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Education Helpline / Re: Adult Sunday School?
« Last post by CindiK on April 02, 2014, 10:10:24 PM »
We did a one year program called "Construct Your Own Theology." Developed in-house, we did one theological locus a month, spending four weeks as follows:

  • What does everyone think about __________?
  • What is the history of Christian thought about _________? How do we get to (what passes for) orthodoxy on the subject?
  • What are some modern ideas about __________? (compare creeds, statements of faith, what theologians say, where ever there's something to discuss)
  • How have the past three weeks informed you? Have your thoughts about ______ changed, and if so, how? If you feel even more strongly about how you originally thought, share why.

We covered the Creator God, Jesus on Earth, Christ as the Son, the Holy Spirit, evil/harm/bad things that happen, sin, redemption, ministry, the church, baptism, communion, and one that's slipping my mind at the moment.

It was a lot of work, because there was a lot of research for weeks 2 and 3, but it helped our group understand each other. We had people who came from Anglican, Baptist, Catholic, Dutch Reformed, Evangelical Free, Jewish, Methodist, Presbyterian, and United Church of Christ backgrounds, so it was very interesting to hear each other.
Education Helpline / Adult Sunday School?
« Last post by Laurainthefort on April 02, 2014, 09:01:58 PM »
Hi (just joined)

I have just joined the CE board at my fair-sized church.  We have part-time staff for both youth & children, have updated curriculum for them, and have been blessed with more families joining the church.  I'd love to see more adults join and become involved as well.

Currently, we do offer an adult class but it is mostly just pieced together:  the same people will agree to lead for a week or two, the ministers will lead the times we can't get any teachers, and the topics and presentations have no real theme outside of whatever the teacher decides.  **Let me be clear:  the teachers do a GREAT job!  But, I just wonder if there isn't something more.

What do other churches do to serve adult education?  A curriculum? Devotionals? One class or divided by topics like small-group studies?  (We do have a lectionary-based study the minister does weekly) 


Thank you
UCC Café / Re: Who's missing?
« Last post by CindiK on April 02, 2014, 07:38:44 PM »
The Facebook, the Twitter, the Tumblr.

I'm over fifty, so I'm required to put a definite article before each name.
UCC Café / Re: Share some daily Humor
« Last post by CindiK on April 02, 2014, 07:37:43 PM »

The sixth-grade summer band class was just getting under way when a large insect flew into the room. The students, eager to play their shiny new instruments, tried to ignore the buzzing intruder, but eventually one student could stand it no more. He rolled up his music book and swatted the insect, and then he stomped on it to ensure its fate.

"Is it a bee?" another student asked.

"Nope," he replied. "It's a bee flat."

Incidentally, you have to see sharp to swat a bee flat in one try. That kid's a natural.
UCC Café / Re: Do you blog?
« Last post by CindiK on April 02, 2014, 07:36:12 PM »

I often wonder whether anyone other than spambots read mine!
Theology Forum / Re: the Book of Isaiah
« Last post by gary sechler on April 02, 2014, 01:09:51 PM »
Interpreting the Bible Isaiah 21 3-10 Lesson
3.  Therefore are my loins filled with pain: pangs have taken hold upon me, as the pangs of a woman that travails: I was bowed down at the hearing of it; I was dismayed at the seeing of it.

“I” will of course be God, who also loves Babylon, and all the people of that country, who are also His children.  He lives among them, just as He does among the Jeues, and He will share every destructive blow that comes their way, yet He will not do anything to aid or assist them.

 4.  My heart panted, fearfulness affrighted me: the night of my pleasure has he turned into fear unto me.

This verse is spoken from the point of view of the people of Babylon, and if you remember the 5th chapter of Daniel where the tale of the defeat of Babylon is prophesied just hours before it happens, it ties in perfectly with this scripture.

 5.  Prepare the table, watch in the watchtower, eat, drink: arise, ye princes, and anoint the shield.

There is but one “shield” that is capable of being a protective shield, and that is God and it appears that God is saying that if Belshazer had arisen and asked God for help at the moment of his destruction. God might have intervened.

 6.  For this has the Lord said unto me, Go, set a watchman, let him declare what he sees.

Belshazer assumed because of the mighty walls of Babylon that it was impregnable, but if he had listened to Daniel and simply put a watchman upon the wall, the enemy could have been spotted, the army aroused and stopped the invasion.

 7.  And he saw a chariot with a couple of horsemen, a chariot of asses, and a chariot of camels; and he hearkened diligently with much heed:

“He” would be the “watchman,” Daniel, who would have seen chariots pulled by donkeys and camels laden with instruments of war and if Belshazer had truly listened to Daniel, Babylon would not have fallen.

 8.  And he cried, A lion: My lord, I stand continually upon the watchtower in the daytime, and I am set in my ward whole nights:

If Daniel had been listened to, if that Belshazer had not been drunk, and if when Daniel sounded the alarm, Belshazer would have roused the army to battle against the Medes and the Persians, Babylon might have been saved.

 9.  And, behold, here comes a chariot of men, with a couple of horsemen. And he answered and said, Babylon is fallen, is fallen; and all the graven images of her gods he has broken unto the ground.

But Belshazer did not, he failed to understand Daniel, there was no one to rouse the armies of Babylon, because even though he saw the handwriting on the wall, and heard the meaning of those words, even after they were explained to him, it did not enlighten him to do what needed to be done to save Babylon.

 10.  O my threshing, and the corn of my floor: that which I have heard of the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, have I declared unto you.

Isaiah is describing his work of prophesy as if he were a harvester of grain, and he is separating the grain from the husks and gathering in the seed of his crop, which are the words of God, pure wisdom for this future event.

Gary Sechler
With knowledge on loan from God
Theology Forum / Re: The Revelation of Jesus
« Last post by gary sechler on April 02, 2014, 12:53:25 PM »
Proof of God #86 Revelation 14 4-8 One Church
Interpreting the Bible
Revelation 14: 4.  These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goes. These were redeemed from among men, being the first fruits unto God and to the Lamb.

Verse 4 would not have been in the original text.  This is something that was added by the Catholic church or one of their scribes in an attempt to promote the false theology that one can only be “pure” by being chaste.  Nothing is further from the truth.  Moral sex, as long as it is between a married couple, whether for creating children or to bring pleasure to your spouse is one of the greatest gifts of God to be enjoyed by all in the Kingdom.  Ignore anyone who states otherwise.

5.  And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.

This is just pointing out some of the ways in which they could be proven to be sanctified, totally pure.

  6.  And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,

We have heard of the Gospel of Jesus, “ the Kingdom of God is at hand.”  There is the Gospel of Paul, “Jesus Christ and Him crucified.”  Now we are about to hear the “Gospel of God.”  Which is to be preached after all the members of the church have been sanctified.

 7.  Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.

Here is the “Gospel of God:” “Fear God” that does not just mean “respect” nor “love,” but “fear!”  God is omnipotent.  He not only controls the weather, he controls the Earth, the sun, the moon, all the stars, meteorites, asteroids, and everything else that could possibly happen to our world.  He controls your health, He can fry you from within, right where you stand.  He controls your work, your finances, your food, your family, everything that you need, want, or encounter in your daily life depends entirely upon your relationship with God.  Fear Him!  All of the above items are available or conform to fit your desires or needs as long as you follow His one commandment of “doing unto others the way you want to be done unto,” because you will be.  That is the judgment that has come, and it is not something that will just happen to you in the next life, it comes in this life, NOW!  If you get killed because of your inappropriate actions, everything that you missed, will still be waiting for you in the next life, that is original sin coming home to roost, or original blessings depending upon how you lived in this life.

8.  And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.

Here it comes, I can hear you now, John must have been high on something, Babylon had fallen centuries before he lived.  Babylon the place did, but Babylon the “state” is still in force.  The original meaning of the word Babylon was “confusion.”  That “confusion was created by God and continued down through the centuries to help God hide among His people and to aid Him in finding the evil in our world in order to destroy it.  Once we reach a point in time where the “church” not just the Catholic church, but all the churches in the world have been sanctified, made pure, and the elite intellectuals have come to understand who God is and that He actually runs this world, then “Babylon” the “confusion” in theological circles, will disappear and the rest of the world will follow suit.
This means that all the churches of the world will unite into one church following one theology and one God.   

Gary Sechler
With knowledge on loan from God
Theology Forum / Re: The Book of Romans
« Last post by gary sechler on April 02, 2014, 12:46:43 PM »
Interpreting the Bible Romans 5 10-12 Lesson
10.  For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

God has never been our enemy, we may have at times, been God’s enemy, but He has never been ours.  He has always been our opposition, opposing our desire to sin, and seeking to lead us to do what is right and just, like our father who would always like to see us do the right things.  “Being reconciled” to God is the purpose of Justification, for God uses the trial and tests we go through during Justification to bring us closer to Him and the process allows Him to pinpoint where the “desire to sin,” is located in our soul, so He can destroy it and replace it with good, compassion, forgiveness, and love, and Jesus is our guiding star leading us through our hard times, and giving us a goal to reach for, as we strive to become His brother or sister in the Kingdom.  The death of Jesus does not accomplish that, it was just something, that had to be done, for Jesus to prove to the disciples that we have a spiritual body, that lives forever.  This was accomplished through His resurrection.  His disciples who formerly believed in the resurrection, as it is explained in Ezekiel 37, experienced the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, after being with the soul of Jesus, speaking with Him, sharing his existence through the Holy Spirit, and realizing that there was a way for a soul to live forever.  The resurrection, was no longer a question for them, but something that had been fully proven.  This is what was passed on
by the disciples down through the early church fathers, to a man by the name of Origen, who wrote all that he had been taught of the spiritual resurrection and a soul’s slow passage through Justification. Until the time of Ambrose, who probably bought his way into the church, and walked way from the teachings of Jesus handed down to Origen.  Ambrose began destroying the writings of Origen, and forcing those who believed his teachings to recant and abandon Origen and the spiritual resurrection.  Then along came Augustine and Jerome who rewrote the Latin Bible to conform to the physical resurrection belief, and within a generation, the spiritual resurrection was gone and we were right back to Ezekiel 37 and the physical resurrection, which melded with a modified concept of a spiritual resurrection and left us with a warped concept of a half physical resurrection, and a half spiritual resurrection, that was hard for anyone to accept as logical or as a reality, although many in the generation that preceded our generation did just that.  We were to be raised in a new physical body that could pass through walls, disappear, and reappear at will, Jesus was to appear in the sky over Jerusalem and everyone in the world would see Him at the same time, which with T.V. and satellite coverage, today that would be possible, but that is not the way God works, nor what he meant.  God works on each soul, one on one, and each one comes to Him in their own time, and is Sanctified at just the right time God has planned for them.  At that time, a soul’s own personal time, each soul will see God (Jesus) and while very few will experience that moment at the same time or on the same day, all will see Him at the same time in their passage through Justification unto Sanctification.  So the prophecy is true, totally, but it will be done God’s way, and in God’s own time.

11.  And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.

The full atonement does not arrive until we are fully Sanctified through Justification, and have learned never to sin again.  Of course in time all our “joy,” will come to us through Jesus, as we join Him in the Kingdom.  Paul had been forgiven his sins, through the “grace of God,” but, as we know, he still had to go through the rest of his Justification, as we know from the things that happened to him during his ministry, which mirrored the way he treated Christians before his conversion.

 12.  Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

If you remember when we went through Genesis 1, as I proved the existence of God, sin did not enter the world through one man, Adam was a group name for all the men in the world, who numbered in the millions.  The story of Adam and Eve is generally considered by most Bible scholars to be a “myth,” but there are no “myths,” in the Bible, only parables, that are fully based in factual truth.

Gary Sechler
With knowledge on loan from God
Theology Forum / Re: The Book of Ezekiel
« Last post by gary sechler on April 02, 2014, 12:38:46 PM »
Column 205 Ezekiel 6 8-11 the Remnant
Interpreting the Bible
Ezekiel 6: 8.  Yet will I leave a remnant, that you may have some that shall escape the sword among the nations, when you shall be scattered through the countries.

This did not happen until 135 AD after Rome put down the “Bar Kochba revolt that was put down by Emperor Hadrian and he expelled all the Jeues (Jews).  That left the “remnant spread out through all the countries.”  This can be the only point in time that fulfills this prophecy, once again proving the existence of God and His ability to predict the future.  Only God can predict the future, because He writes the script, produces it, directs it, and stars in it.

9.  And they that escape of you shall remember me among the nations whither they shall be carried captives, because I am broken with their whorish heart, which has departed from me, and with their eyes, which go a whoring after their idols: and they shall loath themselves for the evils which they have committed in all their abominations.

After their nation is defeated, as God predicted hundreds of years before it happened, over two thirds of their families, friends, and neighbors have been killed, as God predicted, and they are left far from home and forbidden to return, they will be able to look back at the past, remember the words of God through Ezekiel and regret the things they did that God had told them not to do.

 10.  And they shall know that I am the Lord, and that I have not said in vain that I would do this evil unto them.

This is one of the hardest facts about God to digest.  Thousands of pastors and Christians have taught and been taught that God doesn’t do these things.  These are just acts of men that God allows to happen and they don’t know why, He just does.  That is a totally and completely false theology.  God has one law “love God and your neighbor as yourself.”  The dark side of that is “as you do God will do to you,” not to punish, not to create suffering, but to teach.  If you don’t like the treatment by someone who is stronger and mightier than yourself, you will learn that hurting others, eventually hurts you more, because God doubles up, as you did, you receive double in return.  God’s goal is to get you to treat others the way you want to be treated, not to harm you, though many times that is the results of your actions.  Many people are in Hell today, but it is a Hell of their own creation.  Dying does not remove the sins that were committed prior to dying, because your consciousness and your “Book of Life,” which is your memories are saved by God at your death.  Your consciousness is then placed in a newly forming brain of a baby while it is still in its mother’s womb, with its “Book of Life” sealed.  Old memories are unavailable until it arrives in the Kingdom of God.  Any sins that are still due Justification will be taken care of in this next life, this is “original sin.”  We must remember that not all suffering comes about because of sins.  Some have broken God’s laws and suffer, some have no compassion for those who suffer and God allows them to suffer in order to learn compassion.  Then there are the innocent, those who have given their lives to God to be used in any way He needs in order to help bring others into the Kingdom.  They have been sanctified and are the ones who make up part of the “living” part of God in this world, so they are free of “original sin.”  They are free of justification for breaking the law of God.  They are free of “lack of compassion.”  Like Jesus on the cross, they suffer for you, because they have been Sanctified, remade into perfect spiritual images of Jesus, and they want us in the Kingdom with them.

11.  The Lord God says; Smite with your hand, and stamp with your foot, and say, Alas for all the evil abominations of the house of Israel! for they shall fall by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence.

The chickens come home to roost.

Gary Sechler
With knowledge on loan from God
UCC Café / Re: Do you blog?
« Last post by Jon T on April 02, 2014, 06:26:21 AM »
Thanks Arthur! :)
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