Category Archives: Scriptures

Evangelizing to People Who Have Heard it All Before | RELEVANT Magazine

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Within a society where people know the gist of what Christianity teaches but words such as “converts,” “evangelism” and “proselytize” are increasingly associated with religious zealots, abusive cults and violent terrorism, it’s becoming more difficult to communicate faith-based ideas without being offensive or perceived as a close-minded bigot.

Historically, evangelism has sometimes been used as a weapon to hurt, shame, guilt and induce fear. Its longtime associations with obnoxious street preachers, sleazy televangelists and corrupt organizations make it even less appealing to the public—and to Christians themselves.

Being on the receiving end of bad evangelism means suffering through preachy presentations that are contrived and superficial. Instead of hearing something honest and truthful, it’s often just a sales pitch with quick answers and no room for questioning, doubt, skepticism or critical thinking. Theology is presented as black and white, doctrines are non-negotiable, and entire populations are predestined to either a blissful eternity in heaven or a torturous afterlife in hell.

Being on the receiving end of bad evangelism means suffering through preachy presentations that are contrived and superficial.

As a Christian, I’ve never once enjoyed being evangelized to, whether it was regarding Christianity or any other belief. Why? Because the context is usually extremely uncomfortable and the premise is built upon the preconception that you’re wrong. Instead of a conversation about faith, evangelism can feel more like an aggressive prosecutor grilling you for a crime you didn’t commit.

Can we pray for you? Do you believe in Jesus? How do you know you’re saved? What church do you go attend? What version of the Bible do you read?

Obviously, comfort shouldn’t be the deciding factor for whether we evangelize, and Jesus instructed us to carry out the Great Commission regardless of whether it’s easy or difficult, but our entire concept of evangelism needs to change. Here are five principles Christians should apply when evangelizing:

1. Make It About God.

Evangelism isn’t about promoting yourself, a pastor, a church or a denomination. It’s not even about heaven or hell. Instead, it’s ultimately about a relationship with Jesus— about revealing God.

2. Be Motivated Out of Love.

Too often, evangelism is driven by hate, distrust, guilt, shame, bitterness and fear. It shouldn’t be about stats, fulfilling a quota, self-righteously patting yourself on the back or reinforcing your own beliefs. If evangelism isn’t motivated by love, just stop doing it.

3. Be Honest.

We mistakenly assume our faith testimony should be rehearsed, without error and perfectly tidy—but this isn’t the messy reality of life. Honestly, we don’t have all the answers, and our faith isn’t about knowing everything—instead it’s about knowing God. Above all else, be real.

4. Be Graceful

The Gospel isn’t about proving others wrong. It’s about sharing the love of Christ. Evangelism should be full of patience, empathy, dialogue and mutual appreciation—full of grace and understanding. Learn, listen, and never approach someone with an attitude of moral superiority—always be humble.

The Gospel isn’t about proving others wrong. It’s about sharing the love of Christ.

5. Be Respectful.

Evangelism isn’t hijacking a family while they’re walking to a baseball game or yelling at a bus full of helpless passengers. Sometimes we need to learn to tone it down and prayerfully wait for the right opportunity to come along.

We mistakenly assume evangelism should consist of high-pressure tactics, confrontation and in-your-face strategies. More often than not, it’s the complete opposite.

In many cases, we’re more comfortable talking with people we don’t know than those who are closest to us because we don’t want to cause pain or discomfort to those we love—so we randomly approach strangers, where the stakes—and consequences of our actions—are lower. Using street evangelism-style practices aren’t always bad—but be respectful.

Overall, evangelism is increasingly seen as counter-cultural and distasteful—it’s a social faux pas. Secular society is—understandably—tired of hypocritical Christians trying to change people, especially when it’s done out of selfish ambition, to promote agendas and without love.

So what should modern evangelism look like? For Christians, the answer is Jesus. It’s dedicating our lives to helping those in need, feeding the poor, taking care of the sick, representing the oppressed, fighting injustice and sacrificially serving the world around us, wholeheartedly loving others without expecting anything in return. We should emulate the life of Jesus to the best of our ability. God help us.


Read more at http://www.relevantmagazine.com/god/evangelizing-people-who-have-heard-it-all#GkYpeFqLBkJOvXUG.99


By Stephen Mattson
October 13, 2014

Stephen Mattson blogs at
stephenjmattson.com
and you can follow him on
Twitter @mikta.


Read more at http://www.relevantmagazine.com/god/evangelizing-people-who-have-heard-it-all#GkYpeFqLBkJOvXUG.99

Biblical Mental Wellness

SOulBLINDministry
A MINISTRY LIKE NO OTHER

 

Healing the Soul with Truth.

The Bible is more than the histories of an ancient people. It is a living book of truths about finding freedom within. The soul is more than a living essence, it is essentially the wholeness of being of the mind. Today, approximately one in four adults, that’s 61.5 million Americans that experience mental illness in a given year, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

 

 

Numbers of Americans Affected by Mental Illness
“One in four adults-approximately 61.5 million Americans-experiences mental illness in a given year. One in 17-about 13.6 million-live with a serious mental illness such as schizophrenia, major depression or bipolar disorder.”
http://www.nami.org/factsheets/mentalillness_factsheet.pdf

 

Nearly everyone is affected by some sort of mental illness, be it their own or someone else’s. However, some are affected on a much larger scale than others. Fortunately, (aside from physical and chemical imbalances) most can be corrected and handled through a simple change of perspective on life. This ministry is dedicated to those seeking a better life through a positive outlook and want to create a balanced mental and spiritual health within.

 

Contrary to popular belief, there is an additional document hidden within the pages of the Bible designed to help combat the effects of underlying issues associated with mental disorders. This letter is not easily seen unless you have a foundational understanding of how it is written. It is a love letter from God to his people. The Creator has not left His creation to suffer all alone without help. You are so precious to Him that he used the lives of his “chosen people” to document the process of the renewal of the mind (Also known as the “soul”).

Romans 13:12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.

 

The Soul

The Greek word for the “soul” is “psychē”. This is the root of the word “Psychology”. The word psychology is comprised of two words: psychē and logos and it represents the study or illumination of the mind.

Psychē: The Mind or Soul
Logos: Light or illumination

 

 

In psychology, the psyche
/ˈski/ is the totality of the human mind, conscious and unconscious. Psychology is the scientific or objective study of the psyche. The word has a long history of use in psychology and philosophy, dating back to ancient times, and has been one of the fundamental concepts for understanding human nature from a scientific point of view. The English word soul is sometimes used synonymously, especially in older texts.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psyche_(psychology)

Etymology

The basic meaning of the Greek word ψυχή (psūkhē) was “life” in the sense of “breath”, formed from the verb ψύχω (psukhō, “to blow”). Derived meanings included “spirit”, “soul”, “ghost”, and ultimately “self” in the sense of “conscious personality” or “psyche”.

Philosophy

Modern psychology is much different than ancient philosophy, however they are rooted in the same basic concept of creating mental health through the illumination of the mind/soul. Of the ancient cultures that are known best for their philosophy the ancient Hebrews are not amongst this list, but in reality they are perhaps the greatest of them all. Unfortunately, the healing philosophy of the ancient Hebrews has been hidden in the symbolic nature of their religion and it has become lost to the doctrines and practices of a modern age.

 

Revelation

Hidden away in what is now known as the basis of the Judeo-Christian religions is a vast treasure of mental riches that until now have not been noticed or understood. This ministry is dedicated to the uncovering and sharing of the greatest secret that the world has ever known. The Bible and the Torah are the best-selling books of all time, yet this great mystery has been secreted away from other generations. It is only now that the world has fallen so far from grace and into an age of science and free thought that spirituality has been pushed to the wayside. Spiritual wellness through philosophy was once common place when people sought answers to complicated situations. Now more than ever we need help from our Father in heaven to guide us and lead us from the self-imposed prison of the mind as spirituality is slipping away and being replaced by self-centered reasoning. Salvation of the soul is really the freedom of the mind from its own self-bondage.

 

Traditionally, the Bible is read as a book chronicling the lives of God’s chosen people, but in reality it is the manual and story of you and the step-by-step process of creating peace within your understanding.

 

Soul square circleWho We Are

Currently, soulblindministry is not comprised of professional counselors nor psychiatrists/psychologists. We are simply a few caring individuals that hold the keys to unlocking a great mystery of the kingdom and how it is used to help clarify and change the lives that choose to seek answers within themselves, and we are dedicated to helping you discover your peace and happiness with what is written within God’s Word.

 

This is not a religion, nor is it affiliated with any organized religion. It is simply a study, friendship, relationship, hope and a blessing of peace. Please join us in our endeavors to unlock and heal the soul with the truth of God’s light.

 

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Universal Truth

Truth is truth no matter where it comes from. If you think it is your religion that makes you favored by God, then you have already been judged by the measure in which you judge. God is love and love is unity… all else is of vanity.

 

Matthew 7:2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

 

1 John 4
7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

YOU CAN Create a Beautiful Reality

 Beauty comes from within.

The beauty of you is the center of your reality. What you fill yourself with can feed the hunger and emptiness in others. Grow like a tree that can feed the world.

 

James 3:17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

 

2 Corinthians 9:10 Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;)

How Different are We Really?

 

How different are we really from the animals? They feel, think and care. And genetically we really are only so different from them. Even elephants and whales have finger or toe bones. Just because you can’t see them doesn’t mean they are not there. People often forget that we too are animals, only we have a higher capacity for conscious reasoning, and unfortunately we too have a higher capacity for unreasonable cruelties based on our own personal miseries.

 

Love and playing is universal in almost all life here on Earth. Even plants are connected and respond to their neighbors and surroundings; only we have a harder time seeing it in most because they don’t react like we might. So though it is true that you are the center of your world,  you are not in fact the center of the universe. Live as a part of something greater and stop trying to be so great to your own eyes.

 

Love, Relate, Share and Care… After all isn’t love: patient, kind and longsuffering?

 

2 Corinthians 6:6 By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned,

 

Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

 

Ephesians 4:2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;

 

Colossians 1:11 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;

TO HELL IN A HANDBASKET?

Where in a handbasket

WHAT DO WE DO NOW IF THE WORLD IS HEADING TOWARD HELL IN A HAND BASKET?

I found this online and I have to say I am not too happy about it. Sure the people there dress a little funny and their property could use a little cleaning up but do they really need to be harassed for being organic?

http://wearechange.org/swat-team-raids-organic-farm-confiscates-blueberries/

 

Now I personally am not there yet with the whole “organic” thing but each day I see more and more reason to move somewhat in that direction. I still eat meat from the store and buy food out of the “organic” section to save money. I hear arguments on both sides about one is better than another or that there is no difference. Either way, wouldn’t it be great to grow your own food? I am seeing increased concerns about food shortages and a serious lack of natural resources verses the population’s growth and consumption. Continue reading TO HELL IN A HANDBASKET?

RELEASE THE LION WITHIN

RELEASE THE LION WITHINLion king

“The Hebrew word for holy is kodesh, which means separate, set apart. As Balaam, the gentile prophet, stated, ‘It is a people that shall dwell apart’ (Num. 23:9). The modern connotation of holy misses this, relating the word to being worthy of adoration. It is no wonder the Talmud likens the translation of the Hebrew Bible into other languages to a lion locked in a cage, comparing it to the destruction of Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem.” Continue reading RELEASE THE LION WITHIN

The Generation Gap

Numbers 14:18 The LORD is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation.

If the sins of the father carry over, so too couldn’t his blessings and mercy?

Continue reading The Generation Gap