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Practising Your Faith Or Not?

I've been watching with some interest how some peeps who claim

Christianity as their religion seem to confuse me the more. Jesus said that

people will give an account on judgement day for every idle word that they

speak (Matt. 12:36), and yet it amazes me to read responses from some

of these folks and see some very downtown lines in them: "F_ _ K",

"SH_T", etc. Am I to think that vocabs no longer matter to religious folks

anymore, and nobody cares a hoot about that verse above?

Interestingly, I wonder that serious atheists (or those who claim no

religious beliefs) rarely, if ever, use such out of place words. I'm

not a religious police, but is it that religious people often forget that

they are to be examples to the rest of some of us still trying to find

faith or belief? I don't think I really need religion to learn to use

such lingo, but I certainly appreciate the fact that Jesus example was

consistent with what He taught - He didn't use such, and that makes me

wonder how people claiming to follow Him just simply go ahead and use

them anyway.

Am I missing something?

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31 answers

Drusilla,

Nothing touches me as sincerity and an open heart. I didn't see your entry in

time as I just went straight home after work yesterday and only came here after

my quiet time this morning. It won't be such a problem to go back on my knees

for you - what I really enjoy, and be sure you're on my prayer list from today.

Be encouraged - so many of us have felt like that sometime in our walk with the

Lord, and believe me: He's faithful and will lift you up as you look to Him. May

His countenance shine on you each day.

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TV01, good to know that the discussion so far has been of some benefit

to you, as it has to me as well. You couldn't have been more correct to

have captured the essence of the present situation in many quarters by

observing that -

'. .there are wholesale attempts to "re-invent" The Lord and "re-engineer"

the faith, so the gospel no longer challenges or confronts, . . . there's no

longer a cross.'

Certainly, there's more to say on the issue and I'll find the time to share

a bit more as time permits, trusting that Drusilla would help broaden our

scope as she's done previously.

And thanks to syrup and others as well who saw beyond my small or limited

concern about what 'practising one's faith' entails. So, while it shouldn't be

just a matter of 'cuss-words', one has to look at the content of what is being

presented in the pulpits in our day. By grace we can depend on the Spirit to

both comfort and challenge us in our walk with God.

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Drusilla/Gwaine,

I've enjoyed listening in on your discussion.

"Another Jesus"?

In fact quite a few of them. While we all fall short, but it's hard not to see that there are wholesale attempts to "re-invent" The Lord and "re-engineer" the faith, so the gospel no longer challenges or confronts, so there's no longer a cross. Whatever your state, you can find a church that will comfort and not challenge you.

The Bible is littered with examples of those (usually the very people one would consider custodians of the oracles of God) who insist on worshipping God on their own terms.

The modern day outworking seen in half truths and heresies like the "prosperity gospel" previously mentioned.

And yes, I witness that a Holy Spirit led reading of the scriptures definitely helps one discern, but even a literal reading of scripture must make one wonder at some of the excesses?

With another Jesus, comes another gospel and another spirit.

Thought provoking. Please, if you have more insight to share, I'd like to hear it.

God bless.

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Drusilla,

Let me acknowledge that you're an inspiration as well for the food-

for-thought you provided in yours. Of course, you're also correct in

your assessment on many things, so God bless for your efforts and

thank you again.

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Precisely, Drusilla. The author's point fits aptly into what I stated earlier:

"Critical thinking" is good and serves the needs of those who appeal more

to it than a dependence upon the Spirit of God. . ."

As far as "our ideas" are concerned, Jesus could be anything but 'meek[i]

and lowly in heart[/i]' - and that's because some fail to understand that a

person of such disposition does not necessarily have to be thought of as

cowardly in situations that call for boldness. Take the case of the 6th point:

it's either we read it as that He "tells" people they're 'going to die just like

that', or rather that He was sounding a "warning" to them. And such a

disposition could well be applied to all the preceding points 1-5.

Meekness does not translate into cowardice. Maybe I'm failing to see the

picture clearly, but while agreeing that our ideas at any level tend often to

confuse issues, blur the lines and distort things in a general way, in our

world of today when people tend to hide behind the "politically correct/incorrect"

smokescreen, it's well to see Jesus for Who He really is.

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Gwaine,

When you think of a 'meek and lowly in heart' person do they have these actions:

1. Take whips and turn over tables.

2. Confront preachers and tell them the prostitutes will be in heaven before you.

3. Preach about others going to hell more than any other issue.

4. When called by the government tells the government they think they are slick and to wait.

5. Give such concrete arguments that the people shut their mouth.

6. See a horrible death of someone, and then use that death to tell others, your going to die just like that, if you do not repent.

The point is the authors point. As the author repeatedly says: Our ideas____ of what "meek and mild" mean tend to distort the picture of Jesus Christ.

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@Drusilla,

The exercise has been worth it and many thanks yet again.

One thing though, which is that many people see the Lord Jesus from

various/varying perspectives. It wouldn't be much of a problem unless

the inference to be drawn is that He was afterall not what the Bible

declares of Him.

This naturally reminds me of the pivotal question He asked His disciples:

"Whom do men say that I am?" In answering that question today, some

may be persuaded that He was something other than He was and is as

we read of Him in God's Word. For me, I'd always play it safe by aligning

my thoughts with what appears in Scripture than appeal to anything less.

"Critical thinking" is good and serves the needs of those who appeal more

to it than a dependence upon the Spirit of God, without Whom it is utterly

impossible to understand His ways or the inspired Word. When I rather

choose to depend on the Spirit, my conclusion is that Christ is indeed no

less as the Bible declares of Him - He is both meek and lowly in heart.

The challenges are well noted, and I trust you'll find grace and blessings

from Him in all spheres of life.

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Oh well, your second post - I alread clicked on posting the one above.

I understand that you're not ascribing my walk with any of those 'gods'

and you're absolutely correct that we should not hide under any excuses

as reason for disobedience.

God bless again.

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Drusilla,

I'm sure your passion is admirable. The mammon god, the suburban god, the

hug god. . . and what else?

The fact is that I'm not running around worrying how to stay away from hell

because I know that's settled. You can also be sure that I'm not in any way

courting a passive spirit about the issues that daily confront us as believers

nor do I see complacency as a viable option.

In as much as I can help it, I submit myself to God daily before even doing a

single thing - the refreshing moments with Him in the mornings compares to

nothing else I've ever known in my rascally days.

Even so, I agree with all you've said so far; and I don't think leaving matters

of divine judgement to God as Judge alone should amount to complacency.

Actually, I enjoy the blessings of those who challenge me to good works, and

I trust that they can bear witness that I'm doing the same - and doing so in

creative ways as I continue to seek God's direction in any particular situation

that will bear more fruit for His glory.

For me, it's not just a matter of doing good works, but also how we do those

works as well. Jesus said for us to both take heed what we hear (Mark 4:24),

and also to take heed how we hear (Luke 8:18).

I've enjoyed your inputs and continue to be indebted to you for some of the

challenges you consistently offer me - and God bless you more.

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Gwaine,

And again, I am not saying you personally have "the hug god" as I was not saying that you have "the suburban god".

I am just saying that we must not use our personal relationship with God as an excuse not to actually obey God and do good works in this world.

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@Drusilla,

Thanks once again for sharing, and perhaps there's more to the list than you've

taken time to share. Good effort though, and let me share a few things with you:

I'm not usually one to be drawn into other people's concerns where they use the

name and Word of God for their personal purposes. Certainly, I've worried myself

sick with these issues earlier, and if only you knew me before now, I'm even more

guilty than anyone else in this thread of using cuss words to the extent that I got

the sack twice from my former places of employment! Then I learnt to calm down

and be just what God asks me to be - His loving and trusting child - and to help

share the Gospel graciously while praying sincerely and deeply for others.

Admittedly, it's not easy to do that, but I enjoy the help of His Spirit.

Yes, in many quarters in Christendom, we hear and see these things; and believe

me there'll be worse than those listed in your reply. How do I know this? Jesus said

so prophetically as He warned the disciples about the nature of religious confession

in the end-times. What then am I to do in times like these? On the one hand, I could

present myself to God to pursue what pleases Him according to His Word; and on

the other hand, I'll leave Him to be the Judge over these issues. Sad reality that it's

the order of our day to see and hear about these unfortunate experiences, but I'll

guarantee you that God isn't taken by surprise in these matters, as we can see for

instance in Acts 20:28-32, part of which I'll quote here:

For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not

sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to

draw away disciples after them. [verses 29-30].

I don't know if this would help, but while we cannot ignore these matters or be

passive about them, a verse that has often helped me is I Cor. 4:5 -

"Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to

light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts:

and then shall every man have praise of God."

Thank you again, Drusilla. I know how these things affect us sometimes, but I'm

quite confident that as many of us seeking to enjoy His truth will find grace to do

so until Jesus comes.

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Gwaine,

If you start in Genesis.

Eve wanting an item, she could not have.

Move along to Saul, (whose name means sheol--hell) and the thing we find there, is that he has kept all the items, that God told him not to keep. Samuel tells him God has taken the kingdom from him for disobedience.

Move along to the verses that all Christians acknowledge as being about the devil in Ezeikiel, God tells satan, it is because of the abundance of your trade and merchandising that you have sinned and led the whole world in sin.

Move along to Habbukuk and you find there that the evil people have taken people, lands and other material goods, to set their nest on high (keep their people safe).

Move along to Jesus Christ, you will find that He only mentions one other god versus the True God of the Bible: The god of mammon. The god of money. He never mentions a god of drinking, in fact he drinks, he never mentions a god of false religious symbolism, in fact he is accused many times of not looking pious enough.

Move along to Paul who warns us against going after riches. James who says that God sent the gospel to the poor and the rich were the ones who dog us in this world. Peter who says that false prophets preach to get rich, using christian people as merchandise.

Then go to the end of the bible and in the book of revelations chapter 18, the LovePeddler of Babylon is all about the money and merchandise and trade, selling souls and men. She has led the whole world astray.

And do not miss that God is coming to destroy the LovePeddler of Babylon.

The bible is clear in it's focus.

But what do we find in Christian churches today?

1. Prosperity gospel is main preaching. So the god of mammon is definitely being preached.

2. Christians giving blood sacrifices to the god of mammon, everytime a baby is killed in an abortion, 33,000 people die EVERY DAY from starvation, even though the money spent on Icecream cones bought on the street in America, would pay to feed every person for a year and the money that Americans spend on christmas presents for their pets would be enough to give adequate health care to all the people in the world. Gleefully talking about not helping welfare mothers and children eat, as the right thing to do. Etc, etc.

3. Christians joyfully supporting the war in Iraq, even though only the most dense person in the world, does not understand that this war was for economic reasons (oil and cash).

4. Ever see the christians who run around church screaming --money cometh, in their churches? So the god of mammon is fully lodged in these churches. Christians will run up to you and say things like: I ain't letting nobody interrupt my prosperity walk.

5. Sex sells and Christians are being sold sex just as much as the non-believer, in this world. Christians and non-believers focus on sex -- christians either on homosexuals or on teenagers getting pregnant(abortions).

Yet what does the bible say?

Jer 22:16  He judged the cause of the poor and needy; then it was well with him: was not this to know me? saith the LORD.

When someone cares about the poor and needy that is a sign that they love the Lord.

Pro 29:7  The righteous knows the plea of the poor; the wicked cares not to know it.

Christians should be focused on the 33,000 children who die everyday from starvation that they can prevent.

Pro 31:9  Open your mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.

We Christians need to be pleading for the poor and needy, not for the fat and greedy.

Pro 31:20  She stretches out her hand to the poor; yea, she reaches forth her hands to the needy.

A good woman is in the caring for the poor business.

The bible is absolutely clear.

I do not think I need to tell you why it would be in the interests of what is called 'Western Christian Civilization' to keep people focused on getting themselves rich, sex, cussing, and personal sins and making sure that people never focus on the trade and merchandise sins that the bible is more focused on.

The bible is just used as prop to justify their economic violence.

What did Jesus do, when he saw religion being used to make money? He got a whip and chased the money changers out of temple.

Economic sins were the cause of Jesus getting violent in the bible.

Sexual sins by the adulteress in the bible? Jesus just forgave her.

A lot of us have purposely been taught WRONG FOCUS by those who benefit from this policy.

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Drusilla,

No, I'm not taking it personal, and hope that my earlier reply didn't

sound as though it meant that.

You're right - some people evaluate others' Christianity on a few out

of context premises, such as just the expressions they hear of them.

One may be 'morally' civil in diction and yet not even blink at the plight

of the less privileged around them. Coincidentally, what you'd pointed

out happened to be the very thing I was reading about in the Scriptures

this morning in my quiet time: Luke 10:28-37, about the priest and Levite

who were (probably) sanctimonious as not to offer help to the man who

fell among thieves.

Indeed, there's much more about this topic about practicing one's faith

than just the mere focus on cuss words - and I very much appreciate

that you and syrup have helped to broaden the scope of what this

entails. Please forgive me if my reply earlier raised any concerns out of

context, and thanks for your input.

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Gwaine,

Please do not take that personal. It is not meant to indicate in any way that you are a hypocrite.

I, as an American, am used to people confusing the 'suburban god' with the True God of the Bible.

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Gwaine,

I live in a world, where the bible writes about the poor and helping the poor in over 1000+ verses.

It writes about cussing -- ZERO TIMES.

Yet every other Christian will run up to me and claim, cussing means your not a true Christian! But issues concerning the poor?

Not a peep.

This is what I mean about 'hypocritical'.

People do better when they know better.

So I am not saying you are doing that, at least not purposely, but I frequently meet Christians who do not know what the bible says nor means, instead their on some white glove hunt to prove that 'suburban values' are the same as 'godly values'.

I am simply pointing out they are not the same.

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@Drusilla,

I'd have loved to see more examples than the not-so quaint "new hypocritical

Victorian code" of SHYTE. You see, I'd asked if I was not missing something to

observe that Christians banter some expressions that would make unbels or

non-believers raise their brows. At least, someone earlier told me that they

use curse words and have no problem with doing so, and I didn't think that

he/she was necessarily consigned to a "new hypocritical Victorian code".

Ok, was just teasing. But seriously, when we look deep in our consciences

and wonder about the transforming power and work of the Holy Spirit in our

lives, then some would agree that language reveals one's true identity.

I don't think that my entry is set to "make up sins and then accuse people of

violating them." My concern was that many of us as believers don't seem to

care these days about these things. Being "Christian" does not rest on what

expressions we use - good or bad; rather it is a personal relationship that

is evidenced in every aspect of our lives - and that includes not only what

we say, but how we say them, Victorian hypocrisy or not.

Fear not - I was there and used them so well that they earned me some

despicable appellation, to the extent that I got the sack twice and had to

move on to other jobs. It wasn't anyone who "made up" my sins - it was

rather the fellowship of God's Spirit in my heart that gave me a change of

attitude, and that's why I don't see the need to use them anymore. Good

though, if you find them well suited to your witness - and in that, peace

to you.

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Gwaine,

I do not know about this.

I tend to be against the common thing that Christians do: Make up sins and then accuse people of violating them.

I am not saying your doing that because I know you are following the time honored traditions of cultural or nominal christians.

When Paul says I considered it DUNG? Isn't he saying I considered it SHYTE?

In the exact same way that we mean it, when we say: that ain't worth jack shyte?

This idea that one has to be following some old hypocritical Victorian code of ethics to be considered Christian or not sinning, just seems very fishy to me.

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you have touch a part of me that only my father has been able to do, i grew in the church i sang in church i was a (devoted Christean) one bad experience in the church and i was broken unable to allow god to heal the pain, which i know he can do. thanx

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Interesting and thought-provoking. I'm one of those persuaded that

to be "Christian" is to have a living relationship with Jesus Christ by

faith which helps us daily experience God's love in righteousness. I'll

break this down:

This relationship is not based on some rigid code like the Mosaic Law

or the Ten Commandments; however, the righteousness in them is

evident in the Christian life. If the Law said not to bear false witness,

my Christian exprience delights in telling the truth - by the help of the

Spirit of God.

I suggest that the difference between a religious life and a relationship

with Jesus Christ is this: religious observance may be of benefit to some,

but it is a lifeless formality. On the other hand, in a relationship with Christ,

we discover a living vitality planted in our hearts to always long to be

pleasing to God by the help of His Spirit.

I've been there before - wondering how I could ever get out of that

cycle of religious life. I sang the songs and praises but they were drab;

I tried to participate in 'church' things, but it was all dry. I'll never forget

the day that a simple prayer delivered me from the most painful sin in

my life (I'm so ashamed to say it here); but since that day, I've known

the reality of His presence and power.

Just seek Him and be sensitive to what He ministers to your heart -

perhaps something to give up or a word to obey: the results are dramatic

and your life will be enriched.

God bless you much.

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You're an inspiration, and I'm confident that you'll find the healing

your heart longs for from God - He's loving way beyond anything

I can say. You're in my prayers from today.

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lol. tnk u oh. I need the prayers.

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Gwaine u certainly right nd like hot-angel i cant deny i use it sometimes nd i'm in d wrong. But what she doesnt do is waht m gona do: which is defend why i use it soemtimes.

I know its wrong and dat has been settled, but sometimes one cant help it, especially wen around u ppl are see cursing and being insultive. Wen ppl pick fights wiv me (m not talkng on behalf on anybody eslse), i feel dat the only words dey understand is the curse words. Becuase those are the only things, that expresses anger and infuraition very clearly. And once that is established, ppl tend 2 leave u alone.

I want my light to shine, but sometimes i cant help it (nd i know dats an excuse), but come rain come sun, i'll feel sorry for using dose kind of terms, but unless i have God personally tell me what oda language 2 use 2 show my anger on internet sites, m sorry aldo i might not be proud of using it, i'll alwayz sucumb 2 using it.

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That's quite a broad one, and good input. Initially, I was concerned

about the use of certain uncouth language among those professing

faith in God and wondered if there wasn't any qualms to it.

However, it is true that there are many issues involved in the real

essence of what it means to practise one's faith. Alas! how often is

the wonder that compromise is rife among believers today, and only

by God's grace do we see and deal with them.

I would not like to be in a situation to compromise my faith; but if I

so happen to be, I pray grace to stand for what I believe than give

in to what is inimical to my relationship with the Lord.

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I think there's more than just the language people use when it comes to practising one's faith. Some people can be very 'moralistic' in the the way they speak and yet fail to practise the essence of their faith. Add gossip, 'white/innocent lies', cheating husbands, etc to the list. And you wonder how many people that make a profession to faith are actually practising it.

I know it's not easy to maintain a life of clear righteousness in today's compromisive world. But how far should one be willing to go with the compromises, if at all? Or maybe another interesting thread would be titled: "Would You Ever Compromise Your Faith?" Not that I advocate a compromise, but when the issues begin to surface, we'll then know how many of us fill the list.

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Lol, KAG.

At least, I know another atheist on Nairaland who rarely uses

them - nferyn (please someone correct me if I'm wrong). I'm

still going through the various posts, but as yet haven't come

across the admin's use of them, even though he strongly sets

his disagreements about issues (again, I stand to be corrected).

In anycase, I don't use them; at least, not anymore. You can't

guess how many curse words were flung about yesterday in ma

office! Perhaps, if I was counting, might have been close to

666/6.

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This atheist uses "curse" words sometimes, and has no real problem with the use of them.

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We nigerians have taken so much to the garbage of the western culture. As christians, its a terrible thing when we use the f, d and s words which are gutter languages. We ought to be different in the way we speak, dress and generally conduct ourselves.

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Hmmm. I think there's more we can do as believers.

We can impact our culture more positively than allow

the culture to impact us, don't you agree?

However, you've a keen sense of observation - the cultural

principles have so impacted the lives of many believers on

both sides (Christianity and Islam) that it's difficult these

days to clearly distinguish believers from 'unbels'.

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You are most def. right. The so-called atheists here don't even use curse words while the Christians & Muslims go all ****! I think it bothers more on culture, principles and courtesy than 'religion'.

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Thank you for being so honest, and may God really help and bless you. I'm relieved to know someone shares my concerns, and though I've used it a couple of times until recently when a guest minister shared what holiness means to the Lord. God bless you again and again.

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