The Times We Live in or …Thoughts on Today’s Theology

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In recent weeks I got more and more aware of the fact that there has been an alarming trend in (public) Christianity to migrate from often times good beginnings as believers in God and Christ to one of three seemingly different camps of Christendom. Let me give you my observations for this assertion.

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When time stands still

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The other day I found a German saying on my Catholic kitchen calendar I did not throw away immediately because it prompted me several times to stop and read it again. Indeed, whenever I reread these words, I feel the confirmation of its truth at once.

“Sit back and do nothing. There is a time when silence heals.” (Gerhard Engelsberger)

Since I do not want to write another entry about the importance of (accepted) suffering for our transformation into the image of Christ, I want to simply tell you something about the prerequisites and the effects of withdrawing from this world’s hectic fussing and ramblings. Actually, it is not only necessary to find a quiet place (which is more difficult in a big city), we need to also nun ourselves from being occupied with everything that does NOT point us to God. Easier said than done, dear brothers and sisters! Whoever tried that before might know how difficult it is.  🙄

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What does a real saint look like? You might wonder… 😉

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Just reading Oswald Chambers’ devotional from tomorrow, I was truly hit by what he had to say. I need to admit that it does not happen very often that I appreciate his devotionals because I do not like his sometimes accusatory style of writing (preaching). I am paraphrasing him here a bit, “Do you think you have already arrived? Are you sure you belong to the Lord Jesus? You should not do this … you should not do that… you [seem to do it all wrong – the latter were my words].” This posture reminds me of preachers on the pulpit who seemingly dwell in another, higher spiritual region than their more or less attentive audience does. If we compare such accusations with how often the apostle Paul humbled himself before other, less mature Christians, we might know where and when we must be cautious about believing what we hear or read from other people. Nonetheless, I can tell you whenever Chambers goes over do including himself into what he has to say, I am happy! Lo and behold… below. 😊

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“I see!” – Receiving Supernatural Spiritual Sight

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If we long to have (more) spiritual sight and insights, we must be prepared that God will take us through many, many severe sufferings. Who wants this? Surely, our old nature hates suffering. And this is why God takes us through these things. He knows that our new spiritual nature that is opposed to the flesh will finally come out victoriously. Below I offer you an excerpt from T. Austin Sparks’ writings that deals with the topic I have just touched on. Sparks described here the cause of spiritual blindness that both springs from our old nature and Satan’s work in our soul.

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“Self, Stop Striving and Enter His Rest!”

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Star Trails August 2017 (Photo by Paul Schuberth)

This title seems to be a short formula which somehow sprang out on me as I had just re-read part of the excerpt of James A. Fowler’s writing “Spirit-union Allows for Soul-rest” (see link below). Thanks to Kenneth Dawson who would point to this website which was new to me until yesterday. I found a helpful description there of how we as modern Christian people today more and more fail to enter His rest due to our busy, hurried, and burdened lives.

The world of fallen humanity runs to and fro at a hectic pace, seeking “rest” on the weekends, in church services, and on vacations and holidays. The humanistic work ethic that drives men to succeed and be significant leaves little time for “rest” and quietude. When identity is determined by performance – who we are based on what we do – then contemporary society thinks those who take time to “rest” will be left on the side of the road as excess baggage or “nobodies.” “Rest” is regarded as but a utopian goal at the end of the rainbow of success. Thinking they can generate their own future of “rest” by their self-sufficient performance, fallen man runs on the treadmill that goes nowhere.

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Susanne Schuberth’s Spiritual Diary (Part 5) – “Beholding Him”

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Photo by Susanne Schuberth

I just decided to translate, edit, and publish another part of my spiritual diary in which I described my everyday experiences with God in the Spirit about seven years ago. The following excerpt can be read in direct succession of Susanne Schuberth’s Spiritual Diary (Part 4) – “A Dream Come True…” Below you will find my try of describing these seemingly contradictory experiences of the love and the fear of God, affecting and smiting you at the same time. If that is not confusing to a human being, I don’t know…

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It’s a Matter of Faith

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A misty morning, sitting at the hairdresser. Looking out the window, I see people hurrying to and fro around the main station area in Fürth. As I had asked the Lord whether I should begin to write a new blog article here or not, He answered, “If you like.” I responded, “Only if YOU like!” since I have had no clue, until now, what to write about. 🤔

However, that’s IT, indeed! 😊 I do not want to write about the BIG things God might be inclined to do through us because that would not be the truth. How many Christians still tend to believe that God’s main interests were in revival, in teaching proper doctrine, in healing the sick and helping the needy, or in evangelism aka preaching the gospel to save the lost? “Hey, wait a moment…” I hear someone say, “The Bible tells us that some of these things you mentioned will follow those who believe.” Yeah, that is right. But do we really believe just as Jesus believed His Father? Do we think that our Lord cared and worried about these issues as we do today? Or did He not, rather, care about what His tender loving Daddy in heaven had on His mind at any given moment?

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The Connection Between the Fear of God and Justification

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Garden in Weihenstephan (Upper Bavaria)

The following is an excerpt of a (not published) book I wrote about seven years ago. I just translated a text of my journal which should clarify that the experience of the fear of God and being justified by Him usually go hand in hand.

To separate awe from God from an everyday, natural fear is not easy. For it is real fear as other languages ​​also make clear:

Gottesfurcht (German)

crainte de Dieu (French)

timore di Dio (Italian)

temor de Dios (Spanish)

The fear of God is, above all, the fear of displeasing God by transgressing His commandments. I believe a further difference compared with other fears is that our natural anxieties cause narrowness inside our mind and make us think of running away from a frightening situation. “Cut and run!” the thief might think when suddenly confronted with the policeman. He, too, is, or at least should be frightened when he must face governmental authority. Nevertheless, it might happen that the thief, instead, goes over to attacking the authority figure when he realizes that his getaway route has been cut off.

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What Selflessness Is Like

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I just bumped into a blog where someone was praised to the skies for being able to do gymnastics at an advanced age. There is nothing wrong about such a laudation in itself since this and similar things are that which our fallen world can exclusively look at. Whatever is visible, audible, tangible, countable, measurable, yes, everything that is perceptible by our senses will be praised if it promises pleasure to people. As I skimmed through the comments section of this blog post, the longest response there caught my eye. The commenter, of course, was still older than the aforementioned person who would receive rave reviews, and he, outrageously, won this and that competition at an even higher age. Dear reader, it was almost impossible for me to finish reading their self-praise by which I felt greatly repelled. :-/ What about those people who cannot behave as they would want? What about those who are sick and cannot move their bodies any longer as they would love to? I doubt you will find any writing on the internet where these people are praised… BUT…

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Life in the Spirit

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This title might sound a bit simple to some, yet I was wondering whether it is always that easy for us to distinguish between our natural way of living and its spiritual counterpart which springs from Christ’s Life in us. Just lately I got aware of certain differences between my natural soul life’s powers and God’s supernatural powers we might receive through spiritual communion and fellowship with Him. Sometimes these two ways of living take turns within a few seconds and I am amazed at how different they really are! Even if our natural thinking, speaking, and doing is sophisticated, sooner or later we get exhausted if we remain on this level… UNLESS we can be sure of man’s approval and appreciation! If someone applauds, our soul receives new power and energy with which we can go on, even without God, and even without realizing that we left Him somehow behind.

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