Southside church of christ pasadena tx
Discussions and news about the Marcionite Church rebirth
2020.10.13 03:43 Marcion_Sinope Discussions and news about the Marcionite Church rebirth
The Marcionite Christian Church (www.MarcioniteChurch.org), which once spanned the known world with millions of believers, was founded in 144 A.D. and is responsible for the creation of the first Christian bible that same year. It consists of The Gospel of the Lord as revealed to Paul the Apostle and the original Epistles of Paul (one Gospel, ten books) and remains unchanged to this day. Our podcasts on Apple, Spotify, Google, etc...(https://www.firstbiblenetwork.com/)
2020.02.27 15:18 Marcion_Sinope News and discussion of The Very First Bible as transcribed by Marcion of Sinope in 144 A.D.
If you're not reading the same bible as the first Christians in 144 A.D. you're reading just another book. The Very First Bible is not only the foundation of faith that virtually every denomination traces its canonical roots back to - it's also the only place you'll find the gospel preached by Paul the Apostle.
2023.06.05 14:08 Nik-Yura Federico de Soya and the portrait of Aenea
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Almost everyone on the sparsely populated stone-and-desert world was Catholic, but not Pax born-again Catholic. The de Soya family had been part of the break-away Mariaist movement and had left Nuevo Madrid more than a century earlier when that world had voted to join the Pax and have all of its Christian churches submit to the Vatican. The Mariaists venerated the Holy Mother of Christ more than Vatican orthodoxy allowed, so young Federico had grown up on a marginal desert world with its devout colony of sixty thousand heretical Catholics who, as a form of protest, refused to accept the cruciform. 
(/haɪˈrɒnɪməs bɒʃ, bɔːʃ, bɔːs/, Dutch: [ɦijeːˈroːnimʏz ˈbɔs] (listen);[a] born Jheronimus van Aken [jeːˈroːnimʏs fɑn ˈaːkə(n)];[b] c. 1450 – 9 August 1516) was a Dutch/Netherlandish painter from Brabant. He is one of the most notable representatives of the Early Netherlandish painting school. His work, generally oil on oak wood, mainly contains fantastic illustrations of religious concepts and narratives. Within his lifetime his work was collected in the Netherlands, Austria, and Spain, and widely copied, especially his macabre and nightmarish depictions of hell.
In 1486 he joined the Brotherhood of the Mother of God
("Zoete Lieve Vrouw"), a religious society that arose in Hertogenbosch in 1318 and consisted of both monks and laypeople. The brotherhood dedicated to the cult of the Virgin Mary was also engaged in charity. In archival documents, Bosch's name is mentioned several times: he, as a painter, was entrusted with a variety of orders, ranging from the design of festive processions and ceremonial sacraments of the Brotherhood and ending with the painting of the altar flaps for the chapel of the Brotherhood in the Cathedral of St. Nicholas. John (1489, the painting is lost) or even a model of a candelabra. 
She was strapped in what appeared to be a rusted iron skeleton of crossed metal that hung by chains from the high ceiling and that allowed her to lean back and rest her weight against it but still kept her almost standing, her arms held low along the rusted girders, a near-vertical asterisk of cold metal hanging in air with her wrists and ankles cruelly clamped and bolted to the frame. Her toes hung about ten centimeters above a grated floor. She could move her head.
Aenea tried the restraints—they gave not at all—felt her bruised wrists and ankles throb at the attempts, and put her head back against the iron girder to wait. Her hair was matted there and she could feel a huge lump high on her scalp and another near the base of her skull. She felt nauseous and concentrated on not throwing up on herself... 
https://preview.redd.it/fyerq12qt64b1.jpg?width=365&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=a68f3b13b64f8fef0255e15e0b8f9414a6c3e6d5 The Crucifixion of Saint Wilgefortis
is a c. 1497 triptych by the Early Netherlandish painter Hieronymus Bosch. 
It is generally believed that the triptych is dedicated to St. Julia
, whose cult is very common in Northern Italy. She was sold by slavers to Eusebius, who may have been represented in the image of a character who lost his senses. Some researchers suggest that another revered saint is depicted here — the daughter of the Portuguese king Liberata
, crucified by order of a pagan father for becoming the bride of Christ. In this case, one can see in the young man one of the five thousand converted to the true faith through the efforts of the saint.
 - quotes from "Hyperion Cantos"
 - quotes from Wikipedia
2023.06.05 14:05 UnDead_Ted Mornings with God Monday, June 5th 2023
| || |06/05/2023 Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them. — Acts 13:2 submitted by UnDead_Ted to TheDailyDose [link] [comments]
The live church is always a missionary church. It is not content to have the gospel only for itself, but wants others to have it, too. The church at Antioch was prosperous.
The people showed their love for Christ by sending money to Christians in Palestine who were suffering from famine. They showed it further by sending missionaries. Barnabas and Saul were chosen for this mission. The Spirit named the missionaries, and then the church ordained them and sent them out.
We have in this chapter a sad story of a young missionary helper who belonged to the party sent out from Antioch. For a time he was faithful, while there was no danger and while they were in a civilized country. But when they passed over into a wild region, among rough people, John Mark left the missionaries and returned home.
We should never abandon any work we begin for our Master. When it begins to cost, we should begin to rejoice.
2023.06.05 13:05 BobAxelr0d The Church is pre-denominational
If you read how the Bible describes the Church and according to the Creed, the Churh is called ONE, HOLY, CATHOLIC and APOSTOLIC.
It's called one because it has just one head that is Christ and has just one body even if you have different body parts, they are from the same body.
It's called holy because it's santified and separeted by God.
It's called catholic because it's universal and complete.
It's called Apostolic because the Church was built upon the authority and the teachings of the Apostles that exists till this day by their continuous sucessors.
The Church is pre-denominational, the Church speaks one tongue, in the sense, it has one faith and teachs one doctrine.
You can say ... "but even in the early Church there was disagreements" it do not means that the Church was mutilated, but just that some people who were part of the Church, no longer are. The Church continues to be one because Christ himself promissed that "the Gates of Hades shall not prevail" and that the "the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth" and the Apostle called the Church "the pillar and the foundation of the truth".
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2023.06.05 12:44 dwredbaker SDA is not the true church of Jesus Christ, not even close.
Sent by callmerella:
I recently read this. From an SDA member. Any thoughts?
I was talking to a friend in church and he said something that really resonated. He said that he had search in many churches until he came to the Seventh-Day Adventist church and knew when he came that this was the true church of God because they followed Gods word in a fullness that no other church did. No false saints or idols, or doctrines that went directly against the scriptures such as being held in a burning inferno by the devil till they were ready to go to heaven, or that a Rapture will take everyone to God with no Second Coming or Christ appearing, just poof and people disappear. That is not biblical along with many other beliefs that some churches tell their members, which just lead to confusion of what is to come and how Christ will save them.
Now many pastors, ministers and people know these things being preached are false or doctrines of man not of God, yet they continue telling or preaching it and leading others into what leads them to the wrong path or even sin, for fear of losing their standing or position and yet the Bible clearly gives what is truth and it also says the following: Hebrews 10:26 "For if we sin WILFULLY after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth NO more sacrifice for sins.."
Many will lose eternal salvation for following or leading others down these false paths, it is as my friend said, look for true church of God which follows Gods word in a fullness that no other one does Red Baker's response to callmerella.
A brief consideration of the SDA should be clear that they have another spirit directing them against God's word.
The above said: No false saints, or idols, or doctrines that went directly against scriptures.....
There is a very strong delusion made in this statement. TIme would fail us to see the many false doctrines that comes from this latter day movement ( which is only less than one hundred and fifty years old ).
Philippians 1:23,24~"For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.
- It has been well said over many times that~ "The SDA uphold and near venerate Ellen White theories: Ellen White is recognized by the Seventh-day Adventist church as having received the gift of prophecy (SDA Prophet) as outlined in Ephesians 4 and 1 Corinthians 12. SDA sees the written works by Ellen White as "a continuing and authoritative source of truth which provide for the church comfort, guidance, instruction, and correction," according to their fundamental beliefs, as listed by Adventist.org. She is basically the SDA Pope in this sense in her dictating doctrine and teaching, but the Word of God says about those that teach anything contrary to the Word of God "...so, do not tell us that they do not worship a false saint, for they surely do! Her name is Ellen G. White...who are they trying to deceive by saying they do not?
- No doctrine goes against the scriptures? Really? They teach that when the righteous die they do not go into the very presence of God, but sleep in the grave until the resurrection of the last day? Is this scriptural? Absolutely not. God is not the God of the dead, BUT of the LIVING, so said Jesus Christ. Mark 12:26~"And as touching the dead, that they rise: have ye not read in the book of Moses, how in the bush God spake unto him, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?" Again: Matthew 22:32~"I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living." God's children have eternal life NOW. The old man WILL dead and, and lay in the grave until the resurrection of the last day, but the NEW MAN cannot die, IMPOSSIBLE, for it is created after the image of Jesus CHrist, once created, it lives forever. To be absent from THIS BODY is to be PRESENT with God!
Enough on this point, more in my next post. RB
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2023.06.05 12:00 AutoModerator OYS - Where Progress is Made (06/05/23)
Struggling or failing? It's time to own it. Nice guys hide their flaws, trying to put on a false impression of who they are in order to impress others. We don't do that. We're up-front and honest with the fact that we're sinners and failures. James 5:16 compels us to confess our sins to one another and to pray for one another. 1 John 1:9 goes even a step further and makes confession a cornerstone of the Gospel - acknowledging that we are insufficient on our own. So, where are you failing? What do you need to confess?
To do this, it would be helpful to get to know how you're doing in a variety of areas. To that end, just as God is triune, he created us with three core parts of our being: our physical bodies, our heart/mind, and our spirit/soul. Try to cover all three. Use the questions in each category as inspiration, but roll with whatever you need to put out there. PHYSICAL
: How are you doing with lifting? Losing weight? Where's your body fat %? What have you been eating lately? How about your porn/alcohol/drug/cigarette/whatever use? Are you employing kino on your wife properly? Are you going too far with your girlfriend? How's your fashion sense? Are you still lounging around the house in gym shorts and using your ratty flip flops when you go out? How are you spending your time? How's your income doing? Your body is God's temple: are you reflecting that appropriately? For married men: how's your sex life? MENTAL/EMOTIONAL
: How have you been doing reading and learning new things? How's your frame? Do you still struggle with living up to someone else's expectations? Have you mastered Agree & Amplify? Amused Mastery? Negative Inquiry? STFU? Your DNGAF attitude? Are you failing fitness or comfort tests? How are you leading your wife/girlfriend this week? Do you feel pressure from any sources to do something or to act/not act a certain way? Are you depressed or lonely? Are you secure in your heart/mind that God's will is good, even if it's not what you want? SPIRITUAL
: How are you doing on the 7 basics? Rank yourself:
- Assurance of Salvation
- Quiet Time/Devotional
- Bible Study
- Scripture Memory
: Have you solidified your mission - and does it have eternal consequences or does it only affect this world? Does your mission extend beyond the home? Do you have someone discipling you? Are you discipling anyone else? Have you talked with your non-Christian friends about Christ recently? Are there parts of the Bible you're just not understanding? How are things going with your church or small group?
Again, these are all things just to get you thinking. Share where you're really struggling. We may give you some encouragement. We may kick you in the butt and tell you to get to work. Or we may leave you to meditate on your comment yourself. How we respond to your comment and update isn't the point.
What matters is that you put it out there so you have a milestone to look back on next week - something where you can ask yourself: have I improved or not?
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2023.06.05 11:03 AutoModerator Father Ahnsahnghong Is God, Christ Who Came a Second Time VI Ahnsahnghong
2023.06.05 10:32 Puzzleheaded_Joke_39 Need a handwriting Analysis, thanks!
2023.06.05 10:05 Xatz41 Monday of the Holy Spirit, Pentecost Monday
After the Ascension of Christ His disciples stayed in Jerusalem and in one room at the Zion frequently gathered and together they prayed the Lord awaiting impatiently the promised Comforter, The Holy Spirit, who proceeds from the Father. Matthias was voted in to replace Judas among the twelfe. On the Descent of the Holy Spirit they all were together, when bluster of wind fulfilled the house and tongues of fire appeared and fall upon the apostles. When they came out on the roof of the house, they talked and preached to the gathered people in languages they had not known before, hence all gathered, even the Jews and persons of other faith could understand them. Three thousand people believed on this day the preaching of the apostles and then baptized. This day is considered as the day when the Church of Christ was born.
Even if Pentecost is the privileged feast of the Holy Spirit, the afterfeast and Pentecost Monday stress the importance of the Holy Spirit and its participation in equality as one of the three persons from the Holy Trinity. The importance given to this Monday of the Holy Spirit increased in times when there were wrong ideas being taught about the Holy Spirit and its nature, as if the Holy Spirit was not one with God, not God himself, as he is in the Father and in the Son.
In the New Testament there are many manifestations of the Holy Spirit. During the passage of Pentecost when the apostles took refuge in the Upper Room where they had the Last Supper with Jesus, before his entrance in Jerusalem and death on the cross, they suddenly saw tongues of fire descend upon them. As they left the room they spoke in foreign toungues, considered to be gifts from the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit was, and is itself, the promised gift from Jesus, the one that would come as the comforter after his death. After the Resurrection of Jesus, the Orthodox Church’s Pentecost is second in importance alongside eleven other Great Feasts that include the nativity of Jesus, baptism of Jesus, and the ascension and transfiguration.
Pentecost Monday is celebrated religiously in the same way as Pentecost. It is the continuation of the celebration of the feast of Pentecost, and it is the first day of the afterfeast of Pentecost. During the entire week after Pentecost, fasting isn’t permitted.
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2023.06.05 09:28 Opposite_Flamingo317 For anyone still skeptical
I formed a connection with the Lord tonight.
I used to go to church and youth group as a kid, as I got older my church time was filled with sports and work, before long I stopped going to church all together. I feel like I was scared to go back after being away for so long, I really really lost my way. I started abusing substances, nothing insane just alcohol and weed.
After a recent injury that put me out for my season and ended my employment temporarily I fell into a really deep pit. I did alot of 🔞 shameful things, tonight was the worst of those things and afterwards I really needed to reflect on wtf I just did. I searched youtube for a guided prayer for repentance as I had forgotten how to pray and it felt unusual and weird.
During the entire prayer whenever i had my eyes closed I felt extreme waves of stress and anxiety. I randomly remembered a bible verse “do not fear, for I am with you”. I decided to keep my eyes shut and when i finished I immediately felt this intense calm wash over me, the hair on my arms stood up and i was tingling all over. I cant think of any other explanation besides the fact that I have started to repair my relationship with Jesus Christ.
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2023.06.05 08:35 Membership-Double Change: made possible by the atonement of Jesus Christ
A common statement in the Church is that we can change "through the atonement of Jesus Christ." Something I've been studying recently is what role Christ's atonement plays in personal change and betterment. I don't think anyone would argue that those outside of the Church or without faith in Jesus Christ still have the ability for personal enrichment. People can change for the better even if they don't know how to rely on Christ and His power. Because of this, I have a question that I would hear other opinions on. In what ways is someone's ability to change limited without the atonement of Jesus Christ? Are they only limited in that they can't become spiritually clean from their mistakes before changing? Are they limited in that they just don't have that extra strength that comes from His help? Or are there some types of change that entirely impossible without Christ?
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2023.06.05 08:05 SirSavant_ I recently became PIMO and don’t know what to do next…
Preface… oh goodness, you know it is a long post if I have to write “preface” first thing. Thank you so much to everyone who stays and reads!!!I’ve been a TBM guy for nearly my whole life (I left when I was a super depressed teenager 9 years ago, went back 7 years ago). Baptized at 8, priesthood of Aaron at 12. Applied to go on a mission at 18, was “honorably dismissed” from serving due to passed anxiety and depression issues.
Married at 19 (3 months after mission dismissal letter, 6 months of dating before marriage), baby at 20, divorced at 21 (she just wanted a baby but not me. I don’t have to pay alimony, just child support, so hoorah!). To be clear, I don’t regret my beautiful baby girl (I’ll call her “A”), but I do regret that I didn’t wait longer to a - know my ex better before getting married, & b - to know my ex better after getting married to have a baby. But, the past is in the past and I am doing everything I can to be an amazing father to that little girl of mine. Fast forward to today, I am now dating an incredible woman (I’ll call her “V”) and have been for nearly a year. She and I are TBM at this point in the story.
My current beliefs: I believe in Jesus Christ, the Atonement, resurrection, and opportunity for everyone to live in Eternity with their loved ones. I have no idea what Eternity looks like because Jesus hasn’t spoken about it in the bible (at least, not the parts that I’ve read. I’m reading the NKJV for the first time because I never had the chance in the BoM church). I don’t believe there is any one person on Earth who has God’s power and allows us to use it. I don’t believe God will condemn anyone for being part of the “wrong” church. I think the only thing that matters is genuinely trying to be a good person. I have no issue with personal beliefs and practices of other churches, members of this church, agnostics, atheists, LGBT community, etc… I know a lot of people here are atheistic or agnostic. Just like I respect your belief system, please respect mine.
Story time… 2 months ago, I was at an Institute class with V (not my class, just visiting her’s) and A was with us for visitation. A was restless and wanted to run around and play in the church halls like any 2 y/o girl does. So, I took her into the hall and quietly chased her around. This is when I heard one of the teachers pose the question/statement to his students: “isn’t it so sad when people leave the church?”
This question seemed so off to me. First, I feel absolutely no sorrow when people leave the church. They are simply choosing to follow their own belief system and to be their own individual person. Wasn’t Jesus super accepting and loving of everyone? Second, it seemed manipulative to me for a teacher to suggest to these college students, who are just figuring out life, that it is automatically a bad thing when someone leaves the church.
Anyway, being a TBM at the time, I had no idea why someone would want to leave the church. My concerns with that question was the first red flag I actually noticed. So, being an incredibly curious person, I decided to google it. Queue the smug looks of every exmo in this community who know what I found, haha! All of my research came from a place of trying to disprove the exmos and anti-mos wrong, so I focussed on diving deep into any topic that concerned me. Each point of research includes exmo, neutral, modern LDS, and LDS archive sources to ensure I had all of the information. Everything in this post I validated from church posts or archives unless I explicitly state otherwise. The CES letter beautifully summarized (is 130 somethings pages actually a summary though?) everything I was feeling and also addressed something things I don’t actually find concerning about the church.
So, my concerns boil down to the following: *The First Vision accounts of who Joseph allegedly saw. Did he see an angel, just Jesus/God/spirit as one being (God), both Jesus and the Father, or both of them and a host of angels? Why did it take him 20 years to tell anyone about it? Why does the church teach that he immediately told people about it when he didn’t? Why did the church actively tell members that he did NOT see God or Jesus, but an angel, for ~40 years after the vision? Any other details of the first vision itself are of no concern to me as it feels like he was simply discussing different parts of what happened. Yes, I’ve read each account.
*Joseph started off his youth by treasure hunting and defrauding people of their money using his peep/seer stone. Sure, he could have just been a kid who didn’t know what it was he was doing (scams) but also… this goes against what I was taught about him being the most honest person you could meet (the phrase “more honest than honest Abe” comes to mind for some reason).
*He used his peep/seer stone to “translate” a large part of the BoM. Most of his translation efforts didn’t require the BoM to be visible or even be near him. I always imagined he held the Urim and Thumim over the plates to see the characters transcribed, much like live google translate. Additionally, his mother recalled him telling stories about the Lamanites and Nephites before the BoM was a thing (I don’t remember my source on this one or if I validated it with church archives). The BoM has many parallels with another book that it may be heavily based on (I forgot the name). The BoM lifts text straight from the KJV and includes non-JST verses that Joseph later “corrected” for the JST.
*He later “translated” the Book of Abraham from Egyptian Papyri which were just ancient burial records. He later “translated” the Kinderhook plates but they were fakes that some of his “disciples” pranked him with. His ability to translate seems fake at best… and a fake ability is no ability in my book.
*Polygamy and polyandry. Do I even need to list any details here? The fact he started the practices before the “revelation” to do so was received, had to manipulate Emma into “letting him” do it, was caught cheating at least once (Emma documented it), married teens, married already married women, wasn’t sealed to Emma until he was already sealed to 20-something other women, never sealed to his parents or children, etc…
*SEC fines. I thought my tithing money was being used to help the poor and needy. It’s frustrating to know it is actually being used to run a business. Yes, the choices the church made were shady but were also comparable to many other businesses. My biggest problem here is the lack of transparency and that my money wasn’t being used for the Lord’s work. If I want to support a business I’ll invest time or money. I prefer not to be scammed out of it by being told it is being used for service and providing for thosein need.
*BITE model. I won’t even start listing any of the items in the BITE model I have issue with. I think about 90-95% of the BITE model red flags are met by the cult. I mean church.
I spoke briefly with V about this a week or so ago, during a camping trip in which we got to share a tent. She was concerned we were sinning but I expressed to her I wasn’t worried about it. I told her I was struggling with the church’s history and current practices. Jesus didn’t teach not to sleep together, he taught not to cheat. She wasn’t ready to discuss it further so we decided to set it aside and we slept side by side in the tent anyway.
A couple nights later, she was feeling sick and wanted to stay with me. Normally she has slept on my couch but she chose to sleep with me in bed. I took care of her that night and the next day and we haven’t slept together since. We also haven’t had sex or performed any sexual acts together. I have no issue with pre-martially sleeping and/or having sex with her as it is a committed relationship that we both are committed to making last (obviously, this isn’t cheating).
Fast forward to 2-3 nights ago. She wanted to stay over again but was feeling guilty and anxious about it. I expressed to her I don’t want to make her feel guilty of anxious about sleeping with me. I gave her a standing invitation to stay whenever she wants but that I would support her in not sleeping together. Then the topic of my beliefs came up again. I told her slightly more but she wasn’t (and still isn’t) emotionally prepared to hear my concerns with the church. She’s concerned my leaving the church would cause her to lose her connection with Jesus (I told her I want to attend a non-denominational christian church with similar morals and beliefs to ours). She asked that we both speak with our bishops and I agreed.
I expressed my concerns to my bishop and it went slightly better than expected. He shared a story about when he was a missionary. Two months in, he met a super aggressive anti-mormon who attacked their beliefs for 30-minutes straight. They left without saying a word. Bishop says he has many questions still but has chosen to “shelve” them for now. He basically told me two things: 1 - to read a particular talk about dissecting difficult questions with V. 2 - that I would have to grapple with this and come to my own conclusion. He’s just grateful I have a strong belief in Jesus, regardless of if I leave the church or not.
V spoke with her bishop and he is convinced I won’t leave. He doesn’t know me very well. He also doesn’t know I would leave in a heartbeat if V would come with me. I know my TBM family would accept my decision. When I left as a teenager they still loved me. When my brother left they didn’t shun him one bit. I know they would do the same for me. But V… I don’t know.
We both got blessings tonight (I honestly believe anyone living a good life who is trying to follow Jesus can speak in his name) and I felt so much peace as I contemplated the direction I want to take my life in… except for the part of not knowing if V will accept me. The young men who gave the blessing stated that “my father in heaven is proud of me” and I believe that is in regard to my dedication to knowing the truth about Jesus, accepting everyone for who they are (including mormons), and forgiving the church as it is God’s place to judge them and not mine.
I adore V and genuinely want to spend my life and eternity with her. She’s the only reason I’m PIMO and not exmo. She clearly, truly loves me. She and I have dreams of raising a small family together, we often laugh together (even when discussing difficult topics such as these ones), and we are able to communicate very well. But, when I’ve asked if she would stay with me if I left the church she skirts around the question and tells me she is confident I’ll come back before I leave. She’s never been afraid to hear the details of why I am struggling with something, until I brought all of this up to her. I really want to tell her what I am feeling and why. I wonder if she won’t agree and choose to find another church together if only she would take time to understand.
She wants both of us to meet together with her bishop because he has a similar style of communicating as I do. I think she might maybe be willing to hear my side if her bishop is there. I’m not sure he’ll actually give me a chance to say my side though. If he does, I’m not really convinced she won’t be torn apart between me and the church. We have agreed to take this one step at a time and to try to figure it all out piece by piece. We’re still talking wedding plans or even eloping if we both still feeling confident in us (I won’t let any marriage happens if we aren’t able to reconcile these differences).
Anyway, I’m just really not sure what to do next. Help? :’(
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2023.06.05 07:39 SnooRegrets4878 By His Spirit - June 4, 2023
“Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.” (Zechariah 4:6) All the works men undertake that glorify the Lord and have lasting value are accomplished by the work of His Spirit. All human striving toward good purposes is nothing without the direction and aid of that same powerful Spirit. Psalm 127:1 says, “Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it.” Christ’s ministry began with common folk. Jesus called forth Simon and Andrew as they were “casting a net into the sea,” and James and John while they were “mending their nets” (Matthew 4:18, 21). The first followers of our Lord were not the great and powerful of this world. The apostle Paul told the Corinthian church, “For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called” (1 Corinthians 1:26). Many of God’s elect don’t have riches, rank, or power because the kingdom of Christ is not dependent on these worldly things. Indeed, “God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: that no flesh should glory in his presence” (1 Corinthians 1:27-29). God’s Spirit not only empowers His kingdom purposes and work but also individually provides the strength and fortitude we desperately need. Paul encouraged Timothy, saying, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7). JPT https://www.icr.org/article/14064/?utm\_source=phplist10637&utm\_medium=email&utm\_content=HTML&utm\_campaign=June+4+-+By+His+Spirit
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2023.06.05 07:23 shadowdancer352 Question about the exclusivity policy of certain Christian churches
So I know that the Church of Christ in LA does not want its members dating outside that specific church (and I think they even frown on you maintaining any kind of friendship with non-CoC members), and I know a particular Catholic Church that required both partners to be attending only that specific Catholic Church (neither partner could attend a different Christian church) if they were to be married. And I’m guessing the rationale behind this is that with a more tight knit community, there’s more accountability - but is there any other reason or even ulterior motive that some churches have this kind of policy?
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2023.06.05 07:12 amaGreaterFool New personal best pulled pork.
Howdy all. Long time, first time. About an 8lb pork should. Added dry rub (mix of Traeger all purpose, beef rub, and course black pepper, at 10am. Let it sit in the fridge until 9:30pm. Then fired up the ironwood 885 with bear mountain hickory to 180 with super smoke. Put the shoulder on at 10pm. 6 hours later, had the Traeger bump itself to 225. 6 hours later at 10am the next morning it was 160. First picture. I put about a cup of water in a roaster pan (just didn’t feel like wrapping in foil for some reason) I also did more Traeger all purpose rub, Worcestershire sauce, and a 1/4 stick of butter, and brown sugar (basically meat church competition style and did the W sauce on a whim. Covered with roaster lid and ramped temp to 275. Let it go until the probe read 200. Which happened around 1230pm I think. Then it automatically switched to keep warm. At 2pm I pulled the pork and re incorporated the juices. Everything was perfect. The pepper bark, the savory pork, the hint of sweetness from the juices. Was just phenomenal. The pork glistened. Wonderful consistency. Everything I wanted it to be. More enjoyable than anything I’ve had on an offset, other pellet grills, etc. only thing I’ve enjoyed more is coopers bbq in Llano Tx.
Thanks for reading and good luck have fun!
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2023.06.05 07:01 AutoModerator Daily Readings
1.) Pray the Nine Psalms of the Diaspora (123-131)
- Morning: 123, 125, 127
- Noon: 124, 126
- Afternoon: 128, 129
- Noon: 130, 131
2.) Study Proverb 3
3.) Contemplate Matthew 4:4
Pray the Psalms of the Diaspora, and when you do, consider replacing the word "LORD" with "Jesus Christ" and "Israel" with "Church." Like Israel in Babylon, we are the Church in the world, apart from our holy Temple in Jerusalem.
Their Temple was built of gold and silver, but ours of God Himself — the Temple of Jesus Christ.
Then study the wisdom of Solomon and use it throughout your day to love all people just as Christ has loved you. Finally, if you are able, contemplate the words of our Lord — what He said, what He meant, what it means to us, His Church.
God be with you all!
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2023.06.05 05:45 talkingidiot2 Kyle McKay, choosing belief (certain conditions apply), and temple security
A couple of unrelated thoughts that I've been having. The short one first - what is up with elderly couples being "temple grounds workers"? The Gilbert temple, when it isn't open, has elderly couples in Sunday dress sitting outside in lawn chairs, surfing ipads in some sort of unofficial usher capacity. They have white temple worker tags on that said something about temple grounds, although I didn't get a good look. This on a day when it was over 100 degrees. There were also a couple of people in lawn chairs sitting near one of the entrances to the stake center that's across the parking lot from the temple. Is this new or just something I've never noticed? We went for some pictures on Sunday evening, so I'm not sure if this is only a Sunday thing (i.e. temple closed but gates to the grounds open).
Second topic, Kyle McKay. I listened to the latest RFM episode that has a recording of McKay's visit to the former seminary teacher who was recently on Mormonism Live. The episode wasn't as compelling as I had hoped because the seminary teacher did 90% of the talking, but McKay's comments were interesting, and in line with what he said at BYU-I shortly afterwards. He talks about focusing on Jesus Christ and choosing belief (i.e. being hopeful) rather than choosing doubt. While I have issues with making something so complex seem this simple, I can somewhat get behind this message. It aligns with the teachings of Christ in the New Testament. But then he adds in "and his restored gospel", and the wheels come off.
It seems like this is the latest shift in trying to appear more Christian and frankly more normal, to talk of focusing on Christ. The problem occurs when you get past the platitude or nice idiom, and look at what a GA's definition is of focusing on Christ. It's looking past human flaws, past and present, to focus on God and Christ (read the summary here
). That focus on Christ also coincidentally requires LDS-specific ordinances and covenant path adherence. Like the title said, conditions apply. Don't pay any attention to what Brigham Young said or did that was problematic, focus on Christ instead. Never mind that the church has insisted for a long time that there were gold plates present for translation, now the details don't matter because Joseph wasn't perfect. Or because the people who peddled a false narrative weren't perfect.
I am reasonable enough to not expect people to be perfect. Current church leaders are nullifying everything that the leaders prior to 2020-ish taught - namely that the gospel was fully restored. It's a scorched earth method that is not at all sustainable and won't age well. It reeks of desperation and implies that the current exodus is much more serious than they are acknowledging. Couple this with the recent GC advice to focus only on the living prophet, and it's clear that the LDS experiment is still being built while they drive it. For something that's "from the hand of God", I wouldn't expect it to still be baking in the oven after damn near 200 years.
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2023.06.05 05:32 Grilledsalmonfan How to become less sensitive (or something) - advice appreciated
Thanks for taking the time to read this post. It's kind of painful for me to write this, and if you're struggling with depression, maybe it's not the best post for you to read since it might be triggering.
At the moment I'm finding it difficult to attend church and other church-related gatherings. Nothing wrong with my church- If anything, it's fantastic, biblical, Christ-centered. Very humble people, quick to repent.
But I guess now that I'm in a depressed rut, old struggles just take a whole lot more effort to get through.
I'm surprised by how bothered I am by the occasional macho/indecent joke or comment said by someone immature. It never happens when the most mature members are present, so the theologically sound pushback/correction rarely happens in these moments. The teens can get a laugh out of it, and I just watch in silence.
I'd like to be the one to say something, but I don't because I just get too flustered due to having been bullied and ostracized for my effeminate traits in middle school, so I try hard just to not look effeminate or shaken.
Last week, I was in the middle of a gathering and we were taking prayer requests. Everyone seemed to have such big plans and hopes for their lives with their big budgets. I forced myself to laugh at the jokes and appear carefree to not break the celebration and praise reports, but it was really hard.
I'm sometimes the first person, regardless of setting, to notice something is off, church or not. I often end up protecting people and kids out of reflex. (Children just before an animal claws out their face, adults just before they say something they cant take back).
I'm just kind of stressed out by having to be one to be vigilant and be the "maid" who cleans up after everyone's mess (to quote Mr. Incredibles). Of course I have my blind spots too. And I need others too. But life seems like a series of pains right now. I know that part of the Christian life is to have a limp, like Jacob did. But am I just always going to be this discontent?
Im calling in on hotlines every week just to get through each day. Multiple times a day. I'm so tired of this limping and forced smiling.
Every time I see someone's faces, I think of the hurtful thing they said, the aggravating expression they made. And the things they should've said but didn't. It's torture to talk myself out of doing this and repent again and again. Knowing that I'll see them again next time and have to repeat the whole ordeal.
I'm tired of all the peoplepleasing, pouring hearts to one another without any particular resolutions, noticing people's everyday sins here and there and having to overlook them (both from me and others).
If you have any word of advice, it would be really appreciated. Thanks.
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2023.06.05 05:10 Leather_Engineer6913 The Church I Love is Far Away
Hi everyone! There is a congregation that I love but unfortunately, it is a 1.5-2 hour drive away from my apartment. I have searched and have had a difficult time finding a church that I feel the same connection with. The sermons are uplifting, the music is beautiful and the people actually embody the love of Christ. I've had a difficult time trusting congregations after seeing so many Christians fall victim to trumpism and Christian nationalism. However, I've watched their services for years, and I do not have this fear. I would love to start going in person, even if only once a month. I was wondering is it feasible to place membership at a church that far from where I live? What's the longest commute you have had to go to church?
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2023.06.05 04:33 Tangou-888 The Hoax Story of Remarkable Testimony of a Buddhist monk in Myanmar (Burma) (Part III)
___________________________________________________ Taken from http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/articles/2008/12/14/when_jesus_met_buddha/ for the intellectual discussion purposely. Not for commercial gain When Jesus met Buddha Something remarkable happened when evangelists for two great religions crossed paths more than 1,000 years ago: they got along By Philip Jenkins December 14, 2008 While few mainline Christians would put the matter in such confrontational terms, any religion claiming exclusive access to truth has real difficulties reconciling other great faiths into its cosmic scheme. Most Christian churches hold that Jesus alone is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and many also feel an obligation to carry that message to the world's unbelievers. But this creates a fundamental conflict with the followers of famous spiritual figures like Mohammed or Buddha, who preached radically different messages. Drawing on a strict interpretation of the Bible, some Christians see these rival faiths as not merely false, but as deliberate traps set by the forces of evil. Being intolerant of other religions - consigning them to hell, in fact - may be bad enough in its own right, but it increasingly has real- world consequences. As trade and technology shrink the globe, so different religions come into ever-closer contact with one another, and the results can be bloody: witness the apocalyptic assaults in Mumbai. In such a world, teaching different faiths to acknowledge one another's claims, to live peaceably together side by side, stops being a matter of good manners and becomes a prerequisite for human survival. Over the past 30 years, the Roman Catholic Church has faced repeated battles over this question of Christ's uniqueness, and has cracked down on thinkers who have made daring efforts to accommodate other world religions. While the Christian dialogue with Islam has attracted most of the headlines, it is the encounters with Hinduism and especially Buddhism that have stirred the most controversy within the church. Sri Lankan theologians Aloysius Pieris and Tissa Balasuriya have had many run-ins with Vatican critics, and, more recently, the battle has come to American shores. Last year, the Vatican ordered an investigation of Georgetown University's Peter Phan, a Jesuit theologian whose main sin, in official eyes, has been to treat the Buddhism of his Vietnamese homeland as a parallel path to salvation. Following the ideas of Pope Benedict XVI, though, the church refuses to give up its fundamental belief in the unique role of Christ. In a widely publicized open letter to Italian politician Marcello Pera, Pope Benedict declared that "an inter-religious dialogue in the strict sense of the term is not possible." By all means, he said, we should hold conversations with other cultures, but not in a way that acknowledges other religions as equally valid. While the Vatican does not of course see the Buddha as a demon, it does fear the prospect of syncretism, the dilution of Christian truth in an unholy mixture with other faiths. Beyond doubt, this view places Benedict in a strong tradition of Christianity as it has developed in Europe since Roman times. But there is another, ancient tradition, which suggests a very different course. Europe's is not the only version of the Christian faith, nor is it necessarily the oldest heir of the ancient church. For more than 1,000 years, other quite separate branches of the church established thriving communities across Asia, and in their sheer numbers, these churches were comparable to anything Europe could muster at the time. These Christian bodies traced their ancestry back not through Rome, but directly to the original Jesus movement of ancient Palestine. They moved across India, Central Asia, and China, showing no hesitation to share - and learn from - the other great religions of the East. Just how far these Christians were prepared to go is suggested by a startling symbol that appeared on memorials and stone carvings in both southern India and coastal China during the early Middle Ages. We can easily see that the image depicts a cross, but it takes a moment to realize that the base of the picture - the root from which the cross is growing - is a lotus flower, the symbol of Buddhist enlightenment. In modern times, most mainstream churches would condemn such an amalgam as a betrayal of the Christian faith, an example of multiculturalism run wild. Yet concerns about syncretism did not bother these early Asian Christians, who called themselves Nasraye, Nazarenes, like Jesus's earliest followers. They were comfortable associating themselves with the other great monastic and mystical religion of the time, and moreover, they believed that both lotus and cross carried similar messages about the quest for light and salvation. If these Nazarenes could find meaning in the lotus-cross, then why can't modern Catholics, or other inheritors of the faith Jesus inspired? Many Christians are coming to terms with just how thoroughly so many of their fundamental assumptions will have to be rethought as their faith today becomes a global religion. Even modern church leaders who know how rapidly the church is expanding in the global South tend to see European values and traditions as the indispensable norm, in matters of liturgy and theology as much as music and architecture. Yet the reality is that Christianity has from its earliest days been an intercontinental faith, as firmly established in Asia and Africa as in Europe itself. When we broaden our scope to look at the faith that by 800 or so stretched from Ireland to Korea, we see the many different ways in which Christians interacted with other believers, in encounters that reshaped both sides. At their best, these meetings allowed the traditions not just to exchange ideas but to intertwine in productive and enriching ways, in an awe-inspiring chapter of Christian history that the Western churches have all but forgotten. To understand this story, we need to reconfigure our mental maps. When we think of the growth of Christianity, we think above all of Europe. We visualize a movement growing west from Palestine and Syria and spreading into Greece and Italy, and gradually into northern regions. Europe is still the center of the Catholic Church, of course, but it was also the birthplace of the Protestant denominations that split from it. For most of us, even speaking of the "Eastern Church" refers to another group of Europeans, namely to the Orthodox believers who stem from the eastern parts of the continent. English Catholic thinker Hilaire Belloc once proclaimed that "Europe is the Faith; and the Faith is Europe." But in the early centuries other Christians expanded east into Asia and south into Africa, and those other churches survived for the first 1,200 years or so of Christian history. Far from being fringe sects, these forgotten churches were firmly rooted in the oldest traditions of the apostolic church. Throughout their history, these Nazarenes used Syriac, which is close to Jesus' own language of Aramaic, and they followed Yeshua, not Jesus. No other church - not Roman Catholics, not Eastern Orthodox - has a stronger claim to a direct inheritance from the earliest Jesus movement. The most stunningly successful of these eastern Christian bodies was the Church of the East, often called the Nestorian church. While the Western churches were expanding their influence within the framework of the Roman Empire, the Syriac-speaking churches colonized the vast Persian kingdom that ruled from Syria to Pakistan and the borders of China. From their bases in Mesopotamia - modern Iraq - Nestorian Christians carried out their vast missionary efforts along the Silk Route that crossed Central Asia. By the eighth century, the Church of the East had an extensive structure across most of central Asia and China, and in southern India. The church had senior clergy - metropolitans - in Samarkand and Bokhara, in Herat in Afghanistan. A bishop had his seat in Chang'an, the imperial capital of China, which was then the world's greatest superpower. When Nestorian Christians were pressing across Central Asia during the sixth and seventh centuries, they met the missionaries and saints of an equally confident and expansionist religion: Mahayana Buddhism. Buddhists too wanted to take their saving message to the world, and launched great missions from India's monasteries and temples. In this diverse world, Buddhist and Christian monasteries were likely to stand side by side, as neighbors and even, sometimes, as collaborators. Some historians believe that Nestorian missionaries influenced the religious practices of the Buddhist religion then developing in Tibet. Monks spoke to monks. In presenting their faith, Christians naturally used the cultural forms that would be familiar to Asians. They told their stories in the forms of sutras, verse patterns already made famous by Buddhist missionaries and teachers. A stunning collection of Jesus Sutras was found in caves at Dunhuang, in northwest China. Some Nestorian writings draw heavily on Buddhist ideas, as they translate prayers and Christian services in ways that would make sense to Asian readers. In some texts, the Christian phrase "angels and archangels and hosts of heaven" is translated into the language of buddhas and devas. One story in particular suggests an almost shocking degree of collaboration between the faiths. In 782, the Indian Buddhist missionary Prajna arrived in Chang'an, bearing rich treasures of sutras and other scriptures. Unfortunately, these were written in Indian languages. He consulted the local Nestorian bishop, Adam, who had already translated parts of the Bible into Chinese. Together, Buddhist and Christian scholars worked amiably together for some years to translate seven copious volumes of Buddhist wisdom. Probably, Adam did this as much from intellectual curiosity as from ecumenical good will, and we can only guess about the conversations that would have ensued: Do you really care more about relieving suffering than atoning for sin? And your monks meditate like ours do? These efforts bore fruit far beyond China. Other residents of Chang'an at this very time included Japanese monks, who took these very translations back with them to their homeland. In Japan, these works became the founding texts of the great Buddhist schools of the Middle Ages. All the famous movements of later Japanese history, including Zen, can be traced to one of those ancient schools and, ultimately - incredibly - to the work of a Christian bishop. By the 12th century, flourishing churches in China and southern India were using the lotus-cross. The lotus is a superbly beautiful flower that grows out of muck and slime. No symbol could better represent the rise of the soul from the material, the victory of enlightenment over ignorance, desire, and attachment. For 2,000 years, Buddhist artists have used the lotus to convey these messages in countless paintings and sculptures. The Christian cross, meanwhile, teaches a comparable lesson, of divine victory over sin and injustice, of the defeat of the world. Somewhere in Asia, Yeshua's forgotten followers made the daring decision to integrate the two emblems, which still today forces us to think about the parallels between the kinds of liberation and redemption offered by each faith. Christianity, for much of its history, was just as much an Asian religion as Buddhism. Asia's Christian churches survived for more than a millennium, and not until the 10th century, halfway through Christian history, did the number of Christians in Europe exceed that in Asia. What ultimately obliterated the Asian Christians were the Mongol invasions, which spread across Central Asia and the Middle East from the 1220s onward. From the late 13th century, too, the world entered a terrifying era of climate change, of global cooling, which severely cut food supplies and contributed to mass famine. The collapse of trade and commerce crippled cities, leaving the world much poorer and more vulnerable. Intolerant nationalism wiped out Christian communities in China, while a surging militant Islam destroyed the churches of Central Asia. But awareness of this deep Christian history contributes powerfully to understanding the future of the religion, as much as its past. For long centuries, Asian Christians kept up neighborly relations with other faiths, which they saw not as deadly rivals but as fellow travelers on the road to enlightenment. Their worldview differed enormously from the norms that developed in Europe. To take one example, we are used to the idea of Christianity operating as the official religion of powerful states, which were only too willing to impose a particular orthodoxy upon their subjects. Yet when we look at the African and Asian experience, we find millions of Christians whose normal experience was as minorities or even majorities within nations dominated by some other religion. Struggling to win hearts and minds, leading churches had no option but to frame the Christian message in the context of non-European intellectual traditions. Christian thinkers did present their message in the categories of Buddhism - and Taoism, and Confucianism - and there is no reason why they could not do so again. When modern scholars like Peter Phan try to place Christianity in an Asian and Buddhist context, they are resuming a task begun at least 1,500 years ago. Perhaps, in fact, we are looking at our history upside down. Some day, future historians might look at the last few hundred years of Euro- American dominance within Christianity and regard it as an unnatural interlude in a much longer story of fruitful interchange between the great religions. Consider the story told by Timothy, a patriarch of the Nestorian church. Around 800, he engaged in a famous debate with the Muslim caliph in Baghdad, a discussion marked by reason and civility on both sides. Imagine, Timothy said, that we are all in a dark house, and someone throws a precious pearl in the midst of a pile of ordinary stones. Everyone scrabbles for the pearl, and some think they've found it, but nobody can be sure until day breaks. In the same way, he said, the pearl of true faith and wisdom had fallen into the darkness of this transitory world; each faith believed that it alone had found the pearl. Yet all he could claim - and all the caliph could say in response - was that some faiths thought they had enough evidence to prove that they were indeed holding the real pearl, but the final truth would not be known in this world. Knowing other faiths firsthand grants believers an enviable sophistication, founded on humility. We could do a lot worse than to learn from what we sometimes call the Dark Ages. Philip Jenkins is Edwin Erle Sparks professor of the humanities at Penn State University. He is author of "The Lost History of Christianity: The Thousand-Year Golden Age of the Church in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia -- and How It Died," published last month. © Copyright 2008 Globe Newspaper Company. http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/articles/2008/12/14/when_jesus_met_buddha/
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2023.06.05 04:32 dannyriccfan1227 Very unconvinced on Purgatory.
I've been doing a bit of research into the history and development on the doctrine, as well as the verses and sources typically used to defend it. The earliest strong evidence I can find is from St. Augustine, the reason I say that is because Origen and Clement of Alexandria are sort of iffy in terms of what they taught, they aren't very high-grade Church Fathers in my personal opinion. I understand the Catholic notion that sin bears both temporal and eternal punishment, but is there scriptural backing to this logic? Someone please steelman the argument for Purgatory, this is genuinely causing me a good deal of anxiety. It seems that nearly all protestants are vehemently against this particular doctrine, and I'm not entirely convinced myself that this wasn't something from Greek philosophy that was later grafted onto the faith. Also, if Christ's sacrifice was fully sufficient for the eternal aspect of sin, why would it not be fully sufficient to cleanse the temporal aspect as well?
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2023.06.05 04:29 Tangou-888 The Hoax Story of Remarkable Testimony of a Buddhist monk in Myanmar (Burma) (Part II)
| || |Dear All NDE Fans, I was alerted and requested by someone in a responsible position to check for the authenticity of the story behind this posting. After speaking to and exchanging Emails with Myanmar (Burmese) monks as well as fellow Myanmar Buddhism experts in many countries, I am 100% confident that this NDE story is completely fictitious. The reasons are given below. (1) All Burmese experts said they had never heard of the story about this Myanmar Buddhist monk before. (2) There is also no reports either in Burma or outside Burma of mass defection of Myanmar Buddhist Monks to join the Christian Church. (3) The monk in the story said he became a novice at the age of 18. It is rather unusual as most boys Burmese boys join the monastic life at younger age than 18. (4) At the age of 19, he became a monk. This is also unusual as the entry age for becoming a fully ordained monk is 20. (There is one exception when one considers the foetal life while in the mother's womb) (5) U Zadila, also known as 'Kyar Ni Kan Sayadaw' was described as probably the most famous Buddhist Teacher of the time. That is disputable. Venerable Kyar Ni Kan Sayadaw was indeed well known and very popular as public speaker and preacher. But he was not regarded as the most distinguished monk academically and intellectually. (6) The monk said 'Kyar Ni Kan Sayadaw' died in a car crash in 1983 . In fact Sayadaw died in Myanmar Era 1339 = about 1977. There was a 6 years discrepancy which is unacceptable as the monk said he studied under him. He should know the exact year when his teacher died. And that 1977 was also the year when he became a monk. This fact alone is enough to brand the story as a fake or invention. (7) He said he was given a new name of 'U Nata Pannita Ashinthuriya' when he entered the monastery. In Burma, the title 'shin' was used for the novice. 'U' was never used for a novice. (8) The monk's new name itself was unusual nor unheard of, according to the monks I consulted. (9) Doctors diagnosed Malaria and Yellow fever. Actually the Yellow Fever was not known to exist in Burma. (10) To recover completely after very severe malaria is most unusual especially after being discharged to die. (11) To regain Life after the body started to decay (decompose) is impossible according to conventional medical thinking. There are other discrepancies regarding his actual NDE. But there is no need to dig deeper. It is a complete FICTION. It is very regrettable that a Christian Church was reported to be involved in creating this dishonest practice. We expect 'James' to say something about our findings. He is the one who reported the story to the world media. After reading his various postings to this forum, I believe that he is either a priest or a serious Christian. We welcome his reply as well as the communication from the Church authorities who wrote the Introduction to this fictitious story and published in their regular bulletin. Best wishes to all, Melvin, [email protected]... ___________________________________________________ http://www.ccgm.org.au/Articles/ARTICLE-0102.htm Note: The old link was no longer there so try this link instead http://www.christianfaith.com/lookout/the-tale-of-the-resurrected-monk Resurrected Burmese Monk Story Revisited During the year 2000, numerous emails circulated on the Internet passing on the dramatic story: ‘BACK FROM THE DEAD The Remarkable Testimony of a Buddhist monk in Myanmar (Burma) who came back to life a changed man!’ With CCG Ministries’ involvement in Asia, including Myanmar, we were very interested in this story and its authenticity. It was brought to ‘life’ on the Internet through the promotion of a Christian missionary organization then called, Asian Minorities Outreach, later changing its name to: Asia Harvest, headquartered in Texas, USA, and operating from Thailand. Its Director, Paul Hatthaway, has written several books, including ‘The Heavenly Man’. For quite some time the ‘resurrected Buddhist monk’ story appeared on the front page of the organisation’s website. Then the actual story was removed from their website, but a remaining reference to it encouraged people to request a copy of the story by email. The following explanation for the change, was given by the group at the time: ‘A Quick Note: We have been asked by many people why this testimony is no longer available on our website. We were ordered to remove the story by the government of Singapore, who had apparently received complaints from Buddhists. As our website is housed in Singapore at the moment, we didn’t have much choice.’ AMO/Asia Harvest introduced the story with the following introduction: ‘The story that follows is simply a translation of a taped testimony from a man with a life-changing story. It is not an interview or a biography, but simply the words from the man himself. Different people react in different ways when they hear this story. Some are inspired, some skeptical, a few will mock and ridicule, while some others have even been filled with rage and anger, convinced these words are the ravings of a mad man or an elaborate deception. Some Christians have opposed the story simply because the radical and miraculous events described herein do not fit their feeble image of an Almighty God.’ We were concerned with the above wording and commented in our 2001 report that it was interesting to note the approach they took in the introduction. Anyone who questioned the story would immediately be labelled as a sceptic, a mocker or ridiculer, someone filled with rage and anger, or worse a Christian whose concept of God is feeble and who does not believe that an Almighty God can be radical and perform miracles. This could be seen by some as a form of bullying and intimidation to dismiss any form of thought and questioning of the story. It is not a healthy or biblical approach to dealing with questions about such a dramatic story, nor does it encourage people to use their minds. The resurrected monk’s story was quite a dramatic tale and it has impressed many people. It was even reported in the well-known Christian Singaporean magazine: IMPACT (June/July 2000, p.45). It continued to be circulated and passed on through emails for some time. But was it true? If it was, it SHOULD be circulated - whatever the consequences. But what if it was NOT true? Should it then continue to be circulated never-the-less? We believe not! It should be noted that there have been several versions of the story circulating. One version, which was circulating in March and April of 2000, began with an ‘Extract’: ‘Myanmar: Buddhist monk raised from the dead - 300 monks turn to Jesus. “In 1998, a Buddhist monk died. A few days later, his funeral was held, at which he was to be cremated. From the smell, it was obvious that his body had started to decompose - he was very clearly dead!” according to the report from missions agency Asian Minorities Outreach. “We have attempted to verify this report which reached us from a number of sources, and are now convinced that it is accurate,” they write. Hundreds of monks and relatives of the dead man attended the funeral. Just as the body was about to be burned, the dead monk suddenly sat up, shouting ‘It’s a lie! I saw our ancestors burning and being tortured in some sort of fire. I also saw Buddha and many other Buddhist holy men. They were all in a sea of fire!’ ‘We must listen to the Christians,’ he continued emphatically, ‘they’re the only ones who know the truth!’ The events shocked the whole region. Over 300 monks became Christians and started to study the Bible. The resurrected man continued to warn everyone to believe in Jesus, because he is the only true God. Tapes of the monk’s report were distributed throughout Myanmar. The Buddhist hierarchy and the government were soon alarmed, and they arrested the monk. He has not been seen since and it is feared that he was killed to keep him silent. It is now a serious crime to listen to the tapes, because the government wants to dampen the sensation.’ On Sunday 19th November 2000, CCG Ministries’ Director, Adrian van Leen, interviewed and spoke with a man who claimed to be the ‘resurrected’ Paul in a hotel function room in Yangon in the company of four Myanmar Christian leaders. That interview raised serious questions as to the authenticity of the story under consideration. submitted by Tangou-888 to TBSDaoismVajrayana [link] [comments]
Our detailed review of the interview with the man claiming to be Paul, the ‘resurrected’ monk, was published as a report, sent to Asia Harvest, and placed on our website. After emailing a copy of the report, we also sent a ‘hard’ copy of the TACL containing the printed article, to Asia Harvest. In the latter part of 2003 we received the following email from Asia Harvest: Greetings! I’m sure you will remember our communications a year or two back regarding the story of the Buddhist monk in Myanmar who came back to life. We were the ones who first had his testimony translated and published on our website. Then you travelled to Myanmar and met with a man regarding this story. Your graphic report of that interview, his seemingly unstable mind and completely inconsistent testimony left us with no option but to withdraw the story from our website and offer our deep apologies. The last thing we want to do is discredit the name of our Lord Jesus by publishing any story that is untrue. I wrote to you of our intentions and you accurately reported, [After Asia Harvest received a copy of this report they removed all references to the story from their website and stopped sending out email transcripts of the claimed resurrection account. They will be making some statement regarding their initial endorsement of the story. When this is available we will gladly append it to this report.] However, when we received your magazine article which carried a picture of the man you interviewed, we showed it to two Burmese pastors who met the original “Paul” in Myanmar and they immediately said this was the wrong man! Later a missionary who lives here in Thailand but who works in Myanmar also said the man you interviewed looks nothing like the monk, being much younger. More information since has revealed that there are actually three or four different people in Myanmar who claim they were monks who rose from the dead! Our contacts in Yangon (Rangoon) say that two of these are completely untrustworthy men, with little evidence of a genuine conversion to Christ. One of these is the young man you interviewed. No wonder his birth-date and other key facts were different from the testimony we published - it was not the same person! It almost seems that Satan sent along these counterfeits with false testimonies and a poor witness in order to discredit the original testimony. Can we absolutely guarantee the story we published is true - of course not. Only God and the person involved can know what happened in such a story. We stated this when we first released the transcript of his testimony. But as far as can be verified, we have yet to be convinced that this testimony is false. We have been told it now seems likely that the monk Paul was killed. He was in hiding for more than 12 months and has not been heard of since. Another ex-monk who lives in Shan State, who also converted to Christ through miraculous circumstances is also being hunted by the authorities in a bid to silence him. In the interests of fairness, would you be willing to publish our comments in this email with the story that is on your website? God bless you, Asia Harvest Unfortunately, this update from Asia Harvest still fails to answer many of the questions and issues CCG Ministries raised in our report initially. Our report had already acknowledged that there were several people in Myanmar (Burma) claiming to be the ‘resurrected’ monk: Further complications have arisen with this whole saga. According to the beliefs of some people in Myanmar (or some with friends and/or relatives in Myanmar), several different people supposedly, or apparently, are claiming to be the resurrected Buddhist monk - at least an older man and a not-so-balanced young man. Even if we completely remove the questionable ‘Paul’ interviewed by CCG Ministries’ Director and several Myanmar Pastors, we are still left with serious questions about the whole story anyway. These were made clear in our 2001 report and remain unanswered by the recent comments from Asia harvest. Apart from the contradictions made by [the suspect] Paul in front of witnesses, there are still serious questions about the content of his [the ‘original ‘Paul’] supposed visions or visit to hell and heaven, as well as questions about editorial comments made by Asian Minorities Outreach/Asia Harvest. AMO/Asia Harvest has made statements about Paul being radically transformed and having a 180-degree shift in his life, and him continuing to be a fearless witness for Christ, of him being persecuted, scorned by family, friends and colleagues, and facing death for his unwillingness to compromise. But some Myanmar Christian leaders have asked (as we do also) on what do they base this, apart from his say so [or the say-so of unnamed pastors whose comments seem in clear conflict with that of the majority of pastors – especially from known established churches and denominations]? What evidence do they have? Statements that [the ‘original’] Paul had been arrested and imprisoned - probably several times, not seen since, and that it was feared that he had been killed to keep him silent - are all highly emotive. While claims of imprisonment in such a situation are plausible and even probable, they remain unsubstantiated. AMO/Asia Harvest has stated that the story was first told them by several Burmese church leaders, and that since being initially told they ‘have attempted to verify this report which reached us from a number of sources, and are now convinced that it is accurate.’ IMPACT Magazine reported that a spokesman for AMO/Asia Harvest stated: ‘We believe it to be true as there are many witnesses to these events.’ CCG Ministries’ Director, Adrian van Leen, before, especially during, and after his visit to Myanmar in November 2000, [and subsequent visits in 2001 and 2002] has spoken to a number of [numerous] Myanmar Christian leaders - including a number who are involved in inter-church/inter-denominational work, as well as leaders of several denominations. He spoke with leaders from Yangon and across Myanmar who attended a conference in Bago, and also Christian leaders in Mandalay and a regional township. Many of these leaders from across varying denominations had contact with other Christian leaders across the country. No one was able to give ANY form of authentication to the story. A number of leaders, including those who had been in Christian leadership in Mandalay, knew of no evidence to confirm any part of the story. Some of the Myanmar Christian leaders would very much like to know who the ‘several Burmese church leaders’ are that AMO/Asia Harvest refers to as their sources for this story. In fact, it was pointed out very clearly that, had the story been true, especially had there been a number of Buddhist monks converted to Christianity - especially as many as 300 and very much so if there were as many as 7,000 - the news would have spread rapidly. While the government-controlled media might have tried to suppress such news - the Christians and churches (particularly in the Mandalay area) would not have been able - nor have wanted to - suppress such news. It would have spread rapidly and widely through the churches. The Buddhist community would also have spread the story - though for different reasons. The claim that ’there are many witnesses to these events’ is also disputed by Myanmar Christian leaders, who have stated that they had never met anyone who had been a direct primary witness - nor anyone who had personally met a direct witness to these events… The reality is that in Myanmar itself no one has been able to find any witnesses or any evidence whatever, to support the story of the resurrected Paul. It was also pointed out that [the ‘original’] Paul’s claim to have seen Aung San, the revolutionary leader of Myanmar (father of current opposition leader, Aung San Suu Kyi) in hell ‘because he persecuted and killed Christians, but mostly because he didn’t believe in Jesus Christ’ was completely without foundation. He is a well known figure in Burmese/Myanmar thinking and history - and there is no evidence at all that he persecuted any Christians, let alone killed any. AMO/Asia Harvest has invited ‘Christian believers to judge it [Paul’s resurrection story] according to Scripture.’
As one senior Myanmar pastor pointed out, the story and description of hell given by Paul, is itself contrary to Scripture. Paul’s story is also in conflict with the story Jesus told in the account of the rich man and the beggar, Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31). When carefully examined it is also in conflict with the comments of the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 15 - in particular where that Paul was able to name eye witnesses to the resurrection of Christ - and acknowledged at the time that some were still living - in other words, he was able to produce witnesses who could testify to the authenticity of his claims. Pastors in Myanmar are still asking for real evidence and living witnesses to the claimed miracle with whom they can discuss and verify the story. So far, the story’s authenticity remains with the claims made by Asia Harvest. The story of the ‘resurrected Paul’ is known throughout much of Myanmar - and his tape has circulated (in several versions). Hardly anyone in Myanmar - especially amongst Christian leaders - has accepted or believed the story. There is just nothing to back it up. Far from the ‘resurrected monk’ story providing a ‘fearless and faithful witness to Jesus Christ, whose testimony is converting Buddhists, strengthening the church or bringing glory to God’s name’, Myanmar pastor have told our Director that it has brought fear and suspicion to many Christians in the country. We concluded our 2001 report with the comment: Whatever the truth behind this sad saga, most Christians, and most pastors and church leaders in Myanmar, are not taking this story seriously and see little value in it for the growth of the Christian community in that country. From the evidence we have been able to examine, including the claims and content of the story itself, and all the discussions with Pastors and others in Myanmar, we believe it would have been wiser for the story not to have been published and circulated. We believe that ‘miracle stories’ which cannot be adequately substantiated ought to be treated with caution – especially if those stories, or significant parts of those stories, do not conform to Scripture. Lives continue to be changed by the resurrected and living Jesus Christ – sometimes dramatically, sometimes quietly – the substance of those changed lives are quiet miracles that are often clear and undisputed. They continue to honour Christ and encourage others.
Burmese \"Paul\" as in the story
2023.06.05 04:26 Tangou-888 The Hoax Story of Remarkable Testimony of a Buddhist monk in Myanmar (Burma) (Part I)
The Hoax Story of Remarkable Testimony of a Buddhist monk in Myanmar (Burma) who came back to life a changed man! Introduction The story that follows is simply a translation of a taped testimony from a man with a life-changing story. It is not an interview or a biography, but simply the words from the man himself. Different people react in different ways when they hear this story. Some are inspired, some skeptical, a few will mock and ridicule, while some others have even been filled with rage and anger, convinced these words are the ravings of a mad man or an elaborate deception. Some Christians have opposed the story simply because the radical and miraculous events described herein do not fit their feeble image of an Almighty God. We were first made aware of this story from several Burmese church leaders who shared it with us. These leaders had looked into the story and had not found any suggestion of it being a hoax. It was with this in mind that we decided to step out and circulate the story. We do not do so for any monetary gain, or with a motivation of self-promotion. We just want to let the story speak for itself, and invite Christian believers to judge it according to Scripture. If God wants any part of it to be intended for His glory or to encourage His people, then we pray His Spirit will work in the hearts of the readers in those ways. Some people have told us they think the monk in this story never actually died, but that he just lapsed into unconsciousness, and the things he saw and heard were part of a fever-driven hallucination. Whatever you think, the simple fact remains that the events of this story so radically transformed this man that his life took on a complete 180-degree shift after the events described below. He has fearlessly and boldly told his story at great personal cost, including imprisonment. He has been scorned by his relatives, friends and colleagues, and faced death threats for his unwillingness to compromise his message. What motivated this man to be willing to risk everything? Whether we believe him or not, his story is surely worth listening to and considering. In the cynical West many people demand hard evidence of such things, evidence that would stand up in a court of law. Can we absolutely guarantee, beyond doubt, that all of these things happened? No, we cannot. But we feel it is worth repeating this man's story in his own words so that readers can judge for themselves. My Early Years Hello! My name is Athet Pyan Shinthaw Paulu. I am from the country of Myanmar. I would like to share with you my testimony of what happened to me, but first I would like to give some brief background information from my life growing up. I was born in 1958 in the town of Bogale, on the Irrawaddy Delta area of southern Myanmar [formerly Burma]. My parents, who were devout Buddhists like most people in Myanmar, named me Thitpin [which means 'tree' in English]. Our lives were very simple where I grew up. At the age of 13 I left school and started working on a fishing boat. We caught fish and sometimes also shrimp from the numerous rivers and streams in the Irrawaddy area. At the age of 16 I became the leader of the boat. At this time I lived in Upper Mainmahlagyon Island [Mainmahlagyon means 'Beautiful Woman Island' in English], just north of Bogale where I was born. This place is about 100 miles southwest of Yangon [Rangoon], our nation's capitol city. One day, when I was 17, we caught a large number of fish in our nets. Because of the many fish, a large crocodile was attracted to us. It followed our boat and tried to attack us. We were terrified so we frantically rowed our boats toward the riverbank as fast as we could. The crocodile followed us and smashed our boat with its tail. Although no one died in this incident, the attack greatly affected my life. I no longer wanted to fish. Our small boat sank because of the crocodile attack. We had to go home to our village that night on a passenger boat. Not long after, his employers transferred my father to Yangon City [formerly spelt Rangoon]. At the age of 18 I was sent to a Buddhist monastery to be a novice monk. Most parents in Myanmar try to send their son into a Buddhist monastery, at least for a time, as it is considered a great honor to have a son serve in this way. We have been observing this custom for many hundreds of years.
A Zealous Disciple of Buddha When I turned 19 years and 3 months old (in 1977), I became a normal monk. The senior monk at my monastery gave me a new Buddhist name, which is the custom in our country. I was now called U Nata Pannita Ashinthuriya. When we become a monk we no longer use the name given to us at birth by our parents. The name of the monastery I lived at is called Mandalay Kyaikasan Kyaing. The senior monk's name was called U Zadila Kyar Ni Kan Sayadaw [U Zadila is his title]. He was the most famous Buddhist monk in all of Myanmar at the time. Everyone knew who he was. He was widely honored by the people and respected as a great teacher. I say he "was" because in 1983 he suddenly died when he was involved in a fatal car accident. His death shocked everyone. At the time I had been a monk for six years. I tried hard to be the best monk I could and to follow all the precepts of Buddhism. At one stage I moved to a cemetery where I lived and meditated continually. Some monks who really want to know the truths of Buddha do things like I did. Some move deep into the forests where they live a life of self-denial and poverty. I sought to deny my selfish thoughts and desires, to escape from sickness and suffering and to break free from the cycle of this world. At the cemetery I was not afraid of ghosts. I tried to attain such inner peace and self-realization that even when a mosquito landed on my arm I would let it bite me instead of brushing it off! For years I strived to be the best monk I could and not to harm any living being. I studied the holy Buddhist teachings just like all my forefathers had done before me. My life proceeded as a monk until I got very, very sick. I was in Mandalay at the time and had to be taken to the hospital for treatment. The doctors did some tests on me and told me I had both Yellow Fever and malaria at the same time! After about one month in the hospital I was getting worse. The doctors told me there was no chance for me to recover and discharged me to make arrangements to die. This is a brief description of my past. I would now like to tell you some of the remarkable things that happened to me after this times...
A Vision that Changed My Life Forever After I was discharged from the hospital I went back to the monastery where other monks cared for me. I grew weaker and weaker and was lapsing into unconsciousness. I learned later that I actually died for three days. My body decayed and stunk of death, and my heart stopped beating. My body was prepared for cremation and was put through traditional Buddhist purification rites. Although I faded away in my body I remember my mind and spirit were fully alert. I was in a very, very powerful storm. A tremendous wind flattened the whole landscape until there were no trees or anything else standing, just a flat plain. I walked very fast along this plain for some time. There were no other people anywhere, I was all alone. After some time I crossed a river. On the other side of the river I saw a terrible, terrible lake of fire. In Buddhism we do not have a concept of a place like this. At first I was confused and didn't know it was hell until I saw Yama, the king of hell [Yama is the name ascribed to the King of Hell in numerous cultures throughout Asia]. His face looked like the face of a lion, his body was like a lion, but his legs were like a naga [serpent spirit]. He had a number of horns on his head. His face was very fierce, and I was extremely afraid. Trembling, I asked him his name. He replied, "I am the king of hell, the Destroyer." The terrible, terrible lake of fire The king of hell told me to look into the lake of fire. I looked and I saw the saffron colored robes that Buddhist monks wear in Myanmar. I looked closer and saw the shaven head of a man. When I looked at the man's face I saw it was U Zadila Kyar Ni Kan Sayadaw [the famous monk who had died in a car accident in 1983]. I asked the king of hell why my former leader was confined to this lake of torment. I said, "Why is he in this lake of fire? He was a very good teacher. He even had a teaching tape called 'Are You a Man or a Dog?' which had helped thousands of people understand that their worth as humans is far greater than the animals." The king of hell replied, "Yes, he was a good teacher but he did not believe in Jesus Christ. That's why he is in hell." I was told to look at another person who was in the fire. I saw a man with very long hair wrapped on the left hand side of his head. He was also wearing a robe. I asked the king of hell, "Who is this man?" He replied, "This is the one you worship: Gautama [Buddha]." I was very disturbed to see Gautama in hell. I protested, "Gautama had good ethnics and good moral character, why is he suffering in this lake of fire?" The king of hell answered me, "It doesn't matter how good he was. He is in this place because he did not believe in the Eternal God." I then saw another man who looked like he was wearing a soldier's uniform. He had a large wound on his chest. I asked, "Who is this man?" The king of hell said, "This is Aung San, the revolutionary leader of Myanmar." I was told, "Aung San is here because he persecuted and killed Christians, but mostly because he didn't believe in Jesus Christ." In Myanmar the people have a common saying, "Soldiers never die, they live on." I was told that the legions of hell have a saying "Soldiers never die, but they go to hell forever." I looked and saw another man in the lake of fire. He was a very tall man and he was dressed in military armor. He was also holding a sword and a shield. This man had a wound on his forehead. This man was taller than any person I have ever seen. He was six times the length between a man's elbow and the tips of his fingers when he stretches his arm out straight, plus one span of a man's fingers when he spreads out his hand. The king of hell said, "This man's name is Goliath. He is in hell because he blasphemed the Eternal God and His servant David." I was confused because I didn't know who either Goliath or David were. The king of hell said, "Goliath is recorded in the Christian Bible. You don't know him now, but when you become a Christian you will know who he is."
I was then taken to a place where I saw both rich and poor people preparing to eat their evening meals. I asked, "Who cooked the food for these people?" The king of hell replied, "The poor have to prepare their own food, but the rich people get others to cook for them." When the food had been prepared for the rich people they sat down to eat. As soon as they started a thick smoke came up. The rich people ate as fast as they could to ease their consciences. They were struggling to breath because of the smoke. They had to eat fast because they were fearful of losing their money. Their money is their god. Another king of hell then came to me. I also saw a being whose job is to stoke the fires beneath the lake of fire, to keep it hot. This being asked me, "Are you going into the lake of fire too?" I replied, "No! I am only here to observe!" The appearance of this creature stoking the fire was very terrifying. He had ten horns on his head and a spear in his hand that had seven sharp blades coming from the end. The creature told me, "You are right. You came here just to observe. I cannot find your name here." He said, "You must now go back the way you came." He pointed me toward the desolate plain that I had first walked along before I came to the lake of fire. The Road of Decision I walked a long time, until I was bleeding. I was hot and in great pain. Finally, after walking for about three hours I came to a wide road. I walked along this road for some time until I came to a fork. One road, going off to the left, was wide. A smaller road went off to the right hand side. There was a signpost at the fork saying that the road to the left was for those who do not believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. The smaller road to the right was for believers in Jesus. I was interested to see where the larger road led so I started down it. There were two men walking about 300 yards ahead of me. I tried to catch up with them so I could walk with them but no matter how hard I tried I couldn't catch them up, so I turned around and went back to the fork in the road. I continued to watch these two men as they walked down the road away from me. When they reached the end of the road they were suddenly stabbed. These two men cried out in great pain! I also cried out when I saw what happened to them! I realized the bigger road ended in great danger for those who traveled down it. Looking into Heaven I started walking down the believers' road instead. After traveling for about one hour the surface of the road turned to pure gold. It was so pure that when I looked down I could see my own reflection perfectly. I then saw a man standing in front of me. He was wearing a white robe. I also heard beautiful singing. Oh, it was so beautiful and pure! It was much better and more meaningful than the worship we have in churches here on the earth. The man in the white robe asked me to walk with him. I asked him, "What is your name?" but he did not answer. After I asked his name six times the man answered, "I am the one who holds the key to heaven. Heaven is a very, very beautiful place. You cannot go there now but if you follow Jesus Christ you can go there after your life has finished on the earth." The man's name was Peter. Peter then asked me to sit down and he showed me a place to the north. Peter said, "Look to the north and see God create man." I saw the Eternal God from a distance. God spoke to an angel, "Let us make man." The angel pleaded with God and said, "Please don't make man. He will do wrong and will grieve you." [In Burmese literally: "He will make you lose face."]. But God created a man named anyway. God blew on the man and the man came to life. He gave him the name "Adam". [Note: Buddhists do not believe in the Creation of the world or of man, so this experience had a significant impact on the monk].
Sent Back with a New Name Then Peter said, "Now get up and go back to where you came from. Speak to the people who worship Buddha and who worship idols. Tell them they must go to hell if they don't change. Those who build temples and idols will also have to go to hell. Those who give offerings to the monks to earn merit for themselves with go to hell. All those who pray to the monks and call them 'Pra' [respectful title for monks] will go to hell. Those who chant and 'give life' to idols will go to hell. All those who don't believe in Jesus Christ will go to hell." Peter told me to go back to the earth and testify about the things I had seen. He also said, "You must speak in your new name. From now on you are to be called Athet Pyan Shinthaw Paulu ["Paul who Came Back to Life."]. I didn't want to go back. I wanted to go to heaven. Angels opened a book. First they looked for my childhood name (Thitpin) in the book, but they could not find it. They then looked for the name I had been given when he entered the Buddhist monk hood (U Nata Pannita Ashinthuriya) but it wasn't written in the book either. Then Peter said, "Your name is not written here, you must return and testify about Jesus to the Buddhist people." I walked back along the gold road. Again I heard beautiful singing, the kind of which I have never heard before or since. Peter walked with me until the time I returned to the earth. He showed me a ladder that reached down from the heaven to the sky. The ladder didn't reach to the earth, but stopped in mid-air. On the ladder I saw many angels, some going up to heaven and some going down the ladder. They were very busy. I asked Peter, "Who are they?" Peter answered, "They are messengers of God. They are reporting to heaven the names of all those who believe in Jesus Christ and the names of those who don't believe." Peter then told me it was time to go back. It is a Ghost! The next thing I was aware of was the sound of weeping. I heard my own mother cry out, "My son, why did you leave us now?" I also heard many other people weeping. I realized I was lying in a box. I started to move. My mother and father started shouting, "He is alive! He is alive!" Other people who were farther away did not believe my parents. I then placed my hands on the sides of the box and sat upright. Many people were struck with terror. They cried out, "It is a ghost!" and ran away as fast as their legs could carry them. Those who remained were speechless and trembling. I noticed I was sitting in smelly liquid and body fluids, enough to fill about three and a half cups. This was liquid that had come out of my stomach and my insides while my body was lying in the coffin. This is why people knew I had indeed been dead. Inside the coffin there was a type of plastic sheet fixed to the wood. This sheet is placed there to retain a corpse's liquids, because many dead bodies release much fluid like mine did. I learned later that I was just moments away from being cremated in the flames. In Myanmar people are placed in a coffin, the lid is then nailed shut, and the whole coffin is burned. When I came back to life my mother and father were being allowed to look at my body for the very last time. Moments later the lid of my coffin would have been nailed shut and I would have been cremated! I immediately started to explain the things I had seen and heard. People were astonished. I told them about the men I had seen in the lake of fire, and told them that only the Christians know the truth, that our forefathers and us have been deceived for thousands of years! I told them everything we believe is a lie. The people were astonished because they knew what kind of a monk I had been and how zealous I had been for the teachings of Buddha. In Myanmar when a person dies their name and age is written on the side of the coffin. When a monk dies, the monk's name, age and the number of years he has served as a monk are written on the side of the coffin. I had already been recorded as dead but as you can see, now I am alive! Epilogue Since 'Paul who came back to life' experienced the above story he has remained a faithful witness to the Lord Jesus Christ. Burmese pastors have told us that he had led hundreds of other monks to faith in Christ. His testimony is obviously very uncompromising. Because of that, his message has offended many people who cannot accept there is only one Way to Heaven, the Lord Jesus Christ. Despite great opposition, his experiences were so real to him that he has not wavered. After many years in the Buddhist monk hood, as a strict follower of Buddhist teachings, he immediately proclaimed the Gospel of Christ following his resurrection and exhorted other monks to forsake all false gods and follow Jesus Christ with all their hearts. Before the time of his sickness and death he had no exposure to Christianity at all. Everything he learned during those three days in the grave was new to his mind. In a bid to get his message out to as many people as possible, this modern-day Lazarus began distributing audio and video cassette tapes with his story on them. The police and Buddhist authorities in Myanmar have done their utmost to gather these tapes up and destroy them. The testimony you have just read has been translated form one of those cassette tapes. We are told it is now quite dangerous for citizens of Myanmar to be in possession of these tapes. His fearless testimony has landed him in prison at least once, where the authorities failed in their bid to silence him. Upon his release he continued to testify of the things he saw and heard. His current whereabouts are uncertain. One Burmese informant told us he is prison and may have been killed, while another informant was told he is now released from prison and is continuing his ministry. Translated by: Asian Minorities Outreach P.O.Box 901 Palestine, TX 75802 U.S.A. E-Mail: monkst... u/yahoo.com Website: http://www.antioch.com.sg/mission/asianmo ________________________ Dear Triplegem Members, The following message was posted to the NDE.com Website by someone called 'James' on 23rd July, 2000. (NDE = Near Death Experience). The Monk's story is identical. But the source is different. Details can be viewed at <> The message began with: "Buddhist Monk visits Hell" I believe this person died, body decay & rotten. He was then brought to those places by the LORD to show him some vision. <------- This is taken from a mission paper "Northside Missions Update" Northside Christian Centre 31-61 McLeans Road Bundoora Victoria 3083 Australia The same 'Monk's Story' followed. Then, exchange of interesting messages took place at the NDE.com Bulletin Board among NDE regulars, some of them are Christians, and finally, someone called 'Melvin', 'a Myanmar Buddhist', posted the following message and the discussion came to a close. The fact that the same story has re-surfaced in another form (cassette), perhaps in a another country is a bit disturbing! Best wishes to all our Triplegem members, MM Lwin ...................................................................
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