I've pretty much stopped posting here due to the lack of interest (readers and comments), but thought I should add a follow-up to my last post: The government backed down on the San Diego Bible study ban due to public reaction (for now at least).
On Good Friday official government terrorists in San Diego entered a PRIVATE HOME when 15 Christians were studying the Bible and ordered to cease and desist from studying the Bible!!!!
The terrorists asked if the prayed and said "Amen." When the couple who owned the home admited they did both they were told that their meeting WAS ILLEGAL!!! In order to meet they would have to pay the terrorist state junta leaders thousands of dollars for a PERMIT!
This IS for real folks!
Here's an overview and links for more!
Couple Ordered to Stop Holding Bible Study at Home Without Permit
Pastor David Jones and his wife Mary have been told that they cannot invite friends to their San Diego, Calif. home for a Bible study — unless they are willing to pay tens of thousands of dollars to San Diego County.
"On Good Friday we had an employee from San Diego County come to our house, and inform us that the Bible study that we were having was a religious assembly, and in violation of the code in the county." David Jones told FOX News.
"We told them this is not really a religious assembly — this is just a Bible study with friends. We have a meal, we pray, that was all," Jones said.
A few days later, the couple received a written warning that cited "unlawful use of land," ordering them to either "stop religious assembly or apply for a major use permit," the couple's attorney Dean Broyles told San Diego news station 10News.
But the major use permit could cost the Jones' thousands of dollars just to have a few friends over.
For David and Mary Jones, it's about more than a question of money.
"The government may not prohibit the free exercise of religion," Broyles told FOX News. "I believe that our Founding Fathers would roll over in their grave if they saw that here in the year 2009, a pastor and his wife are being told that they cannot hold a simple Bible study in their own home."
"The implications are great because it’s not only us that’s involved," Mary Jones said. "There are thousands and thousands of Bible studies that are held all across the country. What we’re interested in is setting a precedent here — before it goes any further — and that we have it settled for the future."
The couple is planning to dispute the county's order this week.
If San Diego County refuses to allow the pastor and his wife to continue gathering without acquiring a permit, they will consider a lawsuit in federal court.
You who live in heaven Hear the prayers of those of us who live on earth Who are afraid of being left by those we love And who get hardened by the hurt
Do you remember when You lived down here where we all scrape To find the faith to ask for daily bread Did You forget about us after You had flown away Well I memorized every word You said
Still I'm so scared, I'm holding my breath While You're up there just playing hard to get You who live in radiance Hear the prayers of those of us who live in skin We have a love that's not as patient as Yours was Still we do love now and then
Did You ever know loneliness Did You ever know need Do You remember just how long a night can get? When You were barely holding on And Your friends fall asleep And don't see the blood that's running in Your sweat
Will those who mourn be left uncomforted While You're up there just playing hard to get?
And I know you bore our sorrows And I know you feel our pain And I know it would not hurt any less Even if it could be explained
And I know that I am only lashing out At the One who loves me most And after I figured this, somehow All I really need to know
Is if You who live in eternity Hear the prayers of those of us who live in time We can't see what's ahead And we can not get free of what we've left behind I'm reeling from these voices that keep screaming in my ears All the words of shame and doubt, blame and regret
I can't see how You're leading me unless You've led me here Where I'm lost enough to let myself be led And so You've been here all along I guess It's just Your ways and You are just plain hard to get
i don't bewlieve in any religion in this world i just want find the truth acording to my stright mind and balancing with nature please gv me any suggestion
This should be the desire of us all... sadly its not.
Religion, ALL religion, is human created to try and categorize the truths presented by some master (or lineage in the case of Hinduism which has no founder).
The Master (whichever master) said this, that, this and that.
The followers heard what was said and interpreted that, this, that, this and this.
... And a new religion was born. They got some of it right and some of it wrong and they went on from there and established dogma.
The best answer to your question that I have found is to not be a "follower" but a doer. In other words, study the lives of those who have achieved spiritual realization and learn from their examples. Study the scriptures and learn their wisdom. Then as you learn, apply this wisdom to your own life and practice as your Inner Guide (the Holy Spirit, Paramatman -- pick your favorite term) leads you. I call this "AllFaith Spirituality" for lack of a better term.
Master Y'shua (Jesus) for instance spent countless hours in prayer and meditation. Do likewise. He fasted for long periods of time, do that. He carefully studied the Scriptures (in his case the Torah and Tanack) seeking to understand the Will of his Father, study.
Master Gautama (the Buddha) found his "Middle Way" after leaving society and practicing extreme asceticism. Through this experience he was ready to hear the teaching of the Vina teacher to his student, 'String it too tight and the string will break, too loose and it will not properly sound.' Seek balance.
Master Lao Tsu (in Tao Te Ching) discovered the impermanence of the "ten thousand things" and the required balance of Yin and Yang to achieve Tao (perfect harmony), seek harmony.
And so on.
In other words, do what they DID rather than following what others say they taught and trust your Inner Voice to keep you on tract.
WHY is the "cross of Jesus" important?
Why is the "blood of Jesus" significant?
WHY does the Hindu honor the murtis?
WHY does the Zen master focus on his navel?
WHY did Master Y'shua consider God to be his Father?
Why did the Gopis consider God to be their Lover?
Why did Mother Yashoda consider God to be her Child?
WHY do the Pagans dance widdershins sometimes but Deosil at others?
Why don't Sikhs cut their hair?
Why do Vaisnavas shave their heads except for the sikha (the "pony tail" atop their shaved heads)?
Why don't devout Muslim men shave their faces?
Why do the Dervish and Sufis dance?
Why don't the Amish, Four Square Christians and others dance?
Why do the Quakers worship in silence?
Why do the Charismatics and Pentecostals raise such a ruckus of sound when they worship?
What do the various verses of Holy Scripture tell us when read without the study aids?
And so on... As the Tanack encourages:
"Come, let Us reason together says HaShem."
Reason with the God of your understanding!
That's why we have this unique ability in the first place!
Seek -- then you WILL find! This was one of Master Y'shua's most solemn promises.
Truth has ever been available for those who seek it.
It is known in many forms.
And always remember, there IS a vital place for religion, for the acceptance of established teachings and creeds. Organized religion gave us education, medicine, alphabets, civil law, ethics and morality, farming, the foundations of science and so very much more. HONOR religion. Defend religious freedom. Respect those with sincere religious faith and seek to never diminish their beliefs or their faith, even as you seek to transcend creeds and dogmas.
Most people are never going to actively devote themselves to seeking Truth. Its just a fact. The vast majority of people, including the vast majority of religious people, focus on their daily lives, on paying their bills, on raising their kids, doing their jobs and so on. They have no inclination to examine these truths in any real depth. And that's OK! We are all here for different reasons!
Judge not lest ye be judged.
Follow YOUR path with love.
Religion can benefit these people immensely.
You have probably read this at my website, but this is what I believe:
Hello! I have several questions for you. I have been struggling recently on the subject of how to live as a follower of Jesus in this world, and am finding it very difficult....
The question is rather long but is essentially concerns defining what a Christian is and why the Church seems to be so far removed from the teachings of Master Y'shua.
First, I can absolutely relate with what you are saying here.
Understand that Nicean Christianity (ie Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican and Protestant Christianity of all denominations and sects) is not based on the teachings of Jesus, but on Paul and on the decisions of the early Church counsels, especially those of the Nicean Council.
Why this is so is debated. Sensing your sincerity I will share one possible answer that much of the Church will not accept.
In the earliest years of the Church (around the mid 300's) what is known as the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes was accepted by the established Church. What this heresy is can be and is debated. I want to be VERY clear on this point. What follows is NOT the generally accepted history of the Church. It is however one that is completely defensible and fully plausible and that explains a great deal in my opinion.
According to the Catholic Church, when Jesus told Peter, "And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it," he was appointing Peter as the first Catholic Pope and instituting the Church. If this view is accepted, the Catholic Church began around 32 CE. and its teachings are presumably those of Jesus (Master Y'shua) and his first followers.
It can be argued however that in 312 CE when Emperor Constantine proclaimed he had had a vision to unite the Roman Empire under a universal (i.e. "catholic") church (community), this began the Roman Catholic Church and what we today know of as Christianity in almost all its forms. Others point to earlier dates (to certain of the "Church fathers") or later dates (to Nicea or other councils).
In my opinion, the Catholic Church began on February 27, 380 when Emperor Theodosius issued his edict, De Fide Catolica, in Thessalonica, published in Constantinople, declaring Catholic Christianity as the state religion of the Roman Empire. The exact date doesn't matter though.
Following the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE the followers of Master Y'shua (who were mainly Jews), like the other Jews, spread out through the known world in what is known as the Diaspora. These dispersed people studied and prayed and sought God's direction according to their ability and knowledge.
Some of these people supported merging their Y'shua-Reformed Jewish doctrines with the Roman Pagan doctrines in an attempt to lessen the persecutions and gain official recognition (and protection) from the Empire. This, in my opinion, is how the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes condemned in the first three chapters of John's Revelations (for instance 2:15: So have you also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which thing I hate) entered into the Church of God.
As Gentiles gradually began to predominate within the various Way communities and congregations, the followers of Master Y'shua became increasingly diverse in their beliefs. The competing "Christianities" of the day were presented and defended, but there was a severe lack of knowledge of the Jewish roots of the Movement. Political expediency, sincere faith, diverse cultural, religious and social paradigms, mystic visions, etc. etc. all contributed to the various teachings and dogmas accepted as "the Way."
Constantine, if given the benefit of the doubt (which I don't) sought to unify the diverse doctrine of the Church under a single doctrine and authority. He succeeded and the Papacy became the official voice of the New Religion.
Under the authority (religious and political) of Constantine and the Roman Empire, the Nicolaitanes won these struggles and established the official Christian Church. These Roman Christians were acquainted with the Pagan world view and religions but were largely ignorant of Jewish scripture and doctrine. The alterations to Judaism made by Master Y'shua (rejecting the Oral Torah etc) meant nothing to these reformers. In order to unite the various Roman sects the Papacy carefully merged teachings, redefined doctrine, implemented orders, and established a new religion that had never before existed.
In the New Testament John, Paul and others warn that Paganism and other "heretical views" were being introduced into the Church. It can be effectively argued that these Romanized teachings (such as Christmas -- the birth of the Sun God worshiped by Constantine; Easter -- Creation Day of Goddess Eaostar; Hell -- abode of the God Hades and so on) were included in these warnings.
On February 27, 380 CE Emperor Theodosius established the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes as the official doctrine of the new Nicean Christian Faith and began a brutal campaign against the "Judaizers": those who sought the Jewish roots of the Way. This is why Christianity bears so few similarities to Master's Y'shua's religion.
Other would-be followers of Master Y'shua sought more mystical approaches (the Gnostics etc.). As time went by there were many "Christianities" not just one and these were incredibly diverse in their teachings and beliefs. Some Nazarenes believed one thing, others another. Some accepted the Roman Cannon (the New Testament) as Scripture, some accepted books (the Gospel of Mary, the Gospel of Barnabas, the Books of Enoch etc) that the official Church rejected.
Once the form of Christianity embraced by the pro-Roman factions gained political power and recognition the Catholic Church began a long process of distilling and canonizing its beliefs into a Roman hierarchically authorized form. This form is what we today refer to as Roman Catholicism.
Other forms of Christian religion continued as well, but these were largely forced underground by severe persecution and Papal Bulls, by the Holy Inquisition, and so on.
Sects like the Abegensians, Cathers, Arians, Anabaptists, various Gnostic sects, the Coptic Church, etc. maintained their teachings as the arguably true Christian faith but by this point it is impossible to identify any of these as being truly apostolic (as the preserved teachings of the Apostles). In time most of these sects were destroyed by the might of the Catholic Church or simply faded away and yet the Papacy never managed to completely destroy the other sects' teachings. These remained as officially condemned heresies.
Eventually the Roman Catholic Church split into the Eastern and Western (Orthodox and Roman) Catholic Church, each claiming to be the original. Later of course the Church of England (Anglican) left the Roman Church and still later came the Protestant Reformation happened and so on. Each group claiming to be the restoration of the One True Church revealed by Master Y'shua and yet each maintaining the essential doctrines of the Nicolaitanes which by this point was accepted as "biblical Christianity."
Which if any of these are the original is a matter of personal faith.
At my Noahide Nazarene web site (allfaith.com/Religions/No...) I present a few studies that I believe are most likely harmonious with the original teachings of Master Y'shua but again, no one can factually claim to know what the Master taught in detail.
For those wishing to rediscovered the Master's teachings a few points are important to bear in mind in my opinion:
The Master was Jewish and viewed the world from a Hebrew, first century paradigm.
The Master believed "the Jews" to be the eternally Chosen People but that they had compromised the faith by embracing the Oral Torah and its teachings, especially its legalism.
The Master was far more concerned with the heart than with the performance of ritual observance.
The Master did not teach Gentiles and he did not come to establish a new religion.
The Master believed HaShem ("the Name", i.e. the God of Israel) is God of the whole world and would accept everyone who comes to Him in faith.
As non-Jews we are not under the 613 Laws of Moses.
Seven Laws for all people can be discerned from the Book of Genesis and these are the Laws followers of Master Y'shua (and all other Noahides) are called to obey:
The Noahide Laws
1. Worship Only HaShem 2. Honor and Praise HaShem 3. Respect and Protect Human Life 4. Respect the Family 5. Respect the Rights and Properties of Others 6. Respect the Sanctity of all Life 7. Pursue Justice
If you look at the lack of faith and piety manifested by others you will ALWAYS be disappointed. ALL of us sinful. ALL of us err.
Concerning the Church of these Last Days Master Y'shua told John:
Rev 3:15 I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot: I would you were cold or hot. 16 So then because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of my mouth. 17 Because you says, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and know not that you are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: 18 I counsel you to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that you may be rich; and white raiment, that you may be clothed, and that the shame of your nakedness do not appear; and anoint yours eyes with eye salve, that you may see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
This is why you find so few examples of true faith today.
What you (I and all others who are sincerely seeking God) need to do is found in the next verses:
20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. 21 To him that overcomes will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
Or as Prophet Micah has it:
6:6 Wherewith shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before the high God? shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old? 7 Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? 8 He has showed you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?
We are to invite the Spirit of HaShem into our consciousness and seek to live in harmony with
His Holy Will with Master Y'shua as our chief teacher and guide.
Hope this helps,
If you have further questions feel free to write back any time.