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Deep Thoughts

After the first few articles (on prayer and fasting), there is, in many of the remaining essays, a dark emphasis on such things as backsliding, death, suicide, insanity and judgment.

A bit depressing perhaps, and yet there are, even in these sober thoughts, reasons for growth, hope and salvation.

Take the time to read each one slowly, and to let the full significance sink in.


Just Say It


This comparison between the Lord's Prayer and the Sinner's Prayer emphasises the need to voice them continually, in order to stay in God's will and protection.
(See also Thy Kingdom Come, and Thoughts on Prayer.)

Read more: Just Say It

Constant Prayer

Praying without ceasing is much the same as following your conscience. When we become aware of problems in our spirit, then we can correct them. Forget about arriving and work on constant improvement. (See also The True Conscience, and Fasting Without Ceasing.)

Read more: Constant Prayer

Thy Will Be Done

A brief experiment with a form of conversational prayer led us to discover the ultimate prayer request.
(See also answers-to-prayer, Prayer Meetings.)

Read more: Thy Will Be Done

The True Conscience


The true conscience is contrasted with the social conscience in this article. The true conscience is the voice of God telling us where we need to improve. Ignore it, and you become gradually insane.
(See also Plain Speech, Conviction vs Condemnation, character, Reprobate Minds, and laziness.)

Read more: The True Conscience

Fasting Without Ceasing


A radical approach to fasting which just happens to be a radically Christian approach to dieting as well. It could result in bigger miracles than just a change in your weight.
(See also No Fatties in Heaven?)

Read more: Fasting Without Ceasing

No Fatties in Heaven?


A Christian look at the subject of gluttony and being overweight. It considers a range of different approaches to obesity, and then settles on one that worked for this writer in a way that the others had not. Strangely, it stemmed from thoughts about Bible prophecy!
(See also Fasting Without Ceasing.)

Read more: No Fatties in Heaven?

No Neutrals


Are there various levels of commitment to Christ? Are we each free to follow some of his commands while putting others on hold? What about people who sincerely love God, but who belong to other groups? Find the answers in this challenging article.
(See also Reject Us, Reject God, and Divine Authority.)

Read more: No Neutrals

Peace that Disturbs


Anger can make others mad; but genuine love can be far more convicting, and could lead to fiercer persecution.
(See also Friend or Foe? and Why Did They Kill Jesus?)

Read more: Peace that Disturbs

Relating vs Compromise

A caution against over-relating, and in particular, using "relating" as an excuse for accepting the false values of the world. (See also Keep on Planting, and Media Interviews.)

Read more: Relating vs Compromise

The Law is for the Lawless


Cherry sounds a warning to community members who think that maturity means doing their own thing, and not heeding advice. The longer we ignore advice, the more we prove our immaturity, and the more likely that we will be dealt with harshly next time.
(See also Moral Adults and laziness.)

Read more: The Law is for the Lawless

Deception


Dave looks at how easy it is to be deceived, and also at how easy it is to not be deceived. The choice is yours.
(See also backsliding, No Neutrals, and honesty.)

Read more: Deception

The Fall

A vivid and frightening dream which illustrates the awful finality of backsliding. Whether it is gradual or sudden, the consequences are tragic.
(See also The Benefits of Not Backsliding, backsliding, and Reject Us, Reject God.)

Read more: The Fall

The Knowledge of Good and Evil

There are times when knowing the answers can be a curse. The right application of this knowledge in our own lives, on the other hand, is the source of redemption.
(See also malcontents.)

Read more: The Knowledge of Good and Evil

Malcontents


Do you spend too much time talking about what you don't like, and reacting to pet peeves in various people and groups? A true revolutionary has a strong vision of a better world to replace the old ways. Accentuate the positive, and beat the malcontent blues.
(See also Liking and Loving, Mark Those Who Cause Division, and backsliding.)

Read more: Malcontents

Ananiases

This is not a holiday camp. Potential members need to realise that they are on trial as much as if not more than we are on trial during the "trial week".
(See also Pawning Your Inheritance.)

Read more: Ananiases

A Letter to Jon Ronson

We attempted to outline to a Jewish film producer the problems he would encounter if he tried to get church leaders to comment on why they oppose us. The producer was not personally interested in thinking through the issues we have raised here, but the letter has been preserved in order to help others to think about the issues.
(See also Why Did They Kill Jesus?.)

Read more: A Letter to Jon Ronson

We're Right and They're Wrong


We've learned a lot from sociology; but the problem with all science is that, by its own definition, it never has the right to pass moral judgments. Nothing is seen as being evil except passing judgment itself. But for those of us who have the responsibility to make moral decisions, it is spiritual suicide to turn loose of our right and responsibility to recognise the difference between right and wrong.
(See Thou Shalt Judge, How We Differ from Systemites, and Reject Us, Reject God.)

Read more: We're Right and They're Wrong

Reprobate Minds


God can forgive anything except an unwillingness to face up to your own sinfulness. Refuse to acknowledge sin for long enough, and you will become reprobate, or spiritually insane... if not psychotic.
(See As the World Turns, insanity, and Fingers in Their Ears.)

Read more: Reprobate Minds

The Judgement


This one is from People of the Living God, Tennessee, USA. It deals with our need to have obeyed Jesus when we stand before God at the end of the world.
(See also God's No Fool, WWFJD?, Eternal Salvation, and So, Who ARE They Following?)

Read more: The Judgement

Fire and Brimstone


The world is afraid to think about death; and religion has become just one more way to avoid the subject. But real living starts with facing the reality of death.
(See also Don't Pack Your Bags, The Judgement, Thy Kingdom Come, and Judgment Day.)

Read more: Fire and Brimstone

Deathbed Conversions

Surprisingly, Dave supports the idea of deathbed conversions, and even suggests that they are the only genuine conversions. This article was triggered by the death of his father shortly before it was written.
(See also The Cross, and eternity.)

Read more: Deathbed Conversions

Haggling with God

With eternity hanging in the balance, it is surprising how many people will still shop for discounts on the terms that God has given to us through Jesus. How foolish!
(See also Pawning Your Inheritance, and God's Best.)

Read more: Haggling with God

As the World Turns


While we "walk in the light" we fellowship with others who are doing the same. But when one of us turns away from the light, the fellowship grinds to a halt.
(See also The Split, and Many Paths Up the Mountain.)

Read more: As the World Turns

Breaking the Spell

Is there a conspiracy against us, that we have never developed into a big organisation? Or could it be a conspiracy against God?
(See also As the World Turns, and Reject Us, Reject God.)

Read more: Breaking the Spell

Fingers in Their Ears


People everywhere are running away from the truth. But what they are running from is not the horror that they imagine. All that Jesus taught is aimed at making our lives meaningful, happy, exciting and worthwhile.
(See also Smile, God Loves You!)

Read more: Fingers in Their Ears

Cognitive Dissonance


This study shows how the mind seeks to make sense out of contradictions, and it relates this principle to the mental problem people face when they claim to accept Jesus while, at the same time, reject his teachings.
(See also insanity, WWFJD? and So, Who ARE They Following?)

Read more: Cognitive Dissonance

Change


Fundamentalists are the blindest of all sinners, because they fear change. Have you put God in a box, that does not allow him to change you?
(See also dogmas, and Fear Not!.)

Read more: Change

Dogmas

Dogmas are beliefs which people accept blindly. We must learn to communicate truth in ways that circumvent dogmas. No easy answers in this one.
(See also The Role of Experience in the Quest for Truth, Christians and the Law, change, and Honest Doubt.)

Read more: Dogmas

Old Bottles


Such concepts as "first love", "born again", "faith of a child", "the last shall be first", "new bottles", and "God has chosen the foolish things" are woven together to show the New Testament emphasises on being flexible, and the need to stay hungry for more and more truth rather than becoming hard and self-righteous about what we already have.
(See also know-it-alls, Lest You Fall, and self-righteousness.)

Read more: Old Bottles

Pride

The best way to learn humility is to learn to live with other people. Pride is what makes it so hard for most people to even contemplate living in a Christian community.
(See also Why Communes Fail, Living in Community, and pride-smashing.)

Read more: Pride

Academic Towers of Babel


There is a tendency for highly educated people to start thinking that they are too smart to be bothered with faith in a real God. This article focuses on how that has happened in the field of medicine in particular.
(See also Heal the Sick.)

Read more: Academic Towers of Babel

The Politics of Suicide

Writing from the Refugee Embassy in Woomera, Dave sees in suicide bombers, fasts to the death, Jonestown, and kamikaze pilots a willingness to die for what one believes in, which intimidates the rest of society, and causes us to react irrationally.
(See also The American Dream.)

Read more: The Politics of Suicide

The Answer to Intellectual Atheism

The teachings of Jesus take up where science leaves off, answering questions that science can never answer about the meaning of life. The teachings of Jesus give a "window into the mysteries of the universe."
(See also Christian Science.)

Read more: The Answer to Intellectual Atheism

Christian Science


Loving and Learning are two sides of the same coin. True scientific method is consistent with a Christian desire for truth. This short defence for science gives the other side of what we have said in Academic Towers of Babel.
(See also The Role of Experience in the Quest for Truth.)

Read more: Christian Science

Blessed are the Merciful

This article deals with understanding people who are sick. Teachings that sickness comes from the devil can lead to self-righteousness on the part of those who are healthy. In reality, suffering and apparent failure may be God's path to spiritual victory.
(See also Heal the Sick, and No Fatties in Heaven?.)

Read more: Blessed are the Merciful

Insanity


We believe that people who experience mental breakdowns have experienced a genuine spiritual reality that is unknown to the bulk of "normal" society. But being genuine and being "good" are not necessarily the same. The path from hell to heaven may require people to return to the material world and its seemingly shallow existence.
(See also Faithfulness: Some Thoughts.)

Read more: Insanity

Suicide

Ross has suffered from depression for many years, but shares here how faith in God has always pulled him through. He asks why people in Western society commit suicide, and stresses the need for faith in God to pull you through.

Read more: Suicide

Shallow Relationships

The way to a deeper relationship may be to discard the one you have.
(See also The Xmas Spirit, and The Cuddlies.)

Read more: Shallow Relationships

Fear of Public Opinion


All that is evil in what we call "the system" is encapsulated in the spirit of fear and dishonesty that Hans Christian Andersen exposed so well in his story about The Emperor's New Clothes.
(See also The Social Conscience Part 1, The Social Conscience, part 2, Take up the Press and Follow Me, and character.)

Read more: Fear of Public Opinion

Character


If you don't have anything worth dying for, then it is questionable whether you have anything worth living for. Character has gone out of fashion, but it is still what makes life (and death) meaningful.
(See also The True Conscience, and wisdom.)

Read more: Character

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