church, God, Jesus Christ, LDS, Mormon, Theology, Uncategorized

Some Church History for the Haters

Many Christians get up in arms about old LDS doctrine. Many of them even know that Church history has crazy ideas and different practices. Since so many people on the internet like to point out how bad past and present LDS doctrine is. I am going to return the favor. I am going talk about the Catholic Church. The reason why I am using the Catholic Church is because it is the first church that formed the original doctrines and guidelines that other denominations use today.

In Catholicism the pope decided that he could have people view relics then pay indulgences to help loved ones have a remission of temporal sins.  Even tho various sites claim that there are only myths about how people view indulgences tells me that at one point there were beliefs that these indulgences could save people or even be used as a get out of Hell card. I remember watching the movie Luther where people in the crowd were wanting to buy indulgences for a chance to buy forgiveness for other people.These were sold to raise the money to build the St. Peter’s Basilica Church where Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses in 1517 to the church door so everyone could view different views of Christianity and not just what the pope said.

This started the Protestant Church movement that we have today. To this day the church in the month of November meditates on the Communion of Saints, which is the charitable link with the faithful who have already reached heaven (Church Triumphant), the faithful departed who are still expiating their sins in Purgatory (Church Suffering) and of the pilgrim faithful here on earth (Church Militant). “In this wonderful exchange, the holiness of one profits others, well beyond the harm that the sin of one could cause others.

Thus recourse to the communion of saints lets the contrite sinner be more promptly and efficaciously purified of the punishments for sin. Throughout November the Church prays for all who are in the purifying fires of Purgatory, waiting for the day when they will join the company of the saints in heaven. The celebration of Mass is the highest means Church can provide for charity for the dead, but we can also relieve their sufferings through our prayers, sufferings and penances.

There are so much more I could go into about Protestant Church history but I charge you to use the tools you have to research not only what I have spoken of but also other parts of the history of the church. Be like the people in 1517 and use the resources given to you to gain knowledge of the history of your own background before you go ripping on others beliefs. Just because Latter Day Saints have more doctrines and different history does not mean that they do not have the same relationship with God or Jesus Christ as you do.

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My Alpha

So people have quotes and God gave me this one. Only you can define the 5 W’s of your faith. Now I am going to explain this even tho it may seem obvious what this means.

Who do you have faith in?

What do you believe?

Where do you worship?

When do you practice your faith?

Why do you practice it?

These 5 things define what your spirituality is all about. I know that beliefs are important to you and at some point you come to a place where you have to defend what you believe. It can be hard to defend something you are not sure about. My whole life has been centered around the question of What would God do if He saw you doing X, Y, Z? My mother always asked me that question even before the late 90’s fad of What Would Jesus Do? I have always wrestled with what I believed but I always knew that I believed that God is real and Jesus is His Son which he sent to die for my sins. Things like church doctrines and theology were so confusing because people made it that way.

When I was a teenager I felt that God was calling me to become a youth pastor. I knew that I was born to help people but didn’t know how to go about it. Later in life I came to the understanding that the calling I thought I had was because I looked up to a few youth pastors and wanted to fill their shoes. I do feel that God had called me to reach out to people and love them where they are. I also feel that everyone is called to do this because this is one of the things Jesus did. Since the fall of 2000 I have felt lead to write a book and call it The Book of Stevo. I find humor in this because I am not a writer and I really don’t like to read very much outside of entertainment and current events.

Since I love to be on the internet and social media so much I have felt that God gave me this passion to use it for His glory so I have started to write this book and post my entries on my online blog. Also I use Youtube, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to get messages and my blog out to the digital world. I am excited to be able to follow what God told me He wanted me to do. The other part of the book title which is “The Life and Teachings of Brother Stevo” means that I also write about my life. So you will find writings about random things that have nothing to do with religion or theology.

Thank you for taking the time to read these writings. I hope that they make you laugh, cry and go buck wild which means for somebody or something to go crazy in some way. Can be used to describe a person going crazy but not in a sexual way because that would be odd…..

Peace!

Brother Stevo-

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The Story of Samson

So I should really think twice before I ask someone on Facebook to give me subject matter to write about. Everytime I do this I get some of the hardest things to research about. My old friend Dustin requested I write about Samson. So let us take a trip to the Old Testament. The first place to start is talking about who he was.

The name Samson is Hebrew for man of the sun. His mother and father had a hard time conceiving a child. Then one day an angel of the Lord appeared to his mother Manoah. This angel proclaims that they will have a son and deliver the Israelites from the Philistines. Manoah was not allowed to have any kind of alcoholic drinks and her son was to not shave or cut his hair. Also Samson was to be born a Nazarene which meant that he was to take an oath to be more like God according to ancient Israel practices.

Samson only had two weaknesses which were untrustworthy women and the loss of his hair. I normally do not do this but I feel the Bible can finish this story for me. The passages below are from Judges Chapter 16 from the New Living Translation (NLT) and taken from biblegateway.com

Samson Carries Away Gaza’s Gates

16 One day Samson went to the Philistine town of Gaza and spent the night with a prostitute. 2 Word soon spread[a] that Samson was there, so the men of Gaza gathered together and waited all night at the town gates. They kept quiet during the night, saying to themselves, “When the light of morning comes, we will kill him.”

3 But Samson stayed in bed only until midnight. Then he got up, took hold of the doors of the town gate, including the two posts, and lifted them up, bar and all. He put them on his shoulders and carried them all the way to the top of the hill across from Hebron.

Samson and Delilah

4 Some time later Samson fell in love with a woman named Delilah, who lived in the valley of Sorek.5 The rulers of the Philistines went to her and said, “Entice Samson to tell you what makes him so strong and how he can be overpowered and tied up securely. Then each of us will give you 1,100 pieces[b] of silver.”

6 So Delilah said to Samson, “Please tell me what makes you so strong and what it would take to tie you up securely.”

7 Samson replied, “If I were tied up with seven new bowstrings that have not yet been dried, I would become as weak as anyone else.”

8 So the Philistine rulers brought Delilah seven new bowstrings, and she tied Samson up with them.9 She had hidden some men in one of the inner rooms of her house, and she cried out, “Samson! The Philistines have come to capture you!” But Samson snapped the bowstrings as a piece of string snaps when it is burned by a fire. So the secret of his strength was not discovered.

10 Afterward Delilah said to him, “You’ve been making fun of me and telling me lies! Now please tell me how you can be tied up securely.”

11 Samson replied, “If I were tied up with brand-new ropes that had never been used, I would become as weak as anyone else.”

12 So Delilah took new ropes and tied him up with them. The men were hiding in the inner room as before, and again Delilah cried out, “Samson! The Philistines have come to capture you!” But again Samson snapped the ropes from his arms as if they were thread.

13 Then Delilah said, “You’ve been making fun of me and telling me lies! Now tell me how you can be tied up securely.”

Samson replied, “If you were to weave the seven braids of my hair into the fabric on your loom and tighten it with the loom shuttle, I would become as weak as anyone else.”

So while he slept, Delilah wove the seven braids of his hair into the fabric. 14 Then she tightened it with the loom shuttle.[c] Again she cried out, “Samson! The Philistines have come to capture you!” But Samson woke up, pulled back the loom shuttle, and yanked his hair away from the loom and the fabric.

15 Then Delilah pouted, “How can you tell me, ‘I love you,’ when you don’t share your secrets with me? You’ve made fun of me three times now, and you still haven’t told me what makes you so strong!”16 She tormented him with her nagging day after day until he was sick to death of it.

17 Finally, Samson shared his secret with her. “My hair has never been cut,” he confessed, “for I was dedicated to God as a Nazirite from birth. If my head were shaved, my strength would leave me, and I would become as weak as anyone else.”

18 Delilah realized he had finally told her the truth, so she sent for the Philistine rulers. “Come back one more time,” she said, “for he has finally told me his secret.” So the Philistine rulers returned with the money in their hands. 19 Delilah lulled Samson to sleep with his head in her lap, and then she called in a man to shave off the seven locks of his hair. In this way she began to bring him down,[d] and his strength left him.

20 Then she cried out, “Samson! The Philistines have come to capture you!”

When he woke up, he thought, “I will do as before and shake myself free.” But he didn’t realize the Lordhad left him.

21 So the Philistines captured him and gouged out his eyes. They took him to Gaza, where he was bound with bronze chains and forced to grind grain in the prison.

22 But before long, his hair began to grow back.

Samson’s Final Victory

23 The Philistine rulers held a great festival, offering sacrifices and praising their god, Dagon. They said, “Our god has given us victory over our enemy Samson!”

24 When the people saw him, they praised their god, saying, “Our god has delivered our enemy to us! The one who killed so many of us is now in our power!”

25 Half drunk by now, the people demanded, “Bring out Samson so he can amuse us!” So he was brought from the prison to amuse them, and they had him stand between the pillars supporting the roof.

26 Samson said to the young servant who was leading him by the hand, “Place my hands against the pillars that hold up the temple. I want to rest against them.” 27 Now the temple was completely filled with people. All the Philistine rulers were there, and there were about 3,000 men and women on the roof who were watching as Samson amused them.

28 Then Samson prayed to the Lord, “Sovereign Lord, remember me again. O God, please strengthen me just one more time. With one blow let me pay back the Philistines for the loss of my two eyes.”29 Then Samson put his hands on the two center pillars that held up the temple. Pushing against them with both hands, 30 he prayed, “Let me die with the Philistines.” And the temple crashed down on the Philistine rulers and all the people. So he killed more people when he died than he had during his entire lifetime.

31 Later his brothers and other relatives went down to get his body. They took him back home and buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol, where his father, Manoah, was buried. Samson had judged Israel for twenty years.

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The New Life

In this chapter I am addressing new believers and followers of Jesus Christ. This information can also be used as a reminder of how to live as a Christian. I do not endorse any church. I believe that it is a person’s God given right to have free will to choose which system of worship is right for them. If Jesus Christ is the core of the Church then the church truly of Christ. Yes I contradict the church I have membership with but I believe that If Jesus is in your heart and you live for Him then you are saved no matter what church you attend. The church is the body of Christ and not the building walls. Its not about where you worship it is how you worship.

What does it mean to be a Christian? Well a Christian is a person that follows in the footsteps of Jesus Christ. To someone that has not raised as a Christian I can see this being a strange thing. I mean Jesus is a Deity. How can one live up to standards like that? I know that no one is perfect but Jesus came to this earth to give us an example of how to live. None of us here on Earth could ever meet the standards of a Deity let alone the examples of Jesus Christ.

Someone could ask the question that  If we cannot live up to His standards then what should we do? Is the blood of His sacrifice enough to redeem us from our sins and to make us become like Christ? Well to this is a two fold answer. Yes His blood is enough for our salvation but accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior is more than just saying yes to Jesus. It takes living the rest of your life on fire for God and staying focused on what He wants for you.

If you have given your life to Christ and are wondering what your next steps are I will give your some steps that can get you on the right path. After you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior you should find a church that loves people and then become baptised. This is important because it is the outward statement and covenant to God that symbolizes the old birth and sin being washed away and then the second birth which is the spiritual birth. Just like the New Years saying “out with the old and in with the new” so to speak.

To become a follower of Jesus Christ can seem hard to do because there are so many churches out there that claim to be in the right. Most churches are just trying their best to understand what God wants from us. There are many different denominations because people in the church could not agree on teaching methods or interpretations of scripture so people decided to branch off and form a new church. Most of this happened many many moons ago so do not use this a factor on which church you feel is right for you.

As a new believer you need to have an open mind and follow your spirit as to where which church you attend. For the love of God do not instantly seek membership to any church until you have attended the church for at least a few weeks. If you join membership to a church and you end seeing that the church is not for your then it will be easier to attend another church. Why put so much effort into a church just to find out it is not right for you? If you’re looking into gym membership I would hope you would test the equipment and see everything it has to offer before you made the commitment to join the gym.

 

Brother Stevo-