19 May 2004 Welcome - Charles - God bothering

The Apostles' Creed -

I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth: and in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried: He descended into hell; the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost; the holy catholick church; the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.

   (Extract from the Anglican Book of Common Prayer)

In contrast to the scholarly and authoritative creed quoted above (to which I subscribe), here are (links to) some of my religious ramblings:

A rickety bridge
A consideration of what faith actually is.
The Bible, a model book
One way of viewing the Bible.
Three days and three nights
Why Good Friday and Easter Sunday make no sense. The churches insistence on less than three days and three nights in the tomb leads to a variety of errors.
Traps and pitfalls
A quick look at some of the misleading uses of words and ideas in many churches.
Christmas revisited
My second look at the errors in the traditional Christmas story.
He or She? A heresy?
Resolving the problem of the personality of the Holy Spirit. Or being heretical. You decide.
Today's brazen serpents
Idolatry is alive and well and practised in a church near you.
My lovely one
A plea for the Church to take more notice of God.

Many years ago I was converted (from nothing in particular) to Christianity. Someone I shared digs with for a while not long afterwards, on finding this out, called me a "God botherer". An old military term, apparently, for someone who voluntarily went to church and/or said his prayers. A bumpy though unspectacular religious ride has followed. Some of what I have learned and encountered appears on the web pages listed above... but bear in mind the lesson presented in The Acts of the Apostles, chapter 17, verse 11 - "These were more noble ... in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so."

As a guide to my current theology, some of the books that have I have recently been reading and recommend (title, author, ISBN) are

God The Holy Spirit Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones 0-340-69394-0
A Tale of Three Kings Gene Edwards ?
The Divine Romance Gene Edwards 0-8423-1092-4
Wild at Heart John Eldredge 0-7852-6694-1
The Trouble With Jesus Joseph M. Stowell 0-8024-1093-6

Current reading, but not yet recommended:

The Lost Testament David M. Rohl 0-7126-6993-0

I refuse to become a "member" of any recognised (= man organised) church. They naturally seek to impose their own rules and regulations and most of their practices are, at best, mere habits and traditions, and more likely to be misleading distractions. Their buildings consume much of their energy and thinking, their traditions substitute for real spiritual life. Of course I speak from my own experience and recognise that others find differently. I do occasionally have cause to visit one of these churches, which serves to remind me of what most Christians in the western world today have to struggle with: a bondage they have created for themselves.