Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate and love my Italian heritage, but, yes there is a but in there. I have tried to be part of the Roman Catholic faith, but every instinct in me says, no who you are and what makes sense is biblically accurate Evangelical Protestant,Athanasian Creed and 39 Articles of Faith. I understand that we all have a different calling in this life, that salvation comes strictly through Christ. What does that mean for me? What is at the core of this?
It comes down to how one understands one of the most important moments in the Gospels, the moment when it is revealed to Peter by the Holy Spirit who Jesus is, and Jesus’s response about the Rock. What is that Rock, is it Peter, the Rock that can’t be penetrated by Satan? What is the rock upon which Christ would build His Church? As prayed and read that whole scene over and over, it became clear to me anyway that the Rock was the truth revealed to Peter, that truth, along with the holistic truth of the bible, which can be found in the Athanasian Creed quite nicely. How does does that affect my life and how I interact with my quite liberal Roman Catholic and community of people I’m connected to? It’s a balancing act because my mom is 93, so I don’t want to have a family rift or division. On the other hand, I believe in the natural law and order of things as God intended, as well as standing by that truth no matter what. How I stand by it is the part that can be tricky, not getting riled up when I am told I am on the wrong side of things. I am now realizing the best thing to say is something to the effect of “I am a conservative evangelical and I’ll always be.” I just have to keep responding in that way, firmly, keeping calm, and that is true of everyone I interact with that is RC. What of my daily life? I enjoy saying the Anglican Rosary, helps me focus and calm myself, same with certain prayers from the Book of Common Prayer, and hymns that uplift and teach me, inspire me in my faith and in all things. It gives me a sense of peace, of calm, the ability to think through stuff with clarity and objective truth guidelines. Ritual is not a bad thing, and the RC faith has some beautiful stuff going on, but if I can not embrace the theology in full, then I would be hypocritical to be part of it on a day to day basis. As I said I can appreciate it as my heritage, which I should and do, but in terms of theology, day to day living, prayers etc… I am truly Non Denominational Evangelical Christian, and with a very clear sense of what I need to understand more in depth of, to live the faith and spiritual path more fully. I will always appreciate the heritage of my ancestors, but faith wise I can not follow it. I must be true to God and Biblical truth as the Holy Spirit guides me to be.
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When anyone says sin, often people get very defensive, but if you look at Genesis and Eden, what happened, it comes down to free will, choices and consequence of said choices. In the last post I said patterns mattered and they do, but something else also matters, situations, circumstance. When we decide where to hang out, who to hang out with, what situations we will place ourselves in that is also a choice sometimes directly, other times as a result of choices made, not so wise financial or personal choices. Prayer and meditation should also be to have divine guidance as to what situations we might steer clear of, what influences we might need to release from our lives, always, always constructively. Robert E. Lee for example likes whiskey a lot, but he knew he did not do well in controlling his drink and could become less an pleasant, so he avoided drinking, he stayed clear of it, of circumstances where he would be tempted by the drink. He was proactive in steering clear of “missing the mark”, chose wisdom. May we be led always to choose wisdom, not place ourselves in situations where we might lose our integrity moral or otherwise.
Shalom and Amen
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Life is often a pattern of behaviors, life’s outcomes are the result of a pattern of behavior. This is not to say we are to beat ourselves up forever more. If you look at the scriptures, if you look at writing of poets, each has a style, a pattern of writing and anyone who knows literature can spot whose work it is pretty quickly if you present it without the author’s name. On many levels life has patterns, relationships have patterns, we have patterns, The Trinity and how they operate, deal with things, also that has a pattern, and there is a DNA of apostolic history, of Patriarchy which God instituted, Christ upheld and women are to be a part of, in different ways, ways that matter, but not in the pattern that modern feminism insists. Most things have some kind of pattern to them, the pattern can be constructive in our lives and society or not. If we look at the shift of DNA in society with gender fluidity etc…, all of the shifts, trying to make God, Mother etc…, breakdown of tradition, of family, community close knit, can we say the shifts are constructive to lives and to society as a whole? What about our own lives? What patterns are we continuing that perhaps are destructive and not in congruence with sacred boundaries etc…? Something to think about.
Shalom and Amen
When I read this article I thought about the Pro-Life March and I got a headache, rather a ouch in my head because between this and Pope Francis, showed inconsistency. It showed a total lack of consistency, of moral backbone. You can’t have Pro-life marches, yearly Pro-life prayer vigils and all that, then fund an organization that funds Planned Parenthood, an abortion mill. You can’t have a Pope that seems to want to have bishops re-write the rules as they go along, wing it. The flock of the church then find themselves lost and looking elsewhere, which is why you see now lots of Catholics moving to the Pentecostal Evangelical and such groups, just watching TBN, The Blessed Life, The Spirit Contemporary Life and seeking other like minded conservative Christians online then to connect, or to have home study groups with. They feel the RCC can not offer true solid consistency with even its’ own teachings. Jesus when he says I didn’t come to abolish the law, but to fulfill it, his goal was to clarify it, make it more concise, crystalised. When you do get to know the core of the faith and you realize the church is not standing by its’ own teachings and then you kind of can’t seem to keep it together, not even get a Pope that can get the teachings coherent and straight, not surprising the people are going to say “sayonara, and adios!” That is what is happening. Yours started seeing problems with the RCC a while back and walked away, but because it was my family faith heritage I kept going back. This Pope, and all that is going on, really don’t know that I can stay and say I would be honoring biblical truth, particularly after the Pope’s reaction to our recognition of Jerusalem.
This caught my eye just now. Prayer is a big part of scripture and most spiritual tradition have some form of prayer, mantras, something to that effect. Why? I I suppose prayer says a few things, especially when you pray for those that have done you harm, pray for justice, not revenge, justice, also for their transformation. It shows a certain level of spiritual maturity, as well as general maturity. It also shows God that we are not being self centered, that we acknowledge him, others, particularly if we are not just praying about “give me this Lord, make this happen for me” Me, Me, Me. If we pray enhance the gifts His wishes to enhance in us and use them as He wishes to use them, as they can best serve His will, that he and you both are overjoyed, in accordance with His boundaries, then I think we show great wisdom. Praying this kind of prayer I think and for others in this same way and for their well being, their transformation to spiritual wisdom is a great thing.
I have also looked into http://www.gordonconwell.edu/ You can take the courses for your own personal development, or take the quizes and receive a certificate.
I was on twitter and got into discussion with atheists, we started discussing America’s heritage, I pointed stuff out, our history, national anthem, last stanza what it says, and then the Bible came up and the thing with it condones slavery, other stuff. I had to explain context. I had to explain that you have to look at scripture in the context of that culture, and distinguish between whether they were referring to slaves brought over on ships or another category of people working in the household. Also I pointed out that Paul admonishes care and kindness for all who work in the household, one of the servants who returns to the Master, even changes him and then gains his freedom if memory serves. They were not commissioned to overthrow the government or the status quo of the government and if they had created a situation of the house workers etc… rebelling that could have put those very people in grave danger. Remember there were no civil right groups back then. They likely felt it was more wise to try to change the sin behavior, is often the wise course, and let the change happen due to change in behavior, in emotions, in mindset through Christ, and power of the Holy Spirit. There is a whole host of contextual stuff you have to, should at least glance at when looking to know the Bible, historical, cultural, then there is eschatology, Christology etc… To read the Bible is great, but one should have a study to understand proper fundamentals, after all it is the Word of the Creator. Just saying.
Shalom and Amen
https://www.thoughtco.com/what-are-the-beatitudes-701505, this very much resonated with me. If we are to look at faith and cutlure today, particularly the Christian Anglican and Roman Catholic faith they far adrift from the core of what the focus of faith institutions particularly Christian faith institutions or any spiritual institutions should be focused on teaching. The so called Social Justice thing has taken over or faith institutions and government to the point of turning our church leaders and polticians into law breakers by harboring those in violation of the law and becoming violators of the law themselves. That is not the intention of the Gospel. Remember when Jesus took the coin out of the fish and had them go pay taxes, render unto God what is God’s and unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, now that is not to say we shouldn’t fight for just taxation with representation and proper law and order, a firm Constitutional Republic, all of that, we should vigorously, without a doubt. However, when Christian faith institutions get so caught up in equality by condoning sin etc… we have a problem, when they fail to focus on the beatitudes and the Eucharist, on Christ and salvation through Christ, big problems arise. I hope the institutions and those a part of them can realize this and make a swift U Turn, for the sake of all souls and nations. The counterculture is the destruction of humanity by turning its’ back on God’s truth.
Some think that God, accepting Christ, the baptism of the Holy Spirit means magical erasing of all clouds etc.., but that is not what it means, and when I came across this poem I felt this is what The Holy Trinity would say to us right before we accept the Christian faith and relationship with Father Son and Holy Ghost.
When liberals say that one should not judge or condemn and use one or two bible quotes, argue that God loves no matter one and he never judges, not accurate. Why not?
If you refuse to judge, to discern lifestyle and worldview according to biblical truth all of it, not just the parts you want to use for living life as you please, only as you please or refuse to see clearly America’s for example First Principles of the founding, that John Locke a devout Christian, was a strong influence on the founders of this nation, then you do yourself and others a grave disservice, a disservice to the heart, spirit and soul. This includes judging not in a paralyzing life way, but in an honest assessment way one’s lifestyle and views. If you come to understand truth, and then don’t share it clearly, firmly with others, you do them a disservice. I prefer to share through my blog and the arts, others might share through direct ministry, but to not share truth, the truth that your worldview and lifestyle matter a great deal to God is not love. Love means you share the truth, even if the person does not like that truth, especially when it comes to scripture truth.
Today I went to an evangelical non denominational prayer service, which was a mix of worship music and intercession prayers. Something made me look up at the Creeds of the Anglican Church, the Creeds they have as the basis for the faith. I thought of today, the prayer service and realized, it really is all about Jesus in the heart, and sound understanding of the basics of what God expects from us.
Rituals etc.. don’t save anyone, and don’t mean anything unless you can establish a powerful connection to Christ, to where you are moved heart, spirit and soul. As I read these I realized that I love music and the blog because it allows one to share in terms of inspiration and this amazing journey of faith. These creeds discuss communion, a universal community of faith, they speak of unity of Father, Son, Holy Ghost. I thought of heart, spirit, soul, how if we can have unity of those on some level, in positive ways, then the body will also benefit and so will our lives in general so on and so forth. The understanding and reflection of these creeds can not only teach us pretty much the entirety of the truth of the Bible, and Christianity, core of it, but also about cohesion in our own lives, relationships, self, how that cohesion, communication is important.