Espirational Faith

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." –The Apostle Paul


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New Year – Old Wars

This article was written as an answer to a post made by a person in a discussion forum several weeks ago. I am reposting this today, New Year’s Day of 2018, as my response to her and anyone else’s fearful statements to the way terrorism seems to have a goal of annihilating everyone who are not Islamic and how it appears the only thing that can be done is to oppose such a religious faith violently. There is another way.

 

 

Believe me I understand how you feel about how Islam seems as violent as to want everyone who is not of their religion dead. But it is a religion, now hundreds of years old, regardless what we or others call it. My intent in replying to your comment is not to argue with you, but to give another point of view.
Let me ask this, in reality, are any other religions truly much different? We know that the Islamic faith sprung from the tribes’ ancestors by two brothers’ conflict. Most people of faith have read the Old Testament and wondered about the Hebrews being told to perform one battle after another, slaughtering whoever stood in their way, to take over the land promised to Abraham. And the Christians? From the time that believers in Jesus, the Christ, were forced out of Jerusalem in 66 A.D. Christians have stood at attention ready for military battle to defend our faith; believing that if they did not, then who would? This can be seen in international conflicts like the Christian Crusades, and more localized conflicts like the enduring war between Catholics and Protestants in Ireland.
But have those armed military conflicts really settled anything? Oh, certainly you can point at the United States and proclaim that had it not been for the armed revolution against the British that the Freedom of Religion would not be known in that country, or anywhere else. Freedom of religion? Defined how? While the whole purpose of this clause in American government was to sever the relationship between religion and government, it seems that today certain extremists Christian believers are proclaiming that instead the clause means freedom only for those who believe in Christianity. This, therefore, is an action toward establishing Christianity as the state religion, and to make things worse, those who are shouting this should be done are also declaring that anyone who does not believe in Jesus as the Christ should have no rights or possibly be killed. Now tell me, how different is that than what you found in the Quran?
Let’s take just a few moments and reason this whole mess out. WWJD?
Most certainly it is not a pleasant experience to suddenly realize that there are major, and I mean extremely major groups and forces who may feel it is their duty and responsibility to the God they worship to annihilate the rest of us. But, not to make excuses for these peoples’ actions nor to imply they are right, the Islamic/Mohammedan people have, in the past, experienced the same treatment at the hands of the Jews and Christians. The immutable conflict between the two brothers has been on an international, interreligious battleground for millennial ages now and has spread worldwide with no foreseeable end in sight.
So just what is this battle? Is it really who owns a piece of land in the Mid-East? Is our battle really who has been given the true access to the Creator, God of this physical universe?
I can tell you through my years of experience in the study of people, societies and human religions that the people who claim and try to live the Islamic religion are, in their hearts, no more naturally violent than anyone else – Christian or not. Now this can be offensive speech when heard by many Christian believers; but how many true believers have you ever known who would not explain away the words of Christ when it came to explaining their reasons for having a right, a duty, to defend themselves and their families? Yet is this the Christ message they are declaring, or is it something each one of us learn from the time we are born that is our “sacred” duty to do – or be shamed? This radical declaration of possible violent defense of the Christian belief systems is actually no different than what I have heard from the few radical Muslims I have had discussions with. The teaching of ones right and responsibility to defend their religious roots and existence is universal, though the roots may be on different religious plants.
But there is a different group of people in every religion, every country, and every group of well-meaning individuals who are less than benevolent, less than pure, less than holy. While there are people in every religion in the world who try to live a pure, clean and holy life, Christian, Jewish, Islamic and other religions alike, there are others who would prefer to disrupt the balance and claim such spiritual riches as being theirs and their groups’ alone. These extremists are the ones who declare that everyone who does not believe as they do and/or serve their purpose should die. They are the political activists who consider no compromise. They are, in short, the terrorists.
Fear is a terrible taskmaster. But, instead of the popular t-shirts with the slogan printed on them stating, “No Fear,” we, as Christians, should be holding up a banner proclaiming “Pure Love.” We are in a spiritual battle during this age, as stated in one of the “Lost Gospels” where the conflict is over good vs. evil, light vs. darkness and truth vs. lies. The truth which Jesus proclaimed is to not fear those who proclaim that darkness and defeat is inevitable, because if we believe that then our actions will become such as to cause that fear to become reality. No our instructions given by Christ was to “occupy” until he returns. Notice there is no mention of doing battle or slaughtering everyone who refuses to believe in Christ. We are to simply occupy. (LUK 19:13)
Strange, isn’t it? If we were all to simply occupy and serve God, as we know him, in our own ways without attempting to say, as would little children, “My God is better, bigger, more powerful than your God,” then go about our daily lives serving God as best we know how, it seems that could be a taste of heaven on Earth?
What do you think?
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Just a note here as to why I wrote this article. Yesterday I received an email from Genie, my wife, which subject line asked the question poised in the article title, “Is Stephen Hawking Right About Hostile Aliens?” While I wondered why this seemed so important to her, I did not ask her because she had mentioned it before and I had somewhat dismissed it as a passing curiosity. But this time the question had struck me as carrying some importance and so I set down to write the following to her about my view of Hawkings words. Little did I realize until after this article had been written and sent back to Genie, and she had read it, that the question was not her own but rather the title of an article she had found on MSN News and she thought I would be interested in reading it. We got a good laugh at the miscommunication and I’ve ended up with a much better entry for this month than if I had planned on writing it. Here is that answer:

 

Is Stephen right? Well, from my research I’m sorry to say that in a way he is, but his time scenario is off track. I do not normally speak of nor talk about such things because it is a source of inevitable fear, unnecessarily, but since you have asked the question I feel obligated to give an answer.

By limiting our basic understanding of history to what is socially acceptable and which generally creates less fear in our human society we discount the fact that this planet has been visited by extraterrestrials since even before recorded history began and MUFON’s very existence shows we still are. This is evidenced in many cave drawings, “dark age” paintings and some literature.

 

Even the Holy Scriptures, not only of the Hebrews but of many other cultures, speak of these visitations from “the heavens.” However the King James Version of the Hebraic/Christian Scriptures the message is carried one step forward. Jesus said he saw a great battle in the heavens where Satan and his angels were cast out of heaven into the Earth (IS 14:12; LU 10:18; RE 9:1-2). Notice that the indication in the passages here are that the dark angels were cast “into” not “onto” the Earth which here makes a great difference in the explanation of the overall, universal battle between the forces of good and evil when it is animalized. The fact is that the angels, according to Jesus, successfully drove Satan (Lucifer) and his band of renegade angels out of the heavens and, in their rebellious nature, they came to earth in a final attempt to get mankind’s loyalty hoping that the commitment of the YHWH’s finest creation would give them the power to regain their lost position in the Universe.

 

Thus, the answer to your question, “Could Steven be right?” is, in a way answered by a limited, “yes” he could be but only when keeping in mind that we do not know where all of these UFO’s are coming from and some could be coming from within the planet’s own atmosphere. In fact several people have claimed to see them arising from “the bottomless deep” (the oceans) large, natural lakes and rivers. With this in mind, it is important to realize that Stephen Hawkings denies any form of religiosity and thus would deny the idea that Jesus knew anything about universal societies or holy wars. However our own Holy Bible records that Earth has already been invaded by hostile spirits (fallen angels) whose main goal is to captivate mankind and persuade humans into performing battle against the Creative powers, the YHWH, themselves.

 

So, is Steven correct? Only partially. But keep in mind that since he does not specifically accept scriptures as statement of fact, then he does not have the whole picture. Is it possible that UFO’s have non-benevolent beings who could want only to enslave, encamp or destroy us here on earth? Of course it is possible, but the scenario described has already occurred in scriptural history and is not likely to occur again.

 

There are some preachers who have made the same assumptions about the visitations from other parts of the galaxy who gave no possible hope of good coming from space exploration. But the problem is a simple one, where do the UFO’s actually come from? Are they all absolutely from “outer space” as organizations like MUFON try to lead us to believe? Or have we already been invaded by rascal spirits who have taken over the minds and bodies of the human race?

 

Isn’t this the real message of most Protestant denominations on prophecy? Yet the simple fact is that the same prophecy which they preach so much about and which they argue so much about tells us that the battle between humans and the demons who seek to enslave us has already been won by the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. It goes on to tell us that the final victory when these demons, along with their leader, will be cast into “outer darkness” will be at the time when the “New Jerusalem” will come down from above even as Jesus left from Earth to the heavens.

 

What more can be said? Is Steven Hawkings right? Place his statement back over 6100 years ago and perhaps he was. But today we have the demonstrated truth, through Jesus, that our hope comes from above.

 


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Wait — Do You Know Where Your God Is?

You’ve heard this type of question asked to parents who have young children who are just beginning to explore the world around them: “Parents, do you know where your children are?” You may have even heard a similar question asked middle aged or older children about their parents who may be experiencing Alzheimer’s Disease or other forms of dementia: “Due to their mental condition, you need always know where your parents are.” Either way, it is to remind us if we are sure that those we are responsible for and who we love are safe and well cared for.  It is meant as a gentle and loving reminder concerning the fact that sometimes we get so caught up in the busy rush of our modern daily lives that we forget what is really important. Now I am asking you an equally important question, not because you are responsible for this being’s health, safety or social acceptability; but, quite the opposite, this one is responsible and cares for you.

— Do you know where your God is?

This question has been a point of controversy between many religious people for millennia. Some have said that the Creator enlivened specific statues, while others claim his being is omnipresent, unable to be contained in any specific item or body.  Some believe the one we call God is in a specific temple, tabernacle or cathedral, while others say this claim is but to put limitations upon a power which cannot be contained. Some believe God to be on a distant planet, in another dimension, or as an energy source yet unknown or unknowable to mankind; while others believe the Creator to be throughout the universe including being right here on planet Earth.  How unlimited the theories are. How diverse they seem to be. Is it any wonder that the study of faith in Christianity is called theology (theory-ology)?

So how can we know where our God is? Well, first we must ask ourselves if we believe God really is somewhere. In short, is the Creator real or just a figment of our imaginations? To answer this one must first ask the question if the things we see in the natural world could really have developed without some sort of intelligent oversight and intervention. Just to look at your own hand or foot and the complexities in your own body should answer this for you. And then there’s DNA. This is not to say that evolution was not a tool by which physical living animals were created, it just means that such development most surely was guided by something greater.

Now, if that be the case, and not only mankind but all living creatures on this planet and perhaps all other inhabited planets along with the stars were carefully planned and formed by some creative force, if we are to rightly understand the teachings of the world’s religions leaders about this, then before the creative process began, nothing we know currently existed. Then bang (and this was evidently a big bang as many scientists describe it) stars and planets were flung into space and the process of establishing the possibilities of physical life began on this planet.

But what was all this “matter” created from? Does it really matter? I dare say that while some believe that the big bang was a mass of matter which exploded uncountable millennia ago, others believe it was the essence of God himself being spread, universally, to make life possible. This life is like light against darkness, showing direct opposition against lifelessness, or more specifically, the fear of lifelessness.

This esoteric discourse has probably lost most of my readers to where they have already gone on to something to view on the Web which is less heady and cumbersome; but what I believe, myself, is that God is everywhere, in all things, at all times and that we must recognize this to feel comforted by the fact that we are never alone. To me the answer to where is my God is simple:

God is in the smallest atom,

and the mightiest star

God is in the wooded forest,

and the endless ocean.

God is in the forest bird’s songs,

and the lion cub’s play.

God is in the sleeping infant,

and the aging grandparent.

God spans the universe,

and yet is within his temple within you and me.

God is.

Now it’s your turn. Where is your God, your Creator. Where do you experience him as a protective father. Where do you see evidence of her love as a mothering caregiver. Please place your comments below for others to see. Perhaps it will help others realize where their God is also.


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God Is . . .

The title of this post is simply, “God Is. . .” This statement is the essence of the purpose of all religious activity and everyone who claims to be religious. But perhaps to understand that activity we should first ask, “If God is, then God is what?” This question has been an intense discussion among religious people for millennia which has even resulted in wars between the tribes and nations of planet Earth, and which has inspired some of the greatest art and literature ever known.

Primitive cultures, and some not so primitive, have said that God could be seen in a statue, animal, or even certain people; however others, like the Hebrew tribes, took this concept to battle stating it was impossible for God to be contained in any one object. This point was so important as to become one of the basic commandments given through Moses in  the well known Ten Commandments: “Thou shalt not have graven images.” The Hebrews states in their scriptures that God is unseen. The question then becomes if God is unable to be seen, is he provable?

In the question of faith, evidence of God becomes a mute point. God is. He simply is. Those who have faith question this not. Without doubt they can point to experiences in their own and other’s lives to give examples of what they believe God is. But this carries us back to the question of, just what is God?

Although not called “God,” as such, the Chinese give much credit to a basic life force which they call chi (qi) of which all things are made and have their existence; however some oriental faiths say the chi is not the origin of all things, but instead that it emanates from an even “higher” source they call the “li.” This life force is what westerners call the spirit within man and oriental believes believe it can be manipulated and changed.

In 4000 years of history recorded in the Christian/Catholic scriptures we find a well documented search for a definition of what God is. It is the Apostle, John, who finally writes a letter to a young, newly formed church where he states his understanding of the question as clearly as could be possible. “God is Love.” (1 John 4:7)

Now in the Greek language in which John wrote, the term he used here was agape, meaning a specific form of love which is beyond being just an emotion, but rather a fact of undeniable, undying, unchanging care and concern for God’s creation. It is said by John in this short letter that God is the very essence of love, and that all things existed in the universe due to this one source of power. (The chi?)

What do you think. Who or what is God in your life?


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The Roots of Faith

:Humans, homo-sapiens, the “thinking man,” –We seem innately programmed to have faith in a supreme being. Rather that supreme being is some distant entity which placed us here to populate this planet for whatever reason, a “god” or “gods” walking on this planet among us right now, an intelligent energy force which penetrates and energizes all else in the universe, or some combination of these ideas are all ideas which have been presented by philosophers through the ages.

These ideas of mankind’s origins seem to spring from one particular incident or time in our history which can be found in numerous historical and religious pieces of literature. The “worldwide” flood.” Whether a person has been raised to believe in the Christian scriptures as the owners of this site have been, or raised to believe in some other cultural religion such as an American Indian faith, Asian faith, or an African faith somewhere in their faith’s historical origins one can usually find the story of this catastrophic “worldwide” flood.

From this flood has reportedly sprung forth today’s form of mankind and our modern society and, thus, the basis of our modern religious faiths.

I would like this first discussion in this blog to be about this planetary story of the worldwide flood which set the stage for our current view of who mankind is on a universal basis. Regardless of your religious affiliation, would you please help us track down the origins of this story about “the worldwide flood”?

Please tell us your first name and the initial of your last name, in *  what country and region of that country do you live currently, and what religious faith are you going to give information about. Please give references to actual documentation of where the flood story can be found for your religious faith. For instance, in Christianity it is found in the Holy Bible (NIV), Genesis  6:9 – 9:11.  Please link your reference to an online source if possible. Please give a brief synopsis of the flood story in your own words then feel free to express your faith concerning this story. For more details on writing comments for this blog, please see the “About” page.

We will be interested in seeing what you are able to contribute to this research.