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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.

An account of an actual media interview, which gives good insights into what it is that really makes people dislike us. 

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.)

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?)

A clear conscience is seen as not only superior to anything one can achieve by following a group, but as a sure-fire way to get yourself kicked out of many groups 

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.)

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.)

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.)

This article expands on earlier comments about tolerance. It shows how, in the name of tolerance, an ideology can be developed which effectively silences all dissent.

Written on 24 December, 2015. 
Dave questions events recorded in the Gospels in the light of modern medical science.

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.)

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.)

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.)

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?)

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!.)

A young woman who visited with us for a few weeks in both Kenya and the U.K. tells of the outlandish reaction she received when she returned home.

After watching the movie "Interstellar", Dave discusses the idea that Black holes could be "gateways into Eternity" and that the New Jerusalem could be something like them, outside of time and space.

A challenge to younger members of our community to develop a personal relationship with God.

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.)

More of a mellowing message comes through in this call for us to appreciate both sides (Liberal and conservative) on a wide range of Christian and secular teachings.  Strengths and weaknesses of both are discussed in an attempt to achieve the right balance.

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.)

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.)

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!)

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.)

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.)

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.)

Hypocrisy is contrasted with Sincerity, and we are warned about where a lack of sincerity will ultimately lead us.

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?)

Simon discusses the paradox about how many very basic spiritual truths escape the comprehension of the masses because we just don't have the eyes to see them.

Jesus claimed that the people who build monuments to the prophets of the past are exactly the kind of people who would kill the prophets of the present.  Dave examines and explains this surprising paradox.

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.)

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.)

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.)

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?)

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.)

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

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.)

This is similar to the article, A Martyr Complex, except that it deals specifically with the dilemma regarding kidney donations and media coverage. Are kidney donations on a par with giving alms (i.e. helping the needy, which we have been commanded to do secretly), healing people (which Jesus generally hushed up, but which he also used as proof of his authority on occasions); or could it be that they are part of the persecution that Jesus promised would come to his true followers, and the very thing that he instructed us to let shine like a light for all the world to see? This article may not give clear answers to these questions, but it does ask them more clearly than we ever have in the past.

Almost two years after the Jesus Christians "disbanded", Dave reflects on how things have progressed.

Are the teachings of Jesus impossible, or just improbable, given that they are almost always going to lead to serious problems in our efforts to be accepted by others?  We may, none of us, ever actually obey some of the things that he said; but it's not really because they are impossible.  It's because we find them too extreme or too challenging.

Are you following God, or following an organisation?  Without a conviction that God has called you personally to do something, it will always be easy to blame others if things do not work out as you had planned.

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.)

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.)

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.)

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.)

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?.)

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.)

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.)

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.)

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.)

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.)

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.)

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.)

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?.)

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.

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

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