Abundant Life

Christianity 101

Living in our rental house is not the only change we’ve been making in Roy’s life – we’ve been teaching him Christianity 101.

He’s been going to church with first his mom (Kevin’s grandmother) and then with Kevin’s parents all his life. And I’m not knocking church – it’s great if you’re getting something out of it. And by that I mean, you’re studying God’s word and learning how, and why, God wants you to live a certain way. It’s a great place to fellowship with other Christians and to make life-long friends. God wants us to fellowship with other Christians.

However. If you dread Church, or you’re not getting anything out of the lectures pastors give, then perhaps it’s time to step back and re-evaluate why you’re going or why you’re not receiving God’s wonderful messages.

That’s where we are with Roy. Roy’s churches have continued to use the King’s James version of the bible. And there’s nothing wrong with the King’s James version, it’s just an antiquated language that is not used anymore. It’s hard for people to understand because we don’t use that language anymore. And because people don’t understand the language (or the culture in which the Bible was written), then people just assume that the Bible is not meant for us to understand.

AND THAT’S BULL HOCKEY.

God WANTS us to know how to read the Bible. He wants us to live our lives by rules laid out in the Bible. He gives us examples of how to live our lives and what can happen if we choose NOT to live by his rules. If we don’t live our lives by His rules, then he is unable to protect us against Satan’s tricks. And of course, it’s Satan’s goals to trick people into thinking they are incapable of understanding the Bible because then he will swoop in and create havoc in our lives.

So. Roy has made the decision of NOT going to church for a while and sitting with us when we have Bible study at our house every Sunday evening after dinner. We watch a few videos from the Truth or Tradition YouTube channel and then we all take turns reading out of the New International Version of the Bible. He made the decision to not go to church because he never felt like he understood anything that was taught. Too many churches focus on the hell and damnation of the Bible and though that is part of God’s word, it’s a VERY SMALL part of God’s word. Or worse, pastors will pick and choose verses out of the Bible, taking them completely out of context, and use them to their own advantage. The first time I realized that was happening was the last time I set foot in a church. I have NO INTENTIONS of going back to church – ever.

God is about love and teaching us humility, compassion, forgiveness and HOW TO LOVE OTHERS. How is anyone expected to be inspired or moved into helping others when all they are fed every Sunday is scary crap about Satan and being fried alive in hell?

Think about it.

Anyway. After watching a video, I asked Kevin to bring up one of their older videos (we have it set up where we watch YouTube on our TV and Kevin controls it with his phone – TECHNOLOGY RULES!) where they talk about HOW to read and understand the bible. Kevin brought up this video:

We’ve been watching Truth or Tradition videos for as long as they’ve been making them and somehow, we missed this one. What a COOL summary of the Bible!!

And we started talking about buying Roy a Bible that he can understand – more like a children’s bible. I wouldn’t mind having a children’s bible to read the basic stories myself. I’m not even sure I know all of the basic stories, to be perfectly honest.

I think all of us, deep down, are searching for something in our lives. Whether that’s the meaning of life, how to make our marriages successful, how to raise a God-fearing child (and God-fearing is actually, more accurately translated, into RESPECTING GOD), how to seek forgiveness or how to cultivate patience … learning God’s word, living a Godly life, tends to satisfy that hunger and produce peace.

Don’t believe me? Try it. What have you got to lose?

*Oh, by the way – I just found out they have an iPhone/Android app. Which I downloaded and am looking forward to using on-the-go.

Abundant Life

Audio Teaching: The Christian’s Hope: Part One

I hope you’ll take time to listen to these audio teachings, if not here, then perhaps you’ll consider downloading them and taking them with you?

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What the Bible really says about Death, Judgment, Rewards, Heaven, and the Future Life on a Restored Earth. God originally planned for mankind to live on earth, and His plan, though postponed by sin, will not be thwarted – it will come to pass in the future when a new earth is created. The Christian’s Hope shows from Scripture that each Christian will be rewarded in the coming world in direct proportion to the quality of how he lives for God in this world.

Click the arrow to listen to the Acknowledgements/Prayer/Introduction.

Click the arrow to listen to Our Valuable Anchor.

Read along here.

A Biblical Look at “Hope”

In order to properly understand the Christian’s hope, it is important to examine the exact meaning of the word “hope.” “Hope” means “a desire for, or an expectation of, good, especially when there is some confidence of fulfillment.” It is used that way both in common English and in the Bible. However, the Bible often uses the word “hope” in another way—to refer to the special expectation of good that God has in store for each Christian in the future. This includes the “Rapture,” receiving a new, glorified body, and living forever in Paradise. Today, the ordinary use of “hope” allows for the possibility that what is hoped for will not come to pass. However, when the Bible uses the word “hope” to refer to things that God has promised, the meaning of “hope” shifts from that which has a reasonable chance of coming to pass to that which will absolutely come to pass. To be a useful anchor, hope must hold fast.

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Abundant Life

Teaching: The Bible says to “love your enemies” (Matt. 5:44). How can the death penalty be love?

Every Sunday I provide videos and valuable links to the Truth or Tradition teachings. We’ve been following the Truth or Tradition teachings for many years now and they have truly blessed our family. We have found peace and happiness through our beliefs and we walk confidently for God. My hope, by passing on this information to you, is that what you find here, or on the Truth or Tradition website, will guide you to a better, more blessed and abundant life.

If you would like to read my views on religion and how we got started with the ministry, you can read this.

Let’s get started:

People are commanded to love God, one another and their enemies. This is the case today, and it was true in the Old Testament also. Yet it is clear that the death penalty was commanded by God many times in the Old Testament. The first and greatest commandment is to love God, and the Bible is very clear about how we do that: we keep His commandments.

John 14:15, 21, 23 and 24
(15) If you love me, you will obey what I command.
(21) Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.
(23) If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.
(24) He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.

These verses are clear, and reveal the action model of the love of God, which is the biblical model of genuine love. Christ spoke very plainly and said that if we do what God commands, then we love God, and if we do not do what God commands, we do not love God. One of God’s commandments was that murderers be put to death, and it is not loving God to ignore what He said.

It is true that Christ taught us to love our enemies, but we must understand what he was saying when he said that. First and foremost, he was not contradicting his Father and the commands of the Old Testament. He was stating them in plain language. It was part of the Old Testament Law that people were to be loving, even to their enemies. Although many examples could be given, Exodus contains some very clear verses:

Exodus 23:4 and 5
(4) If you come across your enemy’s ox or donkey wandering off, be sure to take it back to him.
(5) If you see the donkey of someone who hates you fallen down under its load, do not leave it there; be sure you help him with it.

Since the teaching about being loving, even to someone that hates you, was a part of the Old Testament Law, we need to carefully examine the words Christ spoke.

Matthew 5:43-45
(43) You have heard that it was said, “Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.”
(44) But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
(45) that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

Christ said, “You have heard it said,‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’” It is fair to say that most Christians think that it was God and the Old Testament Scriptures that said, “Hate your enemy,” and that Christ was changing the Old Testament Law. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Old Testament Law taught people to love, as we saw in Exodus (and there are many more examples beside those two verses). It was the religious leaders who perverted the Law of God and taught people to “hate your enemy.” The well-respected New Testament scholar, R. C. H. Lenski writes:

This [“hate your enemy”] is the way in which the scribes and Pharisees taught the people the second table. They mutilated even the words they quoted from Leviticus….This omission in the usual rabbinical teaching was no innocent abbreviation …This was a flagrant perversion of the law which included all the members of the Jewish nation down to the lowest and extended even to the stranger. [8]

It is imperative to notice that you can love your enemy and still obey the Old Testament Law, including executing justice and even going to war. Biblical love is not an emotion or a feeling, but is acting on what God commands. The words of Christ in Matthew make it plain that Christ knew that God loves His enemies, and even blesses them by sending them rain and sun even though they do not “deserve” His love and blessings. Exodus teaches us to be loving to our enemies and those who hate us by helping them out. The same God who teaches us to love our enemies in both the Old and New Testaments also commands the death penalty in both the Old and New Testaments.

It is love to obey God, and by having a swift death penalty we love the people in our society [many of whom are our enemies also] and offer them the best chance for a life free from fear and crime. By having a swift death penalty that is justly meted out, we are giving everyone the best chance to see the high value of life—theirs, and the lives of others. Without a swift and just death penalty, the value of life is cheapened. Most people in the United States, for example, live every day knowing that they may be killed by a drunk driver or by a robber in a convenience store. If they are killed, and if the criminal is actually caught, they know that their life was “worth” a few years in prison, if even that, because that is all that the criminal will have to pay. How can we call that “justice”? How can that teach the value of life? We assert that it cannot and does not, and that is a major reason the United States is overrun with crime today.

We are not loving God or people if we refuse to justly deal with criminals who will harm others. It is not loving people to allow an unsafe society to continue simply because we find it difficult to obey God’s laws. We are not really being loving if we allow murderers to go unpunished. The Bible says if there is no godly punishment of the wicked, then people who would not otherwise sin may be led into temptation, and that is clearly true. Just and quick punishments are a deterrent to evil behavior.

The article above was taken from The Death Penalty: Godly or Ungodly?

Did this article bless you? Please consider donating to the Truth or Tradition ministry.

If you have any questions, or would like to learn more about God’s wonderful message, please visit the Truth or Tradition website. You can also keep track of the ministry through their Facebook page, their YouTube Channel, or follow them on Twitter.

Thanks for reading.

(Comments have been turned off. The information is here to inform and bless you. God granted you the gift of free will – take it or leave it).

More from Write From Karen

Abundant Life

Teaching: How to Be Saved

We all know there are two issues that are taboo to bloggers – politics and religion. I will, though, occasionally talk about these two issues for two reasons:

1. this blog is a journal of my life and I would like my family to know how I felt about said issues.

2. I would like to show you, dear blog readers, the how and why I believe what I do. Perhaps my beliefs will lead readers who are spiritually insecure, or do not have a very strong faith foundation, onto a dynamic path to spiritual comfort. God has blessed our family. And it’s largely due to the fact that we love God, that we read and trust His word on a regular basis and that we believe in our hearts that Jesus Christ, God’s son, died on the cross for our sins. We are on a journey to please God and as a result, we are successful, we are secure, and we are loved. You too can find peace and happiness in your lives.

We do not go to church. I learned, at a very early age, that pastors/preachers liked to veer off the bible and go off on their own tangents to promote their own agendas. I’m not saying every pastor/preacher is this way, I’m merely saying that the pastor/preachers I’ve had access to in my life were this way – the bottom line was, they were teaching the bible out of context and as a person who’s always had a certain fascination with language, this just didn’t ring true to me; something felt … wrong.

I remember sitting in church one Sunday, listening to the preacher, my attention sharp, my soul hungry to learn about our wonderful God. The preacher referenced a verse in the bible, then proceeded to elaborate on said verse. I continued reading the chapter of the verse he referenced. And I was shocked to discover, that what the preacher was talking about had absolutely nothing to do with what the verse meant. That when you read the context of said verse, it, in fact, meant something completely different. The message was positive and uplifting, the message the preacher was giving us was not. In fact, it was depressing and in essence, he was chastising us for being bad people as a whole and how we were doomed to go to hell.

Once the shock wore off (how could a man of God get it so wrong? I thought), I was furious. God is not about hell and damnation, God is about love, happiness and believing so that we may lead rich, abundant lives, and feel confident enough to go out and share His word with others.

I stopped going to church. I had no desire to step foot into another church. But I was starving to learn more about God. Then I met my husband. And he introduced me to an organization called, “The Way.” They call themselves this because Christ says, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John 14:6. The Way taught me so much about the bible and what God expects of me. It taught me the meaning of life in general and what I needed out of my own life specifically.

But as is often the case in so many religions, disagreement arose and members of The Way left the ministry to begin their own ministry. Hence, the birth of Truth or Tradition. Truth or Tradition is “dedicated to helping you understand the Word of God, free from the traditions of men.”

Once the founder of The Way passed away, and a new administration took over, the organization felt .. disjointed and we didn’t exactly agree with the direction the new administrators were trying to steer the ministry, so we checked out Truth or Tradition, loved what we saw and have been listening to their teachings ever since.

We currently have bible study, in our home, every Sunday morning at 9:00 a.m. We sit around our dining room table, bibles in hand, and watch one of the numerous video teachings offered by Truth or Tradition. These teachings have TRULY BLESSED US and we thank God for John W. Schoenheit and his wonderful teaching talents. Our boys have grown up with Mr. Schoenheit and I’m quite confident have a solid faith-based foundation to build the rest of their lives with.

I’m not overly religious – I don’t go out of my way to speak the word of God. But if the occasion arises, and my audience is receptive, then I do not hesitate to tell people about the Truth or Tradition ministry and how it has blessed me and my family.

I feel God has been trying to tell me something these past weeks and I’m just now at a point in my life that I can listen to Him. This blog is a convenient platform in which to help spread His word via the Truth or Tradition teachings. I plan on offering various videos and links to the Truth or Tradition teachings every Sunday; I hope you will take the time to look into this ministry whether you’ve been searching for something like this, or are already established in your current beliefs.

It never hurts to learn about various viewpoints, in all aspects of our lives, in order to gauge whether or not our current beliefs/thoughts/practices are real and true. It’s possible to listen to opposing, or different views, if you will allow yourself to do so.

This first video is wonderful (they’re all wonderful, IMO). It talks about WHY we should get saved. It addresses a lot of popular doubts and questions about salvation and I pray it blesses you.

Thank you for listening and God bless.

If you have any questions, or would like to learn more about God’s wonderful message, please visit the Truth or Tradition website. You can also keep track of the ministry through their Facebook page.