From the inception of “Religious Civilization” (check the meaning at the end of the article) a lot has changed pertaining to how rituals and services are conducted. Religion has relatively been imbibed with ethical human formalities; it is barely different from how social and local meetings are conducted. Formality has replaced Spirituality as men now conduct religious services with contingency to social gatherings.
||My focal point of discuss will be on prayer||
“Influence” and “imitation” stands to be the defining determinant on how unidealistic beliefs are transferred from the self proclaimed “literates” to the ignorant. Most of what we do and how we do things today emanated from the lifestyles our predecessors lived. Praying (in this context) has unfortunately been perverted with wrong ideologies. You hear people say “I pray for 30 minutes every morning” or “my daily 10 minutes communion with God.”
Note 📝: How much time you spend with God is not the problem, but using Time to determine how long you stay with God is a befouling character.
Placing “time constraints” on how long we spend with God is a wrong attitude that constantly depletes out innate aptitude as spiritual beings. How much time we spend in the domain of God’s presence shouldn’t be determined by man-made formalities. “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh…But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.” Gal 5:16&18
The law is subject to worldly formalities, we are not under the law, neither are we of this world. We should therefore be led by the spirit, and not controlled by time.
Understanding that we are spiritual beings dwelling in a vessel called the body, and ‘passing through’ a planet called earth should probably help meliorate our attitude towards God. Human beings live by the flesh; Spirit beings, of course, live by the Spirit. The spirit world is not limited by time, neither should you.
Religious Civilization: Inculcating worldly formalities into the affairs of spiritualism.
“The musical harmony that comes from a harp is ‘the invisible,’ while the wooden structure of the harp itself is ‘the visible’ (the body). If the strings from the harp are destroyed, then the harmony is destroyed as well. Just as the soul dies when the body dies.” -Philosophical Hypothesis
Above is a paraphrased philosophical hypothesis from one of Plato’s dialogues, namely “Phaedo.” This hypothesis simply describes the superiority of the body to the soul (if the body dies, the soul dies). The human body is being compared to the wooden structure of a lyre (harp), and the soul compared to the music 🎶 from the lyre.
With the present level of human knowledge about the transcendental realm, and with the vast numbers transmundane religious beliefs, some self-proclaimed scientists/philosophers still regard this half-baked hypothesis as true. From a profound point of view, Philosophy is an indubitable dangerous field of study, in that it changes and shapes the cultures and beliefs of innocent and ignorant people. Matthew said “they teach as doctrines the precepts of men” [15:9]
Socrates, a sagacious, sane and well mannered philosopher, has indeed journeyed through life in the quest for knowledge (seeking the ultimate truth). But his willingness and desires to do good has led some people to believe in evil, which is obliquely affecting the minds of men in this present age.
People who desire to do good, sometimes do evil unconsciously
People whose faith aren’t strong enough, people without an ordained religion, people that are easily convinced and thereby confused, people with short-sighted bearings… All these kind of people get easily corrupted by teachings fabricated by men, but only few becomes free from the entanglements of falsehood. If a shoal of fish are caught in a net, only a handful jumps out in freedom, the same applies to people corrupted by wrong teachings.
My respect for Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, et al, still stands firm, but the defects and deflects of their teachings can never affect my sanity, neither should it infect yours. Human beings can only give opinions, but the ultimate truth and fact comes from God.
“Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance.”
What a dead life we live in! A life that seeks death, a life that seeks pain, a life that seeks doom! The ages are passing by, the days are growing old, the light is getting dim. We live in the ends beginning, but yet strive for pleasure without satisfaction. Pleasure is like a virus that eats deep and deep into our mind, until nothing is left of us. Scholars define pleasure as “something that provides a source of happiness.” Hmm… Interesting, but I tell you, its just for a short period of time. For the pleasures we seek on earth are temporary, that’s why they are called earthly desires, but the sacrifice we make are eternal. The greatest sacrifice that has ever being made, was made by Jesus. He gave is life for ours, and his sacrifice wasn’t for 10 years, 100 years, or even a thousand years, it is forever/eternal. That’s the power of Sacrifice!
Pleasure is Meaningless
Solomon is mostly known for his abundance in wealth, but one thing that distinguished him from others is the wisdom he had. He knows the end result of his pleasure filled life and he was bold enough to tell the world about it.
In Ecclesiastes 2: 1-11, Solomon said…
“Pleasures Are Meaningless
2 I said to myself, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure to find out what is good.” But that also proved to be meaningless. 2 “Laughter,” I said, “is madness. And what does pleasure accomplish?” 3 I tried cheering myself with wine, and embracing folly—my mind still guiding me with wisdom. I wanted to see what was good for people to do under the heavens during the few days of their lives.
4 I undertook great projects: I built houses for myself and planted vineyards. 5 I made gardens and parks and planted all kinds of fruit trees in them. 6 I made reservoirs to water groves of flourishing trees. 7 I bought male and female slaves and had other slaves who were born in my house. I also owned more herds and flocks than anyone in Jerusalem before me. 8 I amassed silver and gold for myself, and the treasure of kings and provinces. I acquired male and female singers, and a harem (wives and concubines) as well—the delights of a man’s heart. 9 I became greater by far than anyone in Jerusalem before me. In all this my wisdom stayed with me. 10 I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure. My heart took delight in all my labor, and this was the reward for all my toil. 11 Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun.”
“Chasing after the wind” he said. The way we came to the world is same way we will leave it. We came with nothing, we leave with nothing. So, why not make sacrifice, which is the only thing that lasts even after death, because one way to avoid pain (hell) after death is to sacrifice pleasure. For the moon to be seen, the sun has to leave. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak, remember what Jesus said “I have overcome the world,” and our flesh is part of these world.
So many great people have passed through this same place we call earth, kings, queens, prophets, poets, musicians, doctors, and many more, but are we really learning from their past experiences or trying to re-live the legacy and life style of the old generation? We all know where pleasures lead to, but I tell you, it takes great discipline to forgo pleasure and seek sacrifice.
“Sacrifice doesn’t come with pleasures, it comes with suffering. But at the end it begets betterment.”
— Pacesetter Abbey
What is Sacrifice?
What Exactly is Sacrifice?
Sacrifice doesn’t mean ‘death,’ as men call it, it doesn’t mean loss or pain, sacrifice means “gain.” Theoretically, sacrifice always begins with some shortcomings, but at the end of it all, the reward is far beyond the sacrifice that was made.
“Your latter end shall be greater than the beginning.”
The bible said “give and it shall be given unto you.” “Giving” is a form of sacrifice. Remember, “God gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” God sacrificing his own Son doesn’t mean the end, but the beginning of a new dawn, because Jesus rose on the third day and we as Christians arose with him. Romans 6:4 says “We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” The spiritual laws are universal, just like the natural laws are. For instance, gravity is always the same everywhere, so is “giving.”
An interesting thing about sacrifice is that, its not just for the benefit of ourselves, but to the benefit of others (around us and far from us). One of the reasons we exist is to help save man by using our time and knowledge (i.e sacrificing) for their good. It is the ultimate display of love at the cost of oneself. When Jesus died for our sins, he never asked for anything in return, we should also cultivate the habit of giving without expectancy. I believe that “giving more than we have, is true sacrifice.” What reward is there if you give out of abundance?
Learning to sacrifice is learning how to love. I tell you, unless a man learns how to love his neighbors, enemies, (and God), his/her time on earth will be a waste of precious time, for he/she will not be granted God’s greatest gift to man, “Eternal Life.” 1 Corinthians 13:13 says “So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” Love begets Sacrifice, and Sacrifice begets Eternity with Christ.