Leonard Ravenhill (15) Însemnat: PENTRU CRISTOS!

Citeste

  1. Leonard Ravenhill (1) Cu orice preţ, căutaţi să aveţi ungerea
  2. Leonard Ravenhill (2) Rugăciunea atinge veşnicia
  3. Leonard Ravenhill (3) La amvoane, ungerea! În popor, strângerea!
  4. Leonard Ravenhill (4) Unde este acum Dumnezeul lui Ilie?
  5. Leonard Ravenhill (5) O trezire într-un cimitir plin cu oase
  6. Leonard Ravenhill (6) Trezirea întârzie… fiindcă…
  7. Leonard Ravenhill (7) Unde sunt predicile acelea înflăcărate?
  8. Leonard Ravenhill (8) Credincioşii necredincioşi
  9. Leonard Ravenhill (9) Se caută: Proroci pentru vremuri de restrişte
  10. Leonard Ravenhill (10) Focul naşte foc!
  11. Leonard Ravenhill (11) De ce atâta nepăsare?
  12. Leonard Ravenhill (12) O biserică dezorientată, într-o lume pierdută!
  13. Leonard Ravenhill (13) Se caută: Un proroc care să predice predicatorilor!
  14. Leonard Ravenhill (14) Un constructor al Împărăţiei

Într-un anumit sens toţi oamenii suntem străini unii faţă de alţii. Chiar şi prietenii nu se cunosc bine unii pe alţii. Căci a cunoaşte pe cineva, înseamnă a-i ştii toate influenţele din izvoarele erediatare şi ale mediului în care a crescut, cât şi nenumăratele hotărâri morale care l-au format ca să ajungă ce este. Deşi nu ne cunoaştem unii pe alţii, urmărind traiectoria vieţii cuiva aflăm învăţături frumoase, în special dacă suntem atenţi la forţele motoare care i-au motivat acţiunile. De pildă, ce mult am câştiga fiecare dacă am simţi şi noi acelaşi clocot de viaţă în Cristos ca Saul din Tars, mai târziu chemat Pavel, dacă am măsura şi noi cât de cât adâncimile ascunse ale cuvintelor sale: „Port în trupul meu semnele Domnului Isus!” (Galateni 6:17).

În legătură cu aceste cuvinte un lucru e sigur: au fost e recunoaştere a faptului că Dumnezeu era stăpân în viaţa lui Pavel. Apostolul Pavel aparţinea în întregime Domnului, cu trupul, sufletul şi duhul său. Era însemnat pentru Cristos! Când el spune că poartă în trupul său rănile, cele cinci răni ale Domnului, nu vorbea de semne ca de genul „stigmatelor” pretinse de Sf. Francis de Assisi în 1224. Nu e vorba de o asemănare exterioară şi o imitaţie a rănilor Mântuitorului, ci o identificare spirituală printr-o răstignire lăuntrică. El fusese „răstignit cu Cristos!” (Galateni 2:20).

Semnele răstignirii sale lăuntrice au fost văzute clar. Întâi de toate, a fost însemnat cu un zel aprins faţă de o ţintă clară! Dacă e adevărat ce spune tradiţia creştină că apostolul Pavel era doar de 1,3 metri înalt, atunci a fost cel mai gigant pitic care a trăit vreodată. A depăşit pe toţi contemporanii săi în rugăciune, în lucru, în zel. Pe firmamentul vieţii lui a fost scris cu litere de foc: „Fac un singur lucru!” (Filipeni 3:13). A fost orb la toate celelalte lucruri în care îşi găseau slava ceilalţi contemporani.

La fel, Calvin a fost luat în râs fiindcă stătea toată ziua şi scria Instituţiile sale, şi n-a scris cu pana lui genială nici măcar un singur rând despre gloriile Alpilor care-l înconjurau. Iar Pascal a fost aspru criticat fiindcă în afară de nemurirea sufletului uman, n-a găsit nici un peisaj în jur la care să-şi oprească privirea. Tot astfel, apostolul Pavel ar putea fi luat în batjocură fiindcă n-a scris nici un cuvânt despre arta greacă sau splendorile Pantheonului. El se izolase în spiritualitate.

După ciocnirea ateniană pe colina lui Marte, apostolul Pavel şi-a vărsat tot dispreţul faţă de înţelepciunea acestei lumi, murind zilnic faţă de ispita de a-i întrece în idei şi în filosofie pe înţelepţii lumii. Misiunea sa nu era să transmită un punct de vedere, ci să biruiască legiunile iadului!

Apoi, apostolul Pavel a fost însemnat cu smerenie. Moliile n-au putut mânca mătasea hainelor lui. N-a pescuit niciodată laude cu momeala umilinţei; ci, dimpotrivă, locul de frunte şi-l alege într-o listă lungă de păcătoşi (acolo unde noi de fapt l-am fi pus cel din urmă). O veche zicătoare galică spunea: Dacă ştii ebraica, greaca şi latina, nu le pune unde le-a pus Pilat, deasupra capului lui Isus, ci pune-le jos, la piciorul crucii! „Lucrurile care erau pentru mine câştiguri, le-am socotit ca o pierdere, din pricina lui Cristos!” spune apostolul Pavel (Filipeni 3:7).

Ce uşurinţă pentru inimă e virtutea aceasta a umilinţei – să fii bucuros că nu ai nimic ce pierde! Neavând o părere înaltă despre sine, Pavel nu s-a temut de cădere! Chiar atunci când se plimbă în hainele scumpe ale broderiilor gândirii evreieşti, în şcoala celui mai vestit dintre rabinii vremii, apostolul Pavel străluceşte fiindcă poartă podoabele acestea în umilinţă şi într-un spirit liniştit.

Apoi, apostolul Pavel a fost însemnat cu suferinţă! Uitaţi-vă la lucrurile pe care le scrie în Romani 8. Necazul, strâmtorarea (probabil, în domeniul minţii), prigonirea (probabil, în domeniul spiritului), foametea, lipsa de îmbrăcăminte, primejdia, sabia (desigur, suferinţe în trup)! De toate acestea a avut parte micul gigant!

Acest evreu rătăcitor a declarat război tuturor lucrurilor care erau în război cu Dumnezeu şi cu fii oamenilor. Acest prinţ al predicatorilor, şi duşmanul său, prinţul iadului, nu şi-au cruţat nici o lovitură, nici o bătălie. Între ei era o luptă pe toate fronturile.

Priviţi cu atenţie la apostolul Pavel! Privirea aceea adâncă, trupul acela plin de cicatrice, figura aceea adusă de spate şi slăbită de foame, uscată de posturi, vlăguită de vergile lictorilor; trupul acela mic, sub loviturile nemiloase ale pietrelor din Listra, înflămânzit în multe alte locuri, cu pielea aceea arsă de soare sau murată timp de treizeci şi şase de ore în Marea Mediterană! Adăugaţi la toate acestea pericole după pericole; înmulţiţi-le cu singurătatea; număraţi o sută nouă zeci şi nouă de lovituri, trei naufragii pe mare, trei bătăi cu nuielele, „omorât” cu pietre, un dosar gros de întemniţări, atâtea „omorâri” că li s-a pierdut şirul. Şi dacă ar putea cineva să le adune pe toate, suma totală ar fi totuşi zero, „nimic”! Fiindcă Pavel însuşi a făcut calculul. Ascultaţi-l ce zice: „Întristările noastre uşoare, de o clipă…” Aşa zic şi eu, nepăsare faţă de suferinţe!

Mai departe, apostolul Pavel a fost însemnat cu pasiune! Numai un om care e în centrul de acţiune al planurilor lui Dumnezeu, numai unul care face echilibristică pe sârma ascultării totale de Dumnezeu, numai un aşa om e în stare să cheme pe Duhul Sfânt ca martor pentru mărturia lui. Şi exact aşa ceva face Pavel la Romani 9:1.

O, dacă am putea din flacăra aceasta să ne tragem noi predicatorii măcar puţină lumină! Bătăile n-au stins flacăra din el! Posturile lungi şi înflămânzirea n-au putut-o omorî! Defăimările şi răstălmăcirile n-au putut s-o stingă! Apele n-au putut s-o înnece, închisorile s-o rupă, primejdiile s-o slăbească, arestările s-o oprească! A ars mereu până în clipa când viaţa i s-a scurs din trup.

Cristos cel viu care trăia în Pavel (Galateni 2:20), manifestându-Se prin pasiunea sufletului său, a fost în acelaşi timp sperietoarea iadului, steagul creşterii Bisericii şi uralele inimii Mântuitorului, care „vedea rodul sufletului Său şi se înviora!”

Şi, apostolul Pavel a fost însemnat cu iubire! Când Pavel a simţit ce înseamnă a fi „în Cristos”, în el s-a dezvoltat capacitatea de a iubi. (Numai o stare de maturitate cunoaşte dragostea). O, şi cum a iubit Pavel! Întâi de toate şi lucrul cel mai important, apostolul Pavel L-a iubit pe Domnul. Apoi i-a iubit pe oameni, pe duşmanii săi, a iubit greutăţile din viaţă, chiar şi suferinţele sufletului său. Cred că a iubit lucrul acesta din urmă în mod special, altfel ar fi neglijat rugăciunea. Dragostea lui Pavel l-a dus la cei pierduţi, la cei mai de jos, la cei din urmă. Ce ţintă nobilă în iubirea sa! Colina lui Marte, cu intelectualii vremii, sinagogile cu feţele religioase cele mai rigoriste, pieţele aglomerate şi pline cu fii risipitori, toate aceste locuri le-a căutat şi le-a străbătut pentru cauza Domnului. Dragostea, ca şi un dinam puternic l-a împins să îndrăznească lucruri mari pentru Dumnezeu. Nu mulţi s-au rugat cum s-a rugat acest bărbat. Poate McCheyne, John Fletcher, marele Brainerd, şi încă puţini câţiva, au cunoscut lucrarea aceasta în care trupul şi sufletul participă intens în rugăciunea de mijlocire sub influenţa iubirii.

Îmi aduc aminte cum am stat lângă autoarea acestor versuri, cântându-i imnul:

Iubirea Ta, Isuse, ne cheamă şi ne strânge
Şi ne trimite-n lume cu harul Tău măreţ,
Lumina celor oropsiţi din noapte şi dispreţ.
O, iată, inima-mi se frânge,
Şi doru-n mine astăzi plânge:
Da, vreau să merg cu orice preţ!

Nu era doar un sentimentalism exprimat frumos. O costaseră închisoare, lipsuri, dureri şi sărăcie!

Charles Wesley mi se pare că se întinde în vârful picioarelor ca să ajungă aşa sus şi să spună: „Nu mai doresc nimic din ale pământului. Tot ce vreau, oh, Doamne, e dragostea Ta în pieptul meu!” Mai recent, Amy Carmichael a rostit rugăciunea dintr-un suflet aprins: „Dă-mi iubirea călăuză pe cărare, Credinţa, cu forţă arzătoare!” Toţi aceştia au umblat pe drumul apostolic al câştigătorilor de suflete.

Cei animaţi de dorinţa să câştige pe alţii la Domnul au avut o dragoste mare de sufletele oamenilor. Toate iubirile mai mărunte au fost cucerite de Iubirea cea mare. Marea iubire faţă de Iubitorul sufletelor lor i-a mânat la lacrimi, la suferinţe, la triumf. Oare în ceasul acesta rău în care trăim, avem noi dreptul să iubim mai puţin?

Să Te iubesc pe Tine, Cerescule Părinte
Punându-Ţi la picioare şi faptele şi gândul;
E dorul meu cel mare, iubirea mea fierbine,
Să nu ne mai despartă nici cerul, nici pământul!
Iubirea croieşte prin flăcări o cărare
Iubirea uşurează poverile amare,
Iubirea şterge lacrimi, iubirea îndrăzneşte,
Iubirea se jertfeşte, iubirea biruieşte!

Fără ca să fi ales ei, milioane de oameni vor fi însemnaţi într-o zi pentru Anticrist. Oare să ne tragem noi înapoi de la cinstea de a purta în sufletul nostru, în gândirea noastră, în duhul nostru, în trupul nostru, semnele Stăpânului, semnele Domnului Isus? Dar oare dorim noi aşa ceva?

A fi „însemnat” înseamnă a purta semnul de rob. Suntem gata să fim însemnaţi – „Pentru Cristos”?

„Eu v-am născut în Cristos Isus, prin Evanghelie!”
Ap. Pavel

„O, frate, roagă-te! În ciuda lui Satana, roagă-te! Stai ore în rugăciune; mai bine neglijează-ţi prietenii, dar nu rugăciunea; mai bine posteşte, uită de cină sau de somn, dar nu de rugăciune. Şi nu trebuie să vorbim despre rugăciune, ci trebuie să ne rugăm cu o dorinţă înfocată. Domnul este aproape. Vine pe nesimţite în timp ce fecioarele aţipesc”.
Andrew A. Bonar

„A fost nevoie de şapte ani
…înainte ca W. Carey să boteze primul convenit în India.
…înainte ca Judson să câştige primul ucenic în Burma.
…de suferinţă pentru Morrison înainte ca primul chinez să fie câştigat la Cristos.
…zice Moffat, că a aşteptat, până ce a văzut primele semne ale lucrării Duhului Sfânt asupra africanilor din Beciuana.
…înainte ca Henry Richards a câştigat primul său convertit, în Benza Manteka”.
A J. Cordon

„Rugăciunea e sângele sufletului!”
George Herbert


 

Anunțuri

How to pray for the persecuted Church

from The Barnabas Fund

When we read of the suffering which our brothers and sisters in Christ endure for the sake of His Name, our hearts are moved and we long to bring them before the throne of grace. But sometimes it is difficult to know exactly how to pray, especially if we have never experienced such injustice or persecution ourselves. The Bible tells us that the Church will be persecuted. So if the Lord will continue to allow persecution, what exactly should we ask Him for when we pray about these situations? We hope that the ten points below will be helpful suggestions, under the guidance and prompting of the Holy Spirit.

  1. God that He is all-knowing that in Christ He himself experienced shame, pain and agonising death, as well as the glorious resurrection. Thank Him for His promise: “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Josh 1:5).
  2. Pray that all governments will work for justice and righteousness. While Jesus says that in this world we will have trouble, (John 16.33) He does not say that it will always be present in every place.
  3. Pray that leaders of liberal democracies will use their influence to find ways to reduce, if not end, persecution in countries where it occurs. Just as Paul appealed to Caesar to seek justice (Acts 25), so Christians can appeal to secular governments.
  4. Pray for the growth of the Church where persecution flourishes, remembering that “the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church.”
  5. Pray for strength and courage for those undergoing persecution, and for peace that only God can bring. Thank Him that His grace is sufficient for their needs (2 Cor 12:9). Pray that their faith will not fail, but that their suffering will draw them closer to Him and increase their faith.
  6. Pray that the Holy Spirit will enable persecuted Christians to forgive and love their persecutors (Matt 5:44) and that their Christ-like reactions will have an impact on their persecutors.
  7. Pray that the Lord will be at work in the hearts of those who currently persecute our sisters and brothers to bring them to a saving knowledge of Himself, as He did with Saul of Tarsus (Acts 9).
  8. Thank the Lord for the privilege of entering into the sufferings of our sisters and brothers, remembering that “if one part [of the body] suffers, every part suffers with it” (1 Cor 12:26).
  9. Pray that Christians who are experiencing persecution will not lose the ability to accept or trust genuine approaches from those who have formerly persecuted them, as when the believers in Jerusalem had to learn to accept the reality of Saul’s conversion (Acts 9). Pray that the Lord will give discernment, and relief from unnecessary fears.
  10. Pray for yourself and for persecuted Christians to be spiritually ready for whatever tomorrow brings, be that persecution, respite from suffering or Christ’s return (Matt 24.42).

Persecution watch in Nigeria – it is estimated between 300 – 1,000 already martyred in 2011

Pray for the Church in Nigeria. See article above on How to pray for the persecuted church.

If you have been following international news you already know about all the church bombings and killings being perpetrated on Nigeria’s Christians. Already approx. 100 people have been killed in church bombing  attacks this year. With yet another attack on churches that left 21 people dead just this past Sunday, the 25th of June, 2012 in Kaduna State, some are fearing that Nigeria is sliding into anarchy.

Church bombed June 25, 2012 which killed 21 people – photo http://www.guardian.co.uk

Mission News Network reported today that Nigerian security forces are warning that more violence is coming:

The grim report was confirmed by an e-mail released by the Boko Haram confirming their plans for the coming weeks. In Kaduna and Zaria where churches were bombed last week, a curfew is still in effect.

The United States has imposed sanctions on three people associated with the militant group Boko Haram. It’s a move aimed at disrupting the group’s finances, since it appears the group has gotten both organized and funded since its re-emergence in 2010.

Open Doors reported two thwarted bombings over the weekend. Open Doors President and CEO, Dr. Carl Moeller, explains, „Boko Haram concealed a bomb in a coffin, claiming that it was a corpse. Fortunately, soldiers at a checkpoint insisted on seeing what was inside, and there were bombs in there. The men were arrested.”

In the second attempt, a man was arrested when he masqueraded as someone who was interested in learning about Jesus Christ and to submit his life to Him. The man approached the pastor in the church. While talking, the pastor noticed a bag a few yards away. When he asked the possible convert about the bag, he denied knowing anything about the bag. But after the police discovered that the bag was filled with explosives, the would-be suicide bomber was arrested.

Then, with Sunday came a prison break, a fire fight, and the escape of 40 inmates who are members of Boko Haram. A top radical Islamist sect member blamed for a deadly Christmas Day church bombing in Nigeria was shot and killed by security forces in the fight. However, Habibu Bama’s death may cause more problems than it solves.

Boko Haram released a statement announcing it was happy about Bama’s „martyrdom.” Moeller says, „The jihad declared by Boko Haram is enough to push many of the extremist-influenced Muslims into violence against the Christian community, when you add the component of a martyr–someone who was intentionally sprung from jail this last week. He was killed in the ensuing fight, and that takes it to a whole other level.”

Meanwhile, the Nigerian government fired the West African nation’s security adviser and defense minister.  However, Moeller notes, „The firing of the national security leader in that country is not the worst part of it.” It may have been calculated to keep dialogue open, but the real concern is that they hired a Muslim to replace the outgoing adviser. Moeller says, „Most of the Christians in the country are viewing this appointment as a mistake, because what will the orientation of this new Defense Minister be? Probably oriented to sympathize with a number of the Muslim communities.”

It’s a desperate move as the country continues to battle an insurgency that has cost hundreds their lives and displaced thousands. Militants are increasingly attacking civilians–in particular, Christians, which has inflamed religious tensions in Nigeria’s volatile Middle Belt region.

Despite last week’s reprisal violence, Moeller says by and large, „The only thing that’s maintaining any level of social stability in the country is that the  Christians have not taken on the jihad against them with equal acts of violence.” And yet, „You have a situation where it’s almost untenable for the Christian community to do nothing.”

What can be done? Pray. It’s the first line of defense. „We are calling on Christians to seek God’s face in the midst of this and let God fight the battle for them.”

Moeller goes on to say that there is still a lot of fruit, despite the circumstances. „I just read a report from Operation World that had Nigeria’s Christian church growing at three or four times the population growth. As big as the population growth is in Nigeria, the church is growing at a remarkably rapid pace.”

An Open Doors co-worker is asking for prayer: „We really appreciate your concern and prayers. Continue to pray for us, and don’t get tired. Our office might be among the places which the sect members may aim to attack at any time and any day. Pray that the Lord will deliver us.”

Moeller agrees. „Pray for the Christians in Nigeria. Pray for the peace of the church in Nigeria. Pray for those that would be bombers against the church that they would have a dramatic Damascus Road conversion in some cases, and that testimony would also go out to encourage believers.”

Nigeria is ranked No. 13 on the 2012 Open Doors World Watch List of 50 countries which are the worst persecutors of Christians. According to the World Watch List, Nigeria had at least 300 martyrs in 2011, although the actual number could be closer to 1,000.

Nigerian president says Boko Haram wants to destabilise govt

The mind and heart in search of answers

Ravi Zacharias

Here’s a sample quote Ravi gives in this discussion- „for the scientist who has lived by his faith only in the system, it is going to end like a bad dream. He is going to climb higher and higher and scale the mountains of knowledge and when he reaches the top he will find that he will be greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.” (from Robert Jastrow– an American astronomer, physicist and cosmologist. He was a leading NASA scientist, populist author and futurist and author of God and the Astronomers)

Dr Louw Alberts: There is a term coined in Dutch philosophy called evolutionism, where you strip the model of all its problems, you just jump over difficulties. You start out with nothing, nothing goes to life and life ultimately ends up with man. That is not science, that is a worldview called evolutionism. That is the problem Christianity will always have with evolutionism, I don’t think it lies with the origin; it lies with the fall because in evolutionism man is the ultimate product of a climbing  curve. According to the Bible man is fallen and needs a Redeemer. In evolutionism you have no room or need for a Redeemer. That’s why it can never come to terms with the Christian Gospel.

Moderator Ellis Andre – Questions about the Christian faith from the perspective of the thinking person:

  • What were Paul’s views on ethnicity?
  • In Hawkings book „A brief history of time” he concludes with a question: What then, place for a Creator? Your comments please?
  • A question on the fall of man; man today is not how he was originally created in the beginning of Genesis
  • The ultimate question: What is the meaning of life?
  • It is often said of the Bible that there was an element of socialism. Did free enterprise coupled with capitalism really work in the Christian congregation in Jerusalem, especially because the church in Jerusalem became really poor (min 26)
  • If the arguments for the faith are so strong why is it that so many people, who are intelligent don’t actually come to God?
  • If there is such demonstrable fine tuning in the universe, is it not reasonable to assume that there could be some validity in  astrology linking our fate in some way to the stars and to the movements of heavenly bodies? (min. 35)
  • On the New Age movement, is it wrong as a Christian to use the techniques of eastern origin religions (two in specific- reflexology and acupuncture)? min 36
  • Justin Martyr said he had tried various systems of philosophy… and ultimately discovered Christianity, what he called the chief, the supreme philosophy. He found the answer, as far as he was concerned. Someone may be in that position today (having heard all the evidences in the day long conference Ravi Z. was part of) wanting to know the ultimate meaning. If there was actually someone like that and they wanted to be a Christian, where would he have to start? How does one actually become a Christian?

Published on Jun 25, 2012 by 

Quotes by Ravi Zacharias from panel discussion

  1. Ravi: „Faith and reason interplay. God has put enough in this world to make faith in Him a reasonable thing, but left enough out to make it impossible to live by sheer reason alone. There is an interplay: It is not faith in nothing or subjectivity; it is the systematic reasoning that God gives to us that says, ‘You’re the one whom I want to lean on’
  2. Ravi: *Robert Jastro in his book „God and the astronomers” says that „for the scientist who has lived by his faith only in the system, it is going to end like a bad dream. He is going to climb higher and higher and scale the mountains of knowledge and when he reaches the top he will find that he will be greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.
  3. Dr. Louw Alberts: The essence of life is to discover the fullness of God and His interest in me as a person and how that ultimately relates to my family and my fellow man. If someone could convince me there is no God, life would lose all meaning for me immediately.
  4. Dr. David Block: The meaning of life is the yearning to know Him.
  5. Ravi: What I think it takes to find meaning. Every person who says they have meaning has these 4 components- (1)You must have a sense of wonder (2) You need to have the knowledge of truth…just because I find meaning it does not mean it is meaning. It should be within the confines of truth, otherwise LSD in my veins could give me meaning too (3) You have to have the experience of love and (4) The confidence of security. The older you get the more it takes to fill your heart with wonder and only God is big enough to fill that heart with wonder and meaning. God, the perpetual novelty who is the truth, who shares His love and gives you the confidence and victory of hope beyond the grave
  6. Ravi: Who is the God that you are going to in theism? The struggle comes, I think with the multiplicity of options that are both intellectual and emotional. There are millions of people who believe different things. How do we just brush it aside and say it’s wrongheaded? There are 2 or 3 things that need to be interjected here- (1)You can be sure that if God had given 10 different ways to choose, we would have wanted 11. Like the student at Cal Tech who said, „I prefer reincarnation because it gives you a million opportunities against Christianity which gives you one. (2) Second, man does not want to surrender his autonomy. The moment you realize this is the truth, you need to give it (autonomy) up- to give up your own autonomy and self centeredness. The task of the evangelist and the apologist is then is to go proclaim the Gospel and to remove the intellectual obstacles and they can see the problem as being moral and not intellectual. By patience and love we continue to do that.
  7. The tremendous harmony that occurs in this universe, you just can’t conceive of an accident when you hear and see the design that there is.
  8. Ravi Zacharias on astrology: To go to an astral object as somehow controlling my destiny  is to attribute rational thought or a sovereignty of will or power independent of you in your own destiny of spiritual progress. There are aspects of eastern thought that are good and true, but they are not true and good because they are eastern, they are true and good because they come from God. That’s the epistemological base of how you arrive at truth, now applying it to things like yoga and so on… If you go to things like yoga, the discipline of quiet and solitude and reflection are very important, but yoga a la hinduism is assuming your identity with the divine and the chanting of the mantras are an instrumentally efficacious way of bringing you to that point. So the yoga that is eastern in its presuppositions of who you are IS dangerous to dabble with. In fact, they will tell you to start by emptying the mind. There is nothing worse that you can do to start off with your own spiritual journey. Meditation is important: „Upon Thy law will I meditate, o Lord, all day and night I will meditate upon His word”. Things like acupuncture, reflexology, going to the marshall arts and so on, be sure in your mind as you talk to the one giving the treatment, „What is the basis of the healing that he is giving?” If it is just the massage aspect of a muscle in reflexology, then sure there is something innocuous about it. But, if it is built upon the fact that parts of your body are reflective of the parts of the essential divine being and there this communication established in that, then that is false. It is important to establish the rationale for the treatment. And, let us never forget that Saul was staggered to his socks, as was the witch herself, when she was able to retrieve Samuel from the dead. She herself wasn’t expecting it. The Bible is moot on that point, how she was able to bring Samuel back from the dead. I encourage people, stay away from anything that has a hint of a danger intermixed with a lie. The Bible reminds us that we are fulfilled in Christ and satisfied in Him and I believe He has ways of keeping you cleared and to use methods that are biblically sound.
  9. To become a Christian- The first step is honesty. If you’re not ruthlessly honest with your search, you will become smothered with your own deceit. Second step is to take to the Bible and study the Gospel of John. The third encouragement I give you: Each one of us comes with our own baggage. I encourage you along with reading the bible to find a book that will answer these questions for you.

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