Archive for the ‘Religious Liberty’ Category

Today, Scripture points are shared on the value of religious beliefs, and the holy writings.  Many forceful and immature voices are now being heard through popular culture that argue the Bible and organized religion are antiquated, confrontational, divisive, exacting, homicidal, humiliating, incendiary, unnecessarily judgmental, and uncivilized.  These so-called “enlightened critics” promote the same spirit of defiance, insurrection, pseudo-intellectualism, and rebellion that was articulated through communism; however, their contemporary calls are that all doctrine, organized religious practices, standards, and teachings be outlawed and prohibited for the sake of global survival, and world peace.  Since the days of Abel and Cain, there have been those who desire the blessing GOD provides only to his own heirs and offspring; however, they continue to deny the lovingkindness, preeminence and sovereignty of the Creator.  Christian believers are cautioned against “thieves” who come only to rob, kill, and destroy; “wolves in sheep’s clothing;” and those displaying a form of godliness, but denying the true Power.  One of the fighters at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Anonymous” (no profile information shared) posted the following:

 

Is the bible used by both evil people and good people. Does it serve a double standard.?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.  (Acts 20:  32, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Conflict Because of Religious Belief? (01/30/2015); Unto The Pure (11/15/2015); A Price for Religious Liberty? (06/30/2015); A Wandering Jew? (04/09/2015); Faith not Politics? (12/02/2014); Ye Are Not In The Flesh (12/03/2014); God Bless America? (09/12/2013); Law, Slavery and Redemption  (09/13/2013)

 

“Anonymous”, for the disciples and followers of Jesus Christ, the holy writings are an actual appearance and embodiment (we also say, a manifestation) of divinity.  So to speak, the Scriptures provide “a divine point of view” revealing the active presence of Deity by using thousands of events within thousands of lives over the course of thousands of years.  To have the fullest benefit from the Scriptures, a believer must receive the divine anointing and spiritual gifts that give meaning and power to their experiences of growth, guidance, instruction, and preparation.  Included are baptism, confession, forgiveness, penance, praise, prophecy, sanctification, thanksgiving, and worship.  Even so, many deal with religious beliefs, emblems, and sacred knowledge the same way “fans” will deal with their favorite sports.  They insist upon professional balls, jerseys, and playing fields, yet, are mere “weekend warriors” who rarely get involved in local league activity.  While they may boast, challenge each other, and “talk plenty trash,” few are career criminals, con-artists, and imposters seeking to exploit, “hustle”, and victimize those in their own community.  Similarly, there are many who “follow” as religious believers who do not properly discern the spirit content, eternal purposes, and sacred operations of divinity.  Such people can appear to be blasphemers, bogus or counterfeit clergy, and “false prophets” that misapply, and “wrest” the Scriptures.  However, more than being agents of Satan, cold-blooded crooks, disbelievers, and frauds, the many “fair-weather” and “nominal believers” (in name only) often are answering as babes to “growing pains”, for the even-handed and impartial responses by GOD to the human predicament often appear to be chance, coincidence, and a matter of ones “luck”.   Consider again how some of this is stated in the language of the Bible:

(1.)   Hebrews 4:  1-3, King James Version (KJV):  1 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.  2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them:  but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.  3 For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest:  although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.

(2.)  Matthew 5:  43-48, KJV:  43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.  44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;  45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven:  for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.  46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?  47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?  48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

(3.)  Ezekiel 33:  30-33, KJV:  30 Also, thou son of man, the children of thy people still are talking against thee by the walls and in the doors of the houses, and speak one to another, every one to his brother, saying, Come, I pray you, and hear what is the word that cometh forth from the LORD.  31 And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them:  for with their mouth they shew much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness.  32 And, lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument:  for they hear thy words, but they do them not.  33 And when this cometh to pass, (lo, it will come,) then shall they know that a prophet hath been among them.

(4.)  Isaiah 5:  18-21, KJV:  18 Woe unto them that draw iniquity with cords of vanity, and sin as it were with a cart rope:  19 That say, Let him make speed, and hasten his work, that we may see it:  and let the counsel of the Holy One of Israel draw nigh and come, that we may know it!  20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!  21 Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!

There is far more to be said, carefully examined, and spiritually understood.  (For example, (5.)  2nd Corinthians 4:  1-7, KJV:  1 Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not;  2 But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.  3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:  4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.  5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.  6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.  7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

New Disclaimer

 

 

 

Freedom, idolatry, the celebration of Christmas, and use of the Christmas tree are topics, today.  Cultural arrogance, ethnicity, and racism are vain, and do not nourish the imparted, indwelling Spirit from GOD.  For mature Christian believers the birth of Jesus is acknowledged as the fulfillment of prophecy, divine proclamation, and sacred promise, therefore even African American believers count themselves free to celebrate understanding principles for living that come from GOD.  However, for developing believers—those recently born again, or continuing their gradual growth as being in sacred relationship—the observance of Christmas may appear as only a family custom, the expression of popular culture, or merely a longstanding social tradition.  Even so, such features as Santa Claus, fantasy, gift-giving, and folk tales to amuse and entertain do not convey an antichrist spirit as does apostasy, heresy, and slander.  Americans include those having root as Black sons of Canada, Haiti, Jamaica, Germany, and even Great Britain.  Christian worship among those of Black descent in America includes African Methodist Episcopal believers, Baptists, Catholics, Pentecostals, and Seventh Day Adventists.  Among the true disciples of Jesus, there are many devices, experiences and lessons that are to be used to foster cleansing, growth, healing and perfection.  Consider again the holy writings, and the points shared below:  Psalms 97:  9-12, King James Version (KJV):  9 For thou, LORD, art high above all the earth:  thou art exalted far above all gods.  10 Ye that love the LORD, hate evil:  he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked.  11 Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart.  12 Rejoice in the LORD, ye righteous; and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.  Also, 1st Corinthians 13:  8-12, KJV:  8 Charity never faileth:  but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.  9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.  10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.  11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child:  but when I became a man, I put away childish things.  12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face:  now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.  The fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” who uses the ID “yahoosucks” (Level 1 with 18 points, a member since August 26, 2015) posted the following:

 

Why does Black America celebrate Christmas when the bible Jeremiah 10:1-5 clearly tells the Israelites not to?

I understand the white edomites breaking GOD’s laws but the blacks who are the Israelite tribe of Judah need to wake up

Update:  To all the dumb edomites, you remember the song “silver & gold” song during Christmas?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people; (for he was above all the people;) and when he opened it, all the people stood up:  And Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God. And all the people answered, Amen, Amen, with lifting up their hands:  and they bowed their heads, and worshipped the LORD with their faces to the ground.  Also Jeshua, and Bani, and Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodijah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, and the Levites, caused the people to understand the law:  and the people stood in their place.  So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading.  And Nehemiah, which is the Tirshatha, and Ezra the priest the scribe, and the Levites that taught the people, said unto all the people, This day is holy unto the LORD your God; mourn not, nor weep. For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the law.  Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared:  for this day is holy unto our LORD:  neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength.  So the Levites stilled all the people, saying, Hold your peace, for the day is holy; neither be ye grieved.  And all the people went their way to eat, and to drink, and to send portions, and to make great mirth, because they had understood the words that were declared unto them.  (Nehemiah 8:  5-12, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  American Culture and Law? (07/13/2015); The American Covenant? (03/03/2015); The Christmas Spirit? (12/23/2014); Peace The Gift of Christmas? (12/24/2014); Beliefs, Customs and Racism? (09/24/2014); Are Holidays Bad? (11/16/2013); Denying GOD by Eating Shrimp? (11/17/2013)

 

“yahoosucks”, Black Americans are now privileged to be in covenant with divinity through the new testament established in the blood of Jesus Christ.  While many accept a heritage as Jews and inclusion within spiritual (not national) Israel, few claim place as “Israelites”.  African Americans have always been a diverse aspect of this New World experiment in democracy and the hope of a homeland that is to be a “melting pot.”  The bias and ignorance that established and maintained chattel slavery of Africans began in Portugal (Europe) 50 years before Columbus sailed.  Africa then (as now) was an entire continent serving as home to multiple cultures, language groups, and those who were grounded as believers in many different systems for spiritual truth.  Black Africans were never all from one tribe, one nation, one region, or one religion.  Many were Islamic believers; some answered forms of shamanism; others had received some instruction in Christianity.  Nevertheless, all were initially dehumanized and maintained as “beasts of burden,” “darkies”, and “niggras”.  In somewhat the same way, Americans whose ancestry and origin are traced to Africa, have developed differently in accordance to the peculiar challenges of life in rural vs. urban settings, status as freeman or slave, East coast vs. the West, and Mid-west vs. Northwest America. 

Today, African Americans practice spiritual disciplines that include Buddhism, Judaism, Mormonism, and Scientology.  All do not celebrate the birth of Jesus as the intercession of divinity for the deliverance of Creation from the shackles of sin.  Religious liberty is more than a political slogan in our lives; and, like the right to vote, pertains to the “quality of life” and self-esteem in ways that are fundamental.  The concepts of “equality” and “impartiality” are vital to the ideas of freedom and justice through law that are essential for stable nations.  More than this, commitment, conscience, and sacrifice—what we willingly give our lives to, or give up our lives for—is determined in response to a myriad of life conditions, challenges, goals, and opportunities.

All Black Christians do not acknowledge, praise, and reverence divinity the same way; nor do those who celebrate Christmas all do so the same way.  Blacks also may enjoy a “white Christmas” as do their neighbors across the Nation.  Customs and traditions vary like family life, home ownership, and the goals we set for our children.  As is true for all Christians everywhere, Black Christians vary in their level of knowledge, preparation, skills, and spiritual maturity.  The relationship to Deity through Jesus Christ—one faith, one Lord, one baptism, one God and Father of all—establishes Black Americans and all other Christians as having oneness (unity), rather than sameness.  Within the bounds and limits of new life through rebirth (the “law” some call self-discipline), believers all are free to pursue acquiring sacred knowledge, developing through fellowship with other believers, expressing personal devotion, maintaining sacred practices (we say, sacraments), continuing study of the holy writings, and pursuing congregational worship.

There are many other ideas that should be carefully considered, correctly understood, and made a part of ones own spiritual development, here.  (For example, many Black Americans have chosen Christianity as a way to express and satisfy their personal needs for affirmation, direction, and spiritual strength.  However, others accept Christian belief as a matter of their being chosen and put to work as instruments to accomplish divine and eternal purposes that are not their own.  These are in an ongoing process of permanent change and transformation that also alters how they perceive duty, their place in society, and their participation in both secular and religious traditions.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

 

New Disclaimer

Accountability, duty, ethics, and personal authority are themes for our blog presentation this Labor Day, 2015.  As a former Federal employee in my position for many years through the Library of Congress, I was very surprised when the entire staff was required to attend sessions instructing us with regard to the importance of ethics when performing our duties for Congress and the Nation.  To me, OJT (on the job training) orientations on honor, integrity, respect and trust seemed part of what should have been provided before our first full day of employment had finished.  We were being granted an opportunity to serve that should be held as a full-time commitment, not merely an eight-hour day or “9 to 5 grind.”  To use government computers, copy machines, manpower, paper, time in the workplace, and other resources for personal goals was to be understood as pilfering and theft.  Every government  employee’s attitudes, behavior, and conduct continue to be thought of as representative of their constituents and the employer, even, long after the workday is over.  The employer should be free to expect those hired to be in a covenant agreement for mutual benefit; yet, cooperation, permission, and restrictions will be in place for planned operations to be completed without duplication and waste.  Without direct confirmation of ones supervisor, personnel were to informally adopt or assume no added advantages, benefits, perks or privileges beyond those to fulfill their job description and work agreement.  One of the fighters at “Yahoo! Answers” who uses the ID “Anonymous” (no profile information shared) posted the following:

 

Why can’t I as an atheist do the same thing as Kim Davis?

“I’m sorry, I can’t authorize your christian marriage because they violate my atheist beliefs.” This is why Kim will not see the light of day for a while.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God:  the powers that be are ordained of God.  Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God:  and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.  For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:  For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain:  for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.  Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.  For for this cause pay ye tribute also:  for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.  Render therefore to all their dues:  tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.  Owe no man any thing, but to love one another:  for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.  For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.  Love worketh no ill to his neighbour:  therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.  And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep:  for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.  The night is far spent, the day is at hand:  let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.  (Romans 13:  1-12, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  A Price for Religious Liberty? (06/30/2015); Different Strokes, For Different Folks? (06/22/2015); Those Having the True Secrets? (04/14/2015); It Comes With the Job? (01/11/2015); Law in Christian Belief? (09/03/2013); A Need to Know? (09/04/2013)

 

“Anonymous”, here are a few thoughts I would like to share on the issues of civil disobedience, marriage, and the misuse of sacred knowledge in America, today.  The right to religious liberty with freedom to maintain ones conscience and practice ones own beliefs is not also the right to religious authority over those who disbelieve.  Liberty allows one to participate in a community of like-minded believers wherein there may be a division of labor and hierarchy to accomplish shared goals.  Such a broad liberty may be granted to all, however, the peculiar privileges of membership for those within a sanctified body (i.e., a collective set apart for service to divinity) will be restricted exclusively to those who are contributing participants of their own assembly, congregation, or community of faith.  Where we are granted secular authority in settings to provide civil and human services, it is both presumptuous and unethical to assume and exercise judicial or police authority.

Where an elected official or government worker feels their job description, and the demands of their position are in conflict with the mandates and policies of the agencies wherein they serve, resignation and separation without prejudice are the most appropriate actions to spare those who lack job satisfaction, and to resolve the apparent conflicts.  For an employee to insist upon refusing to carry out lawful orders, their insubordination may be seen as an attack upon the agency as well as acts that are criminal, disloyal, and seditious.

For those claiming to be Christian believers, it is to be recognized as pride and spiritual confusion when any person (particularly clergy) assumes they are above divine law; that they themselves are the primary advocate, and source of life and power for sacred law; and that their own righteousness permits them to wear a mantel of divine judgment.  There is ungodly arrogance in seeking to punish another individual, an ethnic group, a family, or a nation on the basis of finite and imperfect law (i.e., public opinion) that entails multiple levels of subtlety (i.e., barely visible differences; hidden shifts in meaning and value).

Thus, for example, those daring to call themselves righteous as terrorists are not true partakers of the fullness of GOD.  While wrath against sin come does correctly come into view, the eternal purposes of judgment are not to be dismissed, ignored or overlooked.  Foremost among the exalted aspects of divine intent are correction; divine order; continuing righteousness; gratitude; humility; sealing the beloved with the mark of GOD; completing the full revelation of being, existence and life that is divine priority; and preparing mankind for the harvesting of the earth, the end of mortality, and the permanent transformation of humanity at the coming of Jesus Christ. 

There are many other points that should be carefully considered, correctly understood, and made a permanent aspect of ones new life in Christ.  (For example:  This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.  For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,  Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,  Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;  Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof:  from such turn away (2nd Timothy 3:  1-5, King James Version, KJV).  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

 

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

Adornment, dress codes, indignation, and freedom in the church are topics, today.  No mature Christian will agree that believers may enter the divine presence looking like a flash mob ready to destroy a convenience store?  The sacred collective created by Jesus Christ is a body made up of spirits, and is not just another social organization rooted in material existence, personal preference, private opinions, and selfish choice.  Churches do not have bouncers and security staff like night clubs, however, the deacons and ushers are empowered within the shared covenant to maintain necessary order.  (I recall a fellow ejected one Sunday, shouting that he was a child of GOD, and it was his right to “come as you are.”  They rebuked him saying, as a son he must practice obedience; and they were quick to literally lift him up and out.)  Developing believers often are surprised that clergy and officers within their own assembly are endowed with divine authority, and also must demonstrate the wrath of GOD against sin such that the behavior of church members may come under censure for what appear to themselves as arbitrary, and a simple “matter of choice.”  Rightly understood, those who willingly come to Christ do so surrendering choice and free-will submitting themselves to the diverse operations of GOD that pertain to having eternal life.  Trusting GOD, believers may encounter divinity in settings that range from the bedroom to the battlefield, from the chapel to the burial place.  Whatever the setting for praise, prayer, and obeisance, Christian believers seek to be sanctified (i.e., cleansed; set apart for divine service; made ready to be taken when the Savior comes to harvest his followers from the earth) at all times, and be seen by the Father covered through the blood and righteousness of Christ.  With this in view, believers offer and present themselves sharing gifts made acceptable by faith, gratitude, humility, love, respect, reverence, simplicity, and truth.  The fighter who uses the ID “Hugh” at “Yahoo! Answers” (Level 3 with 1,103 points, a member since March 10, 2015) posted the following:

 

Religion and spirituality. I was thrown out of church (by force) because I did not comply with the dress code, is this any way for men of?

the cloth to behave, as soon as he saw me started to go on about how I was dressed and I was a disgrace and that I was never to come back again…..You could have knocked me over with a feather when the Minister rushed at me screaming at the top of his voice ‘put your trousers back on you heathen’ and then threw me out. What has happened to the church in this day and age?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,  According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:  Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises:  that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.  And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;  And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;  And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.  For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.  But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.  Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure:  for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:  For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  (2nd Peter 1:  2-11, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Should Men Take Their Hats Off? (05/15/2014); The Issue Is Not Accuracy (05/16/2014); Worship Wear? (01/23/2014); Mankind Destroyed? (01/24/2014); Why Clothing? (10/15/2010); Known by GOD? (10/16/2010)

 

“Hugh”, a church is more than an abstraction or secular organization only when the believers faithfully discharge peculiar spiritual duties unselfishly sharing their personal resources (including knowledge, money, skills, talent, time).  GOD is to be approached as exalted, pure, and sovereign.  The casual behavior that many enjoy as harmless in other settings is specially regarded as abominable, filthy, offensive to GOD, and profane when occurring in the Sanctuary—the largest area of a worship place set apart for members and their guests to gather and welcome the divine presence.  Included are gum-chewing, gossiping, partial nudity and wearing clothing for sexual attraction such as shorts, skinny jeans, and swim gear, smoking, and whispering.  For Christian believers participation in the activities of their assemblies, congregations, groups for praise, prayer, service and study as well as for full communities of faith are governed by by-laws composed and adopted by the body as well as by commandments, examples, guidelines, and principles written in the Bible.  Those who voluntarily commit themselves to a church all are required to experience specific sacred events (e.g., baptism, confession, confirmation, instruction, offering, the ordinance of humility, the right hand of fellowship).  In addition to being present for various ceremonies, rites, and solemn rituals for worship, members are expected to regularly attend sessions for decision-making and handling the financial and practical affairs of the group.  Here are a few points from the holy writings that have helped born-again believers who must mature again understand their religious liberty, duty, obligation, and privilege:

(1.)  John 14:  23-27, King James Version (KJV):  23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words:  and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.  24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings:  and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.  25 These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you.  26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.  27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you:  not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

(2.)  1st Timothy 3:  14-16, KJV:  14 These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly:  15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.  16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness:  God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

(3.)  Romans 8:  5-9, KJV:  5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.  6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.  7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God:  for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.  8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.  9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

(4.)  1st Corinthians 14:  36-40, KJV:  36 What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only?  37 If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.  38 But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant.  39 Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues.  40 Let all things be done decently and in order.

(5.)  1st Timothy 5:  19-22, KJV:  19 Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses.  20 Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.  21 I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality.  22 Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men’s sins:  keep thyself pure.

There are many other Scriptures that should be carefully considered, correctly understood, and made a permanent part of ones own sacred knowledge.  (For example, (6.)  2nd Corinthians 13:  7-14, KJV:  7 Now I pray to God that ye do no evil; not that we should appear approved, but that ye should do that which is honest, though we be as reprobates.  8 For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth.  9 For we are glad, when we are weak, and ye are strong:  and this also we wish, even your perfection.  10 Therefore I write these things being absent, lest being present I should use sharpness, according to the power which the Lord hath given me to edification, and not to destruction.  11 Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.  12 Greet one another with an holy kiss.  13 All the saints salute you.  14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

 
THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

Today, Scripture points are shared on justification, divine law, license, and rebirth.  Rightly understood, Christ only has justified our godliness by growing, learning, and practicing the things of his faith and our surrender to divinity. The writer at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Eagle” (a member since August 08, 2015) posted the following:

 

Is it ok to murder, rape and steal if you’re a Christian because someone else has been crucified for your sins?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men:  but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.  And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him:  but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.  Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt:  for the tree is known by his fruit.  O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.  A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things:  and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.  But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.  For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.  (Matthew 12:  31-37, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Sinless Until Advent? (11/05/2014); Holy Wars? (11/06/2014); On Testing GOD (06/20/2013); GOD Grants License? (06/21/2013); Origin of Baptism? (06/22/2013); No Free Will (10/19/2010)

 

“Eagle”, all Christian believers start out with errors,  misinformation, and unchallenged assumptions that are gradually replaced with sacred knowledge, spiritual maturity, and their own life experience of encounter with GOD.  In ignorance, many approach new life through Christ, redemption, and salvation expecting to receive approval, endorsement, “freely given treasure and wealth” from GOD (we say, something for nothing), and a golden ticket (license) to “do as you please.”  Often, these persons dismiss all the law given by GOD, that they may never really have comprehended, obeyed and respected.  As they begin, such persons at best are honest and sincere investigators and seekers, who truly are motivated to find out more.  Through the various divine and human operations of baptism (e.g., commitment, death, love, trust), the inborn spirit of the new believer “dies”, and is replaced with spirit content from the makeup of GOD.  It is then that curiosity and intellectual inquisitiveness are replaced by the deep need within all created beings and living creatures to be in intimate association and right relationship with the Creator.  In a sense, only the new birth (being born again) and the following life processes for the believer (growing up again; becoming perfected) are justified by the blood of Jesus from the cross.   Thus, for the Christian, who now understands that we are in a process being carried out by GOD that will continue indefinitely, only such things will become “ok” as having to accept permanent changes in ones character and nature, to make confession, to fellowship with others in Christ, to repent, to daily offer prayers of gratitude, to make detailed study of the holy writings, to share the admonition and warnings given believers, and to speak in the authority and name of Jesus.  Here are a few points from the Bible that also should be helpful:

(1.)  Job 25:  1-6, King James Version (KJV):  1 Then answered Bildad the Shuhite, and said,  2 Dominion and fear are with him, he maketh peace in his high places.  3 Is there any number of his armies? and upon whom doth not his light arise?  4 How then can man be justified with God? or how can he be clean that is born of a woman?  5 Behold even to the moon, and it shineth not; yea, the stars are not pure in his sight.  6 How much less man, that is a worm? and the son of man, which is a worm?

(2.)  Psalms 51:  3-5, KJV:  3 For I acknowledge my transgressions:  and my sin is ever before me.  4 Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight:  that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.  5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.

(3.)  Isaiah 43:  8-10, KJV:  8 Bring forth the blind people that have eyes, and the deaf that have ears.  9 Let all the nations be gathered together, and let the people be assembled:  who among them can declare this, and shew us former things? let them bring forth their witnesses, that they may be justified:  or let them hear, and say, It is truth.  10 Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen:  that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he:  before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.

(4.)  Acts 13:  38-39, KJV:  38 Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins:  39 And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.

(5.)  Luke 7: 28-30, KJV:  28 For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist:  but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.  29 And all the people that heard him, and the publicans, justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John.  30 But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him.

(6.)  Romans 2:  12-16, KJV:  12 For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law:  and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;  13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.  14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:  15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)

There is far more that could be said, and that must be correctly understood and spiritually taken into account.  (For example (7.)  Galatians 2:  16-21, KJV:  16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law:  for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.  17 But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.  18 For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor.  19 For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.  20 I am crucified with Christ:  nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me:  and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.  21 I do not frustrate the grace of God:  for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

Points are shared on government, religious liberty, and the price believers must pay to have a presence as a community of faith.  The work of any government is the making and keeping of agreements (we say, contracts, covenants, treaties).  Every legitimate government acknowledges that its population requires the full spectrum of human needs be met, including those that are carnal, emotional, financial, intellectual, psychological, sexual, social, and spiritual.  Throughout human history, government as a tool of the World has been used both to support and to suppress religious expression.  A necessary goal for every community is the continuation of its own existence; and some tasks unselfishly undertaken now are intended to benefit later generations, and their offspring they will never live to see.  In addition to providing money and human resources for things concrete, mundane and pedestrian, there must be a focus upon things that are conceptual, speculative, and unseen.  Included are benefits for minorities (e.g., children, ethnic groups, veterans, women) that will not be delivered directly to everyone; normative conditions and services we acknowledge as having benefit, therefore, ought and should be available within the community (e.g., hospitals, libraries, preschool); unmet needs; possibilities; and a controlled process that will carry all into the diverse experiences of life.  An angry writer at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “nepaliasianman”, (Level 3 with 1,667 points, a member since June 03, 2015) posted the following:

 

Why don’t the government demolish all the churches since their not paying taxes?

If churches are not a bussiness than don’t donate your money to Preachers and Pastors?

If you don’t large amount of money to these people and make them rich than it is a bussiness organisation and should immediately start paying taxes or fined. If not demolish the damn Church?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul:  neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.  And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus:  and great grace was upon them all.  Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold,  And laid them down at the apostles’ feet:  and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.  (Acts 4:  32-35, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Separation of Church and State (07/04/2014); On Being Good Stewards (12/17/2013); Traditional Marriage? (12/18/2013); Sacrificial Relationship? (10/23/2013); Relationship by Unselfish Giving?(10/24/2013); A Spirit Church? (04/04/2013); My Brother’s Keeper (04/05/2013); Attending Church? (11/12/2012); Attending Church? (11/13/2012)

 

“nepaliasianman”, you have a friend in high places who is willing to tell you that, those who are angry against the church usually do not have sacred knowledge that comes from divinity, and are strangers to the true nature and work of believers.  Struggling with the hostile view that comes from such sources as academics, complainers, disbelievers, gossips, neighbors, and public media, the church is taken to be an excuse, or explanation (we say, scapegoat) for serious failures, losses, and problems within a community.  Seen “up close, and personal,” the day-to-day life within the church is seen to operate strictly upon the basis of loving acceptance, godliness, sacrifice, and suffering.  Please consider the following:

(1.)  The shared commitment to permanently live together as a sovereign collective to be known as a commonwealth, municipality, state or nation is one to combine and equitably distribute goods, merchandise, real property, and other resources to ensure communication, exchange, growth, health, prosperity, security, and survival.

(2.)  The many goals expressed by government as the establishment of personal freedom also correctly include allowing and encouraging the full development, maturation and participation of all its citizens.  Thus, included are provisions for individual expressions of conscience, faith, “peace of mind,” and spiritual development (we say, religious liberty).

(3.)  Funding of operations for churches and their programs that address the quality of life as they serve the community include the full range of expenses seen with every institution within the state.  Money must be privately raised for such recurring expenses as mortgages, rents, insurance, property taxes, cooling/heating, indoor plumbing, lights, sanitation, and repairs to say nothing of food, clothing, water, rectory, books, informational handouts (we say, programs), instruments, sheet music, advertising, or media broadcasts.  As with many businesses, the church and its members also come under the attack of deceivers, false brethren, liars, plunderers, robbers, thieves, thugs, and vandals.

There is far more to be said, correctly understood, and patiently taken into account.  (For example, (4.)  The service provided by religious communities often are called intangibles, for they pertain to immeasurable and irreplaceable aspects of a community’s life and value.  Included are its reputation (we say, name, track record) for compassion, discipline, farsightedness, honor, integrity, intelligence, maturity, stability, soundness, strength, and trustworthiness.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith, sacred knowledge, and spiritual maturity.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

Today, a PDF document (3 p.) is described discussing Federal legislation that provides necessary legal protections for people of faith who seek to live out their spiritual commitments in daily life.  Nearly unanimous bipartisan support was garnered within both houses of Congress for this law addressing restoration of religious liberty.  A decision by the U.S. Supreme Court (called Employment Division v. Smith) made it more difficult for religious believers to challenge laws that constrained their ability to live out their faith.  In that case, Native Americans were fired from their jobs because they used peyote as part of their religion.  The RFRA was intended to affirm and buttress the First Amendment of the Constitution that guarantees the free exercise of religion.  Twenty states are reported as having adopted their own versions of RFRA, and another eleven states have similar provisions in place provided by state court decisions.  RFRA is reported as supplying a balancing test when the government attempts to restrict the free exercise of religion.  In general, RFRAs help people of minority faiths who cannot secure legislative exemptions for specific practices maintained among themselves.

 

THE KINGS SPEAR:  I am continuing to review documents posted in the “Bishop’s Advocacy Activity on Religious Liberty” page at the Internet site of the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops (USCCB).  The Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty has published a “must read” PDF document on the Federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) [http://usccb.org/issues-and-action/religious-liberty/upload/Why-the-Religious-Freedom-Restoration-Act-Works.pdf].

The Federal law enacted in 1993 under Bill Clinton is described using a Q&A format that presents the following six questions:

1. Does RFRA provide a “license to discriminate” against gay people?

2. What are the safeguards built into RFRA?

3. Why is any RFRA necessary at all?

4. Since there is already a federal RFRA, why do states need their own?

5. Who really benefits from RFRAs?

6. What is the impact of RFRA on current debates over “same-sex marriage” and laws prohibiting “sexual orientation” and “gender identity”
discrimination?

See Why the Religious Freedom Restoration Act Works/The Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, April 07, 2015.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  And it came to pass, that after three days Paul called the chief of the Jews together:  and when they were come together, he said unto them, Men and brethren, though I have committed nothing against the people, or customs of our fathers, yet was I delivered prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans.  Who, when they had examined me, would have let me go, because there was no cause of death in me.  But when the Jews spake against it, I was constrained to appeal unto Caesar; not that I had ought to accuse my nation of.  For this cause therefore have I called for you, to see you, and to speak with you:  because that for the hope of Israel I am bound with this chain.  And they said unto him, We neither received letters out of Judaea concerning thee, neither any of the brethren that came shewed or spake any harm of thee.  But we desire to hear of thee what thou thinkest:  for as concerning this sect, we know that every where it is spoken against.  And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening.  And some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not.  (Acts 28:  17-24, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER: Human Law, Divine Favor? (03/23/2015); The American Covenant? (03/03/2015); On Christians Being Inclusive? (07/16/2014); War and Peace (07/17/2014); Separation of Church and State (07/04/2014); The Point of Wisdom? (07/05/2014); Holiday Displays? (12/07/2012); An Attack Upon Creation? (12/08/2012); The Crux of the Matter (10/26/2012); Women Ordained to Minister? (10/27/2012)

 

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually understood.  (For example, members of minority faiths in the U. S. (e.g., Baha’i, Hindu, Muslims and Sikhs) and those operating family-owned businesses must have further protection through the law when their beliefs continue and promote practices in opposition to state or local antidiscrimination laws.  Their legitimate conscientious objections may appear as expressions of “unjust discrimination,” yet, are exactly what is intend when America speaks of religious freedom protected by strong law.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC