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SPIRITUAL – BUT NOT RELIGIOUS

By Terry Loving

What does it mean when one claims to be “spiritual – but not religious?”

I get thousands of hits on my web site, http://www.spiritual-side-of-domestic-violence.org, most likely from people searching for “spiritual” – not necessarily “religious” solutions to domestic violence and abuse. The problem with searching for “spirituality” alone, is the danger of embracing beliefs that border on the occult, mysticism, nature worship and the like. Of these things, God condemns – and warns of the penalties for participation in the forbidden.

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It is possible as well that many are not searching for “salvation” as it would seem – but a way to live life on earth in a harmonious manner, while embracing inner peace. People are searching for a relationship with a “Higher Power,” but not necessarily the “God” that Christendom serves. Numerous self-help programs offer the opportunity to acknowledge a “Higher Power” of your choosing, without confessing the one and only True God of Heaven – but as you have come to know Him.

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Given the climate of American churches today, it is understandable that there is a mass exodus from “mainstream religion.” In many cases, people should depart from religious bodies that promote false doctrine, spousal abuse, homosexuality and whatever is contrary to “sound doctrine.” However, too many people depart from God Himself; based on the actions of the “hypocrites” they perceive to be false worshippers of the Almighty, therefore, as the saying goes, they “Throw the baby out with the bath water.” Out go religion, God, Jesus, and anything that appears to be connected with those “crazy” people called “Christians.”

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The Bible speaks of those who are “spiritual” as well as those who are “religious” – or identifying with a “religion.” In our society, many reject the idea of “religion,” especially since it relates to “organized” religion, church attendance, and identifying with a particular group in order to fulfill their “spiritual” needs.

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Of this mindset, there are numerous people who have been hurt by a particular house of worship in some way – emotional or sexual abuse – and they disconnect. On the other hand, we have the spectators. They hear of a church controversy, or read about it in the news and often say, “You see – that’s why I don’t go to church!” No, that is not the reason – you had no interest in the first place, and you were looking for an excuse to fortify your rebellion against God. So there!

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Pulpit Pimps – false preachers of the Gospel are making it very difficult for people to find God. Their desire for greed and power outweighs the salvation of lost souls, and many people can see through the sham, except those that continue to throw money at their feet. This is a classic case of the “blind leading the blind,” and we know a “ditch” awaits them.

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Yet still, is it possible to be a “spiritual” person apart from the Spirit? Is the “Higher Power” as one “comes to know Him” the same as knowing the Creator of life and the world itself? Do the “spiritual – but not religious” have a Savior? A Redeemer – One to seek in times of trouble? Do they have “faith” – if so, in what? Is it dangerous to seek spirituality on your own, making it up as you go along? Are the “spiritual – but not religious” folk just revising the “Burger King” religion – “Have it your way?” Or, are they truly seeking a connection with God, but rejecting mainstream religion?

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“A group of social scientists studied 346 people representing a wide range of religious backgrounds in an attempt to clarify what is implied when individuals describe themselves as “spiritual, but not religious.” Religiousness, they found, was associated with higher levels of interest in church attendance and commitment to orthodox beliefs. Spirituality, in contrast, was associated with higher levels of interest in mysticism, experimentation with unorthodox beliefs and practices, and negative feelings toward both clergy and churches.” 1

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While I am working towards my own conclusions on the matter – which will be posted at a later date – I would be grateful for any feedback presently. Please weigh in, and let me hear from anyone with an opinion concerning, “spiritual – but not religious.”

Thank you!

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1 http://www.iloveulove.com/spirituality/spiritualnotreligious.htm

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“Are there dangers in being ‘spiritual but not religious’?”

http://www.spiritual-side-of-domestic-violence.org

No portion of this web site may be copied, edited, or used in any form without prior permission.

© Spiritual Side of Domestic Violence Org., 2009
All rights reserved.

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Posted by on January 3, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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WHEN SHOULD A PREACHER STEP DOWN?

By Terry Loving

Revelation 2:5  “Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.”

As more and more preachers “come out of the closet,” admit affairs; and fess up to beating their wives, the Christian church experiences serious discord and loss credibility. For the sake of this post, let’s put race aside and address the negative spiritual hits the body of Christ is enduring as a whole. When it comes to spiritual matters, race isn’t an issue anyway – right is right, and wrong is wrong. Morality is colorless.

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In these Last Days, 1 there is a shake-up in America’s Christian assemblies like no other time in history – at least, not to my recollection. Satan is striking at the very heart of Christ – His church – (the assembly, believers, congregation, “the Church which is His Body, Ephesians 1:22; 5:23). If you ever watched the Jerry Springer show, you would have a good idea how Satan operates. He stirs up confusion – steps back with his arms crossed, and watches the drama unfold. As he does so, he laughs, smirks, relishes in the fact that he could make God’s people act as ugly as sin. He accuses the children of God to God’s face – day and night. (Revelations 12:10).

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Who is to say that it isn’t God Himself shaking things up? We live in critical times, and many souls are dying in increasing numbers daily – without Hope. Can anyone prove that God isn’t purging the church of false preachers filled with lying wonders? Could it be that Christians have been lulled to sleep over the years, and the Holy Spirit is stirring up spiritual waters all over the world? I asked the question in the title of this post, “When Should a Preacher Step Down?” Here is a biblical answer for all to ponder.

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He should step down if:

  • He is not a true, beloved, and genuine child of God in the faith (1 Timothy 1:2)
  • He teaches false doctrine, although no one says anything (1 Timothy 1:3)
  • He is lawless and unruly, ungodly, unholy, profane, murderer, fornicator, abuses himself with men, lies, a false swearer, living contrary to sound doctrine according to the gospel of the glory of the blessed God…” (verses 8-11)
  • He is not without reproach, unfaithful to his wife, not sober-minded, lacks self-control, disrespectful, inhospitable, unable to teach, (1 Timothy 3:2).
  • He is overbearing, quick-tempered, is given to drunkenness, violent and pursues dishonest gain. (Titus 1:7)

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If a preacher is weak, and afraid to tell his flock the truth so they will be saved, he has no business proclaiming the Word in the pulpit. If he is more concerned with popularity and money than lost souls, he will bear fruit in this manner – it will show forth in his life and life-style. If he can’t stand before the congregation and proclaim the truth of God’s Word:

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“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)

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If a preacher can not speak the Words of God with all humility and concern for lost souls, then by all means – he should step down – immediately! This issue isn’t about tolerance, acceptance or taking sides. It is about lost souls that our Lord Jesus died for. This is not about, “touch not my anointed.” It is about redeeming the time – winning souls – snatching them from eternal damnation. Look around you – “the harvest is plentiful.” But where are the true workers in the Kingdom of God? (Luke 10:2)

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I would also like to add that abusive leadership should step down as well. If you beat or berate your wife and children, you have no business in a position over other members. The Bible calls this type of person a “hypocrite!” There are too many pastors and others who hide behind the Bible and cowardly abuse their precious families.  Wolves in sheep’s clothing. Step down!

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“In their greed they will use good-sounding arguments to exploit you. The verdict against them from long ago is still in force, and their destruction is not asleep”. 2 Peter 2:3- God’s Word Translation)

Bible in Basic English
“And in their desire for profit they will come to you with words of deceit, like traders doing business in souls: whose punishment has been ready for a long time and their destruction is watching for them.”

“How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher?” (Romans 10:14)

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“Since an overseer is entrusted with God’s work, he must be blameless…”

Why people stick by scandal-plagued pastors

CAN WE REALLY BLAME FALSE PROPHETS?

CHRISTIAN CHURCH – JUDGE OR NOT TO JUDGE

Mr. Pastor  – You’re Fired!

New Orleans, La 11/20/2010
“When is it time for a Pastor to step down? Why does it seem that Pastors are only willing to step down once the consequence of their actions has all but destroyed the unit of the congregation? This topic was recently covered on Church Folk Revolution Radio and it sparked a very heated debate. With every breaking news story involving a pastor and some sort of scandal, more and more church goers are confronted with the issue of integrity in church leadership.
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The Danger Assessment

The Danger Assessment helps to determine the level of danger an abused woman has of being killed by her intimate partner. It is free and available to the public. Using the Danger Assessment requires the weighted scoring and interpretation that is provided after completing the training. The Danger Assessment is available in a variety of languages.

http://www.spiritual-side-of-domestic-violence.org


No portion of this web site may be copied, edited, or used in any form without prior permission.

© Spiritual Side of Domestic Violence Org., 2009
All rights reserved.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on December 3, 2010 in Home

 

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