Friday, 31 July 2015

Let us make sure we are not stiff-necked

Today, God’s word is available to be read in every language, but how many “hear” by properly reading it?

In God’s perception of humans today, nearly all are stiff-necked! Let us make sure we are not.

Let us become like Abraham of whom we read today in Romans 4,
“No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised”.
Those who call themselves Christian should be following up the teachings and the tasks given by the master teacher Jeshua, Jesus Christ. Too many forget how important the preaching of the Word of God is. Too many do not care to bring the Good News of the coming Kingdom to others. they better consider what Jeshua had asked his followers. they should know like the apostles knew that great emphasis must be placed on the preaching of the Gospel. This should be the sacred duty of every Christian, to place himself or herself under that preaching.

Preaching is at the heart of our liturgy. Our spiritual health and our Christian lives, like the lives of those around us, utterly depend upon hearing and heeding the voice of Christ and up hearing the Voice of his heavenly Father, the God of him, Abraham and us.

We may not neglect that which is most needful for our Christian lives and for the salvation of us and our beloved ones.


Find more about preaching at our ecclesia site: Articles on Preaching or on Stepping toes and preaching


Preachers should know and continue the task Jesus has given his followers

English: Carving on the marble pulpit of St St...
Carving on the marble pulpit of St Stephen's Church in Bournemouth. Hampshire. The work of Nathaniel Hitch. The carvings represent three scenes from the New Testament. In the central panel Jesus is seen preaching the sermon on the mount. On each side we have St Peter preaching on the first Whitsunday(Pentecost) and St Paul preaching in Athens. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Primarily through the preached Word of God people can hear about God and His works. By all this preaching work all over the world Christ is present with his people.

Preachers, be it layman, priests, pastors may be attacked, but they should know and continue the task Jesus has given his followers.

The Word of God must occupy a central place in the life of every Christian. Luther very well knew this and therefore placed the utmost emphasis on the necessity of the preaching of the gospel for the Christian life.
Without the preaching of the Word of God, the Christian’s spiritual life will be sapped. He or she will become spiritually malnourished and waste away. It can be said without exaggeration that to be removed from the preaching of the Gospel is to be removed from Christ’s presence.


You may find to read:

Luther on the Christian Life (3)


Nigerian-born South African pastor assaulted by street thugs for preaching the word of God on the streets

English: looking out over Johannesburg from Br...
looking out over Johannesburg from Braamfontein. Nelson Mandela bridge over the train station. CBD in the background (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A 48-year-old Nigerian-born South African pastor, of The Evangelical Christian Assembly, South Africa, Zander Emenogo, was waylaid and assaulted by street thugs for preaching the word of God on the streets.

Already been talking about drugs, crime and violence in the streets and parks of Johannesburg for 10 years he encountered two young men who did not like it and wanted that had to shut his big mouth.

The  scared father of two said he had to pass on the message whether someone got upset or not.

He said
“I didn’t know I was stepping on toes as I preached on. I only realized that when I rounded off my preaching and wanted to go home.”
“When I turned around to find my way out of the street, I felt a heavy blow on my head and passed out. I only woke up after 4 hours in a hospital bed,”
he added.

He said he didn’t give up. He went back to the street after been discharged yesterday and was threatened.
“A man told me what the guys did on Saturday was nothing compared to what they would do if I didn’t stop preaching.”
“I told him I preach what the Lord tells me,”
 Zander said.

As the story goes, the police are currently investigating the incident and no arrest has so far been made.


Thursday, 30 July 2015

Human beings and creation

Homo sapiens sapiens - Deliberate deformity of...
Homo sapiens sapiens - Deliberate deformity of the skull, "Toulouse deformity ". (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Human species think they are superior to other species and behave uncontrolled hautain.

Over the years they made not only a mess of their own society and history, they also intruded the life of the other species and made it for many impossible to survive.

Throughout history we got a species which wanted not to be associated with animals though they often behave worse than animals. they also became a sort which liked to bring forward many excuses for things they did. As such they say that they are susceptible to weaknesses:
they are only human, and therefore mistakes do occur the risk of human error

It is a created being which has many weaknesses and makes lots of errors. Often for their wrongdoing they try to blame others. Or they use the mistakes from others to make themselves seem better. They like to show of their better 'Me' with better qualities, such as kindness or sensitivity.

As a human being we like to see the primate mammal of the genus Homo, the only living species of which is Homo sapiens.
Some like to compare them with near relatives like the chimpanzee, gorilla and orang-utan, an d are intrigued by their several distinct features.
Normally they walk upright, often hiding their patchily hairy body, but not afraid to boast with their musculature or specific bodily design.

They consider themselves the brightest of all creatures and like to see the proof of it in their brains and their forehead which is higher than that of any ape.

Microscopically, humans are distinct from great apes by the size, number, and shape of their chromosomes. Another distinction is the human capacity for language. Socially, humans are similar to lesser primates, preferring a family or other small group.

Humans have always actively made great changes to both their immediate environment and to ecosystems. And there lies a big problem, because most often they did not take much notice of the consequences of their actions in nature.

Being five for twelve it is getting time that those human beings wake up from their self-esteem dreams. They often being full of selfishness have to start thinking about others more.

Many leaders also think they should interfere with what man is doing to himself and to other creatures living on this planet earth.

Please do continue reading about man's position in this universe and how the human being has to take up his responsibility.

  1. Paris World Summit of Conscience, International interfaith gathering #1
  2. Paris World Summit of Conscience, International interfaith gathering #2
  3. Paris World Summit of Conscience, International interfaith gathering #3
  4. Vatican against Opponents of immigration
  5. Message of Pope Francis I for the 48th World Communications Day
  6. Mayors from all over the world at the Vatican to talk about climate change
  7. Climate change guilty of doing too little
  8. Postponing once more
  9. Forms of slavery, human trafficking and disrespectful attitude to creation to be changed
  10. Vatican meeting of mayors talking about global warming, human trafficking and modern-day slavery
  11. Senator Loren Legarda says climate change not impossible to address
  12. Why “Selfishness” Doesn’t Properly Mean Being Shortsighted and Harmful to Others
  13. A bird’s eye and reflecting from within
  14. How to Find the Meaning of Life and Reach a State of Peace
  15. Inner feeling, morality and Inter-connection with creation

Readings about human beings:

  1. Genesis 1 story does not take away an evolution
  2. Challenging claim 2 Inspired by God 1 Simple words
  3. Looking at three “I am” s
  4. Means of creations
  5. Coming to the creation of human beings in the image of God
  6. Necessity of a revelation of creation 1 Works of God and works of man
  7. Necessity of a revelation of creation 2 Organisation of a system of things
  8. Necessity of a revelation of creation 8 By no means unintelligible or mysterious to people
  9. What is life?
  10. Born to Shine not to fear!
  11. Denis Wright looking at the world of human beings
  12. Every creature is a divine word because it proclaims God.
  13. Inequality, Injustice, Sustainability and the Free World Charter
  14. A last note concerning civil rights
  15. Subcutaneous power for humanity 5 Loneliness, Virtual and real friends
  16. He Speaks
  17. The faithful God
  18. A voice cries out: context
  19. Time Has A Way Of Healing
  20. Let you not be defined by the effect of your wrong choice
  21. Birds, Birds Everywhere
  22. Accents in schools and tools of survival against aliens
  23. Wisdom not hard to find nor hiding in remote places
  24. Science, 2013 word of the year, and Scepticism
  25. People Seeking for God 3 Laws and directions
  26. Being Religious and Spiritual 4 Philosophical, religious and spiritual people
  27. Philosophy hand in hand with spirituality
  28. Sharing thoughts and philosophical writings
  29. Glory of God appearing in our character
  30. Eternity depends upon this short time on earth
  31. Building up the spirit of the soul


Rumours of problems in Roman Catholic Church

English: A photo of Cardinal George Pell I too...
English: A photo of Cardinal George Pell I took during his time in Rome. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
For more than twenty years the roman Catholic Church had tried to turn back the clock to the conservative time before pope John XXIII.

After the first papal resignation in 600 years by choosing a cardinal from South America many perhaps expected the chosen one would continue the very conservative lines of the last popes. They also did not expect the new pope to be a man of the people also connecting social matters with economical and ecological and science matters.

Last year appointed to manage the Vatican's finances Australian Cardinal George Pell dared to speak out loud what others in their corners discussed with their fraternal brothers.

Many priests and bishops do find it is not the task of the church people to interfere with science, economical and ecological matters, whilst others do understand church people cannot be ignorant of what is happening in the world and of what is interfering with people's life and health.

Cardinal George Pell says that the Roman Catholic church has ‘no mandate’ to lay down doctrine on scientific matters and places his  concern among some high-ranking Catholics at the direction and tone of Francis’ encyclical on climate change last month.
In the encyclical, which carries the full authority of church teaching, the Pope said that the world risked becoming ‘an immense pile of filth’ and that ‘doomsday predictions can no longer be met with irony or disdain.’

The Cardinal is the most senior Roman Catholic yet to sound a note of caution over the encyclical Laudato Si, which said that climate change is doing most harm to the world’s poor and argues that the world must take precautions against climate change at the summit to be held in Paris in December.

The Pope said in his own paper that
‘The church does not presume to settle scientific questions’
though Christians also can not ignore what is going on and should take on the right attitude.

The charismatic Pope Francis has gained lots of hearts, from Catholics but also from other believers and non-Christians. Where he shows up he is greeted more like “a rock star” and often we can see that he is doing his best to have a real contact with the people.

This popularity is for many a thorn in the eye. Also having this man not to mince the matter makes him in his own ranks a debatable figure.

But by conservatives the pope is losing popularity.

After Pope Francis was elected the leader of the 1.2 billion-member Roman Catholic Church in March 2013, he attempted to focus the church on a renewed sense of protecting the poor, on interfaith relations and on respecting gay and lesbian members of the church.
He was lauded in the American news media, with accolades including Time magazine naming him the Person of the Year in 2013.
The next time Gallup asked about Pope Francis, in February 2014, his favorability had swelled to 76%.

In the current poll, conducted July 8-12, Francis’ favorable rating declined, while his unfavorable rating increased to 16% from 9% in 2014…

Pope Francis’ drop in favorability is even starker among Americans who identify as conservative — 45% of whom view him favorably, down sharply from 72% last year.
This decline may be attributable to the pope’s denouncing of “the idolatry of money” and attributing climate change partially to human activity, along with his
 passionate focus on income inequality — all issues that are at odds with many conservatives’ beliefs. 
{Gallup: Favorable view of pope declines among Americans, especially conservatives > Read more: }

In October shall take place the second synod on the family.
Benedict XVI’s promise not to interfere with the teachings of the new pope has been broken. Pope Emeritus slapped down his old adversary, Cardinal Walter Kasper, for suggesting that when the former pope was still Professor Joseph Ratzinger he supported Communion for divorced and remarried Catholics.

The world also sees the previous pope with his title and his white robe. That world also still gets signs from the previous pope that he is not yet death and that his visions stay standing. He also let others hear that he does not like it when certain cardinals, like the arch-conservative Raymond Burke, are sacked.

Many think the battle between reformers and conservatives will reach a bruising climax when cardinals and bishops convene in
Rome in three months’ time for a second synod on the family.

The progressive president of the German Bishops’ Conference, Reinhard Marx, and Gerhard Muller, the traditionalist head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican’s doctrinal watchdog bring debates which may already give a sign that some really know what they want and are not prepared to wait for the outcome of the synod.

The majority of German bishops support the introduction of Communion for the remarried. But just over the border, in Poland, the Polish episcopate has implied that it could never be accepted. This makes consensus at the synod highly unlikely.


News about Pope Francis I his ideas and on debates about  climate change:


Find also:

Senior cardinal breaks ranks by questioning the Pope’s authority
Schism at the Vatican


Monday, 27 July 2015

Is er een noodzaak religie en ontwikkelingssamenwerking volledig te scheiden

Moeten religie en ontwikkelingssamenwerking volledig worden gescheiden? Is dat wenselijk? Is dat überhaupt wel mogelijk? Hoe moeten ontwikkelingsactoren zich verhouden ten aanzien van andere religieuze actoren? Moeten seculiere organisaties het beleven van religie en het opbloeien van religieuze organisaties in ontwikkelingslanden mogelijk maken of net tegenwerken?

Heel wat initiatieven van ontwikkelingssamenwerking ontstonden
uit de traditie van missie en zending. Vanaf de jaren 60 ziet men ontwikkelingssamenwerking eerder als een seculiere activiteit. Vandaag zien sommigen in religie de oorzaak voor praktijken die ingaan tegen het recht op ontwikkeling. De penibele behandeling van albino’s, vrouwenbesnijdenis, het opeisen van grond op basis van religie, religieuze legitimatie van extreem geweld en terrorisme,... Anderen zien in religie dan weer een motor voor ontwikkeling of voor sociale mobiliteit.

In sommige zeer fragiele staten zijn religieuze organisaties de
enige structuren die stand houden.
Zeker is dat het een essentiële factor is van de context in het Zuiden.
Maar liefst 84% van de wereldbevolking is religieus. Op vele plaatsen in de wereld is er een sterke toename van de aanhangers van een of andere religie. Bepaalt dat niet mee hoe ontwikkeling tot stand komt? De principes van goed basisonderwijs of van de preventie van ebola zijn niet anders voor een moslim, hindoe of jood. Verschillend is wel hoe deze of gene levensbeschouwing aankijkt tegen vooruitgang of mislukking in het leven, tegen oorzaken van gezondheid en ziekte en de betekenis die ze hebben. In de interculturele ontmoeting van de ontwikkelingssamenwerking moeten we dus veel rekening houden met de religieuze omgeving. Of toch niet?

Op 1 oktober 2015 vindt er te Brussel een "Ontwikkelingsdebat" plaats met 11.11.11, BTC, DiV, VLIR-UOS, VVN en VVOB.

Onder de titel Religie anti/pro ontwikkeling buigt een panel met Brenda Bartelink, Programmamedewerker Kenniscentrum Religie en Ontwikkeling bij Stichting Oikos; Ann Brusseel, Vlaams volksvertegenwoordiger en senator; Lieve Herijgers, Directeur Broederlijk Delen; Ruth Jansen, Projectmanager Islamic Relief Nederland onder moderatie van Gie Goris, Hoofdredacteur MO, zich over bovenstaande complexe kwesties.

Misschien is het de vraag of de scheiding tussen kerk en staat binnen de ontwikkelingssamenwerking juist veel meer, of vooral veel minder moet aangehouden worden.

Voor wie?
Voor beroepskrachten in de ontwikkelingssamenwerking en eenieder
die regelmatig met ontwikkelingssamenwerking in aanraking komt.
De voertaal van dit Ontwikkelingsdebat is het Nederlands.

Het debat vindt plaats in Espace Jacquemotte, Hoogstraat 139,
1000 Brussel. De ingang vindt u rechts naast de ingang van het
hoofdkantoor van de BTC.

  • De locatie op Google Maps.
  • Het dichtstbijzijnde metrostation is Louise/Louiza (op lijn 2 en 6 – zie: Dat is op vijf minuutjes wandelen van de locatie.
  • De Hoogstraat 139 bevindt zich halverwege tussen de treinstations Brussel Centraal en Brussel Zuid (beide op 15 minuutjes wandelen) en op een steenworp van Brussel-Kapellekerk (zie:
  • Er is geen specifieke parking voorzien aan de locatie van de activiteit. De dichtstbijzijnde parking is de ‘Parking Sablon-Poelaert’ (aan het Justitiepaleis, op een boogscheut van de locatie).

Het debat vindt plaats op donderdag 1 oktober 2015. We starten met
het debat om 17u30. Het einde is voorzien rond 19u30. Aansluitend
kan u napraten bij een broodje en een drankje.

De dag maakt deel uit van de Ontwikkelingsdebatten. Enkele
keren per jaar brengen de initiatiefnemers mensen uit de brede
ontwikkelingssector bij elkaar om kennis, ervaringen en ideeën uit te wisselen rond een specifiek thema.

Deelnemen is gratis, maar inschrijven is nodig.