Why do so many denominations downplay spiritual gifts, including the miraculous gifts? Is it because we’ve seen them abused? Or is it a matter of control, not wanting to fully surrender and allow the Spirit to lead and move in the church as He sees fit?
Some Southern Baptists typically don’t believe in present day healing:as the church matured, there had been a noticeable decline in divine healing. They believe that instant miraculous healing is very rare these days. Healing was occasional in the Old Testament, overwhelming in the Gospels, frequent in the Acts but negligible in the remainder of the New Testament (Perhaps healing were so common by that time; there was never a good reason to comment on them).
They think that faith healers are possibly sincere, but they are woefully mistaken. They lean more on praying for the sick, doctors and successful treatments, while placing more importance on seeking spiritual health.
Are they saying that James 5: 13-15 ought to be cut out of our Bibles because they are no longer applicable in the 21st century? “Are any of you suffering hardships? You should pray. Are any of you happy? You should sing praises. Are any of you sick? You should call for the elders of the church to come and pray over you, anointing you with oil in the name of the Lord. Such a prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make you well. And if you have committed any sins, you will be forgiven.”
Mendoza Christian Mission
On July 30, 2015 Jesus broke a record with this writer today: 31 healing. The first three healing were with Pastor Beto who was giving me a rough time with “too much healing”. I was not assigned a translator for that reason, but two translators that were not part of the mission came forward.
One of the Southern Baptist Churches organized this mission in Argentina and the organizer made it clear to me that there was to be no healing, because it was not on the agenda and it would lead to confusion. The Baptists would not listen to my argument that they were limiting God. This type of fundamentalism results in mysticism being repressed and denied. It usually leads to scapegoating – the hatred of others.
To hear the call to be other Christs, we must be awakened. The Holy Spirit is the Awakener.The awakening is essential because so many of us are asleep and as good as dead.
Being a member of a churchwon’t make you a Christian any more that being a member of a country club will make you a Christian .
The Holy Spiriteduces power and responsibility for those who dare to allow the mystic to be born in them.
“Go out and bear fruit, fruit that will last.” John 15, 8, 16
“Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.”John 14:12
“I live now not with my own life but with the life of Christ who lives in me.” Galatians 2:20
The root cause of unforgiveness is bitterness and hatred towards the person who has offended us.
One of the hardest things in life is to let go of old hurts. We often say, or at least think: “What you did to me and my family, my ancestors, or my friends I cannot forget or forgive. … One day you will have to pay for it.” Sometimes our memories are decades, even centuries, old and keep asking for revenge.
Holding people’s faults against them often creates an impenetrable wall.But listen to Paul: “For anyone who is in Christ, there is a new creation: the old order is gone and a new being is there to see. It is all God’s work”. 2 Corinthians 5:17-18 Indeed, we cannot let go of old hurts, but God can. Paul says: “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not holding anyone’s fault against them”. 2 Corinthians 5:19. It is God’s work, but we are God’s ministers, because the God who reconciled the world to God entrusted to us “the message of reconciliation”.2 Corinthians 5:19 This message calls us to let go of old hurts in the Name of God.
The view that higher education is spiritually dangerous is very common among Witnesses. Witness leadership also discourages higher education because they believe it’s a waste of time. Jehovah’s Witnesses have been predicting the end of the world since the religion’s founding at the end of the 19th century. By their rationale, time in college would be better spent out on the streets, converting persons to become Witnesses.
Watchtower organization doesn’t discourage education, but rather secular education. Higher education is supposedly spiritually dangerous. The most intelligent and eloquent professors will be trying to reshape the thinking of your child, and their influence can be tremendous. Continual association with non-believers in an academic setting can “erode thinking and convictions.”
Jehovah’s Witnesses are encouraged to make their preaching work the top priority in their life. Higher education is discouraged, based on their belief that it is futile to plan for secular advancement in a world that faces imminent destruction, as well as fears about succumbing to “worldly thinking” and concerns that advanced education might lead to a lack of humility or involvement in immorality. Because evangelistic activities take priority over educational success, young Witnesses rarely progress to college or university, which Holden (1.) describes as a source of regret in subsequent years among those who are raised in the organization and later choose to leave.
Watch Tower Society publications advise parents to recommend alternatives to university education for their children, suggesting associate degrees from community or technical colleges or short courses in subjects such as office administration, automotive repair, computing, or hairdressing. They urge young Witnesses to pursue higher education only to gain skills to obtain a reasonable living while maintaining flexibility to pursue their “true” vocation, serving God.
Author James Penton’s (2) major study of the Witnesses, Apocalypse Delayed, noted that of those Witnesses who do progress to university, few are likely to take studies in such areas as the humanities and the social sciences, “disciplines that are most threatening to the Witness world-view”.
Jehovah’s Witnesses provide religious training programs for their members, focusing on improving skills for their ministry. These include School for Kingdom Evangelizers. Some of these programs are by invitation only. Holden (1.)observed: “Despite the fact that Witnesses claim to reason from the scriptures, their theology is taught in a highly mechanistic fashion, and written publications encourage the members to learn almost by rote.”
The lack of higher education can translate into more tangible problems for Witnesses. Pew research also shows that Jehovah’s Witnesses are among the lowest earners of any religious group.
Leaving the faith at 18 changed my life completely. I went to university, where I made even more friends who showed me that being in the “world” is completely fine, and that debate and discussion is also OK. I began a life where constantly questioning and improving my beliefs and ideas and always being open to those of others were my only constant doctrines. I began a life where I could decide what to believe for myself, and I wasn’t afraid of someone telling me I couldn’t.
Jehovah’s Witness doctrines provide no method for baptized members to leave on good terms. Those who choose to depart and announce their decision to terminate their membership are regarded as voluntarily entering the world of Satan.
Watch Tower publications define such individuals as being “more reprehensible than those in the world” and direct that they are to be shunned by other Witnesses, including close relatives, with no social or religious contact and no greeting given. Sociologist Andrew Holden claims his research indicated many Witnesses who would otherwise defect because of disillusionment with the organization and its teachings remain affiliated out of fear of being shunned and losing contact with friends and family members.
While we are using our magnifying glass on Witnesses, we observe the Jehovah’s Witnesses are one of Canada’s wealthiest and least transparent charities. CHARITY INTELLIGENCE, an agency that monitors charities for Canadian donors, gives the group a D-grade because they do not provide details on how donations are spent. “Jehovah’s Witnesses have a one star rating out of five stars. That should be a red flag to donors. That should also be red flag to government.”
Holden, Andrew (2002). Jehovah’s Witnesses: Portrait of a Contemporary Religious Movement.
Penton, James M.(1997). Apocalypse Delayed: The Story of Jehovah’s Witnesses (2nd ed.). University of Toronto Press.
TEACHINGS OF JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES
Jehovah’s Witnesses are taught that all other Christian churches represent renegade Christendom, and only the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society (which is the spiritual leadership of the Jehovah’s Witnesses) can be trusted.
The Bible describes how the apostles could pass on their authority to future bishops: “Let another person take over his work.”Act 1:20Why should we believe
(1) that the Catholic Church lost its God-given authority to interpret Scripture and proclaim doctrine and
(2) that the Watchtower is God’s official organization on Earth with his authority to interpret Scripture? How does one know that Jesus has given the Watchtower special authority? You Will Know Them by Their Fruits Matthew 7:16
Why did Watchtower teach the following?
Taught that the world would come to an end in 1914.
Said this was a miscalculation and the world would actually end in 1915.
Said the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob would be resurrected when the world would end in 1925.
Strongly hinted that the end of the world would come in 1975.
In 1995 stopped printing the following message about the end of the world in its magazine Awake!: “[T]his magazine builds confidence in the Creator’s promise of a peaceful and secure world before the generation that saw the events of 1914 passes away.”Deuteronomy 18:22 states that a person is not a prophet if he makes a prediction that fails to come to pass.
If God were really guiding the Watchtower, then why would he allow his “spirit-led” organization to lead so many people into error about the end of the world? The simplest answer to these questions is that men, not God, guide the Watchtower, and so it should not be trusted with our eternal salvation.
6. “We see no reason for changing the figures nor could we change them if we would. They are, we believe, God’s dates, not ours. But bear in mind that the end of 1914 is not the date for the beginning, but for the end of the time of trouble.” Zion’s Watch Tower (July 15 1894) p.226. Over time the Watchtower started teaching that the world began to end in 1914, not that it was going to end in 1914 (even though this contradicts the Watchtower’s assertion that 1914 was not the beginning of anything but the end).
7. This miscalculation was due to confusion over whether there was a year “zero.” Russell wrote, “In view of this strong Bible evidence concerning the Times of the Gentiles, we consider it an established truth that the final end of the kingdoms of this world, and the full establishment of the Kingdom of God, will be accomplished near the end of A.D. 1915.” Charles Taze Russell”The Time Is At Hand” Studies In the Scriptures Series II (1915) 99, 101, 242.
8. “Therefore we may confidently expect that 1925 will mark the return of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the faithful prophets of old, particularly those named by the Apostle in Hebrews 11, to the condition of human perfection.” Joseph Rutherford, Millions Now Living Will Never Die (Brooklyn, NY: International Bible Students Association, 1920) 89-90.
9. “Whatever the date for the end of this system, it is clear that the time left is reduced, with only approximately six years left until the end of 6,000 years of human history.” The Watchtower (May 1, 1970) 273.
10. ‘When a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word which the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously, you need not be afraid of him.” Deuteronomy 18:22
God has given men and women the ability to discern good and evil, with the part of the mind called CONSCIENCE. It is an inner voice which calls us to do good and avoid evil. It makes us feel guilty when we do something wrong.
Have you ever wondered how it’s possible for people to do evil things and not be bothered about them? Some people can lie and never lose any sleep. They can steal and do other evil things, and it never seems to upset them. It seems that they have no limits to the evil that they could do; why is that?
WHAT IS AN EVIL CONSCIENCE?
An evil conscience is the opposite of a good conscience. A good conscience is effective—it convicts us when we have done wrong, and it encourages us when we have done right. But an evil conscience encourages the person when he does wrong and bothers him if he does something right! A person with an evil conscience is more concerned about reputation than about character. The tragedy of having an evil conscience is the damage that we do to other people.
Some of us don’t want to do good, they want to do evil. When they do something to hurt someone else, it doesn’t bother them because their inner light has turned into darkness. They also start to argue with the truth. They can explain away what he’s doing.
WHAT CAUSES AN EVIL CONSCIENCE?
Many people today take sin so lightly is that they take God very lightly. When we do not have a holy respect for God, then we have no respect for holiness or for God’s judgment of sin.
You need to be warned: If you live with an evil conscience, ultimately it will destroy you. It will also destroy your fellowship with those who love you.
The sun will be turned to darknessand the moon to bloodbefore the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. Joel 2:31
“Surely the Lord God does nothing, unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets.”Amos 3:7
WORDS OF CHRIST TO ST PADRE PIO
“This catastrophe shall come upon the earth like a flash of lightning at which moment the light of the morning sun shall be replaced by black darkness! No one shall leave the house or look out of a window from that moment on. I Myself shall come amidst thunder and lightning. The wicked shall behold My Divine Heart. There shall be great confusion because of this utter darkness in which the entire earth shall be enveloped. And many, many shall die from fear and despair. Those who shall fight for My cause shall receive grace from My Divine Heart; and the cry: ‘WHO IS LIKE UNTO GOD!” shall serve as a means of protection to many. However, many shall burn in the open fields like withered grass! The godless shall be annihilated, so that afterwards the just shall be able to start afresh.”
“My judgment shall come upon them suddenly and when least expected– not one shall escape My hands. But I shall protect the just. Watch the sun and moon and the stars, when they appear unduly disturbed and restless, know that the day is not far away.”
“Keep your windows well covered. Light a blessed candle, which will suffice for many days. Read spiritual books. Make acts of love which are so pleasing to Us. Pray with outstretched arms, or prostrate on the ground, in order that many souls may be saved. Do not go outside the house. Provide yourself with sufficient food. The Powers of nature shall be moved and a rain of fire shall make people tremble with fear. Have courage! I am in the midst of you.”
“The darkness shall last a day and a night, followed by another day and a night, and another day–but on the night following, the stars will shine again, and on the next morning the sun shall rise again, and it will be SPRINGTIME!”
The words of the pope and the Vatican commissions fall for the most part on deaf ears, as is obvious from polls and other indications that even faithful Catholics no longer conform to Church teachings on sex. Vatican efforts against “artificial” methods of birth control have been in vain, and the Church has suffered such a general loss of credibility that its preachments on sex are ignored if not scorned by the overwhelming majority of Catholics.
Christian fundamentalists see it, of course, as a clear indication of the devil’s power over fallen humanity. But their hellfire-and-brimstone warnings reach only a tiny portion.
The enormous increase in the material standard of living, allows people more freedom to experiment.
There is an increasing corruption of morals and unbridled exaltation of sex. In addition, Christians are confused because of the diversity of opinions contrary to the teaching of the Church.
The Church’s position is enunciated in the basic principle, drawn from natural law, that the sexual function has its true meaning and moral goodness only in marriage, so the document of the Church goes on to rule out premarital sex, homosexual acts and masturbation .
Premarital sex is ruled out by the Church even when the partners are deeply committed to each other and are impeded from marrying only by adverse circumstances.
On the other hand, sex has the potential to bring people to the deepest level of intimacy.
In his recently released book “Cheap Sex: The Transformation of Men, Marriage and Monogamy,” Regnerus examines the dramatic changes in American sexual beliefs that have led to an inability among increasing numbers of young men and women to marry, have children and be faithful to one another.
Three technological developments— highly effective contraceptives, high-quality Internet pornography and on-line dating/meeting services — have made sex (or sexual release) as easy to get in the U.S. as water from a tap. Together, they drive down the cost of real sex, and in turn slow the development of love, make fidelity more challenging and have even taken a toll on men’s marriage ability. No longer playing a supporting role in relationships, sex has emerged as a central priority in relationships.
Everything in this new world is instantaneous……..everything is available and at their finger tips! Cheap sex has become like eating fast food. it is a NOW generation. They younger generation has a hard time looking down the road –planning for the future.
There is an emergence of something called “Confluent Love”, which is “not forever” love, but love that asks whether this relationship is satisfying for both parties. When one party answers “no,” the relationship does not continue. Confluent love is the new norm that is shaping our dating and marriage relationships. For good or ill, neither partner will be happy with the final result.
In generations past, women generally made men wait until marriage to have sex. To get a wife (and, therefore, sex), men had to be clean and presentable and have a good job. This, Regnerus reasons, gave men all the motivation they needed to become respectable members of society. Nowadays young men can skip the detour of getting education and career prospects to qualify for sex. Now with porn on demand and greater reproductive freedom, sex is a commodity available at any time.
MEN AND WOMEN DIFFERENCES
Men and women are not the same with regard to sex. In general, men have more desire for sex than women. Women desire sex too, but they also want it with love, attention, care and, if they are smart, permanence. Women are the gatekeepers of sex, and even if they don’t want to give it away cheaply, men now expect it and can go elsewhere if a woman does not put out. In other words, if women want male attention, they have to give sex away cheaply because other women do and men won’t hang around if they don’t. It’s a vicious circle which leads to untold numbers of young people who have failed relationship after failed relationship.
Many women tend to be so hungry for love and touch that a little sex may give it to them, and so they may keep men on a chain. As compared to the past, many women today expect little in return for sex, in terms of time, attention, commitment or fidelity. Men, in turn, do not feel compelled to supply these goods as they once did.
Heterosexual women will have increasing difficulties finding a partner worth committing to. This leads women to settle, entering into doomed or otherwise unsatisfying marriages.
Women are getting married less because they are getting higher paying and higher educational jobs. But because women want to marry up, they only want to date the top 20% of men this presents a unique problem when all of the female population wants the same top 20% of men
There are those who still believe in the sanctity of marriage or a solid committed relationship with one partner. They believe in romantic LOVE that is for the long haul. They are usually loyal to whoever they fall in LOVE with. They believe in the old school ways of thinking where people stayed in marriages for better or worst. Whoever they fall in LOVE with will always come home to them.
There are many people who are very much in LOVE and who prefer to be together without the signed contract of marriage. Others prefer the one on one kind of committed LOVE celebrated at the altar with God as the third important Partner. These are healthy relationships, where both people should have their own personal space to shine in their own beautiful light. It’s that kind of LOVE that you can see yourself having a life with, creating a family, growing old with and seeing your children become adults and being grandparents together. This is the kind of love that men are losing by not marrying. Whoever you fall in LOVE with will always come home to you.
Marriage has become less of a priority for both genders simply because it is no longer made out to be the sole purpose of growing up in life… Education, travel, independence have all become valid and attainable choices for many. Both men and women no longer feel pressured to marry young.
These developments steer people away from thinking of sex as having anything to do with love, monogamy, or child-bearing — all traits that most Americans have long equated with marriage. Because sex is so readily available, people have lost the script that led them to marriage, family and permanence.
As women start to become more demanding of men, men turn away from women in pursuit of pleasure that costs little to nothing. We have failing rates of marriage and even greater rates of divorce.
As a consequence, men lose 50% of their property (real estate, cash, investments, etc) after divorce, plus add to this amount up to 18 years child support, including spousal support. So the costs can be staggering.
There is overwhelming geological evidence that a global flood, as depicted in the story of Noah in the biblical book of Genesis, could have happened.
The story of Noah’s Ark and the Great Flood is one of the most famous from the Bible, and underwater archaeologists think they have found proof that the biblical flood was actually based on real events.
The first book of the Bible, the book of Genesis, chapters 6 to 8, tells about a great world-wide flood. Such a major universal flood would surely leave much evidence.
V-shaped valleys and river deltas suggest a recent (ca. 3000 BC) flood.
All written history begins ca. 3000 BC.
Foundations of cities began then, families of mankind began then and genealogies date back then.
A rock is dated solely by its fossils, not by rough estimates of millions of years.
Carbon dating, with C14, is not useful in dating before 5000 BC according to the discoverer of the method.
It is clear from the biblical account that there was a universal flood about 3000 BC. The biblical account did not derive from other literature. It is eyewitness testimony.
WHY GOD SENT THE FLOOD
The Lord said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made them.” . . . God looked on the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way upon the earth. Then God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh has come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence because of them; and, behold, I am about to destroy them with the earth”Genesis 6:7–13
WAS THE FLOOD OF NOAH GLOBAL OR LOCAL IN EXTENT?
“The waters prevailed, and greatly increased on the earth. . . . And the waters prevailed exceedingly on the earth, and all the high hills under the whole heaven were covered. . . . and the mountains were covered.” Genesis 7:18,19Continue reading THE BIBLE & SCIENCE ALIGN→
A stunning 87% of all Americans believe that prayer is answered by God.
82% asked for heath or success for a child or other family member when praying.
75% asked for strength to overcome personal weakness
85% don’t turn away from prayer even after prayers are not answered.
It has also been reported that all but a few medical doctors believe in God and 69% of doctors pray from time to time.
The real message is that prayer is truly of preeminent importance today.
Why would God, who knows everything, ask us to pray when He already knows our needs before we ask?
Actually, prayer comes very naturally to us. There is even a yearning in our most innermost being that leads us to prayer. Where does this deep compulsion originate?
God designed us so that we might wish to know and be more like Him. We are “wired for God”. St. Augustine said,”You have made us for Yourself; and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in you.” We have been created for a purpose: to know, love and serve our God. So God wills us to develop an intimate fellowship with Him.
So we need to spend time together in silence and in the most intimate kind of discourse. Our prayer should be a deep soul conversation with our Creator, which was designed from the beginning.
Prayer in a community is also part of God’s plan, “where two or three are gathered in My name, there am I with them.” Matthew 18:20 In fact, there is more power in this form of prayer.
MOST OF THE MAJOR FAITHS HAVE SOMETHING IN COMMON.
Most of the major faithsinclude the idea of a higher level of consciousness, which is called a union with God; this is the ultimate goal of most spiritual practices. All major religions with the exception of the strictest form of Buddhism (Theravada Buddhism) teach:
That there is a God who is not a person, but who created the cosmos and who is definitely personal.
That it is possible to know and to experience union with this personal God.
That the entire purpose of life is to seek to do so in order to experience God
CHRISTIANITY IS DIFFERENT.
Christianity is different from other kinds of God-mysticism. We become fellow-heirs” with Christ and “fellow workers” with God until one day we will see God face to face.
Not many religions offer a Leader who chose to live with us and show us how to attain the reward of everlasting life.
Not many religions offer a God in the form of the Holy Spirit who fills our lives with divine grace in extraordinary ways: what some would think only as coincidence or good fortune.
Not many religions offer happiness, forever, as a prize for following a few laws
Not many religions throw life jackets to those floundering in a sea of frustration, sin, contradiction and evil.
Not many religions offer light in the darkness and a trail out of the wilderness.
“…Could you not keep watch for one hour?” Mark 14:37
Do you have problems with commitment to prayer? How about short five minutes segments in an hour? You can also just pray at a few spokes of the wheel.
It’s wonderful to start the day with the Lord, praying in the early hours before work begins. Having a set time and place for prayer has positive benefits, whether it is morning, noon or night.
Consider the “Miracle Hour” as an intensely loving “power encounter” with your heavenly Father. The more you can personalize them, and allow the Holy Spirit to lead you spontaneously in your own words, the more meaningful it will be.
As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?Psalm 42:1-2
Let us pray!
People of praise are people of faith. Praise draws us into the abundant life in which God created us to live. When we praise God we acknowledge His supremacy in our lives. Praise draws us into His presence even when we don’t feel like it.
Let us praise God in all things. For the next five minutes just forget about yourself and concentrate on God. Between each segment you may wish to say the Our Father prayer or pray in the charismatic gift of tongues.