Blessings to you, the readers of this page, in Jesus Christ our Lord. May He guide you and protect you always.
Keywords: Fundamental Beliefs And Values At Internet Church Of Christ And LoveAllPeople.org
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Everyone is now our neighbor.
"Treat Others As You Would Like To Be Treated."
It is easy for people to become involved in the details of life but not to recognize the beliefs and values which guide them every day. This web page is an attempt to provide a clear summary of our fundamental beliefs and values here at Internet Church Of Christ and LoveAllPeople.org. This is our big picture of life, our big world view; and everything we do here seeks to be in harmony with these beliefs and values. We invite you to adopt them like children, and make them your own.
May the One God, Who created all things, Who created all people in His image, Bring peace to you now and forever. May He grant to you the light of understanding, According to your needs and abilities. Amen.Blessings to you. May God help us all.
"For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known." (1 Corinthians 13:12 KJV)Nevertheless, He does permit us to understand the things that we truly need to understand. Today, we need to understand more than we did in Bible times, because our human power over Creation is so much greater than it was thousands of years ago. Therefore, He gives us new information, according to our needs and our abilities. Some of this new information is found here.
"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." (Genesis 1:1 KJV) "For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:" (Colossians 1:16 KJV)
"Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created." (Revelation 4:11 KJV) "For the Lord taketh pleasure in his people:" (Psalms 149:4a KJV)
"And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth." (Genesis 1:28 KJV) "So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God." (Romans 14:12 KJV)
"And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM:" (Exodus 3:14 KJV))From God's perspective, we are "good" or "righteous" when we live according to His will for us. And we are "evil," or "unrighteous" or we do "wrong" or we "sin" when we live in opposition to His will. Seen from God's perspective, good and evil are not absolutes, like absolute black and absolute white; but they have different degrees, like different shades of gray, according to how close they are to His will.
Likewise, the will of God has different degrees of intensity, similar to emotions in humans: from extreme high intensity to very low, from passion to indifference. Some things are much more important to Him than others. So God may intensely desire that we not murder anyone today, but He may not care at all whether we have roast beef or chicken for dinner, or if our underwear is spotlessly white.
Moreover, His will is not the same for all people in the same situation, nor for the same person in different situations. In any situation, He has different roles for different people: some leaders, some helpers, some followers, some non-participants, etc. And the same person may have different roles in different situations: at work he is a technician; at home, the husband to his wife and the father to his children; on the road, just another driver, etc. In each situation and for each person, God's will is somewhat different, according to that person's role in the situation.
And in many, many cases, He doesn't really care: we can do whatever we want, as long as we do not exceed the limits He has set for us. He gave us free will. He wants us to be free, within very broad limits.
This is what the Bible talks about when it mentions "the glorious liberty of the children of God."
"Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God." (Romans 8:21 KJV)God Himself is neither good nor evil. He is as He is, whether we like it or not. It is not our business to be passing judgment on Him. He is our Creator, and we belong totally to Him, to do with as He pleases.
The Bible is the inspired written Word of God, sufficient to guide all human action, for all people, at all times. Although its Source (God) is infallible, the Bible itself is not perfectly infallible because fallible humans have introduced human error into it. Also, the Bible cannot always be understood literally, because it contains figures of speech which are never intended to be taken literally. Nevertheless, the Bible is the highest written authority in all matters which it discusses. And if it is properly understood and properly applied, it is a sufficient moral guide for all human action.
"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: "That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." (2 Timothy 3:16-17 KJV)Is the Bible the final Word of God, the last things He has to tell us? No, it cannot be; because God provides His followers with the Holy Spirit, to guide us directly in all things.
"But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." (John 14:26 KJV - Jesus speaking.)
"And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen." (Matthew 28:18-20 KJV)The words "only-begotten" mean "only-fathered," that is, Jesus is the only human ever directly fathered by God, that is, by the Holy Spirit interacting with the unfertilized egg in Mary's womb. Today we can understand how this happened by interaction of the Holy Spirit with the genes in Mary's egg, not by any act of sexual intercourse. Earlier people could never have understood our concept of genes. If we believe in Him, we will not perish, but will have eternal life, forever with Him.
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16 KJV)
"Believing in Him" means: that we accept the fact that He is Son of God, risen from the dead; that we accept Him as our own personal Lord; that we try to follow His commandments as best we know how; that we are always willing to declare our faith in Him, openly and without hesitation.
When we truly accept Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Saviour, we become filled with His love, which then expresses itself as love for others, which is God's desire for us.
That's it! That's the Christian message in its simplest, clearest form, with all the extras stripped away. "You give yourself to Jesus, and He takes good care of you forever," as one of His own people. This offer is available to you, no matter who you are or what you've done. All you have to do is accept it to put it into effect. Details here => http://www.loveallpeople.org/pearl-gospelsimplified.html
"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." (John 8:32 KJV - Jesus speaking) "These are the things that ye shall do; Speak ye every man the truth to his neighbour; execute the judgment of truth and peace in your gates: "And let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against his neighbour; and love no false oath: for all these are things that I hate, saith the LORD." (Zechariah 8:15-17 KJV)The Bible mentions the word "truth " two hundred and twenty-four different times; and none of them justifies falsehood or lies on any occasion. You can read these verses for yourself, by clicking HERE! (See http://biblegateway.com/quicksearch/?quicksearch=truth&qs_version=9)
Are there any situations in which God is pleased when we lie? Very few, if any. The only ones might be when lying is the only way to prevent a very serious evil, such as murder. Lying to save an innocent life might be justified, just as killing in self-defense might be justified, but certainly not encouraged. Almost always, there are better ways than lying to accomplish any good purpose. Search for them.
"For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." (Galatians 5:14 KJV)But who is our neighbor? Jesus answered that question in the Bible, when He gave us the story of The Good Samaritan. In this story, a man is robbed and beaten and left by the side of the road to die. Several of his own countrymen (his supposed "neighbors") pass by him, ignoring him. But a man from a hostile nearby country feels compassion for him, and stops to help. He treats his wounds, then puts the injured man on his own donkey and takes him to an inn for further treatment, which he pays for. Jesus tells us that the victim's true neighbor was the man who helped him; and that we should all go and do likewise. Actually, the two countries in the story are today known as Israel and Palestine. The victim was from Israel. The one who helped Him was Palestinian. And the location of the story was on the road from Jerusalem to the Palestinian city of Jericho.
So the Good Samaritan was a Palestinian. Think about that for a while, everybody.
And the moral of the story is that everyone is our neighbor. Thus we should love all people as we love ourselves. This "Law Of Love" finds its clearest expression in the words, "LOVE ALL PEOPLE AS YOURSELF."
For more on God's one law, please see http://www.loveallpeople.org/godsonelaw.html
First, we have already shown above that God does not permit us to understand all things at this time. And we have already said that God is absolute sovereign over everything. He created everything; it all belongs to Him. Nothing happens without His knowledge and consent.
Next, we need to understand that God has ordained the laws of Nature, including the laws of Physics, such as The Law Of Gravity. He does not usually interfere with their normal, mechanical, cause-and-effect operation. When He does interfere, it is considered a miracle. So when the mechanic fails to fasten the bolts, and the wing falls off the airplane, and it crashes, killing your child, God didn't do it: the mechanic did. Yes, God could have kept it from happening, but in order to do so, He would have had to interrupt the normal operation of His creation. He doesn't do that very often. Many of the bad things that happen to good people are the result of the normal cause-and-effect workings of Nature. For instance, people are designed to wear out and die. That's just the way it is. These things happen to good people and bad people alike.
"for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust." (Matthew 5:45b KJV)In addition to these natural causes, there are also some supernatural causes. For some reason, Satan and his demons have certain rights to exist and to act. And they hate us. They will harm us as much as they can. As Christians, we have some authority over them, but few of us know how to use it. Many of the bad things that happen to good people are caused directly by Satan and his demons. Acts 10:38 speaks of people being "oppressed of the devil."
"How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him." (Acts 10:38 KJV)
Sometimes, God will warn us in dreams or by some other means, when bad things are heading our way. If we cultivate a close relationship with the Holy Spirit, we are more likely to be warned of impending trouble so we can avoid it. Joseph was warned in a dream to take Mary and baby Jesus into Egypt, to escape Herod who was trying to kill Jesus (see Matthew 2:13).
No matter what happens, if we love Him, God will make everything work out for our own good, even if this idea seems preposterous at the time.
"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." (Romans 8:28 KJV)The world is a very rough place. We can expect much pain and many difficulties of all kinds. Why? We don't know. That's just the way it is.
"Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble." (Job 14:1 KJV)
The good news is that Heaven awaits us, and then all our troubles will be gone.
"And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away." (Revelation 21:4 KJV)
Until then, we have the Holy Spirit as our Comforter, Who will be with us,helping us and loving us at all times.
"And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;" (John 14:16 KJV) <><
The Golden Rule provides the answer. We love others best by following the Golden Rule, "TREAT OTHERS AS YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE TREATED," in each specific case.
"TREAT OTHERS AS YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE TREATED." _____________________________________________________________ "Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets." (Matthew 7:12 KJV) _____________________________________________________________ Note that He says, "for this IS the law and the prophets," not "for this is required by the law and the prophets." <><This makes sense, doesn't it: if we love the other person as we love ourself, then we will want for him to have the very same things we would want for ourself if we were in his present situation. So we treat him exactly the way we would like to be treated if we were in his situation. This is the very best we can do for him. And this is what God wants us to do.
So we can say, "The Golden Rule puts the Law Of Love into action."
The easiest way to apply the Golden Rule to real life is to ask yourself the question "How would you like to be treated in similar circumstances?" Then treat the other person that way. Also consider the impact of your actions on all other people, not only those immediately before you.For more about the Golden Rule and how to apply it, please click HERE => http://www.loveallpeople.org/golden.html and HERE => http://www.loveallpeople.org/goldenrulesolutions.html .
In early Bible times, God gave The Ten Commandments to Moses, to be the most fundamental basic Law for the people of Israel. All other people - the Gentiles - were not included under this law. After Christianity became established, it was clear to many people that the Ten Commandments were very much in harmony with the Law of Love and The Golden Rule in many real-life situations. So even though non-Jews are not required to follow the Ten Commandments, these Commandments can be very useful for guidance in many situations. But they are not absolute iron-clad law for a Christian.
For more on all these things, please see http://loveallpeople.org/guidelinesforlife.html
There you will find good advice for how to apply the Golden Rule and the Law Of Love. You will also find a version of The Ten Commandments, restated for the Gentiles. But please do not lose the main idea: "LOVE ALL PEOPLE AS YOURSELF." If you do that in all cases, you will never go far wrong, no matter what. And if you do go wrong, God will forgive you because of your love for others.
Our belief that "all people are created equal" is based on the Biblical idea that God created all people in His image, and that each person will be held equally accountable to God for his own actions in this life.
The Golden Rule, "Treat Others As You Would Like To Be Treated," is the foundation of Democracy, because the Golden Rule directs us to give the same power to others as we would like to have for ourselves, namely, the power to make decisions in matters affecting our lives. How much power? The same as we have ourselves, and this leads immediately to the idea of "one person, one vote," with all votes being of equal weight. So, Democracy is the natural result of applying the Golden Rule to the question: "What kind of government should we have?" Similarly, the Golden Rule leads directly to the idea of equality of all people under the law.
_____________________________________________________________ "Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets." (Matthew 7:12 KJV) _____________________________________________________________Please see THE INSTITUTE FOR DEMOCRATIC PROCEDURES - http://www.loveallpeople.org/democraticprocedures.html
"Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. "Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation." (Romans 13:1-2 KJV)Does this means that we must always do whatever our Government wants us to do, no matter what? No, it does not. Jesus says that we should give the Government whatever rightly belongs to it. But we should give God whatever rightly belongs to God. This proves that the government's rightful powers over us are not unlimited.
"Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's." (Matthew 22:21b KJV)Moreover, God requires the Government to rule wisely and to do good, not evil to the people. The Government is supposed to be "the minister of God to thee for good."
"For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: "For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil." (Romans 13:3-4 KJV)But what if the Government fails in its obligation to do good? What if it does evil continuously? Then it loses its authority from God and becomes illegitimate; and it should then be replaced with a better Government. That is exactly what happened at the time of the American Revolution. The Government of England was doing evil continuously to the American colonists. Thus it needed to be replaced.
A legitimate Government will govern with the informed consent of its people. Dictatorships which use force against the will of the people are not legitimate; and they should be replaced. Governments which lie to their people in order to obtain consent are not legitimate; and they should be replaced. Just as Mankind is God's trustee for taking good care of the Earth, so each Government is God's trustee for taking good care of the people under its jurisdiction.
NOTE: The government of England over its American colonies had become illegitimate by this time, and the people of the colonies had the right to abolish it.
We accept and support the Universal Declaration Of Human Rights. In 1948, following World War II, the entire world was united as never before or since. The Cold War, which effectively crippled the United Nations for more than fifty years, had not yet begun. During this time, the United Nations was the highest legitimate civil authority, with world-wide jurisdiction; And it took this opportunity to establish the Universal Declaration Of Human Rights. The legal and moral authority of the Universal Declaration has never been reduced, and it remains today the legal and moral standard for the world.
"But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; "Who will render to every man according to his deeds:" (Romans 2:5-6 KJV) "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." (1 Corinthians 15:22 KJV)Details at http://www.loveallpeople.org/universalsalvation.html
"If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men." (Romans 12:18 KJV)
Revelation 21:3-4 (KJV) 21:3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. 21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. <><
"Let all things be done decently and in order." (1 Corinthians 14:40 KJV)
"For the life of the flesh is in the blood:" (Leviticus 17:11a KJV)
"For the life of the flesh is in the blood:" (Leviticus 17:11a KJV)
"If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men." (Romans 12:18 KJV)
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The most important single thing you can do in your life is to establish a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, in which He is your personal Lord and Saviour, and you are His trusting follower. If you do this one thing, you will find joy and happiness now and forever. If you do not do this one thing, you will continue to deprive yourself of the many blessings God has intended for you to receive. Only by accepting Him can you become filled with His love, as God desires you to be. If you have not yet accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and Saviour, you can do so now by clicking HERE! This is the traditional Protestant way to accept Jesus and become a Christian.
HOWEVER: There is a more direct and more powerful way, and that is by giving yourself totally and completely to Him, using the prayer below:
A VERY POWERFUL PRAYER, GIVING YOURSELF TO JESUS If you want to do this now, here are the words you can use: Of course, you must agree with these words and say them sincerely, as from yourself. Be consciously aware that you are seeking Him, trying and intending to speak directly to Him. Don't say these words to Him unless you mean them. "Lord Jesus, I give myself to You, for You to be my only Lord and Master. I renounce and repudiate all other loyalties, and I desire no other Lord but You. Please come into me and take control of my life. Mold me to Your will and to Your use. I ask that You drive out all other spirits which conflict with You in any way. I want to belong only to You, to be subject only to You. I make this prayer to You, in Your name, the name of Jesus. Amen." These words have been tested in real life, and they DO WORK! If you truly mean these words sincerely, you will not need to repeat them very many times before you will have a dramatic reaction! The Lord Jesus WILL accept you, and He will enter into you and take control of your life. Get ready, for it will happen to you! "Seek, and ye shall find; ask, and ye shall receive." (from Matthew 7:8 and Luke 11:10) Rev. Bill McGinnisBlessings to you in Jesus Christ our Lord.
You can contact me, Rev. Bill McGinnis, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include "Fundamental Beliefs" in your subject line, so I will not overlook your message.
Thank you for visiting "Our Fundamental Beliefs And Values At Internet Church Of Christ And LoveAllPeople.org."
Blessings to you. May God help us all.
Rev. Bill McGinnis, Director - LoveAllPeople.org
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God's One Law For All Mankind: "Love All People As Yourself."