What is all this talk about Religion
Many people looking for an answer to modern problems in the world today will talk about everything but religion in an attempt to find a solution. They do not want to discuss religion and if you mention anything about the Bible or religion their brains immediately shut down.
The truth is most people do not even know the original meaning of the word religion anymore because it has changed so much from generation to generation.
I am often compelled to quote Inigo Montoya from the 1987 movie The Princess Bride, "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."
The truth is the common definition of religion today does not mean what it use to mean when the Constitution was written, according to John Bouvier's 1856 Law Dictionary adapted to the Constitution of the United States.
The term religion was primarily defined:
"Real piety in practice, consisting in the performance of all known
duties to God and our fellow men."
Even the word piety has almost become the reverse of what it meant then. It originally had to do with your duty to your parents. This altering of definitions of common words also alters the perception of society and its history. The truth is these changes have been made over and over in man's past leading to changes in society that bring corruption and decay. If we do not learn from history we are doomed to make the same mistakes and we cannot learn rom history if we do not know the meaning of words in our history.
Bouvier's second definitions also makes little or no mention of the meaning applied today by most dictionaries that attempt to define the term religion. He talks about "There are many actions which cannot be regulated by human laws, and many duties are imposed by religion calculated to promote the happiness of society." And then goes on to say that "True religion then offers succors to the feeble, consolations to the unfortunate..."
In the third definition he quotes Montesquieu's words, "He who fears religion and bates it, is like a wild beast, which gnaws, the chain which restrains it from falling on those within its reach. He who has no religion is like a terrible animal which feels no liberty except when it devours its victims or tears them in pieces."
Bouvier goes on to say in his fourth definition that "religion can be useful to man only when it is pure. The constitution of the United States has, therefore, wisely provided that it (religion) should never be united with the state."
Does your practice of pure religion include a "practice, consisting in the performance of all known
duties to God and our fellow men"?
Or are you among those practicing impure religion who"feels no liberty except when it devours its victims or tears them in pieces"?
A lot more people fall under this second category and surprisingly enough it does not seem to matter if you are Christian, Jew, Moslem or Hindu, Buddhist or whatever. It only depends on how you define religion. That is probably why they change the meaning so often.
Do you believe in the religion of Jesus Christ taught?
Does your religion profess a belief in God or profess your desire to be gods?
To honestly answer a question like that we need to know what the individual is thinking it means to be "God". After all Paul said there are gods many. It has been the custom of people for centuries to think or say they worship God when they in fact were worshiping men who were no gods. If men can be as gods and even Jesus said that it is written that we are gods it would seem important to find out what that word “god” really means or meant.
With the coming of Jesus we were supposed to know the God of Heaven by knowing Jesus. That knowledge of the Son gave us a knowledge of the Father. And it was said that knowing Him would set us free. Yet, almost immediately there was concern that we would go back into bondage to the “beggarly elements” again.
Those “beggarly elements” were the elements of the world that had us in bondage when we did not know better. The word “elements” is the same word we see as rudiments of the world in Colossians and also in Peter when he talks about those elements of the world melting.
It is very easy to say that we believe in Jesus. It was very easy for the Pharisees to say they believed in God, but Jesus said they did not know the Father, because if they did they would have known Jesus. Before we can answer the question "Do you believe in Jesus and the Father" we need to know “Do you know the Father or Jesus?” If you were not doing what the Father and Jesus said to do but rather doing what the Pharisees were doing that Jesus said made the word of God to none effect then you probably do not know Jesus either .
Religious doctrines are often created with complex eschatology and theologies composed of mental mysteries to hide the personal sin that results from straying from the basics of real faith. We should define the terms of "religious doctrines" so that they can be held up to the light of the whole gospel of the kingdom.
It seems fairly evident that many people who claim they believe Jesus, or even in God often do not agree on much else. In fact, sometimes, people calling themselves Christians seem more like the Pharisees than the early Church. They have lots of rituals and ceremonies, they sing songs and make praises, but so did the Pharisees. The question is are they taking the Lord's name in vain because they do not know or do the will of the Father?
Are they not doing the will of the Father because they do not know the Father? If they do not know the Father then how can they know the Son?
It is reasonable to accept the truth that people do not really know Jesus, or who God is if people are doing contrary to what Jesus said but claiming to love him. They may be under a strong delusion. Just because someone says they know Jesus or the Father and claim to believe that does not make it so. They may be lying to you or to themselves or both. It is far easier to profess something with our lips than to profess it with our lives.
Jesus points out that the only way to really know if someone knows the Father or the Son is by the works they do, the fruit of their lives. This has nothing to do with earning salvation. It is about how we bear witness and profess our faith.
We also know that Jesus warns about many who will claim to come in His name but do not know Him, nor do they know the Father. They do not know Him and though they profess Him they are actually workers of iniquity.
Jesus makes it clear that it is not our words that make us His brother or the God in Heaven our Father, but it is our faith and our faith alone. That faith will determine what we do and produce a profession to the world of what we believe.
These are all warnings and precepts professed by Christ and and the prophets of God. They are repeated by those who followed Christ and served God's people in the early Church.
We will need to know what Jesus said to do and not to do in order to find out who really believes in Jesus and the Father. Many may be under a strong delusion about where their faith truly lies. We need to look at who, how, or what they are worshiping and what religion they really practice. Is it “pure religion” or something less or even the opposite?
To know what the early Church did and did not do will assist us in understanding the gospel. Workers of iniquity are mentioned by David in Psalms more than any other book of the Bible and evidently they are out to snare us. We know that the way to the kingdom is narrow and we need to seek the narrow path to that Kingdom of God and His righteousness if we are going to do as Jesus said.
An honest answer to these questions can be determined by the nature of the religion we profess. But what religion do we profess in words and deeds? What is religion from the biblical point of view.
The modern word religion from the Latin word religare meaning to restrain, tie back but today is sometimes defined:
"Religion 1. The outward act or form by which men indicate their recognition of the existence of a god or of gods having power over their destiny, to whom obedience, service, and honor are due; the feeling or expression of human love, fear, or awe of some superhuman and over ruling power, whether by profession of belief, by observance of rites and ceremonies...". From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
Have you done any outward acts to recognize any god or gods other than the God of Heaven? We know there are gods many.
We may need to ask ourselves a few questions in order to determine if we understand what it means to believe Jesus is God or at least our God and if we are seeking to do what he said to do and the Father has wanted us to do from the beginning.
Do you owe obedience to anyone other than your Father in Heaven? If so why?
We need to understand why Jesus said to Call no man on earth Father. Or why he said to honor our Father and Mother as a part of the Ten Commandments. Or do we bow down or owe our service to anyone other than the God the Father?
Do your ministers serve you according to the perfect law of liberty? Or have they lulled you to sleep and allowed the kings of the gentiles to lay heavy burdens upon you, and delivered you back into bondage of Egypt to serve other gods who are not following after the teachings of Jesus the Christ, Yeshua the Messiah?
There are dozens of verses that speak of the Kingdom of Heaven and twice that number which speak of the Kingdom of God. Jesus speaks of it being at hand and tells us to do the same. He takes the kingdom from one group and appoints a kingdom to another group as he promised.
The Bible speaks of governments and not making contracts many, many times, but religion is only mentioned 5 times.
The first is Acts 26:5 where Paul speaks of the Religion of the Pharisees.
Then Galatians 1:13 and Galatians 1:14 which mentions the "Jews' religion."
Then James 1:26 a man who seems to be religious, and that man's religion is vain.
And the last place it states in James 1:27:
“Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, [and] to keep himself unspotted from the world.”
Pure religion and undefiled is to look after those without a family in their affliction or tribulation or needy families and to keep yourself in this administration to the needy from being spotted by the activities or character of the world.
The word world is the same Greek word used where Jesus says His kingdom is not of this world.
What was it?
It wasn't Aion which means an unbroken age.
It wasn't oikoumene which has to do with inhabited but it does not mean planet.
It wasn't the word ge which is the closest word to meaning planet earth that you will find in the Bible.
It wasn't erets meaning land, earth, soil.
So, what word did the author use to describe the world that Jesus's Kingdom of God was not in and that we should keep ourselves unspotted from?
The word world is translated from the word 'kosmos' which means "an apt and harmonious arrangement or constitution, order, government." It came from the word komizo meaning "to care for, take care of, provide for" or "carry off what is one's own," which is what the harmonious arrangement or constitutional systems of Rome were doing with their Pax Romana.
Jesus did not come preaching the Religion of heaven on earth but the Kingdom of heaven. The kingdom was on the planet, but it was not of a particular “world order”.
When pure religion is mentioned in the Bible the Greek word is threskeia. Some say the word should be translated cult. The word has been said to mean a system of practices in the form of rituals. By the early 17th century it was imagined to include the homage paid to a divinity. If we examine the Latin word cultus which is an adjective meaning inhabited, cultivated, worshipped, and is derived from the verb colere which meant to care for or tend as in cultivate.
If the Greek word threskeia is closer to the Latin cultus then our understanding of religion as it appears in pure religion should be related to how we serve the needy in our Christian congregations yet the modern church equates worship service with how they feel or what was said rather than real services provided to the needy of their Churches. In fact most of the needs of the people of their congregations are or the most part if not entirely met by men who call themselves benefactors but exercise authority one over the other.
It has been believed by some that the word threskeia is derived from the verb throsko, which means to move with expectation, to search or even threomai meaning to to tremble.
Yet the modern consensus of scholars links throsko with therap— meaning to serve.
So is religion really about how and whom you serve and not just about what you think or some smoke and mirrors religious rituals? Do we express our faith and belief by what we say or by what we do? Christ said it was those that do the will of the Father not those who say Lord, Lord.
It would seem that the religion of Christ was one of service since He clearly states:
"For whether [is] greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? [is] not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth." Luke 22:27
"Blessed [is] that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing." Matthew 24:46
"Blessed [is] that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing." Luke 12:43
We are also told today that religion means:
"a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs or
a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects: the Christian religion; the Buddhist religion." Dictionary.com,
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2013.
We are led to think that the word found in the Greek text threskeia means worship and suggests a ritualistic approach to worship which has to do with demonstrative adoration in the form of clapping, dancing, singing and praising. It is believed by many that worship service has something to do with what you see in modern churches and synagogues or mosques or temples of modern religion. Christ clearly stated directly in His teachings that it was not what you say but what you do and what you do was never described as what you see modern Churches doing as religious rituals.
In an attempt to justify the rites and rituals of what is posing as modern religion we are misled concerning the word threskos which is linked with therap— meaning to serve. The word therapon meaning servant [Noun] and akin to therapeuo, "to serve, to heal, an attendant, servant," is a term of dignity and freedom, used of Moses in Heb 3:5.
The word therapeia meaning Heal, Healing is also akin to the same word therapeuo, and primarily denotes the ideas of "care, attention."
This again makes sense within the context of James and in fact mindless rituals should make little or no sense yet people's imagination is often carried away with the ritual. This may often be the case amongst those who go to Church to feel good rather than to do good.
If we were to keep the words of Jesus who said to seek the kingdom of God, which is the right to be ruled by God and to seek the righteousness of God which is to love one another then coming to Church to be a benefactor to our neighbor without exercising authority would be what draws us to Church. Worship services would consist of real service to one another. There was a practical plan in early Israel and the early church, which we see in the activities of Jesus. Those things He said to do should "Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance..."
Early Christians knew that worship was real caring for others in need and yet people fail to do that which was called for and make false religious rituals and rites out of what is not an element of His gospel and because of unfulfilled needs are again entangled in the elements of the world. In truth the modern Church goers do the opposite of what Christ said to do and call what they do in their churches religious faith.
So, what was the religion of Christ? This may be difficult to accept or understand since He never mentioned religion once in His teachings. He preached a kingdom, one form of government, that was not like the governments of the world. In fact His kingdom was not a part of the world that He spoke of to Pontius Pilate.
"As used by Herodotus (ii.37) and other Greek writers, threskeia means "'religious conduct or practice' in general, with particular emphasis on the zealousness of such practices.”
Threskeia is specifically the procedures and ceremonies by which one worships their god or gods, to honor, sacrifice, serve, or contribute to him or her or them, as the case may be. Religion is the manner in which you conduct yourself in relationship to your gods or god, your rites and ceremonies, rituals and rules, precepts and procedures. It is how you go about seeking God, His kingdom and His righteousness.
The kingdom of heaven's religion is the procedures and ceremonies of the congregation of God the Father and is how they govern themselves. Those activities must be immersed in righteousness if we are to demonstrate or bear witness to our faith in Jesus as the Christ.
People who are under the strong delusion of modern religions find it difficult if not humbling to accept the fact that they are not doing the will of the Father in heaven and in fact have been doing the opposite which has led to all the problems in modern society, economy and even politics. Those who have rejected modern religions and churches as hypocritical nonsense also find it difficult to examine anything that mentions the term religion.
Why does James equate pure religion with visiting the needy?
Visiting the needy does not mean stopping by and chatting with sick people or the poor. It has to do with caring for their needs. To visit is from the Greek word episkeptomai which means “... to look after, to take care of, to see to – to be present to help, to be on hand to aid.”
That pure religion certainly includes caring for the needy of our society, often in free assemblies or congregations. If your congregation does not come together for the purposes of taking care of the needy of your society then it appears it is not practicing the religion of James or Christ, or Moses. If a church does not do that caring and providing for the needy of its congregation or assemblies through charity without depending on the rulers of governments that call themselves benefactors but exercise authority one over the other, which Christ forbid His Church to do, then your Church or religion has nothing to do with Christ, His teachings, faith in Him or God the Father.
Jesus came to serve and praised the good Samaritan, healing and feeding the needy at every opportunity. The early Church provided all the social welfare of the Christians. In God's kingdom there are only free will offerings given in charity with faith and hope under the perfect law of liberty to care for the needs of His society.
The ministers of God's kingdom cannot drag you into court and punish you for not contributing enough to the needy. In the Old Testament those men called judges today would be called "elohyms" or gods and in the New Testament times they would have been called "theos", also translated gods.
These are the same words the Bible translates into both gods and God. Strong's Bible Concordance tells us that both terms were used in the Old and the New Testaments in courts to address magistrates and judges at the time of Christ. [a.k.a. There are gods many in the courts of the the gentiles].
Not contributing to the needy of society, while selfish, is not an actual crime. The power to rule over people and judge originates in the error of the people who have made agreements or covenants with men who exercise authority. Because you are willing to take from your neighbor so that you may benefit you are in violation of the Ten Commandments. This covetous practice is at the root of all loss of liberty under God.
This is usually done because men who call themselves benefactors, but exercise authority over the people, offer some system of social welfare, or promise that they will make the people safer or more secure. People are enticed to sign up, but they also make themselves a surety for the obligation and even debt which often accompanies these benefits.
These men, who they 'call benefactors' obtain the right to force the contributions of those who become members of their administrative schemes of social welfare. Unfortunately what should have been for your welfare will become a snare. This warning about consenting, making a contract, taking benefits is repeated over and over in the Bible which tells us far more about good and bad governments than it ever speaks of religion.
Your contribution becomes a form of homage [a.k.a. worship.] This is a form of religion and you are bound by the terms of your agreement. It is not the religion of John the Baptist or Jesus the Christ or our Father in Heaven. It is the opposite of Christ's instructions to His Church. This is clear when we read:
"And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force." Matthew 11:12
When he was asked how his system of Baptism worked compared to Herod's system of baptism and social welfare "He answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise." Luke 3:11
Rome and the Pharisees took care of their needy too. They did this through different types of system of Corban. The temples of Herod and Rome depended on some actual charity, but almost all were being subsidized or entirely supported by government funds. Their temples, like the temple of Saturn, were doing what many government buildings do today and were supported by taxes. They provided social insurance and kept a record of government documents including everything from contracts to birth certificates.
By everyone becoming a member of a political society the people may apply to the men who call themselves Benefactors. The only help the people receive is extracted from the people by those men who exercise authority one over the other. Their welfare institutions are supported by taxes, not charity. This is their religion, their Corban, which makes the word of God to none effect. They have an allegiance to men and way of force and do not have faith in the ways of love and free will sacrifice.
The word faith is from fidere meaning “to trust”. They do not hope for aid by charity through love and honor but trust in the entitlements of men who call themselves benefactors but compel the offerings of the people. The people must give full faith and credit to the ruling judges of their government temples. Those ruling judges are the gods of their world and Christ's kingdom will have no part of that world.
Jesus preached a government that operated according to the perfect law of liberty, by faith, hope, and charity where the people loved their neighbor and their neighbor's rights as much as they loved themselves and their own rights. True Christianity was and is a government where the citizens did not covet their neighbor's goods nor anything that was their neighbors. They assembled to serve one another and the needy of their society in a banquet of faith and thanksgiving. Justin writes in the second century of assemblies where people came to share what they had with those who did not have enough to survive in a declining Roman empire. This was their rites and ceremonies.
They knew that what should be for their welfare in those systems o the world run by the fathers of that world systems would be a snare and make them merchandise, human resources, collateral for debt and bring them back into bondage . The Kingdom of God and the righteous Church instituted by Christ was a system of self government where it was against the law to covet your neighbor's goods or pray to men who call themselves benefactors but exercise authority one over the other because that was a covetous, deceitful, iniquitous net that would snare the people back into the bondage of Egypt again.
Modern governments offer welfare to the people but not without the price of liberty under God. Like the governments of Cain, Lemech, Nimrod, Pharaoh the people are subjects. We should all know that those workers of iniquity make us slaves and leads us into bondage.
There are numerous articles and books available to explain the contractual nature of government and why we were warned hundreds of times about the danger of making contracts, covenants and constitutions that may lead to bondage through agreement and consent.
“Redemption is deliverance from the power of an alien dominion and the enjoyment of the resulting freedom. It involves the idea of restoration to one who possesses a more fundamental right or interest. The best example of redemption in the Old Testament was the deliverance of the children of Israel from bondage, from the dominion of the alien power in Egypt.” Zondervan’s Bible Encyclopedia
Repent, and seek the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness.
Religion, NN Video Series:9-10 4:27
That Word You Use- Part 1- Religion
What did the word Religion mean when it was written in the constitution?
The Opiate of Religion
The Corban of the Pharisees
It made the word of God to none effect.
Is our Corban making the word of God to none effect today?
The Nicolaitan who God hates?
Because they covet their neighbor's goods
Baptism, the Ritual and the Jurisdiction
Are Christians repenting and getting baptized or are they just all wet?
Not so Secure Socialism
Same old promise, Same old lie!
Appeared first on NewsWithViews 8-1-10