The Failure of Religion

This week, the 24th May 2022, after being sentenced to 6 years in prison in Russia Denis Christensen was released from a Russian prison.

His offence? he was labelled an extremist and dangerous to the State of Russia, I enjoyed reading one description of him a “passive terrorist”, call it what you will this is a contradiction in terms.

He had paid his taxes, kept the laws of the land, however, his faith made him an enemy of the state. This stance was promoted by the Russian Orthodox Church leaders.

Why is this simply echoing the position of other religious movements? Jesus taught his followers to love one another, although singled out for persecution by the religious leaders of his day he didn’t say to his disciples campaign to stop them, or become involved in the political system to protect your own interests.

The principle that guides Jehovah’s Witnesses globally reflects the words of the Apostles who are recorded as saying at Acts 5: 29 “In answer Peter and the other apostles said: “We must obey God as ruler rather than men”

At Jesus death the religious leaders aligned themselves with the state and the same applies today. Religions and the Political infrastructure are linked. For example in China the Communist Party now have a say in the appointment of Catholic Bishops.

In the UK Parliament Religious Leaders sit in the House of Lords, spend time criticizing the Government but what did Jesus advocate? Matthew 6: 33 “Keep on, then, seeking first the Kingdom and his righteousness, and all these other things will be added to you.

Which Kingdom? Matthew 6: 9 “You must pray, then, this way: “‘Our Father in the heavens, let your name be sanctified.10 Let your Kingdom come. Let your will take place, as in heaven, also on earth.11 Give us today our bread for this day;12 and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.13 And do not bring us into temptation, but deliver us from the wicked one.’” God’s Kingdom.

Religions around the world fail to point to this the only hope of salvation. Using their political influence to silence and obstruct those who make it plain, we are not in control of our destiny we need external support and Jesus died for us to get that support.

So remember the words James 4: 4 “Adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God”

We are no part of the political system as Christians because we promote God’s Kingdom ruled by Jesus Christ. The countries we live in are just places to be, and supporting the religious movement of nationalism is evidence of Religion forming and alliance with those who will battle against God’s Kingdom. Religion is described in Revelation as a Harlot riding on a wild beast who will be destroyed by that beast. It is really worth examining whether we are part of the wild beast, the harlot or those whom they wage war against.

Prayerfully consider where we want to be on God’s side on going down with the billions of followers of false religion.

Jesus made it clear when he said at Matthew 7: 13 “Go in through the narrow gate, because broad is the gate and spacious is the road leading off into destruction, and many are going in through it;14 whereas narrow is the gate and cramped the road leading off into life, and few are finding it.

If we find it easy to be a Christian today, if we discover our views are popular with those around us then we need to examine which gate we have accessed and turn around if we need to.

This means everlasting life – getting to KNOW God and Jesus Christ

The time left is very short so examine the bible for ourselves and don’t let religions drag us into a war with God by opposing those who serve him faithfully.

We rejoice in the release of someone faithful and remember all of those who continue to be persecuted by the state supported by the religious leaders, this include Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Communism and Nationalism

Let the truth of the Bible set us free and may we live forever because of the sacrifice that Jesus made on our behalf.

“The undeserved kindness of our Lord Jesus Christ be with the spirit you show, brothers. Amen.”

Skinned and Thrown About

When looking at the nation of Israel Jesus described them as sheep without a shepherd, skinned and thrown about but in what way and by whom?

The account in Matthew 9: 35 “And Jesus set out on a tour of all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the good news of the Kingdom and curing every sort of disease and every sort of infirmity.36 On seeing the crowds, he felt pity for them, because they were skinned and thrown about like sheep without a shepherd.” He was on a preaching tour, yes people were under pressure from the Roman Taxes and the local social structure but Jesus was discussing the spiritual condition of the people.

Notice how he described their shepherds in Matthew 23:13 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because you shut up the Kingdom of the heavens before men; for you yourselves do not go in, neither do you permit those on their way in to go in.” and verse 15 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because you travel over sea and dry land to make one proselyte, and when he becomes one, you make him a subject for Ge·henʹna twice as much so as yourselves“.

Their hypocrisy created a stumbling block for the nation. Preventing them from seeing the Messiah or Christ, they failed in their self-appointed role as custodians of God’s Law.

Sheep without a shepherd distracted by everything

Jesus Compassion

He expressed his care for the individuals in the crowds, they needed physical healing but more importantly, they needed comfort from the scriptures and real hope. That is why he said in Matthew 9: 37 “Then he said to his disciples: “Yes, the harvest is great, but the workers are few.38 Therefore, beg the Master of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest.”

People needed the care of the Kingdom promised from the founding of the world, the life of Abel the first faithful human.

Literally today we are in a similar place. Those so-called self-appointed custodians of truth and faith the Churches and their leaders trap individuals into a notion that we have to die and go to heaven to experience “real life”, to be in a place of true safety.

Is this what Jesus sacrificed his life for? So those people already destined for heavenly life because of their immortal soul could somehow balance an unnecessary scale. It makes absolutely no sense. If I’m going to heaven to be with Christ why do I need a redeemer?

Christian Truth is very straightforward, but just like sheep who are left unattended to wander from pasture to pasture and never get close to the lush pastures prepared for them, they are skinned, unloved, uncared for spiritually and they are dying without intervention.

So why did Jesus have to Die?

Let the Apostle Paul answer that at Romans 5: 12 “That is why, just as through one man sin entered into the world and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because they had all sinned” Adams sin brought death to Humanity but note the contrast in verse 19 “For just as through the disobedience of the one man many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one person many will be made righteous.” Paul also makes the point at 1 Corinthians 15: 21 “For since death came through a man, resurrection of the dead also comes through a man.22 For just as in Adam all are dying, so also in the Christ all will be made alive.”

If we had immortality in ourselves through a soul this statement confuses a Christian but attending the commemoration of Jesus’ Death this April on the 15th after the sun has set where you are. Join one of the Congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses to hear an explanation of why Christ Died and that although close to the end of the period of harvest we are assured that there is still time to experience the compassion of Jesus Christ as we continue to be Skinned and Thrown About as sheep without a shepherd.

Studying God’s Word, his promise and understanding his plan for humanity has never included suffering and death but this is a consequence of our own human parents rejecting the source of life. Literally, they pulled the plug on their own life support. Hence the shared human condition.

Creation

The definition and understanding of the word creation is truly limited by our education. A potter takes clay, applies skills, minerals, glazes, and heat to “create” a jug or plate.

Is the potter creating or merely manufacturing? Taking things and using known techniques to deliver a product? That really describes what the human ability is limited to. Take something that exists, find out how it works under different conditions and then bring those components together to make – not create – something.

Real Creation

This is encapsulated in one verse Genesis 1: 1. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”

The use of the word “beginning” in the Genesis is explained this way in a bible commentary [Keil & Delitzsch] “Heaven and earth have not existed from all eternity, but had a beginning; nor did they arise by emanation from an absolute substance, but were created by God.” Simple point before the beginning there was only God. God Created everything, physical and spiritual. Time, matter and mass did not exist.

The Hebrew word helps us to understand how limited our language and education has become, the definition bārā’, “create, give being to something new.” The understanding of new used here is original.

So looking at that simple statement is God explaining how he made life, creating everything? No! Genesis 1: 1 is a statement of fact. Like most inventors acknowledge the product they manufacture Jehovah God stated he created. From a point God decided everyone, everything and everywhere came into existence.

How did God Create

That is where science can’t argue with the fundamental truth of the scriptures. The bible discusses the great energy required, the movement of planets in our solar systems to ensure light and dark, the tides, the water cycle. Things we waited 4500 years to have identified as we understand them today.

The bible says quite simply in Genesis 2: 7 “And Jehovah God went on to form the man out of dust from the ground and to blow into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living person.” This is the how – he took the components and form the human breathing into him life.

Science will break that down and attempt to say a simple creature mutated to become something more complex, drawing all the constituent elements and sequencing to establish the Human. Logic and basic maths counters this argument. We have the laws of physic, chemistry and probability to look at the evolutionary process which have to dismiss blind chance.

Take the solar system – the goldilocks effect – everything somehow moved into the perfect and precise space at the right time to ensure that sustainable life is possible. Science would have you believe this was blind chance.

Conduct your own experiment for a month. Take a complex timepiece that is only in component form (not a digital watch but a clock). Place those pieces in a bag and lets apply some orbiting forces – turn everything to the left 2.5 times 3 times a day for 30 days. What is the chance that the right cogs will be connected when you open your bag. Keep the bag moving for 12 months, 12 years, 12 lifetimes, will those constituent parts be anything other than a bag of bits.

External forces and design have to be introduced to create that timepiece.

Now look at the simple yet complex solar system and ask why the Giants are important to life on earth, why the orbits of planets we can’t see have an impact on our existence?

To understand how we have to understand, who created all things. But there is one question that science can’t even guess at Why? The human form isn’t the strongest, most robust or efficient but it is the most intellectual (not I hasten to say the most intelligent). Why develop a brain with such capacity that is never used, nature wouldn’t work that way if it evolved because existence is the key part not enjoyment, satisfaction and work.

We live in a culture of absolute right and wrong. We are taught in school that nothing is more intelligent than humanity and we can defeat everything that is thrown at us. Science is king.

Morality the key

Decision making based on a moral code is unique when it comes to the evolution process. As family groups individual animals may have a code of kind but it doesn’t go beyond that group. Most are learned behaviours and none are written.

Why mustn’t we murder? Steal? ..etc. The bible refers to this as the law written in our hearts. But freewill in the human family is also based on a personal moral code and that makes a real difference. We choose how we treat others and how we want to be treated.

Whether we have faith in God or nothing we accept we exist so does life have purpose? Are we just accident of genetics and all of these questions are just fruitless musings? The answer is we have to investigate things for ourselves.

The atheist will ridicule this but why bother? My understanding of reality doesn’t affect them so why so animated? Why call all people with faith weak and stupid? Intellect never resorts to judgements based on unproved points. Just as science is developing so is atheism. For now it is good to keep the bible’s viewpoint that we reap what we sow.

If you sow that there is no chance of salvation you can’t complain when it doesn’t include you or your friends. If you are right then what difference does it make we all die and rot. My faith is based on evidence, science, reality and prophesy. So I share it not with a view of converting the world but to emphasise that there is another answer to life’s big questions that gives us real hope, a real future, that resolves human problems and issues of government.

If you are looking for answers and not an argument then the bible is a place to begin your search to life’s big questions.

Please leave a comment. If you believe evolution please present proof in your response not something that relies on tests by other people. With the bible you can test the evidence for yourself. With science it is based on the words of an individual who has learnt much through education and should be respected for their conclusion. I encourage everyone to observe, experiment and understand the real hope.

Thanks for reading, grab a copy of the bible on download for free.

How to Find The TRUTH

In these terrible times we are living in many people are turning to religion to find some sort of hope and comfort.

However, they are often finding there are so many differences of belief, almost a “pick ‘n’ mix” where you can suit yourself, as to what you want to believe, literally choosing what suits you.

So how can we find the truth?

Is there a true Religion?

When Jesus was on earth he made a simple statement about how to identify the true religion. He said at Matthew 7: 16 “by their fruits you will recognize them”

The Bible presents those identifying characteristics as:

  1. Teaches the truth based on God’s Word the bible, not on human philosophy or ideology. This includes the truth about the “Soul” (Psalms 37:29) and the hope of everlasting life on a paradise earth (Isaiah 35: 5,6)
  2. The true religion helps to know God – teaching his personal name Jehovah (Psalm 83: 18)
  3. Focuses on Jesus Christ and God’s Kingdom as mankind’s only hope
  4. Promoting unselfish love and respect for all races and cultures (Acts 10: 34,35)
  5. the true religion is a way of life; its followers keep gods high moral standards in all areas of life and find joy in their worship.

These are just five points aspects of the true religion Jesus spoke of. The bible encourages us follow a religion not because it suits us and our lifestyle but that it is clean and undefiled from the standpoint of God James 1: 27.

Please visit the website JW.org for information, publications, a copy of the bible in your language and a free personal bible study or on line lessons

Is science really saving the World?

A COVID 19 vaccine is now in circulation. Thousands over the next month will have the first doses and then require the second to ensure they have a measure of protection.

Is this really an advance or a sign that science is able to answer our questions?

That question is a challenge to Christians who herald this development as a break through.

What do we know?

This week one vaccine is approved – the way it works triggers the cells to respond to the presence of the virus. Now notice one word “triggers”, science has created the response it has merely designed a switch that will activate something that already exists.

Something within the human cell structure that combats disease. This is sobering because science hasn’t created a solution it has accessed the key or trigger.

The Psalmist said “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.” or “I praise you because in an awe-inspiring way I am wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful, I know this very well.”

So to praise humankind for understanding what the body can do is close to saying the electrical engineer who ran the cable to my fuse box and distribution centre is as clever as the person who harnessed electricity.

Yes we are wonderfully made and to understand that science can only work with the raw materials and the known processes that already exist within the human body is the beginning of understanding why science will never have all of the answers. It is a journey of discovery – but the things discovered already exist.

We create nothing, we adapt everything, manufacturing is the process of blending materials to change their use or purpose.

The real source of hope!

Ask everyone about those who have died, what would you trade to have another day with a healthy loved one? Get them really thinking about a future where science isn’t split between designing and developing new weapons of destruction and then healing the impact of their “progress”.

What are we fighting now? It is the modern life style; contrast the plagues of the past, Spanish Flu, Black Death, whilst they covered the globe it was clear that travel created the problem. Humans and animals travelled and spread the disease. Today, COVID, SARS and so many other sicknesses move around the globe faster so the impact is immediate.

So to the real solution that Christians are supposed to be focused on this time of year, GODS KINGDOM! – we pray let your Kingdom come and let your will be done. What is God’s will for that kingdom?

Revelation 21: 3, 4 and 5 “…And God himself will be with them. 4 And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.” 5 And the One seated on the throne said: “Look! I am making all things new.” Also he says: “Write, for these words are faithful and true.””

An end to death, so with the kingdom hope all those who live under that rule have a chance to live on forever. Is that promise limited to just those who survive the introduction of the kingdom? Notice Jesus’ own words at John 5: 28, 29 and 30 “Do not be amazed at this, for the hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear his voice 29 and come out, those who did good things to a resurrection of life, and those who practiced vile things to a resurrection of judgment. 30 I cannot do a single thing of my own initiative. Just as I hear, I judge, and my judgment is righteous because I seek, not my own will, but the will of him who sent me.”

Find out more and discover the truth about life, hope and true justice. Somethings beyond the whit of human rulership and science.

Ask the questions that really count and look at reality not the world as politicians and science would have you see it. Without God’s Kingdom can humankind guarantee 1 additional day of your life? Offer an end to sickness and death? Find out if these bible promises can be trusted.