101 Sound Bites for the Sleeping Christian (Sound Bites for Christians)

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  1. 18 Note Movement - Sound Clips
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  3. Jesus Christ The Bearer Of The Water Of Life - A Christian reflection on the New Age

To make matters worse, the recommended technique for interceding on behalf of the dead — repeated prayers asking God to have mercy on their souls — offered the rich further opportunities to jump the queue: they could pay for prayers on behalf of their friends and family, and endow colleges, chapels or religious houses on condition that they say prayers for their benefactors in perpetuity.

Augustine did his best to block the plutocratic path to salvation, telling the rich that if they wanted to be saved, they would have to give large sums to the church, not for their own sakes but to fund the relief of poverty together with prayers for the souls of the poor. Early Christianity, like Judaism, was a tribal religion, and social obligations were not seen as extending beyond the limits of the tribe.

In the same way, the civilisations of Greece and Rome rested on loyalty to individual cities, and acts of civic generosity — gifts of public buildings or circuses, games or races — were designed not to assist the poor but to enhance the magnificence of the city, and no doubt the donor as well. Some teachers advocated a total renunciation of wealth, but Augustine advised the rich to retain their capital so that they could carry on giving to the poor, year after year, world without end.

Contrary to what many of us have supposed, the decline of the Roman Empire did not leave Europe at the mercy of lawless hordes: Roman administrative structures were largely preserved, as Brown shows, and gradually taken over by new elites; and Christianity survived as a dominant part of them, constantly repeating its message about the obligations of the rich towards the poor. As any cynic can see, the doctrine favoured the financial interests of the church; but at the same time it served to entrench the idea that we owe a duty not just to our friends and comrades, but to our fellow human beings as such.

This theme has since been recognised as the fundamental principle of modern humanism; but it was first worked out, it would seem, in the tumultuous intellectual world of the Christians of late antiquity.

18 Note Movement - Sound Clips

The means to acquire this is by practicing control of the body, mind, and activity with specific postures and meditation techniques The Yoga goddesses should not be neglected in our account. Here we can turn to the chief goddess, Shakti or Durga , known under different aspects. Shakti is seen as the divine force that destroys evil and restores balance: she "represents the cosmic energy of destruction of the ego, which stands in the way of spiritual growth and ultimate liberation.

The most fearsome role Shakti plays is as Kali , the "Dark Mother" goddess, who, standing naked, wears a garland of skulls around her neck and a belt of heads around her waist, wielding a bloody sword and clutching a severed head. It is not uncommon for Yoga teachers to recommend tapping into this feminine-divine source of empowerment. Then the image disappeared-though the sweet, strong energy stayed with Ellen for hours. Sally replied: "Just sit in meditation and ask the Durga energy to be with you. Then notice how you feel.

Is Sally right? What are we to make of the pantheon of Yoga gods? It seems to me that there are four basic positions: 1. The gods and goddesses do not actually exist. They are only metaphors, imaginative fables meant to inspire the Yoga practitioner. Some people may believe this, but I think it is insufficient and reductive; it does not adequately explain the cultural and experiential data available.

They do exist and are benevolent: they may be invoked in order to obtain energy, power, good fortune, etc. This is the position of a number of simple Hindu believers. They do exist but are evil, and should not be invoked.

Get e-book 101 Sound Bites for the Sleeping Christian (Sound Bites for Christians)

This is the position of traditional Christianity and perhaps Islam and Judaism. You shall not make for yourself a graven image; you shall not bow down to them or serve them" Exodus They do exist, but not in the way one might imagine. They are all manifestations of the one supreme being, the all-encompassing reality, which one could call "God. In our next post we will explore the last position: that the gods exist, not in themselves, but as manifestations, personifications, or realizations of the divinity.

Willard R.

He stands facing to the front, blue-skinned, naked to the waist, wearing a jewelled yellow skirt, royal jewellery and a conical crown. He also wears a garland of tulsi flowers. In the first post we discussed "What is Yoga?

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We found that there are certain Hindu gods that have been understood to play a role in teaching and promoting Yoga. We looked at Shiva, Vishnu, and Shakti, and said hello to Ganesh. The gods do exist; they are good and can be helpful to us. The gods do exist; they are evil and can harm us. The gods do exist, but only as personifications or manifestations of the divine, Supreme Reality. Here we will discuss claim number 4, since this is the understanding adopted by the general Yoga tradition that continues even in our day.

John tells us that we should not believe every spirit, but test them to see if they are from God cf. Wonder is not merely a Western attitude, he asserted: it is a human impulse. It is natural to us. In this light, it is perfectly reasonable to ask about the nature of Yoga. The thing is, when I talk with practitioners about it and try to figure out its deeper meaning, I often receive messages like this one: The most important thing is to practice Yoga. We can discuss the theory for hours and hours.

But it's best to practice and then decide. Change your clothes, open your mind, and fix your attention while performing the postures and pranayama. A popular level of Hinduism and A higher level of philosophical and religious Hinduism. We are all aware that yoga means "union"and that the practice of yoga unites body, breath, and mind, lower and higher energy centers and, ultimately, self and God, or higher Self.

But more broadly, yoga directs our attention to the unity or oneness that underlies our fragmented experiences and equally fragmented world. Physical yoga, according to its classical definitions, is inheritably and functionally incapable of being separated from Eastern religious metaphysics. Again, we see that the control of the vital energy prana by way of breathing, like also asana, is not merely a physical exercise, but is accompanied by certain psychomental phenomena. In other words, all techniques falling under the heading of asana and pranayama as, for example, the mudras and bandhas [physical positions or symbolic bodily gestures utilizing pranayama and concentration for physical or spiritual purposes] of Hathayoga, are psychosomatic exercises.

This point, unfortunately, is little understood by Western practitioners Hebrew is read from right to left, instead of left to right like English. Hebrew books even open the opposite way to English books. Hebrew lay dormant as a spoken language for nearly two millennia, until the late 19th Century when visionary linguist Eliezer Ben-Yehuda spearheaded the unparalleled movement to revive it as the mother tongue of the Jewish people. Today there are about 9 million Hebrew speakers in the world. Because the Hebrew language died off as a spoken language for nearly two millennia, the revived modern Hebrew language is much more similar to biblical Hebrew than modern Greek is to New Testament biblical Greek.

Hebrew, Aramaic, Arabic and Amharic all belong to the Semitic family of languages. His openness about love for material possessions and teachings about the "Science of the Mind" led many evangelists to distance themselves from him. In the s, public attention in the United States was drawn to prosperity theology through the influence of prominent televangelists such as Jim Bakker.


Jesus Christ The Bearer Of The Water Of Life - A Christian reflection on the New Age

Bakker's influence waned, however, after he was implicated in a high-profile scandal. Although nearly all of the healing evangelists of the s and s taught that faith could bring financial rewards, a new prosperity-oriented teaching developed in the s that differed from the one taught by Pentecostal evangelists of the s. This "Positive Confession" or "Word of Faith" movement taught that a Christian with faith can speak into existence anything consistent with the will of God.

Kenneth Hagin was credited with a key role in the expansion of prosperity theology. By the late s, proponents claimed that tens of millions of Christians had accepted prosperity theology. In , Matthew Ashimolowo , the founder of the largely African Kingsway International Christian Centre in southern England, which preaches a "health and wealth" gospel and collects regular tithes, was ordered by the Charity Commission to repay money he had appropriated for his personal use.

In , U. In January , Grassley concluded his investigation stating that he believed self-regulation by religious organizations was preferable to government action. The inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States featured prayers from two preachers known for advocating prosperity theology. Prosperity theology teaches that Christians are entitled to well-being and, because physical and spiritual realities are seen as one inseparable reality, interprets well-being as physical health and economic prosperity.

They maintain that Christians have been given power over creation because they are made in the image of God and teach that positive confession allows Christians to exercise dominion over their souls and material objects around them. Wealth is interpreted in prosperity theology as a blessing from God, obtained through a spiritual law of positive confession, visualization, and donations.

The prosperity theology teaching of positive confession stems from its proponents' view of scripture. The Bible is seen as a faith contract between God and believers; God is understood to be faithful and just, so believers must fulfill their end of the contract to receive God's promises. This leads to a belief in positive confession: the doctrine that believers may claim whatever they desire from God, simply by speaking it. Prosperity theology teaches that the Bible has promised prosperity for believers, so positive confession means that believers are speaking in faith what God has already spoken about them.

Positive confession is practiced to bring about what is already believed-in; faith itself is a confession, and speaking it brings it into reality. The teaching often depends on non-traditional interpretations of Bible verses, [49] the Book of Malachi often being given special attention. While Christians have generally celebrated Malachi for its passages about the Messiah , teachers of prosperity theology usually draw attention to its descriptions of physical wealth.

Prosperity theology casts itself as the reclamation of true doctrine and thus part of a path to Christian dominion over secular society. Peter Wagner , a leader of the New Apostolic Reformation , has argued that if Christians take dominion over aspects of society, the Earth will experience "peace and prosperity". They often view this as a Roman Catholic doctrine that should be discarded and replaced with an emphasis on prosperity. Prosperity churches place a strong emphasis on the importance of giving.

Some services include a teaching-time focused on giving and prosperity, including Biblical references to tithing ; and then a sermon on another topic which follows the offering. Prosperity-church leaders often claim that a specific blessing can be exchanged for the money being donated to their ministry; some have been reported to instruct worshipers to hold their donations above their heads during the prayer.

Congregants in prosperity churches are encouraged to speak positive statements about aspects of their lives that they wish to see improved.

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These statements, known as "positive confessions" distinct from confessions of sin , are said to miraculously change aspects of people's lives if spoken with faith. Jakes , pastor of The Potter's House non-denominational mega-church, has argued in favor of prosperity, rejecting what he sees as the demonization of success.

He views poverty as a barrier to living a Christian life, suggesting that it is easier to make a positive impact on society when one is affluent.

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While some prosperity churches have a reputation for manipulating and alienating the poor, [61] many are involved in social programs. Underlying these programs is a theology of empowerment and human flourishing with the goal of releasing people from a "welfare" or "victim" mentality. Kate Bowler, an academic who studies prosperity theology, has criticized such seminars, arguing that though they contain some sound advice, the seminars often emphasize the purchase of expensive possessions.

She maintains that prosperity churches heavily emphasized home ownership based on reliance on divine financial intervention that led to unwise choices based on actual financial ability. Most churches in the prosperity movement are non-denominational and independent, though some groups have formed networks. They argue that leaders attempt to control the lives of adherents by claiming divinely-bestowed authority.

In the United States, the movement has drawn many followers from the middle class [48] and is most popular in commuter towns and urban areas. Tony Lin of the University of Virginia has also compared the teaching to manifest destiny , [36] the 19th-century belief that the United States was entitled to the West. Marvin Harris argues that the doctrine's focus on the material world is a symptom of the secularization of American religion.

He sees it as an attempt to fulfill the American Dream by using supernatural power.