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Author Topic: ''Assimilating Community'' - Living among societies... (short study)  (Read 1882 times)

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moshe

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I have made a short study regarding the first communities united by the life of Jesus Christ. It is to hopefully help us to understand better our position on this time of history where God wanted us to breath. I just finally decided to share it all with the bt forum (It have quotes from Ray's writings and it might help us to appreciate even better the opportunity that we have of learning and communicating together through the internet).
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''Assimilating Community''


The belief that God is totally sovereign, that He will save all men and the many consequences of believing so, is a great precious gift that bound us together; this online script is for the ones able to share this belief.

In the past (some years ago) I used to deceive myself constantly, I took advantage of many and send to a literal hell anyone who didn’t believe as I did. All because of ignorance, of course; now, if any good you have seen in me, it’s because of great grace and if any truth and encourage you can take from this paper, then all the work will be proven worthy.

Assimilating Community – a “common unity” of constant love out of a clean conscious and un-hypocrite faith.

Now, before trying to assimilate what a real true community is, for a better understanding, we will take a look of our place in this present predominating society and the different ways on which it is arranged or structured.


A Widely Overview

People ordinary perceptions are usually limited to their common close-up scenes, what they live daily at work, family, location, class status, ethnicity, education, religious system beliefs and the highly persuasive influence of the Internet, many of this things rule our way of thinking and perceiving things. Also, the perceptions about the native language, the culture (sometimes including a national constitution), the main ideology surrounding the person, the current developments of fashion, mass media, technologies, and by many kind of institutions that work as social engineers. All this things and many more can definitely play a decisive role in shaping the choices available to a whole group of people.

Historical changes and institutional contradictions are the terms in which we should see and explain the common perceptions that society has; its troubles and victories, their fights and losses. We must develop the mind skills to grasp the interplay of human nature and society, of his/her biography, the age on history where he/she lives, and then try to perceive the structural changes that usually lie behind them all, so to get a better idea of the place where we find ourselves.

The truth is that the perceptions of us humans are frighteningly limited. Everybody just lives his life from one generation to the next along with the historical events that he/she was meant to experience, each moment of a single person contributing to the shape of the course of history as a whole.

And here are the widely overwhelming questions; what are the basis and foundations of the way of thinking, of the perceptions, of the thoughts beyond the acts of this present predominating society where we live in?, and where does our epoch in history stands? Mostly, what kind of 'human nature' is revealed in the conduct and character we observe in the members of this present society?

It is obvious that this predominating society where we live is in opposition, in great contrast; actually it’s a contradiction of how the first communities of believers, trying to live a piety life, were organized. Problems always lie on the basis and foundational issues; you have to look in the root of the problem, not in the present problem by itself. The main example of this is: the excessively WEAK HEART of man.

On communities and societies, social circles have unique sets of norms and values, and when someone does not comply with them, he/she will surely be obstructed, admonished, or even embarrassed by other members of the social circle. Now, when this norms and values are wrong, the constant social pressure can be too overwhelming, so people usually comply. We must be always careful where do we get our noses in, on a daily basis.                        
                                                                                                                                  
In conclusion, what any carnal human sinner needs within a society, it’s not new man made reforms, rules, plans or better organization. What we really need is a New Heart; possible only, by a great predestinated miracle from above!  


The Internet Age

The first written communication began with pictographs. Later paper appeared allowing communication across long distances, after sometime Gutenberg invented the printing-press; this invention gave placed to what could be call the 2nd revolution in written communication. Nowadays, information can be transferred via controlled waves and electronic signals, that’s call the 3rd written communication revolution, thus giving rise to the INTERNET AGE.  

We are coming into a world were knowledge, power, and productive capability will be more dispersed than at any time in our history. They are millions of media buffs using blogs, wikis, chat rooms, video-conferences, personal broadcasting, and informative web-pages and there are tons of online forums growing excessively fast. The easy accessibility puts the tools required at everybody’s fingertips, all one needs is a computer, a network connection, a strong motivation and that’s it.

The internet age is only starting and we should better take it seriously; because minds are maturing faster, information is flowing and people are traveling. We also need to face the fact that now we have great possibilities to be no longer a consequence of our immediate physical surroundings.Today also, True Community is less hard to find than on generations before us. Thanks to these new technologies the few like-minders out there can be able to find each other and stay together once again.

There are some few persons that are designated by God to live in a true common unity by the life of Jesus Christ at this generation of history, because this is true:

"Now we are aware that GOD [it is unfortunate that the King James leaves out "God" even though it is in the manuscripts. Most translations do put "God" in this opening phrase. Things don’t just ‘work’ together without GOD doing the ‘working’] is working all together for the good of those who are loving God, who are [being] called according to the purpose that, whom He foreknew, He designates beforehand, also, to be conformed to the image of His Son, for Him to be Firstborn among many brethren. Now whom He designates beforehand, these He calls [not ‘called’ as all are NOT YET called, it is the aorist tense] also, and whom He calls, these He justifies, also; now whom He justifies, these He glorifies also" (Rom. 8:28:30).

Now, pay attention: All which God foreknew, He then designates beforehand (He hand-picks them, if you will). And therefore, since He has already designated them beforehand, when they are born in whatever generation God designates; He then calls them. Now it is true that God calls MANY OTHERS whom He has NOT designated to be "conformed to the image of His Son" AT THE TIME that each generation appears in history.
                                                                                                      Words and quote by L.Ray Smith        

In the future we will see this present time (the beginning of the century XXI) as a critical turning point in the way we communicate. Today is the time, again in history, for many more ‘true Christ follower’s communities’ to get organized like on the beginnings.

We need to take out of our heads the notion that if we are going to live differently that we must take the masses along with us. The time to overcome is not for them, yet. We should be sufficient if we can be able to merely make it ourselves first. If we are on a spiritual war, then, there is no time to get bored, to let ourselves go with the current or to lose focus, because there are ideologies all around us, trying to trick us and take us away of the important spiritual matters.

No matter how open minded ordinary people around us pretend to be, they also have ideologies (different types of thinking, set of aims and ideas that direct their goals, expectations, and actions) whether or not they propounded them as an explicit systems of thoughts. As a matter of fact the main purpose behind an ideology is to offer change (through a process) to make people adherent to its set of ideals.

In societies, rulers usually determine the dominant ideology (religiously, politically, etc.), and it is easier for them to take advantage and confuse the best interests of the ones behind them.  

Very often, dominant ideologies appear as "neutral", holding to assumptions that are largely unchallenged. Meanwhile, all other ideologies that differ from the dominant ideology are seen as radical, no matter what the content might be.  So there are many ideologies difficult to destroy, because they perpetuate the cultural and social values that the group holds dear (Christendom false theology is a great example), where day-to-day interaction reinforces the norms of the set of beliefs or particular lifestyle and preserve group unity.

Now, let me tell that by taking ideology as; a type of thinking, (a set of aims and ideas that direct our goals, expectations and actions…), The first communities in acts did have their own ideology. And I will try to cover at least some of its surface on this present writing.  


The Term Community

Roughly, a Community is a group of interacting organisms sharing an environment. In general human communities, intent, belief, resources, preferences, needs, risks, and a number of other conditions may be present and common, affecting the identity of the participants and their levels of cohesiveness. Also it fits to tell that Community no longer have geographical limitations, as people can now virtually gather in online communities.  
                                                                                                                                 

It is said that the degree to which the norms of a particular community or society are adopted determines one's willingness to engage with others. Also, members always depend on the flow of communication to establish their own identity within these structures and learn to function in the group setting.

Have you ever wonder about the first communities united by the life of Jesus Christ himself?


« Last Edit: May 07, 2011, 03:17:33 PM by Moises »
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moshe

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Re: Assimilating Community
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2011, 12:20:21 AM »

How did THEY Lived. Part I of II

The about to be brethren had heard well the great story, about HIS death, about the ones who were in His presence after his resurrection, about all the wonders and signs and about His first followers (the disciples). Then, consequences became naturally; a small army of new followers aroused, and little by little became more prepared, prepared to give an explanation regarding their new faith, to prove wrong those who contradicted and prepared to do almost anything for the new cause, even to sell all that they had! They already knew about prophesies of old talking regarding this events and because of it, they very well knew, where they fit in the history period they were living in.

Jails, trials and public disturbs were not able to stop them, in the contrary, all of it used to work for benefit of the growing of this new revolution. What they were doing, among them, was changing their old society structures with statements strong enough that were worthy to be re-considered by all.The church that Christ was building was surely growing!

The next mention of the Church that Christ said He would build is found in Acts 2:46-47:

"And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord ADDED to the church DAILY [3000 in one day, Ver. 41] such as should be saved" (Acts 2:46-47).              
                                                                            (Words and quote by L.Ray Smith)


And everyone should see it coming; persecutions, sufferings and adversities were inevitable! since they were changing the deep social structures of old. Everyone was also learning how hard was to be loyal to this new ideology; all the great attack and adversity,

Jesus said that the "gates of hades [realm of the DEAD] will not prevail [katischuo]against it." In other words, His Church would NEVER be overpowered to death.
And so, the Church that Jesus Christ built is still around today.           L. Ray Smith


What if the true church that Jesus Christ built has already got online? What if today like never before in history (except since the formation of the first communities), more members of this church are able to connect and met and eat the spiritual bread and meat with gladness and singleness of heart?

On the first communities, I am very sure that their sense of community was very high, frequently giving abundantly to others, having great feelings of togetherness, mutual bonds, deep respect and much affinity, having times for listening and descent understanding for others, while feeling part of a trust-worthy stable structure.

I wonder, how do they were able to adapt to their new surrounding contexts? They just got a new starting point to re-write their own history, and a new concept of self! They just got new kind of norms, resources,  rewards and punishments... How did they become prepared for unintended consequences? Well, it worked, because they had a new stable and strong common goal and safe ground rules. Another thing that glued them together was that they knew and felt that they were all part of a body (of Jesus Christ body). And WHEN THE DOMINANT IDEOLOGIES AND STRUCTURES ARE RIGHT…; A GOOD, SMART AND DESIRABLE COURSE OF EVENTS IS TO FOLLOW.

Okay, so specifically what used to unite them so cohesively? Which were the main common goal and the new safe ground rules? What about their new history, along with the new analogies and symbolisms that they just got…? What about their new speech or discourses…? Did they get different ways of trade or surviving?

"Therefore if any man be IN Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new" (II Cor. 5:17).

This is the new, converted, believer’s life "IN Christ." And when God comes to judge the world, we will have no fear of judgment for we are being judged now "IN Christ." Highlight this verse in your Bibles:

"And we have known and believed the love that God has to us. God is love; and He that dwells in love dwells IN GOD, and GOD IN HIM. Herein is your love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: BECAUSE [get ready; here it comes…] As He [Jesus Christ] IS [right now, this minute] SO ARE WE in this world" (I John 4:17).

We are to overcome "even as" Jesus Christ conquered and overcame. What was it that Jesus Christ "overcame?" John 16:33,

"These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me you might have peace. In the world you shall have tribulation: but BE OF GOOD CHEER; I HAVE OVERCOME THE WORLD!"                                                      
                                                                                         L. Ray Smith



How did THEY Lived. Part II

From the first communities we know that many of their members used to live together in houses, as they used to go from house to house eating with gladness and singleness of heart. So this means that they were living on places with higher degrees of interaction and openness with one another while sharing responsibilities and resources.

But what does it really meant that they had all in common? Were they supplemented by extensive common facilities? If so, they were surely wasting less and taking better advantage of spaces and items. The new culture and values of these first communities were reshaping them as a whole, along with the coming new followers. What used to hold them together was not merely the spirit of kinship and solidarity, but the spirit of Jesus Christ himself!They were told that anyone that wanted to be on a higher position among them, that he then must humbly become the servant of all!

Keep thinking about it, if everything was common to everybody (except specific things that could be hold by personal willingness. Act 5:4), then, they were able of providing quality goods for everybody on the lowest costs (since they had to get things by quantity), and if they were getting things from no middle mans, this was even more beneficial. Elders that were distributing things had to know very well regarding their real basic necessities.
                                                                                                                                                                 
Also, many in there, surely used to have skills on different services and crafts that surely don’t used to charge upon other members of the community, rather they surely were able to share their knowledge’s and learn from each other. By the ways of living of the epoch, they could pretty much almost be living in a sustainable way. If they followed the new rules; ‘greed’ then, was out of the equation and their work motivation had surely moved beyond the present wrong dominant ideologies of their time.

“So all the folks continuing in trusting and believing were at the same [place], and they continued having and holding all things in common and with joint-participation (in a fellowship of partnership)”
 Acts 2:44 (Jonathan Mitchell’s New Testament Translation)

Whenever they assemble together; all things done were meant to be for the edification of the whole community.

‘‘Let the word of Christ be making its home in you richly, in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing yourselves; in psalms, in hymns, in spiritual songs, singing, with grace in your hearts to God.’’  Colossians 3:16 (Concordant Literal New Testament)

‘‘And we may be considering one another to incite to love and ideal acts, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves, according as the custom of some is, but entreating, and so much rather as you are observing the day drawing near.’’  Hebrews 10:24-25 (Concordant Literal New Testament)

‘‘… all things (everything) [directed] toward edification, upbuilding and construction – let it habitually happen (come to be; occur)!’’ 1Cor. 14:26 (Jonathan Mitchell’s New Testament Translation)

All this is koinonia, precious assemblies and formidable bounds and ways of living,

Paul gave us a profound prophetic statement regarding the direction the church would take immediately after his departure:

"For I have not shunned to declare unto you ALL THE COUNSEL OF GOD. Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to ALL THE FLOCK [the entire Church of God, and remember that ALL of Paul’s epistles were read and distributed by Peter as well to the Jewish saints, II Pet. 3:16-17], over the which the Holy Ghost has made you overseers, to feed THE CHURCH OF GOD, which He has purchased with His own blood. FOR I KNOW THIS, that after my departing shall GRIEVOUS WOLVES enter in among you, NOT SPARING THE FLOCK. Also of your OWN SELVES shall men arise, speaking PERVERSE THINGS, to DRAW AWAY DISCIPLES AFTER THEM. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day WITH TEARS [Paul knew and could see how horribly deceived the Church of God was to become]. And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified" (Acts 20:27-32).

WOW … Not a pretty picture, is it? It gets worse.

Paul knew that just as he had to come out of religious Babylon, those under his evangelism would also have to one day come out of the New Testament Church of God’s Babylonian practices.                                    
                                                                                                     Words and quote by L. Ray Smith



Usually when groups become full of way too many individuals, many members can get confused regarding their role on certain important matters and false teachers can easily arise. One of the most common causes for a community or group to malfunction is the lack of control of the main leaders or elders.

If you put attention enough, in groups and communities, (you can see it even more clearly in online communities) there are the ones who participate intensely, these are usually the leaders or elders often making important decisions or putting order when is required. Then there is an active group that participate regularly but not at the level of the first group. And for last, there is a group full of passive participants that are still learning they level of involvement in the community (very often representing the majority on the group). All members have to be nurture and keep walking at a certain rhythm or pace, not so fast that it can become too overwhelming! Each teaching is necessary for the community and it has its own unwritten rules about what can be said and how it can be said.

May the Lord have mercy on us and let us dwell as part of HIS True Living Community Church in this time of history! Just remember one of the little details that we are asked for; to forsake family, and possessions and all that used to be of value for us AS AN IDOL, to take our cross daily, and to follow HIM.

Now, I am going to introduce this community, constructed with wisdom and intelligence (Ef.1:7), Chosen by grace, enriched in knowledge, in discourse and personal skills(1Cor.1:4-6)

In this community, members must walk in love - As Jesus loves them--by self sacrifice (Ef. 5:1 and 1:15). On this community you are not to participate on fruitless deeds or partake along with deceivers (Ef.5: 6-7 & 11).

                                      I present you the verily surface of the,      

‘‘True Community united by the life of Jesus Christ’’

United cohesively, by believing on ‘Predestination’ (Eph.1:4-6)-witch totally destroy the illusion of free-will,by believing on the ‘forgiveness of sins’ (Eph.1:7) and that ‘Jesus came to save sinners/ALL sinners’ (1Tim. 1:15), by a foundation; ‘Jesus Christ’ (1Cor.3:11, Eph.2:20), by the shared ‘hope in the resurrection’ (1Cor.6:14) and by the belief that ‘God is operating all things on everyone’ (1Cor.12:6), that ‘He will save all mankind’ (1Tim.2:4) and that eventually ‘HE will be all in all’.

Main goal or final share, To become holy and flawless in Gods sight by grace (Eph. 1:4 & 6), Love for the saints(Eph.1:15), do the good works that God have make ready before hand  for them (Eph.2:10), attain the state of oneness with their brothers and become mature mans (Eph.4:13), become rejuvenated on the spirit of our minds in righteousness and benignity(Eph.4:23-24), and lead a mild and quiet life in all devoutness, piety and dignity (1Tim2:2)

Their history of old, walked through their offenses and sins (Eph.2:1), doing the will of the flesh and being children’s of natural impulses (Eph.2:3)

A couple safe Rules or Norms, walk with all humility and meekness, with patience, bearing with one another in love(Eph.4:2), by no means walk according to the way that the nations (the multitudes; and/or pagan groups) are continuously walking; within the emptiness and vanity of their minds (intellect) (Eph.4:17). Lies are prohibit (Eph.4:25), Stealing is prohibit, rather, they must work with their own hands (Eph.4:28). Rotten words are prohibit (Eph.4:29), Bitterness, fury and anger, calumny and all malice must be removed (Eph.4:31) rather, there must be kindness and compassion with one another (Eph.4:32). And also, it is Highly Prohibit to the core: Greed, Prostitution, obscenity and foolish speaking, these are not even to be mentioned among them (Eph.5:3-4) Idolatry; prohibit too.

Some Analogies and symbolisms, the members are compared with buildings under construction (Eph.2:21), also with a living body working properly (Eph.4: 16), they are presented as spiritual warriors that have to wear the full spiritual armor of God (Eph.6:11)

Regarding the ‘discourse of the community’; about what can be said and how can it be said, anything good (profitable, virtuous) toward building up-edification that bring grace to those hearing is allowed (Eph.4:29), also they can speak in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and playing music in their hearts to the Lord (Eph.5:19), they must constantly make petitions, prayers, pleadings, and thanks giving for all mankind (1Tim.2:1) and they can also talk about their circumstances and affairs, what are they involved in or what are they doing (Eph.6:21)

Regarding their economy, part of their main motivation of working with their own hands and make profit out of it is to share it with the ones who are in need (Eph.4:28). Also, we already clearly saw how Greed (that little gear that makes our present predominating economy run forward) was Highly Prohibit, as well as dishonest gains. Their lifestyle was frugal (1Tim.6-9). Donations were practiced (1Cor.16), and pouring shame and disgrace down on those presently having nothing was talked against.  

A couple ‘social groups positioning’ that were inside the whole structure; this were Elders, Marriages, Servants and Masters. However, the way on which they used to function was very differently from ordinary leaders, marriages, servants and masters.
Okay, so what we are trying to do here is to compare the circumstance of these first communities with our own present circumstances, so that these will inspire us to do alike, while trying to understand  the meaning of the epoch in history where we are living in and try to walk on it wisely.

Remember what Paul said to the Ephesians regarding,

‘‘Be observing accurately, then, brethren, how you are walking, not as unwise, but as wise, reclaiming the era, for the days are wicked.’’ Eph.5:15-16. (Concordant Literal New Testament)




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The last part of the study will be posted soon...

« Last Edit: April 25, 2011, 07:49:42 PM by Moises »
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Terry

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Re: Assimilating Community
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2011, 07:50:35 AM »

I enjoyed that, very interesting, thanks
Terry
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Terry

Drew

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Re: Assimilating Community
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2011, 02:31:14 PM »

Greetings, Brother Moises,

To begin, I am humbled at the apparent wisdom that our Father has given you. Unless your picture is rather old; you appear to be, physically, much younger than I. Since I am a relatively new member of the forum, I have been attempting to present myself as one who truly is wanted to grow in a (the) knowledge and wisdom of our Lord Jesus Christ. I have come to believe, in the short time that I have been a forum member and reader of  the teaching of Jesus through Brother Ray, that you and other forum members are my fellowship along with the Father and the Son.

Your thoughts, along with Bro. Rays', on the assimilating of this community, are more than interesting to me and at this point, my point in responding to your post is to let you know, and others who will be reading my response, that my desire is to become more and more involved in becoming a servant to all who are a part of what is a new community for me.

When I first started to communicate using this forum, I admit that I was a bit frustrated that my first questions were not answered. I introduced myself and wanted to know if there were any forum members in my area of the world. No response. However, because of that nil response, I have realized that that is not to be at the present but that my fellowship for now is with the brothers and sisters by this medium; and that is by no means a negative. I have been very blessed by reading and even responding to some of recent posts. The fellowship of like-minded saints is more than satisfying in the "not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together as the manner of some is" and I'm not fully understanding, I admit, of the "the manner of some is". Maybe you or someone else can help me with that.

I will conclude this post with: I made an observation that you, possibly, are not a native English speaker, however, your fluency is admirable. Is that a valid observation?

Blessings,

Drew   
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moshe

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Re: Assimilating Community
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2011, 08:04:32 PM »


Yes, I am not a native English speaker...

I should post the coming last part of these ''short'' study soon.
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Drew

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Re: Assimilating Community
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2011, 01:28:55 AM »

I will definitely be looking forward to reading the rest of your "short" study and further fellowship.

Drew
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moshe

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Re: Assimilating Community
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2011, 05:39:04 AM »

Let’s get brutally Honest…

Now, I am going to put the cards on the table. These first communities were practicing the refusing to own property through a certain level. What was working for them was impossible for outsiders to even consider. These communities had not the mentality of “what is better for the masses is better for us as well’’, No, they seemed like they were writing on their own new rules, all consequences of a new solid structure. And reasons for choosing this new lifestyle could be many; envy was strangled, the possibilities for greed were minimized, focus on the spiritual things was a priority, or it might was also the result of everyone simply willing to share with their fellow brethren and loving their neighbor as themselves.

‘‘…those who believe were of one heart and soul, and not even one said that any of his possessions are his own, but it was all theirs in common.’’ ‘‘… Now it was distributed to each, forasmuch as some would have had need.’’  
Acts 4:32 & 35 (Concordant Literal New Testament)

What a sin this would be on the eyes of this present predominating society where we live in! Don’t you think so? What could be the outcome of this kind of atrocity?

‘‘In fact, there was not even anyone in persistent need (poverty-stricken; destitute; indigent) among them’’ Acts 2:44 (Jonathan Mitchell’s New Testament Translation)

For believers who are marriage today, this is really not as radical as it might sounds. Think about it. If they both don’t claim that their possessions are their own but rather that these are common for both, and find themselves in one heart and soul united by a true common unity by the life of Jesus Christ then, they also, can be following the way of living of these first communities. These are unusual thoughts, out of the frame of ordinary people of today, I know.

Sadly, as we said it before; persecution was and is inevitable when true community united by the life of Jesus Christ is being practiced:

"Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution" (II Tim. 3:11).

"Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his OWN HOUSEHOLD" (Matt. 10:34-36).


However;

We cannot look back. We cannot fail to continue in Christ’s words and works. We must take up our cross. We must suffer persecution. We must "fight the good fight." We must "keep the faith." We must "pray without ceasing." And we must make it to the end,
"And you shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endures TO THE END SHALL BE SAVED" (Matt. 10:22).
                                                                                            Words and quotes by L. Ray Smith


Now, just one point in between this talk, for clarification; the rules that shaped their material lifestyle of these first communities was not the cause for living together, this were simply the consequences, it was what the common sense and the physical circumstances allowed them to do.  
The most critical aspect on all these was not the place, nor the houses or the sharing of food, but the significances behind each action!                                  
                                                                                                                                         
Today we can be able to be part of online forum communities too; this leaves time, distances, off-line interaction and the reunions on physical houses out of the equation (I must tell that one of the positive things on it, is that possibilities for stereotyping, either age, class, sex, outlook, or ethnicity are diminished as well as certain misleading physical marks of authority), The main point is that what constitute true community is not the physical territory or the online space but the nature and quality of the relations.                                                                                      
                                                  
For many dispersed believers, circumstance and life experiences have let them remain on their own with their beliefs, however, when they get online; it’s their time to interact! But whatever our present opportunities, we must have an attitude of gratefulness for everybody and for everything. Then, for a few other believers, this material style of living of the first communities could be possible.  Whatever our place on earth we should not depend on anything or anyone to be content, we should not get fooled by the excessive desire of physical wealth and we must try to see all material things for what they really are and probably choose for the less deceptive ones (when there is not many good choices around). On this ‘‘big world’’ there is way many things totally out of our control, so let’s pray to be able to work honestly with our own hands and lead a quiet life.

Regarding material things… the heart, intentions, motivations of the first true members of the first communities was on the right place, it’s for sure that they were rationaland intelligenton their consumption decisions. Could we ever come to live today with moderation while we find ourselves on the middle of much excess?

The truth is that nobody can’t change their whole lifestyle instantly by just free willing it, we must keep trying and studying diligently and keep waiting patiently, since we can only work with what we have and do what we have left to do, as we always.


Living among Societies

Society and community are not synonymous. Societies have to do more with a condition where large groups of individuals (frequently feeling isolated) live together primarily for mutual benefits. Societies are often bound by hierarchical organizations, institutions, certain types of cultures, etc.  I don’t want to spend many lines on this, but I think that with the short remarks that I am about to tell, you can sympathize. So here I go:

Social ties are very frequently superficial, with selfish interests in between, places where many different kinds of exploitations are not an exception. In societies people just see to social groups to further their individual goals. On this present predominating society, hedonism (a lifestyle searching mostly for pleasure), individualism, vanity, certain lies and a good amount of greed are totally acceptable and encouraged. And of course that they will tell that ‘rational self-interest and competition can lead to economic prosperity and well-being’. But ‘‘well being’’ and ‘‘prosperity’’ according to whom?                                                                                                                                                                              

Well, the answer is ‘according to what is the best way for the majority’. AND WHEN THE MAJORITY STRUCTURES AND PATTERNS ARE THE RESULT OF A BUNCH OF EXTREMELY WEAK HEARTS LOOKING TO PLEASE THEMSELVES, THE OUTCOMES ARE NEVER A VERY NICE PICTURE.

And here is where the persecution on a daily basis comes from: When people in society (even without noticing it) evaluate the acceptability of your behavior according with ‘‘their social norms’’. What these norms do is to inevitably act as a mean of control. Two big examples of negative social norms on this predominating society (that I don’t think that anyone reading this script could deny) are… Number one; that way very often, persons are judged, more for what they can do economically than for who they really are (their main believes, aptitudes and wishes toward others, etc.) Isn’t usually one of the first’s questions that we get when introducing ourselves ‘What do we do’? The other example is; a tendency for the desire to make A LOT of profit, with the most minimum effort (no matter if the outcome is a shame for many others members of the society).    
                                            
Jesus said that we must forsake it all to be able to follow him (it includes our social scenes, personal image, job and all physical objects) and that we should treat ourselves with no higher regard than we have for others. Jesus words are so contrary with what they call ‘‘ethical egoism’’ and ‘‘fair competition’’.

On this present predominating society the classes and institutions in control are not only in charge of most of the means of production, manufacturing and services, they are also the ones who make and maintain the main ideology in the surroundings (no wonder why subordinated classes, so often hold stupid ideas that are against from what is in convenience for them, like for example attempting economic life styles that are beyond their possibilities). And here is an important point on how it works: Mass culture serves as a propaganda arm and bought priesthood among their social classes. Simpler said; the average mass media manufacture consent among the masses –pure manipulation without sanction of the reason or the conscience of the obedient.

So it’s important to know with whom we prefer to maintain personal interactions on a daily basis and what does this interactions would mean for us. Why?  Because when people in a society interact, they do so with the understanding that their respective perceptions of reality are related and as they act upon this understanding their common knowledge is reinforced. So, the more you interact (on a daily base)the more they can realize how different and far away is your perception of reality from theirs, so much that they can even get scared,
(acts 5:13 ‘‘but none of the rest dared to associate with them; however, the people held them in high esteem’’).              
                                                                                                                                                                         
On the other side, your daily intimate interactions with members of a particular society could also influence your perception of reality to become more like them, if you are not strong enough to hold on and not be pulled by their main ideas. I know how deterministic this sounds, however it is the truth, and it’s deterministic; we have to choose (by many causes that are influencing us, including this writing) which perception of reality we want to be our own objective reality; ours or theirs. Because if you don’t step firm on your own, the waves are going to drag you along. And, in societies; the reassurance of belonging to a crowd often makes people act stupidly, since people become emotionally swept to join the group's atmosphere.

Great powers that shape the perception of people are institutions. Institutions are structures and mechanism of social order governing the behavior of a set of individuals, they can transcend human lives and make and enforce rules governing human behavior. The term can apply for both, behavior patterns or organizations.    
                                                                                                                                                                                       If you put attention enough to institutions (like the market, the corporations, the state, the family, and religions) of this predominating society, you will see that they tend to appear as part of the unchanging landscape of our lives; however, this is just a pervasive illusion. Institutions can limit and shape our tastes, expectations, habits, and world views, but we must see their real nature, we must see them as the social constructions that they really are, build on a particular time, culture and type of society. If we are to overcome the world we are not to conform to ‘the wrong rules and beliefs systems’ prevailing in our local environment and we must look wider beyond their social structures.

With new technologies, many institutions of today, for example many churches and certain corporations are invading people’s minds badly, manipulating and creating false needs and believes in consumers with deceptive advertising. This could bring risks to non-market activities, or in other words; all people will do is -market activities; so people could be easily compared with only numbers in statistics’ or with a massive machine that merely produce and consumes.


Obscenity on Church buildings

Since ages ago, the most deceptive institution of all aroused. This institution is the root of many wicked practices of today’s predominating society, and in fact, it is still around today, growing in number and mistakes. Yes, I am talking about Christendom, Churchianity, the New Testament Church of God’s Babylonian practices. Would you be surprised if religion is one of the principal causes of murder on this unsafe world? Religion is so important because it shapes a person’s view of the world.

Paul did know about the coming corruption of many ‘called ones’ (not the ‘elect ones’) and how corrupted they would become,

Paul knew that much of his labor in the gospel would fail to bring most of the saints to spiritual maturity. Paul came out of the Great Whore Church, the Mother Church of Judaism. Paul knew that the Church of Jesus Christ would likewise become corrupted and commit spiritual fornication with the world.

Only a few years into Paul’s ministry, he told the Corinthian Congaregation of the corruption already in the Church:

"For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ" (II Cor. 2:17).

Now I hope you all know that I love the King James, and it is true as stated in this verse that they "corrupted" the word of God, but this verse tells us much more than the King James translators present in this verse. Let’s read a few other translations of this same verse:

"For we are not as the MAJORITY, who are PEDDLING the word of God…" (Concordant Literal New Testament).

"For I seek not PROFIT [LIKE MOST] by setting the word of God TO SALE…" (The Epistles of Paul, By Conybeare).

"Unlike MANY PEOPLE, we are not in the habit of MAKING PROFIT out of God’s Message" (The Twentieth Century New Testament).

"For I am not like MOST, TRAFFICKING in the word of God"(The New Testament in Modern English, By Montgomery).

"For we do not, like SO MANY, PEDDLE [for profit] an adulterated message of God" (The Berkeley Version of the New Testament, By Gerrit Verkuyl).

Can you even begin to understand and believe what you are reading? Paul said that it was the MAJORITY that were retailing, selling, peddling, huckstering, an adulterated version of God’s word by overcharging improper profits far beyond rational living  expenses for their own base gain and sordid personal advantage! Not only was this practice CORRUPT, but, it was being done by "THE MANY," "THE MAJORITY!" Tell me that you can’t see this being done in the church today?
                                                                                                   L. Ray Smith


Also

Peter witnessed and prophesied of the same conditions in the Church. Listen to Peter’s powerful words of admonition in his last epistle for us:

"But there were false prophets[teachers] also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers AMONG YOU, who privately shall bring in DAMNABLE HERESIES, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And MANY shall follow their pernicious [lascivious, licentious, wanton] ways; by reason of whom the way of the truth shall be EVIL spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words MAKE MERCHANDISE OF YOU…" (II Pet. 2:1-3).
                                                                                 Words and quotes by L. Ray Smith


It seems like today church buildings are adopting the marketing techniques of many large corporations, but the truth is that they have used most of these techniques since long before. Most church buildings are greedy business that require the ‘non-scriptural recollection of tithes' to keep their institutions alive, many of them also make researches and respect the norm of: the majorities people desires are in charge (2Tim. 4:3 ‘‘…they will heap up for themselves teachers in accord with their own desires,’’) and all of them play with people emotions and are customer centered.

I have said that there are ‘customers’ on church buildings because what people is trying to purchase is salvation, happiness, acceptability, a less dirty conscience and etc. And even if many church buildings supposedly don’t agree with being materialistic, when they use certain deceptive marketing techniques they support the way that gross materialism works, by doing this rather than being subversive, they get more possibilities to turn into the ‘mainstream’ and whatever they can ‘positively say’ matters very little. Anyhow, as I heard once somewhere; ‘‘they are the best free advertising for everything that they supposedly hate.’’ The bigger the church building and lies get; the more sins are accumulated. And the more sponsored propaganda; the more dependency to the sponsors!

And as the common denominator of almost all of them; they teach that humans posses something called ‘‘free will’’, and like to parrot that there is a literal hell when it is obvious that the word hell has been wrongly translated from the original Manuscripts. Many, many church buildings put God all powerful and mighty and loving as one that will burn the majority of His creation on an obscene hellhole, eternally! And for a purpose, that doesn’t even have any common sense!

IT IS JUST AS IMPORTANT HOW DOES A MESSAGE IS DELIVERED AS THE MESSAGE ITSELF (1Tes. 2:5 ‘‘you're guaranteed that both WE and THE MESSAGE are free of error, mixed motives, or hidden agendas’’), when ordinary sponsored pastors quote the bible; anything that this business man’s say means very little or nothing! They are like annoying noisy kids shooting words into the air that are too high for them to understand. As one of my favorite writers once said, It’s true that ‘‘you don’t serve a wedding cake on a dog plate’’ or as I have put it, ‘you never should sell loving personal letters to your friends’.


A final Keepsake

 If you have noticed, on this present predominating society there is the great ideology that the whole is greater than the parts that form it, giving priority to group goals over individual goals, often bringing its participants to a place where everything could look nice as a whole on the outside, while the members of the whole can be striving with depression and overwhelming monotony, sometimes locked on extremely simple or un-meaningful tasks from their own perception, which put their dignity down. For this ideology to work requires a common social identity constructed by certain rules and norms, manifestos, speeches etc. that give incentives, strong suggestions, fear to do otherwise and great social pressure over the participants of the whole. Then there is the opposite big ideology that put in high; Individualism; The idea that sacrificing self interests for others is not allowed, where your own relative tastes and feelings are your own rules and norms, and where all your life drives around trying
to persuade your own selfish goals while opposing anything that ostracize you from accomplishment.
                                                                                                                                                                              Even when both ideologies are opposites, they can and do combine different aspects of society member lifestyles. Both ideologies are grossly wrong. But since these are so huge, members come to believe that there are no more options and that you have to become part of one ideology or of both. But, do WE really?

One of the principal points of this paper is to put clearly that there are many that God have called, and that there is a few elected persons inside this “called group” that have been predestinated to come out of the church system, along with all this wrong ideologies.
On this internet age where we are meant to live, the two Churches of God are still alive!  
                                                               
…church is those whom God has CALLED OUT to be His "called out ones,"

During Jesus’ ministry, He spoke of "the" church and "My" church. There already existed "the church"(Matt. 18:17), at the very time that Jesus said He would build "MY CHURCH" (Matt. 16:18).
                                                                             Words and quote by L. Ray Smith


The Church that Jesus build, started out with the apostles, kept on with the first communities talked about in the New Testament and it have survived until now; We must believe that it has survived! Why? Because Jesus doesn’t lie. He said that his Church would never be overpowered by death (Matt. 16:18) and so, His Church has never been overpowered by death and never will.

When my head was stocked in the church ideologies, I remember one thing that used to get very sticky, it used to say pretty much; ‘‘It matters not what you have done or who you are, if you don’t believe as we you should go to hell’’. This puts down all levels or degrees of wrong or compassion, or evil and ignorance on the same category, because no matter what you lived or did if you don’t believe like them you deserve “eternal hell”. Obviously this was injustice, unmerciful and cruel.

On particular experiences, I have found myself experiencing great contrasts and personal trials inside of this predominating society and I can tell (as I am sure that you can tell) that there is a visible difference of levels and degrees of compassion and mistakes, of evil and ignorance on their members. I must tell that I have received compassion and have been caused to admire others; I can appreciate many positive and good things, as well as despise many negatives and deceptive
ones.
                                                   
This writing is just a short reminder of some important things that we must overcome. Meanwhile (right now) a few are being refined and are trying hard to overcome the world, millions of generations are meant to simply live controlled by the main ideologies of their surroundings. The final purpose, for what seems like a huge mess in this world, is EVERYONE BEING PURIFIED, everyone coming to the full knowledge of our savior; Jesus Christ. And you know… little by little I have realized that IT’S OKAY, THAT NOT EVERYONE HAVE TO GET IT AT THIS TIME, just as not everyone is meant to be one of the best at certain
sport.  
                                                                                                             
A revolution is a fundamental change in power or organizational structures that takes place in a relatively short period of time.

A CALL FOR A REVOLTION HAS ALREADY BEEN SOUND, We are to get self organized and keep changing the structures of old. Either on Meat Space (a physical place) or Virtual Space (across space and time, at any region of the world) we can cooperate over common purposes, some can teach and refute those who contradict, everybody can learn, help and encourage each other. Maybe the ideal would be a balance between online and offline communication.

Part of the positives of ‘face to face off-line interaction’ is that we can aid our messages with body language, postures, facial expressions, gestures, eye contact, tone of voice, speaking style, hugs or kisses, HOWEVER WHAT MATTERS THE MOST IS THE CONTENT OF THE WORDS SPOKEN AS WELL AS THE POSITION OF THE ONE TALKING, and this is why ‘online communication’ is just as real, since online messages can be delivered with high measure for compression too and one more positive thing on it is that you have even more time to think about what you are about to say and how to say it.

If we can understand the ‘discourse of the community’ of this paper, soon we will be lead to start re-thinking our basic necessities and a plethora of other subjects that we usually tent to take for granted, even our capacity for art appreciation (well, if you are reading this paper I am sure that you have already begun to re-think much on this things).

This short study is just a taste to cause us to farther studies that will hopefully help us to understand better our position on this time of history where God wanted us to breath and our position as a group of people trying hard to be good members of the church community that Jesus built.




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