Archive for April, 2014

A Major Mark of a Cult – Lack of Love

April 23, 2014

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I have been told that the above is the current headquarters of the Palmarian Church in Dublin, just one of numerous cults which are active in Ireland today. There are now many thousands of harmful systems of belief scattered throughout our world – and I do believe that these numbers may well be growing by the day!

As well as being dangerous from an eternal perspective, these are harmful in the sense that they have far-reaching consequences, leading to break-ups within families. There are also hurtful attitudes towards those individuals who feel that, although they have been brought up with certain beliefs or to worship in a certain way, they don’t feel the inclination to follow in their parents’ footsteps.

Someone who is truly born again of the Spirit of God will love their children unconditionally, in the realisation that to try to force someone to believe something in the spiritual realm, is about as crazy an exercise as trying to force a bird to sing, or a flower to open.

Surely we should pray for our children and always be there for them until our dying day?

I met a girl once who had been ‘disfellowshipped’ by a Jehovah Witness community which had previously been a big part of her life. At a time when she had had a cancer diagnosis and a broken marriage simultaneously, she really did need someone to care for her and pray for her but she was totally abandoned by those she trusted because she did not adhere to some of their rules.

Other groups of which I have recently been reading as well as ‘the Palmarians,’ are the Cooneyites/2×2’s, the Church of Scientology, the Exclusive Brethren and the Mormons. To leave is to be, at best, ostracized but for some who turn their backs on the religion which they have been born into can horrifyingly mean certain death. This is a reality in many countries where Islam is in control.

Jesus said: “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” (John 13v35)

This love for one another, when it is born of God, transcends culture, dominations and even doctrinal differences.

Personally speaking, I experience that affinity and warmth with those who have shared my basic experience of coming to know the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour.

There is a bond between those who truly know the Lord, regardless of which church they attend – or there should be. Sadly, I have met people who would say they are Christians and yet these same people refuse to speak to someone who has stopped attending their ‘fellowship,’ for whatever reason.

And of course, the true Christian will show his or her love and concern for every soul they come in contact with – whatever their affiliation (or lack of) in the spiritual realm.

Study the reaction of the members of any dubious religious organization… how do they behave towards someone who no longer worships with them or leaves them completely?

I have attended a church and known individuals to have left – but I still love and pray (not in a patronizing way) for those people today and if I happen to meet them walking in the street, we can have a warm conversation.

They may have been quite right to move on or perhaps it was the wrong move to make – but I am not their judge.

Perhaps some of the saddest stories I have read recently relate to those who have lost families and loved ones as a result of leaving a cult; the heartache that this causes does not bear thinking about.

Surely only those who have come to trust and lean on the Lord Jesus Christ can know of the following experience… “That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.” (Ephesians 3v17-19)

“And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.” (1Cor. 13v13)

 

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All These Things Shall Pass Away

April 12, 2014

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Just last night I was thinking about this world and remembering all the magnificent buildings and the beautiful scenery that I have had the privilege to see over the years. I thought also about mankind’s struggles for power, the wars, the ideologies and the many thousands of different religions that exist in our world today. All across the earth at this moment there are arguments going on in homes, in governments, politicians are scheming, men are planning robbery and while children are starving to death in war-torn regions, others are amassing riches…

Some days ago I walked through an antique store which was full to the brim with very expensive and unique pieces (none of which I could afford) – but all these things shall pass away. I see people with massive dwellings surrounded by beautifully landscaped gardens; I hear of celebrities and their acclamation; I see men rise to powerful positions in the realm of the ‘church’ and politics – but all of this shall pass away.

In Psalm 103v15&16 I read: “As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more.”
Yes, the ideologies of mankind, his striving and his great material possessions will most certainly pass away. Our bodies in their present form shall also pass away. In fact everything that is tangible in our world shall pass away… but there is that, that shall never pass away…

Those unseen attributes, the beauty of the soul whose rest is in the Lord shall never pass away and the mercy of the Lord shall never pass away. “The mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children.” (Psalm 103v17)
“To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them. The Lord hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all.” (Psalm 103v18)
“The glory of the Lord shall endure for ever; the Lord shall rejoice in his works.” (Psalm 104v31)

And, praise God, the soul whose trust is in the Lamb shall reign for ever and ever.
“And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.” (Revelation 22v5)

As each day draws to a close, with all its concerns and ups and downs, I now remind myself that “sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof” (Matt. 6v34) and praise God, I am “a days march nearer home.”
I quote the final verse of my little poem “Though Towers and Kingdoms flee away”, which is based on Psalm 103v11-22)
The full poem can be seen here: https://readywriterpublications.wordpress.com/2012/05/17/my-strong-tower/

May the Lord bless those who read, that they may find that rest in Him; the blessed rest that shall never pass away.

But the soul whose trust is in the Lamb,
Whose blood was freely shed, its healing balm
A gift of love for all who ever were, or will
Be born into this world of sin and ill –
That soul shall stand though towers and kingdoms flee away,
Yea, that soul shall have eternal joy beyond life’s little day.

© E. Burke

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