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To live is Christ - to die is gain... True Religion + True Church.

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posted on Mar, 19 2021 @ 09:02 AM

A quick thread by which I hope to pique your interest on the purpose & potential of true religion, which is, as the Apostle James said:

James 1:27. “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

What does this mean other than what it says? Religion is not fundamentally about the way we gather, hear teachings, and worship - it is principally noted as being extant where CHARITABLE ACTION is taking place - essentially, a definition would read:

"True Religion = Caring for those who are unable to care for themselves due to unavoidable hardships that they have no control over, specifically we are to act swiftly to mitigate the suffering of those who are in emotional, spiritual & personal distress - and remaining in purity/righteousness while living in the world.."

If that is religion, then 'true church' is a different, yet related thing - it is a set of customs which have grown up around the recommendations of Christ Himself, and the Apostles of the first century AD, later winnowed & distilled by the early church fathers (who got some things wrong), and much of the corruption of the medieval church was corrected, or at least improved, by the reformation & the development of the Protestant church. There is only one Roman church, but there are 8,000 Anglican/Protestant denominations, which should perhaps tell you something about the valdity of each. The Roman church remains corrupted in several principal & glaringly obvious areas. The Protestant denominations all largely confess the exact same set of beliefs based on the Nicene Creed, but the style of the buildings, the ministers, the worship services & the outreach all varies according with personal preference. I don't know much about the Lutheran church but it is rather similar to typical Anglicanism apparently.

The original Apostles recommended hierarchical organisation, teaching ministry, prophetic ministry, intercessory ministry, evangelism ministry, and so on. They recommended singing all types of spiritual song together, and they recommended seeking to abide in the presence of God. That has led us to the various types of worship experience which are extant today. These practices are 'church', and I have already defined 'religion'.

So you basically find yourself a church that suits you, and you volunteer amongst the needy, and voila, you have the basis of a living & active Christian faith. But you also need one other thing, if at all possible, and this is what Jesus called the Pearl of Great Price, for which the trader sold all his other pearls simply to purchase this one true prize - it is a living & active relationship with God the Father, God the Son, God the Spirit.. Yes, the Trinity is complicated. No, I haven't fully understood it. The Father seems remote from my understanding at times, but that is seemingly a natural state of affairs, as the Son must reveal the Father at the appropriate time, and I seem to be receiving revelation piecemeal. I have suffered from a wrong understanding of the Father in the past, where I felt that He was always watching me, ready to catch me out when I screwed something up. Intellectually, I know this is false, and my signature line reminds me of that fact, whether or not you hold the apocrypha to be useful - some of them, I do, others, are heretical. Be careful & discern what you're reading. Moving on, I believe I have a reasonable understanding & experience of the Holy Spirit, often felt through worship, prayer, meditation, and a strong 'witness' to certain actions or decisions, or pieces of Scripture that I am supposed to focus on in a given situation, etc. Thankfully, I am convinced also that the Son is near to me, abiding with me at all times, "an ever-present help in times of trouble". I find that the major part of my meditation is upon His likeness, to be conformed to the pattern He has laid down for my heart & character.

And so, we have true religion, and we have true protestant-centric church (though naturally God loves Catholics too - just slightly less).

The title of the thread "To live is Christ; to die is gain". I chose that title because I wanted you to know, if you are on the fence about religion, church & God, that it is a grand adventure, and if you participate, and you find a church which is living & active by the 'anointing' of the Holy Spirit, you will find a grand adventure, an incredible fusion of intellectual, emotional & deep spiritual sustenance. Working with those in need, in a charitable manner, will enhance your experience of life, and will give great joy & thankfulness to others, potentially also helping them along the road to the point where they too sign on for the great adventure (though you should never consider the needy as less simply because they haven't bought into what we're promoting, obviously). Everyone comes along the road in their own time, and hopefully they can see the truth for themselves as early as possible, so they can spend even more time in this life enjoying & growing throughout the grand adventure.

And once it's done, this living business? Well, I have died in my dreams at least five times, and I can tell you that God is faithful, that to pass from this earth & find yourself in His presence, is an unfathomable wonder, grace, blessing & joy. To live is Christ, being near to Him in joy & suffering - to die is gain, because we are freed from all sadness & suffering, able to enjoy an eternal Heaven which is beyond our vast imaginations (& our imaginations are pretty good by design!) Everything we ever wanted to experience, unparalelled nearness to God, connecting with all your 'friendship soulmates', vast landscapes, worlds, universes ~

1 Corinthians 2:9
That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.”

Philippians 1:21
For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.

Join the adventure!

Cheers, FITO.

edit on MarchFriday2113CDT09America/Chicago-050010 by FlyInTheOintment because: clarification

posted on Mar, 19 2021 @ 09:07 AM
a reply to: FlyInTheOintment

""True Religion = Caring for those who are unable to care for themselves due to unavoidable hardships that they have no control over, specifically we are to act swiftly to mitigate the suffering of those who are in emotional, spiritual & personal distress.."

And yet in this day of age we stick all our old folks in to care homes at the first sign of senility at the drop of a hat.

Not that i don't agree with the sentiment you share.

As to the God part, guess ile find out one day, hopefully not to soon all the same, as the world still holds a small measure of wonder.
edit on 19-3-2021 by andy06shake because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 19 2021 @ 09:12 AM
a reply to: andy06shake

I share your disdain of the way our old folks are shuttled into dark corners where we don't have to sully our perfect little lives by looking after they who birthed & raised us. I maintain that I will bring my parents to live with me if nobody else wants to look after them (several brothers, so we'll have to wait & see what happens)...

posted on Mar, 19 2021 @ 09:32 AM
a reply to: FlyInTheOintment

Me and the family moved back to my grans home and took her out the care facility she was in so she could pass away in her own house, made it to 91, full Shilling until about 86-87 as well.

The least we could do really considering she brought me up.

It's hard as hell, watching them go, but seemed like the right thing to do, in the end as is the beginning, all we have is each other, circle of life and all that jazz.

It scars you all the same, but in a good way.
edit on 19-3-2021 by andy06shake because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 19 2021 @ 12:56 PM
I hate to be selfish about charitable contribution, but man does it make my whole body and mind work better. If anyone is anxious or depressed, I strongly suggest some sort of charity, the more hands on the better the experience. You'll realize all your problems are arbitrary compared to some of the poor people wandering around.

posted on Mar, 20 2021 @ 02:41 AM
Sadly this is lacking in the American church at large, try to get a group going to say feed the homeless, or visit the sick in hospitals, or jails...

As a chaplain, it is and always has been a struggle to find people to fulfill the needed roles, even getting a letter writing group going is difficult to mail into jails.

What you did to the least of these you did to me....
edit on 20-3-2021 by benrl because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 21 2021 @ 11:54 AM
Thanks fo the contributions folks, I thought this thread had completely bombed but glad to see that at least a few have found it worth reading! God bless you all.

posted on Mar, 21 2021 @ 12:40 PM
a reply to: FlyInTheOintment

James 1:27. “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this:

to look after orphans and widows in their distress and

to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.


as i understand the thought behind this scripture... is that Ones' minimalist answer as to what makes a Religion are the attention gives to the two issues listed in the verse.

of course, helping orphans flourish in infancy & childhood but cut-it-off when they have grown up/ reached maturity...

widows who are left destitute, goes without saying... the widows with huge inheritances are in less need, regardless of looks
((our society has created 'safety nets' for these persons))

As for moral pollution, the question arises if the modern COVID Vaccine is actually a gene-therapy modification experiment and qualifies as polluting Ones' Genome/DNA
not even bringing up Roe-V-Wade, or harvesting aborted Stem-Cell collecting and infusing in products for Profit

minimalist religion and a can-of-worms dilemma

edit on st31161634884621472021 by St Udio because: (no reason given)

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