gospels

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gospels

Postby thomas » Sun May 20, 2012 12:54 pm

i like the gospels songs. i remember the great movie with whoopi golderg called sister act- nice
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Re: gospels

Postby thomas » Sun May 20, 2012 1:01 pm

i forgot to say- i visit some clothing optionnal area in th us - i was very suprised to see chapels in the campground - In France this not exist on naturist campgrounds.
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Re: gospels

Postby natman » Mon May 21, 2012 2:44 pm

thomas wrote:i forgot to say- i visit some clothing optionnal area in th us - i was very suprised to see chapels in the campground - In France this not exist on naturist campgrounds.


That is a shame, considering that France was one of the areas of the world where Christianity flourished and grew and was exported to the rest of the world. Hopefully, someday, France, Germany, Italy, Greece, Sweden and the rest of the European nations will return to their Christian roots, including all of those naturist resorts.
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Re: gospels

Postby New_Adventurer » Tue May 22, 2012 12:08 am

I was in France in 1983 and we noticed that the big churches were just relics of the past. Since then the reports are that the situation is even worse.
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Re: gospels

Postby Ramblinman » Tue May 22, 2012 11:49 am

French and German culture may be for the most part resistant to the gospel message, but the pastor in the town where I used to live had been a missionary to France a few years earlier.

I know a young seminary grad who feels strongly led to evangelize in Germany and has lived in German-speaking areas of Europe enough to be totally fluent.

I know it is one of the toughest mission fields in the world but it seems clear to me that God has not abandoned the continent, there are still some who will respond if we will simply obey and go preach the word faithfully with the power and guidance of the Holy Spirit.

I have met other Christians at naturist resorts that did not have chapels. In one case, we met for prayer and elsewhere, we simply enjoyed good fellowship and a word or two of encouragement.

You could go online and look at the statistics of these resorts but you would look in vain for evidence that Christians have met for fellowship or prayer at these places. I know it happened and my brothers and sisters in the Lord know of these moments. Well, now that you read my post, you know it happened!

But I am not trying to avoid the divide between most Christians and the naturist community. It needs our prayerful attention and some bridge building.
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Re: gospels

Postby JimShedd112 » Tue May 22, 2012 1:10 pm

Do you believe ther resistance to the gospel is based upon secularism or a large Muslim influence across the European continent, or both?

Does anyone truly believe cultural diversity (recognition of each one's cultural background, lifestyle, etc) leads to a better society? Personally, I don't. I believe it leads to division and a breakdown of society. America was once a "melting pot" where people from all over the world came to live the American dream and assimilated into society, even altering their surnames in order to fit in, learning English, etc. Today, however, they still come but striveto retain their culture, languages, etc while seeking handouts, which native Amerians often cannot qualify for, as minority members.

I believe there has been a major breakdown in social mores and responsibilities.

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Re: gospels

Postby natman » Tue May 22, 2012 3:54 pm

JimShedd112 wrote:Do you believe ther resistance to the gospel is based upon secularism or a large Muslim influence across the European continent, or both?


I think that the Muslim population in Europe is still too small to make the significant changes in attitude that we see. Therefore, I believe that it is a result of gradual secularization which has resulted from an "apparent" wealth brought on by the industrialization over the last few decades. Whereas for centuries, most of Europe was agrarian, and closely dependent on regular and seasonal the blessings of God, they have become more dependent on themselves and what they can create with their own hands and minds. Most farming has been outsourced to foreign countries, and so there is no longer that closeness to God and His obvious provision.

I am afraid that the US is following the same path.
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Re: gospels

Postby jochanaan » Tue May 22, 2012 5:57 pm

JimShedd112 wrote:Do you believe ther resistance to the gospel is based upon secularism or a large Muslim influence across the European continent, or both?...
It may also be that many Europeans are historically conscious of some of the excesses of the institutionalized churches in the past. Remember that, as "Christian" as our American Founding Fathers were, they were equally suspicious of "state churches" that often had as much power and as little conscience as monarchies. It may take the Holy Spirit to show our hearers that the Gospel of Jesus is not as much like the church institutions as they fear.
You can live your life in fear--or you can live your life.
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Re: gospels

Postby natman » Tue May 22, 2012 6:00 pm

jochanaan wrote:It may also be that many Europeans are historically conscious of some of the excesses of the institutionalized churches in the past.


With all of the growth of understanding over the past couple of centuries, don't you think that they would have grown past they by now?

jochanaan wrote:It may take the Holy Spirit to show our hearers that the Gospel of Jesus is not as much like the church institutions as they fear.


I think that is the ONLY way that they, or anyone, will come to that understanding. No progress CAN be made without the Holy Spirit.
SON-cerely,
Nathan Powers

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Re: gospels

Postby JimShedd112 » Tue May 22, 2012 7:34 pm

Jochanaan, I think you make a great point. Natman, such things can become deeply ingrained and hard to overcome.

Jim
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Re: gospels

Postby prairieboy » Wed May 23, 2012 12:09 am

I believe that the "state" churches were a large part of it. The people were often pawns being used by both the church, and the state. This fostered resentment. Also, churches become institutionalized. Something works, so they write it down, and make it a doctrine. What is supposed to be a relationship with God becomes a religion. If it is not a relationship it usually is not very relevant. Also, the governments have taken over much of what the church used to supply. "My God shall supply all of your needs" became "the government has a social program for that." Add in all the strife caused in the name of God; the crusades, the Spanish inquisition, the turmoil in Ireland, etc. and people are tired of it. If they would look a little deeper and see the many great movements where people experienced God, His love, His peace, His joy, etc. this would change, but "how will they hear without a teacher?"
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Re: gospels

Postby natman » Wed May 23, 2012 12:29 pm

JimShedd112 wrote:Jochanaan, I think you make a great point. Natman, such things can become deeply ingrained and hard to overcome.


Perhaps, but I firmly believe that NOTHING is impossible for the Lord. We can do ALL things through Christ Who strengthens us (Phil 4:13).
SON-cerely,
Nathan Powers

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Re: gospels

Postby jochanaan » Wed May 23, 2012 5:18 pm

natman wrote:
JimShedd112 wrote:Jochanaan, I think you make a great point. Natman, such things can become deeply ingrained and hard to overcome.


Perhaps, but I firmly believe that NOTHING is impossible for the Lord. We can do ALL things through Christ Who strengthens us (Phil 4:13).
On that, we can all agree. :biggrin:
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Re: gospels

Postby pipermac » Mon Mar 04, 2013 10:24 pm

I will try to stay off my soap-box, but I do have a few thoughts about all of this. I am going to put this in question and answer format to help keep me organized.

How do unbelievers see Christians? Are we shining lights, or are we no different than them? We are called to be "salt and light", but are we really? Many "Christians" go to church every Sunday, maybe even teach Sunday School, but during the week, the same foul language the world uses comes out their mouths. They laugh at and tell the same dirty jokes as their unbelieving work-mates do. They are no more honest than the average Joe, maybe even worse, bragging about how they padded their income tax deductions to get a bigger refund. They may not even be as dependable as their unbelieving counterparts, or show up late for work regularly. How about stealing? Do they leave their employer's things where they belong, or do they "re-appropriate" them frequently? That list could go on and on...

On the flip-side... What about the "Bible-thumpers"? Are they really doing the Gospel any service by beating people over the heads with it? I think not. They are just turning people off. There is a time and place for everything.

Salt and light... I recall the testimony of a man who had worked for Bill, one of the Elders of my home church, for many years, given at Bill's funeral. This man was an unbeliever, until he saw the huge difference Christ had made in the life of his boss. One day he asked Bill what made him different, at which time Bill shared the Gospel with him. The man came to know the Lord through the quiet testimony of Bill.


Are we actually "Christians", or do we just have "religion"? "Religion" is made up of rules and man's precepts. Religious people live by rules, hoping to satisfy God by being "good". Christians have a relationship with Jesus Christ, and that relationship is what makes a difference in our lives, not living by rules. Unbelievers can smell a "rule keeper" a mile away, because they stink. They are rotten inside, and unbelievers can tell it. Unbelievers can also smell a Christian a mile away, because they have the sweet savor of Christ. Christians aren't perfect, but Christ has given us His perfection. Which would you rather smell?


What is heard from the pulpits around the world? Is it the good news of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, or is it just religion? Does the pastor preach the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, or some other "gospel"? I know that in many churches, there is a LOT of false "gospel" being proclaimed...religion. We need to get back to proclaiming the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ and leave the garbage where it belongs...in the dumpster. Only then will churches become salt and light in their communities.


What is the atmosphere in our churches? Have they become "social clubs", or are they "hospitals for the hurting"? I visited with my pastor recently, and he told me that our church is making a deliberate effort to bring the broken...the hurting...the outcasts into its fold, so they may find comfort and healing. Quite a different way of "doing church". There are plenty of other social clubs if that is what a person is looking for, but that is NOT the calling of the Church of our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus never went to a social club, but He sure did heal plenty of sick, cast out lots of demons, had dinner with Publicans and sinners, and surround himself with a lot of outcast people...including His disciples (Matthew was a tax-collector). Oh..BTW, He even allowed women in His presence AND taught them...a HUGE cultural no-no. Our Lord Jesus didn't conform, but He was the incarnate Son of God.


Are we and our churches becoming more like our Lord? Until we do, our witness in the world will be less than it should and can be. We have to be different...in a good way...a way that attracts unbelievers to us, because our "difference" is good. They should be able to tell that we have been with God, that it is His glory that shines through us, not our own. Are we up to the task? By God's grace and with the help of the Holy Spirit, we can be. Only then will the Church of Jesus Christ start making a real difference in this world, not only in America, but in Europe as well.

Brothers and Sisters...I know I have gotten long-winded with this, but I pray that I have been able to put some real meat into this issue.

Naked and unashamed in Christ!

Steve
1) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 14) And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:1, 1:14
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Re: gospels

Postby bn2bnude » Tue Mar 05, 2013 1:16 am

pipermac wrote:I will try to stay off my soap-box, but I do have a few thoughts about all of this. I am going to put this in question and answer format to help keep me organized.


Steve,

You don't know how much I appreciated your soap-box.

Over the past 10 months or so, I've been communicating with a party who was sued by her pastor because they posted a bad review of the church on Google.

I read about a man who was thrown out of a well known mega-church which would, by many, be considered theologically "correct". He had gone a little too far with an old girlfriend while being engaged to the daughter of someone in leadership and had refused the disciplinary action because he felt it was too voyeuristic. This after a string of members being thrown out or fired for disagreeing with the pastor.

There is a large denomination, also considered by many, to be theologically "correct" who's leaders are being sued for protecting child abusers.

There is another pastor in a large denomination which is suing their son and another party because they've claimed child abuse. The leader of the denomination (also well known) has tried to (verbally) shut down the blog of one of the defendants through criticism.

A pastor of a very large church who was in his 50s admitted to taking a 16 year old across state lines to have consensual sex. (16 years would have been legal in the state they were in).

I was sickened when a well known blogger and pastor who also is a partner in a publisher for one of the organizations above did his best to distance himself from the situation while continuing to publish the books written by the organization that is being accused.

While I hope these are the worst cases, I know they are likely not.

What do these things have in common? A lot of them (not all) it is a common theology taken to extreme. A lot of them, I believe, is because they have let their gaze fall to earth rather than looking toward Christ.

I believe that is the same the commoner (those that are not church leaders).

To Steve's point, I've been at the location I work at for the last couple of years. While I've not gotten a lot of chance to talk much to him, the guy who runs the canteen says to his customer "Joel's a believer". How did he know? I don't know for sure. When I've talked to him, it's about the Old Testament because he is a Jewish "hippie type" guy but also a musician.

Here is what I know... I am not perfect. I'll freely admit it. Maybe that is the difference. No pride, no pretense (of course, maybe that was just prideful?).

What is my "point"? I don't really know. Maybe after reading about the latest scandal (one of the ones listed above), maybe I just had to get it off my chest.
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If I speak with the tongues of men and angels but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. (1 Cor 13:1)
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