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Rahman
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Joined: 2004/3/24
Posts: 1374


 CHRISTIANITY: Abused for Power, Personal Purpose & Prosperity ...



You know i don't think way back when the tiny church in Rome began it had any idea or intent of becoming the Nicolaitan type religious institution it evolved into, saddling and riding astride the great expansionist empires of Europe, historically sucking in material tribute from kings, fortune builders and commoners alike ... How did it get like this? ...

Seems to me somewhere along the line some folk began to stray away from the true "first love", "first works", principals of Christ and Chritianity, and began to be motivated by desires of power, personal purpose and prosperity ... When i read the history of Christianity, Catholic and Protestant, i'm always amazed that even thru the ugly history of such abuse, His will, plan and purpose goes marching on ... Regardless people still get saved, but oh in the midst of such unnecessary human pain, carnage and suffering ... Only God can pull off such a feat with/thru and in spite of us ... All praises to His most Holy name!!!

What's prompted my thinking on this is last week i taped and watched the PBS series "The Six Wives of Henry VIII", and "The Virgin Queen (Elizabeth I)" ... Fascinating! ... i guess in my ignorance of English history i'd taken for granted that Protestantism came to England for God's purpose in some heavenly miraculous way for it to eventually birth so many great men of His ... But no, it seems that Protestantism came to England primarily because it's monarch wanted to divorce his wife to marry another, and the Church of Rome (Pope) wasn't having it ... Then it became clear to me that this was the point where the monarch of Britain unseated and unsaddled the church of Rome from off himself, and put his own saddle on Protestanism, making himself alike to a Pope over the Anglican Church, to ride it to his own personal purpose ... That struck me as so dangerous ... i'm afraid to knowingly use Christ, or Christianity, to any benefit to myself for selfish reasons, and i just wonder why everyone isn't ... i fear God, so when i see anyone do this i deduce that they don't ...

The history went on to show all of the sin perpetrated by Henry during his reign, the succession of wives to get an heir to his throne, the extra-marital dalliances, the court intrigues and bearing of false witness toward the murders of others in his way - same with Elizabeth 1 - yet they claimed Christ ... In retrospect neither Rome nor Henry VIII seemed to have Christ in mind towards an end result, and with Elizabeth 1 she seemed more enamoured with English empire than Christ kingdom ...

i'd come to a conclusion a while back (pre-salvation) during my delving into the history of the African slave trade and subsequent European empirical expansion thruout the globe, that all that seems to plague our modern world could be traced back in cause to the Church of Rome and/or the ravenous quests for wealth and prosperity of European empires ... It wasn't until i became a Christian that i began to question whether Catholic or Protestant, how was it possible for them to claim Christ, and Christianity, but yet commit such atrocities of recorded history? ...

For instance why didn't the Church in Rome, in the name of Jesus, stop the empires they ruled over in traffiking human bondage? ... How did the rulers and lawmakers of Protestant England justify, in the name of Jesus, the tragedies associated with the slave trade, and global colonization ... And later how in the world did the bulk of Germany citizentry, the birthplace of Protestantism, ever fall in line with Hitler's ideology? ... Seems this type corruption, religiously, governmentally, and economically, starts from the top, and washes down on and ensnares those not truly grounded in Christ, to the reward of those unscrupulous at the top ... It's seems like the childs game of "follow the leader" ... Seems very few latch onto the true Leader, Christ, and try their best to seperate themselves from such ... This seems to be the historical plight of those like the Pilgrims, and Puritans, fleeing such top down English Protestant corruption by coming to America ...

If i'm in error here please someone correct me, but this has caused me some questions ... It seems there may be different reasons for the undertaking of Christianity betwix the poor, the common everyday working man, the materially rich and powerful, and the rulers of empires, governments and nations ... Not saying all in these so called upper classes are all bad eggs but ...


[b]-[/b] Does it seem historically that the poor, the common everyday man, has a tendency to embrace Christ and Christianity, and operate in it, in purer ways than the more priviledged, enabling abusers to using religion (as Karl Marx said) as "the opiate of the people (masses)? ...

[b]-[/b] Does this have any connection to how Christ always seemed to attached
"blessed" to the more lowly elements of human society? ...

[b]-[/b] Is this why He said it is easier for a camel to pass thru the eye of a needle than for a rich man to inherit the kingdom? ...

[b]-[/b] Do religious, business and governmental leaders who abuse Christianity toward their own personal power, purpose and/or prosperity, set an example to their following by the greater society, to an eventual and inevitable reckoning for such abuse? ...


i especially ask the latter question as an American, because we came out of Great Britain, with a shared history of what Henry VIII did, that i think is perpetrated even in our own history, namely saddling Christ and Christianity to our own empirical and/or personal advantage ... i believe all things that have transpired have apparently fit into God's will, but from a Christian point of view i often still ponder events in light of such perpertrators espousing Christ and Christian values ... So i wonder ...


[b]-[/b] How in the name of Christ could they come to America and justify the atrocities perpetrated on the indeginous people? ...

[b]-[/b] How could the same who came looking for personal freedoms, engage in the African slave trade to assure themselves an economy that would free them from English tyranny? ...

[b]-[/b] How could the same justify manipulating the poor, and eventually the less fortunate nations, to our own benefit of power, prestige and prosperity? ...

[b]-[/b] How could the same justify and perpetrate so long a history of devestating racial and socio-economic ostracism of certain segments of our society? ...


Seems to me a Christian who's really attempting to be Christlike is in real trouble if we're prone to blindly following human leaders ... Spiritually, governmentally and/or economically "what are their motives and priorities"? ... Are they about the love of Christ and their fellowman to the abasing of "selfish pursuit", or are they about "selfish pursuit" to the abasing of Christ and their fellow man? ... A saint who studies scripture, has Christ as their head, and Holy Spirit as guide know the difference because He said you shall know "them" by their "works/fruit" ... i know nobody's perfect, and i know it ain't easy being a leader in any capacity now-a-days, and i pray for 'em ... But ...



[b]-[/b] Today what do the "works" and "fruit" of many of our governmental, business and religious leaders who claim Christ say about their "motives" and "priorities"? ...

[b]-[/b] Are the same walking the letters of Christian motives, priority and principal for the sake of Christ, or a more Henry VIII self serving type abuse towards what's better for personal/empirical power, purpose and/or prosperity? ...

[b]-[/b] And what of those who promote, and ensnare others in this so called prosperity doctrine. Is the motive pure in Christ, or does it reek of the American dream being combined with the Messianic theme, to delusionally justify saddling Christ and Christianity toward ones own selfish pursuits of material gain? ...


Just recently our Lord showed me something regarding the Church of Ephesus, they looked good on the outside like so many of us American Chrisitians, but He was not pleased with their "motivation" or their "priorities" ... You know Laodicea was blind, but Christ said if they didn't repent He would rebuke and chasten them ... Ephesus on the other hand apparently was not and He told them if they didn't repent, He'd remove them from out of their place ... Yikes! ... Seems Christ is more tolerant of spiritual blindness than He is of wilful spiritual abuse of motive and priority in His name ... Henry VIII was a king who claimed Christ, looking all regal and royal on the outside, but if Chrsit was to have spoken to Him i think He'd a told Him He was really a whited selpulcher, stinking on the inside, giving Him lip service but denying the power thereof, and therefore had something against him ...


[b]-[/b] How about me/you, would my/your motivation and priorities in Him stand up to His scrutiny, or would He have something againt me/you? ...

[b]-[/b] Does Christ have His saddle on my/your "self", or like ole Henry do i/you have my/your saddle on Christianity, in attempts toward abusing Christ towards my/your own goals of power, personal purpose and/or prosperity? ...


These latter are the kinds of questions i've been asking myself lately ... i find myself more acute in my questioning of my own motives and priorities in Christ ... Are they Christ serving, or self serving? ... Thank God for His "tail tugging" and 1 John 1:9 ...

i know some weary of hearing the necessity of "repentance - repentance - repentance" ... But i wonder, if the Word says we are to die daily, can there ever be to much repenting? ...

Blessings in Christ Jesus!

 2007/1/24 13:55Profile
iansmith
Member



Joined: 2006/3/22
Posts: 963
Wheaton, IL

 Re: CHRISTIANITY: Abused for Power, Personal Purpose & Prosperity ...

I was just thinking about something we refer to at our church as the '3 P's'

People, Possessions and Purpose.

Unless we give them all to Jesus, we can't be his disciples.


_________________
Ian Smith

 2007/1/24 14:52Profile
MSeaman
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Joined: 2005/4/19
Posts: 772
Michigan

 Re: CHRISTIANITY: Abused for Power, Personal Purpose & Prosperity ...

Quote:
i know some weary of hearing the necessity of "repentance - repentance - repentance" ... But i wonder, if the Word says we are to die daily, can there ever be to much repenting? ...



No! when we stop repenting, it isn't because we've stopped sinning, it is because our hearts have become hardened to His Spirit...may we never stop repenting...


_________________
Melissa

 2007/1/24 15:34Profile
Rahman
Member



Joined: 2004/3/24
Posts: 1374


 BLINDED BY PAINFUL HISTORY 1 ...



Lord why would You create anyhow when You already knew the failures of your animate creations? ...

Lord why would You create already knowing that You'd have to send Your Son to cruelly die at the hands of Your created? ...

Lord why would You even put all parties thru all the ugliness that recorded history reveals past, present and future? ...

There was a time when i used to really try to understand God and His ways in implementing His plan, but (like Job) i've finally secumbed to it being way over my head - tho i still ponder on such scriptures below ...

Gen.3
[15] And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

--- The promise of Christ coming ---

Gen.9
[26] And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant. [27] God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.

--- The chosing of which of Noah's sons Christ would come thru ---

Gen.18
[18] Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?

--- The offspring of Shem, covenanted with by God, to be physical/spiritual patriarch of the nation of Israel, and subsequent spiritual father to even the Gentiles, at the coming of Messiah who would be God's instrument of blessing all nations ---

Rom. 9
[21] Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? [22] What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: [23] And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, [24] Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?

--- God's power over the destiny of ALL mankind toward salvation ---

Rom.11
[1] I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.[2] God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. [7] What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded [8] (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day. [9] And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumbling block, and a recompence unto them: [10] Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back alway. [11] I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.

--- God's power over the destiny of Israel and the Gentiles towards salvation ---

What i'm posting here i'm not posting to get into another long drawn out debate on just what predestination means, this like many other subjects Christians disagree on can be argued adinfinitum ... Rom. 9 and 11 can actually make my head hurt if i dwell on it them much, because it seems to say that God operates in behalf our salvation, whether we're chosen vessels of mercy or vessel of wrath, whether our hearts are soft or hard toward Him and His plan, and what we see and don't see ... We may not all be able to agree of predestiny, or God's manuvering and manipulation of people, but i think we can all agree that He moves, and is still moving in ways that we'll probably not be able to understand until we reach the other side of glory ... But here's the one thing i believe in reference to Rom. 9 & 11, whether Gentile, Jew or whatever (because in Christ there's no longer such dileniation), if we know that we're a chosen vessel of mercy we should be praising Him to high heaven for such an undeserved privilege ...

i may not know the hows and whys of God, but i know that i'm a vessel of His mercy, saved by grace, not of my own merit, but by His election to salvation via the shed blood of Jesus Christ ... i can't tell you the joy that brings me, or the freedom from any past painful history personal, ethnic, or otherwise, but if you feel the same then you already know! ... But alas such cleansing and freedom is certainly not enjoyed by the unsaved, and sadly in some cases not by the saved either ... Why? ... Because of being blinded and ensnared by painful history ...

 2007/2/6 13:40Profile
Rahman
Member



Joined: 2004/3/24
Posts: 1374


 BLINDED BY PAINFUL HISTORY 2 ...



Over on this thread ...

The End of England
https://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?mode=viewtopic&topic_id=14506&forum=35&start=0&viewmode=flat&order=0

Bro Neil said some things that really opened up my eyes about what a painful history can do in a person, or a people - especially when religion is attached to it ... Just look at todays turmoil between Arab Muslims, Jews, and the so called Christian west, pull back the covers and you'll find current reactions birthed out of religiouly tainted painful history ...

Bro Neil said this;
"and let me, as a Jew, saved by Jesus Messiah say this in the leading of the Holy Spirit, if there has been one thing, that has kept my people, the Jews from Messiah thruout the centuries from the time of His Crucifixtion, it has has been, the church, lower case "c" church and it's believers who have persecuted and murdered Jews in the name of christ, Crusaders sporting crosses on their armor murdering Jews, forced conversions, inquisitions, burning synagogues, nazi's who said you killed our god, now we're going to kill you. That's the truth, face it."

Ouch! ... When i concider this he's right in this being a block to witnessing to Jews ... i've personally experienced this argument, tho usually noted by a Jew that the history he's refering to has nothing to do with me (a son of Ham), and i've also been asked by a few Jews just how i could be associated with Christianity because of America's claim to Christ and it's painful history of slavery ... It can be very difficult to make someone wounded by a painful religious (Christian) history to see the separation of Christ Himself, from what men have done in His name ... The subsequent question often being, "Then why did He allow it" ... This is a hard question to answer to the saved, let alone the unsaved, and the latter is not usually open to the consequences of the Adamic fall, and what that's allowed satan to perpetrate ...

Anyhow bro Neils statement made me think of the following ... As a Christian, who happens to be Af/Am, you'd never believe how many times i've had another Af/Am say to me something like, "Man how can you be so blind to be sucked into that white man's religion" (expletives omitted) ... It's usually said in disgust, with a "history lesson" following about all the crap "they" did to us, and are still doing to us, and 9 out of 10 times ends with "and they're supposed to be such good Christians" ...

It was really bad during the 60's and 70's, when there were so many radical pro Black/African, anti-Christian movements - especially so from adherents of The Black Panthers, and The Nation of Islam ... i don't hear it much today, mainly because "post integration" the focus of almost the whole Af/Am community has shifted (like any other American) to rampant "self-gratification" ... It's like the Af/Am community is on a mission of catch-up to all the sins and corruption of regular society they weren't allowed to participate in before ...

Now the Panthers are history, The Nation of Islam have dwindled, and nobody but the smallest percentage of so called societally conscious Hip-Hop artist even refer to "the painful history" of what "the white man" did/is doing to us anymore ... But apparently similar histories are still alive and well with other folk who still feel the pain of persecutions past and present, and who just can't let it go ... Folks like still radical Af/Am (Hamites) throwbacks from the 60's, Jews (Semites), Arab-Muslim (Semites), and other peoples of color once colonized by Christianity professing Europeans have this one thing in common, a painful history of atrocities done to them ... Histories they've neither forgotten or forgiven, even amongst some saints, as bro Neil's posts have made me so acutely aware, and the continued separation of black and white christians in America to this day ...This makes me sad, because in reference to so much of our troubles with Islam today, they're still reacting to what the descendants of Japheth did to them in The Crusades, Jews to the Holocaust, Africans to the raping of their continent, Af/Am's and the American Indian to the horrors of America's history of genocide and slavery, etc., etc., etc ...

 2007/2/6 13:42Profile
Rahman
Member



Joined: 2004/3/24
Posts: 1374


 BLINDED BY PAINFUL HISTORY 3 ...



It's funny how history changes ...

It seems at first, when God chose Israel (Semites) as His representative people, and the instrument thru which to eventually bring the salvation of the gentiles, they became the object of disdain, and persecution ... They didn't seem to go out of their way to expand, or prosper, at the expense of others ... To the contrary they seemed to primarily do what God told them to do, even down to who they should war against and kill ... True there were some instances where someone in leadership (like Saul) would take a few things God said not to, but such seem to be the exception ... And in looking at Israel's entire history, they (when out of God's favor) seemed always to be victims, not victors, of the greater society ...

The same seems to be true of the early church when it was made up primarily of Jews (Semites) ... They were lowly, despised, and persecuted, altho this time by fellow Jews first, and eventually gentiles, with their early history relecting them as doing primarily what Christ required of them, and often paying the ultimate price for it ...

Of the sons of Ham (Africans) there doesn't seem to be as much history with Christianity, save for the Ethiopians, who also had a connection with Israel during Solomon's time ... Africans seemed to have inhabited their continent in a sort of isolation, with it's northern top eventually taken over by Islam, and untouched by Christianity in it's interior until the arrival of the European ... Africa, and the sons of Ham in general, seems to me to still be under some kind of curse (lifted only by coming to Christ), and really don't seem to play any other part in the world's schem of things but victim (as of yet because we never know what God's gonna do) ... i say the latter because scripture says God likes to use the lowest to confound the highest, and no group of folk on the planet are as lowly regarded as the descendants of Ham ...

But by the time we get to the sons of Japheth's stewardship of Christianity
there seems to come a turn, a switch in motives and priorities, or at least a combining of empirial dreams and the messianic theme ... It seems that lowly persecuted Christianity, under and within empire, beginning with the Roman
merging of Church and state, began to change into into a richer and more powerful Christianity, that now began to not only lord of others, but tolerate, if not instigate, things to the blatant disadvantage and/or destruction of others ... i think of the Catholic Church backed wars, and killings of the pagans in Europe, as well as The Crusades, when Christ had told Peter "he who lives by the sword shall die by the sword" ... Well it seems to me that under Japheth's stewardship of spreading Christ, they put a sword in Christianity's hand, under the banner of a cross, and the vision that said "with this symbol conquer" ... In light of what Christ said, was this vision from Him, or the enemy? ...

Whichever one believes, when one truthfully looks at it, the bloody history of Christianity certainly seems to have taken a major change for the worse under the stewardship of the descendants of Japheth ...True God had His good and Godly men amongst them as He always has, but if one reads the History of Christianity in Europe, and that same history spread throughout colonization, its full of pain, persecution, and suffering ... In short, in combination with attempts in juggling Christ & Christianity with pursuit of empirical expansion and prosperity, i think both Catholic and Protestant history has given Christ/Christianity a pretty bad name, and the only Way toward eliminating such grudges, Jesus Himself, seems to have been blocked out for many by past history ...

When i think about it i do wonder how anyone from Shem and Ham's line, after Japhethic spreading of Christ and Christianity, ever became Christians at all ... i truly marvel how enslaved Africans ever came to latch onto the same Jesus their often Christ claiming enslavers claimed ... i don't know how they did it, surely God knows, and somehow all that suffering fit into His plan, so thank God they did! ... And now knowing more of church history than i did before i can see where some could misconstrue Christianity as being the white man's religion, as so many major decisions regarding Christianity were put into effect by European Catholics first, then Protestants ...The way we do church in the west definitely has a western flavor ... But for me none of this type history blinds me anymore at all because my faith/religion is rooted in the Semitic Source (Jesus), while those who remain blinded to such truth arguments and outrage lie in the Japhetic course of the history of Christianity after Christ, and with that AGAIN satan blinds YOU with what man has done in His name, instead of what He's done for all mankind/YOU ...

 2007/2/6 13:43Profile
Rahman
Member



Joined: 2004/3/24
Posts: 1374


 FREEDOM FROM PAINFUL HISTORY ...



i think history testifies to the fact that Christianity has been abused by some for power, personal purpose & prosperity, even now ... But if one feels victimized by such history to the point that you can't believe past it to personal salvation in Jesus Himself, or even after salvation to becoming FREE as only Christ can make you, then i pray Holy Spirit can minister to you from the following scriptures ...

--- For whatever excuse we can find, including mans inhumanity to man while claiming Christ, to deny Christ toward our salvation will not stand up in court as an excuse if we're found on the wrong side of the great white throne judgement ... Paul says ---

Rom.3
[3] For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? [4] God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar.

--- Whether it be hatred for, or prejudice against, learned from a painful past, it's heavy, and of the devil, and only coming to Christ Himself, apart from all and anything that man may have done in besmirchment of His name, can free you from it ... He says ---

Matt. 11
[28] Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. [29] Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. [30] For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

--- When we come to Christ we're not coming to a religion, a way of interpretation by man, but coming to THE ONLY WAY, and THE ONLY TRUTH, unto salvation that can't be found in a religion, but only in Him ... He says ---

John.14
[6] I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

--- After Christ all things, including YOU, are new ... All and any painful history that once had you bound is "passed away" in Him ... But will you let it go? ... Paul says ---

2Cor.5
[17] Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Phil.3
[13] but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before.

--- To stay bound in anything that had us bound once coming into the fellowship of Christ is a retention of "the vanity of our old mind", and what is "vanity" but self agrandizement, self importance ... For some such satanically inspired vanities can tell us that our old pains are just to intense to forget let alone forgive ... While for others our past predjudices, and reasons for feeling superior are just to much a part of our character to ever let them go ... Both are old wine in a new skin, and eventually somewhere along the line it will erupt forth in ways not pleasing to Jesus ... Paul says ---

Eph.4
[17] This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, [18] Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:
[22] ... put off concerning the former conversation of the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; [23] And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; [24] And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. [26] Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: [27] Neither give place to the devil. [29] Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
[30] And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. [31] Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:
[32] And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

--- May our Lord use this to the benefit of understanding, and diffusing all old reactions to any kind of painful histories, whether in ourselves, or in witnessing to others still in bondage to such - saved or unsaved ...

Blessings in our Lord Jesus Christ ---

 2007/2/6 13:44Profile





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