higher value than the Holy Scriptures. When the occasion appeared for this purpose, this renegade church put itself available to serve even the interests of the political state. (Acts 20:30; 2 Peter 2:1, 3)[2]. To protect the community it was considerable to hold the feeling of unity high, as that is also today still important. Paul’s expression “take heed” emphasizes the necessity to be watchful (Hebrews 3:12, 13).  The early Christians got the warning that also today still goes on to have no flaw at belief and Bible so that we in would not develop something wrong in our heart, and we shall not withdraw us from God instead shall be able to approach him (James 4:8).

Then and now, it comes to it that the members of the community dare to trust each other, support each other but also dare to admonish. We need the heat of brotherly contact. “Who isolates himself, will be indulging his own desires; against all practical wisdom, defying all sound judgement, will he burst out” (Proverbs 18:1). The necessity of such contact moves Christians in this time to visit regular municipality assemblies, larger meetings and conferences.

One had to bring up interest for “the width and length and height and depth” of the truth, and according to go forward to maturity. (Ephesians 3:18, Hebrews 6:1, 2 Timothy 4:7).

Gathering on the Day of Atonement or Yom Kippur - Drawing Jewish Encyclopedia

Some Jews and heathens that stepped over to Christianity appeared in flaw to remain to increase their observations. They became slow in the accepting of the increased light with relation to the Law and the circumcision (Acts 15:27-29; Galatians 2:11-14; 6:12, 13). Some handled perhaps still large value on traditional practices as the weekly Sabbath and the solemn annual Yom Kippur or Day of reconciliation. (Colossians 2:16, 17; Hebrews 9:1-14).

Already in the first century the apostle Paul had warned Timothy that “godless men and cheats” would creep in the Christian municipality and would mislead many (2 Timothy 3:13).[3] This large waste began after the death of the apostles (Acts 20:29, 30).

Epikur

Epicurus - Epikouros Bust - Herculaneum, Villa dei Papiri, Sala 8, National Archaeological Museum, Naples, Italy

Some Christians maintained perhaps narrow ties with people, which stood under influence of the Greek philosophies, including that of the epicurean. The epicureans were supporters of the Greek philosopher Epicurus, who lived from 341 until 270 b. C. T. He taught that enjoyment was the only or most high good in life. On the other hand he taught that enjoyment best can be reached by behaving in life with administration, courage, self-control and justice. He argued not the chasing of immediate and brief enjoyment, but of enjoyment that the whole life lasts. Because of this the epicurean can be compared with men that practised coarse sin, violated virtuousness. (Compare Titus 1:12). The epicureans for instance practised moderation in their chase of enjoyment. They attached more value to the on desire feelings of the mind than to physical enjoyment.

The Apostolic Fathers, as they are called, such as Clement, Polycarp, Ignatius, and Barnabas, were, at first, the immediate followers of the inspired apostles. They had listened to their instructions, laboured with them in the gospel, and probably had been familiarly acquainted with them. But, notwithstanding the high privileges which they enjoyed as scholars of the apostles, they very soon departed from the doctrines which had been committed to them, especially as to church government. They seem to have completely forgotten — judging from the Epistles which bear their names — the great New Testament truth of the Holy Spirit’s presence in the assembly.

Their vanity claims that it is only given to a certain elite to be able to understand the Word of God and to explain it, simply ignores the strength of God in His consignment of the Holy Spirit or Pneuma concerning all people who wish to approach God.

File:San Saba - santa Balbina interno 1000904.JPG

4th century congregation house: Santa Balbina in Rome, Italy - interno. Photo by Lalupa.

The new teachers of the church seem also to have forgotten the beautiful simplicity of the divine order in the church. There were only two orders of office-bearers — elders and deacons. The one was appointed to attend to the temporal, the other to the spiritual need of the assembly of the saints. Elder, or bishop, simply means overseer, one who takes a spiritual oversight. He may have been “apt to teach,” or he may not; he was not an ordained teacher, but an ordained overseer. And as for the institutions of divine appointment, we only find in the New Testament, Baptism and the Lord’s Supper or the “Breaking of the Bread”. Nothing could be simpler, more plain, or more easily understood, as to all the directions given for faith and practice, but there was no room left for the exaltation and glory of man in the church of God. The Holy Ghost had come down to take the lead in the assembly, according to the word of the Lord, and the promise of the Father; and no Christian, however gifted, believing this, could take the place of leader, and thus practically displace the Holy Spirit. But, from the moment that this truth was lost sight of, men began to contend for place and power, and of course the Holy Spirit had no longer His right place in the assembly or congregation.

Scarcely had the voice of inspiration become silent in the church, than we hear the voice of the new teachers crying loudly and earnestly for the highest honours being paid to the bishop, and a supreme place being given to him. Not a word about the Spirit’s place as sovereign ruler in the church of God. This is evident from the Epistles of Ignatius, said to have been written A.D. 107. Many great names, we are aware, have questioned their authenticity; and many great names contend that they have been satisfactorily proved to be genuine. Real ministry is of the Lord and of Him alone. This is what we have to note in view of what took place on the very threshold of Christianity. Christ only is the true Head of the church. It is a grave and solemn thing for anyone to interfere with Christ’s claims on the service of His servant. To touch this is to set aside responsibility to Christ, and to overthrow the fundamental principle of Christian ministry.

Priesthood was the distinguishing characteristic of the Jewish dispensation; ministry, according to God, is characteristic of the Christian period. Hence the utter failure of the professing church, when it sought to imitate Judaism in so many ways, both in its priesthood and its ritualism. If a priestly order, with rites and ceremonies, be still necessary, the efficacy of the work of Christ is called in question. In fact, though not in words, it strikes at the root of Christianity. But all is settled by the word of God.[4] “But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins, for ever sat down at the right hand of God; from henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. For by one offering He hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified…. Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin. We also have a great Cohen, a high priest, over god’s household.” (See Heb. 10: 1-25)

Ministry, then, is a subject of the highest dignity and the deepest interest. It testifies to the work, the victory, and the glory of Jesus, that the lost may be saved. It is the activity of God’s love going out to an alien and ruined world, and earnestly beseeching souls to be reconciled to Him. [5] “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them, and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us…” (2 Cor. 5: 19-21)

The church alas! soon found that to hinder ministry, as it is set before us in the word of God, and to introduce a new order of things, did not hinder divisions, heresies, and false teachers springing up. From this time — the beginning of the second century, and before it — the church was greatly disturbed by heresies; and as time rolled on, things never grew better, but always worse. [6]


[1]  “Brothers, be on guard that at some time a wicked and unbelieving heart never come to exist in you, leading to apostasy from a Living God. Rather, encourage one another every day as long as we call it “Today.” Do this so that none of you ever become hardened by the seduction of sin.” (Hebrews 3:12-13 MHM)

[2]  “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who secretly shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.” (2 Peter 2:1 KJBPNV)

“And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingers not, and their damnation slumbers not.” (2 Peter 2:3 KJBPNV)

[3] “Yes, and all that will live godly in the Messiah Yahshua shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers shall grow worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.” (2 Timothy 3:12-13 KJBPNV)

[4] Miller’s Church History

[5] Miller’s Church History

[6] Miller’s Church History

+

Please do find the Dutch version: Gelieve de Nederlandstalige versie te vinden onder:   Minimaliseren van Gods Kracht de Heilige Geest

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Please do find more on Judaism and Christianity:

  1. Seeing the world through the lens of his own experience
  2. Judaism & Catholicism Universal ‘churches’

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Please do find articles on Jesus as the Cornerstone of the community:

  1. Video: Who was Jesus?
  2. Who is Jesus #2 Jesus Christ, man who died
  3. Who is Jesus #4 Clear statements that our heavenly Father is his “God”
  4. Who is Jesus #6 Jesus prays to God
  5. Who is Jesus #8 Father greater than Jesus
  6. Who is Jesus #9 100% or not
  7. Who is Jesus #12 Conclusion
  8. Da Vinci Code: Was Jesus Human or Divine?
  9. Jesus son of God
  10. Christian thought: acknowledge that Jesus is the Son of God
  11. Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today and forever
  12. Christ begotten through the power of the Holy Spirit
  13. The Victor
  14. How is it that Christ pleased God so perfectly?
  15. The builder of the Kingdom
  16. Can we not do what Jesus did?
  17. The increasing rejection of the teaching of Christ
  18. For those who have not the rudiments of an historical sense

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Other articles of interest:

  1. How did the Trinity Doctrine Develop
  2. Historical Development of Trinity
  3. How the Doctrine of the Trinity came to the Church
  4. Trinity function
  5. Trinity versus Tritheism
  6. Why the trinity was accepted in Europe
  7. The Pagan Influence of The catholic church ……The Pagan Trinity, and Saint B
  8. Summary on trinity
  9. Holy Sabbath
  10. A man with an outstanding personality
  11. Misleading Pictures
  12. A small company of Jesus’ footstep follower
  13. Quit griping about your church
  14. Rebirth and belonging to a church
  15. An ecclesia in your neighborhood
  16. Making church
  17. Parish, local church community – Parochie, plaatselijke kerkgemeenschap
  18. Intentions of an Ecclesia
  19. He has given us the Pneuma, the force, from Him
  20. The radiance of God’s glory and the counsellor
  21. Millions of Christians leaving conventional churches to meet in homes
  22. Working for God
  23. Efeziërs 2:21-22 Church no longer holds a central place in many Christian lives
  24. Prefering to be a Christian

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  • What Does the Qur’an Say About the Jewish and Christian Scriptures (paulmarcelrene.wordpress.com)
    On many occasions I have heard Muslims attack the Bible. Some seem keen to slander it anyway they can. But what does the Qur’an say about it? This article examines what the whole Qur’an says about the Jewish and Christian scriptures. The Qur’an used is according to Imam Hafs and translated by Abdullah Yusuf Ali (AYA) or Mohammed Pickthall (MP).
  • Historical Jesus [Der historische Jesus] (consensuspatrum.wordpress.com)
    How do we know that the life of Jesus is not just a story that the Church made up?Tacitus, a Roman historian who wrote Annals in 115 CE, is considered one of the more accurate historians of the ancient world.
    He wrote: “To dispel the rumor that the fire was started by Nero, Nero substituted as culprits, and treated with the most extreme punishments, some people, popularly known as Christians, whose disgraceful activities were notorious. The originator of that name, Christus, had been executed when Tiberius was Emperor, by order of the procurator Pontius Pilatus. But the deadly cult, though checked for a time, was now breaking out again not only in Judea, the birthplace of this evil, but even throughout Rome, where all the nasty and disgusting ideas from all over the world pour in and find a ready following.” (Annals 15:44). This means there were a significant number of Christians in Rome in 64AD, only 30 years after the Crucifixion of Christ.
  • Jews reclaim Jesus as one of their own (religion.blogs.cnn.com)
    The relationship between Jews and Jesus has traditionally been a complicated one, to say the least.As his followers’ message swept the ancient world, Jews who did not accept Jesus as the Messiah found themselves in the uncomfortable, and sometimes dangerous, position of being blamed for his death.
    +
    Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, a media personality who recently launched a bid for a U.S. House seat, argues in his own new book, “Kosher Jesus,” that “Jews have much to learn from Jesus – and from Christianity as a whole – without accepting Jesus’ divinity. There are many reasons for accepting Jesus as a man of great wisdom, beautiful ethical teachings, and profound Jewish patriotism.”
    +The flurry of recent Jewish books on Jesus – including this month’s publication of “The Jewish Gospels: The Story of the Jewish Christ” by Daniel Boyarin – is part of a trend of Jews taking pride in Jesus, interfaith expert Edward Kessler said.”In the 1970s and 1980s, Christian New Testament scholars rediscovered the Jewish Jesus. They reminded all New Testament students that Jesus was Jewish,” said Kessler, the director of the Woolf Institute in Cambridge, England, which focuses on relations between Jews, Christians and Muslims.
  • He Is Not Here: For He Is Risen! (pastorbobcrowder.wordpress.com)
    The early church, persecuted to the point of imprisonment and death should have failed.  The message they carried triggered division.  Their leader was murdered and yet He was resurrected.  Many saw him and heard him speak after He rose from the dead.  The Roman guards were paid off to tell a lie.And yet, His followers flourished.
  • Sunday of the Publican & the Pharisee… (thehandmaid.wordpress.com)
    Saint Paul says that we will have practiced the Apostles’ Faith when we “…have carefully followed my doctrine [and] manner of life….” Let us not think we are true, Apostolic Christians because we can speak ‘about’ the Faith reasonably well. For what Saint Paul means by ‘follow,’ surely  involves a manner of living, a consistent, day-in-and-day-out  application of the consequences that come from holding convictions  learned from the Apostles.
  • Only One Church United in Doctrine? – Part 2 of 2 (godsbreath.wordpress.com)
    The Church at Corinth was still recognized as being “of Christ” (1 Cor. 3:23), and yet “carnal” and “babes”. They were divided among themselves in which they were instructed to be joined together speaking the same thing in the same mind and the same judgment. The Apostle Paul was guided by Christ’s Spirit to correct doctrine and their motives. Therefore, unity in doctrine is possible being commanded by the Spirit of Christ.
    +
    Christians can be united by teaching as the Apostle Paul does here to unite. We must always go to Christ, to His words, to His Spirit, to His revelation to His Apostles and prophets (cf. Gal. 1:11-12, Eph. 2:19, 3:3-5, 2 Pet. 3:2, Jude 17). Following the command for unity, Paul noted that they had rejected Christ in pursuing wisdom over the words of His Apostles.

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