If I Was Not A Christian

What is hindering so many people from seeking the Kingdom of God is the physical church. If I was not a Christian, I doubt that I would ever consider being part of an organization that stressed a belief I see evidenced by their actions. But if I was striving to understand this great Faith, how would I go about finding my way? If I was not a Christian, how would I begin my quest for the invisible in a visible world? If I was not a Christian, in which of the many label displaying buildings could I find the Faith that so many claim? If I was not a Christian, what Bible would I explore when there are so many different types? If I was not a Christian, which of the contradictory teachings should I listen to? If I was not a Christian, how would I respond to the weekly "dues" that are required for experiencing a religious gathering? If I was not a Christian, would I have to adapt to rules and regulations to be part of these "separatists"? If I was not a Christian, would I really want to be like my church- going neighbor whose life is not any different than mine?

The visible church seems to be exhibiting a conflicting message. Christians talk about the love of God, but so many of our actions fail to exhibit the reality of our claim. The Church must step up and be the Biblical evidence of God's love, or step down as the physical evidence of God's Kingdom.

If I was a part of the Christian community, I would do everything I could to reach out to the seeking and wayward. If I was a Christian, I would make sure my actions evidenced my belief. If I was a Christian, I would do whatever it took to make it easier for a non-believer to find the way into the fellowship of the faith. If I was a Christian, I would be a living example of the invisible Truths. If I was a Christian, I would be more interested in stressing the message instead of the label. If I was a Christian, I would supply a Bible that best complimented the original texts. If I was a Christian, I would steer the non-believer away from controversial messages and center on the simple truth of God's Word. If I was a Christian, I would make sure that financial giving was based on one's love of God and not a "pay as you go" requirement. If I was a Christian, I would make sure the Faith was not presented as rules and requirements, but as experiencing the benefits of God's love. If I was a Christian, my life would speak as loud as my words.

To reach the non-Believer, the Church must step out from its walled fortress and display its light to a darkened world. It is not inviting someone to our framed buildings, but introducing them to our God who loves them. It is not a time to share the tenets of faith that we are so dedicated to defend, but to share what God has done in our lives through Jesus Christ. Doctrines are important, but they must never precede the simple truth of the CROSS.

Believers must learn to present the pure Word, free from interpretive meanings and "discovered" hidden truths. Let us learn as the Apostle Paul did, "... not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified." (I Corinthians 2:2) So many people have been turned away from the Truth by Christians who do not live the Truth they proclaim. If we are the salt of the earth, are we making people thirsty for the Truth? If we are the light of the world, are we lighting the path to our Heavenly Father? (Matthew 6:13-16) Let us ask ourselves if we are the reason people are not coming to know Jesus Christ. If we are guilty, it is time to do something about it!

What Everyone Gets Wrong About the Christian Life

The term Christian is used very loosely in this day and age. For some reason, there is a strong willingness for people to call themselves Christians on Sunday, but ignore the implications of that Monday through Saturday. There are far too many people merely drifting through life this way. Their apathetic attitude and comfortable living style protects them from challenge and risk. The notion of hard work might scare them, especially if it threatens their comfort.

As residents of the greatest country in the history of earth, we have grown accustomed to an extremely high standard of living. Within seconds, I can order a $300 piece of equipment that will arrive at my doorstep in two days. Within 1 mile of where I am currently sitting, I can stuff my face with a premium meal at nearly any price point, and I have a job that provides a constant stream of income for me to make all these things happen.

This isn't a unique place I find myself in, but it is a dangerous one.

I want to flip the attitude of this lifestyle upside down. If this is common, I want to be uncommon. I refuse to submit to a lukewarm lifestyle that rejects Christ 6 days a week. Christians should Throw Down the Gauntlet in their faith and dive headfirst into the life Christ has planned for us. This means shedding the comforts of the American life and living a life of risk and challenge for Jesus.

1 Timothy 4:7 states, "Discipline yourselves for the purpose of godliness." (paraphrased). This is an instruction, not a suggestion. Paul states that Christians are given the responsibility to be godly, and that it requires discipline. Many people are wishy-washy when it comes to their faith, ignoring God's principles if it interferes with their personal goals. Discipline is a difficult thing, requiring daily workouts and strength training to develop. If a bodybuilder only worked 1 day a week, he would fall behind quickly. The same is true of the modern Christian. The muscles of faith need constant, daily attention, and this world has no shortage of challenges to offer for exercise.

This day and age, we need leaders in the Christian community: people who will step out in faith to defend the word of God, and then live out the example Christ gave us. It's tempting to fall in line and do as everyone else is doing, but God looks for a different response on our lives. Leading is more than being in charge: it is more about the way you influence others. A laborer in the trench of a construction operation is just as capable of being a leader as the CEO of Lifeway - it just depends on your influence. Influence is good or bad, and that is up to you to decide. Live by the principles Christ has given us, and it is impossible NOT to influence others. Jesus shows us how to be a light, and this world is extremely dark.

Being a light in an otherwise dark world will threaten the comfortable. Standing for what you believe, especially when it is counter-culture will invite conflict. Conflict is actually a good thing, as it opens the opportunity to glorify God, depending on our reaction to the conflict. You can choose to react negatively, and sin in your response to it. Or, you could exercise your muscles of endurance and act godly throughout the circumstances. Whatever it is, the opportunity is there.

So the choice is yours, Modern Christian. Do you choose to conform to the world and give in to your every desire, or do you choose Christ and Throw Down the Gauntlet in faith? Choose one or the other, but at least make a choice and stick to it.

If you're interested in an all-you-can-eat buffet of inspiration, navigate to http://www.earnestengineer.com for more information on living as a Modern Christian.

Is The Christian Church More In The World Or Is The World More In The Church?

We Christians are generally not afraid to tell the world how it should live but are often afraid to tell the church how it should live. Putting it another way; as Christians (salt and light) we are called to "love the Lord our God with all our soul and heart and mind and to love our neighbors (the world) as ourselves".

We are called to love the world, not condemn it for according to the Bible, the world is already condemned.

Many people in the world, even non-Christians can quote John 3:16 which says "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, so that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life."

Do we know the next verse though"

John 3:17 says "For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him."

Many Christians, with full 'justification' and 'standing on the WORD', condemn the practices of others when we are actually called to "go into the world and make disciples of them, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit" and teaching them about Christ, and His salvation. [My paraphrasing of the Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20]

Does this mean we are not to be 'angry' at the sin that in the world - sins of hatred and greed and immorality and murder and the like? Of course we are but, the Lord said we are to be "in the world but not of the world"

It was finally revealed to me while studying the Bible on this issue, that I have had it all wrong - I had it the wrong way around.

I stand very firm on many social issues and it upsets me see the 'world' often making a mockery of Christian moral values. And many times they are correct, there is no perfect Christian person or Church or church leader.

What I had been wrong about was that I was angry at the people perpetrating certain acts and lifestyles instead of speaking God's salvation plan to them and showing them by MY life actions, that God's way is better than the world's way.

I was even angrier with the churches that condone some of these 'politically correct' actions and attitudes under the guise of Christian love and acceptance.

That is where the Light of Truth was shone the brightest into my spirit.

Yet, I realize I make little attempt to call other Christians to account for bringing the world's value system inside their churches.

Fellow Christians should be bringing the good news of Jesus Christ to the 'lost' world and not condemning it and we should be confronting our churches because they are 'found' yet they condemn themselves by bringing the bad news of the world to into their walls.

From the Sermon on the Mount, Christ said that we are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it useful again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.

He also said that we are the light of the world - like a city on a mountain, glowing in the night for all to see. Don't hide your light under a basket! Instead, put it on a stand and let it shine for all.

In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father."

The only way that the Christian church will affect the 'world' in a positive way is by showing Christ to it and standing firm on Biblical truths, not allowing the 'world's' secular, relative truths to pervade its walls.

Is there indeed more of the world in the church rather than more of the church in the world?

We thank you so much for reading this article. If you found it interesting and want to know more, please visit our website at: http://www.threecordministries.org. We also invite you to keep up to date with us on our Facebook Page at: Three Cord Ministries on Facebook.

Evil Eye in Christianity

The concept of the evil eye in religion is so widespread that all religious groups recognize it as something to guard against. However, these beliefs naturally vary. The evil eye in Christianity is believed to be such a danger; one that requires guarding against. It is considered to be an actual manifestation of the battle that goes on in the spiritual world. It is one of the weapons used by Satan and his forces against God and God's forces as well as the people.

Christianity believes in the existence of Satan and demons, though they are not believed to be actually manifests in physical form. The evil eye in Christianity is considered to be one of the tools that the negative forces use in order to bring harm to Christian believers.

The evil eye in Christianity is considered to be a danger not just towards the believers but also coming from them. Christianity warns its believers to protect themselves from getting affected by envy in case they themselves might be the source. Christianity warns believers not to use the eye for evil or negative purposes such as harboring negative thoughts about other people.

The Christianity's belief in the evil eye is found on some passages in the Holy Word. According to the Bible, Jesus referred to the eye as the lamp of the body. The Bible goes on to say that if a person's "eye is generous, your whole body will be full of light." However, if one's eye is evil, one's entire body will be filled with darkness. Later on in the same passage, the Bible says that "if the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!"

There are also several other references to the concept in Christianity principles and beliefs. According to the Holy Word, Jesus makes a reference to the belief in the parable of the laborers in the vineyard. This is found in Matthew 20:15. According to the parable, the owner of the land used the term "evil eye" when he asked the workers about their complaints or grumblings because of the land owner's generosity.

In another passage from Mark, Jesus also enumerates several evil things during a dispute with the Pharisees. The evil eye was mentioned as one of these evil things. According to the passage, the the negative effect caused by the eye comes from a person's heart and overcomes the person entirely. Several other mentions of the evil eye were found in the Bible, showing just how much influence the lucky eye belief in Christianity has over the religion.

Today the belief is mostly seen as independent of the religion of Christianity itself but more of a superstition. Even though some superstitions are frowned upon by religion as a concept, the belief in the eye is so strong that it has found a place of its own in the life of many Christians. The Christian belief relies solely on protection from God and focuses more on encouraging people to prevent having any negative thoughts. Several people, however, also rely on protective charms to shield them against the effects of the evil eye. These charms are often called evil eye jewelry but are also sometimes termed as lucky eye jewelry and charms. Evil eye jewelry such as bracelets, necklaces, and keychains are widely available. They also make great gifts. For anyone who believes and acknowledges in the power of the eye, these charms are definitely considered as must-haves.

Angie Uras is the sales and marketing manager of JEYLA (http://www.jeyla.com), the evil eye jewelry store. Angie has been working with production,marketing, and sales of evil eye jewelry for over 10 years. She currently resides in Chicago,IL but is involved in evil eye sales and marketing all over the world with close contacts in Turkey as well as a wholesaler for evil eye shops in Australia, Mexico, Spain, Canada, Russia, Greece and throughout the US.

What is the Evil Eye?

The Evil Eye has been around since the beginning of time. It simply means sending someone a thought that seems intrusive or invasive or has the power to hurt him or her. The bad fortune that results is considered to have been caused by envy. The evil eye is not necessarily considered to be intentional or associated with witchcraft or sorcery. Oddly enough, this thought form could actually be complimentary in nature. The origins of the Evil Eye are Middle-Eastern and Mediterranean. The concept was introduced into the Americas, South Pacific Islands, Asia, Africa and Australia by European explorers.

Sending someone the evil eye comes from the concept that we all have a Third Eye, located in the center of our forehead. Blinding, fogging or obscuring the third eye is often the intent of the energy's sender. Most of us have experienced the weird power of the phenomenon. All it takes is a gaze that seems to be unfriendly, indifferent or blank and seems to a couple of seconds too long. We think about it for a few minutes afterwards or perhaps an image of the person staring at us preoccupies our thoughts occasionally for the rest of the day. Perhaps that is why the British and Scottish term for the "evil eye" is "overlooking." It implies that a gaze has remained too long upon the coveted object, person or animal.

The evil eye is also known as the envious or invidious eye. In Italian it is called the malocchio and in Spanish the malojo (loosely translated as the bad eye) The evil eye is known as ayin horeh in Hebrew; ayin harsha in Arabic, droch shuil in Scotland, mauvais oeil in France, bösen Blick in Germany, and was known as oculus malus among the classical Romans.

The original belief is that any person can harm your children, livestock, fruit trees or any other evidence of prosperity just by looking at the spoils of all your good will and hard work with envy. Ironically, the curse of the evil eye is thought to be provoked by inappropriate displays of spiritual pride or excessive beauty. There is a theory that very famous people and celebrities suffer more personal misfortune than others simply because they are subjected to more "overlooking" and envy than others.

This superstition might have some grounding in evolutionary psychology as usually one animal is thought to dominate or be aggressive to another simply by staring at it for too long. Psychologically speaking, staring or glaring at someone is officially considered an intrusion into your affairs. Apparently, there is a fine line between casting a glance to casting a spell. In these post Celestine Prophecy times, this kind of stare could be compared to a kind of etheric laser beam or amoebic arm that rips open your aura. Others would describe the infliction of the evil eye as the projection of an image (such as the image of the person you have offended or hurt) so that you see only that to the exclusion of all other sight. In other words, you see that person wherever you go or feel that your life's events are always colored by your dealing with that person. Another symptom is the inability to proceed with ordinary, daily events without feeling somehow compelled to make things right with the person you have often unknowingly offended with your grandiosity.

It is common folklore that the evil eye has a dehydrating effect on its victim. It is thought to cause vomiting, diarrhea, the drying up of the milk of nursing mothers and livestock, problems with the blood, eyesight lack of rain, the drying up of wells, the withering of fruit and impotence in men. Clumsiness, stomachaches, dry coughs, diarrhea, itching, hair loss, dry skin are all thought to be physical symptoms of an evil eye attack e. On the astral level it is thought to cause the drying up of prana, chi, life force and the easy flow of prosperity in life. Part of this image might derive from the idea also, of muddy, murky or poisoned vision that is somehow attached to the victim's third eye.

Almost everywhere that the evil eye belief exists, it is said to be caused accidentally by envy or praise. Thus the phrase "Pride Goeth Before a Fall" In certain Mediterranean and eastern cultures, one is careful not to praise a child too much, lest it invite the subconscious balancing effect of the evil eye. A classic situation would be the barren woman who praises the newborn baby of a new child. Such praise would be considered inappropriate and thought to bring the evil child. One of the remedies for this would be for the mother to spit, to symbolically "rehydrate" the situation. Also, she may speak ill of the child OT counteract the effects of the praise, which might have malefic effects on the child later.

The belief that individuals have the power to cast the evil eye on purpose is more idiosyncratic to Sicily and Southern Italy, although the belief has certainly spread elsewhere - to the Southern United States and the Latin Americas. Such people are known as jettatore (projectors). They are not necessarily considered evil or envious, just born with an unfortunate embarrassing talent that causes others to avoid them. In ancient cultures, if you were thought to be the possessor of an evil eye, you were often negated by the rest of society and went unrecognized on the street without meeting anyone's eyes.

Perhaps one of the most familiar preventative measures against the evil eye is the hand gesture. The Mano Cornufo or "Horned Hand" involves extending the first and index fingers from a fist. The Mano Fico or "Fig hand" involves placing the thumb in between first and second fingers.
Historically there have been many cures for the evil eye:

In Italy, the evil eye is diagnosed by dripping olive oil into a vessel filled with water. If the oil conglomerates into the shape of an eye than the victim is considered officially cursed. Prayers are recited until the droplets of oil no longer create an eye shape.

In Eastern Europe charcoal, coal or burnt match heads are dropped into a pan of water/. If the items float then the person is considered to be the victim of a curse.

In the Ukraine, a form of ceromancy or candle reading is used to diagnose the curse. Melted wax is dripped from a candle into a pan of water. If the wax spits, splatters, or sticks to the side of the bowl then the "patient" is considered to be under the influence of the malefic eye. Usually the patient is cleansed with Holy Water. He or she is pronounced cured when the dripped wax sinks the bottom of the bowl in a round ball.

In Greece Mexico and other places, the official cure is to invite the culprit responsible for the evil eye to spit in a vessel of the holy water that is consumed by the victim.

In Mexico, rolling a raw egg over the body of the victim is the antidote. Afterwards, it is cracked open and if the metaphysician or healer divines the shape of an eye in the yolks then the person is considered to be cursed. Several eggs may be repeatedly rolled over the person's body until an egg without an eye if found. Sometimes the egg is placed underneath the person's bed overnight and cracked open in the morning.

In China the remedy for the evil eye is the Pa Kua mirror, a six-sided mirror that is hung on the front door or placed in the front window to reverse bad energy back to the sender. Some of these mirrors are convex to reflect back the bad "poison darts" or "arrows" of multiple ill wishers and some are concave to reflect energy in a definite direction back at, for instance, a nosy neighbor, whose gaze may have lingered on your garden of tulips for too long. In Feng Shui, mirrors are often used as a cure all to reflect negative energy back at all kinds of things - people, bad architecture, traffic, neighbors, physical obstructions such as trees or rocks or anything else that might considered to be a conductor of Har Shui (negative vibrations).

In India the mirroring back of the evil eye takes the form of small mirrors that are sewn, braided or crocheted into clothing. This mirroring back of bad energy is also familiar to practitioners of Wicca and Lukumi or Santeria. In India, the human eye is also considered to be a mirror of the soul. Indian women wear kohl or heavy black makeup to emphasize their eyes not only to shield themselves from evil eye but also to prevent themselves from accidentally inflicting it on others. In India cords strung with blue beads are placed on newborn babies. When the cord breaks and the beads are lost the child is considered to have a strong enough aura to protect him or herself from the evil eye. Red cords worn upon the wrist or neck are thought to have a powerful effect against ocular malevolence. A silver charm called Eye of Buddha which references the Gautama Buddha is also worn against astral attack.

In Italy, gold, silver or gems carved or cast into the shape of the Mano Fica or Mano Cornufa are used to repel the evil. The most coveted ones are made of red coral, but many versions exist today made of gemstones and plastic. They are worn by men to protect against the withering of the genitals thought to be caused by the bad eye. Also Italian in origin is the Corno or horn or devil's horn amulet that is thought to protect against the same dysfunction. The women's version is made from a twig of red coral.

In Arab cultures, superstitious types wear an eye in the form of a stone cast in the center of a hand shaped bone or metal charm A common Egyptian charm is the Buckle of Isis which represents the menstrual pad of the Goddess Isis who was the Mother of all living things. Stuffing a little prayer or spell inside a locket that is hung around the neck is the common European custom for protecting oneself against deadly gazes.

A light worker such as myself might advise you to protect yourself in the following contemporary ways:

Always maintain the belief that nobody has the power to hurt you with a look. This in itself is a very powerful thought form.

Before you go out, imagine that your third eye is actually covered by something that looks like a small pocket mirror. If you are a psychic or a healer then simply close your third eye and don't open it unless you want to look.

If you are feeling haunted or upset as the result of a "look", press your thumb hard into the center of your forehead and imagine your third eye quickly flipping. Flick the energy away with your thumb and snap your fingers.

Always remember that what you resist often persists. The phrase "Oh, so what!" is one of the most powerful chemicals in the universe that you can use to dissolve negative energy.

Samantha Steven's articles have been published in many high-standing newspapers and she has published several books. If you wish to buy Samantha's books about metaphysics click here http://www.insomniacpress.com/author.php?id=110 You can meet Samantha Stevens at http://www.psychicrealm.com where she works as a professional psychic.

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