Looking to the East and the West for Truth

Intro

In the previous Dutch articles (Materialisme, “would be” leven en aspiraties #5) we looked at the search of many people for the meaning of life, the reasons why we are here and what are task should or would be. Some men where disgusted by the way things were going and they wanted to see a better world than the one they were looking at and was destroying itself.

The Meaning of Life (Tankard album)

The Meaning of Life (Tankard album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Those 1960ies people did not want to focus on money as the main source of meaning in their life and were convinced there should or would be something better than the after world war II world was presenting so far. but it seemed difficult for them to believe those old books their first world war parents were presenting to them and the churches were offering boring services.

Materialism and conformity of the 1950s

The materialism and conformity of the 1950s brought many questions to the baby-boom generation.  The people who had lived through World War II (and much of the Depression as well) had seen enough hardship and felt they earned a better life than at that time. They had put their eyes on building comfortable lives for themselves, but by doing so lost track of the more important spiritual essence of life. Their children grew up with more material goods than their parents had had, but they also felt that their parents cared only about material goods.  They felt that their parents lacked any real feelings and humanity in their lives.  Therefore, they rebelled. They felt like they were going to create a new culture that was less concerned with material goods and with conforming to society’s expectations.

The pictures the world got to see from Vietnam were totally in contrast with the peace teaching of those pastors in the many churches, who lost more credibility because their lifestyle did not co-inside with their teachings.

Looking for freedom and back to the basics

Lots of people desired more freedom from what they perceived as the constraints on them from the ‘establishment’ society of their parents. Many wanted to go back to the basics and sought a return to living off the land and a simpler life. They wanted to experiment with a belief system that didn’t always conform to the belief system of those who helped shaped their lives in their formative years (their families, their communities, the education system, the government).

Because they did not seem enough good and reasonable answers in their community life and western literature they went looking for more wisdom in the Eastern literature. One of the main reasons was that the many religions had so many different human doctrines that people wondered how so many religions come out from the teachings of the book called Bible, which every Christian seemed to use as their basic source. Many people wondered if there where no conflicts in the testimonies of the Old and the New Testament which for the first 300 years of the early Church the unanimous view was that they both were alike the Word of God.

Writers from the East

They questioned if the actual Middle East writers of these scriptures – the Law, the Psalms and the Prophets, the Gospels and the Epistles and the Revelation – did write down their own imaginations or as they revealed wrote down the Words of a Higher Being. And how was it about those Eastern philosophers and spiritual leaders? What did they have to tell which could also the truth or would it be more philosophical meditation or dreaming?

The Western approach to a deeper understanding involving the application of symbolic thought (i.e. words and mathematics) looked something very frustrating for the common mind. It could be said that the nature of reality can be discovered by thinking about it the right way, but what would be the right way to think? In our world where everything was based on a specific thinking processes (logic), the logic of life seemed to go far astray.

The Western faith relying upon specific thoughts (dogma) had brought so many contrary opinions this for many could be the right faith, nor the right way of living, when they looked at those in charge of those faith communities (the churches).

Western and Eastern thinking

For many of those baby-boomers Eastern philosophy (e.g. Hinduism, Buddhism, and Taoism) seemed to bring better answers. In the Eastern approach, thinking moves us away from understanding reality. When they think they transfer their attention away from reality to the world of symbols, and an irretrievable difference lies between the symbol and what it represents. In the Eastern approach, the nature of reality is discovered by experiencing it directly, without thoughts. This is accomplished through a variety of meditative processes.

But they forgot those meditative processes were already lay out in the “divine library” the West was offered by centuries of travellers telling about the Good News. The Book of books and great masterpiece had become a book which so many buy and so few take the
trouble to read. (See: ) Even today we still find a significant disconnect in belief versus behaviour and many not so much interested in the collection of books – sixty-six of the Protestant canon (eighty-one books of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church canon) – written by about forty different authors over a period of many centuries, which could bring most answers to our questions.

But after their voyage to the far East, having encountered many gurus they came to understand that those writings which were brought together gradually until its present form was fixed, after long usage and by common consent, towards the end of the fourth century of our present era, were not not such a bad source after all.  Several of those searchers for truth came to the solution that the claims made by that Book of books, to have God as its one ultimate author, could not be untrue.

We shall be looking at this claim to Divine inspiration a little later on.

After their return from the East they saw the same thing as those who left the European continent a century before them. The ones who had gone to the New World had found enough time to research those Scriptures and by the confrontation of the many denominations from all over Europe they came to understand that many human teachings had distorted the Biblical teachings.

19th and 20th century synergy

As those Bible Students in the 19th century found out those hippies also could see that the
Bible also explains that the variety and diversity of its contents were God’s chosen way of communicating appropriately in different ways to men of every age, as the writer to the Hebrews says: “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son” (Hebrews 1:1).

St. Jerome in His Study (1480), by Domenico Ghirlandaio.

It was Jerome in the fourth century who described the completed Bible as the “Divine library”, thus recognising that its multiple parts had a single, Divine source. Even earlier, Origen is on record as having this to say also: “There are many sacred writings, yet there is but one Book. All the writings breathe the spirit of fullness, and there is nothing, whether in the Law or in the Prophets, in the Evangelists or the apostles, which does not descend from the fullness of the Divine Majesty.”

Divine origin

Many of the individual books of the Bible claim for themselves this Divine origin which these early Christian ‘fathers’ so rightly recognised; and this internal hallmark is one of the many elements which have to be taken into account in assessing each separate book’s relation to the Bible as a whole. Referred to together, subsequently, by the plural Greek word Biblia (‘the Books’), the intrinsic unity of the different parts of the Bible (from Koine Greek τὰ βιβλία, tà biblía, “the books”) was ultimately acknowledged when the same word was later read as a Latin singular, meaning ‘the Book’ and from which our English word ‘Bible’ has come. In this way, even the term by which we now refer to Jerome’s “Divine library” recognises the indivisibility of the word of God.

Tradition

Traditionally, the Word of God was given from one person to the other vocally. As such The Scriptures are part of ‘Tradition‘ but through the years traditions of many pagan groups entered the life of religion and Christianity did not manage to stay free from it. Also in Christianity we do find many heathen or pagan traditions. Some may think they can ‘work together as a seamless whole’ but the Creator has been clear in His demands to abstain from the worldly traditions. But on the other hand there may be spiritual traditions according to the Laws of Christ, like the ones the apostles followed. At the beginning of the early Christian Church the disciples of the Jew Christ Jesus (Jeshua) tried to imitate their master like in the 20th century many Westerners tried to imitate their Indian gurus.

“(1)  Become imitators of me, as I also am of Messiah.  (2)  And I praise you, brothers, that you remember me in every way and keep the traditions as I delivered them to you.” (1 Corinthians 11:1-2 The Scriptures 1998+).

Library--New Testament Studies

Library–New Testament Studies

The traditions the apostle is talking about are not the traditions of worldly festivals but the tradition of giving on the Word of God and of telling the history of God’s people. It is about the tradition of worshipping the Only One god by honouring His Words and keeping to His ordinances.

The apostle Paul says that we are to keep the traditions that are only written in the Scriptures as he delivered them to the early Church. Clearly he is talking about oral traditions or words, letters,stories which were not written in the Bible as we know it today. At that time the Bible did not exist under the present form. The people had to do with the oral tradition and by the writings the apostles send to them. Those writings we do know today as the epistles.

“(15)  So, then, brothers, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or by our letter.” (2 Thessalonians 2:15 The Scriptures 1998+ )

A Word to speak out or to witness about

This was also the tradition of which Jesus spoke when he asked his followers to go out into the world and preach the gospel of the Good News. At the early church there were spoken traditions that were passed down and were meant to be practised. In the meeting places there was a standard for continuing giving the Word onto the others and to listen and discuss it plus to worship Jehovah God.

Today we can see many churches left out that witnessing and do not give much attention any more onto that most important Word of God. today we can find many sorts of churches that practice certain traditions and have their accents on different aspects but most of them forgot the task the Nazarene Jeshua (Jesus Christ) had given: hearing the Word of God, listening to the Voice of God, and telling others about it.

Looking at the North, the East, the South and the West, Let us not forget bringing that Word of God to as many people as we can.

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Preceding articles:

Book of books and great masterpiece

Unread bestseller

Materialism, would be life, and aspirations

Next:

Miracles of revelation and of providence

Testimony to Bible Truth

Dutch version / Nederlandse versie:  Kijkend naar Oost en West voor Waarheid

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Also of interest:

  1. Creator and Blogger God 6 For His people
  2. The business of this life
  3. Uncertainty, shame and no time for vacillation
  4. Christian values and voting not just a game
  5. Leaving the Old World to find better pastures
  6. Men of faith
  7. Migrants to the West #5
  8. Migrants to the West #7 Religions
  9. Judeo-Christian values and liberty
  10. Built on or Belonging to Jewish tradition #1 Christian Reform
  11. Built on or Belonging to Jewish tradition #2 Roots of Jewishness
  12. Built on or Belonging to Jewish tradition #4 Mozaic and Noachide laws
  13. Follower of Jesus part of a cult or a Christian
  14. 2nd Half 20th Century Generations pressure to achieve
  15. The Y generation in conflict with itself
  16. Power in the life of certain
  17. A Living Faith #10: Our manner of Life #2
  18. Biblestudents & T.C.Russell
  19. Focus on Charles Taze Russell
  20. Around C.T.Russell
  21. Russell and his beliefs
  22. Russell himself never claimed to be a prophet.
  23. Finding and Understanding Words and Meanings
  24. Childish or reasonable ways
  25. Jesus begotten Son of God #1 Christmas and Christians

+++

  • How The Jews Won The West! (northerntruthseeker.blogspot.com)
    The key to Jewish power rests principally on two things: control of banking and finance, and control of mass media. One is used as a tool to enslave us physically, the other mentally. Over the past hundred years they have gained almost a complete monopoly on them both throughout the world, especially in the West. In order to grasp the full extent of Jewish power today and understand how they have acquired it, one needs to look briefly at the history of banking, beginning with the Bank of England.
  • A Seamless Whole: How I Learned to Embrace Scripture within Tradition, Part I (renewingeve.wordpress.com)
    if the Holy Spirit reveals the Scriptures to us, I would have to set out on my own to try and figure out what they say. I decided to learn how to do inductive Bible study. What is that? Well, it’s basically where you dissect the Scriptures word by word. You color code each word, look it up in its original language (Hebrew or Greek) and eventually the meaning will become clear. You see, I’m a word nerd so this was right up my alley. Armed with my Bible, my Greek and Hebrew Word Study dictionaries and a brand new 88-pack of Crayola colored pencils, I attended my first Inductive Study.
    +
    When something is important to us, part of our human nature desires to know where that something came from. “Who actually decided what was going to be in the Bible and what authority did they have?” It was one of those questions…one of the nagging ones.
    +A Seamless Whole: How I learned to Embrace Scripture within Tradition, Part II
  • Comma, comma, comma,,,, chameleon? (kingdom777.wordpress.com)
    “There are two types of Christian; the chrysalis and the chameleon. The chrysalis is completely transformed, whereas the chameleon merely changes colour to suit its surroundings.  Make a new start, let God transform you inwardly by a complete change.” 
  • [WMSCOG] The Courage to Face the Truth_God the Mother_World Mission Society Church of God (ahnsahnghong1948wmscog.wordpress.com)
    During secularization, the church accepted pagan rituals and ideas which were rampant throughout the Empire. Non-biblical doctrines appeared and, weirdly enough, Mary, who was just the physical mother of Jesus, took the place of God the Mother. Of course, the doctrine of virgin Mary was affected by pagan religion called the worship of “mother and son.”
  • Meditation on Psalm 19: How does God speak to us? part 2 (Video) (examiner.com)
    In part one of this meditation, we examined the question: Does the Bible claim to be the only media through which God reveals his truth to humanity? If you missed that one, here is your link to Meditation on Psalm 19: How does God speak to us? part 1.
    +
    God’s decrees warn us of danger and that keeping them brings great reward. Those laws reveal God’s values – values which address how we should treat one another fairly, whether family, foreigner, friend or enemy; how we should care for animals and the land in such a way to make them more fruitful and healthy; and finally, how we should turn to him, not as a law giver, but as a loving Father who wants to enable us to become all he created us to be.
  • A little info on canon of scripture. (pastorrobbm.wordpress.com)
    Canonization, questions which books God inspired. God inspiring scripture for authority is one thing, but it had to be a painstakingly task for man to recognize that authority. It is also important to understand that the canon was not simply put together over a short period of time; in fact, it took many years to receive our English Bibles that we use today.
  • Applying the Divine Principle to Real Life (appliedunificationism.com)
    The world of 2013 is different in many ways.  Sheri Reuter calls the new way to witness “natural witnessing.”  That means you talk to whomever you come in contact with—albeit, the person parked next to you at the library, the person standing next to you in the line at the Department of Motor Vehicles or the post office, or the person you meet in the park while walking your dog.  I always thought, “if you had a diamond, you wouldn’t keep it in your pocket.”  How much more valuable is the Principle than a diamond?  The easiest way to overcome your fear of talking to someone is to do it in a natural way.
  • 8 Misconceptions About the Bible (sethsoasis.wordpress.com)“How can you trust the Bible when it’s been translated so many times?” “Isn’t the Bible full of mistakes and contradictions?” Pastor Mark Driscoll debunks 8 common misconceptions about the Bible in this fourth installment of his blog series, which provides a guided tour of topics such as what is the Biblewhere the Bible came from, and how to interpret the Bible.

About Christadelphians

Free Christadelphians or Brothers and sisters in Christ, living in Belgium, European Union. - Vrijë Christadelphians of Broeders en zusters in Christus wonende in België in de Europese Unie.
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